Daily Archives: February 2, 2019

2 FEBRUARY 365 Days with Calvin

The Church Besmirched

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? Psalm 15:1

suggested further reading: Matthew 13:24–30

If we wish to be reckoned as children of God, we must obey the Holy Ghost, who teaches that we must show ourselves to be God’s children by living a holy and upright life. It is not enough to serve God by outward ceremonies; we must also live uprightly and without doing wrong to our neighbor.

Too often we see the church of God defaced by impurity. To prevent us from stumbling at what appears so offensive, we must distinguish between those who are permanent citizens of the church and strangers who are mingled among them for a time. This is a highly necessary warning. It is given so that when the temple of God is tainted by impurities, we may not be filled with such disgust and chagrin that we withdraw from it. By impurities, I mean the vices of a corrupt and polluted life. If religion continues to be pure in doctrine and worship, we may not stumble so much at the sins that people commit to rend the unity of the church.

Yet the experience of all ages teaches us the danger of being tempted to lose heart when we behold sin and corruption in the church of God. The church should be free from all pollution and to shine in uncorrupted purity, yet she cherishes in her bosom many ungodly hypocrites or wicked persons. Some people separate themselves from the fellowship of the godly because they do not believe that a church in which vices are tolerated can be a true church. But in Matthew 25:32, Christ justly claims as his peculiar office that he will one day separate the sheep from the goats. He thereby admonishes us to bear the evils that we do not have the power to correct until all things become ripe, and the proper season of purging the church arrives.

for meditation: Gandhi reportedly said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” We ought to mourn for the church when those outside it can see so much evil in it. How should we evangelize such people?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 51). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Advanced Social Decay: What’s Going On Behind Closed Doors In America | Zero Hedge

“Today, there are an increasing number of signs that the very fabric of our society is rotting away all around us. ..”

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

It is difficult for me to write this article, and I will warn you in advance that some of the things in this piece are going to make you cringe.  Today, there are an increasing number of signs that the very fabric of our society is rotting away all around us.  We witnessed a very clear example of this last week when Kyrsten Sinema paraded around on the floor of the U.S. Senate looking like a hooker, but far more telling is what is going on behind closed doors all across America.  The stories that I am about to share with you barely made a blip on the news, but they should have, because they are all indications of how far our nation has fallen.

Let’s start in Colorado.  A 27-year-old man named Christopher Wayne Cleary was just arrested on terrorism charges after he threatened to shoot “as many girls as I see”

Authorities said Christopher Wayne Cleary, of Denver, posted on his Facebook page that “Theres nothing more dangerous than man ready to die.”

“All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that,” he wrote, according to a probable-cause statement cited by authorities. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.”

Thankfully authorities were able to arrest him before he was able to carry out his threats, but the sad truth is that there are thousands upon thousands more young men out there just like him.

These young men feel like failures if they can’t get young women to sleep with them, and this message is reinforced by popular culture over and over again.

But that isn’t what “being a man” is all about.

Unfortunately, the only values that many of our young men have are the values that they have been fed by Hollywood, and Christopher Wayne Cleary was so frustrated with his inability to live up to the Hollywood ideal that he was ready to go on a mass shooting spree.

Next, let me share a story with you about a young mother in Florida.  When police recently arrived at the home of Angelica Crites, she didn’t respond.  So they entered the home and when she still didn’t respond they had to pry her bedroom door open.

But she still didn’t wake up when they did that.  In fact, it took authorities several minutes to finally wake her up.

And when they looked around the house, what they discovered was like something out of a horror movie

There was an “overwhelming odor of ammonia and feces,” and large spider webs were along the ceilings and door frames. Food and dirt was all over the floor in the living room and dining room. A mop bucket filled with dirty water and food pieces was in the dining room, the report said.

The dining room had a large amount of trash in the corner and underneath a table to make food. The refrigerator was unsanitary with food, dirt and stains all over the inside and outside. Numerous insects were flying around the house.

The condition of her children was even worse.  They were filthy dirty and their teeth “were black and gray” from a lack of care.

On top of everything else, animal feces had literally been smeared throughout the house

The floor leading to the bathroom had animal feces smeared on it. Mold and animal feces was in the corner of the hall by the bathroom door.

Crites and her children shared a bedroom, where there was a large pile of clothes in the corner, dirt on the floor and several red cups on a shelf containing an unknown black liquid and cigarette butts, the report said.

In her bathroom, there were several piles of animal feces on the floor and in the bathtub, and some smeared on the floor, the report said.

It is easy to criticize anyone that lives like that, but the truth is that what we are doing to ourselves as a nation is even worse.

We need to be praying for children all across America, because so many of them are living in absolutely horrific situations and they have no way to escape.

For example, consider what recently happened to one precious child in Indiana

Back on January 14th, a young child was taken to Union Hospital.

That’s according to court documents.

Police, DCS, and emergency room staff say the child had a split tongue, several bruises, and other injuries.

That child was later transported to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.

While there, hospital staff determined an object, most likely scissors, were used to split the child’s tongue.

How evil do you have to be to do something like that?

But this is who we have become as a nation.  And things like this happen so frequently that this story barely made a blip on the national news.

Almost everyone can put up a pretty decent facade in public, but it is the things that happen behind closed doors that define who we truly are And what one man in Arizona recently did is almost too sickening for words

A nurse has been arrested in the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth at a Phoenix nursing facility, Arizona police said Wednesday.

Nathan Sutherland, 36, was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility, where the woman gave birth.

The female patient had been in a vegetative state facility for at least 14 years after a near-drowning incident.

Some of you may be thinking that “this is just one guy”, but the truth is that there are more than 850,000 registered sex offenders in the United States today.

And that is just the people that have been caught.  Imagine how many more there are that have not been caught.

So no, this is not just “an isolated incident”.  We are a nation that is literally teeming with sexual predators.

Lastly, I want to share with you the story of Logan and Daley South.  They both wear fangs and they both drink blood, and they opened up about their relationship with their “girlfriend” Ilona on a recent episode of Extreme Love

‘I don’t like the way blood tastes. I find it inconvenient to have to do regularly,’ Daley admits. ‘I’m someone that needs it, but I’m not a big fan of it. For Logan, it can be very sexual for him.’

Although Logan and Daley both wear fangs, they don’t need to bite into Ilona’s neck and gorge on her blood like a scene in a horror movie to feel satisfied.

In the clip, Daley uses the same tool that diabetics use to prick their fingers to draw Ilona’s blood before she and Logan begin hungrily sucking on her fingers.

If you took Americans from 200 years ago and showed them this, how do you think that they would react?

Needless to say, they would think that we have completely lost our minds.

And the sad truth is that we have definitely lost our way as a nation.  Our lack of values is producing absolutely horrific results, and it is getting worse with each passing day.

Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Mysterious But Intelligible – The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Mysterious But Intelligible

Saturday Selections – Feb. 2, 2019 – Reformed Perspective

New government regulations shut down church program feeding the homeless

Everyone understands that because government laws impact thousands and even millions, the government won’t be able to anticipate all the consequences their laws will have…like shutting down a mission that fed homeless people. But why don’t we see those unforeseen consequences – those unanticipated harms – as a reason for the government not to make many laws?

Homeschooling parents in Germany lose right to educate their children

Parental rights aren’t just fragile in Germany (and Alberta and BC, etc.). Many attacks are government-led, but this past month a social media campaign was begun to #ExposeChristianSchools, asking people to share their horrible experiences in Christian schools. However, as WORLD magazine’s Laura Edghill shares, Christians took the opportunity to “expose” the wonderful and caring education they received.

Reformed seminary president is now NFL coach

Many are happy that a sincere, Reformed, and very public, Christian is now the coach of the Indianapolis Colts. But this former Reformed seminary president is also very publicly working on Sunday, and what message does that send?

When your child is disobedient…

When a child sins, parents often deal with just the immediate act. But sin is a process and parents need to deal with how our child got there in the first place.

Here’s how to tell if scientists are exaggerating

If they can’t explain simpler things, then we have no reason to believe scientists when they say they’ve got something far more complicated all figured out.

What is money? (1 hour)

If you’ve ever wondered what money is, and how it gets its value, this 1-hour documentary will be intriguing. It is funded by Steve Forbes, a gold-standard proponent, and while it allows opponents to be heard, that bias does come out. You can watch the trailer below, and the whole documentary here.

— Read on reformedperspective.ca/saturday-selections-feb-2-2019/

Truthbomb Apologetics: Worldview and Apologetics in the News for Saturday, February 02, 2019

The train wreck that was the New Atheism

The Governor Of Virginia: Killing Babies Is OK By Me

The Governor of Virginia: Let’s be Civil About Killing Newborns

After Republican Objects, Democrats Keep ‘So Help Me God’ in Committee Oath

On Abortion, Extremism Has Become Mainstream in the Democratic Party

Pennsylvania Drag Queen Story Time with ‘Annie Christ’ Sparks Protest

Legislator Filed ‘Abortion during Delivery’ and Pro-Caterpillar Bills on the Same Day

Pressure to conform

Asia Bibi Is Finally Free to Leave Pakistan

An Atheist Saved One of My Articles for an Entire Year to Make a Point — Here’s My Response

Courage and Godspeed,


February 2, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

The Attitude of Submission

Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (2:16)

The right attitude is imperative if submissive Christians are to maintain their credibility among unbelievers. They display that right attitude when they act as free men. They must realize that, as a result of Christ’s redemptive work (cf. 1:18–19), they are free from sin’s condemnation (Rom. 6:7, 18; 8:1–2), the Law’s penalty (Gal. 3:13), Satan’s bondage (cf. Rom. 16:20; Col. 1:13; Heb. 2:14; 1 John 2:13; 4:4), the world’s control (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19; Gal. 4:3–5; 5:1; Col. 2:20), and death’s power (Rom. 8:38–39; 1 Cor. 15:54–56).

But Peter cautions those who are free in Christ to not use that spiritual freedom as a covering for the evil of not submitting to rulers (cf. 1 Cor. 8:9; 10:32; Gal. 5:13). Covering indicates placing a mask or veil over something; evil (kakias) is a term that means “baseness” and arises from vengeance, bitterness, hostility, and disobedience (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Prov. 6:14; Isa. 13:11; Matt. 12:35; 15:19; John 3:19–20; 7:7; Rom. 1:29–30; Gal. 1:4).

A truly righteous attitude will cause Christians to use their freedom as bondslaves of God. Paul exhorted the Corinthians, “For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave” (1 Cor. 7:22). Their freedom has delivered them from the bondage of serving sin into the privilege of being slaves of righteousness.

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Rom. 6:16–22)

“Slave” (from the same word as bondslaves) defined the lowest level of servitude in the Greco-Roman world, yet for believers it described the joyous freedom to be servants of Christ and do what was right rather than what was wrong (cf. John 15:15; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 6:6; Titus 2:14). Freedom in Christ and citizenship in the kingdom of God in no way permit believers to abuse or disregard the standards of conduct God has established for them on earth.[1]

16. As free. This is said by way of anticipation, that he might obviate those things which are usually objected to with regard to the liberty of God’s children. For as men are naturally ingenious in laying hold on what may be for their advantage, many, at the commencement of the Gospel, thought themselves free to live only for themselves. This doting opinion, then, is what Peter corrects; and he briefly shews how much the liberty of Christians differed from unbridled licentiousness. And, in the first place, he denies that there is any veil or pretext for wickedness, by which he intimates, that there is no liberty given us to hurt our neighbours, or to do any harm to others. True liberty, then, is that which harms or injures no one. To confirm this, he declares that those are free who serve God. It is obvious, hence, to conclude, that we obtain liberty, in order that we may more promptly and more readily render obedience to God; for it is no other than a freedom from sin; and dominion is taken away from sin, that men may become obedient to righteousness.

In short, it is a free servitude, and a serving freedom. For as we ought to be the servants of God, that we may enjoy this benefit, so moderation is required in the use of it. In this way, indeed, our consciences become free; but this prevents us not to serve God, who requires us also to be subject to men.[2]

2:16 / Peter’s emphasis on submission—a theme he will repeat a number of times (2:18; 3:1, 5, 22)—is at once balanced by his reminder that paradoxically Christian believers should realize that they are to live as free men, for that is what they are, irrespective of their worldly status. They have been liberated by Christ from the bondage of past sin, and released by means of the new birth (1:3) into life on a spiritual plane which is in a different realm from that of the natural order.

The paradox of submission and liberty is brought out by Peter’s description of believers as servants (douloi, bondslaves) of God. Complete submission in perfect obedience to their Master results in complete freedom of spirit: “whose service is perfect freedom,” as the church collect puts it. Peter’s Jewish-Christian readers in particular would see his point. In the Passover-eve liturgy, which celebrates the exodus deliverance from Egyptian bondage, one emphasis is on a change of master which results in liberty. Israelites now enjoy freedom because they are bondslaves of God. The Passover meal is eaten lying at table, after the manner of free subjects in the Greco-Roman world, not sitting, as did slaves for their meals. “Even the poorest in Israel must recline on a couch” (m. Pesaḥ. 10.1). It was a note struck at the Last Supper, set in a room “with couches spread” (Moffatt; Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12).

With Christian liberty comes responsibility: do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. It was evidently by no means a warning irrelevant even in nt times (Gal. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:19). Christians are free solely because they are the bondslaves of God: they have been purchased by the price paid by his Son (1:18–19). Since they are now God’s property, they are to carry out God’s will. “Christian freedom does not mean being free to do as we like; it means being free to do as we ought” (Barclay [DSB], p. 207).[3]

2:16. Submission to authority does not eliminate freedom from the believer’s life. Perhaps this concern prompted Peter to speak to the subject of freedom. The freedom of the New Testament is not political freedom but spiritual freedom. The great freedoms of the Christian life are: (1) freedom from the ruling power of sin in our lives; (2) freedom from guilt because our sins have been forgiven by God; and (3) freedom from the impossible obligation of attempting to earn favor with God through perfect obedience.

The Bible emphasizes that in those areas where the Word of God gives no command or primary principle, we are free and responsible to choose our own course of action. This is a freedom to choose what is right. Christian freedom does not allow us to do wrong. It does not permit us to disobey human laws unless these are in direct conflict with God’s ways. Nor does our freedom permit us to disobey God, because we are servants of God.

This word (doulos) literally means “a slave.” We are free, yet paradoxically we are slaves who serve God with our lives. Christian freedom is always conditioned by Christian responsibility. Christian freedom does not mean being free to do only as we like; it means being free to do as we ought.[4]

16. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

  • “Free men.” Peter concludes his discussion on submission to governmental authorities by telling the Christians how to conduct themselves in society: “Live as free men.” Although translators supply the verb to live to complete the sentence, Peter wants to stress the concept free. He realizes that people who suffer oppression and persecution long for freedom. Now he tells them: “Be free!” That is, he wants the readers to know that the Christian is free indeed because he has been set free from the power of sin (see, e.g., John 8:32, 36; Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1, 13).
  • “Freedom.” Martin Luther explained the concept freedom in his characteristic pithy style: “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” The Christian is free from enslavement that promotes evil; instead he uses his freedom to serve his God and to love his fellow man. The more he demonstrates his willingness to serve, the more he experiences true freedom (compare James 1:25; 2:12). The Christian conducts himself in public life as God’s elect. He is free, without any fear, as long as he serves God in absolute obedience.

Peter adds a warning: “Do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.” He knows that the Christian is tempted to abuse his freedom. As soon as the Christian employs freedom to advance his own cause, he no longer obeys the law of love; in fact, he fails to serve God. “True liberty, then, is that which harms or injures no one.” For this reason, Peter admonishes the believers to remain faithful servants of God.

  • “Servants.” The last exhortation in verse 16 is, “Live as servants of God.” The word servant in the Greek actually means “slave.” The expression servants of God appears a few times in the New Testament. For example, the slave girl in Philippi called Paul and his companions “servants of the Most High God” (Acts 16:17). Paul calls himself “a servant of God” (Titus 1:1); so does James in his epistle (1:1; also see Rev. 7:3; 15:3). The apostles demonstrate their complete freedom by wholeheartedly serving God.
  • “Respect.” Peter sums up the duty of God’s servants: “Show proper respect to everyone.” The word everyone is all-inclusive, for it ranges from kings and governors to all others who have been entrusted with authority. The servant of God honors all men who are appointed to rule (see vv. 13–14).

How is the first sentence in verse 17, “Show proper respect to everyone,” related to the rest of the verse? Some translations make this sentence the heading for the next three clauses: “Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” The objections to this arrangement are weighty. First, these three clauses fail to show balance. The only feature that binds them together is the present tense in the Greek, which can be best communicated with the term continue: the readers must continue to love the brothers and sisters in the Christian community, continue to fear God, and continue to have respect for the king. Next, the command to “fear God” is more important than the other two injunctions. And third, the last two clauses allude to Proverbs 24:21, “Fear the Lord and the king.”[5]

16 ὡς ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ μὴ ὡς ἐπικάλυμμα ἔχοντες τῆς κακίας τὴν ἐλευθρίαν ἀλλʼ ὡς θεού δοῦλοι, “As those who are free. without making that freedom an excuse to cause trouble, yet as God’s slaves.” The use of the nominative instead of the accusative (which would have agreed with the preceding ἀγαθοποιοῦντας and the implied ὑμᾶς) links this verse with the imperatives that dominate vv 13–17—either the ὑποτάγητε of v 13 or the series of four imperatives in v 17—and thus tends to confirm the parenthetical character of v 15. The tendency of most commentators is to link the sentence with ὑποτάγητε (e.g., Hort, 145; Selwyn, 173; Kelly, 111; Goppelt, 187; Brox, 122). Such a link is difficult to express in translation: Kelly’s “Live as free men” (107) virtually makes a new beginning, while Goppelt’s “(Tut dies) als die Freien” (180) links the sentence more to v 15 than v 13. Once it is recognized that the four imperatives of v 17 resume and expand on the single imperative of v 13, a better alternative presents itself. The connection of v 16 with the ὑποτάγητε of v 13 is most easily maintained not by suppressing its connection with v 17 but precisely by emphasizing it: “As those who are free … yet as God’s slaves, show respect for everyone.…”

ὡς ἐλεύθεροι … ἀλλʼ ὡς θεού δοῦλοι. Peter has in mind not political or social freedom (which for household servants [2:18–25] and wives [3:1–6] was limited at best), but freedom in Christ from the “ignorance” (1:14) or “darkness” (2:9) of paganism. The freedom of the epistle’s readers was the result of being “redeemed” (ἐλυτρώθητε, 1:18) with the blood of Christ. For Peter, as for Paul, this freedom is part of a paradox. Christians are free from all that bound them in the past, but at the same time they are slaves of God committed to full and unqualified obedience (cf. Rom 6:18, 22). The contrasting phrases with ὡς are more than similes, more even than metaphors; they express for Peter an “actual quality” (BGD, 898.2. la) of those redeemed in Christ—a spiritual and psychological state of freedom from the old “natural impulses” (cf. 2:11), and a firm commitment of mind and heart to God. The placement of θεού δοῦλοι last, to complete the contrast, accomplishes three things. First, it draws to that phrase the main emphasis, decisively qualifying ἐλεύθεροι. Second, it sets the stage for v 17 and establishes priorities among the four imperatives comprising that verse. Third, it anticipates 2:18–25, where the experience of “household servants” (οἰκέται, a synonym of δο͂λοι) becomes a prototype for the experience of Christians generally.

καὶ μὴ ὡς ἐπικάλυμμα ἔχοντες τῆς κακίας τήν ἐλευθερίαν. These words, sandwiched between “free” and “slaves of God,” state for Peter the practical implications of the paradox. In effect they interpret θεού δοῦοι in advance: precisely because Christians are “slaves of God” and have a responsibility to him, they must not use their freedom in Christ as an excuse to despise their detractors or retaliate with harsh words when they are slandered (cf. 3:9). No matter what the provocation, they must not lose respect for their fellow citizens or forget the common humanity they all share (cf. v 13). The kind of freedom the Christians possessed (i.e., spiritual freedom, new life in Christ) was obviously not something that could be used in Roman society at large as “an excuse to cause trouble” or as a justification for antisocial behavior, but it could be so used among Christians themselves. Peter’s urgent plea is that his readers never exploit their newly won freedom in this way, deceiving themselves and each other.

καί introduces a contrast (anticipating the ἀλλʼ of the next phrase) and is thus equivalent to “and yet.” ὡς is not to be taken with ἐπικάλυμμα alone, but with ἔχοντες and the whole accompanying participial phrase. Unlike the two uses of ὡς with participles in v 14, ὡς is not causal here (as Goppelt, 187, claims; cf. BGD, 898.3.1b); it is not even necessary to the sense of the sentence, and appears to have been included only to match the preceding ὡς ἐλεύθεροι and the concluding ὡς θεού δοῦλοι. The three successive ὡς phrases represent freedom, qualified or responsible freedom, and slavery to God, respectively.

ἐπικάλυμμα, lit., “covering,” is used here metaphorically in relation to evil or misconduct (κακία; cf. Menander, Fragments 84 [90], ed. A. Koerte [Leipzig, 1953], 2:41: ἐπικαλυμμʼ ἐστὶ κακῶν). The expression could refer either to something before the fact (i.e., an excuse or pretext for evil) or after the fact (i.e., a cover-up). The context supports the former; Peter’s assumption is that his readers have put aside the κακία of their past life (cf. 2:1), and his concern is that they not take it up again. On κακία, see above, p. 85.

With the imagined situation of 2:12 still in mind, Peter wants his readers to make absolutely certain that no charges of misconduct leveled against them are ever actually true. When freedom becomes the believer’s watchword there is as much danger of antinomianism in relation to the laws of the state or the customs of Roman society as there is in relation to the laws of God. Paul, who gained and defended the freedom of Gentile Christians from the burden of the Jewish law, warned his readers against the latter danger (Gal 5:13; Rom 6:15–22). Peter fears rather the possible assumption by some of his readers that because they are free from the ignorance and darkness of their pagan past, they are free also of their legitimate obligations to the pagan empire and household. Such an attitude would be disastrous because it would bring needless suffering on the Christian community, and yet ironically it would be suffering richly deserved (cf. 2:20; 4:15).[6]

Ver. 16. As free…God.—ὡς ἐλεύθεροι may best be construed as the antecedent of the next verse, but only of its first member, πάντας τιμήσατε. To construe it with v. 15 would require ἐλευθέρους. [But even this limitation to the first member of v. 17 renders such a construction hardly tenable. The supposition of the contrary seems to establish its untenableness. Does my freedom absolve me from the obligation of honouring all men? Am I not bound, on the general ground of Christian duty and equity, to give to all their due? On the whole, I consider the explanation of Wiesinger, adopted by Alford, the best, viz.: to regard v. 16 as an epexegesis on v. 15, not carrying on the construction with an Accusative, but with a Nominative, as already in v. 12, and, indeed, even more naturally here, because not the act consequent on ἀγαθοποιεῖν, as there on ἀπέχεσθαι, is specified, but the antecedent state and Christian mode of ἀγαθοποιεῖν. For arguments see Wiesinger and Alford.—M.] It is different with v. 12. Such subjection and true Christian liberty are not irreconcilable antagonisms. For the latter, founded on the redemption through Christ, is spiritual in its nature; it delivers us from sin and error, from the world and the devil, and unites us to God and His word by the bands of love, cf. Jno. 8:32; Rom. 6:18, 22; Gal. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:19. In the sequel Peter cuts off all misunderstanding and abuse of liberty. The Gnostics abused Christian liberty by the commission of all kinds of infamous and criminal indulgences. The Jews, on the plea of being the people of God’s inheritance, claimed to be free from the laws of the heathen. On this account we read: “and not as having [=not as those who have—M.] freedom for a cover of malignity.” It is uncertain whether (as Cornelius and others suppose) there is here an allusion to the white baptismal robe, which was also a symbol of the liberty obtained through Christ.—ἐπικάλυμμα = παρακάλυμμα, something spread in order to cover a thing, hence, a cloak, a cover, a veil. Luther says: “If Christian liberty is preached, godless men without faith immediately rush in, and claim to be good Christians because they do not keep the laws of the Pope.”—κακία should not be explained with Wiesinger in the restricted sense of disobedience to the magistrate, but in a wider sense, just as the antithesis ἀγαθοποιεῖν is a more general ideal—δοῦλοι Θεοῦ.—To serve God, says Augustine, is the highest liberty. What was expected of Israel as a nation (often called the servant of God, Is. 44:1, 21; 48:20; Jerem. 30:10); what Jesus was in a peculiar sense (and Peter calls Him so by preference, Acts 3:13, 26; 4:27, 30), should be realized in every believer of the New Testament.[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 151–152). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 84–85). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (pp. 79–80). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 34). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 101–102). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] Michaels, J. R. (1998). 1 Peter (Vol. 49, pp. 128–129). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[7] Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Fronmüller, G. F. C., & Mombert, J. I. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: 1 Peter (p. 41). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Pro-Abortion Democrats: Are They Now the Deathocrats?

Extreme move to the Left by those who say it’s a ‘woman’s right to choose’ has many people outraged, including this opinion writer

So here we are in America, about to relive the nightmare of scores of Germans under the Nazis, as we stand in shock as cheering Democrats begin legalizing the murder of full-term, live babies.

Oddly, in New York, they are saying anyone can perform these late-term (including birth) abortions — which means the trusty coat hanger will become the tool of choice by those back-alley dwellers we thought the Democrats hated.

Related: Trump, Pence Condemn the ‘Evil’ Late-Term Abortion Moves by the Democrats

Several points seem obvious. Democrats who support this debauchery have lost the right to ever say how much they love and care about “the children.” You know — the children that Republicans separate from families at the border, making sure they are actually related to the adults they come in with and are not being sold into sex slavery.

How dare those Republicans think a young 25-year-old covered with MS 13 tattoos could possibly mean us harm? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) chokes on her words of love for these rapists and murderers asking those heartless Republicans if these gang bangers don’t have a spark of divinity in them. Hey, Nancy, why don’t you invite a group of them to live in your huge home behind that big wall and then tell us what you think about that spark? It will give you a chance to experience that socialist dream you want to thrust on the rest of us.

Democrats were the first to accuse the Covington Catholic High School kids from Kentucky of harassing an elderly native American — when it was actually the other way around. Did they back off their claim, apologize for jumping to conclusions? No, they pretty much piled on and allowed these young teenagers to be threatened, verbally assaulted, vilified and marginalized, along with their entire religion.

Let’s look at what this Democrat move to full-term, out-of-the-womb babies is really all about. We had a glimpse of this shocking reality when the brave young man, David Delaiden, went undercover to tape the Planned Parenthood ghouls talking about crunchy baby body parts while they sipped their wine and ate their salads.

That reality was shocking to conservatives and was vilified by the Democrats and the Left. Oh, not because it was a discussion of harvesting and selling baby body parts, which they support. It was because David Delaiden was taping these women “illegally,” which has kept him, not the harvesters, tied up in legal knots.

The bigger the baby parts, the bigger the price, so it is no wonder Democrats are supporting a plan by their high holy church of Planned Parenthood to make more money, perform more abortions, and defile more women.

Oh, yeah — they say it’s a woman’s right to kill her baby, but they don’t say she has a right to feel good after making that decision. Most don’t, and most have no one to turn to in their shock and their overwhelming sense of loss and sadness and life-time regret.

The Democrats are also positioned on the other end of life to play a version of their god.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel, is an advocate of “end of life” options and was on Obama’s Council of Comparative Effectiveness Research, a program developed to determine who is worthy to live and who isn’t. Dr. Ezekiel believes medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens … An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

Related: Huckabee Defends Human Life During Heated Debate on Fox News

In the June 18, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), he wrote that [medical health care] “savings will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others.”

Well, we don’t have to worry that Dr./Gov. Northam of Virginia is taking his oath too seriously as he explains in Kermit Gosnell calmness that “the infant would be delivered, kept comfortable and would be resuscitated if the mother requested it. Then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother, as to whether to kill the baby or not.”

This is a doctor, a pediatrician, talking about discussing the murder of a little baby that has just been born, as though ordering a ham sandwich.

Ironically, as the same Deathocrats are cheering the death of babies, they’re rolling out their single-payer (government-run) health care plans that would include programs such as the Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission that was key to the Obamacare plan.

So, if they can’t kill you coming, they will get you going.

It was considered “the rationing group” and was code for “when were you born.” They’re the ones who compare treatments and surgeries and outcomes and ultimately decide, depending on your age and your health care under a government-run plan, if you will receive the medical treatment you need if you are over 65.

I have a friend whose family still lives in Holland; four of her aunts and uncles were victims of their socialized medicine. They all went into the hospital for minor issues, and all of them “died” within a day of being there, with no explanation. The cause of death was determined to be “natural causes.”

That is the catch-all phrase that is used by the state; it’s impossible to challenge and generally accepted as code for “they were too old and not worthy to live.” Sort of like Gov. Northam on the other end of life, determining that these babies are not worthy to live past the first day of birth.

If Democrats don’t reject this bill in the Virginia House of Delegates, they will be responsible for eternally labeling themselves as the party of child murder.

Why not extend that time period to decide to kill the baby? Why just that day? Why not a year later, or when the kid is going through the terrible twos? Or at 16, when buying a car would put a strain on the finances, and possibly at 18, especially if the kids don’t agree with the parents politically? And think of the money they would save when it comes to college costs. Oh, but by that time it will be free — so that’s not a reason to kill them then. But — there is a reason to kill them 18 years before that, as a helpless baby, and it is backed by the government?

There are as many families waiting to adopt babies as there are abortions every year. Was that even discussed in the bill? At least the baby could be adopted to a waiting, loving family no matter what the circumstances or the condition. And does this baby not have a choice to live? Does the newborn baby not have the same rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that the mom and doctor have?

How can a law like this stand against the inalienable rights guaranteed to all citizens in the Constitution?

If Democrats don’t reject this bill in the Virginia House of Delegates, they will be responsible for eternally labeling themselves as the party of child murder, like they used to be known as the party of slavery, Jim Crow, racism and oppression.

Democrats who support this bill should not be allowed in a position that would give them power over children, as educators, doctors, nurses, or child care providers. They are saying it is OK to kill a fully formed, live child. The stigma of a MAGA hat will pale in comparison to anyone who identifies as a Democrat/Deathocrat if this bill passes.

Nina May is a writer, producer and director, and currently the showrunner on “Daily Bread,” a faith-based post-apocalyptic drama.

— Read on www.lifezette.com/2019/01/pro-abortion-democrats-are-they-now-the-deathocrats/

Planned Parenthood kept aborted babies alive to harvest heart, brain: ex-technician – Washington Times

Pro-life group releases 7th undercover video

In an undercover video released Wednesday, a former technician for a tissue-harvesting company details how an aborted baby was kept alive so that its heart could be harvested at a California Planned Parenthood facility, raising more legal questions about the group’s practices.

Holly O’Donnell, a former blood and tissue procurement technician for the biotech startup StemExpress, also said she was asked to harvest an intact brain from the late-term, male fetus whose heart was still beating after the abortion.

A StemExpress supervisor “gave me the scissors and told me that I had to cut down the middle of the face. And I can’t even describe what that feels like,” said Ms. O’Donnell, who has been featured in earlier videos by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group that previously had released six undercover clips involving Planned Parenthood personnel and practices.

David Daleiden, the video project leader, said the undercover footage and interviews show that fetuses are sometimes delivered “intact and alive” before their organs are harvested.

The federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 says that when a child is born alive, including having a beating heart, he or she is a legal person and has a right to lifesaving medical care.

California law also prohibits any kind of experimentation on a fetus with a discernible heartbeat, said the Center for Medical Progress, which is calling for the federal government to cease its $500 million a year support to Planned Parenthood and for it to be investigated.

“Today’s video is especially gruesome, and it shows, once again, the barbarity of what takes place at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country,” said Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, one of several congressional panels investigating Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Wednesday that all the videos are “disturbing,” and his committee’s investigation will look into whether “any federal funding supported transactions involving fetal tissue.”

“Top-level employees of Planned Parenthood admit to changing their procedures to harvest intact bodies of unborn children for body-part trafficking,” said Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice.

Mr. Franks and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, also said Wednesday that they have written to 58 Planned Parenthood affiliates. They are seeking 10 years of data about all abortions, late-term abortions, “born-alive” infants, fetal tissue collections and any modifications of abortion techniques to “increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs.”

Five states — Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Utah and New Hampshire — already have defunded Planned Parenthood.

A request for comment from Planned Parenthood Federation of America about the new video was not immediately available, but the nonprofit organization has denounced earlier undercover videos as fraudulent and misleading.

“These extremists show a total lack of compassion and dignity for women’s most personal medical decisions,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said earlier this month after a video release.

Meanwhile, pro-life groups are using the videos to step up their calls for investigations and defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Rallies and protests at nearly 300 Planned Parenthood clinics are planned for Saturday.

Mixed poll results

On Wednesday, Reuters/Ipsos released a rolling poll of hundreds of people that found stable support for federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 18, about 54 percent of Americans consistently said they support taxpayer funding for the reproductive health and abortion group. Federal funds are not permitted to be used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the life of the mother.

But when pollsters changed their question and asked a smaller sample of people for their views on “current efforts” to defund Planned Parenthood, the rolling poll showed a shift: Those who agreed that Planned Parenthood should be defunded grew to 39 percent, while those opposing defunding shrank to 34 percent; another 27 percent said they didn’t know.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll further asked people if the undercover videos had affected their views on Planned Parenthood or abortion. The rolling poll found that 45 percent of people said the videos made them “more negative” about Planned Parenthood, while 33 percent said it hadn’t changed their views, 19 percent said it made them “more positive,” and 3 percent said they didn’t know.

As for abortion in general, 51 percent said the videos had not changed their views, while 31 percent said it made them “more negative” about abortion, 16 percent said it made them “more positive” about abortion, and 3 percent said they didn’t know.

In June, the Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood and send the money to community health clinics, but it failed by seven votes.

Separately, StemExpress was in a California court Wednesday in its effort to block the release of a Center for Medical Progress video featuring a recorded conversation with three employees.

The biotech firm, based in Placerville, California, recently ended its relationship with two California Planned Parenthood affiliates to purchase their aborted fetus parts and resell them for scientific experimentation.

Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik lamented StemExpress‘ decision to “bail” on Planned Parenthood, and condemned the undercover videos as “pure harassment by antiabortion activists, conniving with opportunistic politicians.”

In Wednesday’s video — the seventh released this summer — the Center for Medical Progress said state and federal laws require that the same treatment be given to an infant born alive after an abortion as to a normally delivered baby.

Ms. O’Donnell said she observed a “beating heart” in a nearly intact, late-term male fetus at the Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose.

A StemExpress supervisor asked to show her something “kind of cool” and tapped the heart of the aborted fetus, “and it starts beating,” Ms. O’Donnell said.

“And I’m sitting here, and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think,” she said.

Then Ms. O’Donnell was asked to harvest the aborted child’s brain, which meant slicing open his face to get at the organ.

“Oh my God, this … just what am I doing?” she recalled thinking to herself after she had complied. “That was the moment when I knew I couldn’t work for the company anymore.”

The seventh video includes an interview with an official with another biotech company who says, “So, you know, there are times when after the [abortion] procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating.”

It also contains a brief interview with another biotech official who says that feticides, like digoxin, are not used when an aborted fetus is going to be dissected for parts because feticides taint the tissues.

Mr. Daleiden, the video project leader, said that not using drugs to kill the fetus before the abortion raises the risks that a child will be born alive.

• David Sherfinski contributed to this report.
— Read on m.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/19/planned-parenthood-kept-aborted-babies-alive-to-ha/

CNN’s ‘Venezuelan army defectors’ not in army, not defectors & don’t live in Venezuela — RT World News

CNN’s ‘Venezuelan army defectors’ not in army, not defectors & don't live in Venezuela
Closer inspection of the uniforms worn by two self-proclaimed Venezuelan army defectors interviewed on CNN earlier this week has revealed that they are not who they say they are, and probably should not be given guns.

As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the US to support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom,” one of the alleged defectors told CNN.

Their conveniently timed appeal came alongside ramped up efforts by the US to institute regime change in the oil rich South American nation, installing pro-American opposition leader Juan Guaidó into power. The two claimed to be in contact with a network of disgruntled army units and defectors ready to “rise up in arms” against recently re-elected President Nicolas Maduro.

If this story wasn’t already suspicious enough, it turns out that the pair were wearing uniforms that were retired by the Venezuelan military after consolidating its branches in 2008. This fact was easily confirmed by paying attention to their badges which still read ‘FAN’ ( Fuerza Armada Nacionales), where-as all Venezuelan service members today have badges which read ‘FANB’ (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana).

Despite framing the story as if the two are recently defected active duty members deeply connected to the internal life of the Venezuelan military, in reality the two are “former soldiers” who “live outside the country,” a fact CNN itself admits in the story attached to the video.

It seems that claiming loyalty to Guaidó alone was sufficient justification to give the world’s newest “moderate rebels” a platform to request deadly arms, regardless of that fact that it is not entirely clear who the two actually are or what they would do with the weapons if they got them.

One would hope the US would exercise more caution this time around, given their track-record of arming “freedom fighters” abroad that later end up turning their guns on their Washington handlers.

Also on rt.com

Although the US has yet to actually begin shipping the opposition arms, Washington has been unwavering in its support. This week, Trump chatted with another self-proclaimed authority figure, ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, promising to keep in contact and offer support. That “support” includes $20 million “humanitarian aid” packages, and access to Venezuelan state assets held in American banks.

— Read on www.rt.com/news/450359-cnn-venezuelan-defectors-fake/

Hillsong Church Phoenix Conducting a Catholic Mass and Hosting Catholic Priest at Alpha Conference 2019 — Reformation Charlotte

Hillsong Church is a hotbed for heresy–a celebrity-minded prosperity gospel Sunday morning entertainment venue where you can go to have your week’s fill of self-adulation with — by any discernible standard — no Biblical teaching or exhortation.

Most people know Hillsong through their swaths of ear-tickling music that’s poured out of their multiple campuses and celebrity bands throughout the world — a money-making machine for sure. Whether it be their sleazy rendition of Silent Night during Christmas, their posing of a nearly naked man on stage at a women’s conference, its cover-ups of pedophile pastors, having openly homosexual worship leaders, defending abortion, complaining about the death penalty, or the fact that celebrities love them because they “don’t teach that book with Moses and stuff,” one thing is for sure, Hillsong is an outright dangerous threat to churches around the world.

This year, the Phoenix campus of Hillsong church is hosting the apostate Alpha Conference — an ecumenical, emergent conference that seeks to unify all the various faiths under one umbrella — and it isn’t Biblical truth. According to the conference website, the event being hosted at Hillsong is featuring Mike Schmitz is a Catholic priest, author, and speaker in the Diocese of Duluth, MN who is ” the author of the Belonging study program and is the primary personality in Ascension Presents, weekly YouTube videos offering Catholic perspectives of cultural and societal issues.”

If the fact that Roman Catholics partnering with so-called Protestants for “Christian unity” isn’t enough, consider that — get this, at a Hillsong Church — they are holding a Catholic Mass.

And most Protestant churches promote Hillsong on Sunday mornings without a second thought.

Discernment is dead!

Hillsong Church Phoenix Conducting a Catholic Mass and Hosting Catholic Priest at Alpha Conference 2019 — Reformation Charlotte

02/01/2019 — Wretched


•Getting ready for when abortion becomes a State issue
•Should Christians wear prayer shawls?
•What do we do in the case of an ectopic pregnancy?
•How do I confront my school over Mindfulness
•PTSD is a normal reaction
•How do I spend my time as a young adult well?
•I work at a hospital that performs abortions. Should I quit?
•How much should we work to avoid persecution?
•One of our biggest What Time is Purple handouts
•Should we work with Catholics to fight abortion?
•How do I view good teachers with questionable practices?
•We can’t MAKE Jesus Lord, but can we make him our refuge?

Download Now (right click and save)

02/01/2019 — Wretched

President Trump Makes Extensive Remarks During White House Roundtable on Human Trafficking – (Video and Transcript)… — The Last Refuge

Earlier today President Trump delivered extensive remarks on a variety of issues during a White House meeting to discuss border security and human trafficking.

The Trump administration sets the bar on government transparency by allowing media to review these ongoing policy discussions.  Additionally, President Trump answers all of the media questions on current events and issues of public interest.  WATCH:



President Trump Makes Extensive Remarks During White House Roundtable on Human Trafficking – (Video and Transcript)… — The Last Refuge

This ‘n’ That for February 1, 2019 — Do Not Be Surprised…

  • Yeah, no one should have to wear earplugs to church. Don’t get me started on my experience with a very loud soloist who saw fit to bust out a huge note right next to my ear one Sunday. And no, it wasn’t a seeker-sensitive church.
  • When we read larger portions of Scripture, we see more of the context and we better appreciate the Bible as literature.
  • On loving the unseen Savior. Hey, that reminds me of an Equipping Eve episode (please excuse the shameless plug).
  • These lectures are on my to-listen list.
  • And if you haven’t read this book yet, you should.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • This man’s story is so interesting. I only wish the journalist had shared it more effectively!
  • Ever heard of a frost quake?
  • The Bible is always relevant.
  • This story is actually what reminded me of the spider tale I shared. If you are now paranoid, I’m sorry.
  • This should not have to be a headline.
True faith takes its character and quality from its object. Its strength therefore depends on the character of Christ. Even those of us who have weak faith have the same strong Christ as others! 
—Sinclair Ferguson

This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

Crying Wolf on SBC Prez JD Greear — Pulpit & Pen

JD Greear, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention…is certainly awful in many ways. Websites like Pulpit & Pen regularly report the problematic statements and actions of high-profile Christian leaders and influencers like Greear. I won’t speak for other writers but personally I am disturbed at the state of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) as reflected by Greear’s leadership.

I am also frustrated by the realities of blog-based polemics. Were I to write a detailed exposition of this man and the greater SBC’s theological problems, complete with carefully crafted arguments and supporting links, it would take a long time and few would read it. Ours is, unfortunately, a sound-byte culture. Accordingly, sound-bytes and short statements are most effective at spreading a polemical message. Today, social media provided just the type of sound-byte need to warn people about JD Greear.

A Twitter user provided a video clip of a television interview of JD Greear in which he expressed a view that the Bible has changed over time. The clip was retweeted with great disdain by many Greear detractors. There was but one problem. The tweet, since deleted, was #fakenews. The video clip was truncated and the interviewer’s question to Greear was misreported.

Greear was simply making the uncontroversial and historically obvious statement that the Bible has been understood differently over time. What looked to be polemical red meat was actually a deceptive misrepresentation. Polemicists and discerners should remember the story of the boy who cried wolf. It’s hard enough convincing America’s pew-sitters that there really are wolves in their churches. One false alarm could ruin the credibility of the one who made it and leave him unable to warn people when real trouble does arise.

And there is plenty of trouble with JD Greear.

Crying Wolf on SBC Prez JD Greear — Pulpit & Pen

Why 9 Marks’ Jonathan Leeman Should Have Leveled With Julie Roys About His Support of CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches — The Wartburg Watch

magical moon
“Child abuse is a heinous and personally damaging crime; it is therefore incumbent on the Church to treat such matters with the utmost seriousness.” John Sentamu


Julie Roys’ excellent program The Church in Crisis

I want to highly recommend Julie Roy’s most recent broadcast of “The Church in Crisis”which she describes as:

Over the past year and a half, scandals and controversy have plagued the church and Christian organizations. From Willow Creek in Chicago and Highpoint Church in Memphis—to Sovereign Grace Churches and, most recently, Harvest Bible Chapel. The accusations of sexual harassment, financial impropriety, bullying, and intimidation have left Christians reeling. In a special radio broadcast, “The Church in Crisis,” I explore not only what’s happened in the church, but why it happened, and what redemptive solutions are available.

Roys has been a tireless investigator of the abuse at Harvest Bible Chapel and was even named in the HBC lawsuit which was dropped when MacDonald discovered he would hav e to turn over documents that might reveal the truth of what was actually going on at HBC.

She had two guests who were knowledgeable and experienced in abuse in the church.

Joining me are people with first-hand knowledge of these scandals: Vonda Dyer, a former vocal team leader at Willow Creek and alleged victim of sexual harassment, Scott Phelps, one of several former elders at Harvest excommunicated for raising issues about Harvest Pastor James MacDonald.

Roys was not aware of 9 Marks and Leeman’s close relationship with CJ Mahaney.

Roys also had a third guest which caused me to choke on my coffee.

Adding a third perspective will beJonathan Leeman of 9Marks, a ministry that equips leaders to build healthy churches.

Wait, she mentioned the controversy surrounding Sovereign Grace Churches in her introduction so why was Leeman sitting there? I contacted Roys and believe that she had no prior knowledge of the close relationship between 9 Marks, Leeman, Mark Dever and CJ Mahaney.

Having been writing about Mahaney and SGM for almost 10 years now, I often make assumptions that everyone knows what I know. Mahaney has sunk rather low in the eyes of most in the church since the publication of The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch: Inside the rise and fall of Sovereign Grace Ministries. However, CJ Mahaney is alive and well and hiding out in Louisville under the protection of the SBC, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and the usual crowd.

Leeman sat there silently and allowed her to name Sovereign Grace as an abusive ministry.

The question is “Why?” Was he not aware that she would mention this 9 Mark’s beloved ministry and friend? Did he ‘fess up after the broadcast? Or is this just part of the latest *jump on the bandwagon and pretend we really, really care about abuse* in the churches?

There is a reason that 9 Marks has earned the titles of 9 Marx and the Hotel California. So, to set the record straight, here are some reasons why I think Jonathan Leeman should have bowed out of the broadca

Celebrity pastors are a problem.

Roys pointed out the problem with celebrity pastors in the program. Little did she know that she had a representative of a celebrity subset on the program. Leeman is part of the 9 Marks/T4G/TGC cooperate amigos. Mark Dever is definitely one of the celebrity pastors of this crowd. See how many conferences, books, and joint ventures occur within this context.

If you don’t think this is so, Leeman wrote a post responding to this called Don’t Be a 9Marxist! In Roys’ broadcast, Leeman discussed how a church screwed up but they did so *piously.* Although he didn’t name them, he was talking about The Village Church who unjustifiably abused Karen Hinckley. I know because he brings up this example in many other venues. He claims that they worked it out well. But when someone like Matt Chandler screws up it means that there is something deeply wrong with the paradigm. Also, there is much, much more to this story and those involved know it.

Dever is a big name and churches are willy nilly applying 9 Marks books on discipline. Unfortunately, many people are getting hurt because these new *cool* books have many flaws and we have written about them.

A chief example of 9 Marks style discipline which involves CJ Mahaney

Todd Wilhelm attended UCC-Dubai. The pastor, John Folmar, is a close friend of Mark Dever. Wilhelm was being vetted for a church leadership position. However, he found out that the church was selling CJ Mahaney books in their bookstore. Can you imagine this? Selling those books to an international audience? Wilhelm, a former member of a Sovereign Grace church in the US, not only refused to support the selling of these books, he decided to leave the church because they were so insistent on pushing Mahaney.

Guess what? Wilhelm was disciplined post facto by being placed on the *care list,* a disgusting name for what it is-a punishment for not playing their game. Why was he punished? He didn’t immediately join a 9 Marks’ approved church. Oh, the sin of it all!

Now, one of the named pastors was asked by Dee why they did this. They gave me the 9 Marx response.”You don’t have the whole story and we can’t tell you because of confidentiality.”  Dee contacted Wilhelm who said he would sign a legal release form so that they could discuss the supposed *whole story.* The response was furious. “Who’s going to adjudicate it.” I said this has nothing to with adjudication but instead an attempt to get to the truth. Guess what? Communications ceased. Hey 9 Marx….the offer is still open…

Now, lets prove the close and supportive relationship between Leeman/Dever and CJ Mahaney

Dever plays pastor to CJ Mahaney

In 2011, Mahaney was asked to temporarily step down while he was being investigated by his own church. Mahaney, the king of the humble brag, did something that was not allowed under his own church’s rules nor under the rules of 9 Marks. He scooted out of his own church during that this time and started attending Capitol Hill Baptist Church under Mark Dever. Leeman was also there during this time.

This was documented by SGM Survivors in C.J. Mahaney Preaches At Capitol Hill Baptist Church During “Season Of Reflection,” Refers To Mark Dever As “His Pastor”.

September 25, 2011 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

On Sunday, September 25, C.J. Mahaney was a guest preacher at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  You can listen to his sermon (a variation on what he presented while doing the “Jude Tour” at different Sovereign Grace Ministries churches) here.

A couple of minutes into his message, C.J. makes mention of a Tabletalk article by an author named Scot Dever – who, C.J. tells the Capitol Hill congregation, is “no relation to our pastor.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m confused.  I thought that C.J. Mahaney, as president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (from which he is still receiving his entire salary even in the middle of his “season of reflection”) is a member of Covenant Life Church.  I thought Joshua Harris was C.J.’s pastor.

How is it possible that Mark Dever is now C.J.’s pastor?

2017-Mahaney meest with CHBC interns

Are you thinking that was just a one time occurrence? How about after Mahaney ran from the DC area and landed in Louisville. Surely not after all the stuff came out in the Washingtonian? Surely not after all the lawsuits? Todd is keeping track.

Mahaney donated money to CHBC

It is known that CJ Mahaney has donated money to theministry at CHBC.  You can hear CJ discussing this on an recording in the post. In this post you will see that Dever made sure that CJ’s sons in laws were also well taken care of by making them interns at CHBC.

Dever allegedly told people that the facts weren’t right about Mahaney

Unlike us, Dever does not point to links with proof of the matter.

Wilhelm writes:

2013 -Dever praises Mahaney for taking off to Louisville

In 2013, Mark Dever praised CJ Mahaney. In case you don’t remember, this is right after CJ Mahaney stomped his feet and took off for Louisville, taking his ball-Sovereign Grace Ministries- with him. This is after all the revelations during the lawsuit. Immediately, his BFF, Mark Dever, rose to his defense.

Dever appears to like the codswallop from Mahaney (How embarrassing)!

Of course, Dever must have been much charmed by Mahaney calling him O Captain, My Captain.

Mark is a true friend, and he is a CLOSE friend. He is not only a true and close friend, he quickly became a mentor, and that has continued to this day as well. I have learned much from your senior pastor and often will refer to him as “O Captain, My Captain”. It’s an expression of my heartfelt gratefulness to him and an acknowledgment of my deference to his leadership.

I have much, much more but need to move on.

Maybe Jonathan Leeman was quietly disagreeing behind Mark’s back?…Yeah right!

The Underestimated Gospel debacle

In 2014, Jonatahn Leeman published his book, The Underestimated Gospel. Look carefully who contributed.  Yep-CJ Mahaney. By the way, the contributors’ list is filled with names of Mahaney supporters.

CJ Mahaney is a Leeman go-to for advice on seminary and pastoral training.

Here is a link to Episode 28: On Seminary & Pastoral Training (with C. J. Mahaney) 11/27/17

Almost everyone agrees pastors need to be trained, both practically and theologically. But does this mean they must receive formal theological training from a seminary? In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan interviews both Mark and C. J. Mahaney about how pastors should be trained, and what seminaries have to do with it.

I wonder if Leeman knows that Mahaney only graduated from high school….I bet he does since Mahaney often brags about it.

Final thoughts

I’m frankly surprised by Jonathan Leeman’s silence in this matter. It is obvious that he continues, along with his *captain* Mark Dever, to defend the indefensible. As such, he needs to bow out of any discussion on abuse. If the plethora of evidence regarding the mess at SGM under the supposed leadership of CJ Mahaney is not enough for Leeman, then just about any victim coming forward with a story will not be enough for Leeman/Deve/9Marks.

Leeman/Dever/9Marx and anyone associated with Sovereign Grace have disqualified themselves from taking part in the ongoing conversations on how to prevent abuse in the church.

It pains me to say this but it must be said. I believe that victims are not safe in any 9 Marks affiliated church or any Sovereign Grace affiliated church. They have provided me with enough information to suggest that they defend their own. Maybe if a victim sucked up and called them all *O Captain, My Captain* (barf) and threw a few Benjamins at them, their case might be considered…who knows?

In the Roys broadcast, Leeman says for an abuse victim to say something.Well, Jonathan, lots of abuse victims in Sovereign Grace Ministries did say something and” O Captain, My Captain” and you chose to pal around with CJ Mahaney. If 9 Marx is involved, I would tell any abuse victims to run as fast as they can away from you guys and find people like us who really do care about them.

Why 9 Marks’ Jonathan Leeman Should Have Leveled With Julie Roys About His Support of CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches —

02/02/19 Little by Little — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Exodus 22-23, Matthew 21:33-22:14

“Little by little.” Every time I read these words in Exodus, my heart leaps. That’s because when I was a young pastor, I first grew frustrated because my church wasn’t growing as rapidly as I wanted it to grow. Then when it did grow, it grew so rapidly that we gave far too little attention to discipling the folks we were reaching—and the result was a congregation with only baby believers as leaders. It wasn’t nearly as healthy as it could have been.

Then I read Exodus 23:29-30– “I will not drive them out ahead of you in a single year; otherwise, the land would become desolate, and wild animals would multiply against you. I will drive them out little by little ahead of you until you have become numerous and take possession of the land.” God was going to grant His people victory over their enemies, but He would do it in His timing. He would not drive out the enemies quickly, lest the blitz result in a desolate land overridden by wild animals. He had His plan, and His plan would always be right.

Simply hearing the words, “little by little” helped me to rest in God’s timing as He grew the church I pastored. Later, I learned that rapid growth unaccompanied by deepening discipleship resulted in a weakened church—not a strong one. If the growth were slower than I liked, I was reminded of our responsibility to invest in others and disciple them even as we made plans to reach more people. The growth may be “little by little,” but it would be growth that resulted in fruit-bearing disciples.

PRAYER: “God, help me to trust You when Your timing is not my timing.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day

02/02/19 Little by Little — ChuckLawless.com

February 2 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Genesis 34; Mark 5; Job 1; Romans 5


the bible deals with the reality of evil in many different ways. Sometimes justice is done, and is seen to be done, in this life. Especially in the New Testament, the final recompense for evil is bound up with judgment to come. Sometimes suffering has a humbling role, as it challenges our endless hubris. War, pestilence, and famine are sometimes God’s terrible weapons of judgment. These and many more themes are developed in the Bible.

But the book of Job is matchless for causing us to reflect on the question of innocent suffering. That is made clear in Job 1, which in some ways sets up the rest of the book. Job “was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (1:1). Although Job was blessed with wealth and a large family, he took nothing for granted. He even engaged in what might be called preemptive intercession on behalf of his grown children: he prayed and offered sacrifices on their behalf, fearful that perhaps at an otherwise innocent gathering, one of his children had sinned and cursed God (1:5).

Job does not know, as the reader knows, that another drama is playing out in the throne room of God. Little is said about these “sons of God,” these angels, who approach the Almighty; little is said about Satan, though transparently he is evil and lives up to his name, “Accuser.” The exchange between Satan and God accomplishes three things. First, it sets up the drama that unfolds in the rest of the book. Second, implicitly it establishes that even Satan himself has restraints on his power and cannot act outside God’s sanction. Third, it discloses that Satan’s intention is to prove that all human loyalty to God is nothing more than crass self-interest, while God’s intention is to demonstrate that a man like Job is loyal and faithful regardless of the blessings he receives or does not receive.

Job, of course, knows nothing of these arrangements. He couldn’t, for the drama that follows would be vitiated if he did. In short order Job loses his wealth and his children, all to “natural” causes that Job knows full well remain within God’s sway. When the last bit of bad news reaches him, Job tears his robe and shaves his head (both signs of abasement) and worships, uttering words that become famous: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (1:21).

The narrator comments, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (1:22)—which of course means, in the context of this chapter, that God’s assessment of the man was right and Satan’s was wrong.[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.

February 2 For the love of God (Vol. 1)

Genesis 34; Mark 5; Job 1; Romans 5


revenge movies and revenge books are so endemic to popular culture that we rarely think about the ambiguous, corrosive nature of sin. There are only good guys and bad guys. But in the real world, it is far from uncommon for sin to corrupt not only those who do evil but also those who respond to it with self-righteous indignation. The only persons not blamed in this horrible account of rape and pillage (Gen. 34) are the victims—Dinah herself, of course, and the Shechemites who, though unconnected with the guilt of Hamor’s son or the corruption of Hamor, are either slaughtered or enslaved.

Certainly Shechem son of Hamor is guilty. In the light of his rape of Dinah, his efforts to pay the bridal price and to secure the agreement of the other males to be circumcised appear less like noble atonement than determined, willful selfishness, a kind of ongoing rape by other means. The reasoning of Hamor and his son, both in approaching Jacob’s family and in approaching their own people, is motivated by self-interest and characterized by half-truths. They neither acknowledge wrongdoing nor speak candidly, and they try to sway their own people by stirring up greed.

The “grief and fury” of Dinah’s brothers (34:7) may be understandable, but their subsequent actions are indefensible. With extraordinary duplicity, they use the central religious rite of their faith as a means to incapacitate the men of the village (the word city refers to a community of any size), then slaughter them and take their wives, children, and wealth as plunder. Does any of this honor Dinah? Does any of it please God?

Even Jacob’s role is at best ambiguous. His initial silence (34:5) may have been nothing more than political expedience, but it sounds neither noble nor principled. His final conclusion (34:30) is doubtless an accurate assessment of the political dangers, but offers neither justice nor an alternative.

What does this chapter contribute to the book of Genesis, or, for that matter, to the canon?

Many things. For a start, the chapter reminds us of a recurrent pattern. Just because God has once again graciously intervened and helped his people in a crisis (as he does in Gen. 32–33) does not mean there is no longer any moral danger of drift toward corruption. Further, once again it is clear that the promised line is not chosen because of its intrinsic superiority; implicitly, this chapter argues for the primacy of grace. Apparently the crisis at Shechem is what brings the family back to Bethel (Gen. 35:1, 5), which brings closure to Jacob’s movements and, more importantly, reminds the reader that “the house of God” is more important than all merely human habitation.[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.

February 1 Your Deepest Need

Scripture reading: Luke 8:43–48

Key verse: Luke 8:50

When Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”

Jesus is very holistic in His approach to mankind. A good example of this is found in Luke 8, when He healed a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years.

It’s hard to imagine how she maintained her hope for healing, especially with the stigma that accompanied her illness. Unclean according to Jewish law, she probably was forced to live outside the city gates, away from family and friends.

Her need for love and acceptance was overshadowed by the cruelty of Jewish tradition. Anyone who touched her was in turn considered unclean. The portrait Christ gives us is one of abundant mercy and grace. Not only did He heal her physical disease, but He healed her spiritually and emotionally as well. In no way was He repulsed by her sickness.

No matter how complex and disillusioning life may appear, Jesus refuses to turn His back on you. The woman in today’s text believed if she could stretch out her hand far enough to touch the hem of His outer garment, she would be healed. What faith she had!

In His compassion, Christ turned to her and said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8:48 nasb). Jesus met her deepest need, and He will do the same for you as you have a divine encounter with Him.

I thank You, Lord, that You meet my deepest spiritual and emotional needs.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 34). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.