Daily Archives: May 30, 2019

Bilderberg 2019: Who’s going and what will they be discussing? — RT World News

Bilderberg 2019: Who’s going and what will they be discussing?
Roughly 130 world leaders from 23 countries, ranging from royalty to industry and everything in between, will attend the 2019 Bilderberg Group this week, to discuss topics like Russia, Brexit and the future of AI.

The ultra-secretive meeting will take place from Thursday to Sunday in Montreux, Switzerland. Founded in 1954, the notorious meeting is ostensibly aimed at improving relations between the US and Europe, though the event has long been shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories as attendees are forbidden from disclosing what was discussed.

Many contend it has a far more sinister purpose than mere international relations. Theories range from far-left worries that the group’s aim is to impose eternal capitalist domination, while some on the right have expressed concerns about the establishment of a world government named the New World Order.

Also on rt.com

Top politicians, business leaders, financiers and academics usually traditionally rank among the invitees. Among the confirmed 2019 attendees are some powerful titans of the tech industry including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, leading bankers from Goldman Sachs and the Bank of England as well as Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, and notable world leaders and former politicians including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump adviser Jared Kushner also features on the confirmed guest list while rumors circulate that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might make an appearance, reportedly to discuss the Iran situation with Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, though he does not appear on the official guest list. The Swiss Finance Ministry has denied such reports but Switzerland often represents US interests in Iran as a go-between.

Also on rt.com

The published 2019 talking points include topics such as Brexit, the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), climate change and sustainability, and the future of space exploration. Russia, China, the future of capitalism, and the weaponization of social media also feature among the loose list of discussion topics. However, meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, meaning participants may use any information gleaned therein but may not disclose its source or their affiliations, so that discussion may take place in a ‘free-fire’ zone away from the scrutiny of public discourse. No votes are taken, no policies set and no statements are made at the meeting.

One of the founders of the group, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, said the extreme secrecy was necessary so that “severe economic dips like the Great Depressions could be avoided if responsible and influential leaders could manage world events behind their necessary public posturing.”

Confirmed past luminaries who have graced the top secret meeting include: Bill Clinton (1991), David Cameron (2013), Bill Gates (2010), Prince Charles (1986), Jeff Bezos (2011, 2013), Margaret Thatcher (1975, 1976 and 1986) and banker David Rockefeller (2008, 2009, 2011).

— Read on www.rt.com/news/460536-bilderberg-group-meeting-2019/

Are There Any Good Reasons to Believe in Heaven (Even Without the Evidence from Scripture)? — Cold Case Christianity

Humans have been thinking about the notion of an afterlife from the earliest of times. Some of the most popular books and movies have been written around this topic, even though few of them have been consistent with the teaching of Christian Scripture. But even without the guidance of the New Testament authors, there are good reasons to believe we will live beyond the grave. The evidence related to the existence of God and the “soulish” nature of humans ought to incline us toward a belief in the afterlife:

There Are Good Reasons to Believe God Exists
While this may seem controversial to those who dismiss the existence of God out of hand, there are several lines of evidence supporting this reasonable conclusion. The reality of objective moral truths, the appearance of design in biology, the existence of a universe that has a beginningand the presence of transcendent laws of logic are best explained by the existence of God.

There Are Good Reasons to Believe God Is Good (In Spite of the Problem of Evil)
Skeptics sometimes point to the problem of evil (in one form or another) to argue against the existence of God (or His good, all-loving nature). But when examined closely, the presence of moral evil, natural evil, Christian evil, “theistic” evil, or pain and suffering fail to negate the existence of God, even as they fail to blemish His righteousness.

There Are Good Reasons to Believe Humans Have Souls
In addition to this, there are many good reasons to believe humans are more than simply physical bodies. The arguments from private knowledge, first-person experiences, part-independency, physical measurements, self-existence and free-will make a powerful, cumulative circumstantial case for the existence of our souls.

There are Good Reasons to Believe Souls Are Not Limited to Physical Existence
While our physical bodies are obviously limited to their physical existence and cease to function at the point of material death, there is no reason to believe the immaterial soul is similarly impacted. If we are truly “soulish” creatures, our immaterial existence can reasonably be expected to transcend our physical limitations.

There are Good Reasons to Believe a Good God Would Not Make Justice, Satisfaction and Joy Elusive
All of us, as humans, yearn for justice, satisfaction and joy. These are good goals and ambitions. A good God (if He exists) would make these expectations attainable for His beloved children.

There are Good Reasons to Believe Complete Justice, Satisfaction and Joy Are Elusive in Our Temporal, Material Lives
Our daily experience demonstrates a simple reality, however: justice is not always served here on Earth (bad people often get away with their crimes), and while we continually pursue satisfaction and joy, we find they are fleeting and elusive.

There are Good Reasons to Believe a Good God Would Provide Complete Justice, Satisfaction and Joy in the Eternal Life He Offers Beyond the Grave
If these worthy desires for justice, satisfaction and joy are unattainable in our material existence, where could they ultimately be experienced? If God has designed us as dualistic, “soulish” creatures, these innate desires could eventually be realized in our eternal lives beyond the grave. If a good God exists (and there are many sufficient reasons to believe this is the case), the expectation of an afterlife is reasonable. Heaven is the place where God will accomplish everything we would expect from Him and everything we (as living souls) desire.


Our non-believing friends and family have an instinctive sense there is more to this life; a sense there must be a place where justice is finally served and where joy and satisfaction will finally be found.
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I don’t have to be a Christian in order to take this kind of reasonable approach to the issue. Maybe that’s why many non-Christians have developed similar views on the nature of the next life. Long before Christianity, ancient Egyptians believed the afterlife was a place of final satisfaction and joy for those who were able to obtain a life with the gods in the “Sekhet-Aaru of the Tuat”. The followers of Zoroastrianism believed those who died would eventually be brought back to life and judged so final justice could be served. There are many similar examples of such expectations of an afterlife throughout the history of humanity. Even those who knew nothing of the truth of God’s Word held an intuitive understanding of what the next life might be like. This is still true today. Our non-believing friends and family have an instinctive sense there is more to this life; a sense there must be a place where justice is finally served and where joy and satisfaction will finally be found. They have an innate expectation of Heaven, and they are simply waiting for God to reveal the truth to them. Maybe they’re waiting to hear about Heaven from us, if only we are willing to begin a reasonable discussion.

via Are There Any Good Reasons to Believe in Heaven (Even Without the Evidence from Scripture)? — Cold Case Christianity

05/30/19 God Has a Plan — ChuckLawless.com

READING: 2 Kings 1-3, John 8:21-47

God always has a plan, and it’s always right. When He called Elijah the prophet into a whirlwind with a chariot and horses of fire (2 Kgs 2:11), God had already set aside the next prophet: Elisha. Not only had He already connected Elijah and Elisha, but He then verified Elisha’s calling with a miracle similar to one Elijah had performed. He struck the water with Elijah’s mantle (just as Elijah had previously done), and the waters again parted. Some around could say nothing less than “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” (2 Kgs 2:15).

God had a plan to raise up and use Elijah’s successor. In my 38 years of ministry, here’s what I’ve learned about leadership roles in the local church and in the seminary: God always has the next leader already picked out. Both churches I led called a pastor soon after I left for other ministry opportunities – and they often grew more and accomplished more after I was gone. In my seminary roles, the leaders always found someone to fill that void and lead the institution to greater heights. God always had a plan.

He always still does have a plan—and we can always trust Him.

PRAYER: “Father, please remind me again and again that You have a plan.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 4-5, John 8:48-9:12

via 05/30/19 God Has a Plan — ChuckLawless.com

Did Special Counsel Mueller Lie To The Attorney General? | Zero Hedge

“…Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting, in response to our questioning, that he emphatically was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction.”

Update: The Justice Department and Special Counsel’s office have released a joint statement insisting that there is “no conflict” between Mueller and Barr’s accounts of why the special counsel’s office didn’t consider charging President Trump with a crime. 

“The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice,” said DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec along with special counsel spokesman Peter Carr in a Wednesday evening statement. 

“The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination – one way or the other – about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements.

Incredible. 

***

As the left piles the pressure on Speaker Pelosi to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump following Special Counsel Mueller’s apparent ‘greenlight’ during his brief statement this morning, a rather large question looms over an apparent disagreement between Mueller and his boss, Attorney General William Barr.

During a Wednesday statement, Mueller said that his non-decision decision on whether the president obstructed justice was “informed”by “a long-standing opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Justice Department that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime…That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited.”

However, as Gregg Jarrett of Fox News reports, according to Barr, that’s not what Mueller told multiple people during a meeting on March 5, 2017. Here’s what Barr told Senators during his May 1st testimony:

“We were frankly surprised that they were not going to reach a decision on obstruction and we asked them a lot about the reasoning behind this. Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting, in response to our questioning, that he emphatically was not sayingthat but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction.”

Barr said there were others in the meeting who heard Mueller say the same thing – that the OLC opinion played no role in the special counsel’s decision-making or lack thereof. The attorney general repeated this in his news conference the day Mueller’s report was released to the public:

“We specifically asked him about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking a position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion. And he made it very clear several times that was not his position.”

Yet, today, Mueller told a different tale.

So did Mueller lie (to the public today or to the AG in 2017)?

Perhaps House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), knowing this is hanging over Mueller’s head, will slow roll his calls for a Mueller testimony now.

And as we consider the he-said, he-said above of whether Mueller based his decisions on whether a President could be indicted or not, we note Speaker Pelosi is still tamping down the impeachment inferno, saying , “Many constituents want to impeach the president. But we want do do what is right and what gets results what gets results.” 

But while many cheered today’s statement as clearing a path for Congressional Democrats to seek impeachment, one famous liberal – Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz – was infuriated by Mueller’s partisan behavior today. In a furious op-ed at The Hill, Dershowitz slammed Mueller:

Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias.He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.”

Adding that what Mueller said today “is worse than the statement made by then FBI Director James Comey regarding Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign,” regarding the recklessness with which she handled classified material, concluding defiantly:

“No prosecutor should ever say or do anything for the purpose of helping one party or the other. I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talkand action. Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.”

A good question that many others, even left-leaning individuals, are asking tonight. We give the last words to Fox’s Greeg Jarrett  as they seemed to sum things up well: He refused to make a decision to charge the president in a court of law but was more than willing to indict him in the court of public opinion…His report was a non-indictment indictment. It was calumny masquerading as a report. “
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-29/did-special-counsel-mueller-lie-attorney-general

Core Christianity | 4 Misconceptions about Resurrection…and the Truth

Not long ago, I was invited onto a radio show to discuss the evidence for the resurrection with a Christian and a skeptic. The skeptical host pushed back on my argument for the uniqueness of the resurrection of Jesus. “Your claim is so obviously false,” he said, “Just look at all the resurrections of the dead in the Bible alone, including people like Lazarus.”

The host was certainly right that many other people have been raised from the dead in the Bible, but he was confused about the difference between rising from the dead and resurrection. This is a common misunderstanding. We are going to briefly consider four misconceptions about the meaning of resurrection, and then clarify the biblical idea.

1. Resurrection Is Not Immortality of the Soul.

Greek philosophers saw the body as the prison house of the soul. The material world was considered corrupt, fallen, and evil. Thus, the goal of salvation was to escape the physical realm and to be freed from its shackles. But in Hebrew thought, the material world is considered good. The soul without the body is incomplete. A human being is a body and soul in unity.

2. Resurrection Is Not Reincarnation. Eastern religions teach reincarnation, the rebirth of the self (consciousness, soul, mind, etc.) after the death of the body. Reincarnation is considered a curse, not a blessing. Depending on the specific tradition, the goal is to escape the cycle of reincarnation and experience nirvana or personal annihilation. In contrast, the biblical view is that human beings live one life, and then are raised to be judged by God (Hebrews 9:27).

3. Resurrection Is Not Resuscitation.

As mentioned by the skeptic in the opening story, the Bible records many instances of people coming back to life. Elijah raised the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24). Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44). Peter raised Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42). And Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). But here is the difference between these people and Jesus: They would each die again, but Jesus was raised to immortality and glory.

4. Resurrection Is Not Translation.

The Bible records at least two instances where people were taken directly to God without dying. Enoch lived 365 years and then was taken up directly to be with God (Genesis 5:21-24). The prophet Elijah was taken to heaven by a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1). These are not examples of resurrection because there is no evidence either experienced death.

So, what is resurrection? As my father and I state in the updated Evidence that Demands A Verdict, resurrection is a return to physical life. But it is not a return to the present physical existence with all its limitations. Resurrected bodies are transformed, incorruptible, and eternal (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

Jesus was not resuscitated, reincarnated, or translated. And his soul did not escape to an immaterial realm. Jesus was resurrected—never to die again. And since Jesus is the firstfruits of those who are yet to come, if we trust in Christ, we too will one day have transformed, resurrected bodies and be able to experience eternity with Christ and the Church in the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21-22).

This content originally published here. Used with permission. 
— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/1301

Video: “The Ark is Returned” by Alistair Begg

Weary of plagues and eager to rid themselves of the ark, the Philistines devised a plan to test whether their affliction was truly the result of God’s heavy hand or merely coincidence. Walking us through the twists and turns of this story, Alistair Begg reminds us that God judges those who violate His plans and is not to be tested. Our heritage, offerings, and endeavors can’t save us from His wrath. Only in Christ can we safely and securely stand before the Lord.

— Read on blog.truthforlife.org/video-the-ark-is-returned-by-alistair-begg

Dershowitz blasts Mueller for ‘exceeding his role’ – WND

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller, left, acknowledges applause during then-President Barack Obama’s remarks on June 21, 2013. Obama had announced James Comey, right, as his nominee to succeed Mueller as FBI director (Official White House photo)

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s statement Wednesday that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said that” is worse than then FBI Director James Comey’s statement about the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton, said Alan Dershowitz, emeritus professor at Harvard Law School.

“Comey was universally criticized for going beyond his responsibility to state whether there was sufficient evidence to indict Clinton,” he wrote Wednesday in The Hill. “Mueller, however, did even more.”

Comey declared in a July 2016 press conference that “although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information.”

Dershowitz said Mueller, at his news conference at the Justice Department announcing his resignation as special counsel, “went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”

“By implying that President Trump might have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings,” he said.

Dershowitz noted that obstruction of justice is a “high crime and misdemeanor” which, under the Constitution, authorizes impeachment and removal of the president.

WND reported earlier Wednesday Mueller’s claim that the Office of Legal Counsel guidance specifying that a sitting president cannot be indicted was the reason for not coming to a conclusion about obstruction conflicts with Attorney General William Barr’s testimony.

Barr told Congress on May 1 that at a March 5 meeting with Mueller, the special counsel told him “that he emphatically was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found obstruction.”

No longer defending Mueller

Dershowitz said he no longer is defending Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan.

“I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind.”

The law professor said Mueller revealed his bias by putting his “elbow” on the scale of justice.

Mueller also has distorted the role of a prosecutor who “should never go beyond publicly disclosing that there is insufficient evidence to indict.”

“No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict,” Dershowitz said.

He pointed out that federal investigations by prosecutors, including special counsels, are by nature one sided, hearing only evidence of guilt.

“They are not in a position to decide whether the subject of the investigation is guilty or is innocent of any crimes.”

Dershowitz said he “cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action.”

“Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage,” he wrote.
— Read on www.wnd.com/2019/05/dershowitz-blasts-mueller-for-exceeding-his-role/

Rush Limbaugh: Mueller still trying to ‘nail’ president – WND

President Trump (Pixabay)

When former special counsel Robert Mueller announced on Wednesday that his office is closing and he’s quitting the Department of Justice, he reiterated many points he made in his 448-page report concluding the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia in the 2016 election.

And he stated again that he found there wasn’t evidence obstruction of justice.

So why did he repeat the points made in his report?

Because, believes talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, he “wanted to nail President Trump and still wants to nail President Trump.”

There is virtually “no difference” between Mueller and Democrats in Washington and the establishment media, he said.

“The only problem that Robert Mueller had was there isn’t any evidence to nail the president, and so he is attempting to imply that the president committed all kinds of crimes, but in the end Robert Mueller says Department of Justice guidelines prevent us from indicting the president; it would be constitutional; and so we can’t do it,” Limbaugh said.

“Mr. Mueller, if that’s true – and that’s not what Attorney General Barr says that you told him, by the way, and there’s a lot of other people in the Department of Justice who say that those guidelines had nothing to do with you and your report on your decision not to charge crimes where the obstruction was concerned.

“If all of that is true, then why do this investigation in the first place?” Limbaugh wondered.

Then he answered himself: “Because the only reason for it was to get Donald Trump. It wasn’t to find whether or not the Russians had colluded because everybody knew that. There never has been any evidence that Trump colluded. All there ever was was that dossier.”

Limbaugh noted there “never” was evidence linking Trump to Russians.

“All they ever had was the dossier,” he said, citing the opposition research document funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and written by a former British spy using Russian sources.

It later was used by the Obama administration in a top-secret court to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

“Robert Mueller made it clear as a bell today that he wants to nail Donald Trump and he wants Donald Trump out of office, he just doesn’t have the evidence. And so he’s asked Congress to take over the job. But he kept talking about how guidelines, regulations in the DOJ prevent the indicting of a sitting president. They can’t do it! So what was the purpose of this? Why do this investigation at all if from the very beginning you could not nail the president?”

He explained Mueller’s effort, and that of the Democrats, simply was “an attempt to reverse the election results of 2016.”

“It was an attempt to imply the guilt of the president.”

Limbaugh noted most Americans haven’t read the full Mueller report, so Mueller went on stage Wednesday to spotlight his findings in the hope of continuing “the injustice of all this.”

He pointed out Mueller talked to 500 witnesses, reviewed more than a million documents and “destroyed” many lives.

“And you still don’t have any evidence! And yet you do an eight-minute little press conference today with no questions where you imply the president did it?” he said.

Limbaugh said Mueller’s message was directed to Congress, to go ahead with impeachment.

“‘I can’t do it because I don’t have any evidence,’” Limbaugh suggested Mueller was saying.

“If you can’t indict anyway, then why do any of this? Well, we know the answer. The reason you do this is to create doubt and suspicion in the minds of as many Americans as possible that their president is a traitor, that their president is a criminal, so that you drive his approval numbers down to the high twenties or low thirties so that you can kick him out of office! That’s what this effort was and continues to be.”

And why doesn’t Mueller want to testify to Congress?

Limbaugh said it’s because Republicans who would ask him about the Hillary Clinton-funded dossier’s role in the case.

“Are you aware the dossier was totally made up and had no evidence whatsoever? How big a factor was the dossier?” Republicans would ask.
— Read on www.wnd.com/2019/05/rush-limbaugh-mueller-still-trying-to-nail-president/

‘Creepy Joe strikes again’: Biden calls 10-year-old girl ‘good looking’ at campaign event — RT USA News

‘Creepy Joe strikes again’: Biden calls 10-year-old girl ‘good looking’ at campaign event

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has sparked new concerns over his ‘creepy’ behavior after he called a young girl “good looking” and held her shoulders, weeks after a vow to be more “mindful” of people’s personal space.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/460547-joe-biden-girl-good-looking/

GTY Blog Post – Uncompromising Evangelism

The apostle Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill (Acts 17:16–33) has been exploited endlessly by evangelistic innovators and missionary methodologists in recent decades. The acute cultural awareness Paul displayed in his preaching has been used to validate everything from worldliness (under the guise of contextualization) to the appreciative study of other religions. But careful examination of the passage completely undermines those arguments. The apostle’s message to the sophisticated Greek thinkers of his day reveals an uncompromising evangelist armed with a narrow and exclusive message.  

Paul launched right into that message, beginning with creation:

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things. (Acts 17:24–25)

There’s a wealth of truth about God in those words, and it directly contradicted Greek religious belief. Paul was not stepping around their sensitivities or trying to avoid truth they might not want to hear.

All their gods dwelt in man-made temples, and they were manlike entities, not at all like the transcendent Supreme Being Paul was describing. These men were well-educated, and undoubtedly familiar with the Hebrew God. They knew about His exclusivity—“The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5). They knew His first commandment was, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). Surely as soon as Paul began speaking these men understood that he was declaring the same God the Hebrews worshiped, and they would have understood the ramifications of that.

Paul identified God as the Creator: He “made the world and all things in it” (Acts 17:24). He is the sustainer of all life: “He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25). He is sovereign: “He is Lord of heaven and earth” (Acts 17:24); “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). And He is omnipresent: “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Moreover, Paul told them, God desires that people should “seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27). Paul was telling these philosophers that seeking God is a moral obligation. If He is indeed the sovereign, omnipotent Creator who desires that we seek Him, then not to seek Him is a sin. That truth would not have escaped these philosophers. They knew that Paul was laying before them a clear imperative that they seek and worship the one true God he represented. In other words, Paul said in essence, “The God I declare to you is supreme over every other being, and He is worthy of your exclusive loyalty and worship. You had better seek Him until you find Him.” This struck a blow directly at their syncretism and polytheism. There could have been no question in their minds about adding Paul’s God to their existing pantheon. Paul was urging them to abandon their religion and worship the eternal Creator of all things, the God who made all other gods petty and obsolete.

Notice the unusual way Paul buttresses his defense of the true God: He quotes Greek poetry. “In Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’” (Acts 17:28). Both the first and the closing phrases of that verse are quotations from Greek poets. Epimenides—the same poet who erected the altars to the unknown god—said, “In thee we live and move and have our being.” [1]The quotation from Epimenides is taken from the poem “Cretica” (and is part of the same verse Paul quotes in Titus 1:12). Aratus was the poet who said, “We are his offspring.” [2] The quotation from Aratus is the fifth line in his “Phaenomena.”

Oddly enough, when Epimenides said, “In thee we live and move and have our being,” and when Aratus wrote, “We are indeed his offspring,” they were talking about Zeus. Why would Paul quote these paeans to an idol and apply them statements to God? Because he was making a defense of the faith. His point may be paraphrased like this: “Your own poets, with no knowledge of the true God whatsoever, nevertheless gave testimony to the inescapable fact that there had to be a sovereign, life-giving, all-powerful creator. Zeus does not fit that description. But the God I declare to you, whom you don’t know yet, is that Almighty One.” Paul’s use of ancient poets simply underscored the truth of Romans 1:19–20:

That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

The rational mind demands an eternal cause for the effect of creation. Therefore many attributes of God are so obvious that even pagan poets understand them—although they attach them to the wrong god.

It was a powerful point. Paul was making the most of the situation, declaring that the true God whom they didn’t know is Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign of the universe, then quoting their own poets as proof that such a sovereign Creator must exist. Spurgeon said,

It was most adroit on his part to refer to that inscription upon the altar, and equally so to quote from one of their own poets. If he had been addressing Jews, he would neither have quoted from a Greek poet nor referred to a heathen altar: his intense love for his hearers taught him to merge his own peculiarities in order to secure their attention. [3] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “By All Means Save Some,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 20 (London, UK: Passmore and Alabaster, 1874), 248.

But Paul was not content with merely securing their attention. He was not trying to impress them with his intellect or obtain their approval of him personally. He was not trying to win the world’s respect or to gain acceptance as a philosopher. His sole aim was to convert these people to Christ, and he was just coming to the heart of his message.

 

(Adapted from Ashamed of the Gospel)

— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B190530

For First Time In Regathered Israel’s History, A Duly-Elected Prime Minister Fails To Form A Coalition Triggering An Unprecedented Repeat Election — Now The End Begins

Exactly one month after the 21st Knesset was sworn in, a majority of the Knesset voted late Wednesday night to disperse and initiate an unprecedented repeat election on September 17.

Can you imagine what it would be like to win one of the biggest elections in the 71 year history of regathered Israel, making you the only 5-time prime minister, only to then fail to follow Israeli law and form a new coalition forcing you back to do the elections all over again? Welcome to Benjamin Netanyahu’s new reality.

Never before in the entire history of regathered Israel has this type of situation occurred. So why is it happening now? It’s a result of Israel’s fractious parliamentary system, strong egos and lingering resentments. Where this one winds up is anyone’s guess.

Israel Goes Back To Elections As Netanyahu Fails To Form Coalition

FROM THE JPOST: It was the first time in Israeli historythat a candidate for prime minister failed to form a coalition after being given the task by the president after an election.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Likud faction ahead of the vote that he had not succeeded in reaching a compromise with Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on the controversial haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill, and that he had also tried unsuccessfully to woo MKs from the opposition to join his government.

“The State of Israel is going to elections because of the Likud’s refusal to accept our proposal,” Liberman said as he entered the Knesset plenum. “This is a complete surrender of the Likud to the ultra-Orthodox. We will not be partners in a government of Jewish law.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, head of the Likud’s negotiating team, told reporters “it’s over,” as he arrived at the Likud meeting after his last negotiation had failed.

Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin said that there was no choice but to hold new elections, due to Liberman’s intransigence and refusal to accept “1,000 compromises” that had been offered throughout the last week.

The vote – taken just after the midnight deadline by which Netanyahu needed to tell President Reuven Rivlin whether he had been able to form a governing coalition – was 74 to 45 in favor of dispersing.

Opposition MKs shouted “shame, shame, shame” in unison ahead of the vote.

The Likud initiated the bill to dissolve the Knesset rather than give Rivlin a chance to appoint someone other than Netanyahu to form a government.

In presenting the bill to the Knesset, Likud MK Miki Zohar said that he is “disappointed by the situation, but we were forced into it.” He admitted that the decision “would not be remembered positively in our history.”

“The Left asks us why we didn’t give [Blue and White leader] Benny Gantz a chance to form the coalition,” Zohar said. “Two and a half million people voted as if they had two votes, for their party and for [Netanyahu]… despite knowing about the [pre-indictment] hearing [for the prime minister on corruption charges]. They didn’t want Gantz.”

According to Zohar, those calling to let Gantz form the government are “saying to give the opportunity to the minority to form the government at the expense of the majority. The majority rules, while the minority has rights. That is the meaning of democracy.”

The bill called the election for September 17, but there were several other options the coalition was set to vote on in the second reading. Netanyahu asked the other parties to back September 17, because that is what Yisrael Beytenu preferred, and he needed them to have a majority in favor of dissolving the Knesset.

In the unsuccessful coalition talks, the Likud had proposed that as soon as the government would be formed, Liberman’s original conscription law would be presented, as written and in his language, for the approval of the Knesset plenum. After its approval, there would be more negotiations when the law would be prepared for its final readings.

If that agreement is not reached by the end of July, the party said, and in accordance with the decision of the High Court of Justice, the current arrangement that has exempted haredim from being drafted would expire, and the compulsory service law would apply to all. The ultra-Orthodox parties would therefore have to choose between Liberman’s version of the law or a return to the original law, which means full mobilization for haredim, the Likud said.

“The proposal has now been submitted to the parties, and we await their positive response in order to form a right-wing government tonight and prevent unnecessary elections,” the party wrote. In response, United Torah Judaism said that it would back another party to lead the coalition.

“We won’t retreat beyond what we have agreed to,” UTJ leader Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said in his initial response to the Likud statement. “I still believe that a government can be formed. I’m on my way to sign on the coalition agreement.”

Liberman also initially rejected the proposal, saying it was not exactly what he had said all along about the conscription bill needing to be passed into law as is.

The proposal was made after the Likud reported that it had secured agreements with 60 MKs from the Likud, Kulanu, UTJ, Shas and the Union of Right-Wing Parties, leaving it only one MK short of a majority coalition.

After Kulanu denied that it had signed any documents and insisted it won’t sign unless the coalition would include 61 MKs, the Likud said the deal with Kulanu was complete and ready to be signed, pending Liberman joining the government. READ MORE

via For First Time In Regathered Israel’s History, A Duly-Elected Prime Minister Fails To Form A Coalition Triggering An Unprecedented Repeat Election — Now The End Begins

Prager U Video: Why God is a He — Frontpage Mag

Is God a man, a woman, or a genderless force that cannot be identified by masculine or feminine traits? Society offers a range of ideas, but what do religious texts have to say about this immutable characteristic of God? Dennis Prager offers some insightful answers. Check out this short, important video below:

via Prager U Video: Why God is a He — Frontpage Mag

Daily Mail Reporter Tom Leonard Says U.S. Magazines Refused to Publish FBI Reports Claiming Martin Luther King Jr. Sexual Harassed Dozens of Women and Encouraged a Rapist — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Martin Luther King with his wife, Coretta, as they lead a five-day march to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, 1965.

by Tom Leonard

Listening through headsets into the bugged hotel suite next door, the small group of FBI agents couldn’t quite believe the sordid events that were unfolding.

It was January 1964 and they were hearing what sounded like a pastor raping a female member of his congregation while his boss looked on, laughing and offering advice.

The voices of both men were familiar.

According to the agents sitting in the Willard Hotel, Washington DC, the rapist was an assistant to civil rights leader Martin Luther King. And his chortling companion was the anti-racism icon himself, the man whose ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, delivered a year earlier, continues to inspire activists to this day.

But King’s exalted status could be about to unravel. For, according to a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of King, newly released FBI files reveal that the binge-drinking preacher had affairs with 40 to 45 women, indulged in hotel room orgies and even fathered an illegitimate child. The documents also paint a violent picture of King, whose lust could soon turn to anger.

In May 1965, for example, one agent reported that the civil rights leader had gone to the home of one of his female staff and ‘torn her clothes off of her in an apparent attempt to attack her’.

In the era of today’s #MeToo movement, with its zero-tolerance approach to powerful men who commit sexual misconduct, one might think these shocking revelations would have rocked America’s conscience to its core. The nation even has an annual public holiday to celebrate King’s birthday.

The response, however, has been silence. When David Garrow, whose 1986 biography of King received international acclaim, first tried to publish his new findings, he was turned down by every great liberal publication, including the Washington Post and Atlantic magazine, both of which he has written for in the past.

Eventually, in despair, he gave his findings to a British magazine, Standpoint.

And as of yesterday, only the British media (though not the BBC, which usually has an insatiable appetite for Martin Luther King) had dared to follow up the Standpoint article.

This hesitancy to question the integrity of a man regarded as a saint is all the more astonishing, as these accusations hardly come out of the blue.

While nobody before has alleged that he egged on a rapist, King’s womanising reputation isn’t new. Even close friends admitted that he had a problem with staying faithful to his wife, Coretta Scott King.

The Rev Ralph Abernathy, who cradled King’s head as he lay dying from an assassin’s bullet in 1968 and who took over as the civil rights movement’s leader, confirmed long-standing rumours about his friend’s rapacious sexual appetite. King had a ‘weakness for women’, he said.

Even King acknowledged — without being too specific — that he was a ‘sinner’, regularly telling congregations that ‘there is a Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll in all of us . . . you don’t need to go out this morning saying that Martin Luther King is a saint’.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Daily Mail

via Daily Mail Reporter Tom Leonard Says U.S. Magazines Refused to Publish FBI Reports Claiming Martin Luther King Jr. Sexual Harassed Dozens of Women and Encouraged a Rapist — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

May 30 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

 

although isaiah 31 begins on a historical plane, as so often in this prophecy the text holds up a more distant horizon and a more extensive hope.

At one level Isaiah is still pronouncing divine woes on “those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots … but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord” (31:1). Isaiah resorts to sarcasm: God, too, “is wise and can bring disaster” (31:2). He resorts to metaphor: God can be likened to a lion perfectly able to fight (31:4), or to a flock of birds perfectly able to protect its own (31:5). That brings the reader to the pivotal verses of this chapter, the only ones written in prose: “Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites. For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made” (31:6–7).

There is no alternative to repentance, no other way to experience the blessing of the Lord. The nature of repentance in Scripture precludes the nonsense of partial repentance or contingent repentance. Genuine repentance does not turn from one sin while safeguarding others; partial repentance is as incongruous as partial pregnancy. Loyalty to God in selective areas is no longer loyalty, but treason. To repent of disloyalty in select areas, while preferring disloyalty in others, is no repentance at all. God does not ask us to give up this or that idol while permitting us to nurture several others; he demands, rather, that we abandon idolatry itself and return to the God against whom we have “so greatly revolted.” For God is more than able to defend his people against the might of Assyria, to unleash a sword “not of mortals” (31:8). The literal fulfillment of this promise is 37:36 (see meditation for June 5).

Yet the hints of a still greater deliverance in the more distant future are not hard to find. Once again Isaiah predicts what will happen “in that day” (31:7), that pregnant expression that so commonly signals prophetic foreshortening. Although the loss of almost two hundred thousand Assyrian troops, referred to in 37:36, occurred in 701 b.c., the final collapse of Assyria and its capital Nineveh, described in the closing verses of this chapter, would not take place for another century (612). Moreover, references to the fire of God in Zion (31:9) call to mind 4:2–6 and 29:5–8—visions of the destruction of all of Zion’s foes and of the Lord’s future reign.[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.

May 30 For the love of God (Vol. 1)

Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

 

it is a wonderful pairing: “Love and faithfulness meet together.” Then another pairing: “righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Ps. 85:10). Older readers may remember the first of these two lines in the King James Version: “Mercy and truth” meet together.

In English, “mercy and truth” are pretty distinguishable from the NIV’s “love and faithfulness.” But the underlying Hebrew, a very common pairing (as in 86:15 or Ex. 34:6—see the meditation for March 23), could be rendered either way. The first word commonly refers to God’s covenantal love, his covenantal mercy—his sheer covenantal goodness or grace, poured out on his undeserving people. The second word varies in its English translation, depending on what is being referred to. When the Queen of Sheba tells Solomon that all that she had heard of him was “true,” literally “the truth” (1 Kings 10)—that is, that the propositional reports corresponded to reality—she uses the word here rendered “faithfulness.” A “true” report is a “faithful” report; when truth is embodied in character, it is faithfulness.

As deployed in this psalm, the categories are used evocatively. When you read the first pairing, “Love and faithfulness meet together,” it is natural to read them as descriptions of God: God is the God of covenantal grace or love and of utterly reliable fidelity. The second pairing might be taken the same way: God is both unqualifiedly righteous and the well of all well-being. In him, righteousness and peace kiss each other. But in the next verse, the second word from the first pairing and the first word from the second pairing are picked up and put together to introduce a new thought: “Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven” (85:11). In the context of the whole psalm, the people’s faithfulness is apparently being linked with the Lord’s righteousness: the former springs from the earth, while the latter looks down from heaven. It is not absolutely necessary to take things that way, but the psalmist implicitly recognizes the links earlier in his poem: “You forgave the iniquity of your people.… Restore us again, O God our Savior.… Show us your unfailing love, O Lord … he promises peace to his people, his saints—but let them not return to folly” (85:2–8, italics added).

However we align these pairings, it is vital to remember that love and faithfulness both belong to God, that righteousness and peace meet and kiss in him. Because of this, God can be both just and the One who justifies the ungodly by graciously giving his Son (Rom. 3:25–26). Should it be surprising to discover that among his image-bearers, love and faithfulness and righteousness and peace go hand in hand, standing together or falling together?[1]


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

Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is a Mental Disorder and Sex Change Biologically Impossible

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Once in a while a brave soul emerges in this crazy upside-down world, and tells the TRUTH, no matter what it will cost them. One such person is Dr.Paul R. McHugh – a former Psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.  Dr. McHugh wrote a paper in which he called transgenderism a mental disorder. The paper was well received and so compelling, that Johns Hopkins ceased performing any sex change surgeries.

From CNSnews.com

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall…

View original post 1,625 more words

Alan Dershowitz: What We Saw today Was Robert Mueller Putting His Thumbs on the Scale – His Motive Was to Help Democrats (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller made a public statement on Wednesday on the Special Counsel.

Mueller muddied the waters by suggesting that his crooked special counsel of angry Democrats could NOT find that President Trump DID NOT commit a crime.

This was a disgusting, reprehensible display by the former FBI director.

On Wednesday night law professor and author Alan Dershowitz went off on Robert Mueller following his Wednesday statements.

Alan Dershowitz: What I saw today was him putting his thumbs on the scale. When he said, “If we had confidence the president DID NOT commit a crime we would have said so.” That was absolutely inappropriate for him to say. It was worse than anything that Comey said when he exonerated Hillary Clinton but then said “but she engaged in criminal conduct.” This is much, much worse. And it does show that he had a motive to help the Democrats.

Via Hannity:

via Alan Dershowitz: What We Saw today Was Robert Mueller Putting His Thumbs on the Scale – His Motive Was to Help Democrats (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

Christian Loses His Burden — The Aquila Report

This is the description of how salvation comes. It comes as a result of the atoning work of Christ and the exchange of our sin from our backs to His, as well as the cloak of His righteousness being transferred from His account to ours. Anything that eliminates this double exchange, this double imputation of sin and righteousness, falls short of the biblical Gospel. It’s time once more for the Christian community to follow the Pilgrim’s Progress.

 

As a seminary student, I remember my favorite professor often setting forth arguments for particular theological positions. On many occasions, as these debates proceeded, the professor stopped in mid-sentence, paused, looked at his students and said, “I sense that you do not feel the weight of this argument.” His regular reference to the “weight” of arguments was an interesting metaphor for me. Arguments that we do not take seriously are those that we take lightly. The whole idea of weight or weightiness is one that is found throughout the Bible. In the first instance, the glory of God is described in terms of His inherent and eternal weightiness. Those who take God lightly are those who have no regard for His glory.

One of the most important areas in which the whole idea of weight comes to bear in the New Testament has to do with the Law. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, in chapter 3, verse 9, after he has set forth the unrighteousness of both Jew and Gentile, he makes the comment, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin” (NKJV). Again in verse 19 of the same chapter, the apostle writes, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (NKJV).

In our day, the weightiness of the Gospel itself has been eclipsed. I doubt if there’s a period in the history of the church in which professing evangelicals have been as ignorant of the elements of the biblical Gospel as they are today.

There is a stark contrast between the second best-seller in the history of the English language, second only to the Bible, namely, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and the runaway best-seller of the last two years, The Purpose Driven Life. In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, we see set forth in masterful literary style the depths and the riches of the biblical Gospel. When we compare it to The Purpose Driven Life, we see a book in which it is difficult to find a full explanation of the biblical Gospel. Justification, the relief from the burden of sin that weighs down the soul, is all but absent in the setting forth of a new and different gospel of achieving or discovering purpose in one’s life. One of the leaders of the recent emerging church movement boasts that he has not mentioned the word “sin” in the last ten years of his preaching. He wants to make sure that his people will not feel crushed by guilt or by a loss of their self-esteem. When the acute awareness of guilt is removed from the conscience, there is no sense of the burden of sin. There is no sense of being under the crushing weight of the law of God that bears down upon our souls relentlessly.

However, if we turn our attention to the insights of Bunyan set forth in the Christian classic Pilgrim’s Progress, we see a story that focuses on the groaning pressure of a man who is weighed down to the depths of his soul with a burden of which he is unable to rid himself. It is like the apostle Paul’s description in Romans 7 of the body of death that crushes the spirit. In the very first paragraph on the first page of Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan pens these lines:

“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den; and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry; saying, ‘What shall I do?’”

When preachers announce from their pulpits that God loves people unconditionally, there is hardly any reason for the hearer to feel any burden or cry out with any lament, saying, “What shall I do?” If indeed God loves us unconditionally and requires nothing of us, then obviously there is no need for us to do anything. But if God has judged us according to the righteousness of His perfect Law and has called the whole world before His tribunal to announce that we are all guilty, that none of us is righteous, that none of us seeks after God, that there is no fear of God before our eyes, that we are in the meantime, before the appointed day of judgment, treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, then anybody in his right mind (and even those in their wrong mind) would have enough sense to cry out the same lamentation, “What shall I do?” The story of Christian is the story of a man who is burdened by the weight of sin. His conscience was smitten by the Law, but where the Law is eliminated in the church, no one needs to fear divine judgment. Without the Law there is no knowledge of sin, and without a knowledge of sin, there is no sense of burden. The pilgrim knew the Law, he knew his sin, and he realized he had a burden on his back that he could not, with all of his effort and his greatest strivings, ever remove. His redemption must come from outside of himself. He needed a righteousness not his own. He needed to exchange that weighty sack of sin on his back for an alien righteousness acceptable in the sight of God. For the pilgrim there was only one place to find that righteousness, at the foot of the cross. The crucial moment in Christian’s life is when he comes to the cross. We read the description: “He ran thus till he came to a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and little below in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back; and began to tumble, and so continued to do so until it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.”

Shortly thereafter, Christian sang his song of deliverance: “Thus far did I come laden with my sin, nor could aught ease the grief that I was in, till I came hither. What a place is this! Must here be the beginning of my bliss? Must here the burden fall from off my back? Must here the strings that bound it to me, crack? Blessed cross! Blessed sepulchre! Blessed rather be the Man that there was put to shame for me.”

This is the description of how salvation comes. It comes as a result of the atoning work of Christ and the exchange of our sin from our backs to His, as well as the cloak of His righteousness being transferred from His account to ours. Anything that eliminates this double exchange, this double imputation of sin and righteousness, falls short of the biblical Gospel. It’s time once more for the Christian community to follow the Pilgrim’s Progress.

Dr. R.C. Sproul was founder of Ligonier Ministries, founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and first president of Reformation Bible College. This article is used with permission.

via Christian Loses His Burden — The Aquila Report

The Usurpation of Evangelicalism by Social Action Warriors — The Aquila Report

The church is to disciple the nations, beginning with evangelism. The church is not the avenue for social justice or legislation of any kind. Yes, of course, the individual believer, as salt and light, is to serve the poor and needy, to seek reconciliation, and to labor for Biblical justice; but the individual believer is still to give evangelism and discipleship the preeminence.

 

“I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).

At the July 16-25, 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization (Lausanne I), called by Billy Graham, 2300 evangelical leaders from 150 countries gathered to pray and strategize on how to take the gospel to the entire world. The theme of the conference was “Let the Earth Hear His Voice.” John Stott spoke passionately at Lausanne I about the work of the gospel in the world. While he believed in the necessity of preaching the gospel he also believed that social action was part and parcel with preaching the gospel. Consequently, a clause on social action was added to the Lausanne Covenant. It reads:

Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. 

Those evangelical leaders from developing nations who identified with the World Council of Churches very much appreciated this emphasis on social action. Evangelical leaders from Europe and the United States as a whole did not. At a follow-up meeting in Mexico City in January 1975 Stott was convinced the American evangelicals led by Billy Graham and Peter Wagner were ignoring the Lausanne Covenant clause on social action. Stott consequently threatened to resign from the leadership of Lausanne I. This threw the leadership into a panic and the committee urged Wagner and Stott to hammer out a compromise. From there Billy Graham said that he deeply valued Stott’s friendship and would follow his lead. This proved fatal, in my estimation, to the progress of evangelism in the modern world. The wrong “fork in the road” was taken.

Lausanne II, meeting in Manila, the Philippines, from July 11-20, 1989, with 4300 participants from 173 countries, had as its theme, “Proclaim Christ Until He Comes: Calling the Whole Church to Take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.” One of the very beneficial “take-aways” from Manila was awareness of the 10-40 window of the “Resistant Belt” where the vast majority of unbelievers in the world live, mainly Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslims. Lausanne II built upon the foundation of Lausanne I and carried forward the language of “social action.”  The Manila Manifesto, with its twenty-one affirmations, was in some ways a good statement which puts evangelism and discipleship at the forefront of the church’s mission. However, the Manila Manifesto built on the idea of social action.

Lausanne III (4200 participants from 198 countries) in Cape Town, South Africa, October 16-25, 2010 addressed and more fully developed many of the same earlier themes on the church’s task to evangelize the world. However, The Cape Town Commitment, the official paper of Lausanne III, took a decidedly ominous turn in Part IIB, “Building the peace of Christ in our divided and broken world.” It says,

Reconciliation to God and to one another is also the foundation and motivation for seeking justice that God requires, without which, God says, there can be no peace. True and lasting reconciliation requires acknowledgment of past and present sin, repentance before God, confession to the injured one, and the seeking and receiving of forgiveness. It also includes commitment by the Church to seeking justice or reparation, where appropriate, for those who have been harmed by violence and oppression.

My concern is with the clause, “. . . commitment by the Church to seeking justice or reparation, where appropriate, for those who have been harmed by violence and oppression.”

If by “the Church” Lausanne III means the body of Christ in general, all believers, then this call to seek justice individually, if possible, and through the courts is legitimate. Individual believers should surely care about their oppressed, persecuted, and disenfranchised brothers and sisters, the true “least of these” (Matthew 25:40). But if by “the Church” Lausanne III means the church as an institution or denominations or individual congregations, then no, that is not the purpose of the church. Jesus told us that we are to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). The one command in the text is disciple, introduced by one and then followed with two participles which explain how this command is to be carried out-by going, baptizing (evangelism must occur before we baptize), and teaching. There is nothing in the Great Commission about social action by the church. Peter told us to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into the marvelous light of the gospel (1 Peter 2:9). Nothing there either by Peter on social action. Paul says that he had one thing in mind when he came to Corinth, to preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor.2:2). He told the Romans that he was not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation. It is not necessarily the power of political might. There is nothing in the Great Commission mandate about reparations. Paul told the Thessalonians that his gospel did not come in word only but in power and by the Spirit and with much conviction (1 These.1:5). He told the Corinthians, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel,” (1 Cor.9:16). Nothing there, either, about social action.

So now you know why the specific task of straight up, intentional evangelistic outreach and consequent discipling of believers has been slowly eroding in the western church. We have gradually, since at least the mid 1970’s, been moving away from the task of evangelism and discipleship in the church into social action, and in some cases, a decidedly leftist ideology and practice to go along with it. It is quite easy to understand how this has been happening. The world applauds anyone who helps the poor and oppressed, but the world is suspect of evangelism. Ask yourself this question, “What title is more applauded in our world-Advocate for the Poor or Evangelist, Advocate for Jesus Christ?” When walking through the Atlanta airport I often see very gifted violinists playing as I come up the escalator to the various concourses. People throw loose change into their violin cases and sometimes even applaud them. I always enjoy hearing them. Everyone loves it. But what would happen if I or some other evangelist stood there and preached the gospel? Seldom is anyone thrown into prison for feeding the poor or for giving a free, public violin concert, but evangelists are regularly mocked, attacked, and arrested for preaching Jesus.

But here’s the million-dollar question for today’s church in today’s world-what did the early church do? When a few Galileans were unjustly treated by Pilate, the Roman Governor, who murdered them and had their blood mingled with their pagan sacrifices, did Jesus or His disciples demand justice? Did they seek for reparations for the family members left behind? When the tower in Siloam fell and killed eighteen construction workers (Luke 13:1-5), did Jesus demand an updated Occupational Health and Safety Act? When the believers were driven from Jerusalem into Judea and Samaria due to a severe persecution by Saul of Tarsus and others, did they demand that Pilate seek fair treatment from the Jewish religious leaders? No. They went about evangelizing in Judea and Samaria, something the Lord Jesus had earlier commanded them to do.

Bottom line, the church is to disciple the nations, beginning with evangelism. The church is not the avenue for social justice or legislation of any kind. Yes, of course, the individual believer, as salt and light, is to serve the poor and needy, to seek reconciliation, and to labor for Biblical justice; but the individual believer is still to give evangelism and discipleship the preeminence. Anything less is a distraction coming from the evil one. After all, what good does it do to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and provide reparations for the oppressed if they remain unsaved and go to hell? Only the believer, armed with the gospel, has the words of eternal life. This is the church’s one, true mission.

Al Baker a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is an Evangelistic Revival Preacher with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship.

via The Usurpation of Evangelicalism by Social Action Warriors — The Aquila Report

Hare Krsna on Campus — Wretched

Episode 2515

Hare Krsna on Campus

Segment 1 (00:00) – Todd introduces the religion of Hare Krsna by showing a clip of when he interviewed an individual of said religion. Todd questions him to find out what the religion Hare Krsna is.

Segment 2 (10:27) – Todd begins to show how Hare Krsna is contradictory to Christianity and the Bible. The Hare Krsna individual argues his stance on certain matters of his religion.

Segment 3 (19:05) – The two give their “pitch” for their respective religion and, with that, continue to further discuss other differences of their religious beliefs. Todd closes segment emphasizing how Christianity is the better religion.

Wretched Surprise! (26:34) – Grace Gem: Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones

via Hare Krsna on Campus — Wretched