"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
Peace is not merely that state of calmness and ease which we seek in desperate times. It is ultimately the condition that can exist between God and man because of the redeeming work of Christ.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, a barrier was erected between the Creator and His creation, extinguishing any hope of relationship between the two. That barrier is called sin. It destroyed the harmony that had previously existed between God and man, and only a miracle could restore it (Isaiah 59:2).
The miracle came about two thousand years ago on a hill just outside Jerusalem. Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the most horrific death any man has ever suffered. Jesus didn’t merely die; He hung on the cross with the weight of all sin—past, present, and future—on His back. The full penalty for my transgression and yours was levied against Him that day. At the moment of Christ’s death, the massive temple veil dividing the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom, signifying reconciliation between man and God (2 Corinthians 5:18–19). Peace with God was now possible again.
Though an instrument of death and brutality, the cross stands as an eternal symbol of peace. But it is not until we bow at the pierced feet of Jesus and offer our lives to Him as a living sacrifice that true peace becomes a present reality. What greater peace could there be than to know that you have perfect harmony with God. This is His precious gift to you.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your peace that came to me by the way of the Cross. Thank You for paying the price for this priceless gift.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Constantine was the first Roman emperor to take a serious interest in Christianity. During his rule, much was done to ease persecution against the church and to advance the gospel message.
D. Douglas noted, “In a dream … Constantine saw a vision of a monogram composed of the first two Greek letters of the name of ‘Christ.’ The next day he had his soldiers inscribe that monogram on their shields and marched into battle.” The victory they gained was a political and military victory as well as a victory for Christianity over heathenism.
Constantine’s religious sentiments resulted in laws favoring Christianity. In a.d. 325, he organized the first ecumenical council, the Council of Nicaea, which was devoted to settling doctrinal disputes and unifying the church. One of the most important decisions reached was a ban against Arianism, a heresy that denied Christ is coeternal with the Father.
But even though Constantine took a bold step toward Christianity, compromise diluted most of his efforts. Pagan worship continued. Constantine maintained his pagan title “Pontifex Maximus.” He contended for the faith but invited compromise into his heart.
What banner waves above your heart? One of total commitment or one of compromise?
Dear God, I pull down the banners of self-will, self-sufficiency, and compromise that reign in my life. I lift the banner of total commitment to You.
 Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 249). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
For the past several days, we have been studying about temptation. As believers, we know that the victory is ours, and we are no longer under the powerful rule of sin. Jesus annihilated the final hold of sin over mankind. However, as we have said before, sin is a powerful enemy, and we must make a conscious decision to turn away from it and obey God.
If we fail to do this, we give the enemy room to build his power base of sin and deception in our lives. And while we may not be owned by the devil because of Christ’s finished work on the cross, he can surely darken our lives and leave us feeling defeated and worthless.
You may ask, “How can I possibly live a victorious life with so many temptations facing me each day?” The apostle Paul offered this insight: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
God always provides a way of escape from sin. If you fall, God does not want you to give up. Instead, you are to ask Him to forgive you and then continue in your walk with Him. This is the goodness of God’s love for you: He never stops loving you.
Lord, I know that there is no temptation I experience that is not common to man. Thank You that You have provided a way for me to escape. Help me to take it.
ATLANTA, GA—CNN host Brian Stelter blamed President Trump for the network’s falling ratings Sunday, accusing the president of killing millions upon millions of people that otherwise might have tuned into CNN.
“If Trump weren’t killing off most of America by the millions, we’d still have a pretty solid viewer base,” Stelter bellowed at the three viewers watching Reliable Sources. “Airports, lobbies, waiting rooms, and gas station pumps are now playing CNN to absolutely no one, since Trump has killed them all.”
A guest on Stelter’s show suggested that Trump has killed more people than Hitler, Mao, and Stalin put together, and Stelter had to agree. “I’d probably put his death count at somewhere near 7.7 billion,” he said after doing some simple math on one of those giant novelty calculators he keeps handy for such an occasion. “We can’t overstate the damage this president has done to this once-great news station.”
After the segment blaming Trump for the deaths of millions and CNN’s subsequent decline, the station continued to air 24/7 Trump coverage, which mostly consisted of the hosts screaming at the sky.
Christian human rights campaigner Benedict Rogers has condemned the Hong Kong police’s increasing heavy handedness after a 12-year-old was reportedly among the dozens of protesters detained during a day of violent clashes on Sunday.
For the first time since the pro-democracy protests began in June, the police deployed water cannon and fired a live shot to clear the streets.
The protests began in the district of Tsuen Wan before moving across to Tsim Sha Tsui, with 36 people arrested by the end of the day.
Mr Rogers, East Asia Team for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, strongly criticised the police handling of the protests.
“When a 12 year old kid is arrested and a police officer shoots a gun you know a rubicon has been crossed,” he said.
“Hong Kong is the new frontline in the battle for freedom against tyranny and repression and every freedom-loving person and government must stand with the Hong Kong people.”
He said that members of the Hong Kong government needed to “examine their consciences” in light of the escalating violence and asked that people pray for the city.
The protests have been going on for the last 12 weeks, having been ignited by an extradition bill that would see some suspects sent to mainland China for trial. They have since grown to reflect the fears of Hong Kongers more generally concerning democracy, human rights and police brutality in the former British colony.
A key demand of the protesters is that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam completely withdraws the bill, but there are others. They want Lam’s resignation and a change in the official rhetoric branding the protests as “riots”, as well as the unconditional release of arrested protesters.
An additional demand for an independent inquiry into the police response has been backed by Christian leaders.
On Sunday, Lam posted a message in Facebook suggesting the creation of a “dialogue platform” between the Hong Kong government and protesters to find a way forward.
“I do not expect dialogue to easily resolve the deadlock, stop demonstrations, or to provide solutions to problems,” she said.
“But continuing to fight is not the way out.”
She continued: “I know that in the current predicament, there is deep social resentment, and some citizens are very dissatisfied, or even angry with the government’s failure to fully meet the ‘five demands’.
“There is growing resentment among people of different political views and citizens of different positions, and even hatred may grow.”
A popular Intersectional celebrity who regularly preaches alongside men like John MacArthur recently endorsed a leader in what is perhaps the most radical sub-Christian and hyper-charismatic cult in America.
Jackie Hill Perry, a militant social justice warrior and subversive LGBTQ speaker, fully embraced Bethel Church’s Jen Johnson over the weekend. Perry, who is heavily promoted by Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, and Ligon Duncan through The Gospel Coalition, upon which they serve on its leadership council, teaches that Same-Sex Attraction is not a sin unless acted upon (Jesus would disagree). Her engagement with Jen Johnson came upon the heels of a story this weekend, Bethel Church Goes Gay, in which (like Jackie Hill Perry) they have stated that God doesn’t necessarily desire to sanctify homosexuals.
WHO IS JENN JOHNSON?
Jenn Johnson is the daughter-in-law of Bethel Church lead guru and New Apostolic Reformation Apostle, Bill Johnson. This is the church that drops chicken feathers from the rafters (congregants believed they were from angels) and glitter from ventilation systems, and credits it to the Holy Spirit, calling it a ‘glory cloud.’ It is not an exaggeration to say that Bethel Church is the most extreme hyper-charismatic church of prominence in the United States, with weekly claims of absurdity.
But aside from being a leader at Bethel Church, Jenn Johnson is herself downright crazy, if not demonic.
This famous clip shows Jenn Johnson preaching that the Holy Spirit is “blue” and is like a “sneaky genie.”
She is – to use a technical and theological term – a nutjob.
WHO IS JACKIE HILL PERRY?
Jackie Hill Perry claims to be a “former lesbian” who is now married to a man, but she still has homosexual desires. In fact, at the core of Perry’s main message is the assertion that God does not (or probably will not) change the hearts of homosexuals when he saves them. Perry’s position on sodomy and sanctification is identical to that held by those of the controversial pro-LGBTQ+ Revoice Conference.
If twenty women were in a room with Jackie Hill Perry and were asked which one was probably a lesbian, most would point quickly to Perry, who still carries herself with the mannerisms of one not yet ‘freed indeed’ by the Holy Spirit.
WHY IS PERRY PROMOTED BY MOHLER, DEVER, DUNCAN, THE GOSPEL COALITION ET AL?
Jackie Hill Perry is an Intersectional goldmine. She is an ethnic minority. She is a “sexual minority.” She positions herself as a victim minority (being mistreated by heterosexuals and Caucasians in the church).
Any organization that is sold-out to Critical Race Theory would be eager to have Jackie Hill Perry as what Thomas Sowell calls a “mascot.” It doesn’t matter if Perry has little more to offer than being a mannish pseudo-lesbian with the ability to rhyme.
Perry, on the outside, has everything that the Evangelical Intelligentsia – who is convinced of their own White Privilege – want to promote in order to signal their virtue.
Perry is, for lack of a better word, a useful tool for the ‘woke,’ despite having nothing substantive to offer theologically.
The white men who run The Gospel Coalition have put Perry forward like a slave on their auction block, trading her from one platform to another because of her useful demographic traits.
In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law and the Constitution.
We all gasped in shock and horror when we learned last year about China’s dystopian and chilling social credit system that looked and sounded a whole lot like the George Orwell novel ‘1984‘. But guess what? A very similar system is rising up here in America, not run by our government like the Chinese system is, but created by each and every one of us who download apps and use the “like” and commenting features. All this activity has created a system that is beginning to rate people and allow them access to the system, or to lock them out of it.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:16-18 (KJV)
Social media use has created a paradigm shift in our culture on a par with the invention of the automobile and the electric light bulb, that’s how much change has been wrought seemingly overnight. In the movie ‘The Matrix‘, we learn to our astonishment that Neo and all the rest of mankind are actually human batteries living in a pod, generating life for ‘the system’. Isn’t that what we are all doing on social media as well?
We post the everyday moments of our lives which, at the minute we upload them, become the property of the corporation we just gave them to. Even our social media profiles are not our own, evidenced by the fact that they can only be deactivated but never deleted. And that very system which we the people work to build every single day is now beginning to turn on us and decide who is allowed access and who is not. Soulless corporations are making billions and billions from our profiles, all that money gives them power, and all that power is now telling us how we will live.
Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system
FROM FAST COMPANY: Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.
Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist. China’s social credit system has been characterized in one pithy tweet as “authoritarianism, gamified.”
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.
Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.
The New York State Department of Financial Services announced earlier this year that life insurance companies can base premiums on what they find in your social media posts. That Instagram pic showing you teasing a grizzly bear at Yellowstone with a martini in one hand, a bucket of cheese fries in the other, and a cigarette in your mouth, could cost you. On the other hand, a Facebook post showing you doing yoga might save you money. (Insurance companies have to demonstrate that social media evidence points to risk, and not be based on discrimination of any kind—they can’t use social posts to alter premiums based on race or disability, for example.)
The use of social media is an extension of the lifestyle questions typically asked when applying for life insurance, such as questions about whether you engage in rock climbing or other adventure sports. Saying “no,” but then posting pictures of yourself free-soloing El Capitan, could count as a “yes.”
You Will Wish You Watched This Before You Started Using Social Media
A company called PatronScan sells three products—kiosk, desktop, and handheld systems—designed to help bar and restaurant owners manage customers. PatronScan is a subsidiary of the Canadian software company Servall Biometrics, and its products are now on sale in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
PatronScan helps spot fake IDs—and troublemakers. When customers arrive at a PatronScan-using bar, their ID is scanned. The company maintains a list of objectionable customers designed to protect venues from people previously removed for “fighting, sexual assault, drugs, theft, and other bad behavior,” according to its website. A “public” list is shared among all PatronScan customers. So someone who’s banned by one bar in the U.S. is potentially banned by all the bars in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada that use the PatronScan system for up to a year. (PatronScan Australia keeps a separate system.)
Judgment about what kind of behavior qualifies for inclusion on a PatronScan list is up to the bar owners and managers. Individual bar owners can ignore the ban, if they like. Data on non-offending customers is deleted in 90 days or less. Also: PatronScan enables bars to keep a “private” list that is not shared with other bars, but on which bad customers can be kept for up to five years. PatronScan does have an “appeals” process, but it’s up to the company to grant or deny those appeals.
UBER AND AIRBNB
Thanks to the sharing economy, the options for travel have been extended far beyond taxis and hotels. Uber and Airbnb are leaders in providing transportation and accommodation for travelers. But there are many similar ride-sharing and peer-to-peer accommodations companies providing similar services.
Airbnb—a major provider of travel accommodation and tourist activities—bragged in March that it now has more than 6 million listings in its system. That’s why a ban from Airbnb can limit travel options.
Airbnb can disable your account for life for any reason it chooses, and it reserves the right to not tell you the reason. The company’s canned message includes the assertion that “This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account.” The ban can be based on something the host privately tells Airbnb about something they believe you did while staying at their property. Airbnb’s competitors have similar policies.
It’s now easy to get banned by Uber, too. Whenever you get out of the car after an Uber ride, the app invites you to rate the driver. What many passengers don’t know is that the driver now also gets an invitation to rate you. Under a new policy announced in May: If your average rating is “significantly below average,” Uber will ban you from the service.
You can be banned from communications apps, too. For example, you can be banned on WhatsApp if too many other users block you. You can also get banned for sending spam, threatening messages, trying to hack or reverse-engineer the WhatsApp app, or using the service with an unauthorized app.
WhatsApp is small potatoes in the United States. But in much of the world, it’s the main form of electronic communication. Not being allowed to use WhatsApp in some countries is as punishing as not being allowed to use the telephone system in America.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH SOCIAL CREDIT, ANYWAY?
The most disturbing attribute of a social credit system is not that it’s invasive, but that it’s extralegal. Crimes are punished outside the legal system, which means no presumption of innocence, no legal representation, no judge, no jury, and often no appeal. In other words, it’s an alternative legal system where the accused have fewer rights.
Social credit systems are an end-run around the pesky complications of the legal system. Unlike China’s government policy, the social credit system emerging in the U.S. is enforced by private companies. If the public objects to how these laws are enforced, it can’t elect new rule-makers.
An increasing number of societal “privileges” related to transportation, accommodations, communications, and the rates we pay for services (like insurance) are either controlled by technology companies or affected by how we use technology services. And Silicon Valley’s rules for being allowed to use their services are getting stricter.
If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy. In other words, in the future, law enforcement may be determined less by the Constitution and legal code, and more by end-user license agreements. READ MORE
Once the clear favorite and leading contender for the Democratic Party presidential candidate nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden’s seemingly never-ending gaffes have led to him falling to third place in a national poll.
Biden is now polling at 19 percent behind Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are both at 20 percent, in the Monmouth University Poll.
“Biden has suffered an across the board decline in his support since June. He lost ground with white Democrats (from 32% to 18%) and voters of color (from 33% to 19%), among voters without a college degree (from 35% to 18%) and college graduates (from 28% to 20%), with both men (from 38% to 24%) and women (from 29% to 16%), and among voters under 50 years old (from 21% to 6%) as well as voters aged 50 and over (from 42% to 33%). Most of Biden’s lost support in these groups shifted almost equally toward Sanders and Warren,” Monomouth found.
“The main takeaway from this poll is that the Democratic race has become volatile. Liberal voters are starting to cast about for a candidate they can identify with. Moderate voters, who have been paying less attention, seem to be expressing doubts about Biden. But they are swinging more toward one of the left-leaning contenders with high name recognition rather than toward a lesser known candidate who might be more in line with them politically,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. He added, “It’s important to keep in mind this is just one snapshot from one poll. But it does raise warning signs of increased churning in the Democratic nomination contest now that voters are starting to pay closer attention.”
Biden has lost support from Democrats who call themselves moderate or conservative (from 40 percent to 22 percent) as well as those who consider themselves liberal, dropping from 24 percent to 15 percent.
Fortunately for Biden, most of the lost support appears to be coming from states that vote later in the primary process — giving him a chance to regain momentum.
“Biden’s drop in support is coming disproportionately from later states that have less impact on the process. But if this trend continues it could spell trouble for him in the early states if it undermines his claim to being the most electable candidate. This could benefit someone like Harris, who remains competitive in the early states and could use a strong showing there to propel her into the top tier. Based on the current data, though, Warren looks like the candidate with the greatest momentum right now,” said Murray.