Daily Archives: November 23, 2018


For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.

—Ephesians 5:8

Something wonderful and miraculous and life-changing takes place within the human soul when Jesus Christ is invited in to take His rightful place. That is exactly what God anticipated when He wrought the plan of salvation. He intended to make worshipers out of rebels; He intended to restore to men and women the place of worship which our first parents knew when they were created.

If we know this result as a blessed reality in our own lives and experience, then it is evident that we are not just waiting for Sunday to come so we can “go to church and worship.”

True worship of God must be a constant and consistent attitude or state of mind within the believer. It will always be a sustained and blessed acknowledgement of love and adoration, subject in this life to degrees of perfection and intensity. WHT024

Forgive me, Father, when I fall into the old patterns of darkness. May I remember that I have been made a child of light and consequently have every reason to worship You, not just when I go to church but throughout every week. Amen. [1]

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

Forget ‘What color is your parachute?’, Beth Moore wants to know the color of the hands that wrote the books on your shelf

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

Just as our minds can’t conceive of how MUCH Jesus loves His own, we can’t conceive of how deep sin will go. (1 Corinthians 2:9). Just when we think sin can’t get any worse, it does. (Genesis 6:5).

False teaching is a plague on the church. It destroys the sinner. It hinders the Christian’s walk. It makes a blot on Jesus’s name. It should not be ignored.

For many years Beth Moore has been propagating false teaching. It’s always been there. It’s always been that way, if one cared to look.

variation from the true Gospel is devastating. It’s of satan, and we know satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10). It matters not that the package it comes in seems ‘pretty close’ to true doctrine. So what that an N almost looks like an M. It’s not and it alters the word it’s…

View original post 1,389 more words

Lifeway Helps SBC Fudge Membership Numbers Amidst Denominational Decline — Pulpit & Pen

Amidst denominational decline, Lifeway Christian Resources has helped to fudge the numbers of membership, baptism and active churches in the SBC. Even in spite of their dishonest reporting and shameful spin, the denomination continues to shrink. As the nation’s largest Protestant denomination becomes increasingly liberal and progressive, the actual numbers show that their leftward trajectory has only led to a decrease in size and influence.


When my church was still Southern Baptist, associational missionary and NAMB employee, Eddie Smith, called to ask me to report our services held on the nearby Indian Reservation as a “church plant.” I declined, considering the church had been there for more than a decade and was listed as a Southern Baptist church plant once already, back when Tennessee Baptists started the work. The only thing “new” was our church’s involvement. That same year, I was asked to list a number of other Bible studies as “church plants” on the ACP. Again, I declined because Bible studies aren’t church plants. That same year, Montana Executive Director, Fred Hewitt, called to ask me to persuade a number of Calvinist SBC churches in Montana to fill out the Annual Church Profile (ACP report), which they had stopped doing out of protest of the Convention (I agreed and tried to persuade them to fill out the ACP). Later, when the ACP report came out, I saw that the associational missionary had changed my ACP to reflect a number of “church plants” that I specifically and explicitly told him were either not churches or not new. When the Big Sky Baptist Association formally asked for Fred Hewitt’s resignation, a number of pastors acknowledged their ACP reports had been changed or they were encouraged to lie in their reporting.

What’s recently been reported by the Baptist Press demonstrates that this level of number-fudging is happening on a grand scale.


To quote the Baptist Press spin-article, “The number of congregations cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention increased over 2016 totals, while reported membership and baptisms continued their year-over-year decline.”

How does congregation number increase and over-all membership decrease, as it has repeatedly in recent years? The North American Mission Board (NAMB) throws money at “church plants,” which most of the time amount to little more than (1) a severing off a larger congregation to plant the smaller congregation, with no actual increase in Southern Baptist membership (2) many Bible studies and parachurch meetings are being called “church plants” for the sake of the Annual Church Profile and (3) many- if not most – Southern Baptist church plants (especially those planted by NAMB) fail, but aren’t removed from the list of active churches in SBC reporting.

Church planting is an absolute mess in the SBC. The simple but true secret is that most church plants simply don’t work out, and when denominational NAMB funds run out, they close down. However, their churches still exist on paper in the denomination that keeps adding churches but is mysteriously losing members.

While the number of churches increased by 150 denominationally-wide, membership and baptism continued to shrink. The only thing to increase (and only marginally) is the money given to the Cooperative Program. That money is then thrown into an inefficient church planting process that gives a false glimmer of hope to a dying denomination.

Scott McConnell is the executive director of Lifeway Research, which compiles data from the Annual Church Profile. In spite of associational missionaries having the primary job of getting churches to submit their ACP reports (that’s their top function), 3 in 10 Southern Baptist Churches chose not to submit the ACP data. Please note that submitting the ACP is really the bare minimum of cooperation with the denomination. Thirty percent Southern Baptist churches appear to want nothing to do with the Southern Baptist Convention itself. Since 2016, the number of churches participating in the ACP is down 3 percent.

According to the Baptist Press, “LifeWay Research conducted additional analysis this fall on reporting patterns and created estimates for non-reporting congregations.

In other words, for churches not reporting the ACP, Lifeway just made up “estimates” for their membership, attendance, receipts and baptisms and included it in their reporting. Look below.


Lifeway Christian Research claimed in the small print (screenshot above) that the figures they provide are only “assumptions.” Their assumptions are based upon developing a median average of statistics from churches of similar size. The problem is, they must use the size of the congregation as last reported. There’s no guarantee that the church not reporting is of similar size as the year they last reported. Neither does this formula take into account that churches of the same membership size can vary wildly in attendance, based upon whether or not they regularly purge their church rolls. Likewise, as any pastor can tell you, things like baptisms and giving receipts can vary so drastically from year to year their prediction is next to impossible.

Likewise notice (and this is pretty funny, all things considered) that Lifeway even came up with numbers for churches who have never reported the ACP. How do you come up with data for a congregation that has never reported? According to the screenshot above, they created their estimate based upon churches that reported for the first time in 2017.

“Lol,” as the kids say.

Many of those churches that have “never reported” on the ACP have never reported because they don’t exist. They were just a number fudged by an associational missionary or NAMB church planting catalyst. They’re imaginary. They don’t gather. You can’t meet with them on Sunday. They don’t assemble. They’re not a church. They’re non-existent. But that doesn’t stop Lifeway from assuming their stats match those of churches reporting for the first time in 2017.

In reality, churches who don’t fill out the ACP report either (1) don’t exist (2) are so small they don’t have secretaries who fill out reports and they have bi-vocational pastors who don’t have time or (3) they don’t like the SBC and just don’t care to send a “Dear John” letter to the Executive Board of the SBC telling them to go jump off a cliff.

I personally know hundreds of Southern Baptist pastors in Southern Baptist Churches who chunk the ACP in the trash because they want nothing to do with the SBC. They may not have technically left the Convention, but they have practically left the Convention.

Notice (again, from the screenshot above) that Lifeway tried to obtain data from “third-party” sources about a church’s size. This means they’ve tried to get ahold of the pastor and church, and no one will even return their call or email. They then turn to “third party sources” to try to estimate those numbers, and your guess as to what that means is as good as mine (my guess is that it refers to associational missionaries, who are asked by Lifeway to guess the stats for the non-reporting church).


Because of the fudged numbers, the stats are showing 15.7 million members nation-wide opposed to the 15 million that were actually reported. Likewise, it increased baptism figures by more than one hundred thousand and increased receipts by 2.7 billion.

Even that fudging can’t change the fact that the SBC is going south as quickly as Russell Moore is going left.

McConnell told the Baptist Press that the decline in baptism is “in part due to a lack of reporting.” And yet, he also acknowledged the SBC was in decline.

Those churches not responding to the ACP should not have their numbers made up and magically added in to SBC stats. Rather, those churches should have their numbers removed from Lifeway stats because those churches either don’t exist or they want nothing to do with the SBC. If you compiled those numbers and subtracted them from the figures of Southern Baptist churches, it would create an accurate picture of how badly the Southern Baptist Convention is doing.

Instead of working on basic concepts like church membership, missions giving and baptism, Southern Baptist leaders and Southern Baptist entities – from Lifeway to NAMB to our seminaries – have been fixated on Social Justice. It’s no wonder the denomination is in decline.

via Lifeway Helps SBC Fudge Membership Numbers Amidst Denominational Decline — Pulpit & Pen

November 23 A Renewed Knowledge

Put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

Colossians 3:10

We live in a fallen world, and as a result, our renewed minds need ongoing cleansing and refreshment. God’s chief agent of purifying our thinking is His Word (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26).

The New Testament calls us to the mental discipline of right thinking. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth.” First Peter 1:13 says, “Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon… the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And Paul often instructed his listeners to think right and not be ignorant.

The Old Testament also calls us to right thinking. King Solomon said, “Incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry for discernment, and lift up your voice for under–standing,… then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:2–5).

Dwelling on the right things takes initiative and effort. But if you are faithful to make the maximum effort, God will give you understanding (cf. Ps. 119:34).[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 352). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

What Are Apocryphal Books, and Should Christians Read Them? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Are the apocryphal books inspired by God? In this Q&A video from one of our live Ask Ligonier events, watch as Sinclair Ferguson explains that these books are outside the canon of Scripture, so Christians should not treat them as Scripture.

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

via What Are Apocryphal Books, and Should Christians Read Them? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Carl Trueman’s Continued Anti-Intellectual Defense of Tim Keller’s Marxism — Pulpit & Pen

Carl Trueman wrote a defense of Tim Keller back in October, claiming (as laughable as it is absurd) that Keller could not be a Marxist because he is a theist. Trueman made absolutely no attempt in that article to address the various reasons that Keller has been credibly accused of Marxism by theologians ranging from ES Williams at the London Metropolitan Tabernacle to Timothy Kauffman at the Trinity Review. Neither did Trueman seem to acknowledge that Cultural Marxism was invented by a theist, and Liberation Theology – another Marxist ideology – was invented by theists as well. Instead of addressing any of the actuals pieces of evidence (like direct citations from Keller’s own words), Trueman just wagged his finger at critics and claimed that we were breaking the 9th Commandment. I wrote a response to Trueman in an article entitled, Tim Keller is a Marxist: A Response to Carl Trueman.

Trueman recently did a podcast episode of Mortification of Spin in which he doubled-down on his idiocy (although, thankfully, he did not repeat the argument that theists can’t be Marxists), continuing the finger-wag critics for “slander,” “bearing false witness,” “stupidity,” and “lying” about Keller. Again, Trueman made no attempts – zero, zilch, nada – to deal with the substantive and factual allegations against Keller. Neither did Trueman attempt to deal with clear definitions of classical or cultural Marxism. In the post about this podcast, Trueman writes that his critics apparently have a problem with “reading comprehension.” Snobbery and ignorance have never been better wed than in the person of Carl Trueman.

Carl Trueman made an asinine claim; theists can’t be Marxists. He made no attempt to address the foundation of several streams of Marxism invented and propagated by theists. He made no attempt to deal with the statements, quotations, teachings and tweets from Tim Keller that would have any political scientist rightly classify him as Marxist. I was planning to do a Polemics Report episode reviewing this episode of Mortification of Spin, but was invited to discuss the subject with Pastor Robert Truelove and so did that instead. You can watch the video below (on Facebook) or here on YouTube.

via Carl Trueman’s Continued Anti-Intellectual Defense of Tim Keller’s Marxism — Pulpit & Pen

Podcast: Are Catholics Christians? — Pulpit & Pen


Are Catholics Christians – Polemics Report for November 20, 2018

In Polemics Report for November 20, 2018, JD asks the question whether or not Roman Catholics are Christians. He reviews a clip from Jordan Cooper, a “Lutheran” who thinks Catholics are Christians. JD schools him on what Lutherans are *supposed* to believe and defends the doctrine of Justification against Quisling Catholicism.

Video of this episode from Facebook (or watch on Youtube here):

via Podcast: Are Catholics Christians? — Pulpit & Pen

President Trump: I Support and Appreciate You – But You Have Been Deceived by Saudi Arabia

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Readers of my articles know that I voted for and continue to support our president. I appreciate his public support of Israel and of PM Netanyahu.

I also appreciate what President Trump has done with our economy and putting so many people back to work.

That said, I will not ever support his relationship with Saudi Arabia.

From the time Trump visited that country and was wined, dined and dazzled by the Saudis, I have not changed what I know to be truth about the “Taqiyya” nation.  They are masters of deception.

A recent statement regarding Saudi Arabia from President Trump:

From whitehouse.gov   with my commentary indented

Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia

Issued on:

America First!

The world is a very dangerous place!

The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen…

View original post 1,049 more words

Weekly Watchman for 11/23/2018

Good News, Bad News This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving season, there’s good news and there’s bad news – and it may depend on your perspective. A history refresher and some Thanksgiving thoughts from author, David Fiorazo.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Debating the Critical Issues of Our Time

Our nation is at a serious crossroad with some big decisions to make. Politically, the gulf between Conservative and Liberal has grown big, nasty and probably no longer reconcilable, meaning compromise is probably a thing of the past. With studies showing a large percentage of younger people viewing Socialism favorably, our nation will most likely continue to be fundamentally transformed to the far left, just as former President Obama promised. Morally, socially, and economically our nation is starting to look radically different than fifty or a hundred years ago.

Too many Christian Churches in America seem more willing to embrace secular culture instead of fighting against immorality. Along with a leftist media, education system, and entertainment industry, government is now starting to badger and intimidate Christians into silence. Because of this, we might expect a coming major schism within American churches being divided into two camps: Those faithful to God and His Word and those who submit to “Caesar” to maintain his favor and protection.

Pastor Randy White joins us to discuss the top five debates we face economically, politically and spiritually in this nation. The conclusions could define our future.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Will America Experience Another Civil War?

In our final segments we cover a story of a Christian pastor who kicked a person dressed in drag out of his church in the middle of the service, and the backlash he is receiving on social media.

In our lead story we look at the political polarization of America, which has never been greater. In the past both parties agreed on what needed to be done while sometimes disagreeing on how to implement the vision, but today the gulf of ideas between Conservative and Liberal values is so great many feel they are irreconcilable. Some believe we are headed toward another Civil War.

We look at an article by Selwyn Duke of “The American Thinker” that paints a grim picture, giving evidence and warning to a coming political Civil War that will change America permanently. If our nation is indeed headed to a Civil War between Conservative and Liberal ideas what will be the outcome and how will it affect Christianity in America?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Political Issues Are Moral Issues: Elections and Christians

Today’s guest is author, pastor, and radio host Carl Gallups. He offers some solutions to the confusion about political issues and biblical issues Christians should be informed and concerned about. We discuss the Midterm election results, the spin of the liberal media, and the “migrant caravan” – how Mexico’s systems are being overwhelmed near the border.

In segment three, Mike and David discuss an article on the open agenda of Nancy Pelosi and the liberal Democrats to eradicate religious freedoms of Bible-believing Christians in America. No joke.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

November 23, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

be desirous of greater boldness

“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (4:29–31)

How far those gathered together were from being intimidated by the Sanhedrin’s threats is seen in the conclusion of their prayer. After asking the Lord to take note of those threats to register their guilt and to protect the threatened preachers, their praise turns to petition as they request that God enable His bond-servants to speak His word with all confidence. Their description of themselves as bond-servants refers back to the use of despotēs in verse 24 to describe God. They asked not for protection or a place to hide but for even more courage to boldly proclaim God’s truth—the very thing they had been ordered not to do. They also requested that God would continue to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of His holy servant Jesus to confirm His gospel.

God’s answer was not long in coming. When they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together (perhaps the upper room, Acts 1:13) was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (for the third time), and began to speak the word of God with boldness. As on the Day of Pentecost, there was a physical manifestation of the Spirit’s presence, a shaking. God granted them the fullness of the Spirit for the boldness they desired. As in Acts 4:8, the filling of the Spirit does not involve speaking in foreign languages but speaking in their own language the gospel with power. After the first coming of the Spirit at Pentecost when the rest of the believers were also filled, the miracle of languages disappeared and the filling is for power in speaking the truth from God. So it is in Acts 13:9 with Paul. It should be noted that the miracle of languages will appear again in the case of the entrance into the church of the Samaritans (Acts 8:17–18), Gentiles (Acts 10:44–46), and the disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:6).

The church had successfully faced its initial trial of opposition. Instead of succumbing to the temptation to compromise the gospel, it became even bolder. The persecution also served to draw the congregation closer together and to their Lord. In what was to become a recurring theme in church history, opposition only made the church grow stronger. As He had with Joseph (Gen. 50:20), God took the evil intentions of men and used them for His own purposes.[1]

31 As a sign of God’s approval, “the place where they were meeting was shaken” (cf. Ex 19:18; Isa 6:4) and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (see comments at v. 8). With such motivation and divine enablement, their prayer was answered. And they “spoke the word of God boldly” (meta parrēsias [GK 4244], “with boldness,” “confidently,” “forthrightly”; cf. meta pasēs parrēsias, “with all boldness,” at the close of Acts in 28:31).[2]

4:31 / They had prayed for power, and with power they were answered, in both the short term and the long (though, of course, they must often have prayed along these lines). Immediately the place where they were meeting was shaken, as though by an earthquake—a not uncommon sign of God’s presence (cf. 16:26; Exod. 19:18; Ps. 114:7; Isa. 6:4; Ezek. 38:19; Joel 3:16; Amos 9:5; Hag. 2:6)—and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. In that power they spoke the word of God boldly. We need not suppose that the preaching took place there and then. The force of the Greek is that they made it their practice to preach (in this, in part, lay the long-term answer to their prayer). The view that this is a variant account of the Pentecost narrative and that they were speaking in tongues has no warrant at all. On the momentary experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, see notes on 2:4 and the discussion on 4:8.[3]

4:29–31. At this point the prayer turned to the practical outworking of their dilemma. Creation, revelation, and incarnation are doctrines and important ones. Life and its daily problems are also important to you and to God, so now the prayer turns to motivation. “Sovereign Lord: you made everything; you spoke through David; you anointed Jesus; and now you enable your servants.” They reached out for even more courage, even greater boldness. They continued their witness as God confirmed it through miraculous signs in the name of Jesus.

This was not a prayer for relief, but a prayer for courage, an excellent pattern for the modern church. The prayer assumes dependence and faith. These believers expected to do nothing by themselves; everything rested in the sovereign power of God and the name of Jesus.

How did God respond? The room shook, and he filled them anew with the Holy Spirit and sent them out to speak the word of God boldly. Here they received no baptism, nor did they speak in foreign languages (see chap. 2); it was not necessary. These born-again, functioning believers only needed a fresh filling to continue their effective service.

The model of this prayer is still very applicable for us today. Like these early believers, we need to understand that the self-revealed Creator who sent his Son to earth to die and rise again for our salvation will give us the courage we need to carry out whatever ministry he places before us.[4]

31. After they had prayed, the place where they had gathered shook. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Not every prayer receives an immediate answer, but in this case God strengthens the faith of the believers by indicating that he has heard their petition. We are reminded of the experience Paul and Silas had in the Philippian jail. While they were praying and singing hymns to God in the middle of the night, suddenly a violent earthquake shook the foundation of the prison (16:26). In like fashion, God showed his divine approval to the apostles by shaking the house where they were staying, and he apparently used an earthquake to accomplish this effect. God gave the apostles a sign that as he shook the house with a quake so he would shake the world with Christ’s gospel.

Look at the parallel between Pentecost and this event. On the day of Pentecost, a violent wind blew and filled the house where the believers were sitting (2:2). Then they saw tongues of fire resting on each of them; “they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them ability” (2:4). After the release of Peter and John, the Christians prayed. Then the place where the believers were meeting shook; “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”

The differences between these two events are the blowing of the wind versus the shaking of the meeting place; the external evidence of tongues of fire in the one instance and the internal manifestation of courage in the other; and last, an ability to speak in other tongues at Pentecost over against a boldness to speak the word of God now.

The similarities are striking: the Holy Spirit comes as an answer to prayer (1:14; 4:24–30); the Spirit fills all who are present (2:4; 4:31); and they all proclaim the wonders and the word of God (2:11; 4:31). The believers receive a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who fills them with courage so that they proclaim the Good News. Luke fails to describe to whom the believers courageously speak God’s word; perhaps first in their own circle and then, in direct opposition to the threats of the Sanhedrin, to outsiders.

Thus, the term boldly becomes meaningful and fittingly describes the speaking of the apostles and their helpers. They are the proclaimers of “the word of God,” which in the context of Acts is a synonym for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Luke provides a glimpse of their boldness when he writes in a subsequent passage, “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and preaching the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (5:42).[5]

31. And when they had prayed. Luke declareth now that God did not only hear this prayer, but did also testify the same by a visible sign from heaven. For the shaking of the place should, of itself, have done them small good; but it tendeth to another end, that the faithful may know that God is present with them. Finally, it is nothing else but a token of the presence of God. But the fruit followeth, for they are all filled with the Holy Ghost, and endowed with greater boldness. We ought rather to stand upon this second member. For whereas God did declare his power then by shaking the place, it was a rare and extraordinary thing; and whereas it appeared by the effect, that the apostles did obtain that which they desired, this is a perpetual profit of prayer, which is also set before us for an example.

32 And the multitude which believed had one heart and one soul; and no man did say that any of those things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

33 And the apostles did bear witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with great power; and great grace was upon them all.

34 For there was none among them that lacked: for so many as possessed lands or houses, selling them, they brought the price of those things which were sold,

35 And they laid it at the feet of the apostles: and it was distributed to every man according as he had need.

And Joses, which was surnamed of the apostles Barnabas, (which is, The son of comfort,) a Levite, of the country of Cyprus,

37 Whereas he had land, he sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.[6]

In v. 31 we are told that the divine response to the prayer is immediate in the form of the shaking of the room where they were gathered together. This form of divine activity, in which the Deity indicates assent or advent, is often remarked on in ancient Greek literature, including of course the LXX (cf. Ps. 17:7–8 LXX; T. Levi 3:9; Josephus, Ant. 7.76–77; Plutarch, Vita Publica 9.6; Lucian, Menip. 9–10). The second half of the verse indicates that the disciples’ prayers were answered not just by a portent but by an empowerment—they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke God’s word with boldness. This is once again Luke’s way of talking about prophetic inspiration and power in speaking and should not be taken as indicating something about the level of sanctification of those involved. The issue here is empowerment for witnessing, not personal spiritual formation or growth.22 The point is empowerment for speech in the face of persecution, not a gift of foreign languages, and so this text is not about a repetition of the Pentecost experience.[7]

Ver. 31. The place was shaken.—When the place in which the congregation was assembled, was shaken, and when they themselves were filled with the Holy Ghost, their prayer received an immediate and direct answer—these events were the Amen of their petition. The connection shows that this shaking of the place, was not a natural or merely accidental occurrence (as Heinrichs and Kuinoel suppose), but a miraculous and direct act of God. Bengel views this trembling of the place as a symbol of the commotions which were at hand, and which the Gospel would produce in every direction, while Baumgarten sees in it a sign that the will of God is able to control all visible objects. We may, in general, regard it both as a sign of the omnipotence of God, to which, indeed, the men who prayed, had appealed, and on which they relied, ver. 24, and also as an accompanying external sign of the internal and invisible influences of the Spirit. The believers had referred to the future, when they prayed that the apostles might appear with boldness in the presence of unbelievers and enemies; but God, who does exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think [Eph. 3:20], answered their prayer immediately, even while none but friends were present, as an earnest and pledge of future mercies.[8]

4:31. The entire episode is brought to a close with this final verse: While they were praying the place where they had gathered began to shake, and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit (4:31, echoing the Pentecost experience, 2:1–4). The second petition that many signs and wonders be performed is fulfilled in the summary statement in Acts 5:12–16 (Talbert 1984, 20). And the first part of their petition, “to speak your message with great boldness” (4:29), is also fulfilled in the immediate context: all of them … began speaking the message of God with boldness (4:31). In fact, this theme of speaking the word of God with “boldness” or “openness” (parrēsia) is another dominant theme not only in this episode (see 4:13, 29; and here in 4:31), but throughout the book of Acts (see 2:29; 9:28; 13:46; 14:3; 18:26; 26:26), most often in connection with the preaching of Paul. In the very last scene of Acts the audience is left with the image of Paul not only preaching and teaching “without hindrance,” but “boldly” (28:31). Such boldness will surely be needed as the believers face conflict both within and without the community in the next episodes.[9]

4:31. The Lord is sovereign over filling them with the Holy Spirit. God answered their prayer and gave them a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. They continued to proclaim the Word of God with uncommon courage.[10]

4:31. The Lord’s answer to the believers’ prayer for boldness was preceded by a shaking of their meeting place. The answer also included a supernatural filling with the Holy Spirit (cf. v. 8). When Luke, as here, used a verb form to refer to believers being filled with the Spirit, he usually said the filling was bestowed sovereignly by God. This is in distinction to the imperative in Ephesians 5:18 which states that Christians are responsible for being Spirit-filled.[11]

4:31 When they had prayed, the place … was shaken—a physical expression of the spiritual power that was present. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, indicating their obedience to the Lord, their walking in the light, their yieldedness to Him. They continued to speak the word of God with boldness, a clear answer to their prayer in verse 29.

There are seven times in the Book of Acts when men are said to be filled with or full of the Holy Spirit. Notice the purposes or the results:

  1. For speaking (2:4; 4:8; and here).
  2. For serving (6:3).
  3. For shepherding (11:24).
  4. For rebuking (13:9).
  5. For dying (7:55).[12]

4:31 — And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

There is no substitute for believers regularly coming together for earnest prayer. God does amazing things in response to the faith-filled, congregational prayers of His people.[13]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (Vol. 1, pp. 141–142). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 780). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Williams, D. J. (2011). Acts (p. 90). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, p. 63). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 17, pp. 170–171). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (2010). Commentary upon the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 1, pp. 189–190). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Witherington, B., III. (1998). The Acts of the Apostles: a socio-rhetorical commentary (p. 204). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[8] Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Gotthard, V. L., Gerok, C., & Schaeffer, C. F. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Acts (p. 80). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[9] Parsons, M. C. (2008). Acts (p. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

[10] Marty, W. H. (2014). Acts. In The moody bible commentary (p. 1682). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[11] Toussaint, S. D. (1985). Acts. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 364). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[12] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1597). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[13] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ac 4:31). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

This ‘n’ That for November 23, 2018 — Do Not Be Surprised…

  • When I hear news like this, I always wonder and hope that the person was a Christian. Regardless, we should be thankful for this man’s service to his country.
  • An older, but interesting article. What’s happened to walking?
  • “There seems to be a wide and shallow definition of exposition within even the most healthy pockets of evangelicalism.” Yep, I can attest to that!
  • This paper, written by the Denhollanders, was presented at the recent ETS meeting.
  • Now you know. You’re welcome.
  • How do we make the most of Christmas?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Please join me in praying for Joni Eareckson Tada.
  • On grace and gratitude.
True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God’s own excellency. 
—Jonathan Edwards

via This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

November 23, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 11/23/2018

Did Scientists Just Confirm Biblical Account of Sodom and Gomorrah?
The scientific explanation clearly reflects the Biblical description of the destruction of the twin cities of evil located in the same area.

Fake News and the End-of-Days
The mainstream media was quick to jump on news predicting the pre-Messiah battle of Gog and Magog, with many outlets misstating facts and misrepresenting the important theological concepts. But Rabbi Pinchas Winston, the victim of this “fake news,” saw the hand of God, using their errors to spread a true message.

Prominent Syrian media activist Raed Fares assassinated
Well known for documenting peaceful protests against the Assad regime, activists, friends and allies mourned his loss on social media. His killing has sent shockwaves through the local community and followers online, particularly among journalists and activists who follow Syrian and the Syrian conflict. It is the latest high profile attack on a journalist in the region since the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist and former insider Jamal Khashoggi in October.

‘It’s time for a preemptive strike on Hezbollah’
Former Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar reiterated that Israel should carry out a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah in order to prevent the terror militia from growing stronger. Hezbollah currently possesses over 150,000 thousand missiles, more than most NATO countries. Senior defense officials have said repeatedly that Hezbollah is now Israel’s major threat and predict that hundreds of Israelis will die in the next war between the two sides.

German MPs slam FM Maas for abandoning Israel at U.N.
German politicians took their country’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, to task on Wednesday in the Bundestag for supporting eight anti-Israel resolutions during a UN General Assembly vote dealing with the Israel-Arab conflict. “I can’t understand why Germany on an international stage abandoned Israel,”said Bijan Djir-Sarai, the foreign policy spokesman and a MP for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) faction in the Bundestag.

Double terror attacks in Pakistan kill at least 27 people
Two separate terror attacks took place in Pakistan on Friday morning, killing at least 27 people, and wounding over 20 people. The first terror attack was a suicide bombers attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. At least two Pakistani policemen were killed and a security guard was wounded during the attack. The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which also describes itself as the Baloch Liberation Army, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Karachi attack: China consulate attack leaves four dead
Gunmen have killed at least four people in an attack on the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. Gunshots were heard at about 09:30 local time (04:30 GMT) outside the consulate in the upmarket Clifton area. Police shot dead three attackers. Separatist militants who oppose Chinese investment projects in western Pakistan say they carried out the attack.

Brexit: May looks beyond Parliament for support for deal
Theresa May is to appeal to the public to back the UK’s proposed Brexit deal as Spain demands last-minute changes on future decisions over Gibraltar. The PM will take to the airwaves to make the case for the agreement, which is opposed by Labour and many Tory MPs. The terms of withdrawal and declaration on future relations are expected to be signed off by member states on Sunday.

Trump renews threat to close Mexico border over migrants
Donald Trump has threatened to close the whole US-Mexico border, including halting trade with Mexico, if the arrival of migrants from central America there leads to disorder. He also said he had given troops at the border the go-ahead to use lethal force if needed. On Monday the US briefly closed a busy crossing to install new barriers.

Inside the terrifying Honduran gangs feared to be infiltrating migrant caravans as their bloody violence drives thousands into America
SHOCKING images offer a glimpse inside the terrifying Honduran gangs feared to be infiltrating migrant caravans – and the misery they cause. Donald Trump controversially insisted the US-bound groups are filled with the merciless mobsters, and sent nearly 6,000 troops to the border to keep them from entering. But one former cop told how he had no other choice but to join one of the caravans and flee after his sons were held at gunpoint by the brutal killers.

Scared Your DNA Is Exposed? Then Share It, Scientists Suggest
A group of medical researchers have a counterintuitive proposal for shielding people’s most intimate personal data from prying eyes. Share more of it, they say. A lot more of it. In a new paper published in the journal Science on Thursday, researchers suggest that the best way to protect genetic information might be for all Americans to deposit their data in a universal, nationwide DNA database.

Local law enforcement using mysterious new tool to unlock cellphones
Law enforcement agencies are using a mysterious new tool to unlock the cellphones of criminal suspects and access their text messages, emails and voice messages. Some agencies around the country, concerned about security, are not even acknowledging use of the devices. Adding to the secrecy surrounding the new tool, one of the companies that makes and sells the devices to police and government agencies does not display their products on the company website.

INFECTION RISK Hospital on red alert after drug-resistant superbug found on wards – sparking fears of outbreak
STRAINS of a drug-resistant superbug have been found at a Hereford hospital, health officials have warned. Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) is the same bug that contributed to the death of 16 people in Manchester several years ago. It was found again at Worcestershire Royal in June, and although wards have been cleaned, the hospital still may have an infection risk.

Russia buys crowd-control vehicles that emit sonic waves and light
Russia’s National Guard, which polices anti-government protests, has purchased two vehicles fitted with a laser and a sonic sound system to disorient people, raising fears among the opposition they could be used to disperse peaceful protesters. The two mini-vans, fitted with what is described as a non-lethal system, cost a total of 65.2 million roubles ($995,250) according to a public procurement order posted online which indicated they had been delivered in October.

Russia, stung by intelligence leaks, plans to tighten data protection
Russia has drawn up draft legislation aimed at stopping leaks of personal information from state agencies, a step that follows publication of details of Russians allegedly involved in clandestine intelligence operations abroad. The bill, produced by Russia’s communications ministry, bars unauthorized people from creating and publishing databases of personal data drawn from official sources, and fines anyone violating that rule.

Swiss backtrack on support for UN migration pact
Switzerland’s government on Wednesday backtracked from its pledge to support a United Nations migration pact after lawmakers insisted they have the final say on the matter.

Thanksgiving Day 2018 may be among coldest on record in northeastern US
People spending time outdoors during Thanksgiving Day into Black Friday may face some of the coldest conditions on record in the northeastern United States for late November.

Hungary demands to know how many Muslim migrants were given pre-paid debit cards by the United Nations – blame Soros for the entire plan
Hungary’s Fidesz-led alliance expects the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to respond in connection with the issue of “migrant cards”, the ruling parties’ group spokesman told press conference on Sunday.

WARNING TO THE WORLD: US military holds massive F-35 stealth warplane drills, as America reveals they are ‘ready to fight’
THE US AIR Force has conducted its first ‘Elephant Walk’ exercise with the $100 million F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jet, which the service uses to demonstrate its ability to sortie large numbers of planes and “defeat potential adversaries wherever they may arise”.

‘We are saddened that this highly controversial and divisive topic would be invited to be presented to such young children’

South Africa tells the world that the only way to stabilize their country is to steal the land of white farmers without compensation
SOUTH Africa’s stability as a nation is at stake if the government fails to successfully introduce land reforms, the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.

WATCH: Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Features First Same-Sex Kiss in Parade’s History
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade broadcast two members of the same sex kissing on national television Thursday, making it the first time the parade featured a same-sex kiss in its 94-year history.

Osama bin Laden died in 2005 not in Abbottabad: Hameed Gul
Former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Chief Lt. General (retd) Hameed Gul has claimed that al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden died in 2005 and not in the US Navy Seals raid in Abbottabad.

Jewish students slam Canadian Federation of Students for backing Israel boycott
Jewish students and groups across Canada slammed the Canadian Federation of Students for approving a resolution supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

Pupils call out Amazon for selling anti-Semitic propaganda
After finding some disturbing results during a routine web search for a Holocaust education class, girls at Bais Chana Academy are asking Amazon’s CEO to take a stand against hate

Archbishop of Canterbury Declares God Gender Neutral
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that God is “not male nor female,” after female bishops demanded the Church of England stop referring to God solely as “he.”

Thousands of Caravan Migrants Planning to ‘Stampede’ US Border, Aid Group Warns
In a bid to force their way into the United States illegally, thousands of caravan migrants are reportedly planning to “stampede” the US Southern Border, an aid group has warned.

On Thanksgiving, Native Americans Should Have Used Food As a Weapon-The Deep State Won’t Make the Same Mistake
The lessons of history clearly demonstrate that dictatorial regimes, whether they be Socialists, Communists, and/or Marxists will not hesitate to use food as a weapon against their own people in order to solidify power and impose absolute autocratic control. Food can be withheld from the masses by preventing it from being grown and harvested, by contaminating it and rendering it unfit for human consumption or by simply preventing food from being distributed to a targeted population.

There is no such thing as a ‘trans kid’
One of the great myths of the new, identitarian left is that the transgender movement is the political and spiritual heir to yesterday’s gay-rights movement. It isn’t. At all.

WH Gives Troops Permission to Use Force at Border
The Trump administration will allow U.S. troops on the Southern border to use force if necessary to help protect Border Patrol officers if their safety is endangered by migrants.

Over a million children under the age of six are currently on psychiatric drugs in America
Psychiatric drug use is on the rise in the U.S., with one out of every six Americans now taking some type of medication in this category. This is highly concerning given the scary side effects and poor effectiveness of many of these drugs, but there is one particularly disturbing aspect of this trend that seems to get glossed over, and that is the extraordinary number of children who are taking such drugs.

Four Finnish Citizens Arrested in Malaysia For Distributing Christian Verses
Malaysian police said Wednesday that four tourists from Finland have been arrested for distributing Christian materials at public places on a resort island.

Science Journal: Opposing Transgender Rights ‘Worse’ than Curbing Science
Political discrimination against the nation’s tiny percentage of transgender people is a “worse” threat than political curbs on scientists’ freedoms, says a top-ranked science journal.

Headlines – 11/23/2018

Palestinians: We Cannot Accept Anything from Trump

Czech president wants to move embassy to Jerusalem

UN Human Rights Council threatens to condemn Israel unless it receives clarification regarding the Nationality Law

Hamas publishes photos of what it says are IDF forces who conducted Gaza raid

Israel says it uncovered West Bank Hamas cell planning major bombing attacks

Heads of Hamas in Gaza recruited West Bank terrorists for large-scale attacks in Israel

East Jerusalem cars vandalized in suspected anti-Arab attack

While Israel’s Gulf ties soar, UAE and Abbas’s PA now bitterly at odds

Liberman blasts government for ongoing fuel deliveries to Gaza

Israel admits it sank Lebanese refugee boat in 1982 war error, killing 25

In rare message, IDF wishes Lebanon happy Independence Day ‘free of Hezbollah’

Trump: Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi killing: CIA did not blame Saudi crown prince, says Trump

Turkish news site: CIA has tape of Saudi crown prince saying ‘silence Khashoggi’

Denmark Suspends Weapons Deals With Saudi Arabia as Arms Boycott Movement Gains Steam

France imposes sanctions against 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

New details emerge on US ambassador’s assassination in Benghazi

U.S. ambassador: Iran failed to declare all chemical weapons to global agency

Iran: No point in holding talks with Trump on new nuclear deal

Afghan parents selling children to feed family members

2 police officers, 3 gunmen dead after attack on Chinese Consulate in Pakistan, police say

Three Turks charged over alleged terror plot in Australia’s Melbourne

China blacklists millions of people from booking flights as ‘social credit’ system introduced

Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists

Trump threatens to shut down ‘whole border’ with Mexico if immigration becomes ‘uncontrollable’

Yes, Trump really has authority to use military force at the border

Trump bump: President vows to deliver needed votes to secure Pelosi’s bid to be House speaker

Headed to Mars: A Big Experiment in Tiny Satellites

Evidence of Sodom? Meteor blast cause of biblical destruction, say scientists

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sola, Vanuatu

Veniaminof volcano in Alaska erupts to to 26,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Giant dust storm sweeps across Australian state

Thanksgiving Day 2018 may be among coldest on record in northeastern US

Scientists Can Now Regenerate and Implant Any Injured Organ Without the Body Rejecting It

Vatican and Israeli Chief Rabbinate preparing joint statement against euthanasia

Highly Resistant Superbug Infects 24 Patients At Hospital In Worcestershire

What Is Adenovirus? 5 More Cases Being Monitored After UMD Freshman Dies From Illness

Colombia: Over 40 Venezuelan women rescued from sex ring

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Features First Same-Sex Kiss in Parade’s History

LGBT movement now claims to represent ‘family values’, labeling Christians ‘dangerous’

American Exorcism – Priests are fielding more requests than ever for help with demonic possession, and a centuries-old practice is finding new footing in the modern world

Multiple injured in shooting at Alabama mall on Black Friday, suspect dead

Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

November 23 Playing the Fool

“Behold, I have played the fool.”

1 Samuel 26:21


A Christian should not act like a fool.

In Deuteronomy 32:6 Moses looked out at the belligerent children of Israel who had failed God so many times and said, “Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people?” The children of Israel were playing the fool. Sadly, God’s people today continue to play the fool.

One way they do so is through disbelief. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to two disciples who didn’t believe that He had risen from the dead. Jesus said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25). To disbelieve God and His Word is to play the fool.

Another way believers play the fool is through disobedience. In Galatians 3:1 the apostle Paul says, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” And in verse 3 he says, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” They started out well but were disobedient and got caught up in the works of the law.

Still another way Christians play the fool is through desire for the wrong things. First Timothy 6:9 says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires.” If you desire the wrong things, you play the fool.

Finally, you can play the fool through doing the wrong things. James 3:13–17 says that there are two kinds of wisdom. Godly wisdom produces “good behavior” (v. 13), but foolish wisdom produces “jealousy and selfish ambition” (v. 16). A self–centered person plays the fool.

It’s sad to see so many Christians playing the fool. It doesn’t make any sense. Why should Christians live as blind, ignorant, foolish people when they have the wisdom of God?

Paul says at the end of Romans, “I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil” (16:19). If you have to be a fool at all, be a fool (unknowing, unacquainted) about evil.


Suggestions for Prayer: Make Paul’s exhortation in Romans 16:19 your prayer.

For Further Study: Read Proverbs 2:1–22 as a reminder of what benefits you’ll receive from following true wisdom instead of playing the fool.[1]

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

Hillary calls on Europe to control migrants to thwart populism

Triangulation or too much chardonnay?

In what may be either a instance of triangulation or too much chardonnay, Hillary Clinton has confounded both friends and foes by taking a position against mass, uncontrolled immigration (in Europe, not the USA). Of course, she says that the reason has nothing to do with the crime wave, displacement, and sharia that accompanied the arrival of over a million “migrants,” but rather is necessary to contain the rise of “populism” in Europe.

The interview with the UK Guardian in which she expressed these opinions was conducted before the midterms (according to a separate Guardian article) and for some reason was only published after the voters had spoken. Gee, did the Guardian editors want to avoid depressing (or as Stacey Abrams would say, “suppressing”) Democrat voter turnout by causing some open borders enthusiasts to stay home?

The New York Times spoke to a number of shocked progressives reeling from Mrs. Clinton’s statements to the Guardian:

 “I was kind of shocked,” Eskinder Negash, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, said of Mrs. Clinton’s comments. “If she’s simply saying you need to cut down on refugees coming to Europe to ask for asylum because they have a well-founded fear of persecution, just to appease some right-wing political leaders, it’s just not the right thing to do.”

Tanja Bueltmann, a history professor at Northumbria University in Britain who focuses on migration issues, said Mrs. Clinton’s perspective was “tragically misjudged.”

“Ultimately, immigration is not actually the problem that inflamed voters: Much more foundational issues, such as austerity, are the real reason,” Professor Bueltmann said. “Immigrants and refugees are simply the scapegoats populists have chosen to use to drive forward their ideas.”

The context in which the interview took place may (or may not) explain Mrs. Clinton’s straying away from the Party Line that uncontrolled immigration is an absolute good. The Guardian, you see, is attempting to raise an alarm about global populism, and conducted interviews with that is called 3 “center-left” politicians: Mrs. Clinton, Tony Blair, and former Italian PM Matteo Renizi, whom it called “rightwing populism’s  greatest scalps.”  In this hypothesis, with the danger of listening to what non-elite voters think on her mind, Mrs. Clinton committed a gaffe in the Michael Kinsley sense: telling the truth by mistake. Her focus was actually on the dangers of the right. The amount of verbiage disparaging her enemies that made it to print is considerable, and reeks of projection:

File photo by Gage Skidmore

Clinton, Blair and Renzi all said rightwing populism had not just fed off issues of identity but was also driven by a disruptive way of conducting politics that dramatises divisions and uses a rhetoric of crisis. The centre left struggles to get its voice heard over the simplistic, emotional language used against it, they said.

This is laughable. The left controls mass media, academia, and popular culture in all three nations, and social media chips in suppressing distribution of conservative voices. And yet they are feigning the role of vici suable to make their voices heard. This would be psychotic level denial of realty if it were more than a talking point.

The disparagement of her enemies leads to an absurd caricature of them as big government liberals like Mrs. Clinton:

Clinton said rightwing populists in the west met “a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality.

Remind me: is the Nanny State a goal of conservatives or Democrats?

Almost as if she has been hanging out in lectures ar the Heritage Foundation, Mrs. Clinton suddenly is a fan of the Founders’ intent:

“The whole American system was designed so that you would eliminate the threat from a strong, authoritarian king or other leader and maybe people are just tired of it. They don’t want that much responsibility and freedom. They want to be told what to do and where to go and how to live … and only given one version of reality.

And we know that it is conservatives (aka, for now, “populists”) who want to run a Nanny State:

“I don’t know why at this moment that is so attractive to people, but it’s a serious threat to our freedom and our democratic institutions, and it goes very deep and very far and we’ve got to do a better job of shining a light on it and trying to combat it.”

She also reveals her contempt for Steve Bannon, whose attempt to bolster rightwing populist parties in Europe is stalling everywhere outside of Italy. “Rome is the right place for him since it is bread and circuses and it’s as old as recorded history. Keep people diverted, keep them riled up appeal to their prejudices, give them a sense they are part of something bigger than themselves – while elected leaders and business leaders steal them blind. It’s a classic story and Bannon is the latest avatar of it.”

Tom Maguire suggests that this interview signals that she is not running in 2020:

But one more thing for which to be thankful – with an anti-immigrant message like this, she won’t be running.

I disagree. I think she is attempting to “triangulate” the way her husband did in the 1990s, heeding the advice and terminology of Dick Morris. The venerable technical term for this is coopting a rival’s issue. But Bill Clinton had far more political talent, and was a much, much better liar than Hillary, and he was already in office with the Left committed to keeping him there because he was their guy.

Hillary may be opening up a world of trouble for herself by speaking out clumsily, OR she may be attempting to run against the leftward lurch of her party, with the Sandernista faction feeling its oats. After all, equally inarticulate Nancy Pelosi seems to have vanquished the Progs and secured a return to the Speakership. I don’t think that her lust for power as POTUS has abated.

If this is part of a conscious triangulation strategy, President Trump may well attempt to work his deal-making on her and her allies in Congress, with an appeal for border wall funding.

So far, there is nothing in Trump’s Twitter feed on Hillary latest, but then again it is still early on the start of the holiday weekend.

Triangulation or too much chardonnay? Stay tuned.

Source: Hillary calls on Europe to control migrants to thwart populism

The Difference Between An Obama Judge And A Trump Judge

The last few days have seen President Trump escalate his tirade against judicial bias in America’s higher courts following his initial comments responding to yet another liberal California judge earlier this week blocked one of President Trump’s policies – this time a new asylum rule that would have required applicants to arrive at a designated port of entry (a lot to ask, I know) – the understandably frustrated president lashed out at liberal courts in general.

“I think it’s a disgrace when every case gets filed in the 9th Circuit,” said Trump.

“That’s not law, that’s not what this country stands for. Every case that gets filed in the 9th Circuit, we get beaten and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won.”

Prompting a response from Chief Justice John Roberts…

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” he said in a statement.

“What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.

Which sparked a whole new spat:

But, as law professor Scott Douglas Gerber writes for The Daily Caller, Chief Justice John Roberts’ rebuke of President Trump for criticizing a federal judge who issued a temporary restraining order blocking the administration from barring migrants who enter the U.S. illegally from seeking asylum isn’t the first time that Roberts has tried to suggest that judges aren’t political.

The most famous prior occasion was when Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his 2005 confirmation hearing:

“Judges are like umpires … whose job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” He also said that “umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them.”

No serious student of the modern judiciary took Roberts’ 2005 comments seriously.

They shouldn’t take his most recent attempt at myth-making seriously, either. After all, if there wasn’t a difference between “Obama judges” and federal judges appointed by Republican presidents, President Trump’s opponents wouldn’t be moving heaven and earth to try to stop him from appointing conservatives to the federal courts. Surely, the chief justice can’t already have forgotten the trials to which Brett Kavanaugh was subjected.

Of course, Roberts was appointed by a Republican president, but that president — George W. Bush — like Roberts himself, was an establishment conservative, and establishment conservatives resent President Trump’s 2016 election victory almost as much as Democrats do. Perhaps that helps explain the chief justice’s seemingly unprecedented attack on the president.

Two additional points are also worth noting. First, President Trump isn’t the only president, or future president, who has criticized a federal judge for making a political decision. Second, Chief Justice Roberts himself wrote one of the most political opinions in Supreme Court history.

The most significant example of a president or future president criticizing a ruling issued by a federal court is almost certainly Abraham Lincoln’s response to the 1857 decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that African Americans could not be citizens of the United States and could not sue in federal court, as Dred Scott, a Missouri slave, had done to gain his freedom after living briefly in Illinois and Wisconsin. Lincoln publicly condemned the decision, stating that blacks were entitled to the same freedom as whites. Lincoln was obviously correct in his criticism of the Court’s racist politics in the Dred Scott case and the nation became a better place because he criticized the court.

With respect to Roberts himself, in 2012 the chief justice joined with the four liberals on the Court to uphold Obamacare, and he invented out of whole cloth a new definition of taxation that contravened long-standing precedent to do so. As both the law’s opponents and the court’s dissenters pointed out, the so-called individual mandate that required most Americans to have a basic level of health insurance coverage or pay a fine was labeled a “penalty,” not a tax, in the statute; it was designed to encourage people to buy health insurance, not to raise revenue; and President Obama himself had rejected claims that the law was a tax when it was being considered by Congress.

But the chief justice did what he did for a political reason: he had made the calculation that he did not want a conservative Supreme Court being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of the Obama administration. (Congress reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0 effective in 2019 as part of tax reform legislation passed last December.)

In short, all President Trump did was state the obvious: it matters who the judges are. Indeed, the first question that every litigator asks is, who is the judge? President Trump isn’t a lawyer, but he was elected president of the United States in large part because he made it clear to the American people that he knows that it matters who gets to nominate the judges. “Obama judges” are different from “Trump judges,” and judges nominated by Hillary Clinton would have been different from Trump judges too.

Source: The Difference Between An Obama Judge And A Trump Judge

Crude Oil could fall to $39, says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil is tanking of late as it breaks 3-year rising support! Where does long-term support come into play?

This chart looks at Crude Oil over the past 35-years. Crude has spent the majority of the past three decades inside of rising channel (1). It hit the top of this channel back in 2008, where it has created a series of lower highs ever since.

The rally off the 2016 lows saw it hit its 38% retracement level at (2), where it looks to have created a monthly double top at this key resistance level.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- Crude is breaking down after the double top, which suggests over time it could test rising channel support at the $39 level at (3).

via Crude Oil could fall to $39, says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

Bible Revisited: Alleged Sodom Site Thought to Have Been Hit by Cosmic Blast

According to the Bible, the ancient cities, thought to have been located on the Dead Sea, were wiped away by God for the sinful behaviour of their people. The preliminary findings of US scientists suggest that this region witnessed a major calamity almost 4 thousand years ago, which left it uninhabited for centuries.

Archaeologists from Trinity Southwest University, a Christian higher educational institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have claimed civilization in the Dead Sea region was destroyed 3,700 years ago following a meteor explosion in the atmosphere.

During the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Denver, Colorado, scholar Phillip Silvia reported the preliminary findings of their excavations in the area, which some scientists consider to be home to the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The results suggest that cities and settlements in the Jordan Valley’s Middle Ghor region, where up to 65,000 people lived around that time, were obliterated with a powerful wave of heat, wind and tiny particles, the outlet Science News reports.

Waives also pushed salty water from the Dead Sea, which devastated the soil. The explosion, the researchers argue, “not only [wiped] out 100% of the Middle Bronze Age cities and towns, but also [stripped] agricultural soil from once-fertile fields,” Newsweek reports.

READ MORE: The Blast From Five Years Ago: The Chelyabinsk Meteor Conspiracy Theories

According to the scientists, a low-altitude meteor explosion caused the catastrophe which wiped out the region, including the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam, where the researchers worked for years. Radiocarbon dating reportedly revealed that mud-brick walls suddenly disappeared in the Middle Ghor city, as only stone foundations remained.

A pottery surface found on the site was melted into glass, which may be a result of extreme temperatures. Following the alleged blast, people wouldn’t return to the region for 600-700 years.

Humanity has seen several space explosions before. Five years ago, a near-Earth asteroid exploded in the atmosphere near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, making headlines around the world and even worming its way into a Hollywood movie. This resulted in over 1,000 people being injured (mostly by broken glass from windows blown out by the shockwave). A more powerful blast came in 1908, when an asteroid exploded over a scarcely populated Siberian region on the Tunguska River, wiping away 2,000 square kilometres.

Source: Bible Revisited: Alleged Sodom Site Thought to Have Been Hit by Cosmic Blast

November 23 Daily Help

MOST of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart. Disappointments and heart-breaks will do this when billow after billow rolls over us, and we are like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the surf. Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace; our God is the harbor of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are is he, his mercy higher than our sins, his love higher than our thoughts. A rock he is since he changes not, and a high rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us roll far beneath at his feet. O Lord, our God, by thy Holy Spirit, teach us the way of faith, lead us into thy rest.[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 331). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.