Daily Archives: December 28, 2018

Be ready for our Lord’s coming

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:36-42…

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$5,450 Price Tag for Joel Osteen Tickets

The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself. For the real price is knowledge and virtue, whereof wealth and credit are signs. These signs, like paper money, may be counterfeited or stolen, but that which they represent, namely, knowledge and virtue, cannot be counterfeited or stolen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the words of a friend, Andrew Rizko, “What makes one conned by Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland or Bill Johnson, who thinks they’re sowing a seed of $5750, (for the Lord of course) different than the one who is just as willing to spend $5750 to hear a fool spout some mental diarrhea? As the saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.”

This is in fact the case. The price tag for a preferred seat on the fourth floor of the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL for the Joel Osteen appearance? $5,450 ea. In fact, some ticket outlets have shown prices as high as $5,750 ea. or more.

The fact that anyone would be willing to drop this kind of cash simply to hear a hustler hustle for a few hours is beyond all reasonable common sense.

[HT: Andrew Rizko]

Source: $5,450 Price Tag for Joel Osteen Tickets

Massive New Migrant Caravan To Leave Honduras; Overloaded El Paso Faces Imminent “Crisis”

A new, larger migrant caravan is set to leave Honduras on Jan. 15 according to Spanish-language media and migrant rights advocates.

They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan,” according to Irma Garrido of migrant advocacy group Reactiva Tijuana Foundation.

News of the new caravan comes as thousands of Central American migrants from an October caravan remain stranded at various cities along the US-Mexico border as they face wait times of up to several months for the United States to process their asylum requests. What’s more, if migrants cannot justify their asylum claims, they may be denied.

Coordinators who helped direct the migrants on the 2,000-mile trek with bullhorns, arranging for buses and giving advice along the way, have mostly vanished. Many of the migrants say they feel abandoned and unsure where to turn next. Some are ready to return home.

Garrido said this new, larger caravan will probably be joined by more people in El Salvador and in Guatemala, but she said they don’t plan on coming straight to the Tijuana-San Diego border, where resources are already stretched nearly to a breaking point. –LA Times

“They will stay in the south of Mexico in Chiapas and Oaxaca. Their aim is to request work there,” said Garrido.

Meanwhile, an incoming congresswoman of the Texas border city of El Paso has warned of an imminent “crisis” as the city scrambles to accommodate at least 1,600 migrants dumped by federal authorities over the last several days. The issue is that the entire town is packed to the brim with fans attending the Sun Bowl college football game El Paso has hosted since 1935.

“We’re facing a real crisis coming up … to find places for all of these (migrant) families,” said Democratic representative-elect Veronica Escobar.

Escobar said migrants who can’t be housed in shelters have been staying in hotel rooms paid by Annunciation House, the non-profit spearheading the efforts to house and feed them. But, she said, if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues releasing large numbers of migrants, the El Paso community will struggle to find places for them because many hotels have been booked by people attending Monday’s game.

Escobar added it’s already been “very, very difficult and very challenging” to put up the migrants dropped off by ICE. And, she said, the coming hotel crunch will only make the task tougher. –CBS News

During a Thursday bilingual press conference, Annunciation House Executive Director Ruben Garcia announced that US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had dropped off over 1,600 migrants in El Paso since Sunday – and that Wednesay’s delivery of 500 migrants was the largest he’s seen. On Thursday, around 320 more were taken to El Paso.

According to ICE, they had to release the migrants due to overcrowding in their holding facilities as well as concerns over laws governing how long families can remain detained by immigration authorities. A spokesman for the agency told CBS that they have been notifying local officials before dropping the groups off, however charities have told the agency that they are having trouble accommodating the migrants.

“We are living through an immigration crisis that is in part driven by a disastrous ruling by a district court judge in the Ninth Circuit that incentives illegal alien adults to put their children in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. The Flores Settlement Agreement has created an immigration loophole that rewards parents for bringing their children with them to the United States,” said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokeswoman Katie Waldman in a statement emailed to CBS on Friday.

Escobar called on the Trump administration to help El Paso by undertaking the “short-term” solution of investing in “family-friendly” holding facilities for migrants. “This really is a federal obligation and the federal government needs to step in and build some temporary housing facilities, in the way that they did in 2016,” she said. “That needs to happen immediately.”

The long-term solution, she added, is to invest heavily in the “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to curb the region’s widespread poverty and intensifying gang violence. –CBS News

“We need to work with Central America and make probably some significant investments there and hopefully, through good collaboration, find some solutions to the poverty and crime that are driving thousands and thousands of people from Central America into the United States,” said Escobar.

Source: Massive New Migrant Caravan To Leave Honduras; Overloaded El Paso Faces Imminent “Crisis”

December 28 Fruitful Labor

If I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor.

Philippians 1:22

 

The apostle Paul considered that being alive in the physical world is synonymous with fruitful labor for Christ. His use of “labor” refers to his spiritual work for the Lord, which yields spiritual fruit. Spiritual fruit may be seen in people, deeds, and words—whatever is of eternal value. That kind of fruit comes from good hard work, which is the natural activity of the godly on earth.

Paul had a strong desire to bear fruit. He wanted the Philippians to be confident in Christ and strengthened for evangelism (Phil. 1:26–27). He is reminiscent of the psalmist who said, “O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Ps. 71:17–18). That elderly man wanted to live long enough to declare God’s strength and power to the next generation. May God grant you that same privilege.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 389). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

December 28 The Inheritance of Christ

“[Christ] is … the first–born of all creation.”

Colossians 1:15

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Christ is the preeminent inheritor over all creation.

Puritan minister Thomas Manton once said, “Heresies revolve as fashions, and in the course of a few years antiquated errors revive again, and that by their means who did not so much as know them by name.” He was right: false doctrines keep repeating themselves through the ages, only to reappear under different names. From the Arians of the early church to the Jehovah’s Witnesses of our own day, cultists have sought to deny our Lord’s deity. One of the favorite verses of such cultists is Colossians 1:15, which refers to Christ as the “first–born.” They argue that it speaks of Christ as a created being and hence He could not be the eternal God. Such an interpretation completely misunderstands the sense of prototokos (“first–born”) and ignores the context.

Although prototokos can mean first–born chronologically (Luke 2:7), it refers primarily to position or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the first–born was the son who had the right of inheritance. He was not necessarily the first one born. Although Esau was born first chronologically, it was Jacob who was the first–born and received the inheritance. Jesus is the One with the right to the inheritance of all creation (cf. Heb. 1:2).

The context of Colossians 1:15 also refutes the idea that “first–born” describes Jesus as a created being. If Paul were here teaching that Christ is a created being, he would be agreeing with the central point of the Colossian false teachers. That would run counter to his purpose in writing Colossians, which was to refute them. Moreover, Paul had just finished describing Christ as the perfect and complete image of God (v. 15). In the following verses he refers to Christ as the Creator of all things (v. 16) and the One who “is before all things” (v. 17). Far from being an emanation descending from God, Christ is the preeminent inheritor over all creation. He existed before the creation and is exalted in rank above it.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Use Psalm 93 as the basis of your prayer to worship Christ, who is preeminent in rank over all creation.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 4:8–11. According to verse 11, what is Christ worthy to receive? Why?[1]


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

Baptists Join with Pope for the Sake of “Christian Unity” — Pulpit & Pen

Members of the Baptist-Catholic International Dialogue Joint Commission with Pope Francis. (Photo: L’Osservatore Romano Photographic Service)

[Ethics Daily] The second meeting of the third phase of international ecumenical conversations between the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity took place Dec. 10-14 in Rome at the Domus Internationalis Paulus VI.

The Baptist delegation was led by co-chair Frank Rees, associate professor and chair of the academic board at the University of Divinity in Australia; the Catholic delegation was led by co-chair Bishop Arthur Serratelli, bishop of Paterson, New Jersey.

The meeting took up the theme of the “Context of Common Witness.” This discussion reflected on the global cultural context in which common Christian witness is being conducted today in six continents of the world.

This sub-theme helps to illuminate the overall theme of the third phase of dialogue, “The Dynamic of the Gospel and the Witness of the Church.” The Baptist-Catholic group will meet annually through 2021 for this third phase of conversations.

Included in the week of ecumenical conversations was a meeting with Pope Francis during the general papal audience on Dec. 12. The following day, the participants visited a local Baptist church in Trastevere.

The Baptist-Catholic group will convene for its third round of the current phase of conversations on Dec. 9-13, 2019, in Warsaw, Poland, hosted by the Baptist Union of Poland at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Warsaw.

To continue reading, click here.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Steven Harmon and Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer and first posted at Ethics Daily. This HT is not an endorsement of Ethics Daily]

Baptists Join with Pope for the Sake of “Christian Unity” — Pulpit & Pen

An “Irresistible” Faith and Its “Likeable” Devotees? — Pyromaniacs

The Bible Confronts a Major Modern Misconception

by Colin Eakin

“How do I know if I am a true Christian?”

Have you ever asked yourself that question? God says you should. Paul writes to the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor. 13:5). So those who desire to be true followers of Jesus Christ are expected to assess whether Jesus truly lives within. How is this done?

This question was anticipated and answered by the Lord Jesus Himself. He told a group of recent Jewish believers, “If you abide in my Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32). So according to Jesus, the criterion for knowing who truly belongs to Him is fidelity to His Word, which brings knowledge of truth, which brings everlasting freedom from the sin—its penalty, its power and (one day) its presence altogether.

Well, how hard could that be—staying true to Jesus’ Word? One look at the modern evangelical church would indicate harder than you might think. In fact, one of the most astounding and appalling realities of our present day is how many would-be faithful followers of Christ regularly imbibe teaching that is not only not what Christ taught, but is in fact the exact opposite! And of all the topics where what the Bible teaches and what is commonly taught as true are most at odds, at or near the top is the anticipated response of the world to the Christ-led life.

Take, for example, the latest book from the pastor of one of America’s largest churches. In it, he claims that if Christ-followers were to live out the faith as was originally taught and exampled by Christ, the appeal of that faith would be irresistible to a watching world. Similarly, another American megachurch pastor and popular author this past year exposited Matthew 5:20 for his congregation as follows:

To understand Jesus, we might actually translate Matthew 5, verse 20—a really core statement in the Sermon on the Mount—”Unless your ‘likeability’ surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” We think of righteousness as this kind of cliché, pious thing, but really it’s very much . . . to be a likable, caring, loving person.

Is that true? Is the authentically lived, Christ-led life “irresistible” to a watching world? And is “likeability” an anticipated assessment we should expect those outside the Church to attach to the genuine Christ follower? What is the biblical testimony in this regard?

Answer: it would be hard to parody what the Bible has to say more outrageously. The modern evangelical notion that authentic Christianity and its eminently “likeable” Christ-followers should be “irresistible” to the surrounding world could not be further from what the Bible actually says. This would even qualify as outrageous lampoon—such as from the Babylon Bee—were it not for the fact that these teachers are 100% serious. As it is, the only way such evangelical charlatans can get away with this scandalous deception is that their listeners must never bother to open and read the Bible.

Here is how “irresistible” Christianity was at its outset. Nearly two years into Christ’s ministry, the question on the mind of one witness was: “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” (Luke 13:23). And Jesus does not contradict this assessment, but informs His followers that the path to salvation is agonizing! (Agonizing paths, it should be obvious, are not irresistible.) Then, by the end of Christ’s earthly tenure, after thousands upon thousands had heard His message while eating divinely-prepared food and being miraculously healed of every condition imaginable, the sum total of believers was not many more than 120 in an upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 1:15), with 500 more in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6). Even given generous approximations, the “conversion rate” of Christianity while the Son of God walked the earth seems to have been in the neighborhood of 0.1%—hardly an “irresistible” number.

As for the “likeability” of true believers, Jesus says to those He sent out during His ministry, “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Mt. 10:22). (Likeability, it should be obvious, does not induce hatred). He says of the future destiny of His followers in His Olivet Discourse, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Mt. 24:9). And in John 15:19, He declares to His Apostles, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you.” So, according to Jesus, the faithful life of believers engenders hatred from the world, a far cry from “likeability.”

Well, maybe these were ominous predictions of Christ simply because He knew that His fallible followers would fall so far short of His example. But Christ was “likeable” while here in earthly form, wasn’t He? After all, if we as Christians are to be His “likeable” followers, our Mentor must have epitomized this quality, right? The answer is found in John 7:7, where Jesus says to His brothers (who, at this point, were not yet believers in Him), “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” And in John 15:18 and 20, Jesus provides clarification to His above warning (John 15:19) to His Apostles: “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you . . . Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you.”

Wow. Jesus says He wasn’t likeable because of His message, and His Apostles were given the same unpopular message, guaranteed to make them pariahs. So Jesus was hated, as were His Apostles. But maybe that all changes by the time the Church gets off the ground. Doesn’t God want His church to be popular? Isn’t that how it grows, through pragmatic, “seeker-friendly” methods designed to optimize the appeal of Jesus? What is the expectation of the NT writers on this topic?

To this, we find that Peter’s expectation of odium and mistreatment for faithfulness to Christ is no different from Jesus’ day. He informs his readers:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet. 4:12-14).

Paul, too, anticipates the unpopular nature of Christianity and its converts when he preaches in Lystra that entrance to the kingdom of God is fraught with many tribulations (Acts 14:22). In 2 Cor. 11:23-28, Paul itemizes exactly how “resistible” his message was as he details the litany of imprisonments, beatings, and near-death experiences that it brought. And toward the end of his ministry, he writes to Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).

So, the anticipation of Jesus and His Apostles is animosity and persecution for the faithful, just as Christ Himself received. They anticipate that most will reject the far-from-irresistible message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47), and will turn on those who devotedly proclaim this gospel. In fact, the atrocious interpretation of “righteousness” as “likeability” in Mt. 5:20 is especially egregious, because not only did Jesus teach the exact opposite, but He did so only moments earlier in the same talk! He declares in Matt. 5:10-12:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Clearly, Jesus is not on board with the idea that His message is supposed to be “irresistible” to the world and that his followers would be known for their “likeability.” These specious musings are so opposite from what Jesus actually had to say that, again, the natural impulse is to assume it is all meant as satire, except for the dead-serious nature of its exponents.

So if, in reality, the biblically-expected response to gospel presentation is mostly rejection of its message and revilement of its adherents, how then are those adherents to stay faithful? After all, no one in right mind would choose a life of rejection and persecution without some compelling incentive. Without a gripping motivation to remain true, the tendency to defect would be overwhelming. In fact, even during the earthly ministry of Jesus, many of His followers deserted Him as the cost of discipleship began to hit home (cf. John 6:60, 66). As Paul writes to the Corinthians, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19).

But it is not in this life that the believer has hope. Rather, faithful followers of Christ are those who have relinquished all earthly attachments, including their own lives, in hope of the eternal blessing to come (Luke 14:26). They are those who have denied themselves and daily take up the cross of shame and reproach originally intended for Jesus (Luke 9:23). As Paul explains to the Galatians, “But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” True followers of Christ are those who have already been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20) and now consider it a small thing to forsake everything for His cause.

Referring back to Matt. 5:12, Jesus actually exhorts the maligned believer to “rejoice and be glad” for such mistreatment. Why? Jesus goes on to link suffering on account of Him with one’s eternal reward. His undeniable implication is that one’s experience of persecution is a barometer for how faithfully one is proclaiming the gospel, which in turn brings greater blessing in heaven. In fact, if one is not experiencing any persecution from the world, one must wonder if he or she is really living a life faithful to the Savior.

Finally, Jesus connects the suffering of His present faithful with the treatment received by His former Old Testament prophets. These “spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:24) now enjoy the incomparable bliss of holy communion and perfect fellowship with God as they await their promised resurrection (Dan. 12:2; 1 Thess. 4:14-16). Today’s faithful are to look to these heroes of the past, those ” . . . who died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). These prophets of old—“of whom the world was not worthy” (Heb. 11:38)—desired something beyond this world, “a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:16), the same heavenly dwelling Christ has prepared for all who repent and believe in Him (John 14:3).

So, to review:

  1. Christ’s true followers abide in His Word, a considerable challenge given the abundance of anti-biblical notions in today’s modern evangelical morass;
  2. Christ’s Word promises widespread rejection—not “irresistibility”—of the Christian faith, and widespread persecution—not “likeability”—for Christ’s faithful followers;
  3. One’s experience of persecution is a barometer for how faithfully one is sharing the gospel message of “repentance and the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47);
  4. In like manner, one’s eternal reward will directly depend upon one’s faithfulness in the face of persecution;
  5. Christ’s faithful followers are to endure persecution like the prophets of old by anticipating the glorious reward that awaits them in the coming age.

Dr. Colin L. Eakin Pyromaniac

Dr. Eakin is a sports medicine orthopædic surgeon in the Bay Area and part time teacher at Grace Bible Fellowship Church’s Stanford campus ministry. He is the author of God’s Glorious Story.

An “Irresistible” Faith and Its “Likeable” Devotees? — Pyromaniacs

Celebrity Loves Hillsong Because It Doesn’t Teach “the Book with Moses and all that stuff.” — Pulpit & Pen

Jax Taylor with reality co-star and girlfriend, Brittany Cartwright

Jax Taylor is an actor and model and currently stars in a Bravo reality television series entitled Vanderpump Rules. Taylor has modeled for the cover of Trump Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Cosmo Girl. He’s also done ads for major retailers like Target, Macy’s, JC Penney’s, Old Navy, Nordstrom’s, and Abercrombie and Fitch. Most recently, he’s been known as the boyfriend of Brittany Cartwright, another reality star.

Taylor also attends Hillsong Church in Los Angeles and has some interesting reasons for attending the congregation.

He is just one of many celebrities who are drawn to the lights, glitz and glamor of the Christianity-lite worship experiences of the Charismatic Hillsong, the quickest growing church on the planet. The question is why do so many celebrities – especially those known for their carnality, worldly behavior, and apparent lostness – attend Hillsong?

Taylor told The Daily Dish, a Bravo publication, “Well I’ve been starting to go to church a lot. So when I started [dating] Brittany who’s obviously very Christian and goes to church a lot. And I wasn’t anti-church — I grew up going to church — I just never went. I just felt like I didn’t need to go again.”

Taylor continued, “I don’t really go to a really churchy-type of church … Like the Kardashians always sit in front of me, or Justin Beiber’s next to me all the time. Recently, I took her for the first time and she was just like [‘This is crazy’… ‘Literally there in front of me [is] Hailey Baldwin and Justin’].”

Why are they all there?

Taylor said, “But it’s actually a fun church. It just relates God to today and what you’re going through today. It’s not really in the book with Moses and all that stuff; it’s just kind of dealing with today.”

He continued, “It’s more spiritual; it is a Christian church and we go every Wednesday night. [Judah Smith] flies in from Seattle. He’s just really good. He’s just amazing. He’s funny and I need it. It’s like my recharge for the week. I look forward to it. It’s gotten to the point where it’s like, ‘Brittany, let’s go,’ where she was the church one at first. But now I am.”

Are these celebrities turning to Christ? Are they experiencing worship in Spirit and in Truth? Is it really Chritianity if it doesn’t include “the book with Moses and all that stuff?”

Celebrity Loves Hillsong Because It Doesn’t Teach “the Book with Moses and all that stuff.” — Pulpit & Pen

2018’s Most Jaw-Dropping Moments on ABC’s The View — Christian Research Network

Hosts Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin kicked off the year by defending the mainstream media’s reputation as trustworthy, claiming that Trump was behaving like a dictator for criticizing outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Whoopi even weirdly claimed that Trump was “actively trying to kill the press.”

(Kristine Marsh – News Busters)   The past two years we’ve broken down the worst moments of each year on ABC’s The View. Even with the addition of Meghan McCain late last year, 2018 has proved yet again that the hosts have no tolerance for conservative viewpoints. Whether it was sneering at religion or Trump voters, defending their own double standards or making nutty apocalyptic predictions, the liberal hosts continued to remind us why there is only one acceptable leftist “view” on the ABC show.

Read below to see some of the worst incidents from 2018 and watch the video at the bottom:

1. Mocking Christians: Mike Pence Has ‘Mental Illness’ for Being Open About His Faith

On the February 13 show, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Sunny Hostin took turns taking shots at Vice President Mike Pence, saying he was an “extreme Christian” with a mental illness after Omarosa gossipped that he would talk to Jesus in the White House. That episode spurred so much controversy that it led to an MRC campaign that forced Behar to privately and publicly apologize to Pence.

2. Kavanaugh Wants to Turn U.S. into Apartheid, Make Women ‘Handmaids’

The View predictably went nuts over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing, with host Joy Behar ranting he was going to turn the U.S. into an apartheid and Republicans were only interested in “retaining white power in this country.” Whoopi sneered that the esteemed judge was a “frat boy” while Sunny Hostin claimed that his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was “150% credible.” Guest America Ferrera continued the hysterics later, ranting that “white men” would make women “handmaids” and “take away our right to vote.”    View article →

2018’s Most Jaw-Dropping Moments on ABC’s The View — Christian Research Network

December 28, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

145:4 The works and mighty acts of God will be extolled from one generation … to another. The song will never die.[1]


145:4 One generation shall commend your works to another. This is the biblical pattern for households (cf. Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:1–9; Ps. 78:4), and the Passover makes this a ritual (Ex. 12:26–27; 13:8).[2]


145:4 mighty deeds This term usually refers to God’s rescue of Israel from enslavement in Egypt (see Exod 7:1–5). Israel regularly worshiped God by remembering His saving actions.[3]


145:4 One generation … to another. See Ps. 78:4. Parents had the duty of instructing their children in the ways of the Lord (Deut. 6:20–25).[4]


145:4 One generation … to the next is literally “generation to generation.” The construction resembles “day after day” and “night after night” in 19:2. Both passages emphasize continuous praise of the Lord.[5]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 777). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1123). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 145:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 865). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[5] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 940). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

December 28, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Trump threatened to close the U.S. southern border if Congress does not agree to provide $5 billion in taxpayer funds for his promised wall along the border with Mexico.

More Americans blame President Donald Trump than congressional Democrats for the partial U.S. government shutdown, as the closure stretched into its sixth day with no end in sight.

Both chambers of the U.S. Congress convened for only a few minutes late on Thursday, but took no steps to end a partial federal government shutdown before adjourning until next week.

As a partial shutdown of the U.S. government stretched into its sixth day, the agency that oversees the federal workforce offered advice on staving off creditors to the estimated 800,000 employees who could be affected by a lapse in pay.

The Trump administration has decided it cannot authorize new flood insurance policies, citing the partial shutdown of the federal government due to a budget impasse in Congress and potentially putting thousands of home sales in limbo.

As moves toward peace pick up in Afghanistan, the Taliban are trying to show they have changed since the brutal days of the 1990s when they banned music and girls’ education and carried out public executions in Kabul’s football stadium.

Islamist militants and Nigerian troops have been fighting around a fishing town on Lake Chad as the insurgents step up attacks in the run-up to a presidential election in which security is a campaign issue, the army and residents said.

Moscow and London have reached an agreement to return some staff to their respective embassies after they expelled dozens of diplomats early this year.

President Trump’s declaration in a phone call with Tayyip Erdogan that he was pulling U.S. troops from Syria has stunned Turkey and left it scrambling to respond to the changing battlefield on its southern border.

Contracts to buy previously owned homes fell unexpectedly in November, the National Association of Realtors said on Friday, the latest sign of weakness in the U.S. housing market.

China has opened the door to imports of rice from the United States for the first time ever in what analysts took to signal a warming of relations between the world’s two biggest economies after a frosty year marked by tensions and tit-for-tat tariffs.

The personal information of nearly 1,000 North Koreans who defected to South Korea has been leaked after unknown hackers got access to a resettlement agency’s database, the South Korean Unification Ministry said on Friday.

AP Top Stories

According to a new study, 10.7 million undocumented immigrants lived in the U.S. as of 2016. That’s a 13 percent drop from the peak in 2007. Of all undocumented immigrants, more than a million have temporary protection from deportation under two programs that may soon be rescinded. Nearly 700,000 are DACA recipients. And over 300,000 have Temporary Protected Status, given to visitors from countries where natural disaster or violence makes it difficult to return.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron demanded on Friday that Russia release Ukrainian sailors who were seized along with their ships last month.

The number of people evacuated after Indonesia’s deadly tsunami has nearly doubled to some 40,000 while more than 7,000 were injured in the disaster, officials said Friday, as they trimmed the official death toll. Authorities said 426 people had been killed — down from a previous tally of 430 — with double-counting by different districts blamed for the change. Two dozen people remain missing almost a week after the disaster.

Bosnian prosecutors on Friday charged 13 former fighters in two separate cases of war crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners during the country’s 1992-95 ethnic war.

The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus Thursday, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold.

It is extremely likely that Iran and North Korea will acquire hypersonic missiles, according to a senior U.S. general.

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will keep open through early 2019 a tent city in Texas that now holds more than 2,000 migrant teenagers, and also will increase the number of beds at another temporary detention center for children in Florida.

BBC

Syrian pro-government forces have entered the key northern city of Manbij for the first time in six years, an army spokesman has said. A Kurdish militia controlling the area withdrew and invited Syrian forces to retake the city amid fears that Turkish troops would launch a new offensive.

The rarest bird in the world – a species of duck called the Madagascar pochard – has been given a new home in time for the New Year. An international team of researchers released 21 of the birds at a lake in the north of Madagascar.

Russia has finished building a high-tech security fence more than 37 miles long, along annexed Crimea’s border with mainland Ukraine.

WND

The Trump White House finds itself under scrutiny for the death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl who was taken into custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but 18 previous migrant deaths during the Obama years went nearly ignored by the administration’s critics in Congress.

A newly elected member of Congress, Rashida Tlaib of an urban district in Minnesota, reportedly has revealed that she has chosen to be sworn in as a member on an English translation of the Quran that once was owned by Thomas Jefferson, the third president.


News – 12/28/2018

NASA’s New Horizons probe seems to be approaching a surprisingly “dark” world
“It’s really a puzzle,” says Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator. “I call this Ultima’s first puzzle – why does it have such a tiny light curve that we can’t even detect it? I expect the detailed flyby images coming soon to give us many more mysteries, but I did not expect this, and so soon.”

Skeletal remains of larger-than-usual man found in Malacca cave
Based on the size of the skull and the length of the bones found in the cave, Mr Fuad believes the remains could measure between 3m and 5m long. The length of the skeletal remains match the tomb of Sultan Al Ariffin Syeikh Ismail and the graves of the seven warrior brothers in Pulau Besar.

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm
Whether genetic changes can be reversed or are passed on to children is still unknown. Experiments in rats and a study with 24 men found that THC appears to target genes in two major cellular pathways and alters DNA methylation, a process essential to normal development.

Does Trump’s Border Wall Fulfill Ezekiel 22?
The issue of border security embodied in Trump’s seems to have struck a chord in the collective subconscious and Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, thinks this reaction is “divinely inspired,” citing a verse in Psalms. “This is Hashem‘s doing; it is marvelous in our sight. Psalms 118:23” “I’m not saying that Ezekiel was speaking directly about Donald Trump and his wall, but I think that it is a useful thing to wonder about. Apparently, the prophet was expressing God’s sentiment that the lack of a wall, any wall, in a place where walls are needed, could be a moral and spiritual disaster.”

Outraged Iraq lawmakers say surprise Trump visit violated their country’s sovereignty, demand U.S. troop withdrawal
President Donald Trump’s surprise trip to Iraq may have quieted criticism at home that he had yet to visit troops in a combat zone, but it has infuriated Iraqi politicians who on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Mueller-target Corsi says special counsel harassing family members
Corsi reports he refused a plea bargain with Mueller because Mueller was demanding that he lie in it, and he has filed a $350 million lawsuit against Mueller and his team of mostly Democrat investigators over their attacks on him. He’s also told leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who demanded that he produce massive quantities of his records, to “take a hike.” Corsi contends Mueller set up a “perjury trap” to force him to testify against the president.

Trump Says Israel Can Take Care of Itself
Brushing off criticism that his sudden withdrawal of American forces from Syria had further endangered Israel, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday insisted that the Jewish state was perfectly capable of defending itself.

Iran Says U.S. Must Leave Middle East, ‘This Region Belongs to Us’
“In the east of the world, China, India, Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran will be the new powers of the new century,” he added, as cited by the semiofficial Tasnim News Agency. “A dramatic shift of the global center of power is taking place now from the West to the East.

Saudi foreign minister who confronted Iran is out in Riyadh shakeup
The well-known face of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, Adel al-Jubeir, was moved to a new position in the Kingdom as part of a shakeup that saw former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf appointed as foreign minister. Jubeir was a passionate critic of Iran who believed the US should play an important role in the Middle East. In January 2016, after the Iran deal but before the election of Donald Trump, Jubeir warned about the “nefarious activities” of Iran.

Israeli-built wings for new F-35 will make jets invisible to radar
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has launched a production line for the outer wing set of the F-35 stealth fighter key component to make the advanced fighter jet invisible to radar, the company announced. “The construction of the new production line significantly upgrades IAI’s technological capabilities, automation and robotics, and will enable the company to establish itself as a major player in the military and civilian aerostructures,” read a statement by IAI.

Ukraine conflict: Russia completes Crimea security fence
Russia has finished building a high-tech security fence along annexed Crimea’s border with mainland Ukraine. The fence, more than 60km (37 miles) long, is topped with barbed wire and has hundreds of sensors. Russian forces annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March 2014 – a move condemned internationally. Crimea has a Russian-speaking majority.

China’s African debt-trap: Beijing prepares to seize Kenya’s port of Mombasa
China may be preparing to seize some major assets in the African nation of Kenya, as a result of debt-trap diplomacy. African media reports that Kenya may soon be forced to relinquish control of its largest and most lucrative port in Mombasa to Chinese control. Other assets related to the inland shipment of goods from the port, including the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), may also be compromised…

Syrian army enters Manbij after Kurdish calls to deter Turkey
The Syrian army said it entered Manbij on Friday for the first time in years, after the Kurdish YPG militia urged Damascus to protect the town from the threat of Turkish attacks. It was unclear whether the government forces had spread out in the town, where U.S. forces operate and have a military base.

Bokhari: 2018 Is the Year Big Tech Censors Revealed Their True Colors
In virtually any given week in 2018, you could expect at least one of the following: the media would run a negative story about the president, a Democrat would complain about Russia, and a tech platform would censor a prominent conservative. All three are connected.

DISGRACEFUL: The UN is turning a blind eye to rampant child rape among its own members
The United Nations is raping children. The facilitation of these child rapes is in part funded by the UK taxpayer. You think this is “fake news”? Well let’s go right to the top and check the facts.

The Democrats Invoke the Name of Jesus to Further Their Satanic Goals
If I only had the courage of my Lord. The Democrats are falsely and hypocritically invoking the name of Jesus to further their political aims which are quite honestly, Satanic!

Rep. Jackson Lee: Christmas ‘Is a Holy Time’ When ‘We Must Ensure Our Government Is Provided For’
“It is a very honored time,” she said. “People of the Christian faith are engaged in the recognition and acknowledgment of the birth of baby Jesus. It is a holy time. It is a time when families need resources. Government workers need to ensure that their families are provided for, but also we must ensure that our government is provided for.

The globalist Pope yet again slams right-wing nationalism, says people should embrace diversity no matter what the risks
In his traditional Christmas speech, Pope Francis criticised nationalism and called cultural differences a “source of richness”.

Canadian church takes crosses off the wall so they can avoid offending Muslims
They took the cross off the church wall. That’s the detail that caught my attention when I heard about the Millbourne Community Life Centre, a church that reinvented itself as a neighbourhood meeting space, open to anyone, and a drop-in centre for youth in what is sometimes a rough neighbourhood.

Suspicious Iranian cargo plane left Damascus minutes before airstrike
Two suspicious Iranian planes left Damascus on Tuesday night just prior to reports of airstrikes. Details from flight monitoring sites show that a Fars Air Qeshm 747 cargo plane left Damascus International Airport at 9:28 p.m. on Tuesday, just half an hour before reports emerged of air strikes in Syria.

Chinese schools make pupils wear micro-chipped uniforms to thwart truancy
Schools in southern China are forcing children to wear uniforms embedded with computer chips that track their movement and trigger an alarm if they skip class.

Australia Is Ending 2018 With a Record-Breaking Heat Wave
In what’s becoming an annual rite of passage, Australia is in the midst of another record-setting heat wave. It’s less the eye-popping temperatures (though it’s definitely going to be hot, with areas reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit) and more the relentlessness of the heat and how much of the country is afflicted.

ALABAMA AG OPENS INVESTIGATION Into Dem Corruption During Roy Moore Election
The Alabama Attorney General has opened an investigation into the corruption by Democrats during the Roy Moore special election last year.

Reports warn of disabling attacks to U.S. power grid that could wipe out “democracy” and the “world order”
A pair of reports released in the past month from two separate federal entities both warn of dire, devastating consequences from the destruction or disabling of a substantial portion of the U.S. power grid.

“Palestinian” Muslims Warn Christians in Gaza: NO CHRISTMAS, “ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN”
This is who the left (Democrats, EU, UM et al)  supports while they shoot islamophobia bullets at anyone who stands for truth, freedom, decency and quality for all before the law.

World Hijab Day Encourages All Women to Wear Veil
The World Hijab Day (WHD) non-profit organization launched its 2019 campaign Wednesday, encouraging women and girls of all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities to “voice their choice” of wearing the headscarf for 24 hours on February 1, in solidarity with Muslim women across the world.

World Hijab Day Hypocrisy
World Hijab Day is a stunning indictment of the hypocrisy of the evil left as much as choosing the sharia-promoting, forced marriage advocate Linda Sarsour for their leader. The real “feminists” are the women who are fighting for a fraction, a sliver of the freedoms their Western “sisters” enjoy.

New York Times runs puff piece HIZBALLAH on Christmas
The New York Times continues recklessly to careen down a dangerous slippery slope, shilling for the most radical and extreme ideology on the planet, and whitewashing the most bloodthirsty of Jew-hating jihadis. You can almost feel their orgiastic glee at having replaced their beloved Walter Duranty’s cause of traitorous stalinism with this year’s model, the global jihad. The Leftist media knows there is a war on, and it has taken sides — against America.

Expert: Mass Migration And A.I Will Replace Need for Population Growth
Plummeting fertility rates around the world should be cause for celebration, a leading expert has claimed, suggesting that ‘boosting populations’ is ‘outdated and likely bad for women.

Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
Despite the insidious attempts of the corporate-controlled U.S. media to censor the stories about the deadly side effects of vaccines, the truth keeps surfacing. The latest vaccine tragedy to strike has killed two babies in La Pimienta, Mexico and sent 37 more to the hospital with serious reactions to toxic vaccine additives.


Headlines – 12/28/2018

US confirms Pompeo and Netanyahu to meet in Brazil

Palestinian source: Arab ministers to visit Brazil to prevent embassy move

Ahead of Netanyahu visit, incoming Brazilian leader blasts Israel critics

Brazil’s President-elect praises Israel: ‘Israel is a technological superpower’

For first time since 2011, Palestine to apply for full UN membership

France, PA condemn Israel’s construction plans for over 2000 settlement homes

In escalating trade fight, PA halts Israeli produce and poultry imports

Israel warns Gazans to stay away from border Friday or risk getting shot

Suspected incendiary balloon lands near kindergarten in Gaza border community

Hezbollah races to save terror tunnels as IDF floods them

Iran building a drone force based on captured US, Israeli tech

Photos said to show Iranian warehouse flattened by Israeli strike in Syria

Syrian army takes control of flashpoint Kurdish town threatened by Turkey

Let down by US, Syrian Kurdish leaders look to Russia and Assad

US troop withdrawal from Syria could take several months

US troop withdrawals in Afghanistan are a major headache for India

German army ‘could recruit EU citizens’

Recent Explosions in Greece Spark Worries of Emerging Urban Violence

Venezuela murder rate dips, partly due to migration of criminals

Democrats order Homeland Security to preserve ‘evidence’ on migrant deaths

Pres. Trump weighs in after officials report suspect in officer’s death is in US illegally

Most Americans would rather spend the $5 billion Trump is demanding for the border wall on infrastructure, education, or healthcare

Trump points to Israeli wall as shutdown seen lasting into 2019

Partial government shutdown set to extend into next Congress

800,000 government workers may need financial assistance as shutdown continues

CNN slammed for trashing Trump’s visit to troops, criticizing soldiers for bringing MAGA hats

Wall Street Journal Shreds Washington Post Trump Coverage: ‘Undermines the Credibility of the Press’

Trump lawyer Giuliani wants Mueller investigated for destruction of evidence

Trump’s year of chaos in 2018 promises yet another

Americans’ confidence in the economy falls again and is at lowest level since summer

Dow closes more than 250 points higher in wild session, erases 600-point drop

Facebook moderators reportedly rely on inaccurate, outdated documents to determine forbidden content

Not aliens: New York skies turn bright blue after power plant explosion

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Manokwari, Indonesia

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

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 33,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Satellite images show collapse of Indonesian island volcano

Brewing tropical storm to bring flood risk to Philippines in final days of 2018

Legal marijuana industry toasts banner year

Ebola patients flee Congo treatment center after protesters ransack facility

9/11-related cancers killed 15 police officers in 2018

Transgender inmate who alleged abuse is transferred to female prison

Pope Francis’ early blind spot on sex abuse threatens legacy


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

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This ‘n’ That for Dec. 28, 2018— Do Not Be Surprised…

  • Christmas is about Love, with a capital “L”.
  • Jesus is the hope of Christmas.
  • It’s that time of year again: time to select your new Bible reading plan. Ligonier has a great lineup of various options. This thematic plan is also one that I’ve used in the past (it’s revised every year, which keeps things interesting).
  • I can’t wait to watch this.
  • If this is true, I should soon be über successful and will never die.
  • Was Charles Spurgeon a grinch?
  • Interesting thoughts on Jane Austen.
  • I knew you’d want to know.
Until God can change or lie, he never will bring to mind again the sin of that man whom he hath pardoned. —Charles Spurgeon

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

TRICKLE DOWN INDOCTRINATION

thirtypiecesofsilverdotorg

TRICKLE DOWN INDOCTRINATION: HOW SOCIAL JUSTICE CURRICULUM IS INVADING CHRISTIAN EDUCATION INCLUDING HOMESCHOOL.

By Rev Thomas Littleton                                                             12/10/2018

(A godly homeschool mom who does very thorough research provided the findings detailing the infiltration and source of the social justice contaminations of home school and Christian school curriculum in this article. She and others like her are working faithfully to serve their families, raise their children, and guard them from the leaven of corruption invading evangelical circles. The church owes a debt to all the parents and grandparents who are wisely discerning the times and vetting what influences their families and faith. It is this writer’s prayer that many more join their ranks – our ranks and begin to “buy the truth” through Berean fervor and shout it from the rooftops.)

The hottest topic in evangelical circles today is the concern over social justice perverting the mission of the church and…

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Buy The Dip or Sell The Rally Indicator, says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

Any large decline in stocks often brings up the question, should one start buying the dips or selling rallies. The decline of late and the bounce higher the past few days most likely have millions of investors around the world pondering this very question. This chart overlays the Dow Jones Home Construction index and the…

via Buy The Dip or Sell The Rally Indicator, says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

Institutional Exemptions and the Sacrifice of Principle — Juicy Ecumenism

Without a doubt the most contentious issue before the Evangelical and social conservative worlds today is the “Fairness for All” proposal advanced by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and the National Association of Evangelicals, in conversation with LGBT activists. Essentially, the proposal offers support for making sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) a criterion in civil rights law and public policy, while exempting religious institutions. While NEA and CCCU are not specifically endorsing the particulars of the proposed Equality Act, which would be a national SOGI law (making sexual orientation and gender identity an anti-discrimination category in federal law), they are signing on to the principle of making SOGI law apply to individuals but not religious institutions.

While this proposal will be presented in the language of “fairness,” “pluralism,” and “compromise,” it in fact represents a surrender in the struggle to advance religious freedom or liberty of conscience against the legal mandate to accept homosexuality. The whole point of the struggle is that it is wrong to require actions believed to be sinful or evil. For traditional Christians, facilitating homosexual behavior, or now, behavior that identifies with the opposite sex, is indeed sinful. As this writer has often said, it is clear from the words of Jesus (Matt. 18:7) that Christians (and truly, in responsibility to God, everyone) are forbidden from facilitating sin. Additionally, it should be intuitively obvious to everyone that one should never be complicit in an action one believes to be evil.

Are the NEA and the CCCU holding to the principle that complicity in evil is wrong? Evidently not. SOGI law and public policy, as it is generally interpreted by the courts, requires complicity in homosexual and transgender behavior. This means that Christian professionals and business persons must facilitate this behavior, which is sinful, and which it is sinful to contribute to. Why should Christian organizations insist on exemptions for themselves, but not individual Christians? It cannot be that they believe that it is ever right to sin. One seems drawn to the conclusion that the leaders of these organizations believe that tolerating homosexual behavior would be unacceptable to their clientele, and would leave their continued existence in question. On the other hand, political and legal pressure is such that they feel they must accept that LGBT identities be included in civil rights law. Regardless of how they rationalize it to the world or themselves, they are practically accepting either that it is not sinful to facilitate sin, or that homosexual and transgender behavior is not sinful.

For what are these fine Christian institutions training their students? In the world, they will be doctors, nurses, teachers, business managers, and perhaps even some florists, bakers, and photographers. Are these schools training their students to facilitate sin? It is rather pointless to forbid sin in one’s own house, and maybe teach that it is evil (as American law, so emphatically at the present time, allows one to do) but implicitly condone it in the wider world.

Thus, if it is “fairness” for institutions to discriminate against homosexuality and transgenderism, then it is fair for individuals as well. And we must discriminate against personal behavior; without it, the worst crimes would be legal. Nor can we restrict privileged behavior to consensual sexual behavior, as many advocates of the sexual revolution might want. There is no way to know what counts as sexual if sexuality is self-defined, as we now see with transgenderism.

This shows the essential problem with homosexuality and transgenderism as civil rights categories, namely the incorporation of personal behavior and feelings into personal identity. Personal behavior and feelings are extremely important to people, but they cannot possibly be held to be “free” (in the sense of immune from adverse judgment) or equal. One can argue that skin color is unimportant and can be treated as equal, or that people of different sexual anatomies should be treated as equal (even if it is not plausible to hold that there are no differences in interest or ability). But different personal behaviors cannot be equal, and should not be immune from adverse judgment (i.e., discrimination).

These considerations dispose of the claim that there is a question of “fairness” between Christians and social conservatives on the one hand, and homosexuals and persons identifying as “transgender” on the other. Indeed, unfairness is being practiced against social conservatives, who are being required to take actions they believe to be evil. Opposition to SOGI requirements is not a claim to “discriminate against gay people,” or persons identifying with the opposite sex, but to discriminate against their behavior, which cannot possibly be protected from discrimination on the basis of equality.

The fusion (really the confusion) of feelings and behaviors with personal identity and the resulting claim of freedom, equality, and respect for one’s behaviors is a natural part of the corruption of the idea of natural rights, which is the touchstone of liberal civilization. This corruption was well analyzed by Aaron Rhodes, a prominent activist for religious freedom and natural rights in Europe, and summarized in an article by this writer in the spring. Rhodes maintains that for many people, “rights” are not the true natural rights which are held by everyone and enumerated in the Constitution, but policy positions extremely important to certain groups, which are then presented as “women’s rights,” “gay rights,” “rights of the disabled,” etc. Notice that the very use of the term “rights” puts opponents in the wrong, cast as opposing freedom and equality. But opposing such “rights” is really the demand of both freedom and equality.

Heritage scholar Ryan Anderson notes the same thing in a recent article. He identifies a central problem as a corrupted idea of “discrimination,” which casts many commonsense judgments as “discriminatory.” This then affects far more than strictly sexual behavior. Gravely threatened, Anderson said, are the “privacy and safety of women and girls” in rest rooms, liberty of conscience for medical professionals (e.g., against participation in sexual anatomy reconstruction), and the activities of myriad other professionals and business persons.

As noted above, there is no point in beginning to fight for religious and conscience freedom if we are willing to take the objectionable actions when so required. We ought to obey laws we don’t like or think are unwise. Only if law requires something evil should it be disobeyed. And there may be a national SOGI law when there is a Democratic President and Congress — a not unreasonable possibility in the near future. Then faithful Christians will become an underclass, unable to contribute our talents to society. Numerous Christian institutions in which enormous love, work, and investment have been made will have to either close or be complicit in sin. It is that thought which is surely motivating the CCCU. But that does not make it right to be complicit in sin.

Whatever course politics and law take, we must continue to argue that justice mandates that people not be required to take evil actions. But the requirement to sin is exactly what the NEA and CCCU have accepted.

via Institutional Exemptions and the Sacrifice of Principle — Juicy Ecumenism

Mainstream news media and Democrat politicians silent after illegal immigrant murders police officer

WINTERY KNIGHT

California Police Officer Ronil Singh California Police Officer Ronil Singh

Did you hear about the news story of a California police officer being murdered by an illegal immigrant during a traffic stop? Well, if you get your news from left-wing media sources, then you probably didn’t. The North American news media had almost nothing to say about it. I only found the story on a British newspaper’s web site, the UK Telegraph.

They wrote:

A manhunt has been launched after an illegal immigrant gunman shot dead a California police officer during a traffic stop.

The suspect had been stopped for possible drink driving when he shot the officer, Ronil Singh.

[…]Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson in California said authorities have identified, but won’t yet name the illegal immigrant suspect.

They believed he was still in the area, around 100 miles southeast of San Francisco, and was armed and dangerous.

Sheriff Christianson said: “This suspect…

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Five Signs of a False Gospel — Pulpit & Pen

[Reformation Charlotte] The gospel, or “good news,” is essentially the revelation of Jesus Christ to the world for the purpose of reconciling God’s people to Himself. Sadly, there is much perversity masquerading as the gospel, yet it’s designed to lead man away from the truth, and into a false sense of relationship with the Creator. Many cults and false religions have arisen contrary to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3), but there are far more subtle attacks on the biblical gospel that, in many cases, go unnoticed, and are poisoning the church today. Let’s review 5 telling marks that a gospel being preached is false.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. –Galatians 1:6-7

1.) The gospel exalts man. This may sound like an obvious one, but sadly, so many preachers today preach a gospel that exalts man. Arminianism is perhaps the most notorious of these. Man is said, contrary to Scripture, to have within himself some level of “goodness” to be able to “choose” God. Scripture teaches that man cannot choose God (Romans 3:11) because we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

Others may teach that God has chosen to save man, not solely according to the purposes of His own will (Eph 1:11), but because of some inherent value in us. Sure, we have some value to God–we are created in His image. We were also created to glorify Him. But Scripture clearly teaches that it is not because of any value or goodness in us that God has chosen to save us, he chose to save us to display His own glory (Romans 9:23).

This mark of a false gospel places our hope in something false–a hope in something other than Christ alone. It places our hope in something within ourselves, and God will not share His glory with any other.

2.) The gospel teaches that you are saved from temporal afflictions. This is mostly found in the Prosperity, Health and Wealth, and Word of Faith movements. Essentially, it teaches that when you are saved, you no longer have to suffer from worldly calamities such as poverty, sickness, and disease. Further, it teaches that if you do suffer from these things, that your faith simply isn’t strong enough. Often, your level of faith is purportedly reflected in how much money you give to the organization propagating this false teaching.

This teaching can certainly lead people astray, giving some who are not truly born again a false sense of security in practices such as tithing and seed-faith offering. Once again, Christ as the sole object of our faith is diminished and our faith is placed in our good works and is evidenced by our prosperity.

The apostle Paul teaches worldly struggles are not only likely but that God uses them for His glory, in which our purpose is to glorify God.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong…” –2 Corinthians 2:10-11

3.) Emphasis is placed on the Holy Spirit more than Jesus Christ. Many charismatic churches teach a gospel that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit more than the work of Christ. Certainly, the Holy Spirit, equal with the Father and Christ, is worthy of our acknowledgment. But the Work of the Holy Spirit is always to point to Christ and not to Himself (John 16:14-15). Yet these charismatic churches, in many ways, teach that the Holy Spirit is the primary end of our salvation and that it is manifested through signs and wonders performed by those who have “received Him.” This often results in aberrant teachings such as that speaking in tongues is a necessary evidence of salvation.

Jesus Christ, however, is the primary ends of our salvation. As stated in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 above, His grace is sufficient. Seeking for signs and wonders, Christ said, is evidence of a wicked and adulterous people (Matthew 16:4).

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. –Philippians 2:9-11

4.) It is attractive to the world. Another sign that a gospel being preached is false is that it is attractive to the world. Many false gospels contain half-truths and, even in some ways, may sound very much like the gospel. But the world is impatient with the inward work of regeneration and sanctification through Christ. They seek fulfillment through entertainment and other carnal means which give them a false impression of their own piety. The message of Christ’s bloody death on the cross and his endurance of God’s wrath is watered down to the point that it is meaningless, while rock bands, laser light shows, and music devoid of any theological substance are echoed throughout the churches that teach this way. In other words, if the world is not offended by the gospel message being preached, it is false.

Scripture teaches that Christ is offensive, even calling Him the “rock of offense (1 Peter 2:8),” and that the gospel is foolish to the world.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. –1 Corinthians 1:18

5.) The gospel is not derived from Scripture. Many false churches teach that Scripture is insufficient to receive the knowledge of the grace of God. This is most prevalent in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Most cults have some form of this aberrant teaching as well, however, there are plenty of other churches, “evangelical churches,” that have strayed from the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) as well. We have seen in recent years pastors like Andy Stanley stray away from the authority of Scripture as well. This opens the door to all sorts of error, most of it significant and eternally damning.

The Scriptures themselves are the testimony of Christ and His plan of redemption. They are the complete revelation of Jesus Christ sovereignly preserved by the Holy Spirit to teach, reprove, and equip the saints for everything necessary in this life. There is nothing else that we need to be made complete in Him.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:16-17

Yet, false gospels that are not derived from Scripture always end up being a teaching that is contrary to the biblical gospel. It always ends up being a gospel of meritorious works as opposed to grace, or a gospel of some other (co)savior and (co)redeemer as opposed to Christ alone. It always minimizes the exclusivity of Christ as the only Lord and gives many a false hope in other beliefs and religions.

It is Christ alone who saves and it is Christ alone who is King. If your church is teaching another gospel or if you notice any of these signs of a false gospel in your church, it may be time to move. Don’t just sit there and put up with it.

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. –2 Corinthians 11:4

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Reformation Charlotte]

via Five Signs of a False Gospel — Pulpit & Pen