Daily Archives: June 18, 2019

June 18 Reinforcing Our Faith

Scripture Reading: Jude 1:3–23

Key Verses: Jude 1:20–21

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

We must be careful to reinforce our faith so that we can stand firm against the subversive pull of the world. But how can we build a stronger faith?

  • We must saturate our minds with the holy, unchanging Word of God. Then the Holy Spirit will continually refresh our minds and bring new insights as we develop Christian maturity.
  • We must commit to pray in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). We can trust the Spirit to guide us in our prayers, leading us with regard to what, when, and how to pray.
  • We must keep ourselves in the love of God. Of course, we can never fall beyond the scope of God’s love, but we shouldn’t ever take His amazing grace for granted. With that in mind, we need to closely guard our intimacy with Him and the time we spend in His presence.
  • We must wait anxiously for the return of Jesus Christ. For Christians, the Second Coming is the most anticipated event in history, and we need to keep our eyes on this goal. The thought that Christ could return at any moment is a purifying and protective realization for the believer (1 John 3:2–3).

There is no “magic formula” for Christian growth, but these simple steps, laid out in Jude 1:20–23, can serve as a guide as we strive to protect our faith from the snares of the world.

Lord, saturate my mind with Your Word and fill me with Your Spirit. Keep me in Your love as I await Your return.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 18 Praying in a Crisis

Scripture Reading: James 5:13–18

Key Verse: James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

During the Persian Gulf War, prayer made a comeback in mainstream America. Commentators regularly mentioned prayer. The president prayed for our troops. But some of the most intense prayer arose from the hot sands of the Arabian desert.

“Praying makes me feel better, makes me a little more secure,” said one army lieutenant who skipped a card game to attend a worship service. An army staff sergeant commented, “I have always prayed, but I need it now more than ever.”

Adversity motivates people to prayer. Crises quickly filter the trivial and expose the essential. In the midst of crises, we must remember several crucial truths.

We must be rightly related to the God we petition. The nonbeliever may pray; but until he places his faith in Christ, his pleas are in vain. God desires to bring all men to saving faith, but He is not obligated to respond to the nonbeliever’s prayers.

Another important principle is that while prayer moves God to act on man’s behalf, it does not guarantee preferred answers. We cannot manipulate God. But crises turn us toward Him for His sovereign answers, the most critical being His provision for our sins through faith in Jesus Christ. We then ask in His name and trust Him for the outcome.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer—that I can ask for Your provision and trust You for the outcome. In the face of every crisis, let me flee to You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Ring of Truth — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

What religion or worldview possesses the “Ring of Truth?” It is definitely not Islam or atheism!

To be sure, this is not a deductive argument like the Kalam, Freethinking, or Ontological Arguments. I am simply encouraging readers to pay attention to their intuition. Although we cannot always trust our intuition, I contend that it is a great place to start when searching for truth. Moreover, when one’s intuition is supported by a cumulative case of data, there is good reason to continue trusting intuition.

With this in mind, consider the “Ring of Truth” to be frosting on top of a metaphysical cake already baked to perfection by a cumulative case supported by logic, science, and historical data…

The Ring of Truth

via The Ring of Truth — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Biden: ‘Republicans May Have Standards, But We Have Double Standards’ — The Babylon Bee

PHILADELPHIA, PA—During a campaign speech Tuesday, Joe Biden proudly declared that while Republicans have at least some standards, Democrats are going above and beyond with their “double standards.”

Biden pointed out that by having two sets of standards, Democrats are leading the race for having the most sets of standards.

“That’s two times as many standards,” he said proudly. “Double is a lot more than single. Anyone who’s ever watched a baseball game knows that.”

“Isn’t that right, sweetie?” he said to a young girl in the front row of the crowd, asking her to come up and stand on the stage while he put his hands on her shoulders for the duration of the speech.

The presidential candidate then went on to slam Trump for his treatment of women, confident in the knowledge that no one in the Democratic Party would dare call him out for being a hypocritical little creep.

Not to be outdone, Trump quickly took to Twitter to announce that the Republican Party would shortly be debuting its brand new triple standards.

via Biden: ‘Republicans May Have Standards, But We Have Double Standards’ — The Babylon Bee

June 18 Your Strength and Shield

Scripture reading: 2 Cor. 12:7–10

Key verse: 1 Cor. 1:27

God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.

Every Christian has a weakness, a soft spiritual underbelly. Satan, though not omniscient, is keen on probing for our spiritual chinks and mounting unrelenting assaults. Frequently, we are caught in the vicious and futile circle of failure, repentance, renewed commitment, and repeated relapse. As long as we are kept in this dizzying and frustrating mode, the devil can keep us off balance, taking the loving edge off our relationship with Christ and our effectiveness in His work.

God’s ways, however, are not ours. His solution for our weakness is radically different. Instead of our buckling up our spiritual chin strap one more notch, Christ asks us to admit our weakness and concentrate on His strength. This may sound simple, but it is not simplistic.

Grace saved us from sin, and grace will deliver us. We need Christ’s power, not our own resolve, to defeat our foe and overcome our weakness.

Take your weakness, whatever its nature, to Christ. Do not give up to your problem but give in to Christ, yielding to His Spirit who can fortify your frailty with supernatural grace. You are weak, but He is strong. Jesus is your Strength and your Shield. Lean on His grace.

Jesus, You are my Strength and my Shield. You are the One who can fortify my human frailty with supernatural grace. I lean on You today.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What To Do if You’re Drowning in Debt — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Not being able to afford to pay the bills for your debts is a scary prospect – but it’s something that can happen to anyone. Whether you’ve taken on too much debt or have experienced a sudden decline in income, there may come a time when you simply don’t have the cash you need to send to your creditors.

If this happens to you, it’s important you react quickly to try to mitigate the damage to your credit and to your overall financial life. To help you get started, here are the steps you can take.

Try to find the cash

It may seem obvious, but if you can’t make your monthly payments, the first thing you should try to do is to free up enough money to get your bills covered. This approach is the only surefire way to avoid late fees, potential damage to your credit score, and other consequences.

Finding a side gig to bring in more income is one possible approach, or you could try to sell non-essential items you have around the house. These may be short-term solutions, unless you have the time to keep your side gig until you’ve paid down debt to a more manageable level. These solutions can at least buy you time to put other plans for dealing with debt into action.

You should also take a very close look at your budget – or make a budget if you aren’t already living on one. By taking control of your spending, you may be surprised how much cash you can free up to pay the bills.

Unfortunately, there are situations where finding the money is simply impossible. If that’s the case for you, you’ll need to move on to the other suggestions on this list.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Christy Bieber, The Motley Fool

via What To Do if You’re Drowning in Debt — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Ocasio-Cortez Compares Mandatory Math Classes To Concentration Camps — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a video to her constituents Monday evening, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared mandatory math classes in public schools to “concentration camps.”

Ocasio-Cortez made several comparisons between public school arithmetic lessons and concentration camps, referencing the brutality of the Holocaust throughout her address.

“Kids are, like, being forced to learn numbers and do, like, long division,” she said. “And even short and medium-sized division. This is basically what happened in the Holocaust. Math teachers are, like, pretty much fascists. We should call them Add-Olf Hitler. You know, because of the additioning they make us do.”

“This isn’t happening in the ’40s either—this is happening in 2019,” she added as she began trying to cook some instant noodles in the microwave. “We are basically living in Nazi Germany now.”

Ocasio-Cortez was forced to cut off her live stream after smoke began billowing out of her microwave.

via Ocasio-Cortez Compares Mandatory Math Classes To Concentration Camps — The Babylon Bee

Hong Kong’s protesters find ways to outwit the surveillance state

Article Image
https://www.lmtonline.com by Shibani Mahtani

HONG KONG – The moment the 25-year-old protester got home from demonstrations that turned violent – tear gas still stinging her eyes – she knew what she had to do: delete all of her Chinese phone apps.

WeChat was gone. So was Alipay and the shopping app Taobao. She then installed a virtual private network on her smartphone to use with the secure messaging app Telegram in an attempt to stay hidden from cyber-monitors.

“I’m just doing anything” to stay ahead of police surveillance and hide her identity, said the protester. She asked to be referred only by her first name, Alexa, to avoid drawing the attention of authorities amid the most serious groundswell against Chinese-directed rule in Hong Kong since 2014.

Protests that expanded over the past week against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China were marked by something unprecedented: A coordinated effort by demonstrators to leave no trace for authorities and their enhanced tracking systems.

Protesters used only secure digital messaging apps such as Telegram, and otherwise went completely analogue in their movements: buying single ride subway tickets instead of prepaid stored value cards, forgoing credit cards and mobile payments in favor of cash, and taking no selfies or photos of the chaos.

They wore face masks to obscure themselves from CCTVs and in fear of facial recognition software, and bought fresh pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

And, unlike the pro-democracy movement in 2014, the latest demonstrations also have remained intentionally leaderless in another attempt to frustrate police, who have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowds.

On Saturday, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced the postponement of the extradition bill, saying she hoped to return peace to the streets of the city. But the measure was not fully withdrawn and Lam still expressed support.

Protesters, meanwhile, have called for another major show of defiance on the streets on Sunday.

Amid the chaos, Hong Kong has offered a picture of what it looks like to stage mass civil disobedience in the age of the surveillance state.

“The Chinese government will do a lot of things to try to monitor their own people,” said Bonnie Leung, a leader of the Hong Kong-based Civil Human Rights Front.

Leung cited media coverage of Chinese use of artificial intelligence to track individuals and its social credit score system.

“We believe that could happen to Hong Kong, too,” she said.

The core of the protests is over the belief that Beijing – which was handed back control of the former British colony more than 20 years ago – is increasingly stripping Hong Kong of its cherished freedoms and autonomy.

But the identity-masking efforts by the protesters also reflects deep suspicions that lines between China and Hong Kong no longer exist – including close cooperation between Hong Kong police and their mainland counterparts who have among the most advanced and intrusive surveillance systems.

“It is the fundamental reason people are protesting in the first place,” said Antony Dapiran, who wrote a book on protest culture in Hong Kong. “They don’t trust Beijing, they don’t trust their authorities and the legal system, and they don’t like the blurring of lines between Beijing and Hong Kong.”

For many who had taken to the streets over the past week, the fight was a familiar one.

In 2014, protesters occupied Hong Kong’s main arteries for 79 days demanding full universal suffrage in the territory. Prominent student leaders and activists marshaled up support night after night in mini cities that had been set up on Hong Kong’s thoroughfares, until they were eventually cleared out by police.

Today, all of the most prominent leaders of that movement – Joshua Wong, only a teenager at the time of the protests, legal scholar Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, a sociology professor – are in jail.

The masses gathered around government buildings this week were without clear leaders. Demonstrators shared protest tips and security measures with people they had met just hours before to avoid a similar fate. Meetups were primarily planned on Telegram, which became the top trending app on the iPhone app store in Hong Kong in the days leading up to the protest.

“Information on personal safety was passed around on Telegram channels and group chats,” said Caden, a 21 year-old Hong Kong student in Indiana who returned home early to participate. When he among estimated 1 million marching on June 7 to begin the protest movement.

On the group groups, Caden received a barrage of advice which included changing your username on Telegram so it sounds nothing like your actual name, changing your phone number associated with app and using SIM cards without a contract.

“We are much more cautious now for sure than in 2014. Back then, it was still kind of rare for the police to arrest people through social media,” Caden said, declining to give his full name for fear of retribution. “All of this is definitely new for most people there.”

Alexa noticed messages on Facebook, used by an older generation of Hong Kongers, warning people to mask their digital footprints and go cashless.

“People keep telling each other not to take pictures during the protest, and only to take wide shots without people’s faces on them,” she said.

It marked a huge change in sentiment for her, someone who had been attending peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong with her family for years.

“We’d always take pictures and upload them to Facebook and so on, it would tell people you are there at the scene,” she said. “But by now, everyone [has] equated the bill to cracking down on the Hong Kong legal system. We are all afraid that it won’t exist anymore.”

Hours before Wednesday’s occupation of Hong Kong roads, Hong Kong police arrested Ivan Ip, a coordinator of a Telegram group with thousands of people, in his home. He is currently out on bail.

Telegram also reported a massive cyberattack, which the company said likely originated from China and were timed with the protest.

Samantha Hoffman, a fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Cyber Center, said data collection methods used in China have specifically been designed to intimidate people from taking part in demonstrations. She described the strategy as “killing the root before the weed can grow.”

“It’s a form of preemptive security,” she said

Still, researchers say it has been difficult to figure out the extent to which Hong Kong Police Force cooperates with the mainland on surveillance technology and tools.

The Hong Kong force says it sends around 150 officials every year for “ideological and practical” training at elite mainland police academies. A larger number also receive regular training in “hand-to-hand combat, interrogation skills, criminal investigation and gun use,” according to news releases from the Chinese government.

And when a high speed rail link opened connecting Beijing to Hong Kong, Chinese police were allowed to enforce mainland laws in the rail terminus. The rail link opened last year, marking the first time mainland police were allowed to patrol Hong Kong as part of joint immigration checks.

Maya Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said there is “very little transparency” about the cooperation between Hong Kong police and mainland authorities.

Wang also noted that Hong Kong is moving ahead with plans for more “smart city” initiatives – with little clarity on which companies would be assisting them in that task.

“People are concerned that their electronic traces can be collected and monitored as the city becomes more digitized,” she said. “What about the Chinese companies that are assisting or involved with the collection of data in Hong Kong? Would they be passing that data back?”

Alexa, Caden and other protesters interviewed by The Washington Post say they remain undeterred and will continue to show up at demonstrations. They have masks and goggles prepared, they say, both as a shield against police tactics like pepper spray and also to avoid potential facial recognition or other surveillance software.

“I do not think this is overly cautious. If we read books by George Orwell and we read histories about Communist Parties, of course this is not overly cautious,” said Leung of CHRF.

“If I was not some sort of leader or coordinator of the Civil Human Rights Front, I may wear a face mask as well,” she added. “I can totally understand why people would want to hide their identities.”

– – –

The Washington Post’s Timothy McLaughlin in Hong Kong and Lyric Li in Beijing contributed to this report.

Source: Hong Kong’s protesters find ways to outwit the surveillance state

Here’s How to Tell if Scientists are Exaggerating — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

How much can the public trust confident claims by scientists? Especially about morally or politically or philosophically charged topics? Alas, not so much, as the New York Times Magazine reminds us once again in a recent article, “How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution.” The subtitle asks, “The extravagant splendor of the animal kingdom can’t be explained by natural selection alone — so how did it come to be?”

Butterfly Wings

Great question. But wait a second — haven’t we all been told that Darwin’s natural selection has already been shown to explain pretty much everything? Forget about pretty flowers or cute puppies. Whole scholarly books have been written claiming that Darwin’s theory explains mind, law, literature, music, and more. Yet if the theory can explain much more complicated topics that involve even abstract thinking, why does it have trouble with simpler topics that don’t? If it accounts for, say, the Magna Carta, why does it struggle with the colors of butterfly wings?…

Here’s How to Tell if Scientists are Exaggerating

via Here’s How to Tell if Scientists are Exaggerating — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

New Clinton Email Review Reveals ‘Multiple Security Incidents’ | ZeroHedge News

The State Department revealed in a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that it had identified “multiple security incidents” committed by current or former employees who handled Hillary Clinton’s emails, according to Fox News.

So far 23 “violations” and seven “infractions” have been issued as a part of the department’s ongoing investigation – a number that will likely rise according to State Department Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, Mary Elizabeth Taylor.

“To this point, the Department has assessed culpability to 15 individuals, some of whom were culpable in multiple security incidents,” said Taylor in the letter to Grassley, adding “DS has issued 23 violations and 7 infractions incidents. … This number will likely change as the review progresses.

Taylor called the matter “serious” and acknowledged that it was time consuming.

“Given the volume of emails provided to the Department from former Secretary Clinton’s private email server, the Department’s process has been necessarily more complicated and complex requiring a significant dedication of time and resources,” she wrote, saying that the department expects to conclude its investigation by September 1.

What’s the consequence for these “multiple security incidents?” An official slap on the wrist according to the report:

“In every instance in which the Department found an individual to be culpable of a valid security violation or three or more infractions, the Department forwarded the outcome to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Personnel Security and Suitability (DS/PSS), to be placed in the individuals’ official security file,” wrote Taylor. “All valid security incidents are reviewed by DS and taken into account every time an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information is considered.”

“This referral occurred whether or not the individual was currently employed with the Department of State and such security files are kept indefinitely, Taylor added. “Consistent with the referral policy, for individuals who were still employed with the Department at the time of adjudication, the Department referred all valid security violations or multiple infractions to the Bureau of Human Resources.”

Clinton’s private email use has remained in the spotlight, as the DOJ looks into potential misconduct in the handling of federal authorities’ surveillance and intelligence operations in 2016. Then-FBI Director James Comey said in 2016 that Clinton’s handling of classified information was “extremely careless” — remarks that were watered down from their original draft — but that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges.

It emerged earlier this year that then-FBI general counsel James Baker testified that he thought Clinton should have been prosecuted until he was convinced otherwise “pretty late” in the investigation. –Fox News

As former Utah GOP Rep. and current Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz noted, “What’s bizarre about this, is in any other situation, there’s no possible way they would allow the potential perpetrator to self-select what the FBI gets to see, adding “The FBI should be the one to sort through those emails — not the Clinton attorneys.”

Source: New Clinton Email Review Reveals ‘Multiple Security Incidents’

Judicial Watch Releases Testimony From Clinton Aide Who Smashed Hillary’s BlackBerrys with a Hammer – ‘Couldn’t Recall’ if Server Was Wiped — The Gateway Pundit

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Tuesday released testimony from Hillary Clinton’s email administrator Justin Cooper — you know, the guy who took a hammer to Hillary’s BlackBerrys.

Justin Cooper is a former aide to Bill Clinton and a Clinton Foundation employee who registered Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, non.state.gov email domains while she was the head of the Department of State.

Mr. Cooper previously testified to the House Oversight Committee in 2016 that he smashed two of Hillary Clinton’s BlackBerry phone devices with a hammer under questioning by Republican lawmakers.

“I think it’s practical to not just throw an old device into a garbage receptacle where someone might pick it up and try to use it,” Cooper told lawmakers in 2016 when asked why he took a hammer to Hillary’s BlackBerrys.

In the deposition released Tuesday, Mr. Cooper admits he set up two to three emails accounts for Hillary Clinton and said he ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Apple server was wiped clean.

Via Judicial Watch:

Cooper testified that he spoke with Mills the week before giving his deposition:

Q When did you last speak with Cheryl Mills?

A Last week.

When Cooper was asked who approached him about creating the clintonemail.com account, Cooper answered: “It would have been a discussion with Huma Abedin.” Cooper also testified that Abedin was his primary contact regarding the choice of the domain name that was registered “I believe” in “January ’09.”

Cooper’s testimony is at odds with a 2016 Judicial Watch deposition of Abedin in which she testified that she became aware of the server through “reading in some news articles about a year, a year-and-a-half ago, when it was – it was being publicly discussed.”

Cooper said “I don’t recall” when asked if Clinton herself had any input in the creation of the domain name.

Cooper also testified that there were two servers: an original “Apple server” and then a Windows server, which was “the Pagliano server,” named after Clinton’s top State Department IT specialist Bryan Pagliano. Cooper said he couldn’t recall whether the Apple server was wiped once her emails were transferred over to the Pagliano server in early 2009.

When Cooper was asked to testify how many e-mails accounts he created or setup for Clinton he answered, “To the best of my recollection two or three.” Cooper also said that he and Pagliano set up email accounts for Abedin and Chelsea Clinton.

Pagliano was a Clinton State Department IT official who repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions in a 2016 Judicial Watch deposition.

When Cooper was asked if Clinton or anyone associated with them is paying his legal bills for this deposition or any other matters related to Secretary Clinton’s use of email, he answered: “In relation to [today’s legal expenses] it’s unclear to me if I’ll be reimbursed for these – for legal fees from the Clintons. My previous legal fees about a year after the conclusion of the congressional testimony through my lawyers was negotiated for settlement for the Clintons to make payment.”

He identified controversial Clinton Foundation official and advisor to President Clinton Doug Band as the individual in a redacted FBI 302 report who had conversations with Cooper and Abedin about the Apple server and who thought adding Hillary Clinton to the server was a “bad idea.”

Q Let me direct your attention to the fourth paragraph about four lines up. This is a redacted version, so we don’t know who the interviewee is or some of the names. But I want to direct your attention to the line that starts off with the redaction and says, blank recall the conversation with Huma Abedin and Cooper regarding the addition of Hillary Clinton to the Apple server; do you see that?

A I do.

Q Do you know who that individual would be …

A I suspect it’s Doug Band.

Q The next line says, blank thought it was a bad idea, but the issue had been decided by that point in time; do you see that?

A Yes.

“Questions surrounding a wiped server, a Clinton lawyer being informed of a scheduled deposition, contradictory testimony – all uncovered recently by Judicial Watch in its court-ordered discovery on the Clinton email scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

You can support Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch by clicking here.

via Judicial Watch Releases Testimony From Clinton Aide Who Smashed Hillary’s BlackBerrys with a Hammer – ‘Couldn’t Recall’ if Server Was Wiped — The Gateway Pundit

Show THIS To Your Democratic/Socialist Friends and Family

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

A lot of the young people love Bernie Sanders.  They say he reminds them of Larry David – the creator of Seinfeld.  I say to these young people; God gave you a brain to discern smart from stupid.  Your choice of Bernie Sanders as a future president of the U.S. is STUPID.  Hopefully, someone who cares about you will print out this article for you to read.

I’m sorry if my words hurt anyone’s feelings.  But emotion and feelings do not help a person to think clearly.  Studying history and observing governments and economies will help a person to decide which type of government is beneficial and which kind utterly destroys economies.


I can picture a rally for Bernie Sanders ending with a crowd of adoring fans; arms locked together singing Kumbaya as they sway side to side.  Undoubtedly, they would leave out “My Lord” because most of…

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Salt and Light: Finding the Legitimate Balance in the Christian Life — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Life is often about finding the right balance. Too much of anything is bad for a person, even water. Consuming too much water will cause one to lose electrolytes and minerals which could lead to death—a condition called hyponatremia. The point is, balance is important with nearly everything. This same is true of the Christian life and Christian theology. Consider the issue with divine sovereignty and human freedom. If a person accepts the sovereignty of God without human freedom, then a person accepts a determinist philosophy in which human beings become nothing more than preprogrammed robots. If a person accepts human freedom and neglects divine sovereignty, the person’s perception of God becomes flawed to the point that the person contends that God does not know anything about the future. Both concepts are beyond the teachings of Scripture in my estimation. Balance is important in one’s interpretation of Scripture.

Jesus presents two concepts concerning the Christian life in his classic message: the Sermon on the Mount. On the one hand, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Mt. 5:13, CSB). On the other hand, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16, CSB). One trait without the other leads to an illegitimate Christian lifestyle and an erroneous biblical interpretation…

Salt and Light: Finding the Legitimate Balance in the Christian Life

via Salt and Light: Finding the Legitimate Balance in the Christian Life — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

An Open Letter To Beth Moore

The Outspoken TULIP

Dear Beth Moore

Below is a letter asking Beth Moore to clarify her position on homosexuality. Although I am not the author of this letter, I have signed it. Please post this on any and all social media platforms you use, and (if you have a blog) consider reblogging it. My fellow signers and I appreciate your help in bringing this important question to Mrs. Moore’s attention. Thank you.

Dear Mrs. Moore,

Hello – we hope this finds you doing well.

We as female Bible teachers ourselves write this letter to you in hopes of receiving clarification of your views on an important issue: homosexuality.

In the last few years, particularly since 2016, you have been very vocal in your opposition to misogyny and racism. Anytime a story with so much of a whiff of these issues comes to the forefront you are very quick to speak out. The actions of the Covington…

View original post 917 more words

June 18, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Disloyalty to God

For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; (11:2a)

The thought of the Corinthians’ being seduced into error by the false apostles was heartbreaking to Paul. Thus, what may have seemed to the Corinthians to be boasting on his part was actually extreme concern, prompted by godly jealousy (literally, “the jealousy of God”). Paul’s jealousy on God’s behalf manifested itself in righteous indignation at the possibility of the Corinthians’ defection.

God’s jealousy for His holy name and for His people is a major Old Testament theme. In Exodus 20:5 God said, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14 reveals that one of God’s names is “Jealous.” Deuteronomy 4:24 describes the Lord as “a consuming fire, a jealous God” (cf. Deut. 5:9; 6:15; Josh. 24:19; Nah. 1:2), while Deuteronomy 32:16 and 21 reveal that His holy jealousy is provoked when His people worship idols (cf. Ps. 78:58; 1 Cor. 10:22). In Ezekiel 39:25 God declares, “I shall be jealous for My holy name.”

Like David, who wrote in Psalm 69:9, “Zeal for [God’s] house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach [Him] have fallen on me” (cf. John 2:17), Paul felt pain when God was dishonored. That pain produced a “daily pressure on [him] of concern for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28), particularly for those believers who were weak and led into sin (11:29). He was especially concerned that the Corinthians offer God the loyal, loving obedience in which He rejoices and of which He is worthy (cf. Deut. 6:5; 10:12; 11:1, 13, 22; 19:9; 30:16; Josh. 22:5; 23:11; Ps. 31:23; Matt. 22:37).

Disloyalty to Christ

for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (11:2b–3)

Paul expressed his concern over the Corinthians’ disloyalty to Christ by using the analogy of betrothal and marriage. As is the case today, the main elements of a Jewish wedding were the betrothal (engagement) and the actual ceremony. The betrothal period usually lasted about a year (though sometimes couples were betrothed as young children). The betrothed couple, though not allowed to consummate the union physically, was legally regarded as husband and wife; the betrothal could be broken only by death or divorce, and unfaithfulness during that time was considered adultery (cf. Matt. 1:18–19). The betrothal period culminated in the ceremony, marking the completion of the covenant.

During the betrothal period, it was the father’s responsibility to ensure that his daughter remained faithful to her pledged husband. He would then present her to him at the wedding ceremony as a pure virgin.

When Paul preached the gospel to them, he betrothed the Corinthians to one husband. At salvation, they pledged their loyalty to Christ, and Paul wanted to make sure they remained faithful. As their spiritual father (1 Cor. 4:15), Paul was determined to present them as a pure virgin to Christ. Having been engaged to Him at salvation, the Corinthians (like all church-age believers) will be presented to Christ at the Rapture (cf. John 14:1–3) and have their marriage supper during the millennial kingdom (Rev. 19:7–9). Paul’s overriding concern was that the church remain pure for her Bridegroom (cf. Eph. 5:25–27).

The phrase I am afraid expresses the heart of Paul’s concern, both in this passage and in the entire epistle. His defense of his integrity and his ministry, his appeals for the Corinthians’ loyalty, and his confrontation of the false teachers all were motivated by fear. The apostle’s concern was justified, because the Corinthians had demonstrated an alarming susceptibility to being seduced, welcoming those who preached another Jesus and a different gospel (2 Cor. 11:4).

It is every pastor’s fear that some of his sheep might go astray. As noted above, it was Paul’s zeal for their purity that caused the “daily pressure on [him] of concern for all the churches” (11:28). A heartbreaking theme throughout history is the disloyalty of many who claimed to be followers of Jesus Christ. Countless churches that name the name of Christ have been seduced by “deceitful spirits” teaching “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1) and become disloyal to Him.

Satan’s deception of God’s people began in the Garden of Eden when the serpent (Satan; Rev. 12:9; 20:2) deceived Eve. She did not intend to rebel against God, but as Paul wrote to Timothy, “the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Tim. 2:13). Eve thought that the information she received from Satan was correct and acted on it. In Genesis 3:1 Satan began by asking her, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” God had, as Satan knew, clearly said just that. His question was intended to cast doubt on God’s command. Having planted the seed of doubt in Eve’s mind, Satan then proceeded to openly deny the truth of God’s word, brazenly declaring to her, “You surely shall not die!” (3:4). Finally, he offered a lie in its place: “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:5). Eve wanted God’s best, so Satan’s counsel seemed perfect. After all, what could be better than being like God? Having thus been thoroughly deceived, Eve ate the forbidden fruit, as did Adam—even though he was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14). The catastrophic result was that the human race was plunged into sin (Rom. 5:12–19; 1 Cor. 15:21–22). Ever since Satan deceived Eve, false teachers, following his pattern, have portrayed the truth as error and then offered error as the truth.

Paul feared that Satan’s emissaries, using the same craftiness (cf. 2 Cor. 11:13–15) by which their evil master deceived Eve, would lead the Corinthians’ minds (the Greek word could also be translated “thoughts”) astray, thus corrupting or ruining them (the Greek term also has those connotations). Lack of discernment is a major problem for the church (cf. Eph. 4:14), because the spiritual battle is an ideological one (see the discussion of 10:3–5 in chapter 25 of this volume). The church’s willingness to tolerate error in the name of unity, coupled with a lack of biblical and doctrinal knowledge, has crippled its ability to discern. As a result, it is too often easy prey for the ravenous, savage wolves of whom both Jesus and Paul warned (Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29), who wound it and sap its power and testimony.

The essence of the Christian life is simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. To the Philippians Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21; cf. Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:4). To not love Him supremely as Savior and Lord is an act of disloyalty. The danger false teachers pose is that they shift the focus off Jesus Christ and onto rituals, ceremonies, good works, miracles, emotional experiences, psychology, entertainment, political and social causes, and anything else that will distract people.

Loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ is nonnegotiable in the Christian life—so much so that Scripture declares, “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed” (1 Cor. 16:22).[1]

2. For I am jealous. Mark why it is that he acts the fool, for jealousy hurries a man as it were headlong. “Do not demand that I should show the equable temper of a man that is at ease, and not excited by any emotion, for that vehemence of jealousy, with which I am inflamed towards you, does not suffer me to be at ease.” As, however, there are two kinds of jealousy—the one springing from self-love, and of a wicked and perverse nature, while the other is cherished by us on God’s account,3 he intimates of what sort his zeal is. For many are zealous—for themselves, not for God. That, on the other hand, is the only pious and right zeal, that has an eye to God, that he may not be defrauded of the honours that of right belong to him.

For I have united you to one man. That his zeal was of such a nature, he proves from the design of his preaching, for its tendency was to join them to Christ in marriage, and retain them in connection with him. Here, however, he gives us in his own person a lively picture of a good minister; for One alone is the Bridegroom of the Church—the Son of God. All ministers are the friends of the Bridegroom, as the Baptist declares respecting himself. (John 3:29.) Hence all ought to be concerned, that the fidelity of this sacred marriage remain unimpaired and inviolable. This they cannot do, unless they are actuated by the dispositions of the Bridegroom, so that every one of them may be as much concerned for the purity of the Church, as a husband is for the chastity of his wife. Away then with coldness and indolence in this matter, for one that is cold will never be qualified for this office. Let them, however, in the mean time, take care, not to pursue their own interest rather than that of Christ, that they may not intrude themselves into his place, lest while they give themselves out as his paranymphs, they turn out to be in reality adulterers, by alluring the bride to love themselves.

To present you as a chaste virgin. We are married to Christ, on no other condition than that we bring virginity as our dowry, and preserve it entire, so as to be free from all corruption. Hence it is the duty of ministers of the gospel to purify our souls, that they may be chaste virgins to Christ; otherwise they accomplish nothing. Now we may understand it as meaning, that they individually present themselves as chaste virgins to Christ, or that the minister presents the whole of the people, and brings them forward into Christ’s presence. I approve rather of the second interpretation. Hence I have given a different rendering from Erasmus.[2]

2 With a jealousy that sprang from God and was like God’s own jealousy for his people (e.g., Hos 2:19–20; 4:12; 6:4; 11:8), Paul was jealous for his converts’ undivided loyalty to Christ in the interval between their conversion (= betrothal to Christ) and their glorification (= presentation to Christ). He pictures himself as the father of the bride (cf. 1 Co 4:15; 2 Co 12:14), whose ultimate purpose in betrothing “the church of God in Corinth” (1:1) to her heavenly bridegroom, Jesus Christ, was to present her as a virgin to her husband at his appearance (cf. 4:14; Eph 5:27; 1 Jn 3:2–3).

Human jealousy is a vice, but to share divine jealousy is a virtue. It is the motive and object of the jealousy that is all-important. There is a place for a spiritual father’s passionate concern for the exclusive and pure devotion to Christ of his spiritual children, and also a place for anger at potential violators of that purity (11:29).[3]

2 The word “For” (untranslated by the NIV) is dominant in v. 2, appearing in both of its unequal sentences, providing the link between Paul’s three ideas in vv. 1b-2: “You do bear with … me. For I am jealous for you … for I betrothed you … to Christ.”16 These ideas are given in reverse order of ministry sequence of his relationship with them. First, he joined them to Christ; second, therefore, he cares about their fidelity to Christ; third, they do, ironically speaking, “bear with”—barely tolerate—him.

Critical to this verse and the next is the apostle’s portrayal of his ministry by the metaphor of betrothal, a practice alien to modern Western culture.18 It is, in all probability, a paternal image whereby a father pledges a daughter in marriage to a prospective husband, taking responsibility for her virginal fidelity to her betrothed in the period between the betrothal and the marriage. The apostle’s pride in his people “on the day of the Lord Jesus” (1:14) is consistent with the marriage imagery used here whereby a father would finally present his betrothed daughter with pride to her husband on the long-awaited wedding day.

By this elaborate metaphor Paul neatly describes the eschatological nature of apostolic evangelism. As the result of evangelism (1:19) a church (“a betrothed”) comes into being, related by “faith” (cf. 5:7) to her physically absent “husband”-to-be, whom she will not see until his appearing, when the marriage is consummated. In the meantime the father-betrother is responsible for the virginal purity of the betrothed until he “presents” her “as a pure virgin”21 to her “one husband.” How outrageous, therefore, that outsiders should come to Corinth and sully their purity, preaching “another Jesus” (v. 4).

Contrary to the practice of much evangelism where the greater effort tends to be concentrated on and limited to proclamation-response, Paul as an apostle operates within a distinct eschatological framework, regarding himself as responsible for the fidelity of the church to her Lord in the period between proclamation and consummation. The ongoing fidelity of the church in prospect of the end time is his concern. But what of the congregation already founded? It is to be inferred from this verse that the pastor of a congregation evangelized beforehand by others enters into the eschatological sweep of the “ministry” (diakonia) of the new covenant, confirming and constantly repeating the gospel by which the church was created, as well as exhorting the believers to remain focused on Christ, as Paul does here with the Corinthians (see, e.g., Col 2:6–7).

Appropriate to this view of his diakonia, Paul declares at the outset, “I am jealous for you with a godly [RSV, “divine”] jealousy.” This sentiment should not be confused with the petty possessiveness that mars human relationships. His words—which could also be rendered “I am zealous for you with God’s own zeal”—reflect an important theme in the (LXX) OT. Yahweh, Israel’s covenantal God, in zeal for his holy name, binds his people to him in a relationship that excludes the worship of other gods (LXX Exod 20:5; 34:14; Deut 4:24; 6:15). The theme of “zeal” also reflects God’s covenantal care for his people (LXX Isa 9:6; 37:32; 63:15–16). The inter-testamental tradition looked back on individuals like Phinehas and Elijah, who took violent action against idolatry and apostasy, as having acted in zeal for their God. Inspired by zeal for Yahweh, the pre-Christian Saul of Tarsus, as a persecutor of the church, stood in the same tradition (Gal 1:13–14; Phil 3:6; Acts 22:3–4). The Christian Paul’s zeal, however, is a converted zeal, free of the violence that characterized his pre-converted days and zealots before him, a zeal now driven by love (see on 5:14).

The Corinthians are not yet in outright apostasy, though there are dangerous possibilities in that regard (see v. 4). Since he is the initiator of the betrothal, it is his responsibility to safeguard the rights of the divine husband, Christ. The apostle bears the responsibility to ensure that the betrothed is kept faithful to the One she will marry, not diverted nor seduced by an interloper to “another” husband. Let the Corinthians and the would-be seducers understand that the apostle has “betrothed” this bride-to-be to “one husband,” to “present” the Corinthians “as a pure virgin” to Christ. The one Christ, as preached by the apostle, was, and is to remain, the focus of ministry and of faith.[4]

11:2 / The reason (gar, untranslated niv) that Paul asks the Corinthians’ forbearance is that he is jealous for them. The term jealousy, or rather “zeal,” is drawn from the character of Yahweh as the sole husband of Israel (cf. Hos. 1–3; Ezek. 16; Isa. 50:1–2; 54:1–8; 62:5), which is spoken of, correspondingly, as his bride (cf. Isa. 49:18).

Mark 2:19 refers to the Messiah as a bridegroom, and Ephesians 5:22–33 applies this image to the relationship between Christ and the church. Just as Phinehas, the ot prototypical zealot (Num. 25:1–13; cf. Ps. 106:28–31; Sir. 45:23–24; 1 Macc. 2:26, 54), was eager to keep Israel pure from foreign influences, especially intermarriage, which would subvert its devotion to the one true God, so also Paul was zealous to keep the church a pure virgin until the Parousia, when Christ will receive the church for himself.[5]

2. For I am jealous—The justification of his self-commendations lies in his zealous care lest they should fall from Christ, to whom he, as “the friend of the Bridegroom” (Jn 3:29), has espoused them; in order to lead them back from the false apostles to Christ, he is obliged to boast as an apostle of Christ, in a way which, but for the motive, would be “folly.”

godly jealousy—literally, “jealousy of God” (compare 2 Co 1:12, “godly sincerity,” literally, “sincerity of God”). “If I am immoderate, I am immoderate to God” [Bengel]. A jealousy which has God’s honor at heart (1 Ki 19:10).

I … espoused you—Paul uses a Greek term applied properly to the bridegroom, just as he ascribes to himself “jealousy,” a feeling properly belonging to the husband; so entirely does he identify himself with Christ.

present you as a chaste virgin to Christ—at His coming, when the heavenly marriage shall take place (Mt 25:6; Rev 19:7, 9). What Paul here says he desires to do, namely, “present” the Church as “a chaste virgin” to Christ, Christ Himself is said to do in the fuller sense. Whatever ministers do effectively, is really done by Christ (Eph 5:27–32). The espousals are going on now. He does not say “chaste virgins”; for not individual members, but the whole body of believers conjointly constitute the Bride.[6]

Ver. 2.—For. This gives the reason why they bore with him. It was due to a reciprocity of affection. I am jealous over you. The word implies both jealousy and zeal (ch. 7:7; 9:2). With a godly jealousy; literally, with a jealousy of God. My jealousy is not the poor earthly vice (Numb. 5:14; Ecclus. 9:1), but a heavenly zeal of love. For I have espoused you; rather, for I betrothed you; at your conversion. I acted as the paranymph, or “bridegroom’s friend” (John 3:29), in bringing you to Christ, the Bridegroom. The metaphor is found alike in the Old and New Testaments (Isa. 54:5; Ezek. 23; Hos. 2:19; Eph. 5:25–27). To one husband (Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:15). Our Lord used an analogous metaphor in the parable of the king’s wedding feast, the virgins, etc. That I may present you. The same word as in ch. 4:14. The conversion of the Church was its betrothal to Christ, brought about by St. Paul as the paranymph; and, in the same capacity, at the final marriage feast, he would present their Church as a pure bride to Christ at his coming (Rev. 19:7–9).[7]

2 ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς θεοῦ ζήλῳ, “for I am jealous for you, with a jealousy God inspires [in me].” A Pauline pastoral aside, this sentence points to what underlies Paul’s concern for this church as for all the churches (11:28); γάρ, “for,” gives the link. He is consumed with ζήλος, “jealousy” or “zeal,” a term drawn from the character of Yahweh as the sole husband of Israel (Isa 50:1–2; 54:1–8; 62:5; Ezek 16; Hos 1–3), who is spoken of, correspondingly, as his bride. The marriage image is persistent throughout both Testaments. Batey points out that the description of Christ as the bridegroom is often wrongly sentimentalized. One of its main emphases is the assertion of his lordship over the bride, the church.220

ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἀνδρὶ παρθένον ἁγνὴν παραστῆσαι τῷ Χριστῷ, “because I have promised you in marriage to a single husband, even Christ, to present you to him an undefiled virgin.” Paul’s role in this partnership between Christ and his bride is one of φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου, “friend of the bridegroom” (John 3:29; Heb. šôšĕbîn, “groomsman,” who acted as best man or escort; see Comment on 6:18 and earlier). As such, he is greatly interested in siding with Christ’s desire to have a pure bride, a virgo intacta (παρθένον ἁγνήν), and he expresses his feelings by a recourse to the OT imagery where Yahweh is said to be a “jealous God” (Exod 20:5), which is another side to his love. “All love involves jealousy, if its exclusive claim is set aside”; and Paul shares this attitude as a mark of his love for the Corinthians (see 6:14–7:4, a pledge to be renewed at 12:15). If this is the ruling idea in Paul’s verb ἡρμοσάμην, “I betrothed,” then it seems we should give extra weight to ἑνί, “one,” with ἀνδρί, “husband,” i.e., “one husband,” as much as to “pure virgin.” So ἑνὶ ἀνδρί, “single husband,” implies that the church is united to Christ and to no other alongside or in place of him. To desert him is to forsake the true Pauline gospel—as v 4 makes apparent—for “another Jesus,” a rival spouse.

The presentation (the verb παρίστημι, “offer, render,” looks on to the Parousia, as in 4:14) of the churchly bride to her future husband is also part of Paul’s task as an apostle, whether as a father figure (1 Cor 4:15; see Comment on 6:12; 7:4) or more probably as an escort. But Paul’s hopes are none too sanguine for the reason given in v 3.

On Paul’s role as betrothing the Corinthians as the bride of Christ [11:2], Harris classifies four sets of interpretation: (1) the friend of the groom or the groomsman, (2) the friend of the bride, (3) the father’s agent, and (4) the father of the bride.[8]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2003). 2 Corinthians (pp. 354–356). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, pp. 339–340). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 520). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Barnett, P. (1997). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 498–500). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (p. 204). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 316). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Corinthians (pp. 262–263). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Martin, R. P. (2014). 2 Corinthians. (R. P. Martin, L. A. Losie, & P. H. Davids, Eds.) (Second Edition, Vol. 40, pp. 517–518). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

June 18, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump on Tuesday formally launches what may be an uphill
battle to persuade voters to give him four more years in office, as he bets
a strong U.S. economy will outweigh voter concerns about his unorthodox
style and polarizing policies.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday Iran would not wage war against
any nation, while Russia told the United States it should drop what it
called provocative plans to deploy more troops to the Middle East.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday signaled the end of a controversial
extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the
most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese
rule in 1997.

The Christian hymn “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” has emerged as the
unlikely anthem of Hong Kong’s protests against an extradition bill that
have drawn millions of people onto the streets.

President Trump said on Tuesday he had spoken to Chinese President Xi
Jinping and that the two leaders’ teams would restart trade talks after a
long lull in order to prepare for a meeting at the G20 summit later this

The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this
year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by
utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a
report published on Tuesday.

Facebook plans to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra next year as part of
its wider efforts to expand beyond social networking into e-commerce and
global payments.

AP Top Stories

President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin
next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by China over a collision
involving the two nations’ boats in the South China Sea, with his spokesman
casting doubts on local fishermen’s accounts of the incident.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late
Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said.

Israel approved in principle on Sunday a new community named “Trump
Heights” after U.S. President Donald Trump on a contested frontier zone
with Syria – but construction looked likely to lag given Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s political stumbles.

“Wild” like a rock concert. That’s how President Donald Trump envisions his
campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday night. Trump says
his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. Opponents are
launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. The city is home to a
large Puerto Rican population and it’s also where a shooting at a gay
nightclub killed 49 people three years ago.

The U.S. government reported that China’s holdings of Treasuries fell to a
two-year low, a slump that’s coincided with an escalation in tensions
between the world’s two largest economies. China’s stockpile of U.S. notes,
bills and bonds declined by $7.5 billion in April to $1.11 trillion

The Vatican formally opened debate Monday on letting married men be
ordained as priests in remote parts of the Amazon where priests are so few
that Catholics can go weeks or months without attending a Mass.

Japan has protested what is says was an unauthorized Chinese maritime
survey within its economic waters near disputed East China Sea islands,
officials said Monday.

Russia has uncovered and thwarted attempts by the United States to carry
out cyber attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure, Russian
news agencies cited an unnamed security source as saying on Monday.

Turkey has ordered the arrest of 128 military personnel over suspected
links to the network accused by Ankara of orchestrating an attempted coup
in 2016, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.


Ecuador has agreed to allow US military planes to operate from an airport
on the Galapagos Islands, reports said. They will “fight drug trafficking”
under a deal with Ecuador’s government.

In countries such as Zambia, Senegal and Tunisia, everyday drugs like
paracetamol can cost up to 30 times more than in the UK and USA.

Children were used as suicide bombers in a triple attack in Nigeria on
Monday, Unicef has said. Two girls and a boy carried out the bombing
outside a video hall in Konduga village in north-eastern Borno State, the
UN children’s charity said.

The southern Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras), India’s sixth
largest, is in crisis after its four main water reservoirs ran completely
dry. The acute water shortage has forced the city to scramble for urgent
solutions, including drilling new boreholes. Residents have had to stand in
line for hours to get water from government tanks, and restaurants have
closed due to the lack of water.

Eight years on from the start of the war, Syria’s universities are
suffering from corruption, under-funding and a brain drain, a report has


Already known for articles advising youth how to hide an abortion from
their parents and how to engage in anal sex, Teen Vogue magazine has
published an op-ed advocating prostitution to its young readers. The author
of the article, Tlaleng Mofokeng, calls for prostitution to be
decriminalized and for children to “fund public campaigns to decrease

The U.S. Senate has voted to curtail the nearly unchecked ability of the
Internal Revenue Service to confiscate cash from someone, make a few
allegations but never file any charges and then keep the money.

Mid-Day Snapshot · June 18, 2019

The Foundation

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” —First Amendment

SCOTUS: First Amendment Contradictions?

Two cases of leftists either suppressing or compelling speech illustrate a big battle.

Harvard Demonstrates Leftist Double Standard

The university hypocritically rescinds Kyle Kashuv’s admission over past racist comments.

Conservatives Must Be Good Bureaucrats?

The movement needs “people who will reliably advance a conservative vision of government.”

Russian Cheating a Reason to Let New START Lapse

Time to drop the pretense that arms-control treaties are of any use in securing this country.

Immigration Bullet Points

Deportation kerfuffle, Mexico acts to quell illegal migration, Democrats undermine national sovereignty.

Cop Talks Suicidal Man Off Bridge With Hug

The officer calmed the man by offering his name and a hug. He saved a life.

Video: Why Break Up YouTube, Google, and Facebook

Bill Whittle finds three reasons to break up companies that use algorithms to suppress free speech.

Video: Who Cares About the National Debt?

The national debt is so massive that most Americans cannot comprehend it, much less solve it.

Today’s Opinion

Tony Perkins
For Bakers, a Measured Response at SCOTUS
Joe Bastardi
Leftist Agenda and Climate Change Linked by Indoctrination Tactics
Stephen Moore
Without Mining There Is No ‘Green Revolution’
Dennis Prager
Did Your Child Return From College a Better Person?
Hans von Spakovsky
Congress Has No Right to Trump Tax Returns — Justice Department Makes Right Decision

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Deportations, foreign aid, Iran response, free speech, Harvard mischief, and more.

Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from David French, Clarence Thomas, AOC, lhan Omar, and more.

Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

News – 6/18/2019

Sanhedrin Mints King David Coin to Usher in Davidic Dynasty
As the next stage in the Messianic process, the Sanhedrin of Israel released a new coin honoring King David in preparation for re-establishing the Davidic Dynasty. “Throughout history, governments issued coins to establish their sovereignty and to mark the passage of an era,” Persoff told Breaking Israel News. “We initially issued a coin honoring President Trump and his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. That was undoubtedly a major step in the geula (redemption) process so we issued a Trump-Cyrus coin to mark the entrance of the new era. But that was just a preparation for the Temple, the Davidic Dynasty, and the Messiah. We are symbolizing that upcoming era by minting this coin.”

Erdogan Expecting Delivery of Russian S-400s in July
Turkey’s ambitions to purchase the S-400 system has constrained relations between NATO members. The US is concerned that the sale could provide Russia with access to sensitive technical data if it is operated adjacently to US fighter jets. The country could be facing crippling economic sanctions if it carries out the exchange. “We discussed the S-400 subject with Russia. Indeed the S-400 issue is settled,” Erdogan said to journalists upon returning from Tajikistan. There, he met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “I think they will start to come in the first half of July,” Erdogan explained.

Permanent Rainbow Coming to Central Reykjavík
A temporary rainbow has been painted – and removed – for several years as part of the annual Reykjavík Pride celebrations in August. Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson, a substitute city councillor for the Reform Party and director of Reykjavík Pride, put forth the proposal, which was approved unanimously by the council.

Today marks the 30th consecutive day that the sun has been without spots. Images of the sun look like a big orange billiard ball–utterly blank. This is a sign of Solar Minimum, a phase of the solar cycle that brings extra cosmic rays, long-lasting holes in the sun’s atmosphere, and a possible surplus of noctilucent clouds.

Earth Is Moving Toward The Same Meteor Swarm That Scientists Believe Caused The Tunguska Explosion Of 1908
Over the next several weeks, our planet will have a close encounter with the Taurid meteor swarm. It will be the closest that we have been to the center of the meteor swarm since 1975, and we won’t have an encounter this close again until 2032. So for astronomers, this is a really big deal. And hopefully there will be no danger to Earth during this pass, but some scientists are absolutely convinced that the Tunguska explosion of 1908 which flattened 80 million trees in Russia was caused by an object from the Taurid meteor swarm. As you will see below, the last week of June will mark the point when we are the closest to the center of the meteor swarm, and so that will be when the risk is the greatest.

I Agree with This Evil Socialist Dictator
Hugo Chavez was one of the most evil socialist dictators ever. Nicolas Maduro. Maduro ran the country the exact same way. Things got much worse. The people eat from garbage dumps and are forced to drink sewage water. In an oil rich country, there is no gas for cars. I agree with something an evil socialist dictator said. “New Yorkers have to eat garbage too.” Well for once I agree with this evil socialist dictator. America’s inner cities- run 100% by Democrats- are rotting cesspools of misery. They are third world hellholes. What Maduro missed was that the reason those cities resemble Venezuela is because the policies in place are socialist- just like Venezuela.

Latest findings continue to provide clues into possible fraud of Ilhan Omar
During a recent ruling by the campaign finance board which resulted in a fine for Rep. Ilhan Omar, a new detail emerged that showed that Ilhan Omar filed a joint tax return with her current husband while being legally married to a man who is alleged to be her brother.

More troops and photos: America’s message to Tehran
At least 1,000 US troops are on the way to the Middle East after a request from US Central Command, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday. The US also released new photos showing Iranian involvement in the June 13 attack on two oil tankers. The photos and the request for troops are a message to Tehran and the region that the US is serious about defending its interests and proving Tehran’s involvement.

Nigeria: ‘Children used’ as suicide bombers in Borno attack
Children were used as suicide bombers in a triple attack in Nigeria on Monday, Unicef has said. Two girls and a boy carried out the bombing outside a video hall in Konduga village in north-eastern Borno State, the UN children’s charity said. Their ages are not yet known. Officials say at least 30 people were killed and 40 injured in the attack.

Chennai water crisis: City’s reservoirs run dry
The southern Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras) is in crisis after its four main water reservoirs ran completely dry. The acute water shortage has forced the city to scramble for urgent solutions, including drilling new boreholes. Residents have had to stand in line for hours to get water from government tanks, and restaurants have closed due to the lack of water.

Deadly earthquake hits China’s Sichuan province
At least 12 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in a strong earthquake which shook the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan. The 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Yibin in Changning County, south-east of the provincial capital Chengdu, late on Monday, officials said. It was followed by several powerful aftershocks.

Another Earthquake Shakes Ohio Near Lake Erie
Another earthquake shook Ohio over the weekend. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 1.5 magnitude quake happened near Willowick, Ohio, around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. CBS station WOIO reports that no damage has been reported at this time. Last week, a 4.0 magnitude quake hit near Cleveland. It was centered just off of the city, in Lake Erie.

Tech giants head down ‘dangerous’ censorship path
Social media giants have responded to mounting pressure from politicians and activist groups…refereeing content of the angry, polarizing and downright crazy public space those giants themselves created. These platforms are private entities, so they can officiate pretty much as they please. The trick now is for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the others to conduct their cleansing operations in ways that are transparent and sensible.

Fury as Ukraine okays new homes on site of Jewish massacre during the Holocaust
The city of Poltava in Eastern Ukraine has decided to sell the site of the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust to property developers to build homes, prompting an outcry from Ukraine’s Jewish community as well as government officials. The decision caused outcry from the Ukrainian Jewish community and was addressed by the Ministry of Culture in Kiev, but so far to no avail.

Hong Kong leader signals end to extradition bill, but refuses to step down
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday signaled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. In a closely watched press conference, Lam apologized for the turmoil but refused to say whether the bill would be withdrawn, only that it wouldn’t be re-introduced during her time in office if public fears persist.

Bihar: Heatwave Kills 47, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome Death Toll Rises to 80
Bihar is grappling with twin challenges as 80 children have died till Sunday due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Muzaffarpur district while at least 47 people have lost their lives due to heat stroke in several districts of Bihar on Saturday.

Israel blocks access to 1,700 pedophilia websites
Israel blocked access on Monday to about 1,700 websites displaying pedophile pictures and videos, the Justice Ministry said.

Potentially deadly valley fever is hitting California farmworkers hard, worrying researchers
Victor Gutierrez contracted valley fever, an illness caused by a soil-borne fungus, and he thinks he got it in the summer of 2011 when he worked in the nectarine orchards of California’s dry, dusty Central Valley.

Pentagon Sending 1,000 More Troops To Middle East As Tensions Between The United States And Iran Approaching Seemingly Unavoidable Flash Point
The United States appears to be moving ever closer to a military conflict with Iran after sending a massive show of force last month and now today we read that the Pentagon has requested an additional 1,000 troops be dispatched to the region.

Iran claims it uncovered spy network run by CIA
Iran claimed on Monday it had exposed a large cyber espionage network which was allegedly run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), adding that several US spies had been arrested in different countries as the result of this action, Reuters reports.

Children’s Cartoon ‘My Little Pony’ Joins The LGBTQ+ Movement With Introduction Of Lesbian Couple Aimed At Grooming Little Girls
Eight years of having the ‘first gay president‘ Barack Obama in the White House created a very powerful and highly-funded LGBTQ+P for Pedophile army who has decided that now is the time to take control, and why not? They have the financial backing of every major Fortune 500 corporation in America, Liberals control the media, control social media, and are able to effectively silence any and all who dare stand in their way? But guess what? I dare to stand in their way, hopefully you do as well.

Reasons Behind the Border Invasion and War with Venezuela Serve the Same People and Purpose
Americans have been told that they under an invasion through the latest round of massive illegal entries into the United States. However, many of the people are not her to wait on our tables and provide landscaping. Many of these people are here to destroy us and our country. Even James Comey has admitted to the fact that ISIS has a huge presence in the United States (February of 2016).

Earth Is Moving Toward The Same Meteor Swarm That Scientists Believe Caused The Tunguska Explosion Of 1908
Over the next several weeks, our planet will have a close encounter with the Taurid meteor swarm.  It will be the closest that we have been to the center of the meteor swarm since 1975, and we won’t have an encounter this close again until 2032.  So for astronomers, this is a really big deal.

German Green Party Calls For BAN on Industrial Farming to Fight Climate Change
The Green party in Germany has proposed a full ban on all industrial farming as part of efforts to fight climate change, according to reports.

Iran nuclear breakout closer as Trump deploys more troops
The Pentagon said Monday night that it will deploy another 1,000 troops to the Middle East to counter an increasingly emboldened Iran — an announcement that came after Tehran threatened that it is now just 10 days away from surpassing international limits on its enriched uranium stockpile and could soon ramp up nuclear production to near weapons-grade levels.

Trump claims ‘Obama had to know about’ efforts to undermine presidency
President Trump, in remarks broadcast Sunday, said former President Obama “certainly must have known about” what he characterized as high-level efforts by “FBI guys that were low-lifes” and other intelligence operatives to undermine his presidency.

Los Angeles Facing An Outbreak of…Bubonic Plague?
Los Angeles has gained quite the reputation of being a literal s— hole as of late. The city’s homeless problem has gotten so bad that there are interactive maps that allow residents and visitors to avoid stepping in mounds of human feces. City Hall is suffering from a rat infestation so severe that jokes drawing comparison to the local politicians have become rather boring.

Kmart bans ‘Jesus,’ ‘church,’ ‘Bible’ at photo kiosk – WND
Kmart has come under fire after certain religious words including “Jesus,” “church,” and “Bible” were banned at photo printing kiosks while the words “mosque,” “Islam,” and “Koran” were not.

100-Gallon ‘Agent Orange’ Drums Found at Bottom of Scenic Oregon Lake
No evidence of leaks had been found during a survey by a remote vehicle and divers, the Oregon DEQ said.

Daughter of famed sci-fi author reveals sexual horrors she suffered growing up in LGBT home
The daughter of famed science fiction author Marion Zimmer Bradley has written an autobiographical account revealing the horrors of growing up in a home raised by LGBT parents who repeatedly sexually abused her and her brothers.

Headlines – 6/18/2019

White House confirms Israeli officials not invited to Bahrain workshop

PM’s office says decision not to invite Israeli officials to Bahrain coordinated with Jerusalem

Israel will only send business delegation to Bahrain summit – report

Fatah calls off strike planned to protest US-led conference in Bahrain

Arab League head warns no Mideast peace deal without Palestinian state

Official New Zealand government website wipes Israel off the map

Gantz slams Netanyahu over Gaza cash infusion: ‘Deterrence has collapsed’

Qatari cash arrives in Gaza, but payouts to Palestinians delayed

PA advisor on Islam warns world ‘will pay’ unless Muslims save Al-Aqsa

Israel lays fourth water pipeline to Gaza, the largest yet

Ukraine city plans real estate project on top of Holocaust victims’ burial site

Romania hosts inaugural summit for global anti-Semitism envoys

Quebec bans new public servants from wearing kippot, other religious symbols

Egypt agrees to pay Israel $500 million to end gas dispute

Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi dead after collapsing in court

Hamas, Qatar mourn Morsi

Egyptian authorities refuse Mursi’s burial in family cemetery: son

Mohammed Morsi: A turbulent presidency cut short by the army

Lebanon arrests Syrian IS suspect accused of planning attacks

Report: Mortars land on Iraqi military base near Baghdad

Iran official hints that US could be behind ‘suspicious’ tanker attacks

U.N. officials: U.S. planning a ‘tactical assault’ in Iran

Pentagon approves sending 1,000 more troops to Mideast as US releases new photos of tanker attack linked to Iran

US to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East, citing ‘hostile behavior’ by Iran

After enrichment threat, US accuses Iran of ‘nuclear extortion’

Iran says it is responsible for Gulf security, calls on US forces to leave

Iran government advisor warns of ‘unavoidable war’ if sanctions not ‘abandoned’

Democrat senator says leaving nuclear deal was ‘foolish’

Netanyahu: World must reimpose sanctions if Iran breaches nuclear deal

Germany, UK warn Iran over uranium plans as EU urges caution

France’s Macron urges more dialogue with Iran, regrets announcements on enrichment

Iran says it will break nuclear deal’s uranium stockpile limit in 10 days

EU to await IAEA report before deciding on any Iran breach

Iranian official calls IAEA inspectors ‘roaches,’ says Tehran should quit NPT

US: Iran should still comply with nuke deal Trump derided

Iran: We will stop all export of oil in Gulf if we want

Iran Says if It Decides to Block Strait of Hormuz, It Will Do It ‘Publicly’

Pompeo to meet with U.S. commanders amid growing crisis with Iran

Pompeo rallies foreign leaders against Iran over alleged oil attacks

UK to send Royal Marines to Persian Gulf to protect British ships

Moscow warns against ‘baseless accusations’ over tanker attacks

Iran Says It Dismantled a CIA Cyber Spying Network, Brought to Arrest of Agents

Iran accuses Saudis of militaristic approach in Middle East

Following Houthis interference, Yemen food aid suspension set to start this week

19 killed by gunmen in Burkina Faso: ‘There’s no Christian anymore in this town’

Terrorist trio, including 2 females, kill at least 30 watching soccer match in Nigeria

China says suspected blast caused minor quake near N. Korea

Hong Kong Activist Leader Freed From Jail, Joins Mass Protests for Leader to Step Down

The Hong Kong Protests Could Be a Prelude to a Big Showdown Over Taiwan

State Department identifies 23 violations, ‘multiple security incidents’ concerning Clinton emails

Flashback: Ex-Clinton staffer once said he’d ‘go to Europe’ to confirm Trump oppo

Tech giants head down ‘dangerous’ censorship path

Accidental cat filter derails political press conference

Argentina and Uruguay reel after massive power outage

Blackout in South America raises questions about power grid

Cyberattacks Make Smart Grids Look Pretty Dumb

Israel enters World Bank partnership to boost cybersecurity in developing world

Israeli tech company says it can break into all iPhones ever made, some Androids

Comcast Launches Eye Control For The TV, An Aid For Physically Disabled Viewers

Airbus is ready for pilotless jets – are you?

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

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Changning, China

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits the Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Watubuku, Indonesia

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

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Scott Island Bank, Antarctica

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Sikabaluan, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Changning, China

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Changning, China

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

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

Another Earthquake Shakes Ohio Near Lake Erie

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 35,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Manam volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Bihar: Heatwave Kills 47, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome Death Toll Rises to 80

Is climate change to blame for a rise in ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria cases? Doctors say yes

Potentially deadly valley fever is hitting California farmworkers hard, worrying researchers

Clarence Thomas calls for abandoning ‘demonstrably erroneous’ precedent, touching off Roe v. Wade speculation

Supreme Court tosses ruling against bakers who refused cake for gay couple

Dad Gives Out Free Hugs at Pride Parade & Pleads With Parents to be Allies to LGBTQ Kids

Vatican formally opens debate on married priests in Amazon

Israel blocks access to 1,700 pedophilia websites

Alex Jones sent Sandy Hook victims files with child sex abuse images, say lawyers

Pakistani officials claim women trafficked into prostitution in China after marriage

Email sextortion scams are on the rise and they’re scary – here’s what to do if you get one

Beijing says US legalization of marijuana is a ‘threat to China’

In first states to legalize pot, teen use triggers concerns

Religious communities consider how much faith to put in marijuana

Man Runs Into Riverside Church And Allegedly Says He’s Going To Shoot Everybody

Gunman shot dead after opening fire on federal courthouse in downtown Dallas

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Bible Prophecy in the White House

Mark Taylor Says Those Who Call Him a ‘False Prophet’ Are Literally Endangering Their Lives

“Mexico’s Joel Osteen” Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

U.S. Missionary Accused of Killing More than 100 African Children – Anti Missionary Group Behind Charges

Vermont to Pay for Children’s Sex-Change Surgery under New Rule

Bernie Sanders Plagiarizes Stalin With ‘Economic Bill Of Rights’

Christian leaders react to Hong Kong protests: ‘Christ will stand by us’

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


In Last-Minute Move, Southern Baptist Convention Supports Anti-Christian Racial Identity Politics — The Federalist

The Southern Baptist Convention is being infiltrated by an ideology that is antithetical to the Christian religion, right under the noses of SBC members.

In Last-Minute Move, Southern Baptist Convention Supports Anti-Christian Racial Identity Politics

The largest Protestant denomination in North America, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), officially adopted “critical race theory” and “intersectionality” as “analytical tools” to be used in fostering racial reconciliation in the church. These key drivers of identity politics, however, are more likely to produce racial discord and strike at Christianity itself.

Before we get to why, let’s look at how it happened. The convention adopted “Resolution Nine—On Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality” during its annual meeting last week. The resolution instructs Southern Baptists that while these “tools of analysis” can be employed, it must be done in subordination to the Bible.

The Committee on Resolutions, chaired by Dr. Curtis Woods of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, took just more than an hour directly before the meeting’s scheduled dinner break to pass some 13 resolutions, including resolution nine. The committee spent the first 45 minutes on resolutions one through eight. Then the meeting’s chair and SBC president, Pastor J.D. Greear, called for a motion to pass resolutions nine through 13 as a package.

Because the meeting follows strict parliamentary rules, the chair’s suggestion could only be done without objection. Only resolutions 11 and 13 were left as a package; Nine was the first to be ferreted out for debate as a stand-alone resolution. By the time this was done, the time allotted for the Committee on Resolutions had expired. Greear then extended the debate time.

Angela Um presented resolution nine. As she approached the microphone, she said, “Oh boy…here we go,” before making the motion to adopt the resolution. She then directed the messengers to read the resolution in a pre-printed handout and moved that the resolution be adopted.

During debate, Pastor Tom Ascol offered a friendly amendment that stated that critical race theory and intersectionality are incompatible and indeed antithetical to Christianity. The amendment was rejected as “friendly” by Woods and defeated soundly when put to a vote on the floor. As he rejected the motion, Woods stated, “critical race theory and intersectionality are simply analytical tools…they are to be used as a tool, not as a worldview.”

Critical Race Theory Is Flat-Out Anti-Christian

But that’s simply not true. Critical race theory is essentially literary deconstruction applied to culture, politics, and economics. According to Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstructionism, it is impossible for people to understand one another. They can only come up with their own interpretations of what others say. Thus, Derrida encouraged his students to identify in any work of literature a “binary.” That is, a pair of characters or groups of characters that often are at odds.

Next, the reader is taught to identify the “privileged” individual or group and the “marginalized” individual or group in the story. Then, the reader “subverts” the binaries and assigns more virtue to the “marginalized,” then re-reads the story from that angle. Finally, the reader attempts to understand the story where the binaries are so subverted as to lose all meaning.

The most obvious example of this applied to politics and culture currently is critical feminist theory. The transsexual movement is the perfect example of the final step in the deconstruction of the terms “male” and “female.” Here these terms only mean what any given individual wants them to mean. They have absolutely no objective meaning.

If traditional Christianity is anything, however, it is utterly dependent on objective truth claims. It cannot survive if truth becomes merely based on one’s lived experience, or relativism. For critical theorists, the notion of truth doesn’t exist. What is true is what subverts.

If a certain way of looking at the world disrupts the status quo, then that viewpoint is true for the critical theorist. Despite that, we have the SBC, normally known for its strict adherence to the objective truth claims of the Bible, endorsing this approach as legitimate.

Southern Baptist Leaders Respond Strongly

In his latest edition of “The Briefing,” the influential Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Theological Seminary, said of the resolution:

Ideas, as we know, do have consequences…the main consequence of Critical Race Theory is Identity Politics. And Identity Politics can only rightly be described as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have to see Identity Politics…as nothing less that devastating to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

According to Pastor Tom Buck (who spoke against the resolution during debate), Mohler was breaking what Southern Baptists refer to as the 11th Commandment. It goes something like, “Thou shalt not publicly criticize a fellow Southern Baptist brother in good standing with the convention.” According to Buck, for Mohler to openly criticize one of his own faculty members should cause all members of the SBC to sit up and take notice.

Buck also opined that the whole proceeding was “very weird” for a normal meeting of the SBC. He had never before seen controversial resolutions lumped together like this at the eleventh hour of a committee report. Buck says that it was, at the very least, a gross mismanagement of the meeting’s time.

Resolution nine, as it was presented to the meeting, was a heavily edited version of a resolution originally presented to the committee by Pastor Stephen Feinstein of Sovereign Way Christian Church. His original resolution included provisions echoing Ascol’s “friendly” amendment. In the original resolution, the language condemns critical race theory and intersectionality in no uncertain terms:

critical race theory and intersectionality are founded upon unbiblical presuppositions descended from Marxist theories and categories, and therefore are inherently opposed to the Scriptures as the true center of Christian union…both critical race theory and intersectionality as ideologies have infiltrated some Southern Baptist churches and institutions—institutions funded by the Cooperative Program…critical race theory upholds postmodern relativistic understandings of truth and…divides humanity into groups of oppressors and oppressed, and is used to encourage biblical, transcendental truth claims to be considered suspect when communicated from groups labeled as oppressors.

Clearly, all such condemnatory language was struck, and the “analytical tools” were held up and codified as “useful” by the committee so long as they were subordinate to the Bible. Put simply, Feinstein’s original resolution—condemning these philosophies—was transformed by the committee to endorse them. Note that Feinstein is, like Mohler, breaking the SBC’s “11th Commandment.”

What On Earth Is Going on with These Southern Baptists?

Given all of this, there are several possibilities. First, the majority of the meeting might simply be ignorant of the implications of the philosophies grounding critical race theory and intersectionality. Secondly, it could be that while the messengers are ignorant, they are being taken advantage of by a small (but vocal) minority in the convention. Third, the SBC, like so many denominations in North America, could be simply succumbing to the cultural zeitgeist.

In my opinion, Southern Baptists should focus on this second possible explanation. As I’ve maintained in previous articles on this subject, an essential strategy of critical theory is deception. It is the proverb of the “frog in the kettle” applied practically to affect change.

Let me hasten to add that there is no way a person can know with certitude that such a deception is happening in the SBC. However, all Southern Baptists should at least be aware that this is a stratagem of the philosophy of critical theory. Essentially, you woo the masses with a message of “compassion for the oppressed” all while using “the oppressed” to forward your political agenda. As Mohler put it, “embedded in both of those analytical tools (critical theory and intersectionality) is a praxis, that is a political extension.”

This was thematic of the Black Liberation theologian James Cone. “By all means necessary” is the thesis of Liberation Theology, later to be defined as “critical theory.” Cone and his followers not only endorsed deception in order to achieve their political goals, but violence as well. Do not bother convincing your opponents, simply deceive them.

Resolution nine smacks of the kind of deceit founded in Cone’s version of Liberation Theology. Stripped of any language that clearly condemns critical theory, the motion, while appearing to subordinate this philosophy to the Bible, in fact, codifies it as a legitimate means by which race relations should be addressed among members of the SBC.

Pastor Buck put it well in my interview with him following the SBC meeting:

We’re already employing the concepts of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality…people are not aware of it…and now we voted in a resolution that says it’s okay. I think they [members of the SBC] need to wake up. I think they need to educate themselves on what critical race theory and intersectionality is…they need to realize that the messengers voted for something that we likely don’t understand and we need to understand the gravity of it.

The Southern Baptist Convention is being infiltrated by an ideology that is antithetical to the Christian religion. Sadly, that infiltration is happening right under the noses of SBC members. If they care about their part of the church and want it to continue, Southern Baptists need to investigate these matters for themselves, understand the implications, then work to mount an informed opposition to this activism in their church body.

Matthew Garnett is the husband of Jennifer, the father of two children, a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, truck driver, and host of the “In Layman’s Terms” broadcast.

via In Last-Minute Move, Southern Baptist Convention Supports Anti-Christian Racial Identity Politics — The Federalist

Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens And Bring Back Hymnals — The Federalist

Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens And Bring Back Hymnals

Christians need to understand that relying on screens and other technology is not leading to better worship, it’s ruining it.

A couple of decades ago, churches split in a grand debate over worship. Contentious arguments raged over every aspect of worship style, components, decorum, and practically everything else. Every church seemed to be choosing between opposites—organ or praise band, historic liturgy or rock liturgies, contemporary songs or historic hymns. The fallout was ugly. Assemblies erupted in dissonance and members on the losing side transferred out.

Years later, the voices have calmed and the dust has settled. Some pastors declared a sort of “separate peace” by establishing rival worship services—one traditional, one modern. Others went the “blended worship” route. While this included enough elements from both styles to at least keep the group together, everyone was left a little dissatisfied. Mixing pipe organs with electric guitars tends to do that.

Perhaps we no longer hear about the worship debate because everyone is simply tired of fighting. Positions have calcified. No matter how well-intentioned, few minds are being changed. Bringing up the subject only tears open wounds that haven’t quite healed.

More likely, the reason you don’t hear much about the worship wars is that one side has won. It may not be a total victory, but one side is clearly winning while the other is cowering in a back pew hoping a pack of millennials doesn’t make them wave their arms in the air and sing whatever Chris Tomlin or Bethel Music wrote that morning.

Informality at Church Is Increasing

Published in 2015, The National Congregations Study undertaken by researchers at Duke University surveyed nearly 4,000 congregations across the Christian spectrum. It found that traditional aspects of worship were in decline. Between 1998 and 2012, congregations that used choirs in worship decreased from 54 to 45 percent; those using organs dropped from 53 to 42 percent. Use of drums increased from 20 percent to 34 percent of congregations between 1998 and 2012.

While churches printing bulletins fell from 72 to 62 percent, the use of projected images rose by 23 percent. Informality in worship is way up (shouting “Amen,” wearing shorts to church) and formality is way down (calling the minister “Pastor So and So,” dressing up for services).

The survey didn’t come right out and say it, but informal worship with contemporary Christian music (CCM) seems to have won the worship war. All the megachurches are doing it. It’s hard to find many churches that haven’t bowed at least one knee to the modern, informal trend.

For those who attend their church’s traditional service, the demographic trends are not encouraging. Ushers for these services might as well require an AARP card for entry. At my church, the number of kiddos who trotted forward for the children’s sermon last Sunday was zero. It won’t be long until “old-timey” Protestants are searching out liturgical worship services like Catholics have to search out a Latin Mass.

While the larger worship war seems to be over, there might still be time to save at least one element of the traditional service: the hymnals.

Hymnals Are Disappearing

Hymnals are a wonderful legacy of Western Christianity. They’ve been housed in pew racks in church sanctuaries for centuries. Since they first appeared in the United States during the 1830s, hymnals have been indispensable for worship—objects of treasure both in the sanctuary and in households. In my denomination, many received engraved hymnals as confirmation presents.

Churchgoers used to proudly carry their own hymnals to church. Nobody’s doing that anymore. In fact, more and more worshipers aren’t even looking at hymnals in church. Instead, their gaze is fixed to the front wall and a screen attached to it.

On this screen, everything from lyrics, to announcements, to YouTube videos is displayed. Churches in all traditions, meeting in all manner of worship spaces, are fastening large white canvases to their chancel walls and leaving the hymn books to molder in the pew racks.

A report from 2004 indicated that almost 60 percent of churches used some form of projector technology at last once a year. Another study from 2011 estimated that two-thirds of Protestant churches employed a large-screen projection system. In a last-gasp effort, here’s the case for bringing back hymnals and ditching those awful screens.

Screens Don’t Belong In Church

To the first point: they’re horrifically ugly. In churches that don’t look like churches, the sort that instinctively prompt you to look for basketball nets and a scoreboard, they almost fit. Screens feel at home among the accouterments of contemporary worship that also dominate the space—guitars, mics, drum kits, keyboards, and amps—and behind that, typically giant luminescent slabs on the wall.

In a traditional sanctuary, on the other hand, with subdued natural lighting, pews, and steps leading to a chancel, the screens jump out and slap your aesthetic sensibilities. Housed next to time-honored trappings of ecclesiastical tradition like an altar, a pulpit, and a lectern, screens just don’t fit.

So why are they there? Some reasons are practical. Screens elevate worshipers’ heads out of hymnals and up toward the front, which amplifies the volume during the songs. Screens also free worshipers’ hands. Parishioners with weak eyes can often see words on a big screen better than words in a hymnal. For visitors or the unchurched—“seekers,” as they’re often called—screens remove the learning curve required to read music.

Projector Screens Reflect Our Tech-Obsessed Culture

In our visual culture, screens possess another, less practical appeal. The control screens have over our daily life is staggering. We spend countless hours at the office staring at a computer screen then come home to watch another big, flat screen for our evening’s entertainment. Between tablets, laptops, smartphones, and e-readers, there’s no getting away from the bits and bytes, the ones and zeros. With all this, why not worship screens in church too?

In a culture that treasures the new, convenient, and informal, and plants a sloppy wet kiss on every new tech toy, the appeal of worship screens is easily explained. The downside is that as we eliminate hymnals from the worship life of the church, we lose everything they contain and represent.

It becomes difficult to teach new songs on a worship screen, primarily because there are no notes. Screens only work when worshipers already know the melodies. Worship “playlists” at contemporary services are often meager because the same songs tend to be sung over and over.

If you’re not already familiar with the tune, you cannot sing from a screen. There are no instructions on how many pitches you must devote to each syllable. In cases like these, most just end up keeping their mouths shut. This also limits the complexity of the songs’ music and words, because it’s easier to learn simpler songs when new ones are introduced without sheet music.

Hymnals Provide Deep, Theologically Rich Worship

As hymnals fade, theology also suffers. The rich repository of religious wisdom contained in hymns will be lost. The old-fashioned language of hymns may strike some as unusual, but their text teaches the Christian faith far better than most of the praise choruses that dominate contemporary services. Old hymns were carefully crafted with theology at the forefront. Traditional hymns present doctrine clearly and beautifully convey the gospel story of saving grace.

On a larger scale, how do worship screens affect worship? Are they like other technology—truly neutral, beneficial when used well and deleterious when ill applied? We still have the same worship, they say. We simply added the screens! Instead of people looking down at their books, now they’re looking up at the wall—everything else is exactly the same!

Maybe so. But probably not. We may not want screens to change how we worship, but they certainly will. They definitely change the sermon-receiving “experience.” Images on the screen constantly interrupt attention. They do change the view, and they do put the technology front and center, rendering it visible where it used to merely exist subtly in the background.

While singing in a modern service, it’s hard not to start thinking about things other than the music. Will the slide change at the right time? Will the correct slide come up next? “Oh, look, there’s a typo!” It’s hard not to see how technology distracts from the meaning of the words we sing.

Screens represent a move away from permanence to the transitory. The words contained in a hymnal were printed in a book that was published with care. Inked on the paper accompanied by notes and staffs, hymnals were real. The words on the screens may look like the words in the book, but they lack substance. They’ll disappear the moment the switch is flipped off.

To Save Worship, We Must Rediscover Hymnals

If circumstances don’t change, worship screens will eventually kill hymnals—although it may be a slow, painful death. Long after Gutenberg, books were still being hand-copied or printed from woodblocks. In his book “The Shallows” Nicholas Carr points out, “The old technologies lose their economic and cultural force. . . . It’s the new technologies that govern production and consumption, that guide people’s behavior and shape their perceptions.” We traditionalists may take the hymnal with us to the grave, while economic forces will push publishing companies away from producing new hymnals and revising old ones.

Does any of this matter? Will the warnings of traditionalists bring any worship screens down from the chancel walls or lead congregations to rethink installing them in the first place?

Maybe the whole thing is moot. How long before implanted hardware in our brains will allow us to download hymns and project them directly onto our retinas? Voila! No more screens.

Those who wish to see the Christian faith prosper, however, should consider the long-term effects that replacing hymnals with screens will have on worship and faith itself. What technology giveth, technology taketh away. The musical and theological repertoire of the church will be constricted. Even marginally unfamiliar hymns will slide out of the public consciousness, forgotten forever—and worship will be impoverished for it.


Tom Raabe a writer and editor living in Tempe, Arizona.

Photo Steven Bornholtz / Wikimedia

via Why Churches Should Ditch The Projector Screens And Bring Back Hymnals — The Federalist

RenewAmerica Newsletter for June 18, 2019

June 17, 2019
The RussiaGate hoax was a failed con job
HUMAN EVENTS — George C. Parker was a con man who specialized in selling unwary immigrants the Brooklyn Bridge. His ruse was discovered when the police had to arrest a few poor souls who set up toll booths on the access ramp. The resulting expression, “I have a bridge to sell you,” is a gibe at the victims of dumb frauds…. (more)

June 17, 2019
DAILY CALLER — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended recent comments President Donald Trump made suggesting his campaign would listen to opposition research from foreign sources. “I’ve nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy. I think is the third time you asked me about a Washington piece of silliness and chase down a story that is inconsistent of what I’ve seen the president do every single day,” Pompeo said Sunday morning during an interview with “Fox New Sunday” host Chris Wallace…. (more)

June 17, 2019

THE HILL — If you read the newspapers, tuned into the cable TV pundits or received an email from one of the Democrats running for president, you’d swear Donald Trump was back to his treasonous ways…. (more)

June 17, 2019
Says there’s ‘little evidence’ Trump can make ‘reality-based decisions’
WORLDNETDAILY — Psychiatrist Bandy Lee, a Yale faculty member who repeatedly and unashamedly has announced a psychiatric diagnosis for President Donald Trump even though she’s never met him, and who previously has condemned him as unstable, dangerous and in need of being locked up, is at it again…. (more)

June 17, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — What do you get when you take Dean Cain, an actor famous for playing Superman on TV, and Kristy Swanson, the actress who was the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and give them the chance to play a couple of adulterous, wildly partisan FBI agents working at the highest levels of the Mueller Russiagate probe?… (more)

June 17, 2019
DAILY CALLER — USA Powerlifting is facing a discrimination complaint in Minnesota over its transgender athlete policy after it said JayCee Cooper, a biological man, couldn’t compete in women’s events. The federation’s president told The Daily Caller it’s prepared to go to court to keep the policy in place, and framed the policy as protecting the federal rights of women…. (more)

June 17, 2019

June 16, 2019
DAILIY SIGNAL — Shouldn’t Environmental Protection Agency regulations do more good than harm? The agency hasn’t always thought so. In 2012, under President Barack Obama, the EPA finalized a rule to reduce emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants…. (more)

June 16, 2019

WASHINGTON TIMES — Pentagon officials are drafting a slew of “contingency plans” for the U.S. and its Middle East allies, should growing tensions between Washington and Iran escalate in the region, says acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan…. (more)

June 16, 2019
DAILIY SIGNAL — Hispanics and pro-life advocacy go together naturally, in no small part because of Hispanics’ Christian faith. Studies have shown that most Hispanics are religiously observant, with about 83% of them affirming a religious affiliation. More important than statistics, however, and more indicative of their views on the issue of abortion, is the emotion with which they explain their culture and views on life…. (more)

June 16, 2019
Halts city efforts to discriminate against popular restaurants based on religion
WORLDNETDAILY — The governor of Texas has signed into law a bill that is aimed at preventing cities from discriminating against the popular Chick-fil-A restaurant chain because of claims over the owner’s faith. Gov. Greg Abbott this week signed the legislation that sponsors explain upholds religious freedom…. (more)

June 16, 2019
Bill Federer recounts influence of historical circumstances that went far beyond England
BILL FEDERER — England was invaded by “Dane” Vikings from Scandinavia who destroyed churches, libraries and defeated all opposition except for 23-year-old King Alfred. Forced into the swampy, tidal marshes of Somerset, Alfred, King of the Anglos and Saxons, began a resistance movement in 878 A.D…. (more)

June 14, 2019
Franklin Graham: ‘Everyone celebrated – well, almost everyone’
WORLDNETDAILY — While Franklin Graham, chief of the worldwide Samaritan’s Purse Christian ministry, offered congratulations to members of an Alabama football team who chose to be baptized together, someone in the small community of Chatom was unhappy…. (more)

June 13, 2019

DON FOTHERINGHAM — During the 2019 session of the Utah State Legislature, a powerful lobby known as the “Convention of States Action” (COS) succeeded in getting the Republican leadership to maneuver SJR-9 through the Utah Legislature. SJR-9 is COS’s application for Congress to call a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution…. (more)

June 13, 2019
SIENA HOEFLING — Americans often think they can do nothing about abortion, in the belief that “Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.” This presumption is based on a misunderstanding of the judiciary’s role in our constitutional republic. Much of that misunderstanding stems from a revisionist reading of the 1803 case Marbury v. Madison…. (more)

June 13, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — Now that the dust has settled from the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, it’s interesting to reflect on a piece of unfinished business related to our remembrance of that historic event…. (more)

June 13, 2019
REV. MARK H. CREECH — Many years ago, the late Dr. Billy Graham was on an airplane. He was sitting behind a drunken man who was flirting with the flight attendants, using profanity and making a fool of himself. When someone pointed out to him that Billy Graham was seated directly behind him, the man got up, turned around, stuck out his hand, and said: “Put her there, Dr. Graham. I’m so glad to meet you. I’m one of your converts.”… (more)

June 13, 2019
NEWSMAX — Sixty-one percent of voters say Congress should not begin the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, a new Quinnipiac University poll reveals. The poll showed 33% favored the start of impeachment proceedings. Here is how the poll breaks down:… (more)

June 13, 2019
NEWSMAX — A prominent Republican critic of President Donald Trump finds himself more than 15 points down to his GOP challenger in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. The results of the Practical Political Consultants poll, as reported by MIRS, show that Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., has 33% support in a primary battle with State Rep. James Lower – – who garnered 49% support in the poll…. (more)

June 13, 2019
NEWSMAX — The Department of Justice wants to interview two CIA officers in its “Spygate” probe, a sign of Attorney General William Barr’s interest in finding out more about the sources the agency relied on to assess Russia’s goals in interfering in the 2016 presidential election, The New York Times reports…. (more)

June 13, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he has seen the scope memo for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. The House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican slipped the news in at the end of an interview Wednesday evening with Fox News host Sean Hannity…. (more)

June 13, 2019
BYRON YORK — Is there any doubt that many Democrats agree with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she says she wants to see President Trump “in prison”? After the Mueller report, House Democrats seem to believe almost unanimously that the president is guilty of obstruction of justice. Their increasingly heated internal debate is whether to impeach Trump now or press for his incarceration after they defeat him next year…. (more)

June 13, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Bill Maher went after former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saying she committed obstruction of justice in destroying evidence related to her email scandal. “I don’t have a lot of faith because, you know, we don’t live in the era of news division as loss leaders like we used to. The news division didn’t have to make a profit,” Maher said Monday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo in response to a question about how the media should police the election…. (more)

June 13, 2019

WORLDNETDAILY — It was Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam who recently suggested infanticide was a reasonable option these days. His words, in a radio interview: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then, a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”… (more)