Daily Archives: May 28, 2019

World Health Organization Classify’s Transgenderism as Sexual Health Instead of Mental Disorder — Pulpit & Pen

Protestors demonstrate during a rally against the transgender bathroom rights repeal at Thomas Paine Plaza 15 February 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ( Getty Images )

On Saturday 25 May, the health agency approved an update to its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), a manual used globally to diagnose diseases.

The decision to remove transgender identities from the ICD-11’s classification of mental disorders was announced by WHO in June last year.

The update has now been approved via a vote held by the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s governing body which represents the organisation’s 194 member states.

The changes to the health manual will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

The ICD-11 update has re-named “gender identity disorders” to be titled “gender incongruence”.

“Gender incongruence” is now listed under a chapter on “sexual health”, as opposed to “mental disorders”.

The WHO’s decision to no longer classify being transgender as a mental disorder has been hailed by several LGBT+ activists.

“The WHO’s removal of ‘gender identity disorder’ from its diagnostic manual will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide,” saidGraeme Reid LGBT+ rights director at Human Rights Watch.

“Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis.”

Micah Grzywnowicz, co-chair of the executive board of LGBT+ advocacy group ILGA-Europesaid the update to ICD-11 “represents a monumental shift in the global health for trans and gender diverse people”.

Continue reading here.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Sabrina Barr and originally published at the Independent. Title changed by P&P.]

via World Health Organization Classify’s Transgenderism as Sexual Health Instead of Mental Disorder — Pulpit & Pen

Libraries Becoming Private Child Corruption Centers? — Christian Research Network

The library director, George Needham, said this on social media: “…it’s very common in our regular teen programming to use the phrase, ‘Teens only, please.’ This is because, within teen development, it’s very important that they feel like they have ownership over a safe space.”

(Linda Harvey – Mission: America)  It’s bad enough that some libraries encourage little children to perch on the laps of transvestite males as they hear fables about well-adjusted homosexual families, in the so-called “Drag Queen Story Hours” featured in some communities.

And then those guys turn out to be convicted child molesters, as recently happened in Houston.

But other libraries have devised another method for mental molestation of youth. Middle and high-schoolers are invited to a private “safe space” session with a garishly -dressed she-male to explore what “drag” is all about. And adults are excluded—until the public hears and cries “foul.”

It’s happening in Delaware County, Ohio, an affluent suburb north of Columbus. And taxpayers are putting up quite a fuss. A June 5 session called “Drag 101” is advertised on the teen page of the Delaware County Library website, and here’s how the announcement reads:

“Drag 101—Teen Program. Curious about the art of drag and no idea where to start? Come learn the basics with former Miss Gay Ohio America, Selena T. West! All genders welcome; drag is for everyone! Teens only, please.”

Research

LGBTQ Issues

via Libraries Becoming Private Child Corruption Centers? — Christian Research Network

May 28 An Accurate Diagnosis

scripture reading: Judges 2:7–19
key verse: Judges 2:19

It came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.

A young boy was assigned the chore of weeding his father’s garden. At first glance, the lad appeared to have done a fine job.

To the eye, the garden was weed–free. However, after a few days and a good rain, the rows again sprouted with the unsightly greenery. The youngster had superficially achieved his assignment. He had removed the tops of the weeds but failed to uproot them.

The problem was not solved.

We tend to take the same ineffective approach concerning temptation, dealing with the surface symptoms rather than the root cause. That can explain why we frequently commit the same sin. We repeat the distasteful cycle—temptation, yielding, sin, confession—with predictable regularity.

We wrestle with drugs and alcohol without identifying the anger driv–ing us to indulgence. We grapple with a critical spirit while ignoring the poison of bitterness that nourishes its presence.

Ask God’s Spirit to illumine the root problem pertaining to a particular, persistent temptation. Depend on His grace and His power to pull down its stronghold and defuse its allure. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to healing.

Help me deal with root causes instead of surface symptoms, O Lord. Reveal the problems behind my persistent temptations, then give me the power to pull down these strongholds.[1]


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

28 may (preached 27 may 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Characteristics of faith

“Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” John 4:48

suggested further reading: Matthew 12:38–42

Trust in the Lord; wait patiently for him; cast all thy confidence where he put all thy sins, namely, upon Christ Jesus alone, and thou shalt be saved, with or without any of these signs and wonders. I am afraid some Christians in London have fallen into the same error of wanting to see signs and wonders. They have been meeting together in special prayer-meetings to seek for a revival; and because people have not dropped down in a fainting fit, and have not screamed and made a noise, perhaps they have thought the revival has not come. Oh that we had eyes to see God’s gifts in the way God chooses to give them! Where the Spirit works in the soul, we are always glad to see true conversion, and if he chooses to work in the church in London, we shall be glad to see it. If men’s hearts are renewed, what matter it though they do not scream out. If their consciences are quickened, what matters it though they do not fall into a fit; if they do but find Christ, who is to regret that they do not lie for five or six weeks motionless and senseless. Take it without the signs and wonders. For my part I have no craving for them. Let me see God’s work done in God’s own way—a true and thorough revival, but the signs and wonders we can readily dispense with, for they are certainly not demanded by the faithful, and they will only be the laughing-stock of the faithless.

for meditation: A demand for signs and wonders regularly meets with the same response in the New Testament—Matthew 12:38–40; 16:1–4; John 2:18–22; 1 Corinthians 1:22–24.

sermon no. 317[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 155). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

28 MAY 365 Days with Calvin

Judging Self before Others

Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Habakkuk 2:6

suggested further reading: Psalm 119:161–176

Not one of us wants to say the same thing about himself that he brings forward against others. For when a greedy man gathers things, whether right or wrong, or an ambitious man by unfair means advances himself, we instantly cry, “How long?” Though everyone is quick to say this about others, yet no one wants to say that about himself.

Let us therefore take heed that when we reprove injustice in others, we come without delay to ourselves and are impartial judges to our own actions and intent. Let us not be so blinded by self-love that we seek to absolve ourselves from the very faults that we freely condemn in others.

In general, people are more correct in their judgment of matters in which they are not involved, but when they consider matters in which they take part, they become blind. Honesty vanishes and all judgment is gone.

The prophet offers us this teaching based on the common feeling of nature, so that every one of us may restrain ourselves when we presume the office of a judge in condemning others. We are also given this proverb that we might condemn ourselves and restrain our desires when we find them advancing beyond just bounds.

for meditation: It is so easy to see the faults of others while remaining completely ignorant of our own. But ignorance is no excuse. We must diligently examine ourselves and our lives to dispel our ignorance and find any sin that has not been dealt with.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 167). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

When Barack Obama declared war on Donald Trump | American Thinker Blog

This was not a hoax. It was not a coup. It was an act of war.

The latest round of navel-gazing is the effort to name what has happened to President Donald Trump.  It is a hoax or is it a coup, and when did it start? 

I am a 2003 graduate of the Naval War College.  We studied “war.”  What happened to Donald Trump was

“War is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will” (

President Barack Obama marshaled secret government resources across the intelligence and law enforcement communities and declared war on the civilian Donald Trump.  “Hoax” suggests a humorous or malicious deception.  “Coup” suggests a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.  President Obama’s actions were neither humorous nor malicious but were an egregious abuse of power of the Executive.  To say that what happened to President Trump was a

President Trump’s enemies declared war on him for one reason and one reason only: vindictiveness.  Vengeance.  

Don’t think or say, “They hate him because it’s fun to hate Donald Trump” or any of that drivel.  The full force of the U.S. government’s most powerful agencies was leveraged against Citizen, Candidate, and President Trump.  Politics becomes a blood sport when you cross the boss.  And this one is a blood vengeance.  Those who worshiped their messiah would have done and will do anything asked of them to see Donald Trump annihilated for daring to

Delegitimizing Obama

If anyone took the time to research, the Democrats and the media declared war on Donald J. Trump before the 2012 elections, when he made some noises about running for president.  When he became a candidate in 2015, the Democrat-media complex conspired to render a slow and painful

Obama’s army were the heads of the intelligence and law enforcement communities at the CIA, FBI, and DOJ.  Their weapon was counterfeit papers that cut as sharply and deeply as any executioner’s knife.  The Clappers, Comeys, and Brennans knew exactly how to have secondary and tertiary sources plant stories in the media. 

This is exactly what enemies of the nation can expect when the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies are on them.  Destroy your reputation; ruin your life by leaking a story to the media.  And once a story is in the media, then law enforcement can “do their job” and investigate.  By the book.

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/when_barack_obama_declared_war_on_donald_trump.html

Tuesday Briefing May 28, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Secular Society Continues Its Search For Happiness: Why Christians Understand the Importance of Persevering Joy

PART II

 Should the Publishing of Classified Information Be Protected Under the First Amendment?

PART III

 ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh Released from Prison: The Limitations of Human Justice and the Incapability of Knowing the Human Heart

DOWNLOAD MP3


DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

PART II

PART III

With Abortion and Socialism, Democrats Are Peddling Slavery Again — American Thinker

They haven’t changed a bit in all these years.

In 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. president, the newly-formed Republican Party controlled the U.S. House, Senate, and presidency. As was the case with most every state in what would become the Confederacy, my home state of Georgia cited slavery, Tepublicans, and the election of Lincoln as its reasons for seceding:

A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the federal government has been committed [the Republicans] will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia [who voted to secede]. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican Party under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. . . . The prohibition of slavery in the territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. . . . [T]he abolitionists and their allies in the northern states have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions.

The Confederate States of America was formed at the Montgomery Convention in February 1861. For the southern states—and anyone else in the world paying attention—the agenda of the newly formed (and electorally victorious) Republican Party agenda was clear. Every party platform since the creation of the Republican Party had forcefully denounced slavery. After the infamous Dred Scott ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857, the subsequent Republican platform strongly condemned the ruling and reaffirmed the right of Congress to ban slavery in the territories. On the other hand, the corresponding Democrat platforms praised the Dred Scott ruling and condemned all efforts to end slavery in the U.S.

With its recent unashamed embrace of socialism—they used to avoid such talk—along with its decades-long devotion to killing children in the womb, the modern Democrat Party is again aligning itself with ideologies and institutions that have little to no regard for vast swaths of humanity. Since the dawn of the twentieth century, socialism—the economic system of communist countries—and abortion are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of human beings.

As Breitbart reported late last year, with nearly 42 million killed in their mothers’ wombs, abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2018. Since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the abortion holocaust has claimed the lives of over 60 million American children. Given such horrific numbers, with unborn children being the most innocent and helpless among us, and given that a mother’s womb should be one of the safest places in the universe, the plight of the unborn is the greatest civil rights battle of all time.

Yet the modern Democrat Party has never been more hostile to unborn children. As soon as they took control of the U.S. House this year, sex-worshipping democrats wasted little time in revealing their wicked and perverse priorities. In an attempt to end the partial government shutdown, Democrats’ initial legislative funding proposal sent to the Republican-controlled Senate repealed the pro-life “Mexico-City policy” and provided $37.5 million for the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund.

Days later, Democrats in New York stood and cheered after Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation that allows for the killing of children in the womb right up to the moment of birth. In other words, the culture and ideology that gave us the gruesome Kermit Gosnell passed legislation that will only create more infanticidal fools.

Not to be outdone in their efforts to kill the most innocent and helpless among us, soon after the New York infanticide bill was signed into law, Virginia Democrats proposed their version of an after-birth abortion bill. Distracting from his blackface scandal, Virginia’s governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, infamously defended the legislation. Republican senator Ben Sasse put it well when he noted,

In just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’

That Democrats are now debating infanticide shouldn’t be very surprising, as no less than Barack Obama himself helped push them along this evil path. Hoping to follow Mr. Obama as the next Democrat president, virtually every Democratic candidate for U.S. president supports what could only be described as infanticide. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, was exactly right when she asked and answered:

“How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.”

As the Nazis did with the Jews, and as pro-slavery Americans did with black Africans, modern abortion apologists have dehumanized those they find undesirable or those whose lives they want complete control over. On Fox News’ The Story, author and commentator Rachel Campos-Duffy compared abortion to slavery:

Our country has been divided since [1973] when Roe vs. Wade was passed, and I believe that in my lifetime, the only way this is going to be resolved is Roe v. Wade [being] overturned. It’s going to go back to the states because this issue is as fundamental as an issue was back in the middle of the 1800s called slavery. This is an issue about who gets to decide who is human enough so they can do whatever they want with that person, or the person they’re saying is not a person. This is such a fundamental human rights issue.

Like abortion, socialism is a “fundamental human rights issue.” In the last 125 years, only socialism rivals abortion in the slaughter of human beings, and like abortion, socialism is a form of slavery. In 1884, in his seminal work The Man Versus the State, philosopher and political theorist Herbert Spencer warned of “The Coming Slavery.” He wrote:

All socialism involves slavery…The degree of his slavery varies according to the ratio between that which he is forced to yield up and that which he is allowed to retain; and it matters not whether his master is a single person or a society. If, without option, he has to labour for the society, and receives from the general stock such portion as the society awards him, he becomes a slave to the society. Socialistic arrangements necessitate an enslavement of this kind…There seems no getting people to accept the truth…that the welfare of a society and the justice of its arrangements are at bottom dependent on the characters of its members; and that improvement in neither can take place without that improvement in character which results from carrying on peaceful industry under the restraints imposed by an orderly social life. The belief, not only of the socialists but also of those so-called Liberals who are diligently preparing the way for them, is that by due skill an ill-working humanity may be framed into well-working institutions. It is a delusion. The defective natures of citizens will show themselves in the bad acting of whatever social structure they are arranged into. There is no political alchemy by which you can get golden conduct out of leaden instincts. [Emphasis mine.]

One hundred and thirty-five years ago, Spencer—one of the most widely read philosophers of his time and “the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century”—warned the world of what socialists would bring and who was “diligently preparing the way for them.”

Nevertheless, thanks mostly to socialist regimes, the twentieth century was the world’s bloodiest. From China’s Zedong and the Soviet Union’s Stalin to Cuba’s Castro, the twentieth century is littered with godless socialists who attempted to enslave and murder their way to Utopia. Tens of millions died in the forced-labor camps that socialism requires. Tens of millions more died in the poverty and starvation that socialism inevitably produces.

Many leading Democrats today unashamedly embrace socialism, including some running for president. Those Democrats who have yet to stoop to praising socialism openly have many policy proposals that are indistinguishable from what one would find in a socialist state. Yet modern American Democrats insist their version of state control of most every facet of our lives will be different.

Tragically, as has been the case with abortion, many Americans seem to have bought into the Democrats’ socialist propaganda. According to a recent Gallup poll, a growing number of Americans have embraced at least some form of socialism. This is mostly due to the increasing number of Democrats who view socialism favorably. As the same Gallup poll also notes, since 2010, a majority of Democrats have had a favorable view of socialism. A similar Gallup poll last year revealed that a significantly larger number of Democrats (57% to 47%) now prefer (“have a positive view of”) socialism over capitalism.

All the information we now have at our fingertips—including the nasty scenes from Venezuela—and it seems the lure of spending other people’s money—like the lure of (supposed) sex without consequences—still proves too much for too many. It took a civil war to rid the U.S. of the institution of slavery. Let us hope and pray that, in spite of what some are forecasting, it doesn’t get to that with abortion or socialism.

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

via With Abortion and Socialism, Democrats Are Peddling Slavery Again — American Thinker

Now that even MLK is a ‘sex criminal’, maybe US can stop toppling statues and ‘canceling’ people? — RT USA News

The long-delayed reckoning for Martin Luther King Jr is a chance for America to step back from immature social justice radicalism, and once again separate people’s personal lives from their public achievements.

Accounts of the civil rights hero’s infidelity and voracious sexual appetite date back to his lifetime, but the latest accusations, presented by his esteemed biographer David Garrow on the basis of FBI surveillance tapes, won’t disappear neatly under the carpet.

They are too graphic, including orgies and boasts about founding the “International Association for the Advancement of Pussy-Eaters.” They are too criminal, cheering a fellow pastor as he allegedly raped a woman in a hotel room. And most importantly, they are the first ones to surface since #MeToo.

Also on rt.com

Some have called for vengeance, just like they did with other historical figures and celebrities who were punished for failing to adhere to present-day liberal views despite, like Robert E. Lee, being dead for centuries. Certain figures have been branded as anything from sex pests to rapists to pedophiles on much thinner evidence.

So it’s only fair that we cancel Martin Luther King Jr Day, rename all the streets and schools named after him, take down the statues, and rewrite the textbooks. No more biopics.

But what if instead, we break the cycle of cultural violence?

Surely this is the moment when even the most passionate #TimesUp activists can admit that King’s contribution to the civil rights movement, both as a person and a symbol, is such that no amount of private misdeeds will detract from it.

Also on rt.com

And perhaps as well as learning not to judge too harshly, Americans will be wary of making more idols. After all, we have been here before with Mahatma Gandhi’s naked sleeping with teen relatives, Mother Teresa’s cruelty, Nelson Mandela’s violence, Aung San Suu Kyi’s rule, and even MLK’s own undeniable plagiarism.

This is an opportunity not only to step back from the Manichean hysteria, but perhaps even a chance to reach across the political divide tearing America apart daily. By treating MLK with humanity and a sense of proportion, the same generosity could then be extended to other “sinners,” even those who do not share the same values.

MLK was flawed, Ronald Reagan was flawed, as were John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Malcolm X, and George W. Bush. Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Brett Kavanaugh and Barack Obama and other recent media punching bags are not personifications of evil, but merely public servants trying to do what they believe is best for the country.

But this reads like a naive fantasy.

This is what will more likely happen: excuses will be made for King – the subconsciously racist lower standards of sexual propriety will be applied to a black man. Or perhaps doubt will be cast on the veracity and provenance of the information; focus shifted to the villainy of the FBI that traced MLK’s every step, but did not protect him or his alleged victims.

At worst, MLK’s reputation will take a battering but retain its overall shape. But most likely of all, the impolitic truths will be double-thought out of existence, both acknowledged and forgotten at the same time. Congress will again keep official full FBI records that should have been long opened – and that could confirm or disprove Garrow’s claims – sealed until 2027 and beyond, prolonging the timer on the bomb.

And the same unyielding standards will continue to be applied from the left to the usual targets on the right. The political imperatives are too strong. Because when the big social confrontations are at stake, the heroes must always be saints, and the enemies devils.

By Igor Ogorodnev

Igor Ogorodnev is a Russian-British journalist, who has worked at RT since 2007 as a correspondent, editor and writer.

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/460426-martin-luther-king-metoo-statues/

Why Are You a Christian? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

 

J. Warner Wallace provides an important insight as part of the Summit Worldview Ministries video series. What do most Christians say when asked, “Why are you a Christian?” what do our answers tell us about the nature of belief and the nature of Christianity? How might we improve in answering this basic question?

via Why Are You a Christian? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

May 28, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

3. Who shall ascend unto. It being very well known that it was of pure grace that God erected his sanctuary, and chose for himself a dwelling-place among the Jews, David makes only a tacit reference to this subject. He insists principally on the other point contained in the verse, that of distinguishing true Israelites from the false and bastards. He takes the argument by which he exhorts the Jews to lead a holy and righteous life from this, that God had separated them from the rest of the world, to be his peculiar inheritance. The rest of mankind, it is true, seeing they were created by him, belong to his empire; but he who occupies a place in the church is more nearly related to him. All those, therefore, whom God receives into his flock he calls to holiness; and he lays them under obligations to follow it by his adoption. Moreover, by these words David indirectly rebukes hypocrites, who scrupled not falsely to take to themselves the holy name of God, as we know that they are usually lifted up with pride, because of the titles which they take without having the excellencies which these titles imply, contenting themselves with bearing only outside distinctions;2 yea, rather he purposely magnifies this singular grace of God, that every man may learn for himself, that he has no right of entrance or access to the sanctuary, unless he sanctify himself in order to serve God in purity. The ungodly and wicked, it is true, were in the habit of resorting to the tabernacle; and, therefore, God, by the Prophet Isaiah, (chap. 1:12,) reproaches them for coming unworthily into his courts, and wearing the pavement thereof. But David here treats of those who may lawfully enter into God’s sanctuary. The house of God being holy, if any rashly, and without a right, rush into it, their corruption and abuse are nothing else but polluting it. As therefore they do not go up thither lawfully, David makes no account of their going up; yea, rather, under these words there is included a severe rebuke, of the conduct of wicked and profane men, in daring to go up into the sanctuary, and to pollute it with their impurity. On this subject I have spoken more fully on the 15th psalm. In the second part of the verse he seems to denote perseverance, as if he had said, Who shall go up into the hill of Sion, to appear and stand in the presence of God? The Hebrew word קום, kum, it is true, sometimes signifies to rise up, but it is generally taken for to stand, as we have seen in the first psalm. And although this is a repetition of the same idea, stated in the preceding clause, it is not simply so, but David, by expressing the end for which they ought to go up, illustrates and amplifies the subject; and this repetition and amplification we find him often making use of in other psalms. In short, how much soever the wicked were mingled with the good in the church, in the time of David, he declares how vain a thing it is to make an external profession unless there be, at the same time, truth in the inward man. What he says concerning the tabernacle of the covenant must be applied to the continual government of the church.

4. He who is clean of hands, and pure of heart. Under the purity of the hands and of the heart, and the reverence of God’s name, he comprehends all religion, and denotes a well ordered life. True purity, no doubt, has its seat in the heart, but it manifests its fruits in the works of the hands. The Psalmist, therefore, very properly joins to a pure heart the purity of the whole life; for that man acts a ridiculous part who boasts of having a sound heart, if he does not show by his fruits that the root is good. On the other hand, it will not suffice to frame the hands, feet, and eyes, according to the rule of righteousness, unless purity of heart precede outward continence. If any man should think it absurd that the first place is given to the hands, we answer without hesitation, that effects are often named before their causes, not that they precede them in order, but because it is sometimes advantageous to begin with things which are best known. David, then, would have the Jews to bring into the presence of God pure hands, and these along with an unfeigned heart. To lift up, or to take his soul, I have no doubt is here put for to swear. It is, therefore, here required of the servants of God, that when they swear, they do it with reverence and in good conscience; and, under one particular, by synecdoche, is denoted the duty of observing fidelity and integrity in all the affairs of life. That mention is here made of oaths, appears from the words which immediately follow, And hath not sworn deceitfully, which are added as explanatory of what goes before. As, however, there is a twofold reading of the Hebrew word for soul, that is to say, as it may be read, my soul, or his soul, on account of the point hirek, some Jewish commentators read, Who hath not lifted up my soul to vanity, and understand the word my as spoken of God, an exposition which I reject as harsh and strained. It is a manner of speaking which carries in it great emphasis, for it means, that those who swear offer their souls as pledges to God. Some, however, may perhaps prefer the opinion, that to lift up the soul, is put for to apply it to lying, an interpretation to the adoption of which I have no great objection, for it makes little difference as to the sense. A question may here be raised—it may be asked, why David does not say so much as one word concerning faith and calling upon God. The reason of this is easily explained. As it seldom happens that a man behaves himself uprightly and innocently towards his brethren, unless he is so endued with the true fear of God as to walk circumspectly before him, David very justly forms his estimate of the piety of men towards God by the character of their conduct towards their fellow-men. For the same reason, Christ (Matth. 23:23) represents “judgment, mercy, and faith,” as the principal points of the law; and Paul calls “charity” at one time “the end of the law,” (1 Tim. 1:5,) and at another “the bond of perfection,” (Col. 3:14.)[1]


3 Who is acceptable to the Creator-King? How may people prepare themselves for fellowship with him? The psalmist expresses the nature of fellowship with God in OT terms (e.g., ascending “the hill of the Lord” and standing in “his holy place”). “The hill of the Lord” is a reference to Mount Zion (cf. 2:6), also known as “your holy hill” (15:1) and “his holy place” (24:3). Because God is the great Creator-King (vv. 1–2), whose residence on earth was symbolized in Jerusalem’s temple (vv. 7–10), those who seek his favor need to prepare themselves not only ceremonially but also by sanctifying their lives (cf. 15:2–5). If one were to come into God’s presence, it should not be for “curse” but for “blessing” (v. 5; see Reflections, p. 408, Zion Theology).

It may be that the instructions on moral purity were originally part of a ceremony before completion of the last leg of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Such an interpretation, however, is not necessary. The hymn instructs God’s people wherever they may be to live in the presence of the Creator-King in order to receive his blessing. The verbs “ascend” and “stand,” as well as the phrases “the hill of the Lord” and “his holy place,” may also be borrowed terms from the pilgrimage ritual. By these words the psalmist impresses on the people the requirements of the Lord in general. In view of the absence of cultic or ritual specifications, the psalm need not, therefore, be interpreted solely as preparation for worshiping the Lord.

4 The Lord expects purity and singleness of heart from all who seek his presence (cf. Mt 5:8). Purity of “hands” and “heart” is the condition of living before God in accordance with his precepts and out of the desire of his heart. Appearance of holiness is not enough, because the “clean hands” are expressive of “a pure heart” (cf. 73:1). The one who has “clean hands” is innocent of wrongdoing and readily asks for forgiveness when he or she has sinned against God. In contrast is the sinner, whose “hands are full of blood” and who needs cleansing, forgiveness, and reconciliation (cf. Isa 1:15–18).

God expects, in addition to loyalty to the Lord in heart and life, a singleness of devotion. The godly do not dishonor the Lord’s name by idolatry or by falsehood. The parallel construction of “falsehood” (“vanity”; NIV, “an idol”) with “what is false” (i.e., “with deception”) and of the verbs “lift up” and “swear” favors the conclusion that the psalmist has only dishonesty in mind, without a reference to idolatry as a particular act of dishonesty (cf. Ex 20:16; Mal 3:5). If this is so, the two positive descriptions of integrity (v. 4a) are balanced by two negative descriptions (v. 4b). Godly people are “pure” and not “false” (or hypocritical). This excludes, of course, idolatry in any form. Their “yes” means “yes” and their “no” means “no” (cf. 15:3–4; Mt 5:37).[2]


Ver. 3.—Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? The second strophe opens with one of David’s sudden transitions. Who is worthy to be brought into contact with a God of such might and glory? Who shall ascend into his hill? God’s “hill” is, in reality, the highest heaven, wherein he has his dwelling-place. Its representative on earth was, at this time, the Mount Zion, where it was already determined in the Divine counsels that the temple should be built, and whither David was now about to transfer the ark of the covenant (see the introductory paragraph). David asks the question as a warning to the Levites, whom he was about to employ in the transport of the ark, that they might purify themselves in heart and soul before venturing to take part in the solemn ceremony. Or who shall stand in his holy place? Who, i.e., shall stand and minister inside the tabernacle, when the ark has been placed therein, and it has thus become, in a special sense, God’s holy place?

Ver. 4.—He that hath clean hands. He whose hands are free from acts of sin (comp. Ps. 15:2–5), and not only so, but he who hath also a pure heart, since the heart is the source of all evil (Matt. 15:19, 20), and wrongful words and wicked acts are the necessary results of the heart being impure. “God’s demands upon his people,” as Hengstenberg observes, “go beyond the domain of action. Those only see him—those only are fit to ascend into his hill—who have a pure heart.” Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity; i.e. who has not lusted after vain and worthless things, whose desires are subdued, brought into captivity to the Law of God, and kept under strict control. This is really implied in purity of heart. Nor sworn deceitfully. False swearing is the worst—or, at any rate, one of the worst—sins of the tongue. The psalmist means to say that a man is not fit to draw near to God unless he is righteous in act, in thought, and in word.[3]


3. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” It is uphill work for the creature to reach the Creator. Where is the mighty climber who can scale the towering heights? Nor is it height alone; it is glory too. Whose eye shall see the King in his beauty and dwell in his palace? In heaven he reigns most gloriously, who shall be permitted to enter into his royal presence? God has made all, but he will not save all; there is a chosen company who shall have the singular honour of dwelling with him in his high abode. These choice spirits desire to commune with God, and their wish shall be granted them. The solemn enquiry of the text is repeated in another form. Who shall be able to “stand” or continue there? He casteth away the wicked, who then can abide in his house? Who is he that can gaze upon the Holy One, and can abide in the blaze of his glory? Certainly none may venture to commune with God upon the footing of the law, but grace can make us meet to behold the vision of the divine presence. The question before us is one which all should ask for themselves, and none should be at ease till they receive an answer of peace. With careful self-examination let us enquire, “Lord, is it I?”

4. “He that hath clean hands.” Outward, practical holiness is a very precious mark of grace. To wash in water with Pilate is nothing, but to wash in innocency is all-important. It is to be feared that many professors have perverted the doctrine of justification by faith in such a way as to treat good works with contempt; if so, they will receive everlasting contempt at the last great day. It is vain to prate of inward experience unless the daily life is free from impurity, dishonesty, violence, and oppression. Those who draw near to God must have “clean hands.” What monarch would have servants with filthy hands to wait at his table? They who were ceremonially unclean could not enter into the Lord’s house which was made with hands, much less shall the morally defiled be allowed to enjoy spiritual fellowship with a holy God. If our hands are now unclean, let us wash them in Jesu’s precious blood, and so let us pray unto God, lifting up pure hands. But “clean hands” would not suffice, unless they were connected with “a pure heart.” True religion is heart-work. We may wash the outside of the cup and the platter as long as we please, but if the inward parts be filthy, we are filthy altogether in the sight of God, for our hearts are more truly ourselves than our hands are. We may lose our hands and yet live, but we could not lose our heart and still live; the very life of our being lies in the inner nature, and hence the imperative need of purity within. There must be a work of grace in the core of the heart as well as in the palm of the hand, or our religion is a delusion. May God grant that our inward powers may be cleansed by the sanctifying Spirit, so that we may love holiness and abhor all sin. The pure in heart shall see God, all others are but blind bats; stone-blindness in the eyes arises from stone in the heart. Dirt in the heart throws dust in the eyes.

The soul must be delivered from delighting in the grovelling toys of earth; the man who is born for heaven “hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity.” All men have their joys, by which their souls are lifted up; the worldling lifts up his soul in carnal delights, which are mere empty vanities; but the saint loves more substantial things; like Jehoshaphat, he is lifted up in the ways of the Lord. He who is content with the husks will be reckoned with the swine. If we suck our consolation from the breasts of the world, we prove ourselves to be its home-born children. Does the world satisfy thee? Then thou hast thy reward and thy portion in this life; make much of it, for thou shalt know no other joy.

Nor sworn deceitfully.” The saints are men of honour still. The Christian man’s word is his only oath; but that is as good as twenty oaths of other men. False speaking will shut any man out of heaven, for a liar shall not enter into God’s house, whatever may be his professions or doings. God will have nothing to do with liars, except to cast them into the lake of fire. Every liar is a child of the devil, and will be sent home to his father. A false declaration, a fraudulent statement, a cooked account, a slander, a lie—all these may suit the assembly of the ungodly, but are detested among true saints: how could they have fellowship with the God of truth, if they did not hate every false way?[4]


24:3–4. David then pondered who could go into the presence of such a sovereign Lord (i.e., to the tabernacle on the hill[cf. comments on “holy hill” in 2:6] of the Lord and its holy place). The answer, perhaps given by priests at the sanctuary, is that one whose conduct is pure and whose worship is faithful may do so (cf. Ps. 15). Clean hands refers to right actions, and a pure heart refers to a right attitude and will. Only those who do not worship an idol can be true worshipers, and can walk by faith in integrity.[5]


[1] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 1, pp. 404–407). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, pp. 259–260). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 1, p. 173). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 1-26 (Vol. 1, pp. 375–376). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 812). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests. So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening. These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”. When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities. But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen. And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country? There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed. Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres. The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state. Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland. The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processingcompany based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Groupof China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

— Read on themostimportantnews.com/archives/american-soil-is-being-globalized-nearly-30-million-acres-of-u-s-farmland-is-now-owned-by-foreigners

GTY Blog Post – How and When to Offend

I recently said in an interview that, as a Christian preacher, “My goal is to offend everyone.” That’s not an argument for boorish behavior in the pulpit. The gospel isn’t adorned by anti-social evangelists or cantankerous Christians. God’s people should strive to be polite, winsome, and well-mannered in dealing with the world.

Rather, my point was that I want to bring the offense of the gospel to bear on everyone I encounter. Faithfully confronting sinners with the depth of their depravity, the cost of their wickedness, and their desperate need to repent is rightly offensive. I want my speech and my behavior to adorn the gospel, and to let its offensive truths do the offending.

The apostle Paul understood that, and made every effort to be courteous to sinners on the mission field as the gospel did its work. His preaching on Mars’ Hill exemplified that approach.

“Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects’” (Acts 17:22). His audience was a collection of thinking men, of cultured minds, and he aimed at winning them by courteously declaring to them the gospel.

There is a legitimate sense in which the apostle matched his style to the people he was trying to win. To the Jews he became Jewish. In Athens he became Greek. He spoke to these men with great respect for their position. He addressed them as deferentially as if he were a citizen of the city they presided over.

“While I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). Note the tact with which Paul confronts them. Having noticed the altar to an unknown god, Paul used that to make the very powerful point that their religion was unable to give them certain knowledge of any god, much less the true God. He gently implied that the existence of such an altar was a plain admission that they did not know the truth about God at all. He clearly regarded the inscription on the altar as their own testimony of spiritual ignorance.

Paul framed his message in terminology that was diplomatic, courteous, and friendly (“I observe that you are very religious in all respects”)—yet he got right to the point (“Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you”). Boldly, he immediately established that he was going to declare the truth about the God they did not know. No careful posturing, no guarded rhetoric—he just came out with it. That dogmatic approach was no more typical in the Areopagus court than it is today. In fact, it may have been something of a shock to these men who represented the most elite minds of Athens. But Paul did not ease off, lose confidence, or try to soften the authority of the gospel. He spoke with as much boldness as he would have anywhere.

What was this altar to an unknown god? Actually, there were many of these in Athens. Six hundred years before Paul’s time, Athens had been stricken with a terrible plague. Hundreds were ill and dying, and the city grew desperate. A famous poet from Crete named Epimenides devised a plan to pacify whatever gods were causing the plague. He went to the Areopagus and turned loose a flock of sheep. The plan was to let the sheep roam the city freely. When the sheep lay down, they were to be sacrificed to the god of the nearest temple. The assumption was that the angry gods would draw the sheep to themselves. When the sheep were turned loose, however, many of them lay down in places with no temples nearby. Epimenides decided to sacrifice the sheep anyway and erect altars wherever they lay down, just to make sure no unfamiliar deities were overlooked. Since these were nameless gods, the people simply erected altars and shrines “to an unknown god.” It was undoubtedly one of these altars Paul spotted.

Paul boldly said, “I know this unknown God. Let me tell you who He is.” He then began with great authority to tell them very clearly and very thoroughly who God is.

The offense of the gospel was about to do its work.

  

(Adapted from Ashamed of the Gospel)
— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B190528

Genocide of Christians Reaches “Alarming Stage”

by Raymond Ibrahim


  • Many of the world’s most persecuted Christians have nothing whatsoever to do with colonialism or missionaries. Those most faced with the threat of genocide — including Syria’s and Iraq’s Assyrians or Egypt’s Copts — were Christian several centuries before the ancestors of Europe’s colonizers became Christian and went missionizing

  • The BBC report highlights “political correctness” as being especially responsible for the West’s indifference….

  • Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Islamic law, or Sharia — which academics such as Georgetown University’s John Esposito insist is equitable and just. In Afghanistan (ranked #2), “Christianity is not permitted to exist.”

Does anybody care?

According to the BBC report, one in three people around the world suffer from religious persecution, with Christians being “the most persecuted religious group”. “Religion ‘is at risk of disappearing’ in some parts of the world,” it noted, and “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

Authored by Raymond Ibarhim via The Gatestone Institute,

Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels,'” the title of a May 3 BBC report, cites a lengthy interim study ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and led by Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro.

According to the BBC report, one in three people around the world suffer from religious persecution, with Christians being “the most persecuted religious group”. “Religion ‘is at risk of disappearing’ in some parts of the world,” it noted, and “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also quoted on why Western governments have been “asleep” — his word — concerning this growing epidemic:

“I think there is a misplaced worry that it is somehow colonialist to talk about a religion [Christianity] that was associated with colonial powers rather than the countries that we marched into as colonisers. That has perhaps created an awkwardness in talking about this issue—the role of missionaries was always a controversial one and that has, I think, also led some people to shy away from this topic.”

Whatever the merits of such thinking, the fact is that many of the world’s most persecuted Christians have nothing whatsoever to do with colonialism or missionaries. Those most faced with the threat of genocide — including Syria’s and Iraq’s Assyrians or Egypt’s Copts — were Christian several centuries before the ancestors of Europe’s colonizers became Christian and went missionizing.

The BBC report highlights “political correctness” as being especially responsible for the West’s indifference, and quotes Hunt again in this regard: “What we have forgotten in that atmosphere of political correctness is actually the Christians that are being persecuted are some of the poorest people on the planet.”

Although the BBC report has an entire heading titled and devoted to the impact of “political correctness,” ironically, it too succumbs to this contemporary Western malady. For while it did a fair job in highlighting the problem, it said nothing about its causes — not one word about who is persecuting Christians, or why.

The overwhelming majority of Christian persecution, however, evidently occurs in Muslim majority nations. According to Open Doors’ World Watch List 2019[WWL], which surveys the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, “Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians.” In seven of the absolute worst ten nations, “Islamic oppression” is the cause of persecution. “This means, for millions of Christians—particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families—openly following Jesus can have painful consequences,” including death.

Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Islamic law, or Sharia — which academics such as Georgetown University’s John Esposito insist is equitable and just. In Afghanistan (ranked #2) , “Christianity is not permitted to exist,” says the WWL 2019, because it “is an Islamic state by constitution, which means government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile toward” Christians. Similarly, in Somalia, (#3), “The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence.” In Iran (#9), “society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted.”

Equally telling is that 38 of the 50 nations making the WWL 2019 are Muslim majority.

Perhaps the BBC succumbed to silence concerning the sources of Christian persecution — that is, succumbed to “the atmosphere of political correctness” which it ironically highlighted — because in its own report, it did not rely on the WWL. The problem with this interpretation is that the study the BBC did rely on, the Bishop of Truro’s, is saturated with talk concerning the actual sources of Christian persecution. In this regard, the words “Islam” and “Islamist” appear 61 times; “Muslim” appears 56 times in this review on persecuted Christians.

Here are a few of the more significant quotes from the Bishop of Truro’s report:

  • “The persecution of Christians is perhaps at its most virulent in the region of the birthplace of Christianity—the Middle East & North Africa.”

  • “In countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia the situation of Christians and other minorities has reached an alarming stage.”

  • “The eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of ‘the sword’ or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of [Islamic] extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines.”

  • “[T]here is mass violence which regularly expresses itself through the bombing of churches, as has been the case in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia.”

  • “The single-greatest threat to Christians [in Nigeria] … came from Islamist militant group Boko Haram, with US intelligence reports in 2015 suggesting that 200,000 Christians were at risk of being killed… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls ‘abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.'”

  • “An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence [in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines] was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols. The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the Church’s structure and leadership.”

  • “Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped-out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region.”

The BBC should be commended for (finally) reporting on this urgent issue — even if it is three years behind the times. As the Truro report correctly observes, “In 2016 various political bodies including the UK parliament, the European Parliament and the US House of Representatives, declared that ISIS atrocities against Christians and other religious minority groups such as Yazidis and Shi’a Muslims met the tests of genocide.”

At the very least, it appears that the BBC has stopped trying to minimize the specter of Christian persecution as it did in 2013, when this situation was just starting to reach the boiling point.

— Read on www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14281/genocide-of-christians

May 28 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81–82; Isaiah 29; 3 John

 

in the third major section of his book (chaps. 28–35), Isaiah focuses on the central issue that the Jerusalem monarch faces. Will the southern kingdom turn to Egypt as it seeks to withstand the aggression of Assyria, or will it trust the Lord? The nature of the crisis and the abysmal voices circulating in the court occupy chapters 28–29. Chapters 30–31 pronounce woes on all who rely on Egypt: in that direction lies only disaster. Chapters 32–33 depict the godly solution: trust the living God who reigns as King in the midst of his people. The last two chapters of the section, 34 and 35, display respectively the scorched earth of judgment that will result from trusting pagan nations, and the garden of delight that awaits those who trust the Lord.

Isaiah 29, then, is part of the description of the crisis. Jerusalem is addressed as “Ariel” (29:1, 2, 7). We know this stands for Jerusalem, because it is described as “the city where David settled” (29:1). The coinage is almost certainly Isaiah’s; there is no record of any earlier use of this word for Jerusalem. “Ariel” is a pun on “altar hearth”—the flat surface on the altar where the fire consumed the sacrifices (cf. Ezek. 43:15). God says he is going to “besiege Ariel,” which will be to him “like an altar hearth” (29:2): God will ignite the fires of judgment under Jerusalem.

The tragedy of the situation lies in the sheer blindness of the people. This is simultaneously their perversity and God’s judgment (29:9–10). No matter what God discloses through Isaiah, the people simply blank out when they hear his words. The truth they cannot fathom; they have no categories for it, for their hearts are far removed from God’s ways (29:13). For them, all that Isaiah says remains like words sealed up in a scroll they cannot read (29:11–12). Even their worship becomes little more than conformity to rules (29:13b). So when God does finally break through, it will be with “wonder upon wonder,” all designed to overthrow the pretensions of the “wise” and “intelligent” (29:14) who counsel the king to do what God forbids.

The ultimate fulfillment of this pattern takes place in gospel times. Paul understands perfectly well how the person without the Spirit of God finds the truth of the Gospel largely incoherent, how the “wise” and “intelligent” broach many schemes, none of them consistent with the Gospel (1 Cor. 1:18–31; 2:14). Here, too, God destroys the wisdom of the wise (1 Cor. 1:19; Isa. 29:14), for his own way is what none of the wise had foreseen: the sheer “foolishness” of the cross.[1]


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

Prager U Video: Who Are the Racists? — Frontpage Mag

To call someone a racist is a serious charge. Conservatives are accused of racism by the Left on a daily basis. Are the accusations fair? Or is something else going on? Derryck Green of Project 21 provides some provocative answers. Check out the video below:

via Prager U Video: Who Are the Racists? — Frontpage Mag

Sex Wars: Can’t Get No Satisfaction — CultureWatch

If you like blues and rock, you would know of a few old classic tunes, such as Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied (1948), or the Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1965). Both spoke about the frustration of not getting the satisfaction they were looking for. And both had sexuality as a sub-theme as well.

In case any old Muddy fans are out there, you can listen to the tune here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CakqPuwFAIc

And Stones’ fans can listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrIPxlFzDi0

But I digress. In our mentally and morally challenged culture, we are allowed to be dissatisfied with some things, but not with others. Our PC overlords have determined what we can run with and what we can’t run with. They have determined that we can identify as many things, but not as certain other things.

And we see this most clearly in the area of sexuality. The bottom line, according to the new gender police, is this:

-Those who are dissatisfied with the natal sex can choose to identify as the opposite sex – or anything else that their hearts desire. You are and can be whatever you want to be.
-Those who are dissatisfied with their same-sex attractions cannot be allowed to dislike this; they must remain as they are; and those who seek to offer help and counsel for such people will now be declared to be hate mongers and treated as criminals.

Let me elaborate. The new trans madness activism has declared that what you desire or want to identify as is all that matters. It has fully declared war on biology, on sexuality, on your DNA and on reality. Now anyone can just make things up as they go along.

The new sexual revolutionaries have both feet planted firmly in mid-air. There is no longer any such thing as reality or biology. We are simply whatever we want to be. To get a sense of the utter insanity of all this, consider this meme making the rounds on various radical feminist, homosexual and trans websites:

Things that don’t necessarily make you a woman:
-having breasts
-having a vagina
-menstruating
-being pregnant
-having a uterus
-going through childbirth
-having ovaries
Things that definitely make you a woman:
-identifying as a woman

Oh dear. Let’s just change things around a bit and see how all this works out:

Things that don’t necessarily make you an airplane:
-having two wings
-having a fuselage
-being able to fly
-having a means of propulsion
-being able to counter gravity
-having the ability to take off, fly, and land
-having landing gear
Things that definitely make you an airplane:
-identifying as an airplane

Hey, why not? I happen to have NONE of the things listed above, but I sure do identify as an airplane. So who wants to go for a ride with me? Who is ready to fly the friendly skies with me? And if you are reticent or doubtful about such a trip, you clearly are a lousy bigot and prejudiced hater.

But on the other hand, if you are someone who has same-sex attractions, and you are not satisfied with them, increasingly the Totalist Sexual State is denying you the right to seek change. You MUST remain as you are. All help is verboten.

We see this happening all over the West with the war on reparative therapy. States are making it illegal to offer any help, any support, any counsel, or any advice to those who seek such things. They forever must be dissatisfied with the way they are, because the Big Brother tyrants have decided you are born homosexual and you can never change.

This is a matter of fundamental PC doctrine that cannot be gainsaid or challenged. Homosexuals are that way from birth and must die that way – even if the want out. But see my many articles for more on this war on choice, such as: billmuehlenberg.com/2018/12/11/the-war-against-conversion-therapy/

And this: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/02/04/victorian-nero-declares-war-on-christianity/

Do you see the utter madness of all this? Any person who decides he or she wants to change their sex can do so – it is all entirely a matter of choice. It is all about your desires and whims, and what you identify as. There is no biological or genetic fixity to any of this. It is all a social construct. End of story.

However, those unhappy with same-sex attractions ARE fully and forever locked into this. It is part of who they are, biologically and in every other way. Change is impossible – or rather, change will NOT be allowed to take place. The Sexual Totalitarians have decreed it to be so, and all recalcitrants WILL be punished.

So we have 100 per cent choice when it comes to the trans revolution, and 100 per cent invariability when it comes to homosexuality. OK, right – makes perfect sense to me. So let me see if I got this straight:

-A boy thinks he would rather be a girl: No Problemo. The only problem is all those hate-filled, intolerant bigots who think this is not exactly possible or desirable.

-A man knows he dislikes his homosexual feelings, and wants help to move in the direction of heterosexual attractions: Big Problemo. And those who seek to offer him the help he is desperately looking for are evil and coercive monsters. Yep, OK.

Let me draw upon two recent articles to further make my point. The first comes from a feminist website. The author makes this rather important point, as stated in her title: “If you cannot define women, then you cannot defend them.” Exactly. She says this:

There is no such thing as living as a woman. We are women. And it is our female biology which makes us women. It is our sex. And biological sex is observable in every single cell in our bodies: it is a physical, material and biological fact. And our sex is what makes us a class. Our sex which makes us uniquely vulnerable to male violence. Our sex which means we bear the entire burden of reproductive labour. The structural oppression which women face as a class is because of their sex. And that is why all women need legal recourse to separate and sex segregated spaces.

It is simply not ethical to categorise males as females based on their subjective feelings. To do so means the female sex no longer has legal protections or legal meaning and is instead reduced to destructive, regressive gender stereotyping. If you cannot define women, then you cannot defend them.
womansplaceuk.org/2019/05/26/if-you-cannot-define-women-then-you-cannot-defend-them/?fbclid=IwAR0x48-lHoPMh-BERUuQU8xPCFcLA2gkHCV-5wCifOm49T2nbZXOMYGdRzI

While I of course do not concur with all the feminist rhetoric here, her point about women being women is so important. If anyone can be anything they want to be at any time, then there is no point in trying to defend or protect anything.

If you are into saving the whales, but I identify as a whale, then that pretty much ruins that cause. Only by acknowledging the uniqueness of a certain group or class can we properly talk about it and seek to protect it. To claim that everything is essentially in a state of flux is to deny the existence of everything.

Finally, consider this piece which speaks of an impressive rally of 200 ex-homosexuals that just took place in Washington D.C. Here is how one report looks at the ground-breaking rally:

Ex-homosexual and ex-transgender men and women from around the country descended upon the Nation’s Capital this weekend for the Second Annual ‘Freedom March’ where they proclaimed the freedom they’ve found in abandoning homosexual and transgender practices.

“Look at this! This is Amazing! They say we don’t exist!” declared author and documentary producer M.J. Nixon, a March co-founder, as many gathered for a group picture. About 200 participated this year—a threefold increase over last year. Former transwoman Jeffrey McCall kicked off the rally on the grounds of the Washington Monument, explaining that nobody here was forced to change; “It was the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ that fell on all of us.”

One testimony after another from the racially diverse group of mostly millennials spoke about their personal conversion to Jesus and the freedom they have found from lives dominated by active homosexuality or gender dysphoria. Angel Colon, who survived the Pulse Nightclub massacre Orlando, Florida where 49 died, told his harrowing conversion story which began that night three years ago. “As I lay on the ground shot multiple times —couldn’t move— I said to the Lord, ‘I am not leaving this building dead tonight’,” recounted Colon.

“You promised me I have a purpose in life. You promised my Mom that the baby inside of her womb was special and [You] had a purpose for his life,” he said. “I am not leaving here dead, Lord; I am leaving here alive and when I do, I am going to worship you for the rest of my life.” Colon has kept his promise to God, traveling the world preaching about the freedom he has found in Jesus Christ.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/200-ex-lgbt-men-women-rally-to-show-freedom-theyve-found-in-following-jesus?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=a5841655a0-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_512&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-a5841655a0-401398773&fbclid=IwAR1YLfWH0NqjhjOxcAxcgdAwcSxVWcUGhhx72RnusHgbCxce7Zb0LGu9E-4

These are the very real people who are basically invisible – those who are not supposed to be there. The leftist narrative says such people simply do not exist. But I can assure you they are alive and well. I know a number of these individuals. Their lives most certainly have been turned around, and they are so very thankful that the help and counsel they were looking for was available at the time.

There are so many amazing testimonies like this of lives that have been transformed. But in our hyper-sexualised PC climate, such transformation can only happen for trans folks who simply click their fingers and proclaim they are an altogether different sex.

If you want to change into something you are not and cannot be, that is just peachy. But if you want to change out of an unwanted lifestyle, that must not be allowed to happen. Such is the bizarre and sick world that we now live in. And it looks to be only getting worse.

As long as this sexual insanity reigns supreme, I for one just can’t be satisfied.

via Sex Wars: Can’t Get No Satisfaction — CultureWatch

05/28/19 Not Alone — ChuckLawless.com

READING: 1 Kings 19-20, John 7:25-44

Elijah thought he was the only one who cared. Despite his victory over the false prophets, still he feared when Jezebel came after him. He alone, he thought, was still following God. When God asked him why he was cowering in the cave, his response was, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies, but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are looking for me to take my life” (1 Kgs 19:10, 14). The rest had abandoned God, but not Elijah—at least that was the prophet’s conclusion.

On the other hand, his faith was one now marked by his fearing opponents, desiring to die, hiding in a cave, and feeling alone in his commitment to God. Fear had seemingly won the day, and discouragement set in. Feeling alone in your faith will often take you there.

That’s when we need God to remind us of something He also taught Elijah: we are not the only believers out there. It might feel that way, but God is still working around us. We may not know their stories or their names, but people are still responding to the Good News.

In Elijah’s day, God put it this way: “But I will leave seven thousand in Israel—every knee that has not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kgs 19:18). Elijah was not the only follower of God—despite what he thought—and nor are we. We’re not alone.

PRAYER: “Lord, remind me about my brothers and sisters You are calling to Yourself from around the world.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 21-22, John 7:45-8:20

via 05/28/19 Not Alone — ChuckLawless.com

God Requires Universal Obedience | How To Slay Sin Part #3 | Bible Thumping Wingnut Network

BTWN Episode 350. Tim continues to share the biblical imperative to slay sin.

Filling your mind with Scripture is the most powerful measure you can take against indwelling sin.

Video of this episode:

Bible Thumping Wingnut

Hosts Tim and Len are a couple of regular guys who started their ministries on YouTube making videos defending the faith and dismantling the arguments of atheism, skepticism, cults and radical unbelief. The Bible Thumping Wingnut Podcast started April 1st of 2014 to encourage Christians to engage in apologetics, evangelism and polemics, and to equip them with the tools and resources to do so to the Glory of God.

The post God Requires Universal Obedience | How To Slay Sin Part #3 appeared first on Bible Thumping Wingnut Network.

— Read on biblethumpingwingnut.com/2019/05/27/how-to-slay-sin-part-three/

Down and Out in Brussels: Don’t Believe What CNN and the BBC are Reporting on the EU Elections — The Gateway Pundit

Depending on whether you follow mainstream or alternative media, you could be forgiven for thinking any number of things about the European election results.

Don’t believe what CNN and the BBC are reporting!

Nigel Farage’s romping to victory produced a stellar and truly historic performance.

His new (six week old) Brexit Party is tied, at 29 seats, with the German CDU (Merkel’s party) for the biggest single party in the European Parliament.

Third place goes to Matteo Salvini’s, Lega Party with 28 seats.

The ECR, which PM David Cameron set up in 2014 after UKIP’s win threatened the Tory monopoly on legitimacy, lost all but 4 of its seats in Britain and lost about 20 seats Europe-wide – Including its President, Syed Kamall, MEP from London.

The Liberal ALDE grouping gained from the Tory collapse, pulling in 16 seats where they previously had one – and rocketing to the coveted third-place finish behind the Centrist EPP and S&D – though assumptions about Macron’s group-inclinations may yet turn out to be optimistic.

Most significantly he lost in a referendum on his leadership to Marine Le Pen and is unpopular in France and across Europe.

Outperforming all expectations, the Greens edged forward, becoming the 4th largest party as currently arranged.

This very fragmented Parliament leaves the Eurosceptic movement with a “Join or Die” moment.

Remaining relegated to the 5th(ECR), 6th (EFDD), and 7th(ENF) largest groupings is not a situation determined leadership should now accept.

Keeping Eurosceptics divided is a major strategic objective of the federalist EU establishment.

They should be denied victory at all costs.

EFDD, where Farage remains president, should begin aggressively courting defections from EPP member parties like Orbán’s, Fidesz.

The heads of the ENF, particularly Marine Le Pen and Salvini, should make a serious effort to coalesce with Poland’s PiS and the new Brexit party.

They need a super “alliance of common sense” and that is the plan.

This will not be easy.

PiS wants to fix Europe. The Brexit party wants to leave it. ENF wants their countries left alone by Brussels’ overzealous machinations.

But they have more in common than what divides them, and all would benefit from each other’s company on the European stage.

Romania’s Socialist (S&D) franchise has even indicated its willingness to defect to a Eurosceptic party.

Early victories like these will get the ball rolling for whichever group ends up being the natural umbrella for the movement. Other such parties should be found and headhunted away from the larger parties to upset the fragile balance even more.

A Eurosceptic grouping with 150+ votes (as we predicted — is well within reach as things presently stand) and could even overtake the EPP’s 178 seats and claim the mantle of the biggest party, with the attendant parliamentary perks and privileges (committee chairs, luxury office space, etc.).

They might also plausibly lay claim to the presidency off the European Commission, which the EPP still insists should go to the largest party.

Traditional horse-trading over which party will get which spot should wait.

It is unlikely that the badly defeated EU Centrists will agree on a new President anytime soon.

These divisions should be exploited to keep vacant the Commissions as long as possible.

Passing a new budget should take precedence over the coronation of any new European leadership.

A deliberate strategy of Sedevacantism, filibustering any proceedings on nomination or confirmation, should be in place until and unless the Eurosceptic demands are satisfied – be they budgetary, political or related to senior personnel.

The five takeaways from this watershed election are:

1 Fragmentation with all parties fighting over power and position

2 Undetermined leadership, no EU President will easily emerge

3 Contrary to what the MSM is saying, the nationalist populists have won and the Greens have done well

4 Kataclysmic as this election shakes Europe to its roots, already causing turmoil and new national elections from Greece to Austria to Italy, likely

5 Euro redefined, watch the currency and follow the money. Many of the new MEPs do not want the EU dominance in their national economies

6 Deadlocked is the operative word; the integrationist-globalist march is stopped in its tracks.

You can read what this spells.

via Down and Out in Brussels: Don’t Believe What CNN and the BBC are Reporting on the EU Elections — The Gateway Pundit