Daily Archives: February 14, 2019

Social Media and the Church

Now we live in a new age of technology, and it is having massive, unforeseen effects.

We live in the age of technology. This age has been characterized in other ways by other people, social commentators, and gurus of culture.

Famously, Canadian philosopher Dr. Charles Taylor calls our age the “age of authenticity.” To be authentic is the final word in credibility. We must be true to ourselves. Dr. Ed Stetzer calls our age the “age of outrage.” We are constantly annoyed at each other and positioning for our tribal groups to gain precedence over one another.

What is behind this?

Part of it is philosophical. Dr. Neil Shenvi has described how “critical theory” is moving from the universities to the mainstream, and in some cases to the unthinking church. Critical theory is based on the proposition that we are defined by the group to which we belong—gender, race, culture, and others—and that each of these groups is vying for hegemony over the other.

In addition to these philosophical roots, there is also a technological engine that is driving the development. The printing press changed Europe and changed the world. The use of gunpowder changed the world through shifting the balance of power to those who could employ it best.

Now we live in a new age of technology, and it is having massive, unforeseen effects.

Not all of technology, by any means, is bad. Just as pornography is widely available across the globe and into the privacy of home more than ever before through the smartphone, so also are Bibles, various translations, biblical teaching, and spiritual resources.

In the smallest village where books would take months to penetrate, there are now farmers with smartphones.

We must not be luddites when it comes to technology. But we must also be aware of what it is doing to …

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Source: Social Media and the Church

Jared Kushner Will Present His Mysterious Middle East Peace Plan For Israel And Palestine During Passover After Israel’s April Elections — Now The End Begins

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday held a rival summit in Sochi with the leaders of Turkey and Iran.

Do I think that Jared Kushner could possibly be the biblical Antichrist? Maybe, maybe not. Aside from the fact that he looks an awful lot like the Antichrist from a PureFlix movie, owns a billion dollar building at 666 Fifth Avenue, and has been friends with the Netanyahu family since birth, I could be totally wrong about this. But I am willing to keep all options open at this point.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJV)

Rolling out the US Middle East Peace Covenant in the springtime takes you to two places. First, it takes you to Passover starting on April 19th and running to the 27th. The second place it takes you is the time of the year that the Bible infers will be the time for the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, Solomon tells us that event takes place after Winter in the Spring.

Needless to say, we will be watching this closely. Very closely.

US to present Mideast peace plan after Israeli vote, Jared Kushner says

FROM POLITICO: The United States will put forward a Middle East peace plan after an Israeli general election on April 9, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, told officials at a Middle East conference on Thursday.

Ministers who took part in a closed-door session with Kushner at the conference in Warsaw said he told them that Israelis and Palestinians would each have to compromise.

A number of nations chose to boycott the U.S.-sponsored conference, including Russia, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, raising serious questions about whether the Trump administration will have the credibility to gain any momentum for a peace proposal.

Trump has also made a number of divisive moves in the Middle East, including announcing the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday held a rival summit in Sochi with the leaders of Turkey and Iran. READ MORE

via Jared Kushner Will Present His Mysterious Middle East Peace Plan For Israel And Palestine During Passover After Israel’s April Elections — Now The End Begins

Andrew McCabe Admits Top NatSec Officials Plotted Coup Against Trump — The Federalist

After the James Comey firing, McCabe discussed removing Trump from office and began a counterintelligence investigation of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe publicly admitted that after the firing of James Comey, national security officials strategized on invoking the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office.

“There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Scott Pelley said he learned in his “60 Minutes” interview with McCabe.

Pelley described the top bureaucrats as “counting noses,” and speculating on where various cabinet members might stand on the question of the president’s removal.

“These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president,” Pelley said.

More than once, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire into the White House to attempt to record incriminating conversations with the president. McCabe said this was an idea he took seriously and discussed with FBI lawyers.

McCabe, who was fired by President Trump last March, admitted to ensuring a counterintelligence investigation of President Trump and his alleged ties to Russia. “I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe said. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”

In a statement to CBS, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that McCabe had “opened a completely baseless investigation into the president.”

.@ScottPelley on what McCabe told @60Minutes: “There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment.” pic.twitter.com/iVAyrEV4MF

— Norah O’Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) February 14, 2019

After CBS aired a portion of the “60 Minutes” interview Thursday morning, Trump mocked McCabe on Twitter, saying he was “a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country.”

Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax – a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019

McCabe’s new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” is self-described as “a dramatic and candid account of his career,” and details the behind-the-scenes events that unfolded between Trump’s election and McCabe’s firing.

Pelley’s full interview with McCabe will air on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night.

via Andrew McCabe Admits Top NatSec Officials Plotted Coup Against Trump — The Federalist

President Trump RIPS Andrew McCabe After Explosive “60 Minutes” Interview — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump ripped former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Thursday morning in a pair of tweets after an excerpt from McCabe’s explosive interview with “60 Minutes” was released.

Andrew McCabe gave an interview to CBS’s “60 Minutes” which will air this Sunday as part of his PR blitz to get ahead of a potential grand jury indictment.

McCabe said in his “60 Minutes” interview that top DOJ officials were so worried over President Trump’s decision to fire corrupt Comey as FBI Director that they discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Andrew McCabe also ordered officials to open an obstruction of justice case after Trump fired Comey to see if President Trump was acting as an agent on behalf of Russia.

Both of these revelations were previously reported by the media — The New York Times first reported that DAG Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a wire to help oust Trump and in December CNN reported that McCabe opened an obstruction case before Mueller was appointed.

Rosenstein has denied reports he discussed wearing a wire to oust Trump using the 25th Amendment.

President Trump mocked McCabe Friday morning, calling him “poor little Angel” and accused him of giving Crooked Hillary a pass.

Trump then said McCabe gave Hillary a pass because his wife received “BIG DOLLARS” from Clinton people for her campaign. 

The Inspector General released a devastating report on Andrew McCabe last April and stated the FBI official “lacked candor” (lied), including under oath several times.

Andrew McCabe was subsequently fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and criminally referred to the US Attorney’s office about the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

A grand jury was impaneled last summer to investigate Andrew McCabe – The Washington Post first reported about the grand jury in September of 2018.

McCabe’s appearance on “60 Minutes” is just a PR blitz to get ahead of a potential grand jury indictment — A judge didn’t propose a gag order on McCabe.

In contrast, a corrupt Obama judge proposed a gag order on Roger Stone to prevent him from defending himself publicly.

via President Trump RIPS Andrew McCabe After Explosive “60 Minutes” Interview — The Gateway Pundit

Brannon Howse Gets Flagged on Right Wing Watch — Pulpit & Pen

Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend just won the distinct honor of being flagged on Right Wing Watch. His comments about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are apparently beyond the pale.

RWW posts:

Howse said that Ocasio-Cortez represents a very serious threat to this nation because she has “no reverence whatsoever” for her position and “is disgracing her office with her juvenile tactics,” which makes her very “appealing to the dumbed-down masses.”

They continue:

“Someone is pulling her strings, or there is some demonic connections going on here where she is just living out what the demonic realm wants,” Howse said. “I am not sure which one; maybe both.”

The audio is below.

In the meantime, if all it takes to get flagged on Right Wing Watch is to claim Democrats are of the devil, I guess that goes for a great many of us.

via Brannon Howse Gets Flagged on Right Wing Watch — Pulpit & Pen

Messianic Politics on Display: The Green New Deal and the New Political Order — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

Since her election to congress last November, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has broken the traditional mold of a freshman legislator in Congress. Freshmen rarely make the headlines. They generally do not sponsor legislation, and they carry little influence, even if they caucus with the majority party. Ocasio-Cortez, however, might be one of the most influential Democrats in the entire nation because of what she represents: a young, vocal, social-media savvy political operative who knows how to push her party towards the far left of American politics. The centerpiece of her rise to prominence is the “Green New Deal.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey sponsor this sweeping resolution that would, indeed, involve a lot of green—not just ecological but financial. This proposed legislation encompasses environmental changes coupled with economic and financial policy initiatives. Indeed, the entire purpose of this bill aims to drag the Democratic party to the far left of the political spectrum. The “Green New Deal” abounds with radical proposals about the future of the United States, but it also raises questions about whether politicians really mean what they say when they speak to the American people.

On its face, the resolution redounds with impossible, impractical, and grossly generalized policy proposals that would have massive consequences on American public life. It includes a 10-year commitment to convert 100% of power demands in the United States to clean, renewable sources. It mandates upgrading all existing buildings in the country to meet energy efficient requirements. It aims to make air-travel obsolete by expanding high-speed rail. It promises millions of new jobs, guaranteed health care, and a sustainable family wage—all of that in the matter of a decade. This is no “Green New Deal.” It marks an entirely new conception of the American government and way of life. It takes up proposals that have been a part of the climate change and energy discussion in the U.S. and then launches into an imaginary world in which a new age of liberal miracles arrives just in time to save humanity.

Reporting for the New York Times, Lisa Friedman and Glenn Thrush wrote, “Liberal Democrats put flesh on their Green New Deal slogan with a sweeping resolution intended to redefine the national debate on climate change.” They go on to write that “the resolution has more breadth than detail and is so ambitious that Republican’s greeted it with derision. Its legislative prospects are bleak in the foreseeable future. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has no plan to bring the resolution in its current form to the floor for a vote.”

There is a level of political irony in that last sentence—the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, refuses to bring the “New Green Deal” up for a vote, while the conservative Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises that the Senate will hold a vote. Where Pelosi must balance the liberal wing of her party with the members who describe the “Green Deal” as nuts, McConnell has made a politically masterful move by forcing the Democrats in the Senate, especially Democratic Senators running for President, to put their vote where their mouth is—to cast an official vote rather than pay lip service to a radical liberal agenda.

Indeed, every major Democratic candidate for President who has a seat in the United States Senate has come out in favor of the “Green New Deal.” The political vector of the Democratic party continually presses towards a moral liberal and increasingly socialist agenda. The energy swirling in the Democratic party flows from the more liberal and populist ideology that arose during the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary between Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. As a result, the new wave of Democratic contenders for the White House, in an attempt to tap into that liberal fervor, have pledged their support to liberal policies like the “New Green Deal.” Now, however, with an impending vote orchestrated by McConnell, these Democrats have a conundrum on their hands of epic proportions. It’s one thing to say they support this New Deal; it’s another thing altogether to voice that support in a vote—a vote for an outlandish, irresponsible, proposal that not even Nancy Pelosi wants to touch in the House.

The irony only continued when the Senate sponsor of the “Green New Deal,” Edward Markey, complained about McConnell’s plan to bring this legislation up for a vote. This might be the first time in American politics where the sponsor of a bill complains that his proposed bill is to be put up for debate and a vote.

Political hilarity and irony aside, Markey’s complaint about a vote for his bill reveals the underlying absurdity of “Green New Deal.” Markey decries McConnell’s move as legislative sabotage. When it’s sabotage to adopt your own legislation, maybe you didn’t mean the proposals in the first place. What turned out to be legislative conviction was only political grandstanding.

Grandstanding puts it lightly. Democrats know that this legislation has no path to law—it cannot happen, nor will it ever happen. It is not just economically impossible, it is technologically impossible. Even if Democrats gain control of the entire government in 2020, it will not pass. It is a political stunt. The entire American economy with all its trillions of dollars could not afford the “Green New Deal.” The Democrats proposed this grand, green deal only to toss raw meat to their base for the upcoming elections and, perhaps more importantly, to shift the entire political climate of the nation—to make the radical and disastrous policies of this legislation normal and reasonable in the public eye.

As Ross Douthat put it in his opinion piece in the New York Times, “The core conservative suspicion is that when liberals talk about the dire threat of global warming, they’re actually seizing opportunistically on the issue to justify, well, full socialism, the seizure of the economy’s commanding heights in order to implement the most left-wing possible agenda.” As Douthat concluded, the “Green New Deal” is actually a bold admission of that charge. Indeed, this “Green New Deal” aims not at revolution of ecological policy, but an entire reorientation of America’s economic ideology.

But the most significant remark made by Senator Markey as he proposed the legislation as this: “We will save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation.”

Seriously, this bill will “save all of creation.” If nothing else, what we see here is messianic politics. The Green New Deal calls for peace on earth, healing humanity, freeing indigenous peoples, stopping population loss from rural areas, and guaranteeing a well paying job, health care, and the arrival of full “economic security for all people of the United States.” As if any bill, any government act, or any government on earth, could do that.

The Christian worldview provides a more comprehensive and lasting promise for the care of creation. God entrusted mankind with the solemn stewardship of the environment. From the Garden of Eden to our present moment in history, God summons his people to care for the world and all God’s creatures. Stewardship of creation implies the existence of a Creator and that our dominion over the creation was no evolutionary accident. He granted mankind responsibility and dominion over the earth—a dominion that requires carefulness, not recklessness. It also requires honesty.

No doubt, this political debate has only just begun. The breakneck speed of American politics leaves little room to catch a breath, much less think about these important issues facing the nation. The gloves are on, the battle lines drawn, and Christians must vigilantly profess the biblical worldview that can answer and lead us through moral and political quandaries of the day.

This article draws from the February 14th edition of The Briefing. To listen to the full episode, click here. To subscribe to The Briefing–Dr. Mohler’s daily podcast that serves as an analysis of news and events–click here

via Messianic Politics on Display: The Green New Deal and the New Political Order — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

February 14 Consequences and Punishment

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:5–11

Key Verses: Hebrews 12:5–6

You have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

One great misconception about the nexus between sin and consequences is a distorted notion of the character and nature of God.

Too many people view God as a celestial law enforcement officer, seeking to apply strict punitive measures to our misbehavior. Such a God is certainly not meant to be enjoyed. This tragic conclusion exists because of the confusion between consequences and punishment. God has established the moral law of sin and consequence in the spiritual realm as surely as He has fixed the law of gravity in the temporal realm.

God has designed consequences for our behavior as a means to teach us wise, profitable behavior. When we err, the often unpleasant results of our actions help to avoid reoccurrence. Consequences are not punishment. Punishment is retribution or revenge. God’s punishment for sin was meted out on His Son at the cross, His justice and holiness both displayed and satisfied. He uses consequences as an expression of love to correct and keep us from evil.

Just as an earthly father uses consequences to teach his children, our heavenly Father allows the results of sin to instruct us in the ways of righteousness. His motivation is love, never punishment; and the consequences are always mingled with mercy.

Dear Lord, thank You for consequences that teach me to walk in the way of righteousness. How grateful I am that Your motivation is love instead of punishment and Your judgments are mingled with mercy.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 47). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Gay Priest Speaking at Ravi Zacharias Event Tomorrow — Reformation Charlotte

Sam Allberry is a gay priest in the Anglican Church — an apostate denomination — and is scheduled to speak on February 15 at the Zacharias Institute with well-known and respected Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias.

Allberry, who is a co-founder of the Living Out ministry — which advocates for same-sex relationships, cohabitation, and physical intimacy so long as it stops short of bodily penetration — will be addressing Christians attending the event on the question of “How ​Can ​I ​Know ​My ​Gender?”

Allberry advocates for homosexuals to accept their orientation, that same-sex attraction need not be repented of because it is not a choice. He teaches that same-sex attraction is more like an affliction, an illness, and that it will likely not change once you become a Christian.

Allberry is a rising star in New Calvinist and social justice outlets such as the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition. Last year, Allberry spoke at the ERLC conferencesuggesting that church members should accept homosexuals in their churches, and even go as far as to “share their children” with homosexuals by allowing them to babysit so that they can experience what it’s like to be a part of a family.

Read also: Gay Christianity and the Church Growth Movement

Recently, Allberry and The Gospel Coalition put out a video urging churches to back single-parent adoptions in their churches. Let that sink in: a gay priest calling on churches to advocate for single-parent adoptions.

The Ravi Zacharias event website states,

On ​February ​15th, ​the ​Zacharias ​Institute ​will ​be ​hosting ​our ​second ​event ​in ​the ​#TrendingQuestions ​series, ​“How ​Can ​I ​Know ​My ​Gender?” ​Join ​us ​as ​we ​seek ​to ​understand ​the ​cultural ​moment ​that ​we ​live ​in ​with ​regard ​to ​gender ​identity, ​and ​consider ​how ​the ​Bible ​can ​bring ​clarity ​and ​compassion ​to ​many ​of ​the ​questions ​that ​we ​are ​facing ​today. ​Our ​featured ​speaker ​will ​be ​RZIM ​itinerant ​Sam ​Allberry, ​and ​author ​of ​Is ​God ​Anti-Gay? ​and ​his ​forthcoming ​book, ​7 ​Myths ​About ​Singleness.

Gay Priest Speaking at Ravi Zacharias Event Tomorrow — Reformation Charlotte

What Caused The Recession Of 2019-2021? — ZeroHedge News

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The banquet of consequences is now being served, but the good seats have all been taken.

As I discussed in We’re Overdue for a Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession, recessions have a proximate cause and a structural cause. The proximate cause is often a spike in energy costs (1973, 1990) or a financial crisis triggered by excesses of speculation and debt (2000 and 2008) or inflation (1980).

Structural causes are imbalances that build up over time: imbalances in trade or currency flows, capital investment, debt, speculation, labor compensation, wealth-income inequality, energy supply and consumption, etc. These structural distortions and imbalances tend to interact in self-reinforcing dynamics that overlap with normal business / credit cycles.

The current recession has not yet been acknowledged, but this is standard operating procedure: recessions are only declared long after they actually start due to statistical reporting lags. Maybe the recession of 2019-21 will be declared at some point in the future to have begun in Q2 or Q3, but the actual date is not that meaningful; what matters is what caused the recession and how the structural imbalances are resolved.

So what caused the recession of 2019-21? Apparently nothing: oil costs are relatively low, U.S. banks are relatively well-capitalized, geopolitical issues are on the backburner and stocks, bonds and real estate are all well-bid (i.e. there is no liquidity crisis).

This lack of apparent trigger will mystify conventional economists who generally avoid the enormous structural imbalances in our economy because those imbalances are the only possible output of our Neofeudal Power Structure in which a New Nobility/Oligarchy dominates financial and political power and skims the vast majority of gains the economy generates.

The cause of the recession of 2019-21 is exhaustion: exhaustion of the pell-mell expansion of credit (i.e. credit exhaustion/saturation), exhaustion in the household and small business sectors as real-world price increases continue exceeding wage and revenue gains, exhaustion of margin expansion in stocks, and exhaustion of Corporate America’s policy of masking inflation by reducing quality and quantity: at some point, the toilet paper roll is so visibly diminished (i.e. stealth inflation) that companies can no longer reduce the quantity: at that point, they must raise prices to remain profitable, and this explains the recent surge in the sticker price of consumer staples.

Conventional economics has no answer for exhaustion: the only “solution” in a Keynesian universe is to goose borrowing by lowering interest rates and sluicing limitless liquidity into the financial system.

But if everyone who is qualified to borrow more has no interest in borrowing more, lenders turn to unqualified borrowers who will soon default. This sets up a destruction of debt, collateral and wealth that also has no policy answer. The credit impulse doesn’t expire, it simply fades away, along with “growth,” rising stock markets, higher tax revenues, etc.

The second “solution” is to substitute government spending for private spending. But in case nobody noticed, please observe that state/local and federal borrowing and spending has been soaring at insanely unsustainable rates since 2008.

Exhaustion overtook the global economy in 2016, but central banks injected massive doses of financial adrenaline to shock the comatose patient. This “solution” continues to this day, as China’s central bank reportedly injected an unprecedented $1.2 trillion into credit markets in January alone.

The problem with financial adrenaline is that every dose reduces the impact of the next dose. At some point, the patient fails to respond. The positive effects of the stimulus become toxic, and attempts to increase dosage will only push the patient into collapse.

That’s where the global economy is today. The exhaustion that was taking hold in 2016 was stimulated away by unprecedented injections of monetary stimulus. The response to current massive injections is between tepid and zero. Adding debt to stimulate “growth” no longer works, and injecting the patient with higher doses of stimulus will only cause collapse.

The banquet of consequences is now being served, but the good seats have all been taken by those with no debt, unimpaired collateral and little dependence on central bank stimulus or central state legerdemain. All that’s left are the bad seats with horrendous consequences for perverse, distorting policies that refused to deal directly with painfully obvious imbalances.

Source: What Caused The Recession Of 2019-2021?