Daily Archives: February 12, 2019

February 12 The Remedy for Sin

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–21

Key Verse: Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

D L. Moody once said, “Looking at the wound of sin will never save anyone. What you must do is to look at the remedy.”

Worrying about temptation and past sins only leads to episodes of guilt. If you truly want to break the pattern of sin in your life, look to the cross of Jesus Christ. This is your only remedy for sin. It was where God displayed His unconditional love and forgiveness to all of mankind.

You may think what you have done in the past is too horrendous for God to forgive. But nothing can separate you from the love of God. His forgiveness and cleansing are for all who come to Him. You may be a believer who has given in to temptation; God wants to free you from this bondage. However, condemnation is not His way (Rom. 8:1).

He draws us to Himself through the gift of His love. You can scold a person for doing wrong, and he may change his outward actions, but his heart remains unchanged. God goes after the heart. The Word of God provides instruction on how to live a godly life; to this He adds His unconditional love. God knows once a person meets Jesus Christ, his life is eternally changed.

When dealing with people who have fallen, pray to have a Christlike attitude, one that is firm but loving. Let forgiveness be representative of your life, and develop a willingness to help restore people who have sinned.

Precious heavenly Father, I look to the cross of Jesus Christ as the remedy for my sin. You displayed Your unconditional forgiveness there. Thank You for that precious sacrifice, the gift of Your love.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Dowd Nails It – Former Trump Attorney Outlines Insufferable Behavior of Mueller and Rosenstein in Perpetrating Political Russia Hoax… — The Last Refuge

ABC conducted an extremely interesting interview with former Trump Attorney John Dowd that the media outlet will likely keep far away from their mainstream broadcast and print reporting.

The interview is exceptionally interesting because Dowd outlines how incredibly false all prior reporting has been surrounding the Mueller investigation and the background of the contacts and discussions between Trump’s legal team, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein.

Additionally, within the interview itself, when you stand back and absorb the details of what he discusses, you can clearly see why there came a point when the Trump legal team needed to shift strategies and accept that Mueller and Rosenstein had allowed the politics of the ‘investigation’ to shape their direction. It’s quite a remarkable conversation.

The entire transcript is HERE.  I would strongly suggest listening to the podcast. I’m pulling some excerpts.

Dowd immediately says he doesn’t think the Mueller report will highlight anything regarding the President.  The basis for this belief is what CTH has already outlined here regarding William Barr {Go Deep}.

“There’s nothin’ here.” The idea that you would take that information and make it public, you know, violates the whole concept of the grand jury. What’s the grand jury for? To protect the innocent.

Dowd is then asked about his opinion of Robert Mueller, and the approach to the investigation, who Dowd knows very well and has worked with in the past:

PHILLIPS: Do you respect what Mueller is doing? I know you know Mueller well.

DOWD: Well, I respected it in the beginning. And I started out. And I– it’s my s– my style is I always trust the other side, until I didn’t. In my opinion, on March 5th [2018], we were done. He had everything. He said he had everything. He told me that no one had lied. He told me they had every document we asked for. He told me that it was nothing more. He told me that the president was not a target. That is, he did not have any exposure, that he was a witness subject, which is perfectly normal for someone’s conduct you’re looking at, but they don’t have exposure.

What people don’t understand about the president, and I think the same would be w– with you, is y– you have too much information in your life. When you go back and talk about f– Flynn or Comey, those events, while magnified in the media, are nothin’, not compared to the threat of the Soviet Union, the threat of the– China, dealing with Japan, dealing with Korea. I mean, the amount of information that he intakes every day, gets prepared for, is staggering. And in my questioning him or talking to him, he questioned w– you know, first question, easy. Second question, easy. Third question, he wasn’t sure. And he doesn’t like being unsure. So he’ll guess. There’s your trap, right there. It’s not whether he lies or not. Everybody wants to get into this, you know– this integrity business. It’s not a matter of integrity. It’s overload.

Dowd clearly states that by March 5th, 2018 (ten months after Mueller started in May 2017) Robert Mueller had all the central facts about President Trump that surrounded the accusations and claims.  And Mueller did not have anything to indicate President Trump had engaged in anything as claimed by the media; and told the Trump legal team exactly that.

VLASTO: But what do you think Mueller’s been doing’, then? That was March that you left, right, March of last year, 2018. What do you– why– what do you think has taken Mueller so long?

DOWD: I don’t know. All I can tell you is what I do know. And I know a lot. Because as people have found out, we communicate on this side of the fence. Matter of fact, we’ve got, probably, better intelligence than they do. You know– without questioning anybody’s good faith, ’cause there are some very good people over there– it– it’s been– it’s been a waste of time. And it’s been petty. And it’s been bureaucratic. And you don’t need to do that. When you’re dealing at this level, when you’re dealing at this level, you’re playing’ the World Series, okay? And you don’t– you don’t– you don’t get down with the petty stuff here.

In essence Dowd is saying that Mueller and Rosenstein decided the entire fiasco was so politically charged, so elevated by media and political drum-beating, they needed to shape the investigative paths based on political values and not simple reviews of lawfulness.

And with that inflection point; within the acceptance that this wasn’t going to be a legal matter based on evidence or lack thereof; the Trump legal approach needed to shift from legal concern/defense to political concern/defense.   That’s why there were changes within the Trump legal team.

VLASTO: Well, you must know [William] Barr rather well, I assume–

DOWD: I– you know, I don’t know, I know of him. And I left– I had left the department, when he was attorney general. But he was a great attorney general. He did a terrific job. And I am so pleased that he’s gonna be back. ‘Cause he knows the place from top to bottom. And he’s very bright. And he’s gonna– he’s gonna call it right down the middle and do a good job.

PHILLIPS: That’s quite the opposite from what you’ve said about– the leadership of the Justice Department. I mean, you have just lambasted, (LAUGH) you know, everybody else previously. So you’re seeing a shift here.

DOWD: Well, look. I you know, I tried to deal with Rosenstein. Early on, we wrote a letter to Mueller, saying, “Look. Comey’s the accuser in this phony investigation. We think there are other issues in– regarding his conduct, as to the origin of this whole business.” Turns out, not only was I right, but Comey admitted there were no facts to investigate the president at all. There was no collusion. So—I, and then, so– Bob said he wasn’t looking’ at it. So I wrote to Rosenstein. He blew me off. That’s not leadership. That’s not accountability. This is a very serious– I mean, we were very serious. And we did it in writing. We did it politely. We did it confidentially. And he just blew us off. So I lost all respect for Rod Rosenstein. And Sessions, I don’t know what he was doing. I’m not sure Sessions knows what he was doing’.

Again Dowd outlining the problem created by Rosenstein and faced by Mueller; there is nothing to investigate because there is no Russian collusion/conspiracy to begin with.  Rosenstein goes silent toward the original Trump legal team because essentially Rosenstein knows he did a big stupid by opening the investigation in the first place.

Mueller and Rosenstein are/were stuck in a political conundrum, under the auspices of an investigation that was fraudulently based from the outset.  Extraction from their self-created situation is only possible by exploiting a political escape route.

DOWD: […] I know what the case is. There is no case. And my job is to sorta bring that home. And we did the very best we could to bring it home. I think it is coming’ home. And I think it’s coming’ home in the same shape. And you know, and then, you know, there are people in the press, who say, “Well, he must have s– surprise.” He didn’t have– I know exactly what he [Mueller] has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. It’s– I know exactly what he asked. And I know what– I know what– you know, what the –what the conclusion or the result is. So–

PHILLIPS: What does he have? What’s the result? What’s the conclusion?

DOWD: Decline [to prosecute]. There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time.

What’s worse is let’s get on the other side of this, how it all happened. This is one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen. And I’m just shocked that Bob Mueller didn’t call it that way and say, “I’m being used.” I would’ve done that. If I were in his shoes in this thing, I’d have gone to the– I’d have gone to Sessions and Rosenstein and said, “Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the F.B.I. to get even.”

This is awful. I mean, the corruption — at the top of the F.B.I. is staggering. And that’s how this all happened. And by the way, look at what the F.B.I. witnesses have said. “I know w– I know about no collusion.” I mean, Comey knew nothing about collusion.  So what are we doing then?

VLASTO: How do you think history will look at the Mueller investigation ten years from now, 20 years from now?

DOWD: Not well.

PHILLIPS: Robert Mueller. How will he go down in history?

DOWD: I don’t know. He’s gonna have to decide that.

PHILLIPS: Donald J. Trump.

DOWD: Full plate. A man with, a man with a– with a big heart who means well, but has, you know, had all kinds of challenges. But he– but he– you know, I’m in his corner. You know why I’m in his corner? ‘Cause he’s the boss. He governs this country.

FUBAR Summary:  •Rosenstein buckled under political and media pressure to create the Mueller special counsel.  •AFTER the FBI originating corruption began to surface (June/July 2017) Mueller saw the ruse and understood where the investigation would be forced to head… and asked Rosenstein for the “scope memo“, in part because the investigative trail was obviously going to circle back to the FBI origination…. and that had to be avoided (politically self damaging for both Rosenstein and former FBI Director Mueller’s institution).  •Addtionally, the same corrupt people who created the 2016 spygate fiasco were also comrades of Mueller (FBI) and Rosenstein (DOJ). •As a direct outcome, the Mueller/Rosenstein self-preservation approach, which included the preservation of the institutions, then became the primary focus of the investigation…. which included the need for charges against someone, anyone, including Russians (they never anticipated showing up to defend themselves, ie concord) to cloud the political fiasco they were both caught up in…. which further spurred the self-fulfilling prophecy of Mueller -originally fraudulent- investigation becoming the necessary cover as described below:

♦(1) Create an investigation – Just by creating the investigation it is then used as a shield by any corrupt FBI/DOJ official who would find himself/herself under downstream congressional investigation.  Former officials being deposed/questioned by IG Horowitz or Congress could then say they are unable to answer those questions due to the ongoing special counsel investigation.  In this way Mueller provides cover for ideologically aligned deep state officials; and preserves institutional appearances.

♦(2)  Use the investigation to keep any and all inquiry focused away from the corrupt DOJ and FBI activity that took place in 2015, 2016, 2017.  Keep the media narrative looking somewhere, anywhere, other than directly at the epicenter of the issues. In this way, Mueller provides distraction and creates talking points against the Trump administration that benefit his self-preserving intent.

♦(3) Use the investigation to suck-up, absorb, any damaging investigative material that might surface as a result of tangentially related inquiry.  Example: control the exposure of evidence against classified leak participants like SSCI Director of Security, James Wolfe; and/or block IG Horowitz from seeing material related to the FISA abuse scandal and “spygate”.  In this way Mueller provides cover for the institutions, the administrative state, and the accepted standard system within DC.

It wasn’t by original intent, but rather a specific outcome of bureaucratic bullshit, that Mueller and Rosenstein ended up creating a bubble that made those objectives of the Mueller investigation become the primary consideration.  And in all of these insufferable and convoluted objectives the Mueller special counsel has been stunningly effective.

That insufferable pile of crap covered in media noise is exactly why Rosenstein will exit the DOJ side-by-side with Robert Mueller.

FUBAR !!

Again, I strongly urge people to listen to the interview. It starts around 08:00 of the podcast below:

.

[…] … This is one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen. And I’m just shocked that Bob Mueller didn’t call it that way and say, “I’m being used.” I would’ve done that. If I were in his shoes in this thing, I’d have gone to the– I’d have gone to Sessions and Rosenstein and said, “Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the F.B.I. to get even.”….

But he couldn’t.

You know why?

Because Mueller views the FBI as an institution that is part of his personal legacy.

And the corrupt FBI cabal headed by Comey, McCabe and Baker, knew that.

That’s ultimately also Mueller’s “higher loyalty”.

via Dowd Nails It – Former Trump Attorney Outlines Insufferable Behavior of Mueller and Rosenstein in Perpetrating Political Russia Hoax… — The Last Refuge

02/12/2019 — Wretched

WR2019-0212

•Happy Darwin Day
•How Social Darwinism led to infanticide
•Scientists are dismantling Darwinian evolution
•Darwin wasn’t ready for the implications of his theory
•Are there really 30,000 denominations?
•Hitler’s religion was based more on Darwin than Christ
•The DSM-VI is considering Religious Trauma
•Senator Ben Sasse calls out infanticide. Will Congress listen?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 02/12/2019 — Wretched

Al Mohler Condemns Identity Politics, Intersectionality. Can We Take Him Seriously? — Pulpit & Pen

Trying to understand what is going through the head of Albert Mohler, the consummate politican-theologian, is never easy. He just condemned, for lack of a better word, Identity Politics and Intersectionality. These are two major tenets of Cultural Marxism, an ideology that is pouring out of Southern Seminary like water and is promoted by the very organization Mohler helps to run, the Gospel Coalition.

When I read Mohler’s post, The Power of the Gospel and the Meltdown of Identity Politics, another recent post immediately came to mind. If you don’t mind, let’s take a dog-leg turn for a moment.

What came to mind was this video by Francis Chan, put into the Social Gospel Coalition blog just yesterday. In it, Chan condemns the prosperity gospel.

Great clip, right? Right. Everything Chan said was good. He must be super solid. Nothing to worry about Citizen, move along.

The problem is, well, this…

On February 23, Chan is speaking with at least four of the greatest proponents of the prosperity gospel under Heaven.

Todd White places his hands on people’s achy joints (after rubbing them together) and asks if they feel a “warmth,” an old parlor trick that makes people think they’re being healed.

Bill Johnson is the reigning godfather of the health and prosperity gospel, and his church occasionally has chicken feathers and glitter dumped from the ventiliation system to imitate the miraculous.

Todd “Bam Bam” Bentley is married to the mistress he was fornicating with during the Lakeland Revival, claims to have raised the dead, and heals people occasionally by punching or kicking them.

Lou Engle is the prosperity pimp who kissed the shoes of the Pope’s emissary.

Do you lose credibility of opinion regarding the prosperity gospel when you preach alongside Todd Bentley, Todd White, Lou Engle, and Bil Johnson? You betcha.

Is a short video against the prosperity gospel enough to quiet criticism toward him when partnering with the most infamous heretics on the planet? Probably. That’s just how dumb evangelicals are.

Is Albert Mohler trying the same Gospel Coalition public relations tactic as Francis Chan? Again, probably.

It’s insanely unbelievable that Albert Mohler would condemn Identity Politics and Intersectionality while he is quite aggressively promoting such ideas through Southern Seminary, The Gospel Coalition, and his various affiliations (like the ERLC).

Mohler is either a double-minded man or he profoundly lacks self-awareness.

Either way, his words on the subject were good, even if his actions haven’t yet backed it up.

Mohler writes:

American politics increasingly resembles a soap opera and, at least for now, Virginia has taken center stage. The drama in the state continues to unfold as the Commonwealth’s top three Democrats face pressure to resign. The Governor’s personal yearbook page from medical school contained a racially insensitive photo of a man in blackface shoulder-to-shoulder with a person dressed in Ku Klux Klan regalia. Later, the Governor also admitted to performing in blackface at a party in the 1980s. The Attorney General admitted to wearing blackface at a college party as well. Add to that the now egregious accusations of sexual abuse and rape that swirl around the Lieutenant Governor. The headlines out of Virginia are a dismal drama exacerbated by a recent development in the Democratic Party and driving the cultural Left in America: identity politics.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal pointed to the problem with a recent editorial, “The Democrats’ Identity Meltdown.” As the editors remarked, “the furies unleashed are consuming their own.” The editors argue that the Democrats have “unleashed race, gender, sexual orientation and class as the defining issues of American politics.” This emphasis on identity, though welcomed and promoted by leading Democrats, has turned on the party with a vengeance.

Virginia serves as a prime example of the self-destructive nature of identity politics—a political philosophy that expansively designates identity by race, social background, or gender at the expense of other identities. The Democratic Party has entrenched its political ideas in identity, adopting a zero-tolerance policy for certain beliefs and accusations. During the Senate hearings for the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats labeled him unfit for office based on uncorroborated, unverified sexual misconduct. In the view of Senate Democrats, backed up by party outrage, the accusation disqualified Kavanaugh from service on the high court. Now, in Virginia, the tables have turned on the Democrats as one of their own encounters more incriminating accusations. Couple that with the foolish and racist conduct in the college years of the Governor and the Attorney General and it is easy to see that Democrats have backed themselves into a corner thanks to their promotion of identity politics. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “The problem for Democrats is that the ideology of race, gender and class is now so deeply ingrained on the political left that no one dares to challenge it.”

Not everyone, however, joined the editors of the Journal in sounding the alarm against identity politics. Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote an article headlined: “Different Democratic Controversies, Same Influence: Identity Politics.” The authors make the astonishing claim that “while Republicans believe democrats are going too far in their embrace of identity politics, many in the Democratic Party take pride in the fact that the current field of nearly a dozen presidential candidates includes only one heterosexual white male.”

Just try to imagine any moment in American history when leaders of a major political party would brag that among their leading presidential contenders, only one is a heterosexual white male. Evidently, all three of those words require some apology among Democrats.

There are far deeper issues at stake here. This ideology reduces human beings to a certain set of distinguishable identities that are more prized and valued than other identities—it establishes basic human identity in differences rather than a commonality shared amongst all humankind. Indeed, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “It’s important that we don’t ignore the power of identity because it is very powerful, especially for women, especially for the rage of women right now.”  Rage is the driving energy of this ideology, and rage is its ultimate conclusion as well.

The embrace of identity politics and intersectionality has devastating consequences on American public life. This political theory magnifies differences and places greater value on individuals who can combine the highest number of benighted and neglected identities. Virtue and the worth of your opinion hinges on what makes you different. Thus, Democrats push their party into identity idolatry—the candidates who can claim as part of their heritage the greatest number of oppressed identities bears more influence and is entitled to speak (or to run for president). Woe unto the lone Democratic presidential candidate with the sign draped around his neck at the first presidential debate among Democrats fighting for the nomination: “White heterosexual male.”

The biblical worldview is the only antidote to identity politics. Intersectionality erodes the bedrock of civil society and dismantles decorum precisely because it is predicated and upon differences. It will only tolerate and celebrate divergence and divisiveness. The Christian worldview, however, offers a powerful response to identity politics. The biblical reply does not deny the reality nor the importance of identities to the human story. It does, however, begin with what unites all humanity—the Imago Dei. The biblical worldview starts in sameness not differences. It grounds the value of an individual in something more transcendent than experience, background, race, or gender; it starts with the image of God that resides in every human being on the planet. Humanity stands united by virtue of our common descent from Adam and Eve. Christians, therefore, do not reject identity politics and intersectionality merely because of its failure as an ideology, but because it denies the common bond that beats in the heart of every human: we are all made in God’s image. That identity is precious, perennial, and most to be cherished.

By the way, this issue helps to underline why biblically committed Christians must point again and again to the common descent of all humanity from Adam and Eve. We all share the same first parents. Modern evolutionary theory denies the very possibility of common descent from a single couple. Ideas have consequences.

Christians must understand and hold fast to the image of God that unites humanity in a common identity. The most important identity for every human is not our own self-prescribed definition based upon their experiences and background, but the identity given to them by the God of the universe. That identity trumps everything else.

Additionally, the biblical argument is not drawn only from Genesis. It reaches not only into the truths of Genesis, but the glories of the New Covenant of redemption inaugurated by Christ.  Jesus Christ is creating a new humanity—a people not of this world but of heaven, a people for God’s pleasure. It is a people made up of every tribe, tongue, people, and language—a citizenry of every ethnicity and race, of every socio-economic background and culture. Its citizenship does not stand on its differences but on our common salvation in Christ. In Christ we find our true identity. Believers in Christ share an eternal and glorious unity in Jesus Christ the Lord—a unity we enter upon faith in Jesus’s perfect sacrifice and atonement for sin.

To continue reading at Mohler’s blog, click here.

via Al Mohler Condemns Identity Politics, Intersectionality. Can We Take Him Seriously? — Pulpit & Pen

The Power of the Gospel and the Meltdown of Identity Politics — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

American politics increasingly resembles a soap opera and, at least for now, Virginia has taken center stage. The drama in the state continues to unfold as the Commonwealth’s top three Democrats face pressure to resign. The Governor’s personal yearbook page from medical school contained a racially insensitive photo of a man in blackface shoulder-to-shoulder with a person dressed in Ku Klux Klan regalia. Later, the Governor also admitted to performing in blackface at a party in the 1980s. The Attorney General admitted to wearing blackface at a college party as well. Add to that the now egregious accusations of sexual abuse and rape that swirl around the Lieutenant Governor. The headlines out of Virginia are a dismal drama exacerbated by a recent development in the Democratic Party and driving the cultural Left in America: identity politics.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal pointed to the problem with a recent editorial, “The Democrats’ Identity Meltdown.” As the editors remarked, “the furies unleashed are consuming their own.” The editors argue that the Democrats have “unleashed race, gender, sexual orientation and class as the defining issues of American politics.” This emphasis on identity, though welcomed and promoted by leading Democrats, has turned on the party with a vengeance.

Virginia serves as a prime example of the self-destructive nature of identity politics—a political philosophy that expansively designates identity by race, social background, or gender at the expense of other identities. The Democratic Party has entrenched its political ideas in identity, adopting a zero-tolerance policy for certain beliefs and accusations. During the Senate hearings for the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats labeled him unfit for office based on uncorroborated, unverified sexual misconduct. In the view of Senate Democrats, backed up by party outrage, the accusation disqualified Kavanaugh from service on the high court. Now, in Virginia, the tables have turned on the Democrats as one of their own encounters more incriminating accusations. Couple that with the foolish and racist conduct in the college years of the Governor and the Attorney General and it is easy to see that Democrats have backed themselves into a corner thanks to their promotion of identity politics. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “The problem for Democrats is that the ideology of race, gender and class is now so deeply ingrained on the political left that no one dares to challenge it.”

Not everyone, however, joined the editors of the Journal in sounding the alarm against identity politics. Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote an article headlined: “Different Democratic Controversies, Same Influence: Identity Politics.” The authors make the astonishing claim that “while Republicans believe democrats are going too far in their embrace of identity politics, many in the Democratic Party take pride in the fact that the current field of nearly a dozen presidential candidates includes only one heterosexual white male.”

Just try to imagine any moment in American history when leaders of a major political party would brag that among their leading presidential contenders, only one is a heterosexual white male. Evidently, all three of those words require some apology among Democrats.

There are far deeper issues at stake here. This ideology reduces human beings to a certain set of distinguishable identities that are more prized and valued than other identities—it establishes basic human identity in differences rather than a commonality shared amongst all humankind. Indeed, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “It’s important that we don’t ignore the power of identity because it is very powerful, especially for women, especially for the rage of women right now.”  Rage is the driving energy of this ideology, and rage is its ultimate conclusion as well.

The embrace of identity politics and intersectionality has devastating consequences on American public life. This political theory magnifies differences and places greater value on individuals who can combine the highest number of benighted and neglected identities. Virtue and the worth of your opinion hinges on what makes you different. Thus, Democrats push their party into identity idolatry—the candidates who can claim as part of their heritage the greatest number of oppressed identities bears more influence and is entitled to speak (or to run for president). Woe unto the lone Democratic presidential candidate with the sign draped around his neck at the first presidential debate among Democrats fighting for the nomination: “White heterosexual male.”

The biblical worldview is the only antidote to identity politics. Intersectionality erodes the bedrock of civil society and dismantles decorum precisely because it is predicated and upon differences. It will only tolerate and celebrate divergence and divisiveness. The Christian worldview, however, offers a powerful response to identity politics. The biblical reply does not deny the reality nor the importance of identities to the human story. It does, however, begin with what unites all humanity—the Imago Dei. The biblical worldview starts in sameness not differences. It grounds the value of an individual in something more transcendent than experience, background, race, or gender; it starts with the image of God that resides in every human being on the planet. Humanity stands united by virtue of our common descent from Adam and Eve. Christians, therefore, do not reject identity politics and intersectionality merely because of its failure as an ideology, but because it denies the common bond that beats in the heart of every human: we are all made in God’s image. That identity is precious, perennial, and most to be cherished.

By the way, this issue helps to underline why biblically committed Christians must point again and again to the common descent of all humanity from Adam and Eve. We all share the same first parents. Modern evolutionary theory denies the very possibility of common descent from a single couple. Ideas have consequences.

Christians must understand and hold fast to the image of God that unites humanity in a common identity. The most important identity for every human is not our own self-prescribed definition based upon their experiences and background, but the identity given to them by the God of the universe. That identity trumps everything else.

Additionally, the biblical argument is not drawn only from Genesis. It reaches not only into the truths of Genesis, but the glories of the New Covenant of redemption inaugurated by Christ.  Jesus Christ is creating a new humanity—a people not of this world but of heaven, a people for God’s pleasure. It is a people made up of every tribe, tongue, people, and language—a citizenry of every ethnicity and race, of every socio-economic background and culture. Its citizenship does not stand on its differences but on our common salvation in Christ. In Christ we find our true identity. Believers in Christ share an eternal and glorious unity in Jesus Christ the Lord—a unity we enter upon faith in Jesus’s perfect sacrifice and atonement for sin

Intersectionality and identity politics breed division. These ideologies atomize society and drive humanity away from its core and essential commonality. This is where Christians must counter with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture. Only the gospel secures peace and establishes truth. Only the gospel will unite a fractured society. Only the gospel can stem the tide of modernity’s downward spiral into chaos and decay. Identity politics is bad enough in the culture. In the church, it denies the gospel altogether.

Of this, I am certain: At the marriage supper of the Lamb, no one will hold any kind of sign claiming their own identity.

via The Power of the Gospel and the Meltdown of Identity Politics — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

February 12 The Word of Truth

Scripture reading: Colossians 3:1–8

Key verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Everyone must eventually answer three questions: (1) Where did we come from? (2) Why are we here? and (3) Where are we going?

Philosophers, sages, and prophets have sought to provide solutions, all usually with unsatisfactory conclusions. The Bible claims to have the only adequate response to each of these questions because it provides God’s omniscient perspective in contrast to the futile reasoning of man, who is limited by time, education, observation, culture, and prejudice.

First, we come from God. He created us in His image. We were placed on earth by God and for God. We are not the products of impersonal time or chance. Our origins are rooted in the eternal mind of God.

Second, we are here on earth to know and glorify God in our relationships and through our works.

Third, we shall return to God—for judgment if we have ignored or rejected His terms for knowing Him (reconciliation through the Cross) or for everlasting joy if we have embraced His purposes and presence through the person of Jesus Christ.

All of these answers are revealed in the Word of truth—the Bible—which alone can answer the perplexing problems that confront each generation.

O Lord, thank You for the Word of truth, which answers all my questions.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 45). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Beginning of The End – MSNBC Reporting Senate Democrats Agree No Russian Collusion…. — The Last Refuge

Mark the calendars; today is an important date.  CTH has noted, repeatedly, how extremely difficult it would be for the media to walk-back over three years of false reporting on the insufferable and manufactured “Muh Russia” collusion narrative.

However, remarkably, today that process actually begins.  WATCH:

.

There’s way more to this shift. WAY more. ABC News, home of the resistance insider operative George Stephanopoulos, is also starting to use an atypical process to control distribution of the let-down as they back toward the ‘muh Russia’ exits.

via The Beginning of The End – MSNBC Reporting Senate Democrats Agree No Russian Collusion…. — The Last Refuge

10 Common Bonds Between Catholicism and Islam — Reformation Charlotte

Mike Gendron is the founder of Proclaiming the Gospel ministry and a Christian apologist — an expert in the Roman Catholic religion. In the wake of the pope’s recent declaration signed with the grand imam of al-Azhar on interfaith unity, Gendron recently took to Facebook to describe what he believes are ten common factors that unite the two false religions of Catholicism and Islam. Here’s what he had to say:

The convergence of Catholicism and Islam. Here are 10 common bonds that will unite these two religions.

1. Both Esteem and Honor Mary – Muslims and Catholics both call her, “Our Lady.” and venerate her as a pure and holy saint. Mary is mentioned more in the Qu’ran than the Bible.

2. Both Seek Messages from Apparitions of Mary – Many of the messages make it clear she is coming for all her children including Muslims, Catholics and Protestants and that people of all religions can be saved apart from Jesus Christ as long as they are good.

3. Both Are Anti-Semitic – The Vatican has issued over 100 anti-semitic documents and taught the Jews should be cursed because they killed Christ. Mohammed words recorded in a hadith say, “The last day will not come until the Muslims destroy the Jews.”

4. Both Embrace Another Jesus – Catholicism has a counterfeit Jesus whose death on the cross was not sufficient to save them.
Islam also has a counterfeit Jesus (Isa) who did not die on a cross and is not God, only a prophet.

5. Both Seek World Dominion – Both religions rule with an autocratic government and have a history of forced conversions, and killing those who oppose them. Could these religions which control people with indoctrination, intimidation, and fear be a precursor to the rule of Antichrist?

6. Both Deny the Authority of Scripture – The pagan beliefs of both religions stand opposed to the Bible. Muslims reject the Bible as the final revelation from God declaring that God has revealed a final testament: the Qu’ran which is their supreme authority.

7. Both Use Prayer Beads to Avoid Punishment – Catholics pray the rosary to remit punishment for sin. Muslins use 99 beads that correspond to the names of God. Praying to Allah five times a day is an act of obedience to escape the punishment imposed on those who do not pray.

8. Both Take Pilgrimages to Obtain Favor from God – Catholics take pilgrimages for religious purification and the promise of indulgences. Muslims take pilgrimages to Mecca, a mandatory religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime.

9. Both Have Human Mediators – Catholics rely on the priesthood to dispense salvation through sacraments and seek Mary to intercede with God on their behalf. Muslims rely on the intercession of Muhammad on judgment day. He will prostrate himself before Allah who will say, “O Muhammad! speak, it will be heard; and be given; intercede, and it will be approved.”

10. Both Have a Works-Righteousness Salvation – Allah will place one’s good and evil works on the divine scale: “Those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls in hell” (Sura 23:102,103). In Catholicism, sacraments, good works and obeying the law are necessary for salvation.

These two religions represent a huge mission field with nearly 3 billion precious souls. They need to know the true Jesus and submit to His Word as their supreme authority. Only then will they repent of their works-righteousness salvation and believe the glorious Gospel of grace. As ambassadors for Christ let us sow the seed of His Word.

via 10 Common Bonds Between Catholicism and Islam — Reformation Charlotte

Chris Pratt Defends Hillsong-Affiliated Celebrity Church, Says Neither He Nor They Are Anti-Gay — Pulpit & Pen

Be careful who you make into a Christian celebrity. This should be the warning found nearly every time evangelicals make a hero out of a Hollywood celebrity who has a public Jesusy moment. In defense of his Hillsong-affiliated church, actor Chris Pratt claims that neither he nor they are anti-LGBTQ.

After Chris Pratt vaguely mentioned the religion of Christ in an acceptance speech on MTV, evangelicals enamored with pop-culture immediately and metaphorically hoisted the actor upon their shoulders, convinced they had found a new hero, the kind of which we haven’t seen since Tim Tebow. Relevant Magazine, Charisma Mag, and other publications lauded it as a sermon of a lifetime. Even ostensibly “Reformed” Jacob Denhollander (best known for capitalizing on the fame of his wife, sex-abuse victim and advocate, Jen Denhollander) claimed that Pratt’s Gospel presentation was better than that of Mike Pence at the Southern Baptist’s annual convention (which we debunked, here).

Pratt has since divorced his long-time wife and has moved on with a newer model.

Evangelicals are so enamored with pop-culture they are eager to jump on any bandwagon that may have an ichthys bumper sticker on the back.

After Pratt recently spoke about being a member of the Hillsong-affiliated Zoe Church on The Late Show, lesbian actress, Ellen Page, chided him on Twitter for being a member of a church that is “famously anti-LGBTQ.”

Zoe Church is pastored by Chad Veach and “co-pastored” by his wife (lady pastors aren’t a thing). Veach is listed as a contributor to Hillsong on the Hillsong website and Zoe Church is affiliated with the Hillsong mothership in Australia.

Zoe Church is known best for its celebrity presence, kind of a charismatic Church of Scientology. Justin Beiber frequents the church, as does Chris Pratt and others. The church is full of beautiful people – influencers, if you will – and of the celebrity bedazzlement, Pastor Chad Veach once famously said, “Instagram built our church.”

Well, it sure wasn’t Jesus.

Pratt was hosted on The Late Show and mentioned his attendance at Zoe Church and the Trailer Park Boys actress, Ellen Page, was incensed.

Of course, Page’s facts were wrong. Hillsong is not famously anti-LGBTQ. If anything, Hillsong’s stance on homosexuality is the Q in LGBTQ…questioning. We broke the story on Hillsong and its gay choir directors, which led worship at Hillsong New York and Brian Houston – the main Hillsong guru from Australia – applauded their leadership five months previous. In damage-control mode, Hillsong stated that the homosexuals were no longer leading worship, but the homosexuals themselves claim it had nothing to do with their homosexuality and that Hillsong knew and embraced them in their sin from start to finish. The sodomite couple now attends a Hillsong church in Los Angeles.

Nonetheless, Page continued:

Clearly, the famous Hillsong homosexual couple doesn’t feel that Hillsong is anti-LGBTQ.

Pratt responded by denying that he is anti-LGBTQ.

The actor said on Instagram:

“I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone…no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people.”

He continued, “My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want, free from the judgment of their fellow man.”

Gross.

via Chris Pratt Defends Hillsong-Affiliated Celebrity Church, Says Neither He Nor They Are Anti-Gay — Pulpit & Pen

My Journey Out Of The Word Of Faith — Reformation Theology

This last Sunday I had the privilege of teaching/preaching three times at Reformation Orthodox Presbyterean Church in Apache Junction, Arizona. In the Sunday School hour, I was asked to share something of my personal testimony regarding how the Lord brought me out of the deception of the word of faith movement:

via My Journey Out Of The Word Of Faith — Reformation Theology

JUST IN: Senate Intel Committee Finds No Direct Evidence of Conspiracy Between Trump Campaign and Russia — The Gateway Pundit

Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC)

The Senate Intel Committee has found no direct evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to BOTH Democrats and Republicans on the Committee, NBC reported.

After over two years, 200 interviews and reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents and wasting money, Senate investigators are now saying what we’ve known all along — there was no Trump-Russia collusion.

Last week, Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr told CBS, “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.”

“If I can finish tomorrow, I would finish tomorrow,” Burr said, adding, “We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to.”

The President tweeted his support for Richard Burr on Sunday and asked, “Is anybody really surprised by this?” after the Committee found zero collusion with Russia.

According to NBC, even the Democrats on the Committee admit there is no Trump-Russia conspiracy.

“We were never going find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,’” one Democrat aide said.

One Democrat investigator twisted himself into a pretzel trying to make even the most insignificant contact with anyone of Russian descent an issue — “Donald Trump Jr. made clear in his messages that he was willing to accept help from the Russians,” one Democratic Senate investigator said. “Trump publicly urged the Russians to find Clinton’s missing emails.”

What does that even mean?? Again, no crimes were committed and the Democrats blatantly ignore Hillary Clinton’s contact with a British spy who compiled a fake dossier from Russian intel sources to spy on her political opponent.

The House Intel Panel also began a parallel ‘Trump-Russia’ probe in January of 2017, but concluded in April of 2018 that they found zero evidence of collusion.

Mark Warner, the Democrat working along side of Senator Burr as Vice Chairman of the Senate Intel Panel has made numerous media appearances over the last two years complaining about Russian Twitter trolls and vaguely suggesting there are new developments in his committee’s Russia probe as evidence Trump may have conspired with Russia.

Although Senate Intel Chairman Burr doesn’t speak to the media too often, he publicly stated over the summer his committee still had found no evidence of Russian collusion and reiterated that statement once again in the Fall.

According to NBC, it is going to take about 6 or 7 months for the Senate Intel Committee to write their final report — JUST IN TIME FOR ELECTION SEASON! How convenient!

As the Senate Intel Committee and Robert Mueller wind down their investigations into ‘Trump-Russia collusion,’ House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is ramping up a massive investigation into President Trump’s finances and personal life, also known as presidential harassment.

via JUST IN: Senate Intel Committee Finds No Direct Evidence of Conspiracy Between Trump Campaign and Russia — The Gateway Pundit

The Anti-Gospel Coalition Says We Must ‘Earn the Right’ to Share the Gospel — Reformation Charlotte

These blockheads at The G̶o̶s̶p̶e̶l̶ Coalition continue to spew anti-gospel filth from their foaming fingertips at an alarming rate. Greg Forster puts out a piece yesterday saying that Christians need to “earn the right” to share the gospel with people in their workplace? Why? Because, essentially, people don’t like it when we do.

“Earn the right to be heard.” This comes from Bill Peel, director of the Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University. As he explains, we have shifted from a cultural environment where it was assumed Christianity had something of value to say about life to an environment where the opposite is assumed. Generally speaking, people won’t listen to us until we earn the right to be heard.

Yeah. No.

When has the “cultural environment” EVER assumed that Christians — true, Bible-believing Christians — had anything of value to say? Jesus said Christians will be hated and persecuted, and that when they do, it’s because they hate Him first. This has always been the case. Unbelievers do not want to hear the gospel — it’s foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 1:18).

He continues,

People don’t like to be condescended to or manipulated. If you are only in that workplace to get a conversion out of people, they will know it and they will resent it. Excellent performance in the work itself, for its own sake, along with humane treatment of customers and coworkers, will earn you the right to be heard.

Again, this is stupid. First off, who only goes to work to “get a conversion out of people.” Paul commanded us in 1 Corinthians 10 to do all things to the glory of God. That includes our work. What brings God the most glory? His son Jesus. What did Jesus tell us to do? Go out and proclaim his name among the nations — to make disciples. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that “all authority in heaven and on earth” had been given to him. Jesus is the one that earned the right to be heard. That burden is not on us.

Earning the right to be heard takes time. You should not expect evangelistic opportunities quickly. Trust that as you labor faithfully, God will use your track record of excellent performance and humane treatment of people to awaken the hearts of those around you.

This is just unbiblical claptrap. Not one place in Scripture does it say that our “labor” or our “track record of excellent performance and humane treatment of people” is what awakens the hearts of people. How idiotic drivel like this makes it through editing in a blog that purports to be “Calvinistic” is beyond comprehension. The Scriptures are clear. It is God who awakens and draws people (John 6:44), and he does so through the foolishness of preaching

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 1:21).

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:13-17 (ESV)

The whole concept of “relationship evangelism” is an unbiblical concept. We are called to proclaim Christ by proclaiming the truth. We’re not called to make friends with the world — for friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). If you’re worried about offending unbelievers with the gospel, you don’t understand the gospel. We’re not after peace with the world. That’s what the world wants from us. The world wants us to stop proclaiming Christ, and when we do, we’ve lost the gospel altogether.

via The Anti-Gospel Coalition Says We Must ‘Earn the Right’ to Share the Gospel — Reformation Charlotte

Is Christianity a religion of doctrine or of love? Yes. — Southern Equip

Classical liberals often say that Christianity is a life, not a doctrine. Have you ever heard anyone say that? People sometimes say: It doesn’t really matter what you believe. What matters is that you love other people. What matters is that you do good in the world, rescue the oppressed, care for the sick and poor, and help those in need. As long as you love and do good in the world, it doesn’t matter what doctrines you believe. Doctrines cause divisions, conflicts and wars. So, let people believe whatever they want. What really matters is that we love our fellow human beings.

In his magnificent treatise, Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen argues that this liberal idea is not true. It is the very opposite of biblical Christianity. Christianity does not begin by telling us to love other people. It begins with the great biblical doctrines of God, man, Christ, and the gospel. Christianity doesn’t begin with a command to love God or others. It begins with the sweet doctrine of God’s love. Christianity begins by proclaiming that God is holy, but we are sinners in need of salvation. And God lovingly looked down upon this broken world, and he graciously sent his only Son, Jesus, into this world to die for poor sinners and to rise again on the third day.

Love God, Love neighbor

Now, it’s important to understand that if you believe the gospel, you will most certainly love other people. The Bible never minimizes the importance of love. The Ten Commandments are all about how we should love God and love others. Jesus set an example of love and taught us to love. We must preach that true faith in Christ and repentance of sin leads to love for God and love for others. But here is the Christian distinctive that is different from liberalism: God commands us to love because he first loved us by sending Jesus to die for our sins. That is a doctrine, not a life of love.

Machen proves that according to the Bible, sound doctrine is more fundamental to Christianity than our love for others.

Consider Philippians 1:15-18. Paul says, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed and in that I rejoice.”

Now isn’t this an interesting passage? On the one hand, you have preachers who preach the gospel in love and sincerity (v. 16). On the other hand, you have preachers who preach the gospel with bad and unloving motives (v. 17). And what does Paul say? He says he’s thankful for both kinds of preachers because they both preach the true doctrine of the gospel. Certainly all preachers should love others. It’s very important to understand that. An unloving preacher is a contradiction. Paul is not condoning unloving preaching.

But Paul says that if an unloving preacher preaches the true gospel, he rejoices that the gospel is preached. So, according to Paul, orthodox doctrine takes precedence over love for others. Paul is saying that you can’t have Christianity at all without the orthodox doctrine of the gospel.

Now consider Galatians 1:6-9. You remember the context of Paul’s letter to the Galatians? Some false teachers had crept into the Galatian churches. They were teaching that Christians need to observe the Jewish law. They were very particular about following the old covenant laws of God. They were probably very outwardly moral in many ways.

But in Galatians 1:6-9, Paul says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, not that there is another one, but that there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

No doctrine, no Christianity

So, Paul condemns preachers who preach a different gospel, even if they are very rigorous about the law of love. This is because without the doctrine of the gospel, there can be no Christianity at all.

And that is what theological liberals fail to grasp. They think that our love for others is the essence of Christianity. But in reality, God’s saving love for his people in the gospel of Jesus Christ is the essence of Christianity.

Machen says, “Here is found the most fundamental difference between Liberalism and Christianity – Liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative; Liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God.”

via Is Christianity a religion of doctrine or of love? Yes. — Southern Equip

RenewAmerica Newsletter for February 12, 2019

February 11, 2019
RENEWAMERICA STAFF — In Utah, unethical “insurance medical examiners” hired to deprive injured workers of guaranteed Workers Compensation medical and other benefits are protected by “state policy” from any liability for harm resulting from their fraudulent examinations…. (more)

February 11, 2019
Baby killer ran a ‘hellhole of an abortion clinic’
JOHN FUND — Rarely has a new movie become available at a time when the news made its subject matter timelier and more appropriate. Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer is the true story of a doctor who went to prison for life in 2013 for stabbing several infants he had delivered alive inside his hellhole of an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. After being almost completely ignored by critics during its release last year, last week the movie went on sale in Walmart and on Amazon, where it is the No. 1 best-selling dramatic DVD. At the same time, infanticide became a key issue in major stories in Virginia and New York…. (more)

February 11, 2019
AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM — This morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released an overview of the Democrat “Green New Deal” which threatens “a massive transformation of our society.” Below are the details of the proposal. Rebuild every single building in the U.S…. (more)


February 10, 2019
AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM — Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has finally made the details of the “Green New Deal” public. The highlights include ending the use of fossil fuels by 2030, decommissioning every nuclear power plant in the next ten years, ending air travel, mandating all new jobs be unionized, rebuilding “every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency” and blanket “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”… (more)


February 10, 2019
YOUTUBE — A Cornell Law professor who is also advising freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined Tucker Carlson on Friday to iron out the congresswoman’s radical Green New Deal…. (more)

February 10, 2019
GATEWAY PUNDIT — Purple Heart triple-amputee vet Brian Kolfage underwent an invasive TSA pat-down at Tucson International Airport on the morning after the “We Build the Wall” town hall. A TSA agent groped and searched under Brian Kolfage’s hips, buttocks, groin and his half arm searching for what exactly? In addition to groping Kolfage, agents also swabbed his prosthetic legs and wheelchair for explosives…. (more)

February 10, 2019
Club punished after gay man not allowed to lead Bible studies
WORLDNETDAILY — A federal judge granted students in a Christian business club at the University of Iowa the right to choose leaders who uphold their religious beliefs. The university had withdrawn the registration of the club, BLinC, after a homosexual student complained he was not allowed to lead Bible studies and take other leadership roles…. (more)

February 9, 2019
NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their second summit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi later this month, the president said on Friday night. “My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un. It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace!”… (more)

February 9, 2019
SUSAN FERRECHIO — House and Senate negotiators are closing in on a possible border security agreement that would fund new technology, additional border patrol agents, and likely some kind of fencing in certain areas along the southern border. There’s no mention of a wall in the deal, per orders of Democratic leaders who vehemently oppose it…. (more)


February 9, 2019
Issue ‘must be decided for the entire nation’ to uphold ‘Equal Justice Under Law’
WORLDNETDAILY — As the battle over abortion intensifies following Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s assent to infanticide and New York’s passage of an abortion-until-birth law, the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review a Colorado case involving frozen embryos. At issue are embryos created by Mandy Rooks and her ex-husband, Drake, during their marriage…. (more)


February 9, 2019
Chief Justice Roberts sides with court’s left wing
WORLDNETDAILY — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who famously redefined the Obamacare mandate as a tax to justify it constitutionally, has sided with the court’s liberals in an abortion-related case. The justices voted 5-4 on Thursday to suspend temporarily a Louisiana law that would require abortion business operators to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals…. (more)

February 9, 2019
‘Wildly inappropriate’ grilling of nominees’ beliefs
WORLDNETDAILY — Democratic lawmakers once again have subjected a presidential nominee to questions about personal religious beliefs, this time drawing a reprimand from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Lee was responding to Democratic Sen. Cory Booker’s questioning D.C. Circuit Court nominee Naomi Rao on whether she views gay relationships to be “immoral” during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing…. (more)

February 9, 2019
NEWSMAX — The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to expedite construction of a “secondary wall” on the U.S-Mexico border. The secondary wall will be built in the eastern portion of Border Field State Park in San Diego, extend for 12.5 miles and should be 18 feet tall, a spokesperson for the sector told the Washington Examiner. It was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on December 20, 2018…. (more)

February 9, 2019
LIFE SITE NEWS — One of the attorneys representing Covington High School student Nick Sandmann and his parents confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Native American activist Nathan Phillips, and some of the others who have received notices from the attorneys, “will be sued.” Lin Wood, an Atlanta-based lawyer, told LifeSite yesterday that Phillips’ “lies and false accusations” against Sandmann and the other Covington students are “well documented.”… (more)

February 9, 2019
LIFE SITE NEWS — Pop star Justin Bieber opened up about his marriage to his wife Hailey in a Vogue interview released this week, in the process expressing beliefs about God and sex that contrast sharply from today’s secular Hollywood norm. The 24-year-old Bieber reportedly married model and TV presenter Hailey Baldwin last September at a New York City courthouse, and they plan to hold a wedding ceremony later this year. Their friendship goes back ten years, including a brief courtship three years ago and a 12-week courtship leading up to their marriage…. (more)

February 7, 2019
JOAN SWIRSKY — When individuals kill themselves, we look for answers in their DNA, their environments, their personal reactions to feelings of impotent rage, rejection, disappointment, heartbreak. But how to explain group suicide? Wikipedia lists numerous cases, starting in 206 B.C., and these relatively recent cases:… (more)

February 7, 2019
BRYAN FISCHER — New Muslima congressman (generic use of “man”) Ilhan Omar is proposing a 90% tax on the wealthiest Americans. This, of course, is insane. These are the folks that know how to turn money into jobs. The last thing we should want to do with their wealth is siphon it off and dump in a bottomless federal money pit where it will be used to pay shrimp to run on treadmills…. (more)

February 7, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — The settlers and the founders of this country spoke a lot about their posterity – – the generations that would follow them. For example, the Constitution begins, “We the People of the United States, in Order to…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution” (emphasis added)…. (more)

February 6, 2019
NC Democrats introduced abortion bill similar to New York’s in 2017
REV. MARK CREECH — Much of America was shocked to learn about New York’s passage of a law that allows for an abortion during all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy, and for any reason. The law so expands abortion that even a child born alive in a botched procedure isn’t protected. The new law says health care practitioners who are not physicians may also terminate the child within the womb. It removes abortion from New York’s state criminal code, meaning if a baby in utero was to die from an assault on a woman there could be no severe prosecution. Furthermore, the New York law allows young girls of every age to have an abortion without parental consent…. (more)

February 6, 2019
Pat Buchanan on Democrats: ‘In what states are infanticide and socialism winning issues?’
PAT BUCHANAN — If the pollsters at CNN and CBS are correct, Donald Trump may have found the formula for winning a second term in 2020. His State of the Union address, say the two networks, met with the approval of 76 percent of all viewers – – 97 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats. Seventy-two percent agreed with the president’s plans for securing the border with Mexico…. (more)

February 6, 2019
BYRON YORK — When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., disinvited President Trump from delivering the State of the Union on its originally scheduled date, Jan. 29, the White House and Republicans in Congress brainstormed about what to do. Should Trump travel somewhere, such as the U.S.-Mexico border, and give his speech there? Should he show up at the Capitol on the 29th and demand to speak? Should he deliver the address in writing, as it was for many years of the nation’s history?… (more)

February 6, 2019
DAILY CALLER — Tucker Carlson took aim at former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and the “identity politics” she defended in an article published earlier this month. One day after Abrams gave the Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, the Fox News host downplayed her speech, but called attention to the Foreign Affairs piece as “far more interesting” for those who “want to understand what the Democratic Party seeks for this country.”… (more)

February 6, 2019
NEW YORK POST — Virginia’s leadership crisis took an absurd turn Wednesday when the man who is second in line to become governor admitted he has worn blackface – – even as Gov. Ralph Northam’s job is already on the line for the same thing and the man who is first in line to replace him is embroiled in a sex scandal…. (more)


February 6, 2019
PAUL BEDARD — A key black Virginia political leader Tuesday hit white Democrats for not moving quick enough to demand the resignation of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam over a picture on his college yearbook page featuring a man in blackface next to another in a KKK robe…. (more)

February 6, 2019
LIFE NEWS — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is under fire for endorsing infanticide yesterday on a radio talk show. Northam not only defended a bill in the state legislature that would legalize abortions up to birth – – even if the mother is dilated – – he defended infanticide during a radio show today…. (more)

 

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 12, 2019

The Foundation

“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party generally.” —George Washington (1796)

Congress on the Cusp of a Border Deal

Dems agree to give some funding for the construction of a physical border barrier.


Fact-Checking the Leftmedia

Media outlets already don’t separate news from opinion, and “fact-checkers” are the worst offenders.


Ilhan Omar: The Effluent of Leftist Identity Politics

But if Democrats ever start to lose Jewish votes in significant numbers, watch out.


Two Years Later — A Look at Trump’s Foreign Policy

From ISIS to North Korea to Iran to Russia to China, the president is making a difference.


Stacey Abrams Promotes the Fallacy of Identity Politics

National unity cannot be achieved by pitting identity groups against each other.


Dispatcher Takes Her Dad’s Final PD Sign Off Call

Chattanooga Police Lt. Austin Garrett retired after 25 years. His daughter is the dispatcher.


Video: The One Privilege Dems Will Never Acknowledge

Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire gang slam the leftist mantra of “check your privilege.”



Today’s Opinion

Rich Lowry
A Travesty in New York
Hans von Spakovsky
Stacey Abrams’ False Claims About Election Integrity
Stephen Moore
Green Is the New Red
Dennis Prager
Not ‘All Americans’ Are ‘Proud That We Have More Women in the Workforce Than Ever Before’
James Shott
Due Process and Proving Guilt Are Important Principles of Fairness
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top Headline Summary

Immigrants sue, Green New Deal “confusion,” voter ID, citizenship question, financial confidence, Omar “apology,” and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

“Just because the Democrats do not go on random Twitter tirades does not mean they are better characters.” —Erick Erickson



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

February 12, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Happy Are the Hungry

(5:6)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (5:6)

This beatitude speaks of strong desire, of driving pursuit, of a passionate force inside the soul. It has to do with ambition—ambition of the right sort—whose object is to honor, obey, and glorify God by partaking of His righteousness. This holy ambition is in great contrast to the common ambitions of men to gratify their own lusts, accomplish their own goals, and satisfy their own egos.

As no other creature, Lucifer basked in the splendor and radiance of God’s glory. The name Lucifer means “star of the morning” or, more literally, “the bright one.” But he was not satisfied with living in God’s glory, and he said in his heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13–14). His ambition was not to reflect God’s glory but to usurp God’s sovereign power—while forsaking righteousness. Therefore when Satan declared his intention to make himself like the Most High, the Most High responded by declaring to His adversary, “You will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (v. 15).

As king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar ruled over the greatest of all world empires. One day as he walked on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, “the king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ ” (Dan. 4:29–30). Nebuchadnezzar lusted after praise just as Lucifer lusted after power. God’s reaction was immediate: “While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes’ ” (vv. 31–32).

Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer whose crops were so abundant that he did not have enough space to store them. After planning to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones, he said, “ ‘I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16–21).

Lucifer hungered for power; Nebuchadnezzar hungered for praise; and the rich fool hungered for pleasure. Because they hungered for wrong things and rejected God’s good things, they forfeited both.

Jesus declares that the deepest desire of every person ought to be to hunger and thirst for righteousness. That is the Spirit-prompted desire that will lead a person to salvation and keep him strong and faithful once he is in the kingdom. It is also the only ambition that, when fulfilled, brings enduring happiness.

The American Declaration of Independence asserts that citizens have the right to the pursuit of happiness. The founding fathers did not presume to guarantee that all who pursue it would find it, because that is beyond the power of any government to provide. Each person is free to seek whatever kind of happiness he wants in the way he wants within the law. Sadly, most US citizens, like most people throughout all of history, have chosen to pursue the wrong kind of happiness in ways that provide no kind of happiness.

Jesus says that the way to happiness, the way to being truly blessed, is the way of spiritual hunger and thirst.

The Necessity for Spiritual Hunger

Hunger and thirst represent the necessities of physical life. Jesus’ analogy demonstrates that righteousness is required for spiritual life just as food and water are required for physical life. Righteousness is not an optional spiritual supplement but a spiritual necessity. We can no more live spiritually without righteousness than we can live physically without food and water.

Since the great famine in Egypt during the time of Joseph, and probably long before then, the world has been periodically plagued by famines. Rome experienced a famine in 436 B.C., which was so severe that thousands of people threw themselves into the Tiber River to drown rather than starve to death. Famine struck England in a.d. 1005, and all of Europe suffered great famines in 879, 1016, and 1162. In our own century, despite the advances in agriculture, many parts of the world still experience periodic famines. In recent years Africa has seen some of the most devastating famines in the world’s history. In the last 100 years tens of millions throughout the world have died from starvation or from the many diseases that accompany severe malnutrition.

A starving person has a single, all-consuming passion for food and water. Nothing else has the slightest attraction or appeal; nothing else can even get his attention.

Those who are without God’s righteousness are starved for spiritual life. But tragically they do not have the natural desire for spiritual life that they do for physical. The tendency of fallen mankind is to turn to itself and to the world for meaning and life, just as “ ‘a dog returns to its own vomit,’ and ‘a sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire’ ” (2 Pet. 2:22; cf. Prov. 26:11).

The heart of every person in the world was created with a sense of inner emptiness and need. Yet apart from God’s revelation men do not recognize what the need is or know what will satisfy it. Like the prodigal son, they will eat pigs’ food, because they have nothing else. “Why,” God asks, “do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:2). The reason is that men have forsaken God, “the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Though God has created men with a need for Himself, they try to satisfy that need through lifeless gods of their own making.

Again like the prodigal son, men are prone to take good things God has given—such as possessions, health, freedom, opportunities, and knowledge—and spend them on pleasure, power, popularity, fame, and every other form of self-satisfaction. But unlike the prodigal, they are often content to stay in the far country, away from God and away from His blessings.

People are warned not to “love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17).

Seeking satisfaction only in God and in His provision is a mark of those who come into His kingdom. Those who belong to the King hunger and thirst for the King’s righteousness. They desire sin to be replaced with virtue and disobedience to be replaced by obedience. They are eager to serve the Word and will of God.

Jesus’ call to spiritual hunger and thirst also follows logically in the progression of the Beatitudes. The first three are essentially negative, commands to forsake evil things that are barriers to the kingdom. In poverty of spirit we turn away from self-seeking; in mourning we turn away from self-satisfaction; and in meekness we turn away from self-serving.

The first three beatitudes are also costly and painful. Becoming poor in spirit involves death to self. Mourning over sin involves facing up to our sinfulness. Becoming meek involves surrendering our power to God’s control.

The fourth beatitude is more positive and is a consequence of the other three. When we put aside self, sins, and power and turn to the Lord, we are given a great desire for righteousness. The more we put aside what we have, the more we long for what God has.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “This Beatitude again follows logically from the previous ones; it is a statement to which all the others lead. It is the logical conclusion to which they come, and it is something for which we should all be profoundly thankful and grateful to God. I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture, you can be quite certain you are a Christian. If it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 1:73–74).

The person who has no hunger and thirst for righteousness has no part in God’s kingdom. To have God’s life within us through the new birth in Jesus Christ is to desire more of His likeness within us by growing in righteousness. This is readily clear from David’s confession in Psalm 119:97, “O how I love Thy law.” Paul echoes David’s passion for righteousness in Romans 7:22, where he testifies, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” The true believer desires to obey, even though he struggles with unredeemed flesh (cf. Rom. 8:23).

The Meaning of Spiritual Hunger

Most of us have never faced life-threatening hunger and thirst. We think of hunger as missing a meal or two in a row, and of thirst as having to wait an hour on a hot day to get a cold drink. But the hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks here is of a much more intense sort.

During the liberation of Palestine in World War I, a combined force of British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers was closely pursuing the Turks as they retreated from the desert. As the allied troops moved northward past Beersheba they began to outdistance their water-carrying camel train. When the water ran out, their mouths got dry, their heads ached, and they became dizzy and faint. Eyes became bloodshot, lips swelled and turned purple, and mirages became common. They knew that if they did not make the wells of Sheriah by nightfall, thousands of them would die—as hundreds already had done. Literally fighting for their lives, they managed to drive the Turks from Sheriah.

As water was distributed from the great stone cisterns, the more able-bodied were required to stand at attention and wait for the wounded and those who would take guard duty to drink first. It was four hours before the last man had his drink. During that time the men stood no more than twenty feet from thousands of gallons of water, to drink of which had been their consuming passion for many agonizing days. It is said that one of the officers who was present reported, “I believe that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on the march from Beersheba to Sheriah Wells. If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness and for His will in our lives, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruit of the Spirit would we be?” (E.M. Blaiklock, “Water,” Eternity (August 1966), p. 27).

That is the kind of hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks in this beatitude. The strongest and deepest impulses in the natural realm are used to represent the depth of desire the called of God and redeemed have for righteousness. The present participle is used in each case and signifies continuous longing, continuous seeking. Those who truly come to Jesus Christ come hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and those who are in Him continue to know that deep longing for holiness.

The parallel passage in Luke says, “Blessed are you who hunger now” (6:21). Desire for righteousness is to characterize our life now and in the rest of our earthly existence.

When Moses was in the wilderness, God appeared to him in a burning bush. When he went back to Egypt to deliver his people, he saw God’s might and power in the miracles and the ten plagues. He saw God part the Dead Sea and swallow up their Egyptian pursuers. He saw God’s glory in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire which led Israel in the wilderness. He built a Tabernacle for God and saw the Lord’s glory shining over the Holy of Holies. Over and over Moses had sought and had seen God’s glory. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). But Moses was never satisfied and always wanted to see more. He continued to plead, “I pray Thee, show Thy glory” (v. 18).

Moses never had enough of the Lord. Yet from that dissatisfaction came satisfaction. Because of his continual longing for God, Moses found favor in His sight (v. 17), and God promised him, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you” (v. 19).

David declared, “O God, Thou art my God,” but continued, “I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).

Paul had great visions of God and great revelations from God, yet he was not satisfied. He had given up his own righteousness “derived from the law” and was growing in “the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” But still he longed to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:9–10). Peter expressed his own great desire and hunger when he counseled those to whom he wrote to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

John Darby wrote, “To be hungry is not enough; I must be really starving to know what is in God’s heart toward me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed on the husks, but when he was starving, he turned to his father.” That is the hunger of which the fourth beatitude speaks, the hunger for righteousness that only the Father can satisfy.

Several years ago someone told me of a friend who had begun coming to a Bible study but soon gave it up, explaining that she wanted to be religious but did not want to make the commitment that Scripture demands. She had little hunger for the things of God. She wanted to pick and choose, to nibble at whatever suited her fancy—because basically she was satisfied with the way she was. In her own eyes she had enough, and thereby became one of the self-adjudged rich whom the Lord sends away empty-handed. It is only the hungry that He fills with good things (Luke 1:53).

The Object of Spiritual Hunger

As with the other beatitudes, the goal of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is twofold. For the unbeliever the goal is salvation; for the believer it is sanctification.

for salvation

When a person initially hungers and thirsts for righteousness he seeks salvation, the righteousness that comes when one turns from sin to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. In poverty of spirit he sees his sin; in mourning he laments and turns from his sin; in meekness he submits his own sinful way and power to God; and in hunger and thirst he seeks God’s righteousness in Christ to replace his sin.

In many Old Testament passages righteousness is used as a synonym for salvation. “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,” the Lord said through Isaiah (51:5). Daniel wrote of the time when “those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

When a person abandons all hope of saving himself, all confidence in self-righteousness, and begins to hunger for the salvation that brings God’s righteousness and the obedience that God requires, he will be blessed, be made divinely happy.

The Jews’ greatest obstacle to receiving the gospel was their self-righteousness, their confidence in their own purity and holiness, which they imagined was created by good works. Because they were God’s chosen race, and as keepers of the law—or, more often, keepers of men’s interpretations of the law—they felt heaven was assured.

The Messiah told them, however, that the only way to salvation was by hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness to replace their own self-righteousness, which was really unrighteousness.

for sanctification

For believers, the object of hungering and thirsting is to grow in the righteousness received from trusting in Christ. That growth is sanctification, which more than anything else is the mark of a Christian.

No believer “arrives” in his spiritual life until he reaches heaven, and to claim perfection of any sort before then is the ultimate presumption. Children of the kingdom never stop needing or hungering for more of God’s righteousness and holiness to be manifest in them through their obedience. Paul prayed for believers in Philippi that their love might “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9–10).

In the Greek language, verbs such as hunger and thirst normally have objects that are in the partitive genitive, a case that indicates incompleteness, or partialness. A literal English rendering would be: “I hunger for of food” or “I thirst for of water.” The idea is that a person only hungers for some food and some water, not for all the food and water in the world.

But Jesus does not here use the partitive genitive but the accusative, and righteousness is therefore the unqualified and unlimited object of hunger and thirst. The Lord identifies those who desire all the righteousness there is (cf. Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15–16).

Jesus also uses the definite article (tēn), indicating that He is not speaking of just any righteousness, but the righteousness, the only true righteousness—that which comes from God and, in fact, is God’s very own righteousness which He has in Himself.

It becomes obvious, then, that we cannot possibly have our longing for godliness satisfied in this life, so we are left to continually hunger and thirst until the day we are clothed entirely in Christ’s righteousness.

The Result of Spiritual Hunger

The result of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is being satisfied. Chortazō was frequently used of the feeding of animals until they wanted nothing more. They were allowed to eat until they were completely satisfied.

Jesus’ divine pronouncement is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be given total satisfaction. The giving of satisfaction is God’s work, as the future passive tense indicates: they shall be satisfied. Our part is to seek; His part is to satisfy.

Again there is a marvelous paradox, because though saints continually seek God’s righteousness, always wanting more and never getting all, they nevertheless will be satisfied. We may eat steak or our favorite pie until we can eat no more, yet our taste for those things continues and even increases. It is the very satisfaction that makes us want more. We want to eat more of those things because they are so satisfying. The person who genuinely hungers and thirsts for God’s righteousness finds it so satisfying that he wants more and more.

God’s satisfying those who seek and love Him is a repeated theme in the Psalms. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Ps. 107:9). “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (34:10). The best-loved of all psalms begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and later declares, “Thou dost prepare a table before me … my cup overflows” (23:1, 5).

Predicting the great blessings of Christ’s millennial kingdom, Jeremiah assured Israel that in that day, “ ‘My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 31:14). Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar that “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). To the crowds near Capernaum, many of whom had been among the five thousand He fed with the five barley loaves and the two fish, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

The Testing Of Spiritual Hunger

There are several marks of genuine hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. First is dissatisfaction with self. The person who is pleased with his own righteousness will see no need for God’s. The great Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, “He has most need of righteousness that least wants it.” No matter how rich his spiritual experience or how advanced his spiritual maturity, the hungering Christian will always say, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

Second is freedom from dependence on external things for satisfaction. A hungry man cannot be satisfied by an arrangement of lovely flowers, or beautiful music, or pleasant conversation. All of those things are good, but they have no ability to satisfy hunger. Neither can anything but God’s own righteousness satisfy the person who has true spiritual hunger and thirst.

Third is craving for the Word of God, the basic spiritual food He provides His children. A hungry man does not have to be begged to eat. Jeremiah rejoiced, “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). The more we seek God’s righteousness, the more we will want to devour Scripture. Feeding on God’s Word increases our appetite for it.

Fourth is the pleasantness of the things of God. “To a famished man any bitter thing is sweet” (Prov. 27:7). The believer who seeks God’s righteousness above all other things will find fulfillment and satisfaction even in those things that humanly are disastrous. Thomas Watson comments that “the one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness can feed on the myrrh of the gospel as well as the honey.” Even the Lord’s reproofs and discipline bring satisfaction, because they are signs of our Father’s love. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6).

A final mark of true spiritual hunger is unconditionality. When our spiritual hunger and thirst are genuine they will make no conditions; they will seek and accept God’s righteousness in whatever way He chooses to provide it and will obey His commands no matter how demanding they may be. The least of God’s righteousness is more valuable than the greatest of anything we possess in ourselves or that the world can offer. The rich young ruler wanted only the part of God’s kingdom that fit his own plans and desires, and he was therefore unfit for the kingdom. He thirsted more for other things than for the things of God. His conditions for God’s blessings barred him from them.

The spiritually hungry do not ask for Christ and economic success, Christ and personal satisfaction, Christ and popularity, or Christ and anything else. They want only Christ and what God in His wisdom and love sovereignly provides through Christ—whatever that may or may not be.

The spiritually hungry cry, “My soul is crushed with longing after Thine ordinances at all times” (Ps. 119:20), and they confess, “At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently” (Isa. 26:9).[1]


Guaranteed Satisfaction

Matthew 5:6

Ever since famine drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt in the second millennium b.c. (and probably also before that time) crop failures, and consequent hunger and starvation, have been a chronic problem of mankind. Drought, wars, and plant disease have swept through history, leaving behind a trail of misery and death. Often little could be done to stop them.

Famine came to Rome in 436 b.c., causing thousands of people to throw themselves into the Tiber River and end their lives. Famine struck England in 1005. All Europe suffered in 879, 1016, and 1162. Even in the nineteenth century, with its great advances in technology and commerce, hunger stalked many countries—Russia, China, India, Ireland—and many died. Today, in India, thousands die of malnutrition and its accompanying diseases, and hundreds more perish in the nations of Latin America and the other emerging nations. Hunger, like war and pestilence, has always been a bellicose neighbor to large sectors of the human race.

Unfortunately, the physical hunger of some men is only a pale reflection of a far more serious hunger that affects all mankind. It is a spiritual hunger, which is satisfied only by God through the Lord Jesus Christ. St. Augustine spoke of this hunger when he wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee” (Confessions, I, 1). Jesus showed how this hunger could be satisfied. He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). This statement of Jesus Christ’s is the fourth beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount. It is God’s answer to man’s spiritual longing.

God’s Answer

This beatitude follows in a very definite order upon the first three of Christ’s beatitudes, and there is a sense in which it stands at the heart of this short compendium of Christ’s teachings.

The first three verses of the Sermon on the Mount have all pointed to man’s need and have shown the type of approach that is necessary if a man is to be made spiritually happy by God. First, the man who comes to God must be “poor in spirit.” He must recognize that he is spiritually bankrupt in God’s sight and that he has no claim upon him. Second, he must “mourn.” This does not refer simply to the kind of sorrow experienced for the sick or dying. It is sorrow for sin. And it implies that the one who sorrows must come to God for comfort. Third, the man who would experience God’s salvation must also be “meek.” This refers to his taking a lowly place before God in order that he might receive God’s salvation. These beatitudes have all expressed man’s need. Now in the fourth beatitude there comes a solution: if a man will hunger and thirst after righteousness, God will fill him with righteousness and will declare him righteous. That man will be justified before God, and he will embark upon the blessed and effective life outlined in the remainder of Christ’s sermon.

Does this verse touch your heart as an expression of all that is most precious in the Christian gospel? Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes of this verse, “This beatitude again follows logically from the previous ones; it is a statement to which all the others lead. It is the logical conclusion to which they come, and it is something for which we should all be profoundly thankful and grateful to God. I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture, you can be quite certain you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again.” The verse is precious because it offers the solution to man’s great need by pointing to the offer of God’s greater remedy in Christ.

True Righteousness

The verse is most specific about how one can obtain this happiness, but the reason why so many people are unhappy spiritually is that they will not accept God’s remedy. What must man do? First, he must desire righteousness. Second, he must desire a perfect (and, therefore, a divine) righteousness. Third, he must desire it intensely. That is, he must desire it enough to abandon all hope of achieving salvation by his own efforts, and cling instead to the efforts made for him by God. Each of these points is suggested explicitly in the beatitude.

In the first place, the man who would be happy must come to God seeking righteousness. So many come seeking anything and everything else. Some seek happiness itself. But the verse says that the happy people are those who seek, not happiness primarily, but holiness before God. Some people seek happiness through other things, such as fortune or fame. Some seek it through sex and marriage. The Bible teaches that happiness comes only through righteousness.

A moment’s reflection will show why this must be so. God is the source of all good things: fortune, fame, sex, success, happiness, and other things besides. James says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). But God is also holy, and, because he is, he can have no dealings with those who are not holy. Men are sinners. Sin breaks the fellowship that should exist between men and God; it makes all who are sinners God’s enemies. The only way that man can enter again into fellowship with God and find the happiness and blessing he longs for is to possess a righteousness and holiness that will commend him to God.

Can this be done? Not by man, certainly. But God can and will do it. The heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that in him God has obtained our redemption and provided all who believe in Christ with that righteousness. The Bible says that Jesus Christ “has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). And those who hunger and thirst after his righteousness shall be filled.

Moreover, Christians must hunger and thirst after righteousness. For that which enters into their becoming a Christian must also characterize their life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones writes, “There are large numbers of people in the Christian Church who seem to spend the whole of their life seeking something which they can never find, seeking for some kind of happiness and blessedness. They go around from meeting to meeting, and convention to convention, always hoping they are going to get this wonderful thing, this experience that is going to fill them with joy, and flood them with some ecstacy. They see that other people have had it, but they themselves do not seem to get it. … Now that is not surprising. We are not meant to hunger and thirst after experiences; we are not meant to hunger and thirst after blessedness. If we want to be truly happy and blessed we must hunger and thirst after righteousness. We must not put blessedness or happiness or experience in the first place.”

What is the case in your life? Do you put righteousness first or do you seek after something else, even something quite good in itself? Do not forget that righteousness must come first. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).

A Perfect Righteousness

The second point of the fourth beatitude is that the one who would know true happiness must desire not merely righteousness but perfect righteousness, and this means desiring the righteousness of God. It is necessary that we see this and see it clearly, for you and I are always ready to settle for something less than God requires, and if it were possible, we should always rush to substitute some of our own goodness for God’s.

In order to understand how this point emerges from the text it is necessary to point out a fact of Greek grammar. In the Greek language it is a rule of good grammar that verbs of hungering and thirsting are followed by nouns in the genitive case. This is the case that is expressed by the proposition “of” in English. An example of a genitive would be the last words in the phrases “peace of mind,” “love of God,” “object of faith,” and so on. The Greek would express a feeling of hunger by saying something like this: “I am hungry for of food” or “I am thirsty for of water.”

This particular use of the genitive case has an unusual characteristic on the basis of which it is called a partitive genitive. This means that it has reference only to a part of the object that occurs in the sentence. Thus, when the Greek would say, “I am hungry for of food,” he would be saying that he was hungry only for part of the food in the world, not all of it. And similarly, when he would say that he would like some water, the genitive would indicate that he did not want all the water the world has to offer, but only some of it. In more modern times the same grammatical structure appears in French. When seated at the table, you would never say, “Passez le pain, s’il vous plait”—that would mean pass all the bread there is. Instead to say, “Passez du pain,” for that means, “I would like some of the bread, please.”

The significance of this point for interpreting the fourth beatitude lies in the fact that the normal Greek usage is entirely abandoned in this verse. Instead of the word “righteousness” occurring in the genitive, as it should, it occurs in the accusative. And the meaning is that the one who hungers and thirsts as Christ intends him to hunger and thirst must hunger, not after a partial or imperfect righteousness (either his own or God’s), but after the whole thing. He must long for a perfect righteousness, and this means, therefore, a righteousness equal to and identical with God’s.

Of course, this is exactly what most people will not do. Most men and women have a desire for some degree of righteousness. Their self-esteem demands at least that. Thieves will have some code of honor among themselves, however debased. A murderer will strive for some small spark of nobility. A good man will take great pride in his philanthropy or good deeds. But the problem comes from the fact that few (and none unless God has prodded them) seek for the perfect goodness which comes only from him. If I were to rephrase the verse in order to recapture this flavor of the language, I would say, “O how happy is the man who knows enough not to be satisfied with any partial goodness with which to please God, who is not satisfied with any human goodness. He alone is happy who seeks for the divine righteousness, because God will certainly provide it.”

Hunger and Thirst

The third point of advice in Christ’s statement about how to discover God’s righteousness is that a man must desire it intensely. In Christ’s words, he must “hunger and thirst for righteousness” if he is to be filled. How quickly these words pierce to the spiritual heart of a man! And how quickly do they separate real spiritual hunger from mere sentimentality and vaguely religious feeling!

Since there is almost nothing in our experience today to suggest the force of Christ’s words, we must put ourselves in the shoes of his listeners if we are to fully understand them. Today almost none of us knows hunger. And few of us have ever known more than a momentary thirst. But it was not that way for Christ’s contemporaries. In the ancient world men often knew hunger. Wages were low, if they existed at all. Unless men were of the aristocracy they seldom grew fat on the fruit of honest labor. Many starved. Moreover, in a desert country where the sun was scorching and sand and wind storms were frequent, thirst was man’s constant companion. To such a world hunger meant the hunger of a starving man, and thirst, that of a man who would die without water.

It was against this background that Christ’s words were spoken. And they were, in effect, “So you think that you would like to be pleasing to God, that you would like to taste of his goodness. Well, how much do you want it? Do you want it as much as a starving man wants food or a parched man wants water? You must want it that desperately in order to be filled. For it is only when you are really desperate that you will turn to me and away from your own attempts to earn that goodness.”

Several years ago an article appeared in Eternity magazine by Dr. E. M. Blaiklock on the significance of water in the Bible, part of which is quite relevant here. The article was one in a series of articles on Bible imagery, and in one part of it Dr. Blaiklock referred by way of illustration to a book by Major V. Gilbert called The Last Crusade, an account of part of the British liberation of Palestine in World War I. Dr. Blaiklock wrote of the book: “Driving up from Beersheba, a combined force of British, Australians and New Zealanders were pressing on the rear of the Turkish retreat over arid desert. The attack out-distanced its water-carrying camel train. Water bottles were empty. The sun blazed pitilessly out of a sky where the vultures wheeled expectantly.

“ ‘Our heads ached,’ writes Gilbert, ‘and our eyes became bloodshot and dim in the blinding glare. … Our tongues began to swell … our lips turned a purplish black and burst …’ Those who dropped out of the column were never seen again, but the desperate force battled on to Sheria. There were wells at Sheria, and had they been unable to take the place by nightfall, thousands were doomed to die of thirst. ‘We fought that day,’ writes Gilbert, ‘as men fight for their lives. … We entered Sheria station on the heels of the retreating Turks. The first objects which met our view were the great stone cisterns full of cold, clear, drinking water. In the still night air the sound of water running into the tanks could be distinctly heard, maddening in its nearness; yet not a man murmured when orders were given for the battalions to fall in, two deep, facing the cisterns.’

“He describes the stern priorities: the wounded, those on guard duty, then company by company. It took four hours before the last man had his drink of water, and in all that time they had been standing 20 feet from a low stone wall, on the other side of which were thousands of gallons of water.

“ ‘I believe,’ Major Gilbert concludes, ‘that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on that march from Beersheba to Sheria wells.’ If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness, for His will in our life, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruits of the Spirit would we be.”

Christ, Our Satisfaction

The conclusion of this study is that where there is this desire for righteousness there will be filling. And the filling will be Christ himself.

In this first sermon, given early in his three-year ministry, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they will be filled,” but he did not elaborate further on the filling. Later, when his teachings began to make their impact on the small circle of his listeners, he did. He said to the woman of Samaria, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. … Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 13–14). To the disciples who had witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee he added, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Have you drunk deeply at that spring and fed on that bread? Or are you still feeding on things that do not satisfy? When the prodigal son left home he expected to find complete satisfaction. He wanted to live; and life to him meant money, clothes, food, companionship, and gay times. Instead of these things he found poverty, rags, hunger, loneliness, and misery. When he was hungry he turned to feeding swine. It was only when he was finally starving that he turned back to his father. In his father’s company he found all he had thought to find in the world. His father clothed him, fed him, welcomed him, and rejoiced in his return.

How sad if you should turn from the One who guarantees satisfaction in life to things that will never satisfy for long! How blessed for you to return to the Father through the way in which he has told you to come, through the Lord Jesus Christ![2]


6. Happy are they who hunger. To hunger and thirst is here, I think, used as a figurative expression, and means to suffer poverty, to want the necessaries of life, and even to be defrauded of one’s right. Matthew says, who thirst after righteousness, and thus makes one class stand for all the rest. He represents more strongly the unworthy treatment which they have received, when he says that, though they are anxious, though they groan, they desire nothing but what is proper. “Happy are they who, though their wishes are so moderate, that they desire nothing to be granted to them but what is reasonable, are yet in a languishing condition, like persons who are famishing with hunger.” Though their distressing anxiety exposes them to the ridicule of others, yet it is a certain preparation for happiness: for at length they shall be satisfied. God will one day listen to their groans, and satisfy their just desires: for to Him, as we learn from the song of the Virgin, it belongs to fill the hungry with good things, (Luke 1:53.)[3]


6 “Hunger and thirst” vividly express desire. The sons of Korah cried, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps 42:2; cf. 63:1). The deepest spiritual famine is hunger for the word of God (Am 8:11–14).

The precise nature of the righteousness for which the blessed hunger and thirst is disputed. Some argue that it is the imputed righteousness of God—eschatological salvation or, more narrowly, justification: the blessed hunger for it and receive it (e.g., Grundmann; McNeile; Zahn; Barth [“Matthew’s Understanding of the Law,” 123–24]; Bultmann [Theology of the New Testament, 1:273]; Schrenk [TDNT, 2:198]). This is certainly plausible, since the immediate context does arouse hopes for God’s eschatological action, and hungering suggests that the righteousness that satisfies will be given as a gift.

The chief objection is that dikaiosynē (“righteousness,” GK 1466) in Matthew does not have that sense anywhere else (cf. Przybylski, Righteousness in Matthew, 96–98). So it is better to take this righteousness as simultaneously personal righteousness (cf. Hill, Greek Words, 127–28.; Strecker, Weg der Gerechtigkeit, 156–58) and justice in the broadest sense (cf. Ridderbos, Coming of the Kingdom, 190–91; Turner). These people hunger and thirst, not only that they may be righteous (i.e., that they may wholly do God’s will from the heart), but that justice may be done everywhere. All unrighteousness grieves them and makes them homesick for the new heaven and new earth—the home of righteousness (2 Pe 3:13). Satisfied with neither personal righteousness alone nor social justice alone, they cry for both. In short, they long for the advent of the messianic kingdom. What they taste now whets their appetites for more. Ultimately they will be satisfied (same verb as in 14:20; Php 4:12; Rev 19:21) without qualification only when the kingdom is consummated (see discussion in Gundry).[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 177–185). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 37–42). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 263). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 164). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

February 12 The Ministry of Intercession

scripture reading: Colossians 4:2–3, 12
key verse: Philippians 1:19

I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

The model quarterback is Joe Montana or Bernie Kosar. The model evangelist is Billy Graham. The model pilot is Chuck Yeager. Each possesses the skills and attributes that younger generations seek to emulate.

For intercessors, the clear choice is Epaphras, Paul’s dedicated coworker who prayed with fervor for the Colossian people. His strategy is a proven model that will work in any age. Epaphras always prayed for the Colossian church.

As an intercessor, you must persevere as you allow the Lord to pray through you His concerns for others. Prayers may be answered not within your urgent framework but according to God’s timing. When you intercede for someone, you are to keep praying until you see the need met.

Epaphras labored in his intercession. Prayer for others is hard work; it does not come naturally; it can seem toilsome. But wouldn’t you want someone else to labor in prayer on your behalf?

His purpose in intercession was that the Colossians “may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12 nasb). The intercessor must make the will of God for others the chief pursuit.

Do you want to be used by God? Then pray for others and watch God work.

I want to be used by You, Lord. I want to faithfully intercede for others, to labor in prayer in their behalf. It doesn’t come naturally, so I’m trusting in You to make me an intercessor.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Does God Always Give Second Chances? John Says “No.”


It’s a common myth that God will always bring us back to repentance. This myth is debunked in the first letter of John. While John writes that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), he also tells us that sometimes God never gives us another chance to confess our sins and be forgiven.

In 1 John 5:16–17, the apostle gives us the other side of the sin-confession-forgiveness coin:

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

Put simply, there are sins that Christians commit that don’t lead to death—but there are some that do. Is John talking about a divine law of cause and effect, where a specific sin irrevocably results in death? Not exactly.

We can be certain that John has no specific sin in mind because he never names a sin in this passage. John is saying there may come a time when God has had enough of our sin, and then our time on earth is up. We cannot know when such a time might come—so we shouldn’t be in the habit of sinning with impunity.

When sin literally led to death

John had actually seen this happen. In Acts 5:1–11, Luke relates the incident of Ananias and Sapphira, who lied to Peter (and to God) about the proceeds from a piece of property they had sold. They were under no obligation to give any of it to the church but pretended that they had given all the money to the Lord’s work. When confronted by Peter, both of them collapsed and died on the spot. Luke writes that “great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” (Acts 5:11). No kidding.

No doubt this incident left an imprint on John’s mind. But John would have also known that there was Old Testament precedent for “sin unto death” as well. In Numbers 11, in response to the latest wave of complaining about their circumstances, the Lord sent the people of Israel meat to eat in the form of quails. “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck down the people with a very great plague” (Num 11:33). John’s message to believers wasn’t: “God doesn’t judge like that today.” Rather, it was: “Stop sinning, because there is a sin that leads to death.”

Lest we think God is horrible and negative, we would do well to remember that it was John who penned “God is love”—in this same letter (1 John 4:8). As with Ananias and Sapphira, removing a sinning believer from the church was (very) tough love. But the fledgling church was all the stronger and more committed for it.

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Dr. Michael S. Heiser is a scholar-in-residence for Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software. He is the author of The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible and has taught many Mobile Ed courses, including Problems in Biblical Interpretation: Difficult Passages I.

This article is excerpted from Dr. Heiser’s book I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible.

Source: Does God Always Give Second Chances? John Says “No.”

We’re Overdue For A Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession — ZeroHedge News

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We’re way overdue for a sell-everything recession, one that the Fed will only make worse by pursuing its usual policies of lowering interest rates and goosing easy money.

As I noted last week, central banks, like generals, always fight the last war–until the war is lost. The global economy is careening into recession (call it a “slowdown” if you are employed by the Corporate-State Media), and while we don’t yet know just how deep and wide this recession will be, we can make an educated guess that it won’t be a repeat of any of the previous five recessions: 1973-74, 1981-82, 1990-91, 2001-02 or 2008-09.

Recessions triggered by energy or financial crises tend to be short and shallow as the crisis soon eases; recessions caused by structural imbalances tend to be enduringly brutal. Many recessions are structural, but the triggering event is a short-term crisis.

Some recessions savage specific sectors but leave most of the economy relatively unscathed. Others disrupt virtually everything, even the generally impervious-to-recession government sector.

Let’s run down the general outlines of the previous five recessions. If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve experienced the suffering firsthand. Younger readers will have difficulty relating firsthand, but understanding the dynamics is the goal here, and so direct experience is a bonus, not an essential.

1973-74: the Oil Shock to the U.S. economy as OPEC raised prices and punished the U.S. for supporting Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur war created havoc–long lines at gas stations and a sharp downturn (a.k.a. recession). Though the economy supposedly recovered statistically in 1975, the structural issues that were laid bare by the recession continued eroding the economy for the next six years.

The U.S. industrial base had become accustomed to getting away with rising prices and stagnant quality. The rise of competing industrial nations such as Germany and Japan (and the resulting imbalance in trade flows that undermined the U.S. dollar’s gold-backed status) required a massive reset of America’s financial and industrial sectors.

The higher cost of energy revealed the inefficiencies of the U.S. economy, and coupled with the public demand to clean up industrial pollution, the industrial sectors were forced into a disruptive and costly reset.

The Fed’s only “solution” to any slowdown– easy money–fueled runaway inflation. The key takeaway here was: the structural problems were not financial, and as a result the usual Fed tricks of easy money failed to fix what was broken.

Instead, loose fiscal and monetary policy made the situation much worse. On top of a major reworking of fundamental issues such as energy, pollution and global competition, the policies of the Fed and Congress added runaway inflation to an already dicey situation.

The next recession in 1981-82 was devastating, as the can could no longer be kicked down the road. Inflation destroys wealth, savings, industries that rely on credit, and trust in the institutions of the central bank and state. Fed chair Paul Volcker jacked up interest rates, laying waste to auto sales and housing, and slowly but surely, inflation was tamed–at great cost.

Although political credit is generally given to President Reagan, who took office in 1981, the painful decade-long structural reworking of the U.S. economy finally began to bear fruit in the 1980s. The counterculture techies and immigrants (Andy Grove of Intel, et al.) in Silicon Valley launched the digital revolution, energy prices dropped and stabilized as the petro-dollar system was institutionalized and the economy normalized high interest rates: home buyers cheered when mortgage rates slowly declined to a low, low 10%–a big improvement over 12% mortgages.

Booms tend to generate financial crises of excessive debt and speculation, aided and abetted by regulatory lapses, and the 1980s birthed the Saving and Loan Crisis, a completely foreseeable and needless implosion of fraudulent S&Ls which sprang up like evil weeds in the loosening of basic banking statutes. (It didn’t take much to open an S&L in some states, sell a passel of $100,000 CDs, and burn the proceeds on housing speculation and high living).

The oil spike that preceded the First Gulf War was the boulder that started the landslide. The recession was brief, but it was enough to cost George Bush I the election of 1990. (People famously vote their pocketbooks.)

But the damage was relatively minimal in terms of fundamentals, and the Roaring 90s took off once President Bill Clinton declared the era of Big Government was over and fiscal restraint came back into vogue.

The explosive rise of the Internet fueled a spectacular stock market bubble in tech stocks, and as with all bubbles, the eventual popping of the dot-com bubble crushed the fortunes of anyone who bought near the top and held on to sell near the bottom. Hundreds of once high-flying companies vanished or were bought by survivors for fractions of their dot-com bubble valuations.

As usual, the Fed’s “solution” to the 2001-02 downturn was to open the credit spigots and lower interest rates, even though liquidity and interest rates weren’t what was wrong with the economy.

This monomaniacal policy inflated a monumental housing bubble in 2004-2008, and once again loosened regulations (liar loans, no-doc loans, 100% mortgages, fraudulent mortgage backed securities, etc.) plus low interest rates and abundant Fed liquidity created a bubble that was guaranteed to implode with devastating consequences.

No longer content with blowing one credit-speculative bubble at a time, central bankers coordinated their efforts in 2009-2018 and inflated the Everything Bubble. But the Everything Bubble didn’t resolve or even address the multiple structural imbalances in the U.S. and global economies; it merely papered them over with a triple-whammy credit-speculative orgy of unprecedented enormity.

Unlike the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, wages (earned income) did not rise for the bottom 90% during the Central Bank Everything Bubble 2009-2018: it isn’t just the stock buybacks and other financier speculations that are funded by debt–a great deal of consumption that was once paid out of earnings / revenues is now paid by debt: higher education, paving of roads, auto repairs, etc.

Rather than restructure the economy, the political and financial elites have papered over the imbalances with debt. Debt, we’re assured, is harmless; we’re going to “grow our way out of debt” by borrowing more. But borrowing more to consume more isn’t increasing productivity, and this is one reason why wages have stagnated and prices have soared in the past decade.

The instabilities and imbalances of economies can be papered over with debt for a time, but debt and financialization tricks don’t actually fix what’s broken–they make the problems worse. Welcome to the recession of 2019-2021, when central bank policies are finally revealed as the’ source of half our problems rather than the solution.

We’re way overdue for a sell-everything recession, one that the Fed will only make worse by pursuing its usual policies of lowering interest rates and goosing easy money. The structural problems are now acute, and giving more free money to financiers and politically powerful corporations isn’t going to fix what’s broken in the U.S. economy.

*  *  *

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Source: We’re Overdue For A Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession