Daily Archives: March 19, 2019

March 19 Tragedy and Victorious Living

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:8–11

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 1:9

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.

Paul knew what real pain and devastation felt like. He called his burden “excessive, beyond his strength,” even causing him to despair of life (2 Corinthians 1:8). He knew what it felt like not to want to live anymore.

Maybe you’re going through a time right now when you feel so barraged by hardship that your life hardly seems worth its pain. Walking in victory seems like an illusion. While you endure suffering, looking to the Lord for comfort, remember one thing: God initiated a relationship with you. Therefore, He initiates His comfort for you too.

Paul understood this when he wrote, “We should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). The Lord understands our pain even before we cry out to Him. However, it’s at the point of us crying out to God that we understand what Paul understood: we cannot trust in ourselves for relief; we must trust in our sovereign God.

Admit to the Lord exactly how you feel. Ask Him to heal your hurting heart, restore your joy, and help you to walk in victory.

When I go through the deepest mire of life, Lord, help me to lift my eyes and see, not just the cross, but the risen Christ.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Eights reasons Baptist history should matter to you — Southern Equip

I always begin church history classes with a lecture called “Why Study Church History?” We live in an age in which what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery” — the prioritizing of all things new and the despising of all things old — is almost palpable.

Students often need a little convincing that history is important. After all, many of their high school history courses were mere after-thoughts, sometimes even taught by football coaches who were well versed in the 4-3 defense and the spread formation, but perhaps (though not always, of course) not as informed regarding important things from the past. I was actually blessed to attend a public high school with a strong history department, which is probably part of the reason I love history today. And as my good friend Harry Reeder puts it, we must learn from the past to live effectively in the present and impact the future. Therefore, it is important that we know our history as Baptists. Here are eight reasons why:

  1. We need to see church history as a discussion of the Bible.

Church history in general, and Baptist history in particular, is most fundamentally a discussion about the Bible. Debates such as Arius vs. Athanasius, Pelagius vs. Augustine, Erasmus vs. Luther, General Baptists vs. Particular Baptists, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship vs. the Southern Baptist Convention are at their root battles for the Bible. That’s why Baptist history is so vital.

  1. We must become convictional Baptists.

“I was Baptist born and Baptist bred, and when I die, I’ll be Baptist dead.” I heard this pithy dictum many times growing up in a small Southern Baptist church in answer to the question “Why are you a Baptist?” But being Baptist because it is part of our family lineage is not a valid reason to be a Baptist. Studying Baptist history enables us to become Baptists by theological conviction. It teaches us that there are many good biblical and theological reasons to hold a firm grip upon Baptist ecclesiology as a necessary biblical complement to a robust confessional, evangelical orthodoxy.

  1. We need to see that Baptists have a rich theological and ecclesiological heritage.

Some think that the Presbyterians or Anglicans or Methodists or other denominations have all the good history. But Baptists own a tradition filled with great men and great moments — Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller, William Carey, Benjamin Keach, John Bunyan (assuming we accept he was a Baptist), the founding of the modern mission movement, the reformation at Southern Seminary in the late 20th century, the founding of dozens of seminaries and colleges, the First and Second London Confessions, and the Baptist Faith & Message. Our Baptist heritage is deep and wide.

  1. We must accurately assess claims as to where Baptists came from and what they have believed.

Are Baptists first cousins to the Anabaptists, the so-called “radical reformers” in Europe, during the Protestant Reformation? Or, did Baptists arise out of Puritan separatism in Europe? Were they mainly Arminian in their doctrinal commitments or were the majority of Baptists Calvinistic, and which theological stream was healthier? These are much-debated questions and only a close, careful study of Baptist history uncovers the correct answers.

  1. Both theology and ecclesiology matter.

I hold a growing concern that ecclesiology is becoming less and less of a conviction among my fellow citizens of the young, restless, Reformed village. But even a 32,000-foot flyover of the Baptist heritage shows that the doctrine of the church and theology proper are inextricably linked. If God has an elect people, if Christ has shed his blood as the substitute for this people, if Christ has promised to build his church, then there must be a theology of the church. Historically, confessional Baptists, at their best (and I include both General and Particular Baptists here), have seen this connection and have sought to build local churches accordingly. Ecclesiology has deep implications for our practice of the ordinances, for church membership, for church discipline, for pastoral ministry, and for many other matters pertaining to the day in, day out life of the church. A strong ecclesiology tied to a robust theology tends toward a healthy church. Baptist history bears this out through both positive and negative examples.

  1. We need to be careful to keep the Ninth Commandment.

It is a sin to caricature and misrepresent those with whom we disagree. We must study their doctrines, hear their arguments, and be able to articulate their case, even as we develop our own convictions. We must avoid populating our theological gardens with straw men or polluting our polemical streams with red herring. We must treat our theological opponents the way we desire to be treated. Polemical theology has a long and established place in the history of ideas, but it should be executed in a way that honors the dignity of our opponents. By this, I do not intend to say we should seek to be politically correct in our debates, but we must be Christ-like and that means taking the beliefs of the other side seriously and treating them fairly. If we’ve learned nothing else from the current political season, at bare minimum, this lesson should not be lost on us.

  1. We need to understand our forefathers paid a steep price to hold Baptist convictions.

Bunyan famously spent 12 years in a filthy Bedford jail. Spurgeon was strafed by liberalism to the point of death. And time would fail me to tell of Thomas Hardcastle, Abraham Cheare, Obadiah Holmes, and dozens of others who paid a high price for their Baptist beliefs, some dying in prison, some being locked in stocks and subjected to public mockery, others being tied to a post and whipped, and many being persecuted to the point of death. In 2016, we sit in our Baptist churches without a threat of even being scratched for our theology, but we must know that we arrived in this state upon the scars and bloodshed of our Baptist fathers. For these men, believer’s baptism by immersion, a regenerate church, and liberty of conscience were not merely peripheral doctrines on which “good men disagree.”

  1. We need to see that Baptists have been, on the whole, a people committed to the formal principle of the Reformation, sola Scriptura.

Baptists are a people of the book. Baptists have sought to build their churches upon the Bible, connecting theology and ecclesiology together as a seamless robe. The fundamental question Baptists, at their best, have asked is this: “Is it biblical?” Though there have disagreements as to the specific answers, the Bible is our sole authority and a walk through the pages of Baptist history reveals, from solid General Baptists such as Thomas Grantham to Particular Baptist Giants like Spurgeon, demonstrates this as an axiomatic truth.

No doubt, there are many more reasons why we ought to engage our heritage, but let us never be guilty of failing to know precisely why we call ourselves Baptists and at least fundamentally what that meant in the past and continues to mean today.

via Eights reasons Baptist history should matter to you — Southern Equip

When Was the Last Time You Repented? — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

You cannot rightly call yourself a Christian if you haven’t repented. Do you recall the first time you repented before the Lord of glory? No feeling in life can transcend higher and be more satisfying than to be at peace with God. Yet, for many Christians, repentance is merely a thing of the past—something they did when they entered the family of God, but not something they do on a regular basis. Take this opportunity to pause and consider how the child of God should repent frequently—perhaps even daily.

The Privilege of Repentance

We were once enemies of God. That’s what Paul writes in Romans 5:10. Take time to let that thought sink in for a moment. We had rebelled against holy God and rejected his sovereign rule. We transgressed his holy law and walked in disobedience to his good commands. Yet, God graciously came to us and sought us when we were strangers wandering from the fold of God. It was sovereign grace and mercy that granted us the privilege of repentance. In our culture that’s saturated by “rights” that are demanded and expected, we must remember that God did not owe us the gift of repentance (2 Tim. 2:25). In Matthew 3:2, we are called to repent. The word repent is taken from the Greek term, “μετανοέω” which literally means to change one’s mind, to change direction as a result of conviction and remorse.”

Beyond salvation, the privilege of repentance is granted to God’s children on a daily basis. We have access to the throne of God and we have a glorious mediator who is none other than Christ the Lord (Heb. 4:16; 1 Tim. 2:5). Why would we have such privilege and access to God’s throne and forsake it? Has God and his throne become too common and casual for us that we have been tempted to neglect such privileges? What about the responsibility of repentance? Have we simply failed to obey God by avoiding repentance?

The Posture of the Christian Life

When rightly understood, the Christian cannot fulfill the Christian life outside of a proper posture of repentance. A life of pride and self-sustaining knowledge and power displeases God (James 4:6). When rightly understood it will be clearly seen that every area of your life is stained by sin and stands in need of repentance on a regular basis. Repentance is difficult because it requires us to be honest about ourselves and we don’t enjoy being honest about our own failures. John Flavel stated, “It is easier to cry against one-thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.”

While justification is a one time legal declaration—a verdict that will never be repeated, sanctification is something that is in progress. The forward motion of sanctification demands repentance. When properly understood, even our worship stands in need of repentance. If we’re honest and if we undergo a proper examination, even our prayers stand in need of repentance. The totality of who we are is corrupted by sin.

The proper response to the sins of our flesh as we journey onward in this body of sin—is genuine and honest repentance. Without repentance, it’s impossible to walk with God. A.W. Pink once stated, “The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing.” Who among us can honestly state that they have lived a life of genuine perfection since their conversion? Even the smallest sin stands in the way and holds us back from properly glorifying God and enjoying him forever. We must find ourselves turning to God regularly as 1 John 1:9 teaches.

When Paul found himself held captive once again in the grip of sin—he turned to God. He didn’t look inward to himself or to the outward world of psychology for a self-esteem boost. He looked upward to God. Notice Paul’s prayer at the end of Romans 7:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin (Rom. 7:24-25).

I once heard a man lament as he was looking at the schedule of a Christian conference. His complaint was that the upcoming session was going to be centered on John 3:16 and according to his thinking, he didn’t need to hear another sermon on that since he was already a Christian. Perhaps we have all been guilty at times of thinking that the gospel was only needed to save us, but it’s not needed to keep us faithfully walking with God. A person who rejects the need to repent is someone who is likewise rejecting their need for God. Without a walk that includes repentance, we cannot faithfully walk with God.

via When Was the Last Time You Repented? — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

March 19 Claiming Your New Position

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1–17

Key Verse: Colossians 3:3

You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Although financial poverty can occur through uncontrollable events, spiritual poverty is inexcusable for any born-again Christian.

Because we have been placed in Christ by God, we have constant, unlimited access to the Source of all spiritual blessings.

Why, then, do some walk well beneath the high calling of Scripture? Why do too many Christians suffer spiritual lack—living in perpetual defeat and disobedience?

The primary culprits that cause spiritual malnourishment are ignorance and unbelief. Our ignorance is of our resources in Christ. We fail to realize we are no longer habitual sinners, but justified saints.

But we must believe. Unbelief will always keep Christians mired in spiritual poverty. As long as you think of yourself in nonbiblical terms, suffering from self-condemnation and self-pity, you will not experience the joy, peace, and power that come from faith in Jesus Christ. You are a wealthy saint. God has a high calling for you.

By faith and a scriptural confession of what God’s Word says about you, claim your extravagant, new position in Christ.

Lord, on the basis of Your Word and by faith, I claim my new position in Christ. I am wealthy. You have a high and noble calling for me. I rejoice in my spiritual riches![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 19 The Value of Prayer

Scripture reading: Joshua 1:1–9

Key verse: Joshua 1:8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

The value of spending time alone with God in prayer cannot be underestimated. It’s more than a spiritual exercise to be checked off as you move through your schedule for the day. It’s a vital part of your growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

You learn to develop a quiet spirit. When you stop the rush and bustle of the moment and sit before Him, the harried feelings begin to melt away. If you’ve done a good job of putting aside all possible distractions, you can focus on Him alone and feel His peace settle over you.

Your heart will be purified. Your motives will be sifted, clarifying your purpose and helping you view your life and circumstances from the perspective of God’s Word. He gives you this promise: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

You can confirm outside counsel. If something others are telling you doesn’t square with what God says in prayer and the Word, then you know to reject others’ advice. The Holy Spirit interprets Scripture to you as you read, reminding you of what you know and adding to your learning with further dimensions of truth.

Lord, as I wait before You in prayer today, speak to me through Your Word. Purify my heart, sift my motives, clarify my purpose, and help me view my circumstances from Your perspective.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Poll: Half of Americans Agree with Trump, Believe Mueller Investigation a ‘Witch Hunt’

ShutterstockPresident Donald Trump is hailing the results of a new poll that shows half of Americans say the Russia “collusion” investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, right, is a “witch hunt.” (Shutterstock)

A new survey finds that half of the American electorate shares President Donald Trump’s assessment that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is a “witch hunt.”

According to a USA Today/Suffolk University Poll released Monday, 50 percent of registered voters agree with Trump’s oft-repeated claim that he is the target of a “witch hunt” and that he has been the subject of more investigations than his predecessors.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of respondents do not share that view.

USA Today noted that support for Congress to consider impeaching Trump has dropped 10 points since October, to 28 percent.

Further, only 28 percent stated they have a lot of trust that Mueller’s investigation will be fair and accurate, which is the lowest level to date, and down 5 points since December.

TRENDING: How Law Enforcement Cracked the College Bribery Case Wide Open

Despite the above findings, a 52 percent majority still said they had little or no trust in the president’s denials that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.

However, 30 percent expressed a lot of trust in Trump’s denials, which is the highest recorded to date.

Trump tweeted about the survey’s findings, writing “very few think (the Mueller investigation) is legit!”

Wow! A Suffolk/USA Today Poll, just out, states, “50% of Americans AGREE that Robert Mueller’s investigation is a Witch Hunt.” @MSNBC Very few think it is legit! We will soon find out?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019

Do you think Mueller’s investigation is a witch hunt?

In a Sunday tweet, the president contended, “What the Democrats have done in trying to steal a Presidential Election, first at the ‘ballot box’ and then, after that failed, with the ‘Insurance Policy,’ is the biggest Scandal in the history of our Country!”

Trump’s reference was to an August 2016 text from former FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress former FBI attorney Lisa Page in which he wrote, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way (Trump) gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Strzok reportedly told the Department of Justice’s inspector general that the “Andy” in the text was former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Fox News reported that Page “essentially confirmed” during congressional testimony last summer that the insurance policy was the Russia investigation.

RELATED: House Votes for Mueller Report To Be Made Public

She also communicated that investigators only had a “paucity” of evidence to launch the probe into the Trump campaign.

The FBI fired Strzok in August, while Page resigned from the bureau in May. McCabe was fired in March.

In a tweet on Friday, Trump argued that Mueller has overseen “an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime. Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an election they thought they were going to win.”

Trump has questioned the impartiality of Mueller’s “13 Angry and heavily conflicted Democrats” on multiple occasions.

PolitiFact reported in March that at least 13 of the 17 lawyers on Mueller’s team are Democrats, six of whom contributed to Clinton.

Of the four remaining attorneys, the fact checker could not determine their party affiliation.

According to The Wall Street Journal, one of Mueller’s prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann — who recently stepped down from the investigation — attended Clinton’s election night party in November 2016.

Additionally, Fox News reported Russia probe attorney Jeannie Rhee represented the Clinton Foundation in 2015 and was a max donor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.

Source: Poll: Half of Americans Agree with Trump, Believe Mueller Investigation a ‘Witch Hunt’

Carl Trueman at TGC: Marxism is Everywhere, But Don’t Call it That. — Pulpit & Pen

Rev. Dr. Carl R. Trueman, who holds the Paul Woolley Chair of Church History and is professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, at at his home in Oreland, PA.

Carl Trueman (five months ago): Who’s a Marxist? Ain’t no Marxists! That’s crazy talk. You gotta be an atheist to be a Marxist. Y’all are some tinfoil-hat wearing crazies! Pffft.

Carl Trueman (today): It’s Marx’ world we’re living in. Most everybody is a Marxist. Is that really such a bad thing?

That’s my paraphrase, admittedly. In October of 2018, Trueman launched a defense of Tim Keller at the White Horse Inn blog, denying that Tim Keller could be called a Marxist because – in his uneducated opinion – you could not be both a Marxist and a Theist.

Is Tim Keller a Marxist in how he defines these things?   While I have not had the pleasure of asking him personally, I have read statements by him that indicate he believes human beings are made in the image of God. That presumably grounds his ethics.  It also places him outside of the Marxist camp, belief in God being somewhat problematic in that school of thought, as (incidentally) is his Christian belief that human beings have a nature which can be defined in metaphysical, rather than contingent, historical terms.

Of course, Carl Trueman was historically, demonstrably, proveably wrong on his assertion that someone can’t both be a Marxist and a Theist (which was his only argument in the defense of Keller. As I explained at the time, Social Justice is a term invented by Jesuits who happen to be Marxists. In other words, the concept that combined Marx’ philosophies with religion was invented by theists.

Today, however, Trueman argued on the Social Gospel Coalition blog that Marx’ philosophy is widespread (far more widespread than Trueman would have admitted five months ago) and downplayed its severity.

Trueman seems to have climbed out of his ivory tower, still dressed in the robes of snobbery, and looked around. He writes…

The term “cultural Marxism” has recently entered the mainstream vocabulary of orthodox Christianity. A staple of the media of Twitter and blogs, it seems to have gone the way of all sophisticated ideas when reduced to a few hundred characters and placed in the hands of those with too much time to troll yet not apparently enough to think. It has become a verbal bullet, designed to kill any opponent on the left, much as “white privilege” has come to be used to hit those on the right.

Notice the anger and condescension with which Trueman writes. Theses plebes on their Twitter and blogs…pffft. Forgive me if I don’t want to be lectured on what Cultural Marxism is by a guy who – just five months ago – didn’t know you could be both a Marxist and a Theist. Like, he didn’t know Liberation Theology was a thing, apparently.

Yet the emergence of the term, and even its deployment in inconsequential Twitter exchanges, points to an interesting and perhaps disturbing pathology of our times. Indeed, it witnesses to the fact that, while Karl Marx and his progeny may have lost the economic battle, a good case can be made for saying they’re winning the cultural struggle.

In this sense, we all live in Marx’s world now.

Trueman seems to be angered that the term Cultural Marxism is used. He doesn’t seem to be angered that the ideology is rampant.

Also interesting is that Trueman now sees a connection between economic Marxism and the Cultural Marxism created by Antonio Gramsci. I’m glad Trueman has since read a book on the subject, or perhaps a blog or Twitter feed.

Nonetheless, Trueman is willing to concede the ideas of Cultural Marxism are everywhere (including the blog upon which he writes), but really hates that we’ve properly defined it.

Bandying terms like ‘cultural Marxist’ and ‘racist’ around simply as a way of avoiding real argument is shameful and should have no place in Christian discourse.

I might point out that we are not the ones avoiding “real arguments” and “Christian discourse.” Does anybody remember the ShepCon Q&A? Who’s avoiding an honest discourse? How many academic responses has Trueman provided to the Dallas Statement? I’ll give you a hint, but suffice it to say you can count them on no fingers.

This then brings me to accusations that Christians who are interested in social issues are cultural Marxists. Both sides need to be careful in this matter.

First, the ninth commandment is arguably the greatest moral casualty of the world of Twitter, where half-baked slanderous insults can be fired at strangers with no risk of any personal comeback on the tweeter. The Christian Twitterverse is often embarrassing on this score, betraying both shallowness of thought and also cavalier contempt for the reputations of others. People using the “cultural Marxist” label for those they criticize—as people who casually throw around accusations of racism and the like—should make sure the claim is part of a sustained argument justified by appropriate evidence.

Last time, when Trueman’s tune was quite different, he also waved his bony, accusing finger around with accusations of 9th Commandment-breaking.

Accusations of Cultural Marxism toward Keller and the The Social Gospel Coalition have been well-founded and substantiated by evidence. There is more evidence that Tim Keller is a Marxist than that he’s a Christian.

Cultural Marxism has been well-defined since its inception as a close but not identical twin of economic Marxism by the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, which began to develop in 1923 and was perfected by the Liberation Theology by South American Jesuit priest, Gustavo Guttierez in 1971. Tim Keller has been quite honest about how Guttierez has shaped his theology and worldview. Guttierez is the chief cornerstone of The Gospel Coalition (for more on this relation, click here).

Trueman seems content to accept the reality that Marx rules the powers and principalities of this world, but detests our proper labeling of it. He also seems intent on dispelling the term, but is utterly comfortable with its implications.

Trueman ends his post at TGC coalition by blaming “Twitter Polemics” and lamenting the fact that 240 characters cannot properly provide enough clarity for a careful discussion.

Let me be clear. The words that Trueman has spent on the subject of Marxism are not clear. They are not astute. They are not helpful. They are intellectually vapid and historically ignorant. The man has no earthly idea what he’s talking about, and using more than 240 characters – if your words make as much sense as Michael Brown talking in tongues – doesn’t help.

I wonder if that paragraph is under 240 characters, so I can tweet it ^^

via Carl Trueman at TGC: Marxism is Everywhere, But Don’t Call it That. — Pulpit & Pen

Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

Anger in the Saddle

Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a tightening of the jaw, a cold silence, but the angry feelings are still swarming, just hidden away inside.

Whatever our style, we all lose our temper sometimes. By “lose our temper,” I simply mean that you and I sometimes hand the reins of our behavior over to the feelings of anger in our soul. As your body begins to pump adrenaline, expand blood vessels, and tense muscles for a fight, your desire to feel vindicated (though all too often later reflection reveals you weren’t nearly so far up the moral high ground as you’d thought) takes over and hands you your script. Fundamentally, losing your temper means you’ve placed anger in the saddle and you are now galloping along at its command.

Why Does This Happen?

Despite the thousand coats anger may wear, anger is simple at its core. Anger always passes moral judgment. It is the moral emotion. Anger says “what just happened was wrong.” Now our anger may be accurate in its judgment of right and wrong or it may be out to lunch. For example, my children may get mad because I’m exasperating them, or they may get mad because I’m putting them to bed at a reasonable hour when they wanted to stay up. Either way, the core cry of anger is “That is unjust! That is evil! I condemn that!”

James 4:1–2 lays out the basic dynamic at play in our sinful anger. “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” James asks. “Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” In essence, James is saying that our anger condemns anything that comes between us and what we want. Because, James argues, we are committed to our own wellbeing above all, when something or someone thwarts our desires, we feel unjustly treated and respond by calling out the troops to avenge the perceived injustice.

Ultimately then, a lost temper is just anger that’s been put in charge without checks or balances.

Is All Anger Bad?

It’s important to say one more thing before we identify solutions: this does not mean all anger is bad! God is angry against sin and the horrors it wreaks on his beloved children. We can and should be angry in the face of everything from sex-trafficking to a snarky spat between our friends (though even then we should never return evil for evil!). Further, even when our anger is indeed sinful and we are losing our temper and screaming at someone, many of the things we want are still genuinely good things to want! Physical safety for our families, fair treatment in the workplace, not being gossiped about at church, and a quiet evening at home after a long day are all perfectly righteous things to desire.

This is the point though: whenever you or I lose our tempers, it means we’ve gone from wanting some good thing, to demanding that we must have it or else. Sinful anger is so convinced of its own moral high ground that it feels perfectly justified visiting its wrath upon whatever, or whomever, has dared to transgress absolute justice (i.e., us getting whatever it is we want at that moment). Thus, while we may sometimes be “right” about the issue, giving anger total control of our response to a problem will always be destructive and sinful. “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:20).

What Can We Do?

Thankfully we aren’t doomed to endlessly lose our tempers! God promises to work in the hearts of those who love him. He does not merely change our behavior, but also transforms us to “will,” to desire, according to his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The more God changes our desires to mirror what he desires, the more

  • our anger will be rightly directed at true evils (rather than the self-centeredness that naturally drives our anger without his transforming intervention);
  • and paired with that, the more we’ll trust his ways of achieving what is good. No matter how right we are about the issue at hand, love for God resists the temptation to give our anger the reins. Instead, godly anger seeks restoration and protection for those who have been wronged without vengeance, cruelty, insult or any other form of returning evil for evil.

For those who find their temper to be a special problem, let me offer three brief suggestions:

What Were You Wanting?

When you’ve lost your temper, ask yourself what you were wanting. It’s amazing how much you can learn about your desires and the underlying motives when you simply slow down and consider what desire was being thwarted. Anger is always driven by desire—the better you understand your desires, the better you’ll understand how, why, when and where you’ll lose your temper next time and be able to prepare for challenging situations.

And take heart. The simple fact that you are even saying “Help! I keep losing my temper!” should give you great hope. Far too many angry people don’t realize they are angry at all. They just “know” they are “right” and everyone else is “wrong.” The more you see and deal with your anger’s underlying desires, the more you’ll be equipped to value and pursue the right things in the heat of the moment.

This book sets forth a holistic view of emotions rooted in the Bible, offering a practical approach to engaging with both positive and negative emotions in a God-honoring way.

Love Deeply

Ultimately, our hope isn’t simply in exploring our problematic underlying desires. The only true way to reduce the problem of your temper is to actually increasingly value and cherish bringing good and blessing to those you love. Your biggest goal is not to understand yourself (as much as this helps!), but is rather to be altogether less focused on yourself and your desires. Instead, God would have you more focused on the good of those you love around you. The more your heart desires blessing for the people around you rather than your own comfort, reputation, etc., the less you will be prone to lose your temper when you don’t get what you want (and are sure you deserve) in any sudden moment.

One way to cultivate this is to daily spend a couple minutes praying Philippians 4:8 for those with whom you are most in danger of losing your temper. Pray for God to grow whatever is noble, right, lovely, pure, etc. in them and pray that you will more deeply appreciate who he has made them to be.

Repent Thoughtfully

Get serious about repenting to the people you hurt. I’m not talking about extravagant promises to never be angry again. Instead, pray for God’s protection against self-righteous anger in your heart and then go ask people you’ve harmed to help you understand how you’ve harmed them. Then really listen to the answer. Express sorrow for how you’ve hurt them (not just the fact that you did something “wrong” in some abstract sense).

It will be excruciatingly difficult at times, but it will give your conscience an enormous amount of ammunition with which to guard you against further outbursts. (And remember, this isn’t about you demanding forgiveness—by definition you may never demand it as it must be freely chosen).

It may also sometimes be helpful to share your awareness of the problem in your desires: “I’m sorry that I let my desire for a peaceful evening control me so much that I yelled at you when you tried to talk to me about our schedule for the week. I know that must have hurt you and been frustrating too as you’re trying to plan for the next few days. Will you forgive me?”

Gaining control of your temper by taming your tongue (and the hundred ways your actions can speak louder than words) is no easy task. But no application of the call to love your neighbor and honor Jesus Christ is more urgent and important.

Thank God that in our every need he gives more grace (James 4:6)!

This blog originally appeared on the Crossway website.

Alasdair’s book, Untangling Emotions, was released by Crossway in March 2019. Purchase your copy here.

Source: Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

What You Need to Know about Evil and Suffering

A mass shooting in New Zealand. Devastating flooding in Nebraska. Cancer. Miscarriage. Adultery. Abuse. Evil and suffering always bring with them many questions. Where was God? Why does it seem like evil is stronger than He is? Is He good? Why should we trust Him? What can we even trust Him to do? The church in the prosperous West has not done a good job preparing Christians to face these inevitable questions, and that means there are a lot of vulnerable Christians out there who are one crisis away from having their trust in God shattered.

As I’ve struggled through making sense of these questions over the last decade, I’ve written well over 100 posts about what I’ve discovered. Below are links (and brief excerpts) to posts covering some of the key ideas Christians need to know about evil and suffering.

My prayer for you is that your suffering will bring you closer to God, not drive you away from Him.

  • Christians, You Will Suffer – “If suffering disproves your Christianity, you’ve missed Christianity. The Bible is filled with the suffering of those whom God loves. The central event of the Bible is one of suffering. Love involves suffering. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” That means suffering. But Christianity also promises justice for evil. And grace. And life from death. Resurrection. New bodies. Hope. Jesus is the only hope for true pain. Without Him, there’s nothing left to do but rail against God with the most perverse insults imaginable.”
  • The Gospel’s Answer to the Problem of Evil: “In ‘A (Very) Brief, Gospel-Centered Defense against the Problem of Evil,’ Derek Rishmawy explains how we can know, through the Gospel, that God is indeed all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing, despite the existence of evil.”
  • Why It Isn’t Naïve to Trust God in Your Suffering – “My trust isn’t just wishful thinking. It results from my confidence in God’s sovereignty and love, both of which He demonstrated definitively, objectively, and historically at the cross. It also results from my own past experience. When I look back at what God has done in me through suffering, and how much better I know and trust Him because of it, I can see His faithfulness to me. My highest goal has always been to know God better—intellectually and experientially—and I can see from my own life how suffering has led to a richer knowledge and experience of His grace, His strength and support, and His love.”
  • Don’t Trust God to Protect You from Pain – “An experience of suffering can be very disorienting to Christians who are trusting God to protect them from pain. This is not the kind of trust God has called us to have, and though most of us know this intellectually, I think this is something that has to be learned through experience. What will you cling to when your hopes for God’s provision seem to fail? What does it really mean to trust in God’s provision? You will struggle with these questions.”
  • What Easter Says to Those Who Are Suffering – “With the cross and resurrection at its core, Christianity need never deny the reality of evil and suffering because Jesus has proven Himself to be greater than all of it. He didn’t just overcome it, He overcame through it. The cross was the very means by which He secured joy…. Sometimes we’re tempted to think evil is stronger than God, but when we understand that every attempt evil makes to harm us is working for our good, we’ll see that all of evil’s weapons have been removed from it; there is nothing left it can use against us.”
  • How Can We Condemn Evil if God Is Sovereign? – “There, we see that the most grievous sin ever committed—the killing of Jesus—was something God predestined to occur. But this doesn’t mean the people didn’t sin in killing Him! No one would say that killing Jesus wasn’t a sin just because it was God’s plan from before the foundation of the world for Jesus to die on the cross. In fact, it was said of Judas that ‘it would have been better for that man if he had not been born’ (Matt. 26:24). The people sinned and God meant it as part of His plan for His glory and the good of His people.”
  • It’s Not Wrong to Long for Justice – “Our love of justice is a reflection of our love for the perfections of God’s character. He is righteous. He is loving. He is good. In the deepest part of us, we know that everyone who rips away at God’s reflection on earth rightfully deserves condemnation, and we desire the fulfillment of that condemnation. It’s when we recognize that this applies even to our own sins that we become desperate for grace.”
  • Evil and the Cross – “Why did God allow evil to come into this world? Why not create everything in the state of perfection we will be in after this world comes to an end? I think the answer is that God had a goal in mind that is greater than the suffering, and that goal is the revealing of Himself to His people so that we will be able to fully express our pleasure in Him through worship, enjoying Him for an eternity.”

Source: What You Need to Know about Evil and Suffering

Raising kids is so expensive in America that millennials are prioritizing their pets instead and dropping up to $400 on designer dog clothes

Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

  • Millennials are spending more than $400 on designer dog clothes, according to Fashionista.
  • As millennials delay traditional milestones, like getting married, buying a house, or having children, they’re choosing to be pet owners instead.
  • In a world where raising kids is a six-figure undertaking, spoiling a pet is less expensive.

Millennials love their dogs — so much that they’re willing to spend more than $400 on clothes for them.

That’s the price of a high-end dog puffer jacket from a collaboration between luxury brand Moncler Genius and Poldo Dog Couture, reported Maria Bobila for Fashionista.

They’re not the only ones to tap into the luxury dog clothing market — Very Important Puppies (V.I.P.) offers streetwear-inspired dogwear for between $160 and $202, and fashion brand Hemsmith launched a line of dogwear that includes a crewneck tee for $48 and hoodie for $60, Bobila reported.

As for who’s driving the lucrative petwear industry, “we can look to millennials, who are now in their 20s to late 30s — an age range that, historically, has had to do with marriage and parenthood, but may not be the case these days,” wrote Bobila.

“As a generation that puts off having children or opts out of it entirely, they’re putting greater focus on pets instead,” Emily Anatole, insights director at cultural strategy and trend forecasting company Cassandra, told Bobila. “Many are treating their pets as if they were kids and devoting a growing share of their disposable income to them.”

Over the last year, 14% of millennials bought a luxury item in pet-care category — not far from the 18% of millennials who made luxury purchases on children’s items, reported Bobila, citing stats from Anatole.

Read more: Millennials are treating pets like ‘their firstborn child,’ and it’s reportedly causing problems for some of the best-known pet food brands

That disposable income isn’t confined to doggie designer duds — millennials are also opting to buy more expensive pet food, reported Business Insider’s Mary Hanbury, citing a report by The Wall Street Journal. Nielsen data has shown that annual household spending on pet food among pet owners increased by 36% between 2007 and 2017, which has led to an influx of premium food brands entering the market, according to Hanbury.

Speaking of millennials and their pets, Beverley Petrunich, owner of DoGone Fun, a dog-daycare center in Chicago told The Journal, “They treat them like it was their firstborn child.”

Millennials may be paying big bucks when it comes to pampering their pooch, but it’s less than the cost of raising kids in America today — an average of $230,000, according to Merrill Lynch’s “The Financial Journey of Modern Parenting: Joy, Complexity, and Sacrifice” report.

This high cost has caused more parents to weigh finances into their decision to have a child; in 1970, around 33% of parents said their finances played a role in becoming a parent — today it’s 73%, according to the report.

And a recent survey by The New York Times revealed that raising kids is more expensive than it’s ever been before — finances are the main reason why people aren’t having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, reported Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz.

It’s cheaper to act as if your dog is your firstborn — even if you’re paying to dress them in designer wear.

NOW WATCH: How to make a bouquet of bacon roses for Valentine’s Day

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The cost of raising a child is at an all-time high, and it’s partly because parents feel pressure to buy kids what their friends have

DON’T MISS: 7 ways rich millennials spend and display their money differently than rich baby boomers

Source: Raising kids is so expensive in America that millennials are prioritizing their pets instead and dropping up to $400 on designer dog clothes

$97 Billion a Year: War Spending Is Bankrupting America

“Pity the nation whose people are sheep

And whose shepherds mislead them

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars

Whose sages are silenced

And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

Pity the nation that raises not its voice

Except to praise conquerors

And acclaim the bully as hero

And aims to rule the world

By force and by torture…

Pity the nation oh pity the people

who allow their rights to erode

and their freedoms to be washed away…”

—Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet

War spending is bankrupting America.

Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.

America has so much to offer—creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore—and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.

It’s all a ruse.

You know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government’s fiscal year? Government agencies—including the Department of Defense—go on a “use it or lose it” spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year.

We’re not talking chump change, either.

We’re talking $97 billion worth of wasteful spending.

According to an investigative report by Open the Government, among the items purchased during the last month of the fiscal year when government agencies go all out to get rid of these “use it or lose it” funds: Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas, and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million), iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).

So much for draining the swamp.

Anyone who suggests that the military needs more money is either criminally clueless or equally corrupt, because the military isn’t suffering from lack of funding—it’s suffering from lack of proper oversight.

Where President Trump fits into that scenario, you decide.

Trump may turn out to be, as policy analyst Stan Collender warned, “the biggest deficit- and debt-increasing president of all time.”

Rest assured, however, that if Trump gets his way—to the tune of a $4.7 trillion budget that digs the nation deeper in debt to foreign creditors, adds $750 billion for the military budget, and doubles the debt growth that Trump once promised to erase—the war profiteers (and foreign banks who “own” our debt) will be raking in a fortune while America goes belly up.

This is basic math, and the numbers just don’t add up.

As it now stands, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it’s spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily (from foreign governments and Social Security) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad.

Certainly, nothing about the way the government budgets its funds puts America’s needs first.

The nation’s educational system is pathetic (young people are learning nothing about their freedoms or their government). The infrastructure is antiquated and growing more outdated by the day. The health system is overpriced and inaccessible to those who need it most. The supposedly robust economy is belied by the daily reports of businesses shuttering storefronts and declaring bankruptcy. And our so-called representative government is a sham.

If this is a formula for making America great again, it’s not working.

The White House wants taxpayers to accept that the only way to reduce the nation’s ballooning deficit is by cutting “entitlement” programs such as Social Security and Medicare, yet the glaring economic truth is that at the end of the day, it’s the military industrial complex—and not the sick, the elderly or the poor—that is pushing America towards bankruptcy.

We have become a debtor nation, and the government is sinking us deeper into debt with every passing day that it allows the military industrial complex to call the shots.

Simply put, the government cannot afford to maintain its over-extended military empire.

Money is the new 800-pound gorilla,” remarked a senior administration official involved in Afghanistan. “It shifts the debate from ‘Is the strategy working?’ to ‘Can we afford this?’ And when you view it that way, the scope of the mission that we have now is far, far less defensible.” Or as one commentator noted, “Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.”

To be clear, the U.S government’s defense spending is about one thing and one thing only: establishing and maintaining a global military empire.

Although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

Since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $4.7 trillion waging its endless wars.

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $32 million per hour.

In fact, the U.S. government has spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earns in a year.

Then there’s the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the world and policing the globe with 1.3 million U.S. troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).

Future wars and military exercises waged around the globe are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053.

The U.S. government is spending money it doesn’t have on a military empire it can’t afford.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card, “essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan.”

War is not cheap, but it becomes outrageously costly when you factor in government incompetence, fraud, and greedy contractors.

As The Nation reports:

For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress—representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions—knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year.

For example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon’s largest agencies “can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending.”

Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t much better for the spending that can be tracked.

A government audit found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid:

$71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

That price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire is a sad statement on how little control “we the people” have over our runaway government.

Mind you, this isn’t just corrupt behavior. It’s deadly, downright immoral behavior.

The U.S. government is not making the world any safer. It’s making the world more dangerous. It is estimated that the U.S. military drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes. Since 9/11, the United States government has directly contributed to the deaths of around 500,000. Every one of those deaths was paid for with taxpayer funds.

The U.S. government is not making America any safer. It’s exposing American citizens to alarming levels of blowback, a CIA term referring to the unintended consequences of the U.S. government’s international activities. Chalmers Johnson, a former CIA consultant, repeatedly warned that America’s use of its military to gain power over the global economy would result in devastating blowback.

Those who call the shots in the government—those who push the military industrial complex’s agenda—those who make a killing by embroiling the U.S. in foreign wars—have not heeded Johnson’s warning.

The U.S. government is not making American citizens any safer. The repercussions of America’s military empire have been deadly, not only for those innocent men, women and children killed by drone strikes abroad but also those here in the United States.

The 9/11 attacks were blowback. The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback. The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback.

The transformation of America into a battlefield is blowback.

All of this carnage is being carried out with the full support of the American people, or at least with the proxy that is our taxpayer dollars.

The government is destabilizing the economy, destroying the national infrastructure through neglect and a lack of resources, and turning taxpayer dollars into blood money with its endless wars, drone strikes and mounting death tolls.

As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized, under a military empire, war and its profiteering will always take precedence over the people’s basic human needs.

Similarly, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?”

We failed to heed Eisenhower’s warning.

The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the government that Eisenhower warned against has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation today.

It’s not sustainable, of course.

Eventually, inevitably, military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome. It’s happening again.

The America empire is already breaking down.

We’re already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front, and the government is ready.

For years now, the government has worked with the military to prepare for widespread civil unrest brought about by “economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

For years now, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist.

We’re approaching critical mass.

As long as “we the people” continue to allow the government to wage its costly, meaningless, endless wars abroad, the American homeland will continue to suffer: our roads will crumble, our bridges will fail, our schools will fall into disrepair, our drinking water will become undrinkable, our communities will destabilize, our economy will tank, crime will rise, and our freedoms will suffer.

So who will save us?

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’d better start saving ourselves: one by one, neighbor to neighbor, through grassroots endeavors, by pushing back against the police state where it most counts—in our communities first and foremost, and by holding fast to what binds us together and not allowing politics and other manufactured nonrealities to tear us apart.

Start today. Start now. Do your part.

Literally and figuratively, the buck starts and stops with “we the people.”

WC: 2256

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

Source: $97 Billion a Year: War Spending Is Bankrupting America

How America Looks from Asia

As Americans who now spend over 90% of their time outside the US, [my wife and I] have a rather unique perspective on the country of our origin – kind of like looking at the forest from far outside the trees – or like seeing your young children only once a year and observing huge changes that can only be observed via time lapses. Many of the changes we now see have happened so gradually (like boiling the frog) that most Americans have not even noticed.

Some of our observations (many of which are disturbing) are as follows:

  • Many Americans (probably well over half) are fat and in very poor physical condition – with large numbers of men and women (especially over their mid-30s) incredibly obese. This is in sharp contrast to Asia, Europe, and most countries, except Australia (where many are fattened up on beer). On each subsequent trip to the US we see more overweight young people and children – and adults. This writer has observed that upwards of 75% of men and women over 50 are either overweight or dramatically overweight.
  • The divorce rate is increasing sharply, and most young people are no longer marrying, but cohabiting with their “significant other. Nuclear families (father, mother, and children) are becoming fewer and fewer in the US. Younger Americans this writer has met on his travels openly declare that they have no intention of ever marrying.
  • The great majority of people are playing with gadgets nonstop (i.e., smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.). Most children (from 3-4 years of age and up) are playing (being entertained with) video games on their gadgets. Parents are placing these gadgets in the hands of their young children as electronic babysitters. Most adults we see on planes are also playing video games, watching movies, or otherwise being entertained. (The airlines now provide non-stop entertainment.) On a typical flight of 200 or so passengers, you see virtually no one reading books – or maybe just one or two people. And if they are reading, it’s virtually always a novel and nothing of real substance. Gadgets and wall-to-wall entertainment have replaced reading or person-to-person communication (i.e., talking). And they are replacing thinking!
  • About half of the people you see in American airports or on planes are non-white, Hispanic, or foreigners – with very few Caucasian families, and very few with both a mother and father. Most employees at American airports are now foreigners – with 25% (or more) Muslim.
  • American movies are getting far more violent – with very little real stories, plots, or good acting. There are also more occult themes in many American movies and sex outside of marriage the norm.
  • We are seeing fewer and fewer masculine men or boys, and more and more masculine women – the difference between now and 10-15 years ago is dramatic. Hollywood, the political left, and the US educational system have a lot to do with promoting this female dominance/male passivity phenomenon. Women are the dominant characters and heroes (or superheroes) in more and more American movies, with men more passive, laid back, and in some cases feminine. Masculine men are increasingly out, and more passive, weaker men are in. (Dwayne Johnson movies are a notable exception.) But we observe more and more of this spreading through the public at large.
  • Americans are losing their ability to think or function without their high-tech gadgets. Finding their way in a large city, the countryside, or anywhere without their smartphone GPS app is now quite difficult for many Americans – especially for millennials. Many can no longer even read a map or tell time.

This list will continue next week, as we explore the trends in America further.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, August 2018)

Agenda to Deconstruct God-Ordained Marriage — David Fiorazo

In order to eliminate natural marriage in society, it must first be rendered meaningless. How could that happen? You might say ‘gays and lesbians pushing same-sex marriage for several decades’, and you’d only be partially right. Recent surveys done by Barna Research concluded that adultery, premarital sex and cohabitation have basically become the new normal in America.

Now, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 75 percent of Americans say it’s okay to have and raise children when the parents are living together but not married. So how did we get here?

Fifty years ago, a Gallup poll was done showing only 21% of Americans said premarital sex was acceptable; 68% said it was wrong. That was 1969. So what happened to change the attitudes of people about marriage over five decades?

Skyrocketing divorce rates among heterosexuals have added to the problem, as well as the increasing divorce rate among Christians. Did you know that since around the early 1960s, the divorce rate in America has increased over 100% to where now more than one out of every two marriages ends in divorce?

Bisexual, pedophile, and sexologist, Alfred Kinsey did much damage to people’s healthy views of sex and marriage in the 1950s. Dig up the truth about Kinsey sometime, not the whitewashed Hollywood version. He used children in his sex experiments as well as prostitutes.

Planned Parenthood’s founding feminist, adulterer, eugenicist, racist, and atheist, Margaret Sanger promoted sexual freedom at a time when the word abortion was spoken about in hushes and whispers. She was among the first to promote monogamous marriage as a ball and chain! We’ve now reached the point where killing a baby in the womb is just another form of birth control.

The Feminist movement and cry for women’s liberation and equality sounded good in its early stages, but it is no longer about equal pay or equal rights. It has become a liberal, anti-family, socialist movement detrimental to God-ordained, natural marriage and healthy families.

Then, a major cultural event happened fifty years ago, billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music” in White Lake, New York. Woodstock drew nearly 500,000 people in 1969. There were drugs, nudity, sex, rock and roll, and a lot of mud from the rain.

It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in pop music history and the peak of the hippie counterculture. Ideas of rebellion against authority, peace, love, sex, tolerance, and unity resonated throughout the country – bringing us to today’s godless culture in which two thirds of adults (65%) say it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before getting married.

But one of the saddest findings to me is that in a survey of professing Christians, almost half of them (48%) live with or have previously lived with their boyfriend or girlfriend. This makes me wonder if we’re all reading the same Holy Bible.

We didn’t see all the causes decades ago, but we’re sure seeing the effects today.

Journalist, Daniel Greenfield stated:

The deconstruction of marriage is part of the deconstruction of gender and family and those are part of the long program of deconstructing man. Once each basic value has been rendered null and void, inverted and revealed to be random and meaningless, then man is likewise revealed to be a random and meaningless…

For example, lesbian journalist, Masha Gessen literally has three kids who have five parents; She even admitted that homosexual activists were lying about their political agenda. She boldly declared,

“The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist.”

You heard right. ‘Marriage shouldn’t even exist.’

Prior to the judicial tyranny of Obergefell v. Hodges by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, the agenda had been well underway to remove America’s moral anchors and replace them with humanism and hedonism.

The final goal of marriage activists and anarchists was not for gays and lesbians to be able to marry. The agenda was and is to chip away at Christianity, decimate the family unit, eliminate natural marriage, and render the term “marriage” meaningless.

Do I exaggerate? I’ve read stories about a woman marrying herself, another woman marrying her two cats, a woman marrying a dolphin, a man marrying his dog, a man marrying a video game character, and another man marrying a robot, so we’re well on the way to meaninglessness.

In 1979, this is how Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defined marriage:

“the state of being married; b. the mutual relation of husband and wife; wedlock; c. the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family;”

Here’s a modern definition for marriage today:

  1. “the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law; the mutual relation of married persons.
  2. any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world… including opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage.”

And here’s how Jesus defines marriage:

“But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; …Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-9

The marriage covenant has now become the marriage agreement – and only if it meets my needs and is convenient to stay with the other person. So now, many people just want to take their prospective mate for a test drive! In the late 1950s, very few couples lived together without being married while today, the cohabitation rate for women prior to their first marriage is around seventy (70%) percent. Seventy.

Some of these stats are not just cultural indicators; these are judgments on the Christian church and our lack of moral influence in America over the last fifty to a hundred years. We have generally been silent as the sexual revolution paraded through our culture decades ago leading to the sexual anarchy we see today.

John Stott once stated:

We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather we should ask, “What has happened to the salt and light?

Good question.

It is now up to Bible-believing Christians to work on our own marriages and help repair relationships as well as the understanding of the true meaning of God-designed, natural marriage. No society can endure without healthy families and strong marriages. Consider this another warning and a sign of the times in which we live.

*Taken in part from the book, Redefining Truth, chapter 9, “Can Natural Marriage be Saved?”

via Agenda to Deconstruct God-Ordained Marriage — David Fiorazo

White House Invites Evangelicals In To Discuss Jared Kushner’s Middle East Peace Plan, But None Of Them Seem To Understand Bible Prophecy — Now The End Begins

The White House is concerned about the domestic political implications of unveiling senior advisor Jared Kushner’s long-awaited plan to bring peace to the Middle East, Axios reported Saturday.

This story is stunning on one hand, and quite predictable on the other. The White House, anxious over the unveiling of Jared Kushner’s much-touted and maligned Middle East Peace Plan, did what would seem on the surface to be a slam-dunk. They invited all the leading evangelicals in to discuss Kushner’s plan from a biblical perspective, and to make sure things were lined up properly. But they didn’t invite any Bible believers who could have told them immediately the likely outcome of any such plan to bring peace in the Middle East without Jesus Christ. But I can tell you in one word what the outcome will be – Antichrist.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4 (KJV)

You don’t bring a hockey stick to a gunfight, and you don’t ask evangelicals to help you figure out Bible prophecy because they really don’t know it. Because if they did, here is some of what they would have told Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and the others at their White House meeting.

  • THE MAKER OF THE PEACE PLAN IS THE ANTICHRIST: The Bible is quite clear, the person who finally makes the covenant that is broken at the halfway point is indeed the Antichrist. If Jared Kushner is able to ‘seal the deal‘, then guess what? Yep. Why didn’t the evangelicals talk about this point? Why didn’t they tell the White House that peace without Jesus Christ as King is impossible, and to not even bother trying? Why did John Hagee tweet to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” without mentioning the King Of Peace?? Oh that’s right, Hagee teaches the dual covenant theology heresy.  “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)
  • ISRAEL IS ENTITLED TO MUCH MORE LAND THAN THEY HAVE NOW: The amount of land that Israel currently has will be dwarfed by the land that they will have during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. God has a One State Solution. “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21 (KJV)
  • THERE WILL BE NO PALESTINIANS ALLOWED IN JERUSALEM WHEN JESUS COMES: If the evangelicals believed the Bible, they would tell the White House little nuggets like this. Jesus Christ will not allow any Palestinians, the former Canaaities, in His Holy Temple in Jerusalem. “Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 14:21 (KJV)

Out of all the evangelicals in attendance, the only one who got even close was Joel Rosenberg, who accurately stated that Abbas would not go for such plan ever. No sir, it will take Jesus releasing the Antichrist with the opening of the First Seal as we read in Revelation 6:1 (KJV), and that can only happen after the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church takes place.

So if you’re reading this, Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt or Vice President Pence, please reach out anytime if you would like the bible believer’s perspective on the Middle East Peace Plan from a biblical perspective. You can reach me at info@nowtheendbegins.com thanks!

Trump White House seeking evangelical approval of Kushner’s Middle East peace plan

FROM RAW STORY: “Ahead of the launch of President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, the White House has been engaging with Evangelical leaders to reassure them about the plan,” Axios reported. “Evangelicals are a crucial part of Trump’s political base and senior officials in his administration, like Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo, are Evangelicals. Most U.S. Evangelicals are strong supporters of Israel, and many Evangelical leaders are staunch allies of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

The plan has been panned by Palestinian, who are anticipating a proposal they cannot support, because of Kushner’s close friendship with Netanyahu. But instead of working to reassure the Palestinians about the plan, Donald Trump’s administration is instead worried about his Evangelical base.

The meeting with Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, included Pastor John Hagee, Pastor Paula White and Pastor Jentezen Franklin, who tweeted a photo of the meeting.

“A source who attended the meeting said that several of the Evangelical leaders raised concerns about the peace plan, especially about the possibility it will give the Palestinians a capital in parts of East Jerusalem,” Axios reported.

Joel Rosenberg reportedly attended the meeting and retweeted the Axios account of what transpired.

“Rosenberg, who is also a personal friend of Pence and Pompeo, says he told the other Evangelical leaders in the meetings that Palestinian President Abbas is never going to make a deal, so there is no need to be too worried that Jerusalem is going to be sacrificed,” Axios reported.

“We need to allow the President freedom of movement and latitude to present a plan that would allow those Arab states which are more willing than ever to make peace with Israel to move forward. We need to give the Arab States the ability to support this. If the Saudis, the Egyptian and others can say that this plan is credible it will open the door for, after the Palestinians say no, to talk about how to move forward with Israel,” Rosenberg reportedly said.

Indeed, support from the Palestinians did not seem important to the White House. Greenblatt, the U.S. envoy and former Trump Organization real estate lawyer, repeatedly slammed the Palestinian Authority following the meeting. READ MORE

via White House Invites Evangelicals In To Discuss Jared Kushner’s Middle East Peace Plan, But None Of Them Seem To Understand Bible Prophecy — Now The End Begins

Engaging The Culture: Beating The Secularists At Their Own Game? — The Heidelblog

In a recent essay, Rebecca McLaughlin calls for Christians to stop retreating and to “go on the offensive.” She makes some valuable observations. She is right to note that, though Christianity seems to be in trouble in the West, globally it is flourishing. The African Christian leaders regularly and rightly correct leaders and communions in Europe and the USA. Though Mao thought that the Cultural Revolution would destroy Christianity in China it has flourished despite (and perhaps because of) persecution. She’s right that Late Modern secularism is nihilistic and self-defeating. As we watch the LGBTQIA movement(s) fragment and turn on each other (e.g., the Q wing of the movement wants to subsume the others and the L wing is unhappy with the T faction) we should remember that there is a Christian way of understanding the world, which provides coherence, order, and meaning to life in this world. Further, she’s right that there is empirical evidence to support the notion that such a Christian understanding of the world has positive consequences for daily life. She is quite right to note the diversity inherent to historic Christianity. After all, the Christian religion, considered as a distinct historical phenomenon, began in the Mediterranean, spread to North Africa, to Europe, and eventually across the globe. Christ truly is calling his people from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9).

Her fourth point, however, deserves further reflection. She writes Read more»

via Engaging The Culture: Beating The Secularists At Their Own Game? — The Heidelblog

March 19, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Lord’s Response

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once. (15:28)

After putting up a barrier of silence and then a double barrier of seeming rejection, Jesus heard what He wanted to hear. Her seeking heart would not give up. Like Abraham, she grew strong in faith through God’s testing (Rom. 4:20), and like Jacob wrestling with the Lord (Gen. 32:26), she would not let go until He blessed her. She fulfilled the pledge of Jeremiah 29:13–14, “ ‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.”

Highly pleased with the woman’s response, Jesus declared, O woman, your faith is great. Without having heard the Sermon on the Mount, she came with the humble, mourning, meek, and seeking heart that God requires for kingdom entrance (Matt. 5:3–6). She exhibited the attitude expressed in Luke 16:16 of vigorously pressing forward (from biazomai) into the kingdom and in Luke 13:24 of striving, struggling, straining every nerve (from agōnizomai) to enter it.

Because of her great faith, Jesus granted her wish that her little child be delivered from the demon, and her daughter was healed at once. As Spurgeon observed, “The Lord of glory surrendered to the faith of the woman.” She kept asking until she received, seeking until she found, and knocking until it was opened to her (cf. Matt. 7:7).[1]

28. Great is thy faith. He first applauds the woman’s faith, and next declares, that on account of her faith he grants her prayer. The greatness of her faith appeared chiefly in this respect, that by the aid of nothing more than a feeble spark of doctrine, she not only recognized the actual office of Christ, and ascribed to him heavenly power, but pursued her course steadily through formidable opposition; suffered herself to be annihilated, provided that she held by her conviction that she would not fail to obtain Christ’s assistance; and, in a word, so tempered her confidence with humility, that, while she advanced no unfounded claim, neither did she shut against her the fountain of the grace of Christ, by a sense of her own unworthiness. This commendation, bestowed on a woman who had been a heathen, condemns the ingratitude of that nation which boasted that it was consecrated to God.

But how can the woman be said to believe aright, who not only receives no promise from Christ, but is driven back by his declaration to the contrary? On that point I have already spoken. Though he appears to give a harsh refusal to her prayers, yet, convinced that God would grant the salvation which he had promised through the Messiah, she ceases not to entertain favourable hopes; and therefore she concludes, that the door is shut against her, not for the purpose of excluding her altogether, but that, by a more strenuous effort of faith, she may force her way, as it were, through the chinks. Be it unto thee as thou desirest. This latter clause contains a useful doctrine, that faith will obtain anything from the Lord; for so highly does he value it, that he is always prepared to comply with our wishes, so far as it may be for our advantage.[2]

28 The faith that simply seeks mercy is honored. Again Jesus speaks, this time with emotion (see Notes), and the woman’s daughter is healed “from that very hour” (cf. 8:13; 9:22). The Clementine homilies (end of the second century) call the woman Justa and her daughter Berenice, but the names may have been invented.[3]

15:28. Finally, having seen ample proof of this dear woman’s heart of faith, and having “rubbed it in” for the disciples, Jesus broke his feigned “resistance” with this enthusiastic response: Woman, you have great faith! Clearly, he was deeply touched by such mature and persistent faith in this Gentile woman.

There was no longer any reason to test the woman’s faith, so Jesus assured her that her deepest desire had been granted. Just as with the centurion’s servant (8:13), Jesus performed a long-distance healing. Matthew records that the woman’s daughter was healed that very hour.[4]

28. Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And healed was her daughter from that very moment. Divine love is so infinite and marvelous that it even praises a human being for exercising a gift—in this case faith—with which this very divine love has endowed her, and which apart from that divine activity could not have gone into action at all.

The praise which this woman receives cannot fail to remind us of the eulogy with which Jesus lauded the centurion (8:10). Here as well as in 8:10, 11 is there not a prediction of the fast approaching wide-opening of the door for the reception of the Gentiles into the kingdom of heaven?

Note also that the blessing bestowed on the woman cannot even be conceived of apart from that with which her daughter was favored. When the woman received what she desired this implied that the daughter likewise was given what she needed. The latter was healed immediately and completely! Moreover, these blessings did not rob “children” of their “bread.”[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 473–474). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 2, pp. 268–269). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] 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. 405). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 232). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, p. 625). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

March 19, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Vice President Pence will visit Nebraska to survey the devastation left by floods in the Midwest killed at least four people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Alan Krueger, a prominent Princeton University economics professor who advised U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, took his own life over the weekend, his family said in a statement on Monday. He was 58.

A group of asylum seekers sent back to Mexico was set to cross the border on Tuesday for their first hearings in U.S. immigration court in an early test of a controversial new policy from the Trump administration.

Thousands of students, university professors and health workers rallied in Algiers on Tuesday calling for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, and a new group headed by activists and opposition figures told the army not to interfere.

Switzerland’s parliament approved allowing convicted militants to be sent home to countries where they could face torture, leaving the government to decide how to implement the motion without breaking international law.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, said on Tuesday that he was resigning as the oil-rich Central Asian nation’s leader after three decades in power.

Philippe Barbarin, the French Roman Catholic cardinal convicted this month of failing to report sexual abuse allegations, said on Tuesday that Pope Francis had turned down his offer to resign.

A senior U.S. arms control official said on Tuesday the only way for North Korea to achieve security and development is to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

Cyclone winds and floods that swept across southeastern Africa affected more than 2.6 million people and could rank as one of the worst weather-related disaster recorded in the southern hemisphere, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

The University of Southern California said it may expel students linked to the largest college-admissions cheating scandal in U.S. history after it completes a reviews of their records.

AP Top Stories

Despite learning the game a little over a year ago, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, the 8-year-old boy – homeless refugee from Nigeria – was crowned the New York State Primary Chess Champion in the kindergarten-to-third-grade bracket of the 52nd New York State Scholastic Championships.

U.N. war crimes investigators called on Israel on Monday to stop its snipers using lethal force against protesters on the border with Gaza, as the anniversary approached of the start of demonstrations there last year in which 189 Palestinians were killed. The Commission of Inquiry said Israel should investigate the shooting of more than 6,000 people, far beyond the criminal inquiries it has announced into 11 killings.

The New Zealand leader’s promise of tightened gun laws in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings has been widely welcomed by a stunned population.

The Pentagon plans a “first-of-its-kind” test of an unprecedented weapons capability to intercept and destroy an enemy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile “ICBM” — from a Navy ship at sea using a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA.

Officials in the California city of Lake Elisnore have previously had large crowds come and see the wildflowers that burst into a vibrant blaze of gorgeous color as spring gets underway. It happens when it rains hard. But this spring, the poppies have been so abundant and so strikingly colored – orange peel, marigold and burned copper – that the number of people coming to walk among them has simply been too many. As a result, the city was forced to say “no” to visitors, after what some officials termed a “super bloom apocalypse”.

U.S.-backed fighters said they had taken positions in Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria and air strikes pounded the tiny patch of land beside the Euphrates River early on Monday.

Representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido have taken control of three of the country’s diplomatic properties in the United States, Guaido’s U.S. envoy said on Monday, as the opposition presses its bid to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The National Weather Service forecasts major to historic flooding along portions of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins for the rest of this week. The flooding started after a massive late-winter storm hit the Midwest last week.

Two senior U.S. senators called on Monday for the Trump administration to correct a slowing pace of U.S. sanctions designations on North Korea, saying there had been a marked decline in the past year of U.S. engagement with Pyongyang.


Indian authorities are investigating a possible smuggling ring after discovering a live human embryo in a suitcase at Mumbai’s airport. A Malaysian national was allegedly found with the embryo in a canister concealed in his luggage on 16 March.

One of the world’s biggest aluminum producers has switched to manual operations at its Norwegian smelting plants following a ransomware attack. Hydro, which employs more than 35,000 people in 40 countries, says the attack began on Monday night and is ongoing.

Kenyans have accused their government of ignoring more than 1.1 million drought victims following reports that at least 10 people have died of hunger in the north-western Turkana region.


The unlikely presidential run of Andrew Yang, who is proposing a $1,000-a-month “freedom dividend” to every adult in America, rolled Friday into San Francisco, where some 3,000 supporters listened to the New York tech entrepreneur warn about how artificial intelligence and robotics are taking jobs.

The concept of “snowplow parenting” revealed that some parents are helping their college-aged children set up “play dates” in campus dorms.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Mar. 19, 2019

The Foundation

“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

Even WaPo Rejects Negative Demo Spin on Good Economy

Presidential hopefuls spread the misleading claim about Americans working multiple jobs.

‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’

New Zealand’s prime minister vows to deny notoriety to a mass murderer.

Warren: Who’s Up for Trust-Busting Big Tech?

After a dust-up with Facebook, the Democrat floats getting the government more involved.

Senate Gets It Wrong on Yemen

Withdrawing support for Saudi actions against Houthi rebels would be a big mistake.

Deflating College Degrees

The value of a college degree decreased considerably as academic merit became secondary.

Coach Surprises Students After Deployment to Afghanistan

“A Utah man who recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan had a wonderful surprise.”

Video: DivestU

Many college campuses today are nothing more than leftist indoctrination camps.

Today’s Opinion

Rich Lowry
The SPLC Designates Itself
Jeff Jacoby
Lower the Voting Age? Let’s Raise It Instead
Cal Thomas
The New Zealand Massacre
Stephen Moore
The Democrats’ $100 Trillion Agenda Could Easily Tilt the Nation
Dennis Prager
Your Kid Goes to Yale? So What?
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Dem litmus tests, Twitter lawsuit, illegal-immigrant identify theft, Gillibrand’s #MeToo, student loans, anti-vaxxers, and more.

Tuesday Short Cuts

Non Compos Mentis: “No matter where you live, we deserve better — we all deserve to live free from fear and violence.” —Planned Parenthood Action

Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 3/19/2019

Egypt to Hamas: ‘Israel Will Destroy You, We Won’t Intervene’
Shortly after 9 p.m. on Thursday—minutes after sirens blared across central Israel and a loud boom overhead shook the area—senior Egyptian intelligence officers became outraged during a meeting with Hamas officials in Gaza. “Just so you know,” they leveled at Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, “if Israel decides to launch a comprehensive military operation in Gaza, we won’t do a thing to stop it, even if it decides to simultaneously topple Hamas and conquer the Gaza Strip.” The dramatic exchange was relayed by a senior Egyptian official who attended the meeting.

General closure in Judea and Samaria
Crossings from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea, Samaria, as well as Gaza’s border crossings, will be closed for the duration of the Purim holiday. Arabs who wish to cross into pre-1967 Israel from Judea and Samaria but do not have Israeli citizenship must apply for permits. The reason is usually in order to work, but since criminals and terrorists seeking to carry out attacks can try to join them, there is a need for permits so that each can be vetted and a record kept.

Cracks in Earth’s magnetic field? It only sounds like science fiction. In fact, a magnetic crack opened for more than 5 hours on March 16-17. The resulting G1-class geomagnetic storm sparked stunning auroras around the Arctic Circle.

Minnesota Democrats Reportedly Want Ilhan Omar Out — She Blames Trump
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar blamed President Donald Trump on Sunday after reports that members of the Minnesota Democratic Party are considering removing her from congressional office for her repeated anti-Semitic statements. Omar has defended the anti-Semitic statements, such as ones invoking Allah to expose Israel’s “evil doings,” and she is on record stating that Israel is not a democracy. She also gave an interview to a host that referred to Israel as the “Jewish ISIS”

Google makes Greenpeace co-founder ‘vanish’
Google has eliminated Patrick Moore from a search result listing co-founders of the environmental group Greenpeace. The move came after Moore made headlines criticizing the climate-change-driven policies of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, which drew praise from President Trump. Moore tweeted Saturday that his name had been eliminated from the Google list sometime in the previous two days. “Oh my! @Google has removed my photo and name from the “Founders of @Greenpeace“. It was still there 2 days ago but now I am erased. Tech Tyranny!!”

Take Back the Temple Mount
With predictable petulance, the Palestinian leadership has been deliberately raising tensions on the Temple Mount, seeking to exploit the sensitive preelection season in Israel to further strengthen its hold on the holy site.

Aleutian Flights Affected By Erupting Volcanoes in Russia
Volcanic eruptions on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula have delayed and canceled flights in the Aleutian Islands over the last several days. Bezymianny Volcano exploded Friday, throwing ash 50,000 feet into the air — some 1,300 miles from Unalaska. Meanwhile, Sheveluch Volcano has remained restless since an eruption last month, with a growing lava dome and continued ash emissions. All that activity has generated international flight warnings, according to Dave Schneider of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Stash of Original Temple Incense Found
End Times expert Rabbi Pinchas Winston spoke to Breaking Israel News at length about the spiritual significance of the Temple incense and its connection to the upcoming holiday of Purim. “Purim is all about the ketoret. Eleven spices correspond to the sefirah (Godly attribute) of da’at (knowledge), the eleventh sefirah. It is no coincidence that the ketoret has 11 spices. Thus, the ketoret is connected to da’at.

‘Democratic Party not anti-Jewish but some members are’
“The Democratic Party is not an anti-Jewish party, but there are some people in the party now, including in Congress as we’ve seen from Congresswoman Omar…who are saying explicitly anti-Semitic things,” Lieberman, who is Jewish, was quoted as having said in an interview on AM 970 in New York. President Donald Trump ripped the Democrats, telling reporters that the Democratic party has become an “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” party.

Iraq-Syria-Iran hold ‘tripartite’ meeting against U.S. in Syria
Iranian Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Baqeri met with his Iraqi counterpart and Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub to discuss opposition to the US role in Syria… In what Iranian media called a “tripartite” meeting, the three held a joint press conference in Damascus. It is the latest…sign of an Iran-Iraq-Syria entente that will aid Iran’s ambitions in the region and comes on the heels of a historic visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq.

Saudi report: Iranians hacked the phones of Yair and Sara Netanyahu
A Saudi Arabian paper, Independentarabia, published a report on Tuesday claiming that Iranian Intelligence has hacked the phones of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair and wife Sara. According to the report, the breach was done several months ago, and that it is not yet clear what information was leaked through the tapping of their phones.

Iranian Commander: All of Israel within reach of Hezbollah’s missiles
All of Israel is within range of Hezbollah’s missiles, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said… “The current status quo and the current capabilities of the Resistance Front of the Islamic Revolution are all the unique accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution which cannot be verbally described and they rather should be sensed,” he said in an interview with the Persian-language Soroush Magazine.

Gaza economic protests expose cracks in Hamas’s rule
In Gaza, it is no surprise to hear complaints about the terrible living conditions – after all, the World Bank describes a local economy in “free fall” with 70% unemployment among young people. However, what has been extraordinary in recent days is that large crowds of Palestinians have been turning out on the streets to voice their frustration and even criticise Hamas – the militant Islamist group which rules the strip with an iron fist.

Three dead in record flooding in US Midwestern states
Thawing snowpack and heavy rains have brought historically high flooding to several Midwestern states and have led to thousands of evacuations. Three people have died, including a man who officials say was trying to rescue strangers from freezing flood waters. Record-breaking flooding in at least five states has led to emergency declarations. Several communities have been cut off from outside help.

UK scientists join race for lab-grown meat
British scientists have joined the race to produce meat grown in the lab rather than reared on the hoof. Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat. If the process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat lovers might one day be tucking into a slaughter-free supply of “bacon”.

Isis calls on followers to ‘take revenge’ for New Zealand terror attack
Isis has called on its followers to retaliate for the terror attack against Muslims in New Zealand last week, in a rare message from one of its top figures. The group’s spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, broke a six month silence to call on Isis supporters to “take vengeance for their religion” in the 44-minute audio recording.

Palestinian agency urges donors to step up after US cuts
The head of the UN agency that helps 5.3 million Palestinian refugees on Monday urged donors who filled a $446 million hole in its budget last year after the Trump administration drastically cut the US contribution to be equally generous this year. “Last year we had an extraordinary crisis and an out of the ordinary response,” Pierre Krahenbuhl said… “Our humble request to all the donors is: Please keep your funding levels at the same level as 2018.”

Tuberculosis epidemic hits Minnesota as 296 Muslim refugees are diagnosed as active – majority are Somalis
Two hundred and ninety-six refugees were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) between 2010 and 2014 in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Seventy-one were diagnosed within one year of their arrival, while 225 were diagnosed after the first year.

The Catholic Church Has Made a Deal With the Devil in Beijing
The Catholic Church, which has jealously defended its sovereignty for centuries, has made a deal with the Devil. In October of 2018, the Vatican entered into a preliminary agreement with the militantly atheist Chinese Communist Party meant to “protect” the nine million Catholic Chinese citizens who are currently being harassed and oppressed by the totalitarian government in Beijing.

Voter Fraud Ring Caught Rigging Elections for Democrats in Texas
Four members of a voter fraud ring have been arrested in Texas after they were caught rigging the votes for Democratic candidates ahead of the 2016 primary elections.

Mentally disabled Christian beaten, arrested after Muslim bursts into his home claiming he overheard ‘blasphemous’ comment
One would think the home invader who broke into the home of a mentally disabled Christian and beat him would be the one arrested. But this is Islam.

Leaked Documents Prove Soros Working with UN Supporting Illegal Migrant Crisis
On Sunday, the United Nations admitted it is supporting the illegal immigrants and caravans from Central America, currently marching towards the US southern border.

Palestinians in Gaza resume night time border protests
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip resumed night time protests along the border between Israel and the coastal enclave on Monday, a week after halting them.

Iran Building Two New Nuclear Plants
Iranian leaders announced on Monday the construction of two new nuclear plants, and it remains unclear if the Trump administration views this as crossing a red line since its abandonment of the landmark nuclear deal, which included provisions permitting Iran to work on heavy water nuclear reactors that could provide a plutonium-based pathway to a bomb.

Secret Underground Church Started By James The Half-Brother Of Jesus Discovered In Jerusalem On Mount Zion
Recently, I came across these amazing videos of archaeological discoveries dating back to the First Century AD, showing what is purported to be perhaps the very first Christian church in Jerusalem, one that was started by James, the half-brother of Jesus. Not to be confused with James, the brother of John, who wrote the book of James that bears his name.

School Teaches 5-Year-Olds About Transgenderism WO Telling Parents
In Arlington County, Virginia, not even kindergarteners are exempt from pro-transgender messaging. So reports The Washington Post, which, earlier this month, featured an article about Ashlawn Elementary School, which honored National “Read Across America Day” by hosting a transgender spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The spokesperson read a story about a transgender child for a room full of kindergarten children.

Dozens of Christians Slaughtered By Muslim Militants
Dozens of Christians have been slaughtered by Muslim militants in Nigeria, yet the massacre has been completely ignored by the mainstream media.

Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died
Two young men were found dead inside torched cars. Three others died of apparent suicides. Another collapsed on a bus, his death ruled an overdose. Six deaths, all involving men with connections to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, drew attention on social media and speculation in the activist community that something sinister was at play.

‘Anti-Hate’ Resolution Is A Stress Test For Criminalizing Dems’ Opposition
The House recently passed a non-binding resolution that condemns hate and bigotry in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic statements, citing a broad range of victimized groups, including Jews and Muslims. It doesn’t include white Christians—a stark and significant omission.

Gaetz pushes for abortion restrictions, funding for faith-based clinics
The national debate surrounding abortion came to Northwest Florida on Friday as U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz advocated for the passage of tougher abortion restrictions and for federal funding for faith-based pregnancy centers during a visit to a clinic in Milton.

Democrats use Nazi policy to get registration, then confiscation, of your guns
Happiness is a warm gun, sang the Beatles; but Democrats are singing registration, then confiscation, of your guns. A “Firearm Registration” bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature on March 8, 2019.

What are they trying to hide? Out of all the violent videos on the ‘net, possessing the NZ mosque shooting video can now get you 10 years in prison
Something is incredibly fishy about the New Zealand mosque shooting and how governments and the media have responded to it. Governments are now going to extraordinary lengths to eliminate the video from the internet while criminalizing anyone who dares possess it or distribute it.

Headlines – 3/19/2019

Jordanian MPs call for expulsion of Israeli envoy over al-Aqsa dispute

Jordanian MP salutes Palestinian terrorist for ‘killing the Jews’

The answer to terror: 770 new housing units in Ariel

Netanyahu vows to build new West Bank housing following terror attack

Fatah accuses Hamas of beating one of its top Gaza Strip officials

Hamas resumes nightly clashes with IDF at Strip’s border after 10 days of calm

Israel is depriving Palestinians of clean water: UN rights expert

UN panel lists Israelis suspected of war crimes on Gaza border

Experts reveal major fallacies in UN inquiry on Gaza report

US envoy to Germany leads pro-Israel protest at UN Human Rights Council

Rouhani urges Iranians to ‘put all your curses on Zionists, US’

Iranian Commander: All of Israel within reach of Hezbollah’s missiles

Turkey, Iran launch joint raid against Kurdish militants

Iran denies joint operation with Turkey against PKK: Fars

Damascus Threatens Kurds With Military Defeat, Iran Demands U.S. Leave Syria

Syrian government vows to bring Kurdish-held areas back under control

Iraq sentences Belgian man to death for being part of ISIS

Rouhani says Iran will file legal case against US for sanctions

Nigeria genocide: 9 more, including children, killed by armed men in Kaduna; houses burned

President Erdogan Uses New Zealand Mosque Shooting Footage in Turkey Campaign

New Zealand scolds Turkey’s Erdogan over airing massacre footage

John Legend says Trump ‘needs to apologize for demonizing Muslims’ after New Zealand massacre

First Muslim elected to Congress: ‘Objective evidence’ says Trump sympathetic to white supremacy

Gun owners in New Zealand brace for big changes to their right to carry

Protesters with Palestinian flags turn backs on Dutch rabbi’s Christchurch eulogy

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram, mayor says terror likely

Suspected gunman in deadly Dutch tram shooting is arrested

Turkey probing deadly Dutch shooting attack, Erdogan says

China Says 13,000 ‘Terrorists’ Arrested in Xinjiang Since 2014

Putin visits Crimea to mark 5th anniversary of annexation

Five Years After Crimea, Ukraine’s Conflict With Russian-backed Separatists Still Simmering

Insulting Putin May Now Land You in Jail Under a New Russian Law

Putin Signs ‘Fake News,’ ‘Internet Insults’ Bills Into Law

France to ban ‘yellow vest’ protests if violent groups take part: PM

Brexit in disarray after House speaker moves to block third vote on deal

UK could seek Brexit delay up to the final hour: EU official

Guaido supporters in Venezuela ‘took control’ of diplomatic buildings, US says

Border wall standoff could lead to another government shutdown this fall

Pentagon tells Congress how projects might be delayed to pay for President Trump’s wall

Colorado joins effort to elect presidents by popular vote, go around Electoral College

Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a ‘witch hunt’ as trust in Mueller erodes

White House diktat could revoke hundreds of reporters’ press passes

Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands

Nunes sues Twitter, some users, seeks over $250M alleging anti-conservative ‘shadow bans,’ smears

Pompeo jokes he’ll be secretary of State until Trump ‘tweets me out of office’

Facial recognition: Apple, Amazon, Google and the race for your face

‘Breathalyzyer for texting’: Nevada weighs controversial technology to curb distracted driving

Stress Mess: 3 In 5 Millennials Say Life More Stressful Now Than Ever Before – From slow WiFi to broken phone screens to zero “likes” on social media

Intel and the Department of Energy are building America’s first exascale supercomputer, a computer capable of a quintillion calculations per second

UN hosts powers to discuss preventing an arms race in space

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bouvet Island, Bouvet Island

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 15,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 14,000ft

Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Poas volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 10,000ft

Over 1,000 feared dead after cyclone slams into Mozambique

Large City in Mozambique Nearly Wiped Out as Cyclone Leaves Vast Destruction

Midwest braces for more rain as deadly and historical flooding devastates the region

Midwest floods devastate Nebraska city, leaving many without homes

Satellite images show Nebraska and Iowa rivers swallowing towns

Offutt Air Force Base is succumbing to the massively swollen Missouri River and things could get worse before they get better

Dozens of Buildings Underwater at Offutt Air Force Base After Massive Flood

Feds seize 1 million lbs. of pork smuggled from China to N.J. port amid African swine fever outbreak

Ukraine measles outbreak kills 11, infects 30,000

Officials push flu shots as strain changes

Ireland warns women against using abortion pill reversal that could save babies’ lives

Beto O’Rourke seemingly endorses third-trimester abortions: ‘That should be a decision the woman makes’

UN reports increase in sex abuse allegations by UN staff

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Eastern Meditation Sneaks Into The Church

EFCA suspends Harvest Bible Church amid scandal; former members demand donations be returned

Churches are opening their doors to businesses in order to survive

Gospel Coalition Says God Raised up “Same-Sex Attracted Christians” to Lead Us

School Board Scolds Parents for Opposing Drag Queen’s Makeup Lesson

Another 10 Christians Killed in Kaduna State as Carnage Continues in Nigeria, Sources Say

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

RenewAmerica Newsletter for March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019
Fighting for injured workers’ rights
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)

March 17, 2019
Alan Keyes warns of ‘anti-Christ forces’ seeking to discourage Americans
ALAN KEYES — It is not an uncommon question, these days, among those who profess to believe in God. Yet, as with our very existence, the answer comes from His Word: God is in the generation of the righteous. We can find this insight in the 14th Psalm. The generation described therein sounds much like our own:… (more)

March 17, 2019
LINDA GOUDSMIT — Let’s get serious. If hundreds of thousands of unvetted illegal aliens storming our southern border is not a national emergency what is? Leftists don’t consider open borders a national emergency because they welcome illegal hordes into America to overwhelm the welfare system, collapse the economy, and vote illegally to insure one-party Democrat dominance. It is their preferred road to destroying America from within and imposing socialism…. (more)

March 17, 2019
NEWSMAX — Conservative writer David Horowitz accused the “anti-religious, anti-American left” of conducting an ongoing effort to erase God from American society dating back six decades. During a recent C-Span event to talk about his new book “Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America,” Horowitz argued that the progressive movement is trying to change the history on which this nation was founded…. (more)

March 17, 2019
NEWSMAX — Hard-core progressive and socialist congressional Democrats are more supportive of the Nicolás Maduro government in Venezuela than they are of President Donald Trump. Last week, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose anti-Semitic tropes triggered a congressional resolution against general bigotry, tweeted that Trump and U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams “cannot be trusted to tell the truth about what’s happening in Venezuela.”… (more)

March 16, 2019
DOJ veteran argues this is opportunity to complete record with whistleblower testimony
WORLDNETDAILY — A federal appeals court has put a roadblock in front of the government’s attempt to appeal a district judge’s decision to throw out its case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct…. (more)

March 16, 2019
TABITHA KOROL — Muslims lie not because they are liars by nature but by choice. Systematic lying as a religious policy is deadly, and if our politicians do not understand this, thousands could die. – – Don Boys, Ph.D. The mission of the jihadi/jihada (one who engages in holy “war with non-Muslims to establish the religion”) is to bring Islamic law, sharia, to the world, whether through peaceful or violent means, and Ilhan Omar has dutifully begun her vocation for Allah, who is described in the Quran as the greatest deceiver of them all…. (more)

March 16, 2019
BRYAN FISCHER — The Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion, that is, picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. An “established” religion enjoys special favors and special legal protections that no other faith enjoys. People of non-established faiths are subject to punishment from authorities. From my vantage point, Islam has now become the de facto established religion of the U.S. Muslims enjoy protections and privileges that Christians do not…. (more)

March 16, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — The Constitution says there can be no religious test applied to those seeking office at the federal level (Article 6, clause 3). But lately some on the left are trying to apply a type of religious test against some would-be Trump nominees…. (more)

March 16, 2019
THE HILL — President Trump on Friday issued the first veto of his presidency, stymying Congress’s attempt to block him from obtaining funds for his wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without lawmakers’ approval…. (more)

March 16, 2019
President Trump promises U.S. is with island nation hit by terror
WORLDNETDAILY — A “country boy” from Australia who spent years traveling the world and appears to have had an obsession with neo-Nazi ideology is the primary suspect in the murder of 49 people at a New Zealand mosque on Friday…. (more)

March 16, 2019
Dem senator cites president’s ‘words’
WORLDNETDAILY — The Daily Mail of London published a headline Friday that described the perpetrator of the massacre of 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand as a “Trump-supporting white supremacist.” However, as Bright Start News points out, in the killer’s 74-page manifesto, Trump’s name turns up only once. “Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?” “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”… (more)

March 16, 2019
CNN examines positions when he first ran for Senate
ART MOORE — What would a President Bernie Sanders do if he were elected in 2020? The self-declared democratic socialist has been clear about his support of such policies as universal health care and free college tuition. But CNN found that when he first ran for the Senate in the 1970s, he advocated full-blown socialist policies such as nationalizing major industries, including energy companies, factories and banks…. (more)

March 15, 2019
NEWSMAX — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced Friday the panel he chairs, the Senate Judiciary Committee, is investigating alleged talk within the Department of Justice two years ago to invoke the 25th Amendment and attempt to remove President Donald Trump from office…. (more)

March 14, 2019
JOAN SWIRSKY — “[T]he Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party.” President Donald J. Trump “[T]he chickens of the Democratic Party are coming home to roost…. [M]aybe then they will also realize that anti-Semitism, like most cancers, is fatal unless it’s removed.”… (more)

March 14, 2019
CLIFF KINCAID — Billionaire Bill Gates is pouring some of his wealth into development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine that will be mandatory for all young people, even children, in the U.S. Perhaps a scheduled “breakthrough” in this controversial effort and a plan for universal HIV vaccinations explain why major media organs and corporate and government officials are being used to demonize those concerned about the safety of vaccines. The U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) has gone so far as to issue a report ranking “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the top “Ten Threats to Global Health in 2019.”… (more)

March 14, 2019
FOX NEWS — Senate Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues on Thursday in voting to block President Trump’s border emergency declaration – – a move that will prompt the president’s first-ever veto. The president made his intentions crystal clear, tweeting “VETO!” moments after the resolution cleared Congress. The White House said Trump likely would issue the veto Friday…. (more)

March 14, 2019
NEWSMAX — A leading advocate for a strong U.S. military expects morale and readiness to improve now that the Defense Department has unveiled a new policy restricting military service by transgender soldiers. The Associated Press reported Tuesday the new policy will take effect April 12. It requires military personnel to serve in the gender of their birth, and they will not be allowed to serve while transitioning to another sex…. (more)

March 14, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified last year that officials in the bureau, including then-FBI Director James Comey, discussed Espionage Act charges against Hillary Clinton, citing “gross negligence,” but the Justice Department shut them down…. (more)

March 14, 2019
IAMTV — Dr. Alan Keyes talks with IAMtv’s Stacey Campfield about the latest revelations in the college admissions scandal…. (more)

March 14, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Actress Lori Loughlin turned herself into federal authorities in Los Angeles a day after being charged in a college admissions bribery case. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed Loughlin is in custody after she turned herself in Wednesday. The “Full House” actress is expected to appear in court in Los Angeles in the afternoon…. (more)

March 14, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — A thing that occurs to you if you attend an elite college or university, as I did, is that most of the professors teaching you are more or less the same beleaguered time-servers who would be teaching you at any other school. I well remember the sad, unshaven schlump in corduroys who taught one of my introductory English courses: He was fine. He knew his stuff…. (more)

March 14, 2019
BLOOMBERG — The number of wealthy households in the U.S. reached a new high last year, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Sweden or Portugal. More than 10.2 million households had a net worth of $1 million to $5 million, not including the value of their primary residence, according to a survey by the Spectrem Group. That’s up 2.5 percent from 2017…. (more)

March 14, 2019
BEN SHAPIRO — Over the weekend, Democratic fresh face and socialist darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., spoke at the South by Southwest conference. While sitting amidst the enormous bounty provided by capitalism – -top-notch electronic equipment, a massive crowd of paid ticket holders – -AOC tore into capitalism…. (more)

March 14, 2019
Ruling upholds Ohio law funding health providers that don’t do procedure
WORLDNETDAILY — In a decision that could ripple across the nation, a federal appeals court ruled abortionists don’t have a constitutional right to perform abortions. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, by an 11-6 vote, upheld an Ohio law redirecting about $1.5 million a year in state tax money away from abortionists such as Planned Parenthood and toward other health providers…. (more)


Recovering the True Christian Church For Its Mission — Reformation Charlotte

Christ Himself is the Foundation of the Church

When one surveys the history of Christianity and compares that history with the original teachings of Christianity, it can be an eye-opening experience. For example, we know that the Christian church is built by Christ, not men. We know that the church belongs to Christ, not men. And we know that Satan wants to destroy the church. Jesus told Peter in Matt. 16:18,

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Notice that Jesus calls the church “my church.” Also, note that Jesus says, “I will build my church.” Jesus goes on to say quite literally, whatever you might bind on earth WILL HAVE BEEN BOUND in heaven and whatever you might loose on earth WILL HAVE BEEN LOOSED in heaven. The use of the perfect tense focuses the reader on the fact that Matthew is emphasizing the heaven’s action of this verb, over the action of the apostle’s binding and loosing which are both in the aorist tense.

Whatever authority Peter and the apostles had, its source would be in heaven. It is wrong to think of this language in a way that has Heaven backing the apostle’s play. Better, it should be understood that apostolic authority, the spiritual authority of the church is restricted to divine authority. This makes it possible for leaders in the church to go beyond their authority. And indeed, when Christianity roles into the 4th century, this is exactly what happens. Men have turned to eyes to temporal and political authority and power and have assumed that God will back their play. They begin to misuse and abuse their spiritual authority. They begin to exceed their authority, failing to understand the treason they are committing when they do so. It is not just abuse for a pastor/elder to exceed his spiritual authority, it is the highest form of treason.

The Authority of Scripture

The path to recovering the church lies in returning to the absolute authority of Scripture. This means that Scripture informs the structure of our churches locally from the standpoint of leadership and it means that the entire service centers around the Christ revealed in Scripture. In Titus 1:5, Paul writes,

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.

There are a few things worth noting in this verse. First, there are some things that are lacking that need to be corrected. Apparently, one of these items, likely, the most important one is the appointing of elders in every town. The clear inference here is that a lack of elders means that your church has a deficiency that requires correction. Commenting on this verse, George Knight writes,

κατὰ πόλιν is used in the distributive sense: “city by city” or “in every city” (BAGD s.v. κατά II.1d; cf. Acts 15:2120:23; also κατʼ ἐκκλησίαν, Acts 14:23). This means that plural πρεσβυτέρους relates to each city that has a church: Several elders/overseers are appointed in each church. This corresponds to what was done in the cities of Philippi (Phil. 1:1) and Ephesus (Acts 20:1728; cf. 14:231 Thes. 5:12131 Tim. 5:17).[1]

The Biblical Mandate for Pastors and Elders

Every local church is to have a plurality of elders. The lack of a plurality of elders in the local church is considered by Paul a problem that must be rectified. He deliberately left Titus in Crete so that he would work toward this end. If your local church does not have a plurality of elders, each man being equal in authority as the next man, then your church is deficient in a critical area and it should address this deficiency promptly and with a sense of urgency. It does not matter what kind of ecclesiology the people have become accustomed to. As an elder, you are obligated to train them according to the authority of Scripture and fix it. Do it now. Only then can you begin to recover a NT church.

A plurality of elders, when done biblically, guards against the dominant charismatic personality type. This helps protect all the elders and more importantly the church from adopting bad practices, unbiblical teachings, and guards against mission drift. To the elders at Ephesus, Paul wrote the following ominous warning: I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. It should be noted that Paul called for the elders, plural, of the church at Ephesus to come down to him. Once they were assembled, Paul issued this very sober warning about the spiritual dangers of Christianity and the duties of these men to protect the church from these dangers. Of course, a plurality of elders doesn’t help much if there is one dominant personality (Sr. Pastor) who manipulates the composition of the body of elders.

Defending and Proclaiming the True Gospel

Another component of recovering the church is getting the gospel right. The state of affairs that has obtained today regarding the gospel is quite disturbing. It seems to me that many Christian leaders have trouble distinguishing the gospel from the good works that result from the gospel. Opposing abortion is, to many, a gospel issue. Immigration has become a gospel issue. Stopping human trafficking has become a gospel issue. And if that isn’t bad enough, we still have the Billy Graham-Charles Finney revivalism hangover. Christianity is a product of human will. This is also known as decisional regeneration. As long as the churches fail to understand the gospel revealed in Scripture, there can be no recovery.

Another problem is the failure on the part of the churches to evangelize. Some people evangelize more than others. And some people don’t evangelize at all. They simply don’t open their mouth and share their faith with anyone, ever. In fact, asking someone if they go to church is as close as some people get to evangelism. If that is you, I hate to inform you that you are not evangelizing. To evangelize is to share the gospel. That requires some sort of confrontation. And it is that confrontation that we desperately want to avoid. It is impossible to recover the NT church in our churches without also recovering the practice of evangelism. Tell someone the truth about how Jesus Christ saved you from the darkness of sin and translated you into the kingdom of the light of the glorious gospel!

Proper Teaching and Equipping of Church Members

Another major piece of this puzzle is equipping the saints. If you are a pastor and you are not spending the overwhelming majority of your time and energy working a robust and healthy discipleship system of some sort, then you are doing it wrong. According to Eph. 4:11-12, God gave pastors…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. The saints are biblically inept today. They know very little about what the Bible actually teaches. They know less about any kind of systematic theology. And they know almost NOTHING about the history of Christianity. Most professing Christians spend very little energy becoming acquainted with the one being they say is the most important person in their life: the Triune God revealed in Scripture.

It is precisely this lack of discipleship and equipping that gives platforms to movements like the Charismatic movement, and people like Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Steve Furtick, Beth Moore, Andy Stanley, and a plethora of charlatans ranging from outright heretics to those fleecing the church and slandering the name of Christ with their scandalous doctrines. Not only that, this lack of equipping and education in the churches makes the church far too dependent on men. In order for accountability to work, you have to have godly leaders holding the churches accountable and churches holding their godly leaders accountable.

Too Much Responsibility Place on Leaders

One of the most serious problems in our churches today is that our pastors are used to doing far too much without any oversight. Some churches have given their pastors far too much autonomy, thinking that this should make things run more smoothly. To the contrary, it places our pastors and our churches at tremendous risk. The churches have to be responsible for calling their elders/pastors. They have to be responsible for firing them if necessary. Our churches have to create structures where the elders are transparent, reporting on the details of projects and priorities. The leaders need to be able to provide biblical justification for the items that are on their radar. The communication between the elders/pastors should be free-flowing, clear and constant. If that is not the case in your church, I would encourage you to begin to work to change that. We are all sinners and we need to hold each other accountable.And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

[1] George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992), 288.

via Recovering the True Christian Church For Its Mission — Reformation Charlotte