Daily Archives: November 12, 2018

John Piper: the Pharisaical Expert on the Submission of Women — The Wartburg Watch

Women and girls, men and boys all share the right to live free of violence, which is, unfortunately, experienced by both men and women. Women and girls, however, disproportionately experience violence due to a deeply rooted global culture of gender discrimination. Nazanin Boniadi

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_pharisee_and_publican.jpg
The Pharisee and the Publican-Wikimedia Commons

I have long been convinced that John Piper has an agenda when it comes to limiting the roles of women in just about everything that puts them into a position of authority over men. He claims that his standards are derived from his interpretation of Scripture. I used to believe that he believed that. Now, I’m not so sure. His edicts go far beyond Scripture and that means something is amiss in churches which apply his edicts.

Women could not read Scripture or pray in the pulpit at his church.

He is quite gleeful about this *rule.* in Why Don’t Women Ever Read or Pray In Bethlehem’s Church Services? he said:

My reason is because—not that others have to see it this way—I view that moment and that place in the worship service as one of pastoral authority. The pulpit stands there symbolizing the word of God preached, and that’s what the elders are responsible to do. The reading of the text is part of that. And the offering up of the prayers of the congregation in an official, formal, representative capacity at the front is pastoral.

But in my sense, a woman is that moment acting like a pastor or elder, and that’s what we don’t think is appropriate.

This seems quite odd to me. Not only do women read Scripture in the pulpit at my conservative Lutheran church, women in the praise band will pray during the service. No one blinks an eye. No one thinks they are usurping the role of the pastor. In fact, I doubt if anyone sits there and wonders about such a thing.

When Scripture is read in a church, men and women stick to the text. They are literally repeating the words of Scripture. I don’t get that there is some sort of an *authoritative* reading and a *non-authoritative* reading. If a woman read it, would people sit there and say “Well, nothing to listen to here since a woman read it?” It makes no sense to me but I am a woman.

God chose women to speak some of those words in the Scripture. If women could not speak authoritatively, then  why did God allow Mary to directly speak the following beautiful words? Why didn’t He have Mary whisper these to a man and then have the man repeat these words? No, God used the beautiful words of a woman to speak to us then and now. Yet, in Piper’s odd view of Scripture, a woman cannot read the words of a woman in *his* pulpit because he doesn’t want a woman *acting like an elder.* Would he have let Mary speak these words in his church?

Mary’s Song
46 And Mary said:“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Women cannot be muscular because it leads to volatile sex.

Did you choke on your donut? I am shocked that people overlook this mind boggling, unbiblical rule from Piper. In fact, I would love to have the take of a psychiatrist on this. We wrote about it here.

“Consider what is lost when women attempt to assume a more masculine role by appearing physically muscular and aggressive. It is true that there is something sexually stimulating about a muscular, scantily clad young woman pumping iron in a health club.

But no woman should be encouraged by this fact. For it probably means the sexual encounter that such an image would lead to is something very hasty and volatile, and in the long run unsatisfying.

The image of a masculine musculature may beget arousal in a man, but it does not beget several hours of moonlight walking with significant, caring conversation. The more women can arouse men by doing typically masculine things, the less they can count on receiving from men a sensitivity to typically feminine ”

The abuse of a wife is OK so long as it only lasts a night.

Jesus apparently wants a woman to get walloped by her husband for a night since it will show she is submitted to her husband. Listen to how he tells a woman how to explain toher husband that she won’t have group sex. She needs to answer him in a way that builds him up…seriously? After asking her to have group sex? He seems more concerned about the man than he does the woman. Again, I would like to have a psychiatrist analyze this one.

There is nothing in Scripture that *proves* his point. Piper is a law unto himself. Sadly there are many young men who follow his words as if they are the very words of God. And they are not. They are his opinion and this opinion is dangerous for women. (Listen for his opening giggle.)

Women cannot be police officers, etc., if it involves giving directives to men

Now PIper brings it out of the church and into the secular marketplace. Here is where one must begin to question his biblical faithfulness. When asked if women should be police officers, he basically says no. He also carries it further.

If a woman’s job involves a good deal of directives toward men, they will need to be non-personal in general. If they don’t, men and women won’t flourish in the long run in that relationship without compromising profound biblical and psychological issues.

Conversely, if a woman’s relationship to a man is very personal, then the way she offers guidance and influence will need to be more non-directive. My own view is that there are some roles in society that will strain godly manhood and womanhood to the breaking point. But I leave women and men in those roles to sort that out. I have never tried to make that list.

So the key is: Do they deeply want to shape their whole lives by Scripture? And we may come to different views on some roles, but that submission to Scripture is a great common ground.

In other words, if you are a boss and your give orders to men, you are in the wrong role because it is not your God-given right to do that. Again, there is nothing in the Bible that says this.

He goes further to say that a woman exists to nurture the strength and leadership of men. They do?

At the heart of mature womanhood is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive, and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.

He claims that gender roles go far beyond marriage.

In a recent post at Desiring God, Do Gender Roles Apply Beyond Marriage? he claims

Well, the answer is yes, gender alone — that is, our sexual maleness or femaleness alone — is an essential part of our God-given identity, whether we’re married or not. You are who you are everywhere you are, and with whomever you are. Your core identity as male or female does not change according to your audience or your relationships.

It is the next statement that needs some discussion. It appears that he believes that somehow our maleness and femaleness will travel with us into the next life. This raises the question: will women need to be submissive to men in heaven?

Now, as Christians, we believe that the brain and the soul are not identical but interrelated in mysterious ways that have profound correspondence. All Christians agree that we are morally responsible before God for our thoughts and our feelings, even though our brains (the organ inside our skull) and our hormones are involved in what we think and feel.

The mystery of how the brain and the supra-physical soul are related is probably incomprehensible to finite people. That would be my guess. I don’t think we’ll ever fully comprehend this mystery.

But we know that what the brain does in thinking and desiring reflects reality in the personhood. I mean, a personhood that is more than physical — the personhood that will exist after death, when we go to be with Christ, before the resurrection.

In other words, we are persons in the presence of Christ, enjoying Christ as “far better,” as Paul says, even though we don’t have bodies (Philippians 1:23). The brain is down there rotting in the grave, and our soul, our personhood, is in heaven with Christ.

The differences that exist in general between men’s and women’s brains along with the innate differences that mark our lives are profoundly woven together with the supra-physical personhood.

I’m going to make a leap here and say that I think Piper may believe that women will be in a subordinate/submissive position to men in heaven. I cannot prove it but others have seen it as well.

I believe that John Piper’s view on the roles of gender are not found specifically in Scripture. Not only that but restricting the roles of women in the church and society due to some personal interpretation of overall female gender submission is harmful to women and may interfere with God’s plan for women to be change agents in our society and in our churches.

Piper and the Pharisees: Is there a connection here?

This brings me back to Jesus’ contentious relationship with many of the Pharisees. The were supposedly the keepers of the law that would enable the people to live righteously. However, they corrupted the law by removing mercy and making the law intolerable. It became a legalistic set of rules that led the people into a religious slavery.

(Quick note: Jesus did not condemn all Pharisees. Nicodemus was one who sought out Jesus.)

At the same time, the Pharisees presented a *righteous exterior,* often flaunting it in front of the people who were struggling. Yet inside they were filled with self righteousness, greed, and superiority. Jesus let them have it in his *seven woes* to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-37. Here are a few.

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Yet, at the very end of Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees who hurt the people, He refers to Himself and how He cared for them but they wouldn’t listen. They wanted nothing of His gentleness and mercy.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

I would rather not write about John Piper. I thankfully attend a church in which many have never heard of him. I have pastors who include women in the worship service. They treat the female Director of Christian Education (an important role in Lutheran churches) with profound respect. The men of the church do the weekly dinners and clean up. Women and men are confirmation guides, help with communion, read Scripture and pray.

However, John Piper is worshipped (yes, I mean that word and I think he knows it) by lots of young men coming out of Baptist seminaries. A Calvinist took over the pulpit of a local nondenominational church. One day, he got up to do his sermon and started off by saying “John Piper has stepped down from his pulpit. I don’t know how we will get along without him. We are now the gray hairs in the church.”

I believe that Piper is a modern day Pharisees. He’s especially concerned with limiting the role of women. I wonder what he is hiding inside…Something is wrong here.

via John Piper: the Pharisaical Expert on the Submission of Women —

NOVEMBER 12 WITH A LOUD VOICE

The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

—Luke 19:37-38

This does not mean, and I am not saying, that we must all worship alike. The Holy Spirit does not operate by anyone’s preconceived idea or formula. But this I know: When the Holy Spirit of God comes among us with His anointing, we become a worshiping people. This may be hard for some to admit, but when we are truly worshiping and adoring the God of all grace and of all love and of all mercy and of all truth, we may not be quiet enough to please everyone….

First, I do not believe it is necessarily true that we are worshiping God when we are making a lot of racket. But not infrequently worship is audible….

Second, I would warn those who are cultured, quiet, self-possessed, poised and sophisticated that if they are embarrassed in church when some happy Christian says “Amen!” they may actually be in need of some spiritual enlightenment. The worshiping saints of God in the Body of Christ have often been a little bit noisy. WHT014-015

Lord, may my worship be genuine and heartfelt, whether it be in quiet meditation or in loud exaltation! Amen. [1]


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

Over 60 Civilians Killed or Injured by Coalition Airstrike in Syria – Reports

Over 60 civilians have been killed or injured by a US-led coalition airstrike on Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, Syrian SANA news agency reported.

Source: Over 60 Civilians Killed or Injured by Coalition Airstrike in Syria – Reports

On Veterans’ Day, Remember the Lies That Filled Military Cemeteries

Politicians will be heartily applauded for saluting American’s soldiers today. But if citizens had better memories, elected officials would instead be fleeing tar and feathers. Politicians have a long record of betraying the veterans they valorize.

Veterans Day 2018 has been dominated by the confab of political leaders in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. American media coverage fixated on President Trump’s cancellation of one of his two visits to U.S. military cemeteries. In his speech yesterday at a U.S. military cemetery in France, Trump declared that it is “our duty … to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago.” But that peace was sabotaged long before the soldiers’ corpses had turned to dust. Though the American media exalted French President Emmanuel Macron’s denunciation of nationalism at the armistice anniversary, it was conniving by French leader George Clemenceau at the Versailles Peace Treaty that helped assure that U.S. sacrifices in 1917 and 1918 were for naught.

Lying about American wars is a venerable presidential tradition. Four years ago, in a visit to Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium, President Obama saluted the Americans who died in World War One – “the soldiers who manned the trenches were united by something larger — a willingness to fight, and die, for the freedom that we enjoy as their heirs.” In reality, that war was a disaster for freedom practically everywhere. Thanks to conscription, young American men had the choice of going to prison or being sent to fight a war on false pretenses.

Neither Trump nor Obama can compete for the title of Supreme Fabulist on World War One – an honorific that President Woodrow Wilson locked up a century ago. After he was narrowly re-elected in 1916 based on a campaign slogan, “He kept us out of war,” Wilson pulled America into the war because “the world must be made safe for democracy.” Wilson acted as if Congress’s declaration of war against Germany also declared war on the Constitution, and he ruthlessly censored and persecuted anyone who did not cheer the war effort. Wilson even urged Congress to authorize detention camps for “alien enemies.” More than a hundred thousand American soldiers died in the war effort, and another half million Americans perished from the Spanish flu epidemic spurred and spread by the war. Rather than a new birth of idealism, World War One unleashed chaos and led directly to the rise of Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler – and a host of tinhorn dictators elsewhere in Europe.

World War One exemplified the deceptions that propelled U.S. conflicts abroad. Veterans Day should be a time to recognize that the history of America’s wars is also a history of political rascality:

In 1846, President James Polk took Americans to war after falsely proclaiming that the Mexican army had crossed the U.S. border and attacked a U.S. army outpost — “shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil,” he claimed. But he never produced evidence to support his causa belli for a conflict that placed vastly expanded the nation’s boundaries and paved the way for the Civil War.

In 1898, when President William McKinley took the nation to war against Spain, he pledged not to annex foreign territory. He changed his mind after deciding to “Christianize” the Filipinos (a Catholic nation). Four thousand U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Filipinos perished in the merciless crackdowns required to place those islands under the Stars and Stripes.

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt capped off his reelection campaign by promising voters: “ Your president says this country is not going to war. ” Though FDR portrayed World War Two as an fight for democracy, he secretly signed off on Stalin’s demand for control of almost all of eastern Europe. The result was decades of oppression for Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, and others.

President Lyndon Johnson vastly expanded the Vietnam War purportedly to prevent the domino-like spread of communism (which the CIA concluded would not happen regardless). A secret 1965 Pentagon memo admitted that 70% of the U.S. aim in Vietnam was simply to “ avoid a humiliating US defeat (to our reputation as a guarantor).” Almost 60,000 American troops died so politicians could ravage the national credibility they pretended to preserve.

After 9/11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to vanquish Al Qaeda. After top Al Qaeda leaders escaped, President George W. Bush pledged to help create a democracy and modernize that nation. Unfortunately, subsequent Afghan elections have been utterly fraud-ridden while corruption multiplied thanks largely to U.S. aid.

President Bush justified invading Iraq in 2003 because of Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. The WMDs were never found, so Bush claimed the U.S. would bring democracy to Iraqis. But the U.S. government helped rig subsequent elections and supported Iraqi rulers’ brutal repression of their opposition, helping spur pervasive conflicts that continue to ravage that nation.

Politicians disdain the soldiers they claim to adore. U.S. troops are currently fighting in 14 foreign nations, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria to Chad, Yemen, and other locales. When 4 U.S. troops were killed last Fall in Niger, many members of Congress were stunned to learn of the U.S. deployment . Congress was similarly negligent regarding rat-infested, unsanitary conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007. Politicians had time for hundreds of speeches touting their devotion to veterans but few congressmen noticed the dilapidated state of the showcase military hospital in their back yard.

General Patton said that an ounce of sweat can save a pint of blood. Similarly, a few hours studying the lessons of history can prevent heaps of grave-digging in the coming years. President Trump has saber-rattled against Iran, North Korea, Syria, and other nations. His bellicose rhetoric should spur Americans to review the follies and frauds of past wars before it is too late to stop the next pointless bloodbath.

The best way to honor veterans is to cancel politicians’ prerogative to send troops abroad to fight on any and every pretext. And one of the best steps towards that goal is to remember the lies for which soldiers died.

Source: On Veterans’ Day, Remember the Lies That Filled Military Cemeteries

Bill O’Reilly on the Liberal Media After Jim Acosta Incident: They Don’t ‘Care About Fair Play’

Political commentator Bill O’Reilly expressed concern about the rise of political advocacy in news reporting on Monday while talking with host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show” about the recent confrontation between President Donald Trump and CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

The president called Acosta (shown above left) a rude and terrible person during a press conference a day after the midterm elections last week.

The CNN reporter — who often badgers the president, rather than ask straight questions — challenged that the president characterized the approaching migrant caravan as an invasion.

Acosta kept pushing and interrupted after the president reaffirmed his view while trying to leave it at a difference of opinion.

Related: Trump Unloads on CNN’s Acosta During Bitter Press Conference

“There are two things at play. Number one is the money factor. MSNBC and CNN are making money off hating Trump,” said O’Reilly on Monday morning.

“The orders [are] coming down and everyone who works for those organizations knows they can’t go against the hate Trump tide there, or they won’t get assignments. The New York Times and [The] Washington Post are a little bit more subtle in the newspaper industry than they are on television. And the second thing is, I miss good reporting, too. The press doesn’t care about the truth, they don’t seek the truth. It’s basically an ideological play.”

Acosta interrupted Trump several times when the president tried to give an answer.

The CNN reporter continued pushing even as the president tried to move along to another journalist, Peter Alexander of NBC News, for a question. A White House intern tried to grab the mic away from Acosta — but he refused to hand it over.

“Reporters are not supposed to offer commentary. That’s what Laura Ingraham does, that’s what Bill O’Reilly does. We get paid for commentary. But a reporter goes out and finds the facts and presents the facts,” said O’Reilly. “Well, Acosta is now a commentator. He has said outrageous things about President Trump. Never anything good.”

Alexander of NBC defended Acosta as a diligent reporter when he finally had the chance to ask a question — but before he even got the chance to ask a question, Acosta stood back up and started interrupting again.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later argued that he put his hands on the intern when citing some of the reasons his press credentials were revoked.

Related: Hill Immigration Republicans Wary of Approaching Migrant Caravan

“You have to suspend the correspondent because if you don’t you have anarchy and no decorum and the office,” said O’Reilly.

“It’s all about money. That’s the bottom line on this thing.”

Regarding the migrant caravan that Acosta kept pushing Trump about, the group of people has steadily grown to several thousand as they’ve proceeded toward the border up from Honduras.

Trump has mobilized the military to support National Guard and Border Patrol agents already on the border.

He has also threatened to cut aid to the countries that let the migrants pass through.

The migrants still have a long trip ahead of themselves before they actually reach the United States, but they recently left Mexico City and are headed northward again.

Trump has been challenged on his power to restrict immigration throughoutout his presidency and the caravan is no different. Federal immigration laws allow the president to suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens.

But some critics claim he is beholden to international agreements to process credible asylum claims.

Source: Bill O’Reilly on the Liberal Media After Jim Acosta Incident: They Don’t ‘Care About Fair Play’

CNN Unveils New Slogan: ‘Orange Man Bad’

ATLANTA, GA—Billing the rebrand as part of a larger effort to differentiate itself in the crowded mainstream media environment, news channel CNN rolled out a new network slogan Monday: “Orange Man Bad.”

“From ‘The worldwide leader in news’ to ‘This is CNN,’ our taglines have always reflected the core essence of who we are as a news organization,” CNN said in a press release. “Our new slogan perfectly sums up our values, integrity, and passion in three words: Orange Man Bad.”

“Telling the world Orange Man Bad is what gets us up in the morning,” the statement said.

According to CNN leadership, the slogan also serves as a helpful backup, should news anchors get flustered and forget what they’re supposed to say on air. The network’s television personalities can simply glance up at the new slogan on the wall of the studio and repeat the phrase ad nauseam to fill out the hour.

Reached for comment, a CNN spokesperson also added “Gay trans good, conservatives bad, Republicans bad, white people bad, Christians bad, orange man bad, orange man bad, orange man bad.”

Source: CNN Unveils New Slogan: ‘Orange Man Bad’

11/12/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-1112

•Pastor Mike Fabarez joins us
•10 mistakes people make about Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife
•Is Hell a big party? Just separation from God?
•Annihilationism and Conditionalism
•What will be the best part of Heaven?
•Will Heaven be boring?
•Pastor Fabarez plays word association
•Catholicism, Social Justice, and Donald Trump

Download Now (right click and save)

via 11/12/2018 — Wretched

November 12 Humility and Grace

Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men.

Philippians 4:5, nasb

It is difficult to find one English word that captures the diverse meaning of the word translated as “forbearing” in today’s verse. Some say it speaks of contentment, gentleness, generosity, or goodwill toward others. Others believe it refers to mercy or leniency toward the faults or failures of others. Still others claim it describes patience, referring to someone who submits to injustice or mistreatment but doesn’t retaliate with hatred or bitterness. I believe the best translation is “graciousness,” because in the Christian sense that word embodies all the other meanings.

Forbearance also includes another important element: humility. The humble Christian doesn’t hold a grudge but trusts God whenever he is mistreated, misjudged, or misrepresented. A person like that doesn’t demand his rights. God manifested His grace to us in the same way—mankind abused and maligned Jesus Christ though He deserved none of it, yet He still reached out to us in love (cf. Rom. 5:10). Humility and graciousness will help you be stable in spite of the circumstances.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 341). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

It Looks Like War Has Officially Begun As Hamas Announces Start Of Hostilities With 100 Rockets Fired At Israel From Gaza Strip — Now The End Begins

Fighting on the Gaza border erupted Monday afternoon, with dozens of projectiles fired by terrorists in the Strip striking southern Israel, including one that hit an Israeli bus near the border and seriously injured at least one person, officials said.

Now we know why Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu flew home from Paris in such a hurry, evidentially Israeli intelligence knew this was coming and needed their leader back before war broke out. This battle has been simmering for quite some time now, and it looks like it has finally reached a boil.

HAMAS FIRES MORE THAN 100 ROCKETS AT ISRAEL, ONE PERSON CRITICALLY WOUNDED

[18:56] IDF: Israel hits over 20 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets struck in Gaza

The IDF has struck over 20 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement released Monday.

The IDF deployed fighter planes, helicopters and tanks in its response.

The IDF struck some ten targets in the northern Gaza Strip, including military installations and observation posts of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The IDF stuck an additional ten targets in southern Gaza.

A group of balloon launchers was also struck.
“The IDF is continuing its operation against terror targets throughout Gaza,” the statement said.

[18:53] Air sirens sound in Eshkol in southern Israel, Hamas fires rockets

Air raid sirens sound in Holit, Beeri, Nir Yitzak, Avhsalom and Dekel, located at the Eshkol Regional Council.

[18:51] Hamas fires at Gaza border communities, air sirens heard

Sirens were sound in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in the Hof Ashkelon Regional council in the Gaza border. Sirens were also heard in moshav Tkuma in Sdot Regional Council.

[18:47] Two PFLP gunmen killed in IDF strike on Gaza

Two Palestinian gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were killed in air raids carried out by the IDF Monday afternoon, according to the PFLP.

Gaza fired more than 100 rockets into Israel in retaliation for the killing of seven Hamas terrorists on Sunday. IDF tanks and drones reentered Gaza on Monday.

[18:45] Magen David Adom: 13 injuries, one in critical condition in southern Israel

Magen David Adom EMTs and paramedics treated 13 people, including a 19-year-old in critical condition, who were injured in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. They were taken to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva and Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

In addition, 3 people were evacuated to the hospital suffering from stress.

[18:42] Smoke and flame are seen during an Israeli air strike Gaza Strip

The IDF launched a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in response. The army said it struck more than 20 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror targets using jets, attack helicopters and tanks. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported three dead and several wounded.

palestinian-rockets-from-hamas-flying-over-southern-israel-11-12-2018-01

[18:37] Report: House of Hamas interior ministry official hit in Gaza Strip

The house of Hamas Interior Ministry Inspector Avi Abdallah Lafi was hit by Israel on Monday evening, Palestinian media reported. No casualties were reported.

[18:34] Rockets fired by Palestinian militants towards Israel are seen in Gaza, November 12, 2018

palestinian-rockets-from-hamas-flying-over-southern-israel-11-12-2018

[18:26] Rockets fall in public building in Netivot, Hamas fires from Gaza

Three rockets fell in buildings in the city of Netivot in southern Israel, including in a public building.

[18:28] Air sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon in southern Israel

Air sirens were heard in the community of Beer Ganim in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in south Israel.

[18:21] Air sirens sound in Eshkol region

Air sirens were heard in kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, kibbutz Holit and kibbutz Sufa located in the Eshkol Regional Council in south Israel. The Home Front Command instructed civilians in the cities of Beer Sheva, Ofakim and in the Lachish region to stay near protected areas.

[18:20] Netanyahu meets with senior security officials as Gaza situation escalates

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday evening with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff, and senior officers for security consultation on the situation in Gaza, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Upon his arrival, the prime minister received a security briefing from senior defense officials.

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: According to the Israel Defense Forces, more than 100 projectiles were fired at Israel in less than 40 minutes, triggering sirens in Beersheba and even as far away as the Dead Sea and the West Bank’s Hebron Hills. If rockets were indeed aimed at the Dead Sea, it would represent the longest range attack by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza since the 2014 Gaza war.

A number of incoming rockets and mortar shells from Gaza were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while several others struck homes and buildings in Israeli communities near the border, causing injuries and damage.

In response to the heavy barrage from the Gaza Strip, Israeli fighter jets launched a series of air raids against targets in the coastal enclave, the military said. At least two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the air raids in the northern Gaza Strip and three others were wounded, the Hamas-run health ministry in the Strip said.

The attacks from Gaza came less than a day after an IDF special operations officer was killed in an operation gone awry that also killed seven Palestinian gunmen in the Strip. Following Sunday night’s incident, the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas said “the blood of our righteous martyrs will not be wasted.”

The renewed clashes dashed hopes that Israel and Hamas would uphold a recent ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt and the United Nations and supported by Qatar.

Mortar and rocket attacks sparked fires in the southern Israeli towns of Sderot and Netivot. In Sderot, three people were also lightly wounded, apparently by shrapnel, after a rocket exploded near them, medics said.

In total, seven people were taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital for treatment.

The barrage triggered incoming rocket sirens throughout southern Israel, sending hundreds of thousands of Israelis rushing to bomb shelters for cover.

The Israeli military ordered residents of communities near the Gaza Strip to remain inside bomb shelters until further notice. Residents of the cities of Beersheba, Ashkelon and other parts of the northern Negev were told to stay within close distance of their bomb shelter or other protected spaces.

No large gatherings were permitted in southern Israel, the army said. READ MORE

via It Looks Like War Has Officially Begun As Hamas Announces Start Of Hostilities With 100 Rockets Fired At Israel From Gaza Strip — Now The End Begins

Caravan of Thousands Is Pushing Again Toward the U.S. Border

The caravan of several thousand Central American migrants resumed their march Saturday toward the U.S. border, departing Mexico’s capital city on a trek north to where troops have been deployed by President Donald Trump to stop them.

The caravan, which now is made up of about 4,000 migrants, had been in Mexico City for the past four days, resting before resuming their journey to the central Mexican city of Queretaro.

The group began its trek by taking the city’s metro system to the outskirts before walking and hitching rides along a main highway.

When the group arrived in Queretaro, they were met by volunteers offering them tortillas, sandwiches and rice, according to the Associated Press.

Local officials had prepared a stadium for the group’s arrival, and the migrants strung up tarps and tents to spend the night.

Related: Key Question: Who’s Funding and Supplying the Migrant Caravans?

“I decided to come (with the caravan) to help my family,” Maria Yesenia Perez, who left La Ceiba, Honduras, nearly a month ago with her 8-year-old daughter, told the Associated Press.

Some of the original group has split and is expected to arrive in the border city of Tijuana on Monday, according to Reuters, while others later in the week are expected to reach Reynosa and other border towns.

Those reaching the border will have a tougher time applying for asylum if they choose to cross into the U.S. illegally.

This past Thursday, the White House announced that migrants will not be allowed to enter the U.S. illegally to file asylum claims, which is how the vast majority of roughly 150,000 Central American families and children entered the U.S. last fiscal year.

Instead, they will be required to enter through official ports of entry, like those near San Diego, Yuma and El Paso. By issuing the new directive, Trump is in essence creating a bottleneck by funneling tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to already overcrowded ports.

But that’s not deterring those still in the caravan.

Many of the migrants in the caravan are now hauling bundles of blankets, sleeping bags and heavy clothing to protect against colder temperatures in the northern part of the country after leaving Mexico City.

“It doesn’t matter what rules [Trump’s] government imposes, we cannot go back to our countries. I have a bullet in my arm and another in my shoulder. If I go back home, it’d be better for me to go with a casket,” 30-year-old Julio Caesar, who is from Honduras, told Reuters.

Many of the migrants in the caravan are now hauling bundles of blankets, sleeping bags and heavy clothing to protect against colder temperatures in the northern part of the country after leaving Mexico City.

Some left the capital with bottles of water and clear plastic bags of bananas and oranges for the long trek.

Others were given juice and ham sandwiches from volunteers as they set out.

Maria Yesenia Perez, a 41-year-old who left La Ceiba, Honduras nearly a month ago with her 8-year-old daughter, told AP she was prepared to wait to gain entry at the U.S. border.

“I decided to come [with the caravan] to help my family,” she said, before she and her daughter were hoisted onto the back of a semitrailer.

The caravan became a campaign issue in U.S. midterm elections and President Trump has ordered the deployment of more than 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off the migrants.

Many in the caravan say they are fleeing rampant poverty, gang violence and political instability primarily in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and they have now been on the road for weeks.

Fox News’ William La Jeunesse and the Associated Press contributed to this Fox News report, which is used by permission. Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. 

Source: Caravan of Thousands Is Pushing Again Toward the U.S. Border

Border Breach: 2,000% Increase in Asylum Seekers Brings Big Costs and Risks, Like Smallpox

Since 2013, the number of migrants on the US southern border claiming political asylum has increased by 2,000 percent, and that brings a lot of costs and risks to US taxpayers.

Source: Border Breach: 2,000% Increase in Asylum Seekers Brings Big Costs and Risks, Like Smallpox

Top Facebook Executive Forced Out Because He Was A Trump Supporter Shows The Extreme Prejudice Of Social Media Companies — Now The End Begins

 

Facebook Inc. executive and virtual-reality wunderkind Palmer Luckey was a rising star of Silicon Valley when, at the height of the 2016 presidential contest, he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group.

I have had a Twitter account since early 2012, and from then until now have posted roughly 11K+ tweets with 13K+ followers. Up until the Midterm elections I had never had a block placed on my account and had never been suspended. That all changed on the night of November 6, 2018, when Twitter closed my account because they said I had been ‘sending spam’. The ‘spam’ I am accused of sending was replies to mainstream news tweets, where I supported Republican candidates. Twitter did not like that because it potentially hurt their candidates.

The irony of having a country that exercises its right to free speech over social media when the Liberals who own social media are vehemently against free speech is overwhelming. I have to maintain two Facebook accounts as one of them is always suspended because I post articles that are pro-Christian, pro-Conservative and anti-Liberal. The people who own Twitter, Facebook and the others are rabid Liberals who seek to silence any and all opposition.

Why Did Facebook Fire a Top Executive? Hint: It Had Something to Do With Trump

FROM THE WSJ: His donation sparked a backlash from his colleagues. Six months later, he was out. Neither Facebook nor Mr. Luckey has ever said why he left the social-media giant. When testifying before Congress about data privacy earlier this year, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg denied the departure had anything to do with politics.

Mr. Luckey, it turns out, was put on leave, then fired, according to people familiar with the matter. More recently, he has told people the reason was his support for Donald Trump and the furor that his political beliefs sparked within Facebook and Silicon Valley, some of those people say.

Internal Facebook emails suggest the matter was discussed at the highest levels of the company. In the fall of 2016, as unhappiness over the donation simmered, Facebook executives including Mr. Zuckerberg pressured Mr. Luckey to publicly voice support for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, despite Mr. Luckey’s yearslong support of Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the conversations and internal emails viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Luckey’s ouster from Facebook was a harbinger of battles that have broken out over the past year over the overwhelmingly liberal culture of Silicon Valley, which has given the tech industry public-relations headaches and brought unwanted attention from Washington.

Executives from Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., have had to answer questions from lawmakers about potential bias in their treatment of conservative viewpoints. Tech executives concede that Silicon Valley is predominantly liberal—Mr. Zuckerberg said in Senate testimony that it is “an extremely left-leaning place”—yet they have steadfastly maintained that politics doesn’t play a role in how they police content on their sites. READ MORE

Diamond & Silk accuse Facebook of censorship

via Top Facebook Executive Forced Out Because He Was A Trump Supporter Shows The Extreme Prejudice Of Social Media Companies — Now The End Begins

If Fear is the Beginning, What is the End?

Unfathomable Grace

Formerly, I lived much of my Christian life looking down at the ground in self-loathing guilt. When that was over, I would then look over my shoulder in anxious concern of the response of God. Then, I would look around the room hoping to find someone more foolish and sinful than I; this would at temporarily puff up my ego and give me something of which to boast and lighten my burden for a time.

In my theology, I was very aware of the Heavenly Law Giver and his judicial sternness. God was not to be played with; he meant everything he said. I had heard all my life how holy he was and how he rightly desired such perfect purity from all his creatures. In addition, I was thoroughly schooled in his sacred anger towards Satan and sinners. Now, it is true that I had called upon Jesus to…

View original post 1,085 more words

What Are the Essential Qualities of a Christian? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

What are the essential qualities of a Christian? From one of our live Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson looks at the marks of a true Christian: faith, hope, and love.

Ask your biblical and theological questions live online at Ask.Ligonier.org.

via What Are the Essential Qualities of a Christian? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Florida election supervisors trying to steal Senate and Governor wins from Republicans

WINTERY KNIGHT

I thought this was an interesting story. In Florida, Republicans won the elections for Senate and Governor. But the people counting votes in Broward and Palm Beach refused to finalize their vote counts. And they are preventing any journalists from filming how they are counting the votes.

The Federalist explains what the problem is:

Three days after election night, when Gov. Rick Scott delivered a victory speech and held a comfortable margin of votes against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, loads of ballots favoring the Democratic candidate mysteriously turned up in Palm Beach and Broward counties — where one official has a history of violating election laws.

State law requires that all early and by-mail votes be tabulated within 30 minutes of the polls closing, but three days later, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes still refuses to specify how many people voted, how many ballots have been tabulated, and how…

View original post 379 more words

Karen Prior Creates ‘Guild’ with Wildly Unorthodox Women to Help Women Attain Biblical Orthodoxy — Pulpit & Pen

For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions. – 2 Timothy 3:6

If you added all of these women together, their theological credentials wouldn’t cover a napkin. Their accumulative doctrinal teaching has all the stability of a Midol commercial. In a Luke 6:39 scenario, Karen Swallow Prior and other wildly unorthodox women are creating a feminist ‘guild’ to help women move toward Biblical orthodoxy. When they’re not orthodox themselves, one wonders what male pastor will help them do that.

Karen Swallow Prior is a self-pronounced feminist (she calls herself that), an animal rights activist who thinks guns are only for those who live in nice neighborhoods, wants an end to modern animal husbandry even if it “damns” our economy, thinks pets go to Heaven, finds dog-fighting more objectionable than abortion and defends abortion doctors from accusations of murder. She is starting the 2 Timothy 3:6 group with the wife of Critical Race Theorist and Cultural Marxist, Ron Burns, who goes by his Black Nationalist name (rather than his given name), Thabiti Anyabwile. Kristie Anyabwile is married to Burns, who has repeatedly shown disrespect and dishonor to the nation’s law enforcement, which makes sense given his own family’s history of anti-police violence.

Along with Mrs. Burns, Prior is starting the feminist guild with Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest. Tish, in case you didn’t already know, is a woman and – like Prior – is a feminist who spends her time arguing against complementarian ecclesiology. Warren, like Prior and Anyabwile, is a social progressive and leftist. Harrison left the Baptist faith to go to the Anglicans because not many denominations would accept her level of liberalism. Warren called the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, “stupid” (that tweet was ‘liked’ by Russell Moore, by the way).

The three are putting together the “Pelican Project” in order to “find community among women of orthodox belief.” One wonders how they are to do that when this gaggle of femitics resembles more an island of heterodoxical misfits than anything remotely resembling “orthodoxy.”

Prior told the Christian Post…

“I kept hearing the same kinds of things from women—whether egalitarian or complementarian or otherwise—who wanted a space that was theologically rooted and rigorous but that was also robustly pro-female, a space where they could be honest about what they believed, where women of different ethnicities and denominations could come together around common beliefs and commitments.”

This may be a newsflash to some (and would no doubt be a newsflash to evangelicalism’s Desperate Housewives in the Pelican Guild), but ecumenism is not exactly the best way to move people toward orthodoxy.

Let me type that again, this time in bold: Ecumenism is not exactly the best way to move people toward orthodoxy.

These women don’t grasp that. But then again, I’m fairly certain they grasp little to anything of historic orthodoxy in general anyway. They are not, after all, theologians. Prior is an English Literature professor, Anyabwile the wife of a social justice community organizer, and Warren a lady priest. If you threw a rock into their huddle you wouldn’t hit a theologian.

Prior said of the group’s purpose:

 Whether we are writers or speakers or educators or ministry leaders in the church, we want to model a different way, a way of “hospitable orthodoxy” that is uncompromising but also compassionate and kind.

A “hospitable” orthodoxy?

Yeah. That doesn’t sound ominous at all. These women are why 1 Timothy 2:12 is in the Bible, frankly.

Make no mistake about it, Karen Swallow Prior – who serves the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission – wants the group to lead the way to a fully-egalitarian, women-centric, feminist-focused church experience. She told the CP…

But there are women whose local church has no female leaders or voices, so we hope to serve as a kind of lifeline for women in those spaces—and for men who want to amplify female voices that are orthodox and have a robust ecclesiology. My hope is that in 30 years, we wouldn’t need anything like the Pelican Project, because local churches would be full to the brim with theologically rooted, theologically trained, institutionally credentialed, orthodox women leaders.

Yeah. That doesn’t scream of liberalism, does it? More Tish Harrison Warrens out there.

Gross. What does “intrinsically credentialed” mean by the way.

Warren told the CP…

I’m a female priest and (obviously) strongly for women’s ordination. Others in the group think women’s ordination is unbiblical. We have different views of the sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist, and differences in ecclesiology.

Then, there are some of us who are more conservative, theologically and politically, and some not so much. Some vote Republican and some have never voted Republican. We inhabit somewhat different theological, ecclesiological, and, at times, ideological worlds. But rather than ignoring those differences, we find that, as each of us brings them to the table honestly, we’re enriched and challenged, even as we disagree.

As a group, we’re trying to be, in the words of one of the members of our advisory council, ‘not quite as theologically conservative as our most conservative member, but not quite as theologically progressive as our most progressive member.’

Now get this: If they want to be less conservative than their most conservative member, and their “most conservative leader” is Karen Swallow Prior…Lord have mercy. Their entire point is to drive evangelical women left.

While the feminists out there, emboldened by Intersectional politics, are convinced and seeking to convince others that women must learn from women, this harem of heterodox women are a prime example of why male pastors and husbands should protect their wives from such foolishness. There is no Biblical reason – zero, zilch, none – to presume that women need to learn doctrine from other women. That’s not how God structured either the home or the church (contrary to the opinion of Anglican lady priests). The presupposition behind the Pelican Project is itself fallacious; women do not need women leadership, and as this group serves as an example, it’s dangerous.

via Karen Prior Creates ‘Guild’ with Wildly Unorthodox Women to Help Women Attain Biblical Orthodoxy — Pulpit & Pen

Ted Malloch: What Happened to CNN? — The Gateway Pundit

Atlanta was a quaint Southern town, but it was metamorphosing into something very different and more impressive by 1992 when I was first engaged with CNN.

They were getting cosmopolitan and downright worldly.

They had won the Olympic bid scheduled for 1996 (secured by Andrew Young at—you guessed it—Davos).

Segregation was over and grits were hard to find.

One company had come to personify the newfound swagger and embodied the spirit of the New South.

That company started as a small-fry radio station with a big signal and had grown into the powerhouse and the most-watched network on cable television.

Its format was unheard-of: All News, All the Time.

Boy, has that changed!

After the Gulf War, Ted Turner, their cocky CEO and founder, bragged that he had won.

CNN represented raw media power, as it had never been witnessed before.

When you met Turner, the smile, the pencil moustache, and the ability to speak his mind, he instantly mesmerized you.

I went to dinner a few times with him and (Hanoi) Jane Fonda, who looked far younger than her age and had lots of plastic all over her body, to boot.

In their upscale Bugatti restaurant we had bison steaks and talked about his growing empire—worldwide.

Turner could get mad as hell and was even known to throw phones, but when he wanted something, he went after it like an untamed Georgia bulldog.

He invited me to a Braves game and we sat in the dugout, and when Chipper Jones hit a home run to win the game, they brought him the ball and he gave it to me.

Tom Johnson ran CNN, and he was a senior TV journalist who had been Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary. He was a class act and a real journalist. He was also mentally ill, as he later divulged in a most honest account of manic depression.

He knew his way around Washington but was often hidden away as if he were battling something.

It turns out he was—his own deep depression.

My main point of contact at CNN was the colorful and ego-driven, Lou Dobbs. His star was ascending, and he wanted Ted to make him president of CNNfn.

He was, in other words, as Lou often does, posturing.

He thought a lot of himself, and his people in New York at the offices across from Penn Station were both afraid of him and yet oddly devoted to him.

I was never sure which came first. I liked Lou a lot and he was a good head.

He eventually left because he couldn’t take CNN anymore and went to god forbid, FOX.

CNN became a powerful media company with a large international footprint and it did legitimate journalism. It was basically honest and fair. It was respected.

Then something happened.

In the Bush ‘43 years and leading up to the CNN-anointed Obama monarchy, the network literally stopped doing journalism and started becoming an activist political agitator.

When Jeff Zucker, a total hack, took over as CEO, they bent all the way.

They adored Obama and fawned all over him like sycophants.

He could do NO wrong—even if he accomplished little and became an apologist against America.

By the time Trump appeared on the scene, CNN was a full-scale, trenchant leftist company with only one dominant point of view.

It was a propaganda machine for the most left-leaning Democrats.

Trump was a ‘character’ they covered, mocked, and who helped them raise their dismal ratings but was not to be taken seriously.

After all, he couldn’t win, anyway!

But he did.

Now they were not just perplexed but absolutely irate and sought to destroy him, immediately.

They wanted nothing more than to delegitimize his voters as “deplorable” or “deranged” and Trump, himself.

Their ‘Fake News’ came to be the very definition of what has become (less than) journalism in America.

It isn’t even fact-founded opinion.

It is more like the ideological attacks one finds in Europe where the press is not seen as an unbiased, fourth estate but as a political actor with a sharp ideological agenda to grind.

Objective surveys done at Harvard show that CNN coverage of Donald Trump and his Administration has been 93 per cent negative.

Is that just a slight bias or is it more deceitful?

CNN is now the mantle and epicenter of all Trump-hating and a defacto professional progressive opposition party.

Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, is in a league of his own.

He thinks he is debating with the White House and running for office.

His rude behavior, castigating, smug attitude, and defamation-violent behavior finally caught up with him when he pushed a young intern at a recent briefing. It cost him his credentials, which was long overdue.

Anchors like Chris Cuomo (son of the late Dem NY Governor and brother of present NY Governor, which presents NO conflict) are a literal joke. “Let’s get after it” is his tagline.

Really? It is certainly, not the truth.

CNN talk show panels are so slanted and one-sided, they don’t even warrant comment. They are laughable and disgusting diatribes.

Why would anyone bother to watch them?

Uneducated Don Lemon is a reverse racist who makes slurs (all white men are terrorists) instead of reporting.

This is News?

Anderson Cooper is a rather pathetic pawn for the LBGTQ cultural and social justice warriors.

Jake the Fake Tapper is hardly “Leading” on anything and as one White House official put it, after appearing on his show said, “you should be ashamed of yourself.”

This is not mere partisanship; it is just one thing: blatant propaganda.

CNN has become the Pravda of the Socialist Left.

With shoddy reporting, lies that make Pinocchio look like he has a small nose, and inaccuracies that fill directories, this is news?

It is nothing but hatred which is driving the country apart based on identity politics.

CNN has become TOXIC.

There should be a health warning labeling that the channel is bad for consumption.

Becky Anderson, their Middle East crony, who falls in line with the Al-Jazeera line more or less, once asked me on her show, “Connect the World,” in all seriousness, and I quote, “Don’t you think the WHOLE world should vote in American elections?”

She actually thought they should!

By the way, she is British but lives in Abu Dhabi, which she just adores.

The CNN worldview is patently globalist, far Leftist and increasingly, super sanctimonious.

They are a case study in “virtue signaling.”

The use of profanity, lewdness, anger, racism, scatology and threats, pervades their airwaves.

They have said they want to kill the President, decapitate him, and crash his jet.

This is what happened to CNN.

They have become the “enemy of the people.”

I can only suggest you don’t watch them, support them or buy any products they advertise.

Maybe as a result they will die, go away or simply go broke.

Let’s hope so.

To help you here are the top brands advertising on CNN, according to Ad Week by rank order of dollars spent:

Otezla
T-Mobile
GEICO
Progressive
Humira
Nutrisystem
BMW
NordVPN
AT+T
GoodRx
Wayfair
Ancestry
Atlantis Paradise Island
Verizon
ClearChoice


Davos, Aspen & Yale by Ted Malloch

via Ted Malloch: What Happened to CNN? — The Gateway Pundit

4 Ways to Return to the Word — Paul Tautges

In Nehemiah 8, we see the beginnings of spiritual revival, which comes as the people return to the Word of God. At this point, the Jewish people have been in exile for many years, but they have begun to return to Jerusalem. This return did not come all at once, but in two waves, separated by 58 years. During this span of time the events of the book of Esther took place, which we learned about last week.

Like Esther, Nehemiah was a Jew who found himself in Persia, in the capital city of Susa—and in the palace of the king. Nehemiah’s name means “Jehovah comforts.” Through the ministry of this man, God would bring comfort and new hope to His people. He would rebuild the walls of the city, and lead them in spiritual reformation.

The book of Nehemiah opens with him receiving news from his brother. Jerusalem is in a sad state. Its walls are broken down. Therefore, even as the exiles return, they are vulnerable to their enemies. Immediately, Nehemiah prays to God. He confesses his sins, and the people’s sins. And he asks God to grant him favor in the eyes of the king, as he prepares to make a request. Hearing Nehemiah’s request, the king gives him a leave of absence to return to Jerusalem. He also gives him letters bearing the king’s seal, which serve as a passport for travel, and as the promise of the king’s provision of all the supplies he needs to rebuild the city walls.

Chapter 2 also introduces the antagonists, Sanballat and Tobiah, who make Nehemiah’s job as difficult as possible. But in Chapters 3-7, we see Nehemiah persevere through much trouble, and the people rebuild the city walls (see 6:15-16).

Now, Chapter 8 begins with the people all gathered in the city square, in front of the Water Gate. Here we see the people listen and respond to the Word of God. It’s been 70 years since the captivity began. It’s been a long time since they attended Bible study. And they are starving for the Word.

God is now moving among them. He’s orchestrating a revival. And the revival will be the direct result of their response to the Word of God. From this passage, God wants to speak to each of us. He wants to start a revival here at Cornerstone. But for that to happen, you and I must return to the Word. Nehemiah 8:1-12 reveals four ways God wants us to return to the Word.

  1. Return to the Word with resolution (vv. 1-3).
  2. Return to the Word with reverence (vv. 4-8).
  3. Return to the Word with repentance (v. 9).
  4. Return to the Word with rejoicing (vv. 10-12).

The lovingkindness of God is the underlying hope we see in this period of Israel’s history. But the lovingkindness of God is not just for Israel. God’s grace and mercy is available to sinners of all kinds. It comes to us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus died for sin, and rose again, grace and forgiveness are received through Him. If you feel you have messed up your life too much for God to accept you, then you are wrong. Jesus did not come to save the righteous, but sinners. And Jesus invites you to come to Him.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

You may listen to, or watch, yesterday’s sermon here.

via 4 Ways to Return to the Word — Paul Tautges