Daily Archives: December 3, 2018

DECEMBER 3 WHY SUCH IDIOTS?

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

—John 3:17

Without worship we go about miserable; that’s why we have all the troubles we have. You wonder why young people act like such idiots. Some young people have a lot of energy and don’t know what to do with it, so they go out and act like idiots; and that’s why gangsters and communists and sinners of all kinds do what they do. They are endowed by God Almighty with brilliant intelligence and an amazing store of energy, and because they don’t know what to do with it they do the wrong thing. That’s why I’m not angry with people when I see them go off the deep end, because I know that they have fallen from their first estate along with Adam’s brood and all of us together. They haven’t been redeemed and so they have energy they don’t know what to do with; they have capacity they don’t know how to use. They have skills and don’t know where to put them, and so they go wild and police have to arrest sixteen-year-olds and put them in jail. If they had been taught that they came into the world in the first place to worship God and to enjoy Him forever and that when they fell Jesus Christ came to redeem them, to make worshipers out of them, they could by the Holy Ghost and the washing of the blood be made into worshiping saints and things would be so different. WMJ008-009

Lord, it’s so easy to condemn people who “act like such idiots.” Thank You that in Your grace You don’t condemn, but reach out to save! Amen. [1]


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

12/03/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-1203

•Bethlehemian Rhapsody; another trite Christmas song
•Every knee will bow before Christ, but not willingly
•Getting ready to hear Ben Shapiro and John MacArthur
•Life expectancy is going down due to suicide
•Todd’s new booklet about rotten fish
•Pope Francis gets so much wrong about gay priests
•Does the ring of Pontius Pilate prove the Bible is true?
•Lauren Daigle equivocates on homosexuality

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via 12/03/2018 — Wretched

Mueller Withheld “Details That Would Exonerate The President” Of Having Kremlin Backchannel — Zero Hedge

 

It appears that special counsel Robert Mueller withheld key information in its plea deal with Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, which would exonerate Trump and undermine the entire purpose of the special counsel, according to Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations.

Cohen pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Senate intelligence committee in 2017 about the Trump Organization’s plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow – telling them under oath that negotiations he was conducting ended five months sooner than they actually did.

Mueller, however, in his nine-page charging document filed with the court seen by Capitol Hill sources, failed to include the fact that Cohen had no direct contacts at the Kremlin – which undercuts any notion that the Trump campaign had a “backchannel” to Putin.

On page 7 of the statement of criminal information filed against Cohen, which is separate from but related to the plea agreement, Mueller mentions that Cohen tried to email Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office on Jan. 14, 2016, and again on Jan. 16, 2016. But Mueller, who personally signed the document, omitted the fact that Cohen did not have any direct points of contact at the Kremlin, and had resorted to sending the emails to a general press mailbox. Sources who have seen these additional emails point out that this omitted information undercuts the idea of a “back channel” and thus the special counsel’s collusion case.RCI

Page 2 of the same charging document offers further evidence that there was no connection between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin; an August 2017 letter from Cohn to the Senate intelligence committee states that Trump “was never in contact with anyone about this [Moscow Project] proposal other than me,” an assertion which Mueller does not contest as false – which means that “prosecutors have tested its veracity through corroborating sources” and found it to be truthful, according to Sperry’s sources. Also unchallenged by Mueller is Cohen’s statement that he “ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.”

“Though Cohen may have lied to Congress about the dates,” one Hill investigator said, “it’s clear from personal messages he sent in 2015 and 2016 that the Trump Organization did not have formal lines of communication set up with Putin’s office or the Kremlin during the campaign. There was no secret ‘back channel.’”

“So as far as collusion goes,” the source added, “the project is actually more exculpatory than incriminating for Trump and his campaign.” –RCI

The Trump Tower Moscow meeting – spearheaded by New York real estate developer and longtime FBI and CIA asset, Felix Sater, bears a passing resemblance to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian attorney (who hated Trump), and which was set up by a British concert promotor tied to Fusion GPS – the firm Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid to write the salacious and unverified “Trump-Russia Dossier.”

British concert promotor and Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone

“Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier” –Washington Post

In both the Trump Tower meeting and the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, it is clear that nobody in the Trump campaign had any sort of special access to the Kremlin, while Cohen’s emails and text messages reveal that he failed to establish contact with Putin’s spokesman. He did, however, reach a desk secretary in the spokesman’s office.

What’s more, it was Sater – a Russian immigrant with a dubious past who was representing the Bayrock Group (and not the Trump Organization), who cooked up the Moscow Trump Tower project in 2015 – suggesting that Trump would license his name to the project and share in the profits, but not actually commit capital or build the project.

Felix Sater, FBI and CIA asset, real estate developer, ex-con

Sater went from a “Wall Street wunderkind” working at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to getting barred from the securities industry over a barroom brawl which led to a year in prison, to facilitating a $40 million pump-and-dump stock scheme for the New York mafia, to working telecom deals in Russia – where the FBI and CIA tapped him as an undercover intelligence asset who was told by his handler “I want you to understand: If you’re caught, the USA is going to disavow you and, at best, you get a bullet in the head.”

The Moscow project, meanwhile, fizzled because Sater didn’t have the pull within the Russian government he said he had. At best, Sater had a third-hand connection to Putin which never panned out.

Sources say Sater, whom Cohen described as a “salesman,” testified to the House intelligence panel in late 2017 that his communications with Cohen about putting Trump and Putin on a stage for a “ribbon-cutting” for a Trump Tower in Moscow were “mere puffery” to try to promote the project and get it off the ground.

Also according to his still-undisclosed testimony, Sater swore none of those communications involved taking any action to influence the 2016 presidential election. None of the emails and texts between Sater and Cohen mention Russian plans or efforts to hack Democrats’ campaign emails or influence the election. –RCI

As Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch noted of Mueller’s strategy: “”Mueller seems desperate to confuse Americans by conflating the cancelled and legitimate Russia business venture with the Russia collusion theory he was actually hired to investigate,” said Fitton. “This is a transparent attempt to try to embarrass the president.”

The MSM took the ball and ran with it anyway

CNN, meanwhile, said that Cohen’s charging documents suggest Trump had a working relationship with Putin, who “had leverage over Trump” due to the project.

“Well into the 2016 campaign, one of the president’s closest associates was in touch with the Kremlin on this project, as we now know, and Michael Cohen says he was lying about it to protect the president,” said CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer.

Jeffrey Toobin – CNN‘s legal analyst, said the Cohen revelations were so “enormous” that Trump “might not finish his term,” while MSNBC pundits said that the court papers prove “Trump secretly interacted with Putin’s own office.”

“Now we have evidence that there was direct communication between the Trump Organization and Putin’s office on this. I mean, this is collusion,” said Mother Jones‘s David Corn.

Adam Schiff, the incoming Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, said Trump was dealing directly with Putin on real estate ventures, and Democrats will investigate whether Russians laundered money through the Trump Organization. –RCI

As Sperry of RealClearInvestigations points out, however, “former federal prosecutors said Mueller’s filing does not remotely incriminate the president in purported Russia collusion. It doesn’t even imply he directed Cohen to lie to Congress.

“It doesn’t implicate President Trump in any way,” said former independent counsel Solomon L. Wisenberg. “The reality is, this is a nothing-burger.”

 

Source: Mueller Withheld “Details That Would Exonerate The President” Of Having Kremlin Backchannel

Five Remarkable Things About the Ben Shapiro and John MacArthur Interview — Pulpit & Pen

John MacArthur, a wildly popular evangelical preacher, recently appeared on Ben Shapiro’s program, a wildly popular podcast host and conservative pundit. I am fans of both. When I heard Shapiro was going to host JMAC on his weekend special show, I almost had a coronary from the excitement. The following is my review. 

I admit it. I have fantasies.

I’m a grown man. I’m a pastor, and I can’t help having fantasies. They go something like this:

I’m traveling down the road, and I see a black Lincoln Towncar (do they still make those?) on the side of the highway and I stop to help. When I do, the driver – now outside the car, looking at a flat tire -seems exasperated at his inability to figure out how to service the vehicle and get moving again. As I approach the car with a tire tool in hand from my pickup, the back tinted window of the Towncar rolls down and I see a little man with a Yamaka. It’s Ben Shapiro. I reach out and shake his hand and tell him I love the program.

After I successfully change his tire (this is my fantasy, I can do whatever I want), we have time to talk.

From there I say something like, “Say, Mr. Shapiro, would you consider yourself a good person?” And then, basically, my inner Ray Comfort takes over. I throw in some line from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 and other Messianic passages from the Old Testament. I explain to Shapiro how Jesus has Tabernacled among men, how he is the manna of life, how he’s the light of the world and living water, and other things from the Jewish cultic religion that Shapiro would recognize. I would explain the justification of faith belonging to Abraham and that Jesus was – and is – the best Jew who has ever lived. I would explain that Jesus is the Passover Lamb. I would explain that God basically took all hope away from Judaism when the Temple was destroyed, and now their bloodless, priestless, temple-less religion is just meaningless types and shadows and that Jesus is the real faith of Abraham. I explain that Jesus spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, how it was Jesus who led Israel through the wilderness as a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. I explain that Abraham paid tithes to Jesus. I explain that Jacob wrestled with Jesus. I explain that Jesus stood in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

And then, in my fantasy, we make fun of liberals and call some Democrat (as Shapiro likes to say) a “garbage human” and then I baptize him in the Yellowstone River.

Usually, this daydream and imaginary conversation with Shapiro takes place during or after listening to his daily podcast, that is when he’s not on Sabbath for any one of the 139 (I’m rounding up) Jewish holidays that seem to come up and postpone the show. At this point, I’ve listened to Shapiro so much that I’m reaching the point I’m about to stop listening. I know where Shapiro stands on almost everything, and I’m already in agreement. The man is brilliant, cutting, and his attempts at humor are genuinely humorous. Shapiro is the kid who got wedgies and swirlies in High School, who told the bullies that he’d own all their world one day and who, low and behold, goes out and actually does it. The conservative political world is Shapiro’s oyster, and he deserves it. Those swirlies have to count for something.

Ben Shapiro is the nerdy kid who’s the smartest guy in the room. I’d give a nickel to be that little man’s bodyguard for a day, just to hang out with him.

My MacArthur fantasies are mostly gone at this point. I’ve met the man, stood in his office, and spoke with him. I really don’t like talking much more about that experience, because it’s too special to just blab about on a website. But, I’ve been able to have my conversation with the elder statesman. And although I know where MacArthur stands on almost everything, I probably will never get to the point I stop listening to him. He’s not givng his political opinions each week, but the words of life. That never gets old.

Shapiro started bringing on weekend guests to discuss topics at large (like Joe Rogan does, but without the profanity marathon) several months ago and I’ve listened to most of them. MacArthur joined him on Sunday’s podcast.

Here’s the review, in the form of five things that stood out to me (in no particular order).

5. MacArthur gave the clearest presentation of the Gospel imaginable to one of the largest broadcast audiences imaginable.

As Shapiro regularly says, “The Ben Shapiro Show is the largest and fastest-growing conservative podcast in America.” Fans of MacArthur already view him as a giant. Who doesn’t know John MacArthur, after all? He’s epic. He’s a legend in his own time. He’s Johnny Mac, JMAC, J MAC DADDY, the Fourteenth Apostle, the Sultan of Soteriology, the…okay, the last few I just made up. The point is, MacArthur is yuuuge.

But then we must stop to consider that the conservative evangelical world is really small. Mainstream evangelical figures like Greg Laurie, Ravi Zacharias, and Rick Warren (none of whom will be known one-hundred years from now; but future generations will know John MacArthur) no doubt have a bigger media footprint than MacArthur. By this, I mean by virtue of their self-promotion, publicity and appearances. Over the course of a lifetime, MacArthur still puts these men to shame, but my point is that the “typical” American either has a copy of The Purpose Driven Life or seen it on the shelf at Walmart. That’s not necessarily the case with MacArthur’s latest books.

But truth-be-told, MacArthur is not a household name among your typical Trumpkins, your average politicos, your regular owners of the Leftist Tears Tumbler. It is absolutely awesome that MacArthur got on the program to discuss the substance of the Gospel.

4. Shapiro knew exactly where to go to have an intelligent conversation about spiritual things.

This is as commendable to Shapiro as it is MacArthur. While Steven Furtick titled his book, Unqualified, as a “dig” toward John MacArthur, let’s face it… Nobody is going to call up Steven Furtick to have a serious conversation about Christianity and Judaism. Shapiro is known for his intellectualism, and there’s a reason he didn’t turn to any number of fancy-pants, skinny-jeans, steroid-ripped hipster pastors out there to discuss the issue. Could you imagine Shapiro trying to have a conversation on the Bible with Carl Lentz? That’s hilarious (I am actually laughing so hard right now, just thinking about Shapiro trying to have an intelligent conservation with Carl Lentz, I had to pause typing for about 5 minutes). I mean, to think of Shapiro trying to sit across from Andy “Unhitch the Old Testament from Christian Faith” Stanley like some kind of intellectual equal or cognitive peer is (hold on, laughter break…). Okay, I’m back.

The thought of Shapiro even attempting a rational discourse with someone from the Passion Conference is hilarious.

No, when Shapiro and his staffers wanted to have an interesting, compelling conversation about faith and the Bible they knew where to go. It was straight to our elder statesman, who is considered far too serious-minded by the latte mafia, but who fit well with Shapiro’s giant brain.

Furthermore, could you imagine Ben Shapiro trying to have a conversation about such things with Tim Keller? Keller would be like nailing Jello to the wall on any given subject, speak in riddles, say some nonsensical rubbish that sounds like one of Jack Handy’s Deep Thoughts but without the humor and Shapiro would just shout, “Cut!” and walk off the stage disgusted.

No, JMAC was the man for this.

3. MacArthur shared the Gospel for a really long time, while Shapiro was mostly silent.

Yeah. Shapiro, silent. Who knew that was possible? I presume the reason for that is that MacArthur carries himself with gravitas. I mean, if John MacArthur is talking, why would anybody talk over him? That would seem dumb, and Shapiro’s not dumb.

Also, it’s likely that Shapiro was just trying to be a good podcast host. But my hope is that Shapiro found MacArthur’s commentary to be compelling, meaningful and thoughtful. I don’t just hope Shapiro was silent. I hope Shapiro was listening. May God give him ears to hear.

2. MacArthur clearly articulated the difference between Judaism and Christianity.

I didn’t really have “fear,” so to speak, but my first trepidation about MacArthur going on Shapiro’s program was that MacArthur wouldn’t spend time clarifying to Shapiro that Jews need Jesus too, or (more likely) it would be edited out of the final production. Instead, MacArthur spoke extensively about Shapiro’s (and everybody else’s) need for Jesus. MacArthur made some of the same points from the Old Testament that I’ve made in my one-sided fantasy conversations with Shapiro.

Furthermore, there wasn’t a hint of hesitation in MacArthur’s voice to confront Shapiro or the listening/viewing audience with their sin. There was absolutely no wishy-washiness with MacArthur whatsoever. And that, frankly, shouldn’t surprise any of us.

My favorite line of the night, by the way, was from MacArthur: “It’s my goal to offend everybody.” Classic. And you could hear Shapiro chuckling at that in the background. Double classic.

1. MacArthur kept pushing back to the Gospel.

I think virtually all of us thought that MacArthur would speak more about Social Justice and political conservatism. Shapiro certainly tried to steer it there. But every time the conversation drifted away from the Gospel, MacArthur would politely lend his opinion on the subject (from ungodly political leaders to the Enlightenment) and then **BAM** back to the Gospel again. Gospel. Gospel. Gospel.

MacArthur was absolutely relentless in turning it back to the Good News. And man, that’s why we love him.

Finally, what stood out to me is that Shapiro expressed genuine surprise and was impressed that so many people (ostensibly, his staffers) were waiting outside to meet him and shake his hand. Really? These are politicos. Here’s John MacArthur who wrote, Politics Can’t Save You, and has never been overtly political. And yet, these mostly young people had so much respect they wanted to shake his hand and meet him, even though they regularly see political celebrities come through those doors.

It kind of makes you wonder how much influence a pastor-preacher can have politically just by sticking to the Bible.

Watch below.

[Editor’s Note: Contributed by JD Hall]

via Five Remarkable Things About the Ben Shapiro and John MacArthur Interview — Pulpit & Pen

Greta Van Susteren Interviews President Trump… — The Last Refuge

A lengthy interview (recently released) between Greta Van Susteren and President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina.  The topics include: the USMCA trade agreement; the conflict between Russia and Ukraine; overall global trade; issues within the global climate change economy; Brexit, China, the U.S. economy and immigration.

As most CTH readers are aware MAGAnomic policy, economic nationalism, is the largest focus of President Trump.  Beyond all other issues, this is the POTUS priority. Within this interview the president walks through the geopolitical issues and interests for the U.S. economy.  Well worth watching:

 

via Greta Van Susteren Interviews President Trump… — The Last Refuge

FALLING AWAY: Progressive ministers say sexual chastity is ‘unreasonable’: ‘Don’t judge’ people for random hookups

FALLING AWAY: Progressive ministers say sexual chastity is ‘unreasonable’: ‘Don’t judge’ people for random hookups(The Christian Post) – Notable progressive ministers are now embracing polyamory, approving of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder, calling chastity “unhealthy,” and declining to warn people about the consequences of hookup culture. Earlier this week HuffPost Life interviewed Brandan Robertson of Mission Gathering Christian Church in San Diego, California; Chalice Overy of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, North

Carolina; and “Michael,” a San Antonio man whose last name was not given and is currently working as a “clergyperson” in a church. Michael considers himself “polyamorous.” The publication explored questions about dating life and sexual ethics with the liberal church leaders as part of a larger series on at relationships in America “from the perspective of different ethnicities, sexual identities, life experiences and circumstances.” READ MORE

Monday Briefing Dec. 3, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

Download MP3

A portrait of the American past: When a boy could be raised to be president

The call of duty and the Greatest Generation: The teenage Naval aviator who became president

President George H.W. Bush and the transformation of American politics in the 20th century
— Read on albertmohler.com/2018/12/03/briefing-12-3-18/