"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
—1 John 2:15
We are all in process of becoming. We have already moved from what we were to what we are, and we are now moving toward what we shall be….
Not only are we all in the process of becoming, we are becoming what we love. We are to a large degree the sum of our loves and we will of moral necessity grow into the image of what we love most; for love is among other things a creative affinity; it changes and molds and shapes and transforms. It is without doubt the most powerful agent affecting human nature next to the direct action of the Holy Spirit of God within the soul.
What we love is therefore not a small matter to be lightly shrugged off; rather it is of present, critical and everlasting importance. It is prophetic of our future. It tells us what we shall be, and so predicts accurately our eternal destiny….
This furnishes in part (but only in part) a rational explanation for the first and greatest commandment: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
To become like God is and must be the supreme goal of all moral creatures. This is the reason for their creation, the end apart from which no excuse can be found for their existence. GTM195-197
Lord, wean me from unworthy loves, and give me a pure, full love for You, that I might become like You. Amen.
The S&P crashed below its bear market level of 2352.7 – the lowest since April 2017 – ending the longest bull market in history
This is the worst December for the S&P 500 since The Great Depression (and there are still a few more days left)…
“Risk aversion is now extreme;even though the Street may point to a ‘less dovish’ FOMC and concerns about a U.S. government shutdown as possible reasons for the selloff, the apparent lack of positive drivers and headlines has curbed risk appetite,” Nomura strategist Masanari Takada wrote in a note.
“While sentiment looks to be skewed towards fear, most market participants seem to be looking for a plausible excuse to sell.”
Steve Mnuchin epicly failed to calm the market over the weekend…
As Michael O’Rourke, JonesTrading’s chief market strategist, said:
“…nothing says don’t panic like saying ‘I’m calling the plunge protection team tomorrow.’I honestly think that’s the type of event that’s going to startle markets and create more panic and fear when it’s meant to create confidence.”
And sure enough, the plunge protection team’s best efforts utterly failed to stem the tide…
As waves of selling hit the market… (very notable for such a normally quiet day – volume was almost double the recent average)
S&P volume set to be almost triple that of the past 9 pre-Christmas sessions
Bank stocks suffered…
And just the mention of the word ‘liquidity’ sent bank credit risk soaring…
Even the supposed safe-haven stocks were pummelled…The S&P 500 utilities index drops as much as 4.6% intraday, most since August 2011, amid the broader market rout and continued threat of higher interest rates in 2019.
And along with stocks, the dollar was dumped wholesale…
And credit markets were monkeyhammered…to their widest since Brexit
Bonds were bid (with 30Y back below 3.00% intraday)…
And inflation breakevens were clubbed like a baby seal…
Cryptos soared since Friday, with Ethereum up 36% and Bitcoin back above $4,000…
Despite the dollar weakness, crude prices collapsed further as PMs rallied…
Gold soared (in dollars) on the day…
Breaking above its 200DMA…
And gold in yuan broke out of its channel…
WTI tumbled to almost a $43 handle…
Finally, since The Fed hiked rates and Powell didn’t back down on auto-pilot, the S&P is down 8%, the dollar is down over 1%, and gold and the long bond are up around 1%…
And,@IvanOnTech provides a little context for just how bad this bloodbath is…
“This is not ICOs, this is NASDAQ % drop from ATHs. Scam?GOPRO -95% FIT -92% LC -91% SNAP -83% P -80% ZNGA -77% HIVE -73% TRUE -66% TWTR -63% SONO -60% DBX -57% Z -57% PS -50% FTCH -49% PSTG -48% SPOT -48% BOX -46% DOCU -45% SVMK -45% FB -42%”
And the odds of a rate hike in 2020 are now the same as the odds of rate-cut…
Like his friend and fellow scandalized pastor, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald is largely unwelcome anywhere in evangelicalism except for the dark, seedy corners of charismaticism.
Charismatics, modern practitioners of the ancient heresy of Montanism (also known as the “New Prophecy Heresy”), deny the sufficiency of Scripture by insisting that God continues to speak outside the Holy Bible, giving the Apostolic Sign Gifts to those who are not apostles. There is no place so evidently devoid of the Holy Spirit and His authentic Spiritual gifts than modern day charismaticism. Devoid of discernment (a gift of the Holy Spirit), charismatic circles serve as a cesspool for every kind of scandalized, unwanted, and unqualified peddler of spiritual goods known to man.
Last week, MacDonald was forced to cancel his speaking gig at the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference, the denomination he joined after his own empire began to crumble. Most publications have turned on MacDonald and are reporting his misdeeds, such as suing journalists for being journalists which doesn’t really endear one to the press.
However, since Driscoll’s kingdom fell into scandal, MacDonald has found cover among charismatics who will accept just about anybody into their fold. Utterly devoid of the Holy Spirit, who convicts of sin, charismatics will embrace anyone despite their sin, scandal or lack of repentance.
While MacDonald has had damning pieces written about him in WorldMag, the Christian Post, the Chicago Daily Herald, and many other publications, there are a few publications that are not only ignoring the negative press but who are publishing MacDonald’s editorials as an expert on something other than being disqualified from ministry.
MacDonald’s work has increasingly been highlighted at Charisma News and his articles have been appearing there more frequently. Driscoll, who was once more Calvinistic than Charismatic, went full-blown Charismatic after the days of Mars Hill’s self-destruction. Charisma Media, the parent corp of Charisma Mag, is now publishing Driscoll’s latetst book. After being guilty of plagiariasm in his previous books, who else would publish it but charismatics?
There is nothing that will make someone a more committed charismatic than being disqualified from ministry. Charismaticism serves as a City of Refuge for disgraced and scandalized pastors of every stripe.
Rather than be upset that charismatic believers, devoid of the Holy Spirit, seem to have no spiritual standards, we should be pleased that Driscoll and MacDonald are exactly where they belong…right next to Michael Brown, Jim Bakker, Jennifer LeClaire, and Sneaky Squid Spirits.
Glory to God in the highest, the Greater Doxology, is the song the angels sang at Christ’s birth. Perhaps no other song, no other phrase, so greatly expresses the joy of the moment.
I love all the children in this video. One of my favorite memories of Christmases past is that of our sons placing baby Jesus in the manger after coming home from Midnight Mass.
Our nativity always had an empty manger until Christmas, as a way to help our sons remember and anticipate the birth of our savior. Now we still follow that tradition and have a grandchild place Jesus in the manger.
May all hearts be opened as the moment we celebrate, remember, treasure, and rejoice in comes closer. May we unite in this ancient call to our God as we celebrate His gift to all mankind.
What was the first sound to go out over radio waves? It was the sound of “O Holy Night,” the Christmas hymn, being played on a violin.
On December 24, 1906, the first radio broadcast was made over what was then brand new technology. Reginald Fessenden was a Canadian-born inventor who did most of his work in the United States. He built a system of wireless transmission using amplitude modulation (AM).
During that first broadcast over radio, Fessden also played the Christian song, Adore and be Still by Gounod, and finished by a closing Scripture, Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.” Some accounts recall Handel’s song, Ombra mai fu, being played as well.
Radio is widely regarded as the single greatest and most influential medium in the history of the world, even more so than television and – believe it or not – even the Internet. Radio certainly deserves the award for longest lasting non-written medium. No other medium besides print – which is quickly dying before our eyes – has so largely impacted human civilization as has radio.
From AM to FM, short-wave to even pirate, various forms of radio communication has connected the world, combined continents, reached into fascist regimes, spread democracy and most importantly, spread the gospel. Walls and censors cannot stop it. Long distances cannot readily impede it. It is a form of communication that truly was, and continues to be, revolutionary.
Two millennia ago, the Son of God came into the world and was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Three astronomers pursued him from the East to welcome him (they made it late) and that night, but that night, the only welcome party to Christ were a few lowly shepherds who were tending their sheep by night.
The angels came to those lowly shepherds and and sang the words of Luke 2:14. Few heard it that night. It was a humbling way for the Christ child to enter the world.
However, the news of this baby’s birth would grow throughout the world, and continue to expand, well after that baby’s eventually death and resurrection.
How sweet is it, how surreal, that the first sound going out over the greatest form of broadcast media in world history, would be heralding the birth of this newborn king?
O holy night! the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope – the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
•Pastor Mike Fabarez explains why you can celebrate this Christmas season
•Did Jesus celebrate man-made holidays?
•Why the biblical census is good news for you today
•Merry Christmas from REO Speedwagon
•Can I love sin and hate that I love sin?
It is common, at Christmas time, for globalists to repeat the narrative that the Christ-child was an illegal refugee. The desire to end the nation-state would betray their hope for individual liberty and civil rights, as such things are not guaranteed in their international communitarian utopian hope. However, it’s our goal as polemicists to set-right their twisting of Scripture.
Was Jesus really an illegal alien and “refugee?”
Jesus and his family went on a midnight flight to Egypt, at the warning of an angel, because of Herod’s mass infanticide.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
However, Egypt was a part of the Roman empire. This was essentially like Jesus fleeing from Ohio to Indiana. No sovereign boundaries were crossed, and they certainly weren’t crossed illegally.
The Roman province of Egypt was established three decades before Christ’s birth after Octavian defeated Marc Antony and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
Octavian, who brought Egypt into the empire, would become “Caesar Augustus,” the very same Caesar who issued a decree that the “whole world should be taxed” as recorded in Acts 2.
In other words, the same emperor over Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth and his region of Galilee was the same emperor over Egypt. Jesus fled the jurisdiction of Herod, but not Augustus. Again, this is more akin to the Duke boys leaving Hazzard county than Pedro jumping the Texas border. International boundaries of sovereign nation-states were simply not at play, and the comparison between illegal immigrants and the Christ-child are simply incongruous.
Historically, travel between Roman provinces was incredibly liberal. The frequent free travel between Roman provinces is made famous in the phrase, “All roads lead to Rome.” While the Romans would be horrendously harsh to the vandals or Barbarians seeking to invade from the outside, free travel from within the empire was the modus operandi.
Jesus was, however, a refugee of political persecution (Herod cared more about Jesus as King than Jesus as Lord) fleeing from genocide and infanticide. There is no doubting that Jesus left the Nazareth zipcode to flee Herod.
Regarding this fact, if we are to compare the Christ-child to pregnant border-jumpers from South or Central America, we should ask the question as to exactly what regime is wiping out a generation of infants. Is it Mexico? Honduras? Who’s murdering the babies out there?
If there is a nation out there butchering their infants (besides America, through Planned Parenthood), we should rightly warn them, then invade them, then depose them. That would be a far more humane option than allowing mobs of their young, single men to invade our borders and leave behind their sicker, weaker, elderly, or female companions in the kill-zone back home.
Of course, the only thing people are fleeing south of the American border is poverty and the occasional act of random violence, and we have plenty of that of our own. Violent crime rates in Chicago or other highly gun-controlled American cities are considerably worse than most of Mexico and almost identical to places like Mexico City. American cities like Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Buffalo, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia are considerably worse than the average Mexican zipcode. And immigrants from Mexico aren’t winding up in the rural countryside, but in major American cities – out of the frying pan and into the skillet. Again, the situation is not comparable to the Christ-child fleeing a regionalized Adolf Hitler.
Jesus’ parents weren’t pursuing a life in Egypt to collect foodstamps, government housing, and free medical care. They were escaping a first century Holocaust.
Jesus’ parents weren’t refugees in a foreign nation, but lawful visitors and legal residents of a different province in their empire.
Worship the one this Christmas who was born as a babe and laid in a manger, but don’t let him be used for the purpose of liberal propaganda.
When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son.
The first Christmas was perfectly timed. Galatians 4:4–5 says, “When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law.” What was “the fullness of the time”? God’s sovereign timing. He ordered world events so everything was ready for Christ’s coming and the subsequent outreach of the apostles.
Looking back at the early church, we are amazed at how quickly the gospel spread in less than a century. The sovereign hand of God is clearly evident. Christ’s advent could not have been timed more propitiously.