Daily Archives: January 10, 2019

Brannon Howse: January 9, 2019 | Worldview Weekend

Topic: Being a successful male leader of courage and conviction can lead to a psychological disorder according to the American Psychological Association. Topic: The APA has declared that masculinity can lead to homophobia and by phobia they mean an unreasonable fear. In other words, they believe masculinity can make you crazy. They also declare masculinity is marked by competitiveness, dominance and aggression. In other words, a man that works to achieve success is too competitive. A man that has unwavering convictions is being domineering. And a man that stands up for truth and opposes political correctness/cultural marxism is being aggressive. Topic: Brannon shares how the goal is the destruction of men as principled leaders of courage so the brainwashing of his family, friends, community, and nation can be successful without any opposition. Brannon beings to share how the communists removed leaders from within the ranks of the POWs during the Korean War so they could not hinder the brainwashing operation by refuting the communist lies and thus disrupting the brainwashing that is achieved in part through the pressure of group consensus. Topic: We take your calls. 

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— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-january-9-2019

Thursday Briefing Jan. 10, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

After trying to reinvent itself, Planned Parenthood doubles down on their “core mission” as an abortion provider

New York Times reveals that it’s not very healthy to be a woman, particularly a pregnant woman, who works for Planned Parenthood

What New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to expanded abortion rights tells us about the modern Democratic Party

Can California move even further left? Gavin Newsom thinks so and has a plan to do just that

German reporter accused of making up facts in characterization of rural America. What does this tell us about truth and why it matters?

The post Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

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— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/01/10/briefing-1-10-19/

“There is no such thing as transgender”

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. (Genesis 5:2)

Though some people these days (and fewer than we are presented with by the news) claim that there has been some sort of mistake, or that they don’t feel right in their gender, and abuse the medical profession to change that, there’s no such thing as mistakes with God. He made them male and female, period. If a person doesn’t feel right int heir own physiology, there is a mistake with them, not with God.

“You’re either XX or XY. That’s it. … This notion that you are something other than your biology is a cultural construct intended as an assault on God.” John MacArthur

Transgender is a rebellion against God because He made each person as He intended, male or female. Claiming that one…

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Throwback Thursday ~ Clinging to the Golden Calf: 7 Godly Responses When Someone Says You’re Following a False Teacher

Michelle Lesley

 Originally published January 16, 2015

false teacherEver heard of Jeroboam? If you’ve read your Old Testament, the name probably rings a bell, but, let’s face it, it’s hard to keep all those Jeroboams, Rehoboams, Ahinoams, and Abinoams straight, right? Well, let’s read a little bit about Jeroboam:

And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of…

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For Trump, Pelosi-Schumer clown show is the gift that keeps on giving

Congressional Democrats have a serious problem.  It is not the fact that many of them appear to dislike President Trump, which they are free to do.  Rather, it is the fact that their arguments have become predictable and stale, mere talking points and sound bites, always placing the blame on someone else.  The Democratic response to the president’s border speech demonstrated this to perfection.  As a result, Democrats have little chance to sway public opinion and are likely helping Republicans and the president on the issue of border security.

Tuesday night, President Trump delivered a powerful speech from the Oval Office regarding the need for strong border security.  During the speech, Trump laid out specific facts explaining why the country needs to secure the border and how his plan would accomplish this.  According to Fox News, at one point during the speech, Trump directly addressed his colleagues, stating, “Wealthy politicians … don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.”  The speech was effective and convincing.

Prior to the speech, Democrats demanded an opportunity to issue a rebuttal.  (It is difficult to understand how to rebut a speech you have not yet heard unless you are going to make canned remarks.)  Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer addressed the American public and, predictably, implied that the president is a liar.  Specifically, according to Fox News, Pelosi stated: “Much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice.”  Ironically, according to NJTVNews, Senator Bob Menendez made the identical argument before the president even delivered his speech, stating, “And that warning is, ‘The comments you are about to hear are not based on fact, and are likely to include misinformation, blatant lies and fear mongering.'”

In other words, Pelosi and Schumer utilized the national stage Tuesday night to repeat the same talking points they and their Democratic colleagues have made on many prior occasions.  They offered no facts or substantive information in their rebuttal.  Rather, they provided predictable and stale soundbites and blamed the president and Republicans for the situation on the border and the government shutdown.

Democrats have done this before.  For example, during Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, many Senate Democrats questioned his credibility and honesty despite the fact that the allegations against him were uncorroborated, unsubstantiated, and discredited.  Additional instances where Democrats have tried to deflect the blame from themselves can be found here.

It does not appear that this tactic will work on this occasion.      

According to Dan Bongino, public support for the border wall has reached an all-time high.  As Bongino pointed out in a recent article, a new Quinnipiac poll of 1,147 voters found that 43% now support a border wall, and 54% oppose it.  In August, support was at 38%, thereby reflecting a five-point jump in a relatively short period of time.  More importantly for the president, 86% of Republicans and 47% of independents support building the wall, while 90% of Democrats oppose it.

President Trump spoke directly to the American people Tuesday night and explained why the country needs strong border security and how he intends to accomplish this.  He referenced specific facts to support his vision and plan.  On the other hand, the Democratic response was abysmal.  Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi predictably attacked the president’s character, blamed him for the shutdown, and referenced the all too familiar “fear-mongering” sound bite, none of which directly addressed the president’s points.

In a Bloomberg opinion piece, Jonathan Bernstein summed up their rebuttal perfectly, stating: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a predictably bad response to President Donald Trump’s immigration speech on Tuesday night.  Well, maybe even worse than most people would’ve predicted.”  Bernstein in entirely correct.  It was flat, predictable, and unconvincing.

Republicans and President Trump should thank them for their help.

Mr. Hakim is a political writer, commentator, and attorney.  His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker and other online publications.


— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/01/for_trump_pelosischumer_clown_show_is_the_gift_that_keeps_on_giving.html

Five Main Points of Doctrine — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The year of our Lord 2018–19 marks the four-hundredth anniversary of the meeting of the Synod of Dort in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. The synod was convened in order to settle the ongoing controversy in the Dutch churches regarding the teaching of Jacobus Arminius and his followers on the topic of election. The document produced by the synod, the Canons of Dort, affirmed five main points of doctrine in response to the errors of the Arminians. These five points are often described today as the “doctrines of grace.” They are also frequently associated with the acronym TULIP (total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints), even though this acronym alters the sequence of the points adopted and in some cases may offer a misleading impression of the canons’ teaching.

This article will follow the sequence of the canons. Though it is often forgotten, this sequence was already established by the time the Synod of Dort convened in 1618. Before the meeting of the synod, the Arminians had presented their teaching in the form of five opinions. The five points of the Canons of Dort were written, therefore, as a direct reply to the errors of Arminius and his followers. They were written not to offer a complete statement of the Reformed faith but to settle the controversy regarding Calvinist soteriology provoked by the teaching of Arminius.

In the course of its deliberations, the Synod of Dort judged the five Arminian articles to be contrary to the Word of God. Against the Arminian teachings of divine election based on foreseen faith, universal atonement, resistible or ineffectual grace, and the possibility of a fall from grace, the canons set forth the biblical doctrines of unconditional election, definite atonement or particular redemption, radical depravity, effectual grace, and the perseverance of the saints. On each of these points, the canons first present a positive statement of the Scriptural teaching and then conclude with a rejection of the corresponding Arminian errors.

First Point: Unconditional Election

In the opening articles of the first main point of doctrine, the canons summarize the most important aspects of the biblical gospel. These include the fact that “all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death” (article 1), that God has manifested His love in the sending of His only begotten Son (article 2), and that God’s anger continues to rest upon those who do not believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (article 3). Within the framework of these truths, the canons address the fundamental question to which the biblical doctrine of election is addressed: Why do some believe and repent at the preaching of the gospel but others remain in their sins and under the just condemnation of God? The answer to this question at its deepest level is God’s unconditional election in Christ of some persons to salvation:

The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from [God’s] eternal decision. For all His works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision He graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of His chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by His just judgment He leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us His act—unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just—of distinguishing between people equally lost. (article 6)

Because God’s sovereign and gracious purpose of election is the source of faith, the canons go on to assert that it cannot therefore be based on faith. God does not elect to save anyone “on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition, as though it were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen” (article 8). Faith is not a meritorious work but is itself a gracious gift that God grants to those whom He calls according to His purpose (Acts 13:48; Eph. 2:8–9; Phil. 1:29).

The conversion of those who are called through the ministry of the gospel must not be credited to them, “as though one distinguishes himself by free choice from others who are furnished with equal or sufficient grace for faith and conversion (as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains).”

After articulating the scriptural teaching of unconditional election, the canons further affirm that this sovereign and gracious election of a particular number of people to salvation means that some sinners have been “passed by” and “left” in their sins (article 15). Those whom God does not elect to save in Christ belong to the company of all fallen sinners who “by their own fault” have willfully plunged themselves into a “common misery.” In the case of the elect, God mercifully and graciously elects to grant them salvation in and through the work of Christ (Eph. 1:3–7). In the case of the reprobate, God demonstrates His justice by choosing to withhold His grace and to finally condemn them for their sins and unbelief (Rom. 9:22–24).

Second Point: Definite Atonement

Of the five points of doctrine summarized in the canons, the second is given the briefest treatment. In the opening articles of this second point, the canons affirm that the only possible way for sinful human beings to escape the condemnation and death that their sins deserve lies in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on their behalf (article 2). Christ’s substitutionary work of atonement is the only way God’s justice can be satisfied and fallen sinners can be restored to favor with Him. After emphasizing the need for Christ’s atoning work on the cross, the canons affirm the infinite value and worth of Christ’s satisfaction. Christ’s atoning sacrifice “is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins” and “is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.” Therefore, the church must proclaim the gospel of salvation through Christ to “all nations and peoples, to whom God in His good pleasure sends the gospel.” The church is called to proclaim “indiscriminately” that all who believe in Christ crucified and turn from their sins shall not perish but have eternal life.

After establishing the need for Christ’s atoning work and affirming its infinite value and sufficiency, the authors of the canons set forth the central thesis of the second point of doctrine. The atoning work of Christ was by God’s design and intention provided for the elect in particular:

For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of His Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that He might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which He confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to Him by the Father; that He should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, He acquired for them by His death); that He should cleanse them by His blood from all their sins, both original and actual. (article 8)

Third and Fourth Points: Radical Depravity and Effectual Grace

In the third and fourth main points of doctrine, the canons set forth the scriptural teaching regarding the radical depravity of fallen sinners and the effectual work of Christ’s Spirit in regeneration and conversion.

The position of the canons on the plight of sinful man is starkly portrayed in the first five articles of this section of the canons. In the first and third articles, a sharp contrast is drawn between man’s original state of integrity as he was created by God and his sinful state or radical depravity after the fall.

Man was originally created in the image of God and was furnished in his mind with a true and salutary knowledge of his Creator and things spiritual, in his will and heart with righteousness, and in all his emotions with purity; indeed, the whole man was holy. However, rebelling against God at the devil’s instigation and by his own free will, he deprived himself of these outstanding gifts. Rather, in their place he brought upon himself blindness, terrible darkness, futility, and distortion of judgment in his mind; perversity, defiance, and hardness in his heart and will; and finally impurity in all his emotions. (article 1)

Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform (Ps. 51:5; John 3:5–7; Eph. 2:1–3; Rom. 8:7, 8; 1Cor. 2:14). (article 3)

The canons begin their treatment of the work of the Spirit in the application of redemption by stressing that the gospel must be published to all the nations. In this publication of the gospel, God

seriously and most genuinely . . . makes known in His Word what is pleasing to Him: that those who are called should come to Him. Seriously He also promises rest for their souls and eternal life to all who come to him and believe. (article 8)

This means that the blame does not belong with Christ or the gospel when sinners refuse to believe and repent when called through the gospel. God sincerely calls everyone through the gospel to believe, promising salvation to all without distinction who answer this call through faith and repentance. The fault for the unbelief and impenitence of many is, therefore, entirely their own.

What about those who do believe and repent—who are converted—at the preaching of the gospel? Are they to be credited for their faith and repentance as though these were their own accomplishments? The authors of the canons answer this question first by denying that such faith and repentance are to be credited to the believer and second by affirming that faith and repentance are the fruit of the Spirit’s working through the gospel. The conversion of those who are called through the ministry of the gospel must not be credited to them, “as though one distinguishes himself by free choice from others who are furnished with equal or sufficient grace for faith and conversion (as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains)” (article 10). Not at all. For just as God from eternity chose His own in Christ,

so within time He effectively calls them, grants them faith and repentance . . . in order that they may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called them out of darkness into this marvelous light, and may boast not in themselves, but in the Lord, as Apostolic words frequently testify in Scripture.

The biblical teaching of election preserves the truth that salvation is God’s work from first to last.

In the following articles of the third and fourth points, the canons provide a biblical account of the manner of the Spirit’s working in the heart and life of the believer. Speaking of the Spirit’s work in applying the gospel, the canons affirm that God, by the Spirit, powerfully enlightens the mind of believers “so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God” (article 11). Furthermore, by “the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit,” God also “penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised.” This work of the Spirit includes: giving to the sinner’s will, otherwise captive to sin, the readiness to do good; making the will, otherwise dead and lifeless to the things of God, begin to live and become receptive to the gospel’s call; making the will, otherwise unwilling because unable, begin to desire the right; and activating and enlivening the will, otherwise inactive and lifeless, to produce the good fruits that come from a tree that has been made good. In so doing, the Spirit of God effectively enables the sinner, by nature spiritually dead and in bondage to sin, to turn willingly in repentance and faith to God:

As a result, all those in whose hearts God works in this marvelous way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectively reborn and do actually believe. And then the will, now renewed, is not only activated and motivated by God but in being activated by God is also itself active. For this reason, man himself, by that grace which he has received, is also rightly said to believe and to repent. (article 12)

Fifth Point: Perseverance of the Saints

The opening articles of the fifth main point acknowledge that believers continually struggle with sin and temptation, and even on occasion fall into grievous sin (e.g., Peter’s denial). Within the setting of this biblically realistic view of the ongoing struggle with remaining sin, the canons affirm the triune God’s gracious preservation of true believers. If left to their own resources, believers “could not remain standing in this grace” for a moment (article 3). Only as God, being faithful and merciful, strengthens and enables them are believers able to continue in that state into which God has brought them through fellowship with Christ. The good news of the gospel is not only that God has provided an atonement through Christ and brought us by the Spirit through the gospel into fellowship with Christ. The gospel also promises that God will prove faithful and merciful by preserving His people within that fellowship.

For God, who is rich in mercy, according to His unchangeable purpose of election does not take His Holy Spirit from His own completely, even when they fall grievously. Neither does He let them fall down so far that they forfeit the grace of adoption and the state of justification, or commit the sin which leads to death (the sin against the Holy Spirit), and plunge themselves, entirely forsaken by him, into eternal ruin (John 10:27–30; 17:11–12; Rom. 8:35–39; Phil. 1:6). (article 6)

God’s Glory and the Believer’s Comfort

A number of years ago, J. I. Packer memorably summarized these five points, the doctrines of grace, in a pithy statement: “God saves sinners.” The biblical teaching of election preserves the truth that salvation is God’s work from first to last. Contrary to the Arminian view, which ultimately rests the salvation of sinners on their choice to believe and to persevere in faith, the Bible teaches that the triune God saves by granting to believers what is required for their salvation. In accordance with His purpose of election, the Father gives the Son, whose atoning sacrifice effectively procures the salvation of those for whom He died. Through the effectual ministry of the Holy Spirit, believers are unfailingly granted the gift of faith and repentance by which they are united to Christ and become beneficiaries of His work on their behalf. For this reason, those whom God sovereignly and graciously saves can echo the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:7: “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

Because God alone saves sinners, all whom He saves may properly ascribe all praise to God for their salvation. At the same time, they may confidently believe that Christ will save them to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). In the stirring words of the canons, they can confess that God’s

plan cannot be changed, his promise cannot fail, the calling according to his purpose cannot be revoked, the merit of Christ as well as his interceding and preserving cannot be nullified, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit can neither be invalidated or wiped out. (article V.8)

Dr. Cornelis P. Venema is president and professor of doctrinal studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Ind. He is author of numerous books, including But for the Grace of God: An Exposition of the Canons of Dort and The Promise of the Future. He is also coeditor of the Mid-America Journal of Theology.

Five Main Points of Doctrine — Ligonier Ministries Blog

January 10, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

The Characteristics of Christians

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.… As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.… As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (2:20–21, 24–25, 27)

Opposite antichrists are true Christians who are people committed to the truth. In his second letter, John wrote to the church, “I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth” (v. 4a); and again in his third epistle he encouraged his readers with the following: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (v. 4). The apostle’s portrait of Christians as ones who walk in the truth (cf. 2 Cor. 4:2; Eph. 6:14; 1 Thess. 2:13) is in sharp distinction to the antichrists who propagate spiritual lies. In the end, there are two obvious reasons that believers are not led astray: they accept the faith, and they remain faithful to it.

christians accept the faith

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.… As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (2:20–21, 27)

The false teachers who threatened John’s readers employed the terms for knowledge and anointing to describe their religious experience. They arrogantly saw themselves as possessing an elevated and esoteric form of divine knowledge, and as the recipients of a special, secret, transcendent anointing. That led them to believe they were privy to truth that the uninitiated lacked. John’s response, which was both a rebuttal to the antichrists and a reassurance to the believers, was to assert that, in reality, all true Christians have an anointing from the Holy One.

Because believers have received that anointing, they have the true understanding of God that comes exclusively through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). They do not need any secret, special, or transcendent understanding or esoteric insight. Anointing (chrisma) literally means “ointment” or “oil” (cf. Heb. 1:9). In this text it refers figuratively to the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 1:21–22), who has taken up residency in believers at the behest of Jesus Christ, the Holy One (cf. Luke 4:34; Acts 3:14), and reveals through Scripture all they need to know (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:9–10).

In verse 21, John reiterates that believers have true knowledge of God by saying he had not written to them because they did not know the truth, but because they did know it. He then closes the verse with the axiomatic statement that no lie is of the truth—something cannot be simultaneously true and false. Because Christians are taught by the Spirit to know the truth, they can recognize doctrinal error for what it really is (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10–16). The apostle wrote as he did because his readers already knew the gospel and its attendant truths and would understand his appeal to the exclusivity of biblical truth. (For a basic discussion of truth’s incompatibility with error, see John MacArthur, Why One Way? [Nashville: W Publishing, 2002], 59–65; cf. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 2 Cor. 6:14–18; Gal. 1:6–9; 2 John 9–11.)

Verse 27 reiterates the truth that the anointing [Spirit-given knowledge of the truth] which John’s readers received from Him abides in them. They possessed the truth; it resided in them permanently (John 14:16–17; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13); they had no need for anyone to teach them. And because God’s truth is all-sufficient (Ps. 19:7–14; 2 Tim. 3:16–17) and incompatible with error, His anointing teaches … about all things, and is true and is not a lie.

When the apostle asserted that believers do not need other teachers, he was not advocating a mystical anti-intellectualism that spurns all human teachers. On the contrary, the Lord has given the church godly pastors, elders, and teachers “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12; cf. v. 11; 1 Cor. 12:28). John’s point is that believers must not rely on human wisdom or man-centered philosophy (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18–2:9; Col. 2:8) but on the teaching of God’s Word by Spirit-gifted human teachers and the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit.

christians remain faithful

As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. (2:24–25)

Although John knew that the true sheep could never lose their salvation (John 10:27–29; cf. 1 Peter 1:5), he exhorted his audience to persevere, to let that [truth] abide in them which they heard from the beginning. Believers are commanded to actively persevere in the truth because it is the gracious means by which they are sanctified (John 8:31; 1 Cor. 15:1–2; Phil. 2:12–13; Col. 1:22–23; 2 Tim. 3:14) even as faith is the means by which they are graciously justified (Rom. 3:24–26). The word twice rendered abide and once abides is from menō, which refers to a continual action of remaining (cf. its use in John 6:56; 8:31; 14:17; 15:4, 9–10; 1 Cor. 13:13; 2 Tim. 3:14). Those who continue in what they have heard show that what they have heard from the beginning abides in them, and they also will abide in the Son and in the Father (1 John 3:17; 4:13).

The ultimate prize for those who remain faithful is, of course, eternal life. Concerning Himself, the true Bread of Life, and those who are spiritually united to Him, Jesus promised,

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever. (John 6:53–58; cf. 14:1–6; 2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:2; 3:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5; Jude 21)

The contrast between antichrists and Christians is absolutely clear. Antichrists deny the faith, depart from the faith, and seek to deceive the faithful. Christians, on the other hand, affirm the faith and remain faithful to the end—they cannot be permanently deceived. The Westminster Confession of Faith sets forth the following regarding the understanding of truth and perseverance:

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (i:vii)

They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. (xvii:i)

All Christians can have lasting comfort in the truth of those words.[1]

Defense Against Heresy (vv. 24–27)

Twice in this section John has identified the denial of Jesus by the false teachers as the work of antichrist, that is, as the work of a terrifying demonic influence upon the congregations to whom he is writing. But if that is so, then the Christians might well ask, But what can we do against it? How can we guard ourselves against this adversary? John’s answer is that Christians are to make use of the two main weapons of defense that have been given to them.

The Word of God

The first of the Christians’ weapons is the word which they had heard from the beginning. Clearly, this refers to the gospel or basic apostolic teaching which they had heard at the beginning and which they had believed. In its fullest sense, however, it refers to the entire teaching of the Word of God. They are to let this Word abide in them and therefore guide and form them. By contrast, they are not to neglect it or minimize it while running off in a search for some new thing. For their part, Christians are to do as Paul advised Timothy:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:14–17).

The Holy Spirit

By itself the apostolic teaching is not enough to keep Christians in the truth, however important and indispensable it may be, for the Gnostics had also heard the truth and yet had departed from it. The other element, which John’s readers have and the false teachers do not have, is the Holy Spirit who indeed teaches the Christian by making the Word come alive for him. John refers to the Holy Spirit by the phrases “the anointing” and “his anointing” (cf. v. 20). In these verses John touches on one aspect of that which became known at the time of the Reformation as the priesthood of all believers or, from the other side, the perspicuity of the Word. It is the truth that the believer in Christ is not dependent on a higher order of churchman, whether priest or Gnostic, to interpret the Word of God for him. Rather, through the indwelling Spirit he has the means of understanding the Word for himself and of using what he finds there to combat heresy.

When John says that the Christians of his day “do not need anyone to teach” them, the statement must be understood in its context. It does not mean, for instance, that there is no value at all in teaching or that there is no such thing as a teaching ministry in the church. In fact, as Bruce observes, “What is John himself doing in this letter if he is not ‘teaching’ his readers?” It only means that any valid and therefore useful teaching of the Lord’s people must be done by those who are themselves among the Lord’s people and that if Christians are confronted by the false teaching of unbelievers, they have within themselves the means of exploring the Scriptures and thus dividing truth from error. In knowing the truth they can remain firm.[2]

24. Let that therefore abide in you. He annexes an exhortation to the former doctrine; and that it might have more weight, he points out the fruit they would receive from obedience. He then exhorts them to perseverance in the faith, so that they might retain fixed in their hearts what they had learnt.

But when he says, from the beginning, he does not mean that antiquity alone was sufficient to prove any doctrine true; but as he has already shewn that they had been rightly instructed in the pure gospel of Christ, he concludes that they ought of right to continue in it. And this order ought to be especially noticed; for were we unwilling to depart from that doctrine which we have once embraced, whatever it may be, this would not be perseverance, but perverse obstinacy, Hence, discrimination ought to be exercised, so that a reason for our faith may be made evident from God’s word: then let inflexible perseverance follow.

The Papists boast of “a beginning,” because they have imbibed their superstitions from childhood. Under this pretence they allow themselves obstinately to reject the plain truth. Such perverseness shews to us, that we ought always to begin with the certainty of truth.

If that which ye have heard. Here is the fruit of perseverance, that they in whom God’s truth remains, remain in God. We hence learn what we are to seek in every truth pertaining to religion. He therefore makes the greatest proficiency, who makes such progress as wholly to cleave to God. But he in whom the Father dwells not through his Son, is altogether vain and empty, whatever knowledge he may possess. Moreover, this is the highest commendation of sound doctrine, that it unites us to God, and that in it is found whatever pertains to the real fruition of God.

In the last place, he reminds us that it is real happiness when God dwells in us. The words he uses are ambiguous. They may be rendered, “This is the promise which he has promised to us, even eternal life.” You may, however, adopt either of these renderings, for the meaning is still the same. The sum of what is said is, that we cannot live otherwise than by nourishing to the end the seed of life sown in our hearts, John insists much on this point, that not only the beginning of a blessed life is to be found in the knowledge of Christ, but also its perfection. But no repetition of it can be too much, since it is well known that it has ever been a cause of ruin to men, that being not content with Christ, they have had a hankering to wander beyond the simple doctrine of the gospel.[3]

24–25 After exhorting the audience to allow what they “heard from the beginning” to “remain in [them],” John presents the positive version of the test of v. 23: If “what you have heard from the beginning remains in you,” then “you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” Similar language is used in the farewell section of the fourth gospel, where “remaining” in Jesus and the Father has the idea of maintaining a permanent relationship with them (Jn 14:23; 15:4–9). The tests in 1 John 2:18–27 make this relationship contingent on a creedal confession: those who do not accept John’s orthodox teaching cannot be in fellowship with the Father. The benefit for those who do hold to this confession is mentioned in v. 25, namely, “eternal life” (see comment at 1 Jn 1:2).[4]

2:24 / The Elder’s purposes in this section of 1 John are to clarify for the remaining Johannine Christians what the present situation actually is with regard to the opponents and their secession (18–19, 22–23), to reassure them of their own spiritual standing vis-à-vis the false teachers (20–21, 26–27), and in vv. 24–25 to exhort them to remain loyal to what they have already received, the community’s tradition. This is the teaching which they have heard from the beginning (cf. 2:7; 3:11; 2 John 5–6). He urges them to let it remain in them, to abide and to last, so that they stay faithful to the gospel. What you have heard implies oral preaching. What the writer heard he proclaims to his readers (1:1, 3, 5), the message (logos) which they have heard from the beginning (2:7; 3:11), just as Paul passed on to his churches as sacred the tradition which he had received (1 Cor. 11:2; 15:1–3; Gal. 1:11–12). If the readers allow this teaching to remain in them, then, as a consequence, they themselves will remain in the Son and in the Father. There is a direct tie between faithfulness to the gospel and remaining in fellowship with God and God’s Son.

2:25 / There is a promise which belongs to the Christian who perseveres to the end, “remaining in the Father and the Son” (v. 24): eternal life. To be and to remain in the Son (and the Father) is life. This gift from God of eternal life is in the Son, just as it is also in the Father (cf. John 5:26, 40; 1 John 5:11). To be in the Son (to have the Son, 5:12) is to have or to abide in eternal life. In John 17:3 eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ, another expression that is the virtual equivalent of believing, abiding, and being in. As always in the Gospel and letters of John, this eternal life is a present possession, a formerly eschatological blessing now realized in those who believe in Jesus and love their brothers (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14).[5]

Let God’s truth remain in you (verses 24–25)

Verse 24 in Greek begins with the word you in an emphatic position, to contrast with the liars of verses 22–23 who deny that Jesus is the Christ. The difference has already been made by the grace of God, in bringing us out of darkness into his light through the new birth. We do not have to create it, but to enjoy and preserve it. Six times in these six verses John uses the same verb, usually translated remain or ‘continue’, or in some versions ‘abide’. It comes three times here in verse 24. John loves this verb, which means ‘to take up a permanent address’, or ‘to make a settled home’. If we want to keep going and keep growing as Christians then the objective truth of God in Christ and in his written Word has to be allowed to settle in our minds and hearts as its permanent home.

It is not so much that we need to be learning new truth. Novelty in itself can be a great snare. Rather, we need to be learning more deeply and practising more fully the great truths we have been aware of from the start of our Christian experience (the beginning). Many of us modern Christians spend comparatively little time allowing the majestic truths of our faith to settle deeply into our consciousness. We spend a lot of time talking about our experience of living the Christian life, but not so much dwelling on the character of God, the person of Christ, his atoning death, his resurrection life, the person and activity of the Holy Spirit, and then our universal human sinfulness, the grace of God in salvation, the process of becoming like Jesus (sanctification) and the hope of glory. These truths exist as living realities, independent of us, but they need to be permanently living in our minds and wills. As with children, we shall need to be fed milk before we can progress to solids, but it is only by feeding on God’s truth that we can grow as Christians at all.

‘Practice makes perfect,’ we say; and it is obvious in many areas of human activity. I see it (and hear it!) as my children practise the piano and trombone. If you want to make a good tennis player you must practise that swing or that serve until it becomes a part of you, so that it is there to call on every time you need it—in the groove. Why don’t we think of the Christian life like that? John is telling us that it is only as we make time to let God’s Word work deeply in our lives that we shall remain in God. As Leith Samuel has often put it, ‘The Spirit of God takes the Word of God to make children of God.’

We can have every confidence in that Word. On a visit to Northern Ireland, I heard of a young man who was serving a long sentence for terrorist offences and who had been taking part in the ‘dirty protest’. The only thing left in his cell was a Gideons’ Bible and he devoted his time to reading it. But he could not understand its meaning, so he asked to see the prison chaplain, who told him to ask God, the Holy Spirit, to open his spiritual understanding. This he did, and it was not long before he was born again, came off the protest and began to grow rapidly as a Christian. The Word of God had rooted him into Christ, where he remains.

And this is what he promised us—even eternal life (verse 25). Although we have learned that the full enjoyment of that life awaits us beyond this world, Isaac Watts was right to sing, ‘The men of grace have found glory begun below.’ Eternal life begins here and now as the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence within the born-again Christian, planting the life of God within the soul of man. We can know God, not just know about him. We enter a personal relationship with him through faith which unites us to God now and for ever. The future inheritance is already, in part, a present possession. But the way we remain in God, deepening our knowledge of and love for him, and becoming fruitful Christians, is by ensuring that his truth has the priority in our lives. We shall never outgrow the need of his Word as our daily diet, any more than we outgrow the need for daily food. But for most of us eating is not an end in itself; it is a means to live effectively through the day and get our work done. Its ease of preparation, flavour, appearance or even presentation matters less than that we swallow and digest what we need.[6]

2:24–25. The false teachers have brought forth radically new teaching based on their “secret” knowledge. That is unnecessary. John’s word is nothing new but what they have heard from the beginning. He challenges us to hold fast to the tried and true Word of God delivered once and for all to the saints. If we do, we will remain, or abide (in the sense of fellowship) in the Son and in the Father. Only then can we rest in the promise of eternal life.

The issue here is not a concern about losing our salvation. We can be certain that we possess eternal life (2:1–6; 5:9–13, 20). The issue is reassurance in face of the false teaching they were receiving. False teaching brings questions about our salvation; true teaching based on God’s Word from the beginning reassures us of our salvation.[7]

Fellowship and Promise


John’s writing is anything but impersonal. The second person plural you appears numerous times, and in verses 24 and 27 even in direct address. The New American Standard Bible translates the introductory word you in these two verses “as for you.” John speaks directly to the readers and in effect says, “You, I want your attention!”

24. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.

By repeating words in verse 24 from a preceding section (v. 7), John stresses one basic thought:

  • Remain

When the readers hear the Christ-denying clamor all around them, how do they defend themselves against their opponents? John tells them exactly what to do. In a sense, he repeats what he already has told them in the first part of his epistle. “What you have heard from the beginning,” that is, the gospel (see 1:1, 3, 5; 2:7), let that Word remain in you. As Jesus says to the believers in the church of Philadelphia, “Hold on to what you have” (Rev. 3:11), so John exhorts the readers of his epistle to treasure the biblical message they have heard all along. That Word must reside in their souls, so that in every decision they make they are guided by the Word of God.

The New International Version, perhaps in an attempt to avoid repetition, renders the next clause in three words, “If it does.” Literally the text says, “If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.” John purposely stresses the concept remain, for he weaves it into this passage (vv. 24–28) six times. John expresses the same theme the psalmist voices: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11). John wants the reader to meditate on that Word and to live by it from day to day.

“If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” When the Word of God remains in you, says John, then as a consequence you will have fellowship with the Son and the Father. The Son and the Father take up their residence where the Word of God resides. Through the Word, the Son and the Father have fellowship with the believer and are able to communicate with him.

Purposely John lists the Son before the Father to indicate that the believer comes to the Father through the Son. This is in harmony with Jesus’ high-priestly prayer for the believers: “I pray … that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20–21; and compare 14:6).

  • Promise

If the believer cherishes the Word of God and experiences intimate fellowship with the Son and the Father, then he is also the recipient of eternal life (1:2–3). To have fellowship with the Son and the Father is to have eternal life.

“This is what [the Son] promised us—even eternal life.” The word this is equivalent to the expression eternal life. Christ has promised eternal life to everyone who believes in him (see John 3:15–16, 36; 5:24; 6:33, 40, 47, 54; 17:3). Eternal life is firmly anchored in Jesus Christ through God’s Word and Spirit.[8]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 101–104). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2004). The Epistles of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 73–74). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 198–199). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 452). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (p. 60). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Jackman, D. (1988). The message of John’s letters: living in the love of God (pp. 75–77). Leicester, England; Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 178). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 283–284). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

The Importance of Theological Accuracy (Podcast) — Cold Case Christianity

In this podcast, recorded during a church presentation, J. Warner Wallace offers examples from his career in law enforcement to illustrate the importance of defending the truth. How does our ability to defend truth help us to withstand trials and tribulations? What is the difference between belief THAT and belief IN?


The Importance of Theological Accuracy (Podcast) — Cold Case Christianity

Mid-Week in Pictures: It’s the Chuck & Nancy Show! | Power Line

(Steven Hayward) 

One thing where you’d think Democrats would get consistently good advice and help from Hollywood and their media pals is about doing TV. Think of Don Hewitt touching up JFK’s makeup for the Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960, or how the Bloodworth-Thomases helped stage Bill Clinton. I imagine the Hollywood/media glitterati were cringing last night at the Schumer-Pelosi response to Trump. Jeff Greenfield said they looked like they had been embalmed. Lots of people said you expected that at any moment they were going to burst into, “Live from New York! It’s Saturday Night!” (I imagine the SNL writers are working overtime on this week’s open at this moment.) The only thing missing was Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin. Judge for yourself, and then enjoy the meme-slide.

They Live, indeed.

And finally. . .

Sorry, I can’t. I just can’t. It would be wrong to juxtapose a worthy empowered feminist with Pelosi and Schumer. Our gun models deserve better.
— Read on www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/01/mid-week-in-pictures-its-the-chuck-nancy-show.php

If We Can No Longer Tell The Truth, We’ve Failed | Zero Hedge

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The Gulag Archipelago is not a distant memory; it lives on in every modern state, cloaked with modern-day technologies and the well-worn tools of suppression.

The last thing addicts want to hear is the truth: the only thing more terrifying than the truth is the possibility that they will lose access to whatever they’re addicted to: smack, Oxy, coke, alcohol, sex, porn, power, etc.

If we fail to tell addicts the truth, we fail them and ourselves. As long as co-dependents remain complicit in the addict’s destructive state, as long as those who know better keep silent because they don’t want to deal with the trauma, the addict is free to maintain the illusion that he/she is in control, that his/her secret is safe, etc., and manipulate those around them with lies and victimhood.

Not wanting to deal with the trauma of forcing those in denial to face up to reality is understandable: who wants to deal with the shock, denial, anger and depression that characterize facing up to a terrifying truth?

But we fail ourselves if we’re too weak to speak the truth and grind through the denial, anger and depression. If we opt for the easy way out, we’re just like the addict, who is also opting for the easy way out, i.e. finding refuge in the labryrinthine Kingdom of Lies.

The status quo is a Kingdom of Lies. “Raw data”, i.e. facts collected without regard to future interpretaion, are “processed” into the “right kind of data,” i.e. data that supports the status quo interpretation, which is that everything’s just fine thanks to the wise leadership of our self-serving elites.

The deeper you dig into the statistical foundation of GDP, the unemployment rate, trade deficits, etc., the more questions arise about the accuracy and agenda behind the headline numbers.

When insiders or hackers reveal the truth, the outrage of the status quo knows no bounds. Truth is intrinsically treasonous, as it undermines those gorging at the status quo’s trough of wealth and power.

The status quo exacts a high price from those who reveal the truth. Whistleblowers are hounded from their jobs, threatened by private-sector or government goons and thrown in prison on phony charges.

Complicity is always the easy option. Politicos know this, and their job is to grease the skids of complicity and silence with Savior State benefits and harshly punish whistleblowers.

The Gulag Archipelago is not a distant memory; it lives on in every modern state, cloaked with modern-day technologies and the well-worn tools of suppression. Communist states still prefer the absurd cliche of re-education camps, while so-called democracies use intimidation, limitations on free speech, de-platforming, shadow censorship and the ever-popular charges of treason and “fake-news” to suppress dissent and skeptical inquiry.

In the Kingdom of Lies, everything is spun, massaged, interpreted and fed to the corporate / state media for the benefit of those enjoying centralized wealth and power. But the spin is getting painfully obvious, and the interpretations blatantly self-serving.

For example, steep increases in taxes on diesel fuel are part of a wonderful plan to save the planet (no additional taxes on jet fuel for private jets, because those are our cronies’ toys).

If our governments and institutions can no longer tell us the truth because it undermines the ruling elites, they’ve failed the citizenry. And if we remain complicitly silent, then we’ve failed ourselves.

*  *  *
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-09/if-we-can-no-longer-tell-truth-weve-failed

Back To The USSR: How To Read Western News | Zero Hedge

“In the Cold War there was a notion going around that the Soviet and Western systems were converging and that they would meet in the middle, so to speak. Well, perhaps they did meet but kept on moving past each other…”

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The heroes of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers visit the fictional borough of Eatanswill to observe an election between the candidates of the Blue Party and the Buff Party. The town is passionately divided, on all possible issues, between the two parties. Each party has its own newspaper: the Eatanswill Gazette is Blue and entirely devoted to praising the noble Blues and excoriating the perfidious and wicked Buffs; the Eatanswill Independent is equally passionate on the opposite side of every question. No Buff would dream of reading the “that vile and slanderous calumniator, the Gazette”, nor Blue the ”that false and scurrilous print, the Independent”.

As usual with Dickens it is both exaggerated and accurate. Newspapers used to be screamingly partisan before “journalism” was invented. Soon followed journalism schools, journalism ethics and journalism objectivity: “real journalism” as they like to call it (RT isn’t of course). “Journalism” became a profession gilded with academical folderol; no longer the refuge of dropouts, boozers, failures, budding novelists and magnates like Lord Copper who know what they want and pay for it. But, despite the pretence of objectivity and standards, there were still Lord Coppers and a lot of Eatanswill. Nonetheless, there were more or less serious efforts to get the facts and balance the story. And Lord Coppers came and went: great newspaper empires rose and fell and there was actually quite a variety of ownership and news outlets. There was sufficient variance that a reader, who was neither Blue nor Buff, could triangulate and form a sense of what was going on.

In the Soviet Union news was controlled; there was no “free press”; there was one owner and the flavours were only slightly varied: the army paper, the party paper, the government paper, papers for people interested in literature or sports.But they all said the same thing about the big subjects. The two principal newspapers were Pravda (“truth”) and Izvestiya (“news”). This swiftly led to the joke that there was no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestiya. It was all pretty heavy handed stuff: lots of fat capitalists in top hats and money bags; Uncle Sam’s clothing dripping with bombs; no problems over here, nothing but problems over there. And it wasn’t very successful propaganda: most of their audience came to believe that the Soviet media was lying both about the USSR and about the West.

But time moves on and while thirty years ago 50 corporations controlled 90% of the US news media, today it’s a not very diverse six. As a result, on many subjects there is a monoview: has any Western news outlet reported, say, these ten true statements?

  1. People in Crimea are pretty happy to be in Russia.

  2. The US and its minions have given an enormous amount of weapons to jihadists.

  3. Elections in Russia reflect popular opinion polling.

  4. There really are a frightening number of well-armed nazis in Ukraine.

  5. Assad is pretty popular in Syria.

  6. The US and its minions smashed Raqqa to bits.

  7. The official Skripal story makes very little sense.

  8. Ukraine is much worse off, by any measurement, now than before Maidan.

  9. Russia actually had several thousand troops in Crimea before Maidan.

  10. There’s a documentary that exposes Browder that he keeps people from seeing.

I typed these out as they occurred to me. I could come up with another ten pretty easily. There’s some tiny coverage, far in the back pages, so that objectivity can be pretended, but most Western media consumers would answer they aren’t; didn’t; don’t; aren’t; isn’t; where?; does; not; what?; never heard of it.

Many subjects are covered in Western media outlets with a single voice. Every now and again there’s a scandal that reveals that “journalists” are richly rewarded for writing stories that fit. But after revelationsadmissions of biaspretending it never happened, the media ship calmly sails on (shedding passengers as it goes, though). Coverage of certain subjects are almost 100% false: Putin, Russia, Syria and Ukraine stand out. But much of the coverage of China and Iran also. Many things about Israel are not permitted. The Russia collusion story is (privately) admitted to be fake by an outlet that covers it non stop. Anything Trump is so heavily flavoured that it’s inedible. And it’s not getting any better: PC is shutting doors everywhere and the Russian-centred “fake news” meme is shutting more. Science is settled but genders are not and we must be vigilant against the “Russian disinformation war“. Every day brings us a step closer to a mono media of the One Correct Opinion. All for the Best Possible Motives, of course.

It’s all rather Soviet in fact.

So, in a world where the Integrity Initiative is spending our tax dollars (pounds actually) to make sure that we never have a doubleplusungood thought or are tempted into crimethink, (and maybe they created the entire Skripal story – more revelations by the minute), what are we to make of our Free Media™? Well, that all depends on what you’re interested in. If it’s sports (not Russian athletes – druggies every one unlike brave Western asthmatics) or “beach-ready bodies” (not Russian drug takers of course, only wholesome Americans) – the reporting is pretty reasonable. Weather reports, for example (Siberian blasts excepted) or movie reviews (but all those Russian villains). But the rest is some weird merger of the Eatonswill Gazette and Independent: Blues/Buffs good! others, especially Russians, bad!

So, as they say in Russia, что делать? What to do? Well, I suggest we learn from the Soviet experience. After all, most Soviet citizens were much more sceptical about their home media outlets than any of my neighbours, friends or relatives are about theirs.

My suggestions are three:

  1. Read between the lines. A difficult art this and it needs to be learned and practised. Dissidents may be sending us hints from the bowels of Minitrue. For example, it’s impossible to imagine anyone seriously saying “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon“; it must have been written to subversively mock the official Russia panic. I have speculated elsewhere that the writers may have inserted clues that the “intelligence reports” on Russian interference were nonsense.

  2. Notice what they’re not telling you. For example: remember when Aleppo was a huge story two years ago? But there’s nothing about it now. One should wonder why there isn’t; a quick search will find videos like this (oops! Russian! not real journalism!) here’s one from Euronews. Clearly none of this fits the “last hospitals destroyed” and brutal Assad memes of two years ago; that’s why the subject has disappeared from Western media outlets. It is always a good rule to wonder why the Biggest Story Ever suddenly disappears: that’s a strong clue it was a lie or nonsense.

  3. Most of the time, you’d be correct to believe the opposite. Especially, when all the outlets are telling you the same thing. It’s always good to ask yourself cui bono: who’s getting what benefit out of making you believe something? It’s quite depressing how successful the big uniform lie is: even though the much-demonised Milosevic was eventually found innocent, even though Qaddafi was not “bombing his own people”, similar lies are believed about Assad and other Western enemies-of-the-moment. Believe the opposite unless there’s very good reason not to.

In the Cold War there was a notion going around that the Soviet and Western systems were converging and that they would meet in the middle, so to speak. Well, perhaps they did meet but kept on moving past each other. And so, the once reasonably free and varied Western media comes to resemble the controlled and uniform Soviet media and we in the West must start using Soviet methods to understand.

Always remember that the Soviet rulers claimed their media was free too; free from “fake news” that is.

Former Border Patrol Chief Obliterates Liberal Media’s ‘Fact-Checks’ of Trump’s Address

In the moments following President Trump’s address to the nation about border security on Tuesday, the liberal media sprinted to “fact-check” the President’s statements and claimed they were full of lies and misinformation. But in an appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan argued that it was the media that didn’t know what they were talking about.

Before rebuking the “fact-checks,” Morgan ripped the liberal media for acting as their own “self-appointed experts” who spout off their own opinions. “Go to the experts that are really working that,” he told them. “I’ll say, the President has done that. The President is talking to the leadership of CBP and the Border Patrol, and the rank in & file, and those are experts and they’re saying, ‘the wall works’. It doesn’t work everywhere. It’s not the end all to be all, but it works.

The first dubious liberal media claim on the chopping block was their suggestion that drugs coming across the border were negligible because most drug traffic came in through official points of entry.

Again, a complete disingenuous statement. So you want to say, because more drugs enter the points of entry, therefore it’s not a problem in between the ports. That’s just fictitious. It is correct, more drugs, enter throughout point of entry,” Morgan said before reiterating that there were “millions and millions of pounds of drugs” still coming in the other way.

Another liberal media suggestion Carlson picked Morgan’s brain on was their claim that studies showed illegal immigrants committed crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans. “I’ve never seen the study either and I pose that to somebody to show me that stat and show me how they can come up with that. Because can I show you the opposite,” he declared.

As Morgan further explained: “The sheriff of Yuma Arizona just published an article today, where he talked about in 2005, when they started putting the fence — the wall up in his area, violent crime, all crime drastically reduced in his area.”

Feigning shock, Carlson quipped, “So you’re saying — I don’t want to blow anyone’s mind here, but the people telling us that they were fact-checking the speech may not have really known what they were talking about?” Morgan agreed.

At the top of that, Carlson asked Morgan to comment on the liberal media talking point (borrowed from the Democratic Party) that Trump was peddling a “manufactured crisis”. And Morgan wasn’t happy (click “expand” to read):

Morgan had a point. While the liberal media would spout off and twist statistics to support their assertions, they would rarely bring on seasoned Border Patrol agents who knew what’s happening on the ground. And if they did, they were with the minority that disagreed with the department.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

The Democrats’ Seismic Shift on Immigration | Frontpage Mag

Erasing boundaries, embracing chaos.

The Apostle James might not have thought much of Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi or Dianne Feinstein or Bill Clinton or even Barack “He-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong” Obama. They are just some of the political prodigies who change their policies as often as Lady Gaga changes her clothes—about five times a day.

James has a juicy jibe for such political pendulums. He calls them “double-minded,” warning his readers that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” If you are going to swing from policy to policy like Tarzan the Ape Man, at least clarify and justify your political flip-flopping.

A little over a decade ago, the Democrats were singing in four-part harmony to President Trump’s “we need another brick in the wall” anthem. “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants into this country,” belted out Barack Obama.

Cue prima donna Pelosi, 2008: “Do we have a commitment to secure the border? Yes.” Why? “Because we do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.” Solo from Chuck Shumer, Georgetown, 2009: “Illegal immigration is wrong. A primary goal of comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future illegal immigration.”

In 2013, each of the 54 Democrats in the Senate voted for $46 billion in border security, which included 700 miles in border fencing. Blaring through their Marxist megaphones they pleaded the plight of low-skilled American workers whose wages were hit by cheap immigrant labor. The burden on America’s welfare state would be intolerable, they wailed.

So what are the sirens luring the Democrats to the perilous shores of open borders? Why now? Why so radically? Why display this double-mindedness in such a short span of time?

Commentators from conservative Dan Bongino to leftwing The Atlantic posit two political explanations. First, more illegals means more votes for the Democrats. Second, given the contagion of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, “Democrats hate the wall because Trump loves it” as the National Review puts it bluntly.

There is an economic explanation: globalists like George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates (the latter duo helped found the border-busting FWD.us) have made a Faustian bargain with their Democratic hangers-on. The UN and the EU are in the vanguard of an open borders agenda and the Democrats are keen to keep up with the globalist Joneses (or, in this case, Merkels) and pro-migrant Pope Francis. If not for Trump, it the US would have possibly signed up to the UN global compact on migration in December 2018.

Maybe the Democrats were lying like Pinocchio on steroids when they said a decade ago they believed in border security and immigration control. Maybe they never really changed their position but simply used taqiyya—the Islamic doctrine of deception—to consolidate their position with gullible voters.

The Democrat ideological pedigree would surely predispose its activists to share Marx’s vision of nation states collapsing and workers of the world uniting in the new egalitarian heaven on earth.

Islam, in some sense, shares the Left’s doctrine of open borders. Especially potent in the West over the last decade, Islam’s dream is a universal Caliphate that will bulldoze national borders and unite the Umma—the international Muslim community—under the rule of Shariah. Moreover, Muslims are seeking to migrate to Western countries to push their proselytizing agenda. “Muhammad mapped a migration master plan centuries before Merkel,” is how I put it.

A boundary demarcates a nation. Tear down borders and you wipe a nation off the map—never mind casting cartographers into outer darkness! Marriage between a man and a woman demarcates a family—the basic unit of society. Destroy marriage and you destroy the family. If a family can mean anything—from serial orgies to sologamy—a family will ultimately mean nothing.

Just before the Democrats changed their position on geographical boundaries—they did a 180 on the boundary protecting marriage and family. The anarchist U-turn on marriage by the Democrats defies a number of the above explanations that explain this flip-flop with political or economic explanations.

Above all, Trump wasn’t the tectonic factor when Democrats made a seismic shift from heterosexual to gay marriage.

In September 1996, US Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The law defined marriage as a strictly opposite-sex institution. Not a single Republican senator voted against the legislation; in the House of Representatives only Republican Steven Gunderson voted against it.

Democrats strongly supported the legislation (Nancy Pelosi an exception among leading Democrats) with House members voting in favor by a nearly two-to-one margin (118-65) and Senate Democrats surpassing that mark (32-14). President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law.

By the time America’s first legal same-sex marriage took place in 2004, the Democrats had dramatically reversed their position. In the same year, House Democrats vigorously opposed the Marriage Protection Act by a 176-27 margin. Darel Paul in From Tolerance to Equality: How Elites brought America to Same-Sex Marriage documents the “tremendous collapse of support within the party’s House caucus for a traditionalist definition of marriage, from 64% in 1996 to a mere 13% in 2004.”

He notes: “In the 1990s even the most liberal Democrats avoided clear public endorsements of same-sex marriage” but by “2004 all three minor Democratic candidates for president were calling openly for national same-sex marriage.”

There is a fundamental parallel between the volte-face on immigration and on marriage by the Democrats. Both have to do with distinctions—and making distinctions is a biblical imperative that goes back to the archetypal story of creation in the first chapter of the book of Genesis.

I first spotted this when studying intermediate Hebrew. I was memorizing Genesis 1 in Hebrew but hit the brakes when I reached verse 4b: “And God separated the light from the darkness.” ‘Separate’ was a funny verb! But it recurred again and again in the chapter. Later I discovered commentator and biblical scholar Dennis Prager’s stunning exposition on distinctions in the Torah, explaining how separations are God’s signature tune in creation. God himself creates separations or distinctions or barriers or boundaries, says Prager.

The deep-rooted problem with the Democrats is not political, economic or even Donald Trump. It is spiritual. Radical secularization has led to a radical removal of all boundaries—beginning with feminist bulldozing of the boundary between man and woman and culminating paradoxically with the gender fluidity non-existence of this boundary—much to the outrage of some radical feminists.

Laws are predicated on boundaries. If Democrats no longer believe in markers that distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, lawful from lawless, order from anarchy, electing them as lawmakers can only be self-defeating at best, suicidal at worst.

There is, of course, one great benefit to be had from a complete erosion of borders and boundaries—whether in the area of immigration or in the realm of the family.

In biblical religion, God’s boundaries in creation keeps order in place: the sea and the land; light and darkness; day and night; human and animal; etc. The separations serve to sustain creation and prevent it from backsliding into primeval chaos.

In the religion of Leftism, the great monster of chaos is a prelude to the Leviathan of the State emerging and subduing the chaos with a view to establish its own idolatrous hegemony.

If this is the ultimate goal of the Democratic Party, the Chuck Schumers and Nancy Pelosis of this world might not be so double-minded or unstable after all. On the contrary, they will be pursuing their master plan of achieving totalitarian State control with remarkable and ruthless single-mindedness.
— Read on www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272466/democrats-seismic-shift-immigration-jules-gomes

January 10 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Genesis 11; Matthew 10; Ezra 10; Acts 10


broadly speaking, ezra 10 is understood in two different ways:

According to the first view, what takes place is something akin to revival. Ezra’s tears and prayer prove so moving that the leaders of the community, though they too have been compromised by these intermarriages, enter into a pact to divorce their pagan wives and send them home to their own people, along with whatever children have sprung up from these marriages. Those who disagree with this decision will be expelled from the assembly of the exiles (10:8), henceforth to be treated like foreigners themselves. The appropriate councils are set up, and the work is discharged. This is remarkably courageous, a sure sign of God’s blessing, ringing evidence that these people love God even more than they love their own families. The purity of the postexilic community is maintained, and the wrath of God is averted. The lesson, then, is that one must deal radically with sin.

According to the second view, although Ezra’s prayer (Ezra 9) is exactly right, the steps that flow from it are virtually all wrong. Marriage, after all, is a creation ordinance. In any case, one cannot simply undo a marriage; if the Law prohibits marriage with a pagan, it also prohibits easy divorce. What about all those children? Are they to be banished to their pagan grandparents, without any access to the covenant community and the one God of all the earth—quite apart from the psychological damage that doubtless will befall them? Could not other steps be taken instead? For example, all further mixed marriages could be proscribed and rigorously prevented, under the sanction of being expelled from the assembly. Priests who have intermarried could be stripped of priestly rights and duties. The kind of widespread repentance that is evident could be channeled toward faithful study of the Law, not least by these mixed families. What sanction is there for so inhumane an action as that in this chapter?

Strictly speaking, the text itself does not adjudicate between these two interpretations, though the first of the two is slightly more natural within the stance of the book. But is it more natural within the stance of the entire canon or of the Old Testament canon?

Without meaning to avoid the issue, I suspect that in large measure both views are correct. There is something noble and courageous about the action taken; there is also something heartless and reductionistic. One suspects that this is one of those mixed results in which the Bible frankly abounds, like the account of Gideon, or of Jephthah, or of Samson. Some sins have such complex tentacles that it is not surprising if solutions undertaken by repentant sinners are messy as well.[1]

[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2018: 11-20 — The Aquila Report

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.


In 2018 The Aquila Report (TAR) posted over 3,000 stories. At the end of each year we feature the top 50 stories that were read. The top story this year had over 11,600 hits.

TAR posts about 8 new stories each day, on a variety of subjects – all of which we trust are of interest to our readers. As a web magazine TAR is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will inform the church of current trends and movements within the church and culture.

In keeping with the journalistic tradition of looking back at the recent past, we present the top 50 stories of the year that were read on The Aquila Report site based on the number of hits. We will present the 50 stories in groups of 10 to run on five lists on consecutive days. Here are numbers 11-20.

  1. Turning the CRC Into an LGBTQ+ Ally

To this end, one of the board members of A1B gave the audience a piece of advice: Do not use Scripture to convince your fellow CRC members of the beauty of full inclusion. Instead, rely on personal stories. “Everyone has a story,” she said. “We can argue back and forth all day about Scripture, but we’re never going to win that way. Nobody can argue with your story.”

  1. The United Methodist Church Has Appointed A Transgender Deacon

Barclay said they have received many messages from people opposed to their leadership in the church because of their gender identity. But Barclay has also heard from LGBT Christians, from the parents of LGBT youth and from supportive churches that seek Barclay’s input about a theology that embraces Christian teaching and queer inclusion.

  1. The Son of Man Came Drinking – Was Jesus a Social Drinker? (Part I)

Was Jesus a social drinker? Many of us approach a question like this with strong feelings, opinions, and convictions. Some of us have come from families in which we’ve witnessed loved ones lose their jobs, destroy their marriages, and ruin their health because of alcohol abuse.

  1. Injustice in the PCA?: A Rejoinder to Covenant College Students

I appreciate the time and effort that you put into your letter.  It is clear that your thinking has been shaped by a theological vision that sees cultural transformation as a central aspect of the church’s mission.  This is not surprising given that such an outlook is so popular at Christian liberal arts colleges.  However, while some contend that a transformationalist perspective is the definitive Reformed position on the church’s relationship to culture, this assertion is contested by others. 

  1. North Florida Presbytery (PCA) Same-Sex Attraction Study Committee Report

Should we encourage a faithful believer—who experiences persistent same-sex attraction, but chooses to honor God through a celibate lifestyle—to identify as a ‘Gay Christian’? No. Believers are not identified by their sins but by their Savior. Jesus is the Christian’s new identity.

  1. 3 Things to Say to a Grieving Non-Christian

Death for the Christian and the non-Christian alike is the terrible fall-out from the Fall. While Christians should grieve with hope (1Thess. 4:13), even we still grieve. When your non-Christian neighbor experiences a death, you can sympathize with the real horror of a life ended and a relationship severed. What’s more, in a culture where death is either downplayed and ignored or set in the realm of dignified personal choices, you may be the only one willing to acknowledge its awful and inevitable impact.

  1. Northwest Georgia Presbytery Overtures 47th PCA GA to Release Covenant Seminary from PCA Oversight

The Northwest Georgia Presbytery approved an overture at its August 10, 2018 Stated Meeting, asking the 47th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to approve a plan for releasing Covenant Theological Seminary from the oversight and any accompanying restrictions of the Presbyterian Church in America; with a generous financial subsidy provided by encouraging all Sessions to give Askings for CTS for at least the next two years at the present rate. As such, when appropriate votes have been made, CTS will then be released from being an agency of the PCA.

  1. Marriage: A Blood Covenant With a Threefold Purpose (Part 1 of 3)

So as we look at the inception of marriage under the Old Testament, we discover that it involves, as all blood covenants do, the shedding of blood. And we discover that virginity was a very special and treasured thing in the law of God. And it is special and treasured because it is part of the shedding of the blood in this blood covenant of marriage.

  1. No Solus Christus for the PCUSA!

Reading this prayer carefully, one discovers that faith in Jesus Christ is just one of many diverse faiths on earth, all of which are good. God’s gift of grace is not linked uniquely to the work of Christ opening up salvation for all the world, but rather only one way of coming to God. Apparently the Cross was not necessary to reconcile human beings to God. The mission of Jesus Christ was misguided. Why would God send His Son to die if His grace is dispensed to all people regardless of their belief systems and practices?

  1. Revoice Conference: Our Similarities, Differences and Some Concerns

One cannot be “Gay” or “LGBTQ” and a Christian. “Gay” and “LGBTQ” are terms normally denoting one who is active in a homosexual lifestyle or identifies with a homosexual lifestyle.  There are no two ways about this.  There is no such thing as a person who is a true Christian and who is active in or desiring to be active in a homosexual lifestyle. 

Top 50 Stories on The Aquila Report for 2018: 11-20 — The Aquila Report

January 10 For the love of God (Vol. 1)

Genesis 11; Matthew 10; Ezra 10; Acts 10


moved by compassion when the crowds remind him of sheep without a shepherd, Jesus instructs his disciples, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matt. 9:38)—and then he organizes a trainee mission for the twelve who constitute his inner circle (Matt. 10). There are many wonderful things to learn from this chapter, which, judging by the language (e.g., 10:18), Jesus takes to be a kind of forerunner of a lifelong mission. Here I must focus on just one element.

That element is the degree of conflict that Jesus anticipates in this evangelistic enterprise. Some entire communities will reject Jesus’ followers (10:11–14). In later years, although their witness will reach to the highest levels of government, those very governments will sometimes impose harsh sanctions (10:17–19). The priorities of the Gospel will split families so severely that some family members will betray other family members (10:21, 35). At its worst, persecution will hound Christian witnesses from one center to another (10:22–23). In some instances this persecution will end in martyrdom (10:28).

Anyone with the slightest familiarity with history knows how frequently and chillingly these prophecies have been fulfilled. The fact that many in the West have for so long been largely exempt from the worst features of such persecution has let us lower our guard—even Christians may think that a hassle-free life is something that society owes us. But as the Judeo-Christian heritage of the West weakens, we may one day be caught up in realities that missions specialists know but that the rest of us sometimes ignore: the last century and a half have seen more converts, and more martyrs, than the first eighteen centuries combined.

What will stabilize us in such times? This chapter mentions several precious supports: the recognition that Jesus our Master was hated before us (10:24–25); assurance that in the end justice will be done and will be seen to be done (10:26–27); recognition that a proper fear of God reduces fear of human beings (10:28); quiet confidence in the sovereignty of God, even in these circumstances (10:29–31); encouraging recognition that those who do receive us receive Christ, and therefore receive God (10:40); Christ’s own promise that the rewards of eternity cannot fail (10:41–42).

In any case, a fundamental principle is at stake: This is the way Christians view things; indeed, it is bound up with being a Christian. “Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (10:38–39).[1]

[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Ocasio-Cortez, Truth and Morality — CultureWatch

The darling of the left in America, and a quite likely presidential candidate there in the near future, is Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The self-described “Democratic socialist” is competing with the likes of Bernie Sanders for the title of the most far left moonbeam politician in the US.

She is not always known for getting her facts right, for thinking straight, or for being the epitome of logical thought. Indeed, we already have enough gaffs and bloopers from her that we could fill a book with them, or offer a lengthy video featuring all of her whacky and wild pontifications.

Her howlers are now becoming almost a daily phenomenon. Even the leftist media has had to call her out. Consider just one example – her 21 trillion dollar mistake:

As one conservative wit said, ‘When the Washington Post starts fact-checking her more than Donald Trump, you know she’s a problem for the Democrats.’ Yep, she sure is. She is a loony tune deluxe. And as many have pointed out, so much of what she believes and says is simply downright dangerous.

We really do NOT want her running the country. Things are bad enough with her zany antics in New York. But the lamestream media absolutely love her, and she seems to get a free pass on a daily basis. Consider her recent appearance on 60 Minutes. She said a number of frightening things there, including the need to raise taxes to at least 70 percent!

But one thing she said is a real worry. Sure, it fully fits her worldview and that of the secular left. But it is scary stuff nontheless. She actually said this: “I think that there a lot of people more concerned with being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

What? So now you are pitting morality against facts? Now truth does not matter as we consider issues of right and wrong? When facts and truth no longer matter when it comes to morality and ethical decision making, all we are left with is subjective impressions and personal feelings.

As Mark Steyn reminded us, this notion of being morally right over against being factually correct is the heart of how the left operates. They want to show us that they are ‘nicer’ than everybody else. They are the people of compassion, and so on. It is identity politics and victimhood.

Never mind the facts, just make a lot of moral motions and emotive ejaculations. Never mind that leftist economic and social policy does not actually help people but makes things worse. Never mind that capitalism, not socialism, raises the masses out of poverty.

And politics of feeling good will not help any nation. It will make the ones talking this way feel good about themselves, but it is no prescription for healing what ails us. I quoted a new piece from Everett Piper recently, so let me share some of it again. He spoke about the worrying trends in America and at the top of his list was this:

First, the feelings versus facts narrative has destroyed our culture, and it will continue to do so. It’s now all about “bread and circuses.” Nero fiddles — he entertains us, he feeds us, he placates us — yet, Rome burns. It’s no longer about the reality of the “economy, Stupid” but rather about the illusion of our stupid feelings.

As long as our bellies are full and our intellects are numb, we march along like mindless lemmings toward our own destruction. The infatuation with socialism, the Kool Aid of climate change, the literal lunacy of sexual fluidity, the name-it-claim-it teleology and ontology of the left, the suppression of free speech on our college campuses — all of this is the result of elevating feelings over facts. Left unchecked, this will continue to destroy anything that’s left of a free society and a free people.

That sums up Ocasio-Cortez and the left: feelings versus facts. They want to take the high moral ground, while ignoring facts, evidence and history. That is why they keep blindly and foolishly extolling the virtues of socialism, even though it has never worked, and it only causes greater human misery/

The current state of play in Venezuela is a textbook example of all this. Consider what is happening there: in this socialist hellhole the supermarkets are empty, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the country, and even zoo animals are dying of starvation, or being killed to provide food for others.

As I said in a recent article on Venezuela:

Socialism never works, but that does not stop the leftists who keep hoping that one day, somehow, it will. Witness the latest “big thing” in America and the Democratic Party: radical democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Bernie Sanders supporter and radical leftist ideologue won a Democratic primary in New York in June.

Sadly many young people seem to have no idea what socialism is all about, and their naivety about it can only mean more misery and suffering if more of their heroes get into power. Some are now even talking about a Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez ticket. Heaven help us.

They need to listen to the wise words of Thomas Sowell: “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Even countries that were once more prosperous than their neighbors have found themselves much poorer than their neighbors after just one generation of socialistic policies.”

The views of Ocasio-Cortez are so bad that one is tempted to not tell people that the following is actually from a satire site. She really could have come close to saying something like this!

In an interview on Meet the Press Sunday, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scolded American leaders for not setting the minimum wage as high as Venezuela, whose hyper-inflated currency is forcing minimum wage increases all year long.

Ocasio-Cortez then pointed out that if we would just raise the minimum wage to somewhere in the millions like the socialist South American country did, everyone will be a millionaire.

“Venezula’s minimum wage is, like, millions per month, and ours isn’t even close to that,” she said. “Our minimum wage is, like, seven bucks or something. We call ourselves a developed country, but we don’t even just like print nearly as much money as Venezuela and give it out for free, because of businesses and corporations and things like that.”

She also called Venezuela’s leaders “really smart” for overloading the economy with more currency, and called on America’s leadership to do the same. “It just goes to show that socialism is better because you can inflate the currency to a lot more, and more is better than less, obviously.”

“It’s just common sense, and you know, like, human rights and stuff,” she added.

Let me close with some wise words made by James Delingpole in a recent assessment of her and her ilk:

Communism is ugly, dangerous and whenever and wherever it has been tried it has made people poorer, more miserable and often more dead. That’s why one of our most pressing missions in 2019 is to defend Western Civilisation from what I call the Care Bear Commies – all those youthful, telegenic, smiley, hard-left activists you see across the media reassuring your kids that actually communism is likeable and fun and the only reason it gets such a bad rap is that it hasn’t been tried properly yet.

Probably the world’s current most egregious example of this disturbing trend is U.S. congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who seems to believe – with some justification, worryingly – that no one will notice the terrifying commie tendencies of her Green New Deal (ie her plan to impose a watermelon tyranny on the U.S.) so long as she looks cute enough in those college dance videos.

Yep, we sure do not need any more of these Commie Care Bears. The cost is far too high for us mere mortals who have to live in the real world of facts and not feelings.

Ocasio-Cortez, Truth and Morality — CultureWatch

After Using Contemporary Christian Music Fans To Become Famous, Lauren Daigle Rebrands Herself As A Secular Recording Artist — Now The End Begins

There’s been no shortage of former CCM artists who have admitted that they aren’t believers and most of their peers in CCM aren’t believers. The industry is about making music and money, not glorifying God.

Funny thing about most Christian recording artists. At the start of their career, when they desperately need fans, it seems they can’t help but talk about God and Jesus. Some even lead large group prayer at their concerts. Then they get famous, and Hollywood comes calling, and they run away from Christianity faster than Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife.

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” John 6:66,67 (KJV)

Such is the case with burgeoning start Lauren Daigle. On a radio show recently, when asked about gay marriage and the Bible, she was presented with an awesome chance to lovingly witness to her audience about the truth from the Bible. The Bible has a lot to say about gay marriage. Instead, Daigle hemmed and hawed, saying that she “didn’t know enough about the Bible” to say if homosexuality was a sin or not. Hmm.

Remember good Christian girl Amy Grant, and wonder what’s she’s been up to lately? She’s been busy promoting her wine brandpartnering with pro-abortion groups and having same-sex couples kissing on her music videos.

Now Lauren Daigle is officially launching her full-fledged secular career, and it is all but certain she will follow Grant’s lead and begin embracing the LGBTQ culture and the Hollywood lifestyle. Sadly, it doesn’t look like she’ll be taking Jesus with her as she goes. I hope Lauren will remember that her amazing singing voice was given to her by God forGod’s glory. If she won’t use it for that, don’t be surprised if God asks for it back at some point.

Lauren Daigle Rebrands Image as Non-Christian Artist

FROM PULPIT & PEN: The Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) industry and its fans love it, as they look for a genre as close to godlessness as possible while still occasionally alluding to Jesus. It sells.

However, when CCM artists hit “the big time” they go secular. It happens over and over and over again. Jessica Simpson started out as an aspiring CCM star, before becoming a serial marrier whose fornicative sexual exploits were detailed by an ex-lover in Playboy Magazine. Bands like Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, Skillet, POD, and Amy Grant all tried crossover careers. Lecrae found mainstream success and has moved on to rap thuggery with some pretty ungodly secular artists, calling himself an “artist who is a Christian, rather than a Christian artist.”

The opposite is also true. Burned out secular stars go CCM or Southern Gospel. The reason for this is simple; CCM is a “softer market” and it’s easier to become a star in that genre than in the public at large. It serves for many as an express lane to wider popularity, and most CCM artists – at least according to former CCM artists – aren’t even Christians.

There’s been no shortage of former CCM artists who have admitted that they aren’t believers and most of their peers in CCM aren’t believers. The industry is about making music and money, not glorifying God. This is something Steve Camp pointed out in his 1997 107 Theses.

Daigle recently writhed seductively on Ellen’s program, and then claimed she didn’t know enough about the Bible to say whether or not homosexuality was a sin (Andy Stanley is her pastor, so that makes sense). In spite of that, Charisma News, comedian John Crist, and many others have come out to support her as a well-meaning but innocently ignorant believer.

 Now, Daigle says that she’s not really a Christian star after all. She is repositioning herself as a mainstream star, predictably.

According to Reformation Charlotte, “Amid the controversy in her celebrity life, she’s now facing the reality of the consequences of her influence. She was recently interviewed on 104.3 MYFM where she was asked if she considered herself to be a “Christian artist.”

I feel like those labels get put on you by other people…I was reading articles, I read them here in there, and one of them said Christian artist and the other ones said just artist. But I think part of me is just an artist because it encompasses everything. That’s kind of how I see myself. You can watch the video below. READ MORE

Lauren Says She ‘Doesn’t Like Labels’ Like ‘Christian Artist’

Lauren In Her Own Words On Homosexuality

After Using Contemporary Christian Music Fans To Become Famous, Lauren Daigle Rebrands Herself As A Secular Recording Artist — Now The End Begins

Truth is truth

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:5-6 (NASB) 

Several years ago a fellow with whom I worked, when he found out that I was a Christian, demand that I listen to his “reasoning” why “everything is relative.” I told him I would listen to him if he could refute the following statement, “Aren’t you making an ‘absolute statement’ when you say, ‘there are no absolutes’?” He chuckled nervously and left my cubicle. I still pray that God will save him. My brethren, the scourge of relativism is a blight within the visible Church. It causes people to…

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