Daily Archives: October 17, 2019

October 17 Hearing and Obeying

Scripture Reading: Psalm 92:12–14

Key Verse: Psalm 92:12

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

When we are given an assignment and it turns out wonderfully, but it isn’t what the person assigning us the task communicated for us to do, is that success? In the world around us, there are many people who appear to be successful by man’s standards—fame, wealth, riches—but by God’s standards are complete failures. They missed the mark. They aren’t becoming what He intended for them to become.

If our desire in life is to obtain godly success, we must first get our assignment straight: What is God’s will for our lives? God’s will for everyone is to know Him and to develop a personal, intimate relationship with Him while becoming what He created each person to become. However, how that looks specifically in each person’s life varies.

For David, it meant growing in his relationship with God through the trials and struggles of becoming king of Israel. For Jonathan, it meant growing in his relationship with God through the tremendous sacrifice of yielding the throne to David. Godly success looked different in both these men’s lives, yet they both achieved it by following God’s will.

We establish ourselves as men and women of God if we are willing to hear and obey His will for our lives. It is the only way we can have true, godly success in our lives. It is the only way to measure success—are we doing what He has asked?

Father, establish me as a person who is willing to hear and obey Your will. Let me measure my success by doing what You have asked.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 304). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 17 Lifting the Level of Your Praying

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:15–23

Key Verse: James 4:2

You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

Doctor R. A. Torrey caught the crowd before him off guard as he quoted James 4:2: “You do not have because you do not ask.” He went on to explain,

These words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian, of the average minister, and of the average church …

Many wonder why do I have so little victory over sin? Why do I win so few souls to Christ? Why do I grow so slowly into the likeness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? And God answers … “Neglect of prayer. You have not, because you ask not.” …

Prayer has as much power today, when men and women are themselves on praying ground and meeting the conditions of prevailing prayer, as it ever has had. God has not changed, and His ear is just as quick to hear the voice of real prayer and His hand is just as long and strong to save as they ever were.

When you pray, ask God to reveal His will for your life and the situation you are facing. Don’t just get caught up in praying for material gain. God provides where there is a need. His greatest desire is for you to learn to trust Him in prayer.

Torrey’s admonishment is valid, and the only way to receive the blessings of Christ is to get to know the God of all peace and comfort. Lift the level of your praying, and you will see the evidence of His hand over your life.

Lift the level of my praying, Lord. Reveal Your will for my life and circumstances, then help me obediently follow the pathway You have chosen for me.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 304). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

YouTube Doesn’t Have Truth Matters Today,But gty.org Does

The Outspoken TULIP

Bible Turning Pages

If you’re frustrated because you can’t find today’s livestream of the Truth Matters Conference on the sufficiency of Scripture on YouTube, you can access it from this link:

https://www.gty.org/conference

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

View original post

October 17 How to Seek the Lord

Scripture reading: Isaiah 55:6–9

Key verse: Deuteronomy 4:29

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Here are some practical helps for seeking the Lord:

Seek God out of your need but be willing to accept His solution. Many of the psalms are the heart cries of God’s people in deep distress. Their persecution, loneliness, anxiety, fears, and troubles have led them to a point of desperation. God often uses extremity to press you to Himself. You seek Him because you are in arduous straits.

Be careful not to seek the quick or easy way out of your dilemma. That would lessen your pain, but it may not be God’s way of escape. Don’t let the urgency of your need obscure God’s wise and loving answer.

Seek counsel from others. Seeking God first and foremost is about knowing who He is. However, realize that He frequently reveals Himself through the counsel of others. When you seek God, you are receptive to the means He chooses to help and comfort you, including the loving touch of a friend, pastor, or counselor. Be alert to His leadership as you read Christian material and converse with other believers.

Try fasting as part of the seeking process. Fasting can be helpful on occasions, especially when your need is crucial. Skip a meal or two—or more as God directs—and you will find your focus on Christ even sharper. Fasting indicates you mean serious business with God.

Dear Lord, help me realize that extremity presses me closer to You. Help me not to seek an easy, quick way out of my problem. Don’t let the urgency of my need obscure Your plan.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 304). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Project Veritas: CNN Staff Demoralized by Conflict-Driven Ratings Bait, ‘We’re Totally Left-Leaning’ | Breitbart News

Project Veritas released undercover video Thursday that shows CNN staffers demoralized by the network’s focus on conflict and acknowledging it has a political bias in the Trump era.

“CNN says they want to portray the contrast, but really, it’s partly because you want conflict, nobody wants to hear one-minute canned statements,” CNN media coordinator Christian Sierra is heard saying, before adding, “create clinks, get more money.”

In the following scene, CNN field operations manager Patrick Davis laments about the network’s approach to coverage and concedes it has a left-wing bias.

“All they gotta do is take an anchor, and put him at the desk, and tell the news,” says Davis. We’re so busy trying to get appointment viewership.”

“We don’t, even though we’re totally left-leaning, we don’t want to admit it,” he continues.

“We could be so much better than what we are,” Davis adds. “You learn it in journalism school, we’re supposed to be middle of the road, that’s our job. Now it’s just infotainment is all its become.”

Davis then goes on to criticize CNN’s morning editors’ call, led by president Jeff Zucker, saying he refuses to listen to them because they’re “bullshit.”

“I haven’t listened to a 9 a.m. call in about 15 years,” he says. “I can’t listen to it. It’s all bullshit. It’s all a bunch of bullshit.”

During another part of the undercover video, CNN field production supervisor Gerald Sisnette is heard complaining about the degree to which the network covers President Trump and his administration, and expresses hope that the president will die soon so it can cover other topics.

“This is a story that’s not gonna go away,” explains Sisnette. “Trump in general, the only way this story goes away is when he dies, hopefully soon.”

Thursday video is part of an ongoing series by Project Veritas in which the group will release undercover footage from inside CNN aimed at further revealing the news network’s partisan slant. Monday’s video showed a CNN media coordinator saying  Zucker has a “personal vendetta” against President Trump, while Tuesday’s clip showed CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez privately admitting Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings “smells bad.”

Source: Project Veritas: CNN Staff Demoralized by Conflict-Driven Ratings Bait, ‘We’re Totally Left-Leaning’

Justin Peters Calls Out Matt Chandler and Beth Moore at John MacArthur’s Truth Matters Conference — Reformation Charlotte

Justin Peters is one of the foremost apologists for cessationism in the Evangelical Church and he is a strong opponent of the continuation of the spiritual gifts.

Continuationism is a heresy that is rooted in the 2nd-century heresy known as Montanism that promoted the continuation of the apostolic sign gifts — namely prophecy. The heresy was condemned by the early Church yet has been revived in modern charismaticism primarily through Pentecostals.

However, mainstream Evangelicals — like Beth Moore and Matt Chandler — have embraced this heresy and even promote it in the Church. The movement is an absolute denial of the sufficiency of Scripture and should be opposed by every Bible-believing Christian.

See the video below beginning at about 6:20:30 mark.

via Justin Peters Calls Out Matt Chandler and Beth Moore at John MacArthur’s Truth Matters Conference — Reformation Charlotte

Who’s Worse: Beth Moore or Paula White? — Pulpit & Pen

As conservative evangelical leaders (rightfully) took a beating this week for endorsing a book by Prosperity Gospel teacher, Paula White, they did so largely because of the pushback given them by people who promote Popularity Gospel teacher, Beth Moore. This should lead us to the question, which one is worse?

Paula White teaches the false Prosperity Gospel, while Beth Moore teaches the Popularity Gospel (Social Gospel).

Paula White teaches Jesus died to make you rich, Beth Moore teaches that Jesus died to make you politically correct.

Paula White is a charismatic who claims to hear directly from God. Beth Moore is a charismatic who claims to hear directly from God.

Paula White is an egalitarian who believes women should preach. Beth Moore is an egalitarian who believes women should preach.

Paula White wears enough make-up to paint the White House. Beth Moore wears enough make-up to paint the White House.

Other than Paula White’s notorious affair with Benny Hinn (granted, that’s pretty bad) it seems that White and Beth Moore are squarely tied for being bad Bible teachers.

The only difference between White and Moore in terms of theology is that Moore is on the right side of the political aisle, which happens to be the left side.

I actually pondered in an episode back in July as to who was worse, Paula White or Beth Moore. You can listen to that throwback episode below.

via Who’s Worse: Beth Moore or Paula White? — Pulpit & Pen

Try Denying God’s Existence After Watching This! | Living Waters

Joe is a typical man. He doesn’t think much about the incredible creation that surrounds him, let alone the unspeakably incredible Creator who created him. Even though God gave him life, if you asked Joe if God had ever done anything for him, he probably couldn’t think of one thing. Each sunrise just reveals another average day for Joe Average. Well…not quite. There is nothing “average” about Joe or what he does each day. You will be delighted and encouraged by this video, because it will make you see everything in a miraculous new light.

Enjoy this full episode of the Way of the Master television show: Season 3, Episode 29: Joe Average. Check out our brand-new Season 5 of Way of the Master HERE.

Living Waters

Source: Try Denying God’s Existence After Watching This!

Conservative Baptist Leaders Remove Tweets Endorsing Paula White’s Book — Pulpit & Pen

Paula White, a spiritual advisor to Donald Trump, is a prosperity preacher whose recent book was endorsed – and then unendorsed – by conservative Baptist leaders

After widespread outrage for tweeting endorsements for Paula White’s new book, a number of prominent conservative Christian leaders deleted their tweets.

Among the outraged were primarily progressive evangelicals who venerate other heretics, like Martin Luther King and James Cone. These leftists had an ax to grind with White, who serves as Trump’s spiritual adviser. However, conservatives were also annoyed by the men endorsing a prosperity teacher and NAR prophet, as you can see at Reformation Charlotte. Julie Roys, typically a fair and impartial Christian journalist, also made note of the travesty in her article, Leading Evangelicals Endorse Prosperity Preacher Paula White’s New Book.

Roys is, hands-down, one of the most effective investigative reporters in Christian journalism. Her article seems to have packed a punch, as her reporting usually does.

Roys reports…

Both Greg Laurie and Franklin Graham have removed their tweets endorsing White’s book.  I reached out to everyone except Laurie for comment. (Laurie removed his post before I had the chance to do that.) Graham’s press person responded that he is not available for comment. Jeffress called me today and I will be posting his response on Thursday. The others have not yet responded.

Pulpit & Pen is pleased that these men responded (so far) appropriately by deleting their endorsements of White’s book. They should follow-up and explain what, in particular, is troublesome about her theology so as to warn others and not be content with silence.

One day, progressives will care about heresy when it’s committed by someone other than a Trump adviser. In the meantime, sincere and honest contenders for the truth should be concerned when it comes from the right or the left.

Now that we’ve considered the heresies of Paula White, let’s all move on now to Beth Moore.

via Conservative Baptist Leaders Remove Tweets Endorsing Paula White’s Book — Pulpit & Pen

69 Percent Of US Households “Are Preparing For A Possible Recession” | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Do you believe that a recession is coming?  If so, you certainly have a lot of company.  It turns out that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession” right now.  There is a growing national consensus that that U.S. economy is heading for big trouble, and this is causing a lot of people to cut back on spending.  In fact, we just witnessed the first drop in retail sales in seven months.  If this slowdown in retail spending extends into the holiday season, that could potentially be absolutely disastrous for the entire retail industry.  We are already in the midst of the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history, and we are learning of more store closings with each passing day.  But of course it isn’t just the retail industry that is in very serious trouble, and I have some brand new numbers from a couple of other sectors that I will share with you below.

But first let’s talk about this new survey that just came out that says that 69 percent of all U.S. households “are preparing for a possible recession”

More than two-thirds of U.S. households say they are preparing for a possible recession.

Some 69% of participants in a recent poll said they were taking steps to shore up their finances ahead of a possible downturn, including 44% who said they were spending less money. Some 10%, including 13% of college graduates, are looking for a better or more stable job.

Considering what I do, it makes perfect sense to me that more than two-thirds of the country would be preparing for a recession.

But it would be very interesting to see this number broken down by political affiliation.  In general, Democrats tend to be far more pessimistic about the economy than Republicans are right now, and that is just because Donald Trump is in the White House.

I would suspect that the percentage of Trump supporters that are “preparing for a possible recession” would be well under 50 percent, but that is just a guess on my part.

In any event, the truth is that 100 percent of Americans should be preparing for a recession, because the warning signs are all around us.

And on Wednesday another economic red flag emerged.  For months, the economic optimists have been touting “the strength of the consumer” as one of the bright spots for the economy, but last month retail sales dropped for the first time in seven months

U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, raising fears that a slowdown in the American manufacturing sector could be starting to bleed into the consumer side of the economy.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that retail sales dropped 0.3% last month as households slashed spending on building materials, online purchases and especially automobiles.

That is certainly not the end of the world, but it does indicate that consumers are starting to scale back their spending.

Of course that is the last thing that retailers want to see happen.  We are already on pace to absolutely shatter the all-time record for store closings in a single year, and we just learned that Sears and Kmart will soon be closing more stores

Sears and Kmart store closings are expected to continue into early 2020.

While more than 100 Sears and Kmart stores will shutter in the coming months, additional closures will stretch into January.

Company officials did not release an official list of the locations that will close. But news outlets across the nation, as well as documents filed with state governments, show some of the closings will happen in January 2020.

Sears has essentially been in the process of liquidating for a very long time, and we can only hope that eventually this incredibly painful liquidation will mercifully come to an end.

For many other retailers, this holiday season will be a “make or break moment”, and we should probably expect another huge wave of store closing announcements early in 2020.

And as I noted above, it isn’t just the retail industry that is really struggling.  We are already in a “transportation recession”, and we just learned that the Cass Freight Index has now declined for ten months in a row.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

Freight shipments by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – within the US fell 3.4% in September 2019, compared to September last year, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments. For the index – which tracks shipment volume of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities – it was the 10th month in a row of relentless year-over-year declines

Another sector that is facing very tough times is the auto industry, and according to Reuters over 7 million Americans are seriously delinquent on their auto loans…

More than 7 million Americans are already 90 or more days behind on their car loans, according to the New York Federal Reserve, and serious delinquency rates among borrowers with the lowest credit scores have by far seen the fastest acceleration.

If all these numbers remind you of the last recession, that would make perfect sense, because we haven’t seen anything like this in more than a decade.

And all of this is happening even though the federal government is adding a trillion dollars to the national debt each year and the Federal Reserve has begun flooding the financial system with fresh cash.

In terms of “economic stimulus”, our leaders are already pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, and it is simply not working.

This truly is the beginning of the end for the U.S. economy, and most Americans can now see that very tough times are ahead.

But what most Americans don’t understand is that what we will be facing won’t be anything like 2008.

Instead, it will be much, much worse.

Source: 69 Percent Of US Households “Are Preparing For A Possible Recession”

Satan’s Strategies for Temptation – Part 2 — Christian Research Network

“Sin leads toward death. It kills relationships. It destroys families. It ruins careers. It may seem fun for a season but it will leave you destitute, despised, and miserable. No sin can leave you fulfilled in life because you weren’t made for sin. Sin only destroys.”

(Alan Nelson IV – Things Above) Last time, we saw that Satan tempts us in doubting God’s Word and downplaying the consequences to sin. In this post, we will look at 2 final strategies Satan uses for temptation in Genesis 3:1–5.

Distorting God’s Character

Essentially Satan has targeted the goodness of God in Genesis 3:4–5. He has called God a liar. He is essentially saying:

If God were truly good, He wouldn’t hold out on you like this. He must have ulterior motives. GOD IS A LIAR! You cannot trust His Word! He is holding back! He’s jealous of you! He knows if you eat you’ll be like Him and He can’t stand that! Don’t trust this God, for He doesn’t truly care about you!

Satan doesn’t often show his true colors. He is acting here like he is the one on Adam and Eve’s side. He is saying “This God you serve is pathetic.” Satan still works this way. 2 Corinthians 11:4 says that he disguises himself as an angel of light.

I don’t know for sure if we’ve ever lived in such an age where billions of people profess to know God but have no clue as to who He really is.

  • People take attributes like God’s love and distort it to mean God loves sins or that He loves humanity above His own glory.
  • People distort concepts of God’s justice or mercy or holiness.
  • People say things like “I trust God but I don’t believe the Bible because it was written by men.”    View article →

Part 1

Research

Bible References & Resources

via Satan’s Strategies for Temptation – Part 2 — Christian Research Network

Mike Rowe Explains Fundamental Problem with Democrats’ Policies After Watching Debate — Faithwire

The bible teaches that God designed mankind to work, that labor is not the result of the fall. Instead, it’s the hardships that come with that work that is the result of a broken and imperfect world.

So when former “Dirty Jobs” show host Mike Rowe said Wednesday many of the entitlement policies floated by Democratic presidential hopefuls are fundamentally at odds with our natural human inclinations, whether he knew it or not, the popular TV personality tapped into a godly worldview.

On Tuesday night, during the latest presidential debate, several of the progressive candidates argued Americans need a universal basic income, though they couldn’t agree on a set number. Such a solution, which has been proposed, in part, to counteract automation in blue collar industries, “ignore[s] the human condition,” Rowe argued Wednesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

“We’re fundamentally lazy people,” he said. “We have to be taught, I think, to not be lazy. … I’m just saying that if you give me a choice — and I don’t see myself as lazy — but if you give me a choice of the easy way or the hard way, I can’t help it, I’m going to default to the easy way.”

Left to our own devices, the Bible tells us, we will choose selfishly and unwisely because the human heart is turned against God and his ways. Scripture says the heart is “deceitful above all things” and “evil thoughts” flow from it. We are hardwired to find the easiest way out of our responsibilities, and we have to fight it.

Newton’s first law of motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion; likewise, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. That law applies to human beings as well. For some, work comes easier. To others, it’s more difficult. But the Bible is clear: laziness is not an option for those who want to honor God with their lives.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 6:6-11,

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

God knew we would be tempted by laziness, so the Bible encourages us to see our work not as pointless labor but as an act of service and worship to the Lord.

In Colossians 3:23-24, the apostle Paul wrote, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

The indirect result of giving people money for nothing is they will want more money for nothing. We are, as Rowe said, hardwired for laziness.

“Once you say ‘OK, free money,’ the next question has to be, ‘Why not more?’” he explained. “And that’s the beef with the $5,000 surge in the middle class right now. How do you argue against that? You simply say it’s not big enough, why not 10?”

via Mike Rowe Explains Fundamental Problem with Democrats’ Policies After Watching Debate — Faithwire

October 17, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. The temple is the “strength” of those “who dwell in your house” (84:4). Kidner makes the attractive suggestion that the word “blessed” is used three ways: first, longingly (84:4), second, resolutely (84:5), and third, contentedly (84:12). Literally, the verse reads: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, (the) ways in their heart.” The personal pronoun “you” may mean either the Lord or the temple. Since the pronoun in verse 4 is clearly the Lord, it logically follows that in verse 5a it also means the Lord (“whose strength is in you” [the Lord]); but in verse 5b, since this half line focuses on the journey (“paths,” “roads”; cf. NET) the pronoun “their” at the end of the line (lit., “in their heart[s]”) seems to be pilgrims: “[its] ways are in their heart[s]” (NIV: “whose hearts are set on pilgrimage”). See “Teaching the Text.”[1]


84:5 In verses 5–7 we switch back from the blessedness of those who are already in heaven to the lesser blessedness of those who are en route. Several things are mentioned about them. First of all, their strength is in the Lord, not in themselves. They are “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10). Then in their heart are the highways to Zion. The world is not their home. Though in it, they are not of it. Their heart is set on pilgrimage.[2]


84:5 Blessed. See note Ps. 1:1.

whose strength is in you. Their vitality in life is found in God’s power, not in their own.

the highways. People living outside of Jerusalem made special trips to the temple to enjoy God’s presence in worship. The Songs of Ascents (120–134) were probably used during these journeys (120:title).[3]


5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. David again informs us, that the purpose for which he desired liberty of access to the sanctuary was, not merely to gratify his eyes with what was to be seen there, but to make progress in faith. To lean with the whole heart upon God, is to attain to no ordinary degree of advancement: and this cannot be attained by any man, unless all his pride is laid prostrate in the dust, and his heart truly humbled. In proposing to himself this way of seeking God, David’s object is to borrow from him by prayer the strength of which he feels himself to be destitute. The concluding clause of the verse, the ways are in their hearts, is by some interpreted as meaning, That those are happy who walk in the way which God has appointed; for nothing is more injurious to a man than to trust in his own understanding. It is not improperly said of the law, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” Isa. 30:21. Whenever then men turn aside, however little it may be, from the divine law, they go astray, and become entangled in perverse errors. But it is more appropriate to restrict the clause to the scope of the passage, and to understand it as implying, that those are happy whose highest ambition it is to have God as the guide of their life, and who therefore desire to draw near to him. God, as we have formerly observed, is not satisfied with mere outward ceremonies. What he desires is, to rule and keep in subjection to himself all whom he invites to his tabernacle. Whoever then has learned how great a blessedness it is to rely upon God, will put forth all the desires and faculties of his mind, that with all speed he may hasten to Him.[4]


Ver. 5.—Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. God is the “Strength” of all who trust in him. The psalmist seems to mean that mere dwelling in the house of God is not enough for blessedness. Trust in God—having God for one’s Strength—is also requisite (comp. ver. 12). In whose heart are the ways of them; literally, in whose heart are highways. The “highways” intended are probably those of holiness (comp. Prov. 16:17 and Isa. 35:8).[5]


[1] Bullock, C. H. (2017). Psalms 73–150. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 93). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 677–678). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 811). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 3, pp. 358–359). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 192). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

October 17, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, one of the most influential Democrats
in Congress and a key figure in the impeachment inquiry against President
Donald Trump, died on Thursday at age 68.

Vice President Mike Pence met President Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey on
Thursday on a mission to persuade him to halt an offensive against Kurdish
fighters in northeast Syria, but Turkish officials said the action would
continue regardless.

Democratic lawmakers leading an impeachment inquiry against President
Donald Trump have heard days of testimony from a parade of senior
government officials. But they have yet to hear from the whistleblower who
sparked the probe – and may never do.

From 1982 to 2018 the share of U.S. wealth held by the 400 richest
Americans is estimated to have grown from 1% to around 3.5%, or probably
around $3 trillion.

Britain clinched an eleventh-hour Brexit deal with the EU on Thursday, more
than three years after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the bloc, but
Prime Minister Boris Johnson still faces a knife-edge vote in parliament to
get it approved.

Syria will respond to a Turkish aggression on any part of its territory
with “all legitimate means” available, President Bashar al-Assad said on
Thursday according to state media.

Aid agencies said on Thursday they were struggling to meet the needs of up
to 200,000 civilians who fled fighting in northeast Syria and reported
water shortages in the Syrian city of Hasaka.

High-resolution satellite images show that the construction of China’s
first full-sized aircraft carrier is progressing steadily alongside
expansive infrastructure work that analysts say suggests the ship will be
the first of several large vessels produced at the site.

China hopes to reach a phased agreement in a protracted trade dispute with
the United States and cancel tariffs as soon as possible, the Commerce
Ministry said on Thursday, adding that trade wars had no winners.

Teachers in the Chicago Public Schools system, the third-largest school
district in the U.S., went on strike on Thursday after protracted labor
negotiations between the union and district leadership failed to produce a
deal.

U.S. manufacturing output fell more than expected in September, hampered by
a strike at General Motors, and the outlook for factories remained weak
amid slowing global growth and unresolved trade tensions.

AP Top Stories

China said Thursday it detained two U.S. citizens on suspicion of
organizing others to illegally cross the border, amid sharpening tensions
between the sides over trade, technology and other sensitive issues.

President Vladimir Putin hosts dozens of African leaders next week as
Russia seeks to reassert its influence on the continent and beyond.

Law enforcement officials said on Wednesday they had arrested hundreds of
people worldwide after knocking out a South Korea-based dark web child
pornography site that sold gruesome videos for digital cash.

A 93-year-old former concentration camp guard arrived in court in a
wheelchair on Thursday, in what could be one of Germany’s last trials of
Nazi war crimes.

China on Thursday slammed as “groundless” a US decision to order Chinese
diplomats to notify the State Department before meeting with local
officials, in the latest spat to strain bilateral relations.

A school district in New Jersey passed a new policy this week that will
allow schools to bar students from attending prom if they have a school
lunch debt above $75.

A leading face of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement was rushed to hospital
covered in blood after being attacked by unidentified thugs with hammers,
his protest group said.

A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in
the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit
against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never
happened.

A child was killed in a strong 6.4-magnitude quake that hit the southern
Philippines on Wednesday, a local mayor said, as houses collapsed, power
was knocked out and a shopping mall burst into flames.

The Vatican is hoping to pull in tech-savvy youngsters with the launch of
an “eRosary” bracelet. The gadget, which costs $109, can be worn as a
bracelet and is activated by making the sign of a cross. It is connected to
the “Click to Pray eRosary” app, which is designed to help Catholic users
pray for world peace and contemplate the gospel.

BBC

A recent Trump Administration policy, known as MPP, means immigrants
seeking asylum in the United States have to remain in Mexico while they
await their court hearings. In addition, the US has drastically reduced the
number of refugees it will accept next year to just 18,000, the lowest in
decades. As Will Grant reports, the two policies are complicating an
already overburdened system in Mexico and immigrant shelters are struggling
to cope

WND

Last week we learned that the University of California instructs staff in
the Office of the President that “female” and “woman” are “not necessarily
linked” as concepts. This week we learned that Harvard University insists,
without a modifier such as “necessarily,” that masculinity and testosterone
are not “connected.”

ISIS is “on the rise” and more than 300,000 people have been displaced in
northeastern Syria since the U.S. withdrawal of Special Forces, says an
American aid worker in Syria near the border with Turkey.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 17, 2019

The Foundation

“To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” —George Washington (1790)

Battle Lines Over War Powers

Congress “disapproves” of Trump’s policy in Syria, for which he fails to make the case.


Dems Play Political Theater in Walkout of Trump Meeting

Pelosi and Co. use meeting with Trump as an opportunity to claim he’s unhinged.


Disney Embraces Identity Politics

Artificial intelligence will now analyze scripts for sufficient diversity markers.


LeBron Express His Own Ignorance on Hong Kong

The NBA star chastises Americans for voicing support for Hong Kong protesters.


The Demo Presidential Candidate Waiting in the Wings

A Democrat favorite who is not getting much attention could step in soon.


72-Year-Old Man Drives Tractor Across Country for Wounded Vets

“The tractor brings attention,” and that helps raise money for those in need.


Video: LeBron James Exposes the NBA

He says that Daryl Morey wasn’t educated about the situation in China and Hong Kong.


Video: Beto Doubles Down on Religious Intolerance

Michael Knowles explains why O’Rourke’s honesty regarding censorship is refreshing.



Today’s Opinion

Cal Thomas
The President’s Personality
Victor Davis Hanson
Is America Becoming Sinicized?
Ben Shapiro
Beto Says the Quiet Part Out Loud
Ann Coulter
Please, Please More Democratic Debates!
Larry Elder
The NBA and the Elephant on the Court — Unwed Fathers
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Elijah Cummings dies, political theater on Syria, Democrat fraud, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Victor Davis Hanson, Kevin McCarthy, Joe Biden, 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.

Headlines – 10/17/2019

Friedman: US peace plan won’t call for settlement evacuations

Jordanian House of Representative Says Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty Is ‘Under Threat’

Jordan denies it agreed to extend Israeli access to border lands it wants back

84-year-old Abbas to run in PA elections as the movement’s only candidate when elections are held

Israel to ban PA produce if Ramallah continues boycott

Settlers accused of beating rabbi, 80, who was aiding Palestinian olive harvest

Netanyahu said to nix planned trip to Tokyo amid political stalemate

Thunderstorms and extreme heat: Unstable weather hits Israel on Sukkot

Storms flatten trees and sukkahs, causing blackouts and concert cancellations in Israel

Tunisia’s new president regards any ties with Israel as ‘high treason’

‘We Have Evidence’: Israel, Saudis Struck Iranian Tanker in Red Sea, Lawmaker Says

US conducted cyberattack on Iran following strike on Saudi oil – report

Qatar defense minister rules out chance of war between US and Iran

The new proxy war in Syria: Iran and Turkey vs. Saudi Arabia and Russia

‘Entry of radical Islamist forces into northern Syria is disturbing,’ ex-Israeli intelligence official says

Trump swears allegiance to Israel as he decries endless Middle East wars

Trump says it’s ‘fine’ if Russia helps Syria

Turkey using Israeli-upgraded tanks in anti-Kurd offensive in Syria

Trump officials rush to Turkey as Moscow advances

Turkey’s Erdogan says he will meet Pence and Pompeo about Syria following apparent snub

Erdogan says he can no longer ‘keep track’ of Trump’s tweets

Trump letter to Erdogan warns Turkish leader: ‘Don’t be a fool’

Trump denies giving Turkey ‘green light’ for Syria offensive

U.S. Seeks Turkish Ceasefire From Meeting With Erdogan: Pompeo

Erdogan: Syria push would end tonight if ‘terrorists’ withdrew

Kurds Say Islamic State Fighters Launching Attacks as Turkish Invasion Continues

Concern in Gulf Arab states after US pullout from Syria

Trump disparages Kurds, says they’re ‘not angels’

Lindsey Graham pledges to be Trump’s ‘worst nightmare’ on Syria if necessary

Top Democrats walk out of Syria meet with Trump, accusing him of ‘meltdown’

Dems storm out of Syria meeting with Trump: ‘We have to pray for his health’

Democratic hopeful Klobuchar at debate: Trump’s Syria pullout endangers Israel

Warren urges US to ‘get out’ of Mideast, clarifies she only meant combat troops

Iran said planning to limit international inspector access to nuclear sites

As Militants Kill in Kashmir, People Are Afraid to Go to Work

Pompeo faces criticism for giving speech on being a ‘Christian leader’

Canadian imam: ‘Filthy’ candidates in elections support Zionism, homosexuality

‘Defiant message’ as N.Korea’s Kim rides white horse on sacred mountain

China builds 400 mph ‘flying saucer’ attack helicopter with stealth coating and missile system

China: Authorities forcibly demolish ‘illegal’ church; elderly congregants injured

China Threatens to Retaliate If U.S. Enacts Hong Kong Bill

Edward Snowden: Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground

Commentary: Trump Stands between America and Tyranny

Only once has Gallup seen more support for removing a president; Nixon was gone four days later

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warns ‘there’s a recession ahead’

Virgin Galactic and Under Armour unveil spacesuits for the first space tourists to wear next year

Philippines earthquake: Child killed and dozens injured as major 6.4-magnitude quake hits Mindanao island

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Columbio, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Caraga, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sarangani, Philippines

Multiple Earthquakes Shake California

Bay Area earthquakes struck on unusual section of San Andreas fault

Cal OES, UC Berkeley to launch nation’s first statewide earthquake early warning system

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Mt Etna volcano on Italy erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 13,000ft

Copahue volcano in Chile erupts to 11,000ft

Japan braces for more flooding following deadly Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis swept away Fukushima nuclear decontamination waste bags into river

Typhoon Hagibis: Japanese outrage after homeless people turned away from shelter

Tropical system’s odds of development rise to 50% and North Florida is in projected path

New computer model predicts where Ebola might strike next

Dumplings without pork? Swine fever is hitting Chinese consumers

At presidential debate, Democrats unite: No rights for human beings in the womb

Democrats want to close churches, raise taxes and pay for sex reassignment surgery. Great.

Air Canada will use gender-neutral terms instead of saying ‘ladies and gentlemen’ on flights

Poland plans bill to criminalize ‘promoting underage sex’

UK drops plans for online pornography age verification system

Record-high STD rates in Hawaii linked to online dating – why apps may be making sex less safe

Women’s group calls for Dems to pull MSNBC debate amid ‘culture of sexual abuse’ at NBC News

He started murdering women in South Florida – then became the worst serial killer in US history

Watchdog Finds Major Increase in TV Profanity and Violence, Says Congress Should Act

‘Ron Reagan’ tops Google search during Dem debate for atheist group ad: ‘Not afraid of burning in hell’


Apostasy Watch

Gary DeMar – Should Pastors Address the Subject of Politics?

Former Cru Employees Describe Working For Cru “Like Working For a Cult”

Televangelist Jim Bakker sells $45 Trump coin, calls it ‘point of contact’ with God

Surprise ‘coming out ’ middle school assembly angers parents

Atheism is declining, says report; what should Christians do?

Abortionist trainer: Women injured by abortion don’t matter

Christians risk arrest if they display Bible in Saudi Arabia, persecution watchdog group warns

Mark Rushdoony – How Do You See the Future?

Bradlee Dean – Hirelings In The Pulpits Of American Churches Are Teaching Sheep To Submit To Wolves

Southern Baptist Pastors Promotes Prosperity Gospel False Teacher, Paula White

Unification Church/Moonies – This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless guns

Murdered pastor’s stepson opens fire at quaint NH wedding to get bloody revenge

Transgender “Pastor” Says “Transitioning” Cost Him His Family

Peaceful Sit-In Provokes Order to Close Church in Algeria, Christian Leader Says


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

An article and/or blog post link doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the linked article/posting. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

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

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace | Pew Research Center

(Sungjin Ahn photography/Getty Images)

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip, with both Protestantism and Catholicism experiencing losses of population share.

In U.S., smaller share of adults identify as Christians, while religious 'nones' have grownThe religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population.

Protestants and Catholics shrinking as share of U.S. population; all subsets of 'nones' are growing

These are among the key findings of a new analysis of trends in the religious composition and churchgoing habits of the American public, based on recent Pew Research Center random-digit-dial (RDD) political polling on the telephone. The data shows that the trend toward religious disaffiliation documented in the Center’s 2007 and 2014 Religious Landscape Studies, and before that in major national studies like the General Social Survey (GSS), has continued apace.

Pew Research Center’s 2007 and 2014 Religious Landscape Studies were huge national RDD surveys, each of which included interviews with more than 35,000 respondents who were asked dozens of detailed questions about their religious identities, beliefs and practices. The Center has not yet conducted a third such study, and when the Landscape Study is repeated, it is likely to use new methods that may prevent it from being directly comparable to the previous studies; growing challenges to conducting national surveys by telephone have led the Center to rely increasingly on self-administered surveys conducted online.

But while no new Religious Landscape Study is available or in the immediate offing, the Center has collected five additional years of data (since the 2014 Landscape Study) from RDD political polls (see detailed tables). The samples from these political polls are not as large as the Landscape Studies (even when all of the political polls conducted in a year are combined), but together, 88 surveys from 2009 to 2019 included interviews with 168,890 Americans.

These surveys do not include nearly as many questions about religion as the Landscape Studies do. However, as part of the demographic battery of questions that ask respondents about their age, race, educational attainment and other background characteristics, each of these political polls also include one basic question about religious identity – “What is your present religion, if any? Are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox such as Greek or Russian Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, something else, or nothing in particular?”

In U.S., church attendance is decliningAdditionally, most of these political polls include a question about religious attendance – “Aside from weddings and funerals, how often do you attend religious services? More than once a week, once a week, once or twice a month, a few times a year, seldom, or never?” Taken together, these two questions (one about religious identity, the other about religious attendance) can help shed light on religious trends in the U.S.

The data shows that just like rates of religious affiliation, rates of religious attendance are declining. Over the last decade, the share of Americans who say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month dropped by 7 percentage points, while the share who say they attend religious services less often (if at all) has risen by the same degree. In 2009, regular worship attenders (those who attend religious services at least once or twice a month) outnumbered those who attend services only occasionally or not at all by a 52%-to-47% margin. Today those figures are reversed; more Americans now say they attend religious services a few times a year or less (54%) than say they attend at least monthly (45%).

Broad-based declines in share of Americans who say they are ChristianThe changes underway in the American religious landscape are broad-based. The Christian share of the population is down and religious “nones” have grown across multiple demographic groups: white people, black people and Hispanics; men and women; in all regions of the country; and among college graduates and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Religious “nones” are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions. And although the religiously unaffiliated are on the rise among younger people and most groups of older adults, their growth is most pronounced among young adults.

Furthermore, the data shows a wide gap between older Americans (Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation) and Millennials in their levels of religious affiliation and attendance. More than eight-in-ten members of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians (84%), as do three-quarters of Baby Boomers (76%). In stark contrast, only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians; four-in-ten are religious “nones,” and one-in-ten Millennials identify with non-Christian faiths.

Only about one-in-three Millennials say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month. Roughly two-thirds of Millennials (64%) attend worship services a few times a year or less often, including about four-in-ten who say they seldom or never go. Indeed, there are as many Millennials who say they “never” attend religious services (22%) as there are who say they go at least once a week (22%).

Large generation gap in American religion

Among Christians, little change in rates of church attendanceWhile the trends are clear – the U.S. is steadily becoming less Christian and less religiously observant as the share of adults who are not religious grows – self-described Christians report that they attend religious services at about the same rate today as in 2009. Today, 62% of Christians say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month, which is identical to the share who said the same in 2009. In other words, the nation’s overall rate of religious attendance is declining not because Christians are attending church less often, but rather because there are now fewer Christians as a share of the population.

Other key takeaways from the new analysis include:

  • In U.S., number of religious 'nones' has grown by nearly 30 million over past decadeThe data suggests that Christians are declining not just as a share of the U.S. adult population, but also in absolute numbers. In 2009, there were approximately 233 million adults in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. Pew Research Center’s RDD surveys conducted at the time indicated that 77% of them were Christian, which means that by this measure, there were approximately 178 million Christian adults in the U.S. in 2009. Taking the margin of error of the surveys into account, the number of adult Christians in the U.S. as of 2009 could have been as low as 176 million or as high as 181 million.

Today, there are roughly 23 million more adults in the U.S. than there were in 2009 (256 million as of July 1, 2019, according to the Census Bureau). About two-thirds of them (65%) identify as Christians, according to 2018 and 2019 Pew Research Center RDD estimates. This means that there are now roughly 167 million Christian adults in the U.S. (with a lower bound of 164 million and an upper bound of 169 million, given the survey’s margin of error).

Meanwhile, the number of religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S. grew by almost 30 million over this period.

  • Mormon share of U.S. population holds steady; slight growth in share who identify with non-Christian faithsThe share of Americans who describe themselves as Mormons has held steady at 2% over the past decade. Meanwhile, the share of U.S. adults who identify with non-Christian faiths has ticked up slightly, from 5% in 2009 to 7% today. This includes a steady 2% of Americans who are Jewish, along with 1% who are Muslim, 1% who are Buddhist, 1% who are Hindu, and 3% who identify with other faiths (including, for example, people who say they abide by their own personal religious beliefs and people who describe themselves as “spiritual”)
  • Share of U.S. adults who say they 'never' attend religious services jumps 6 percentage points in a decadeThe rising share of Americans who say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year (if at all) has been driven by a substantial jump in the proportion who say they “never” go to church. Today, 17% of Americans say they never attend religious services, up from 11% a decade ago. Similarly, the decline in regular churchgoing is attributable mainly to the shrinking share of Americans who say they attend religious services at least once a week, which was 37% in 2009 and now stands at 31%.
  • In General Social Survey, declining share of Christians and growth of religious 'nones'The trends documented in Pew Research Center surveys closely resemble those found in the long-running General Social Survey (GSS), a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation. In GSS surveys conducted in the early 2000s (2000 to 2004), 80% of U.S. adults identified as Christians, including 54% who described themselves as Protestants and 25% who were Catholic. By the late 2010s, 71% of GSS respondents described themselves as Christians (48% Protestant, 23% Catholic). Over the same period, the GSS found that religious “nones” grew from 14% of the U.S. adult population to 22%.

The point estimates from the GSS and Pew Research Center surveys (that is, the share of adults who identify as Protestant or Catholic or as religious “nones”) are not directly comparable; the two studies ask different questions and employ different modes of survey administration. But the fact that the direction of the trend is similar in both studies strongly suggests that both are picking up on real and significant change underway in the U.S. religious landscape.

These findings about the religious composition of Hispanics closely resemble those from Pew Research Center’s National Surveys of Latinos (NSL) – a nationally representative survey of U.S. Latino adults fielded almost every year. (See the detailed tables for complete trends in the religious composition of Hispanics based on both Pew Research Center political surveys and the NSL.)

  • Most white adults now say they attend religious services a few times a year or lessAmong white adults, the share of people who say they attend religious services a few times a year or less now exceeds the share who attend monthly or more (57% vs. 42%); a decade ago, the white population was evenly divided between those who went to church at least monthly and those who did not. Regular churchgoers still outnumber those who infrequently or never go to religious services among black Americans (58% vs. 41%), though the share of people who say they attend religious services a few times a year or less often has risen over the last decade among black Americans, just as it has among the population as a whole. U.S. Hispanics are now about evenly divided between those who say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month (51%) and those who say they attend a few times a year or less (49%).
  • Women are more religious than men, but both are growing less religiousThere is still a gender gap in American religion. Women are less likely than men to describe themselves as religious “nones” (23% vs. 30%), and more likely than men to say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month (50% vs. 40%). But women, like men, have grown noticeably less religious over the last decade. The share of “nones” among women has risen by 10 percentage points since 2009 – similar to the increase among men. And the share of women who identify as Christian has fallen by 11 points (from 80% to 69%) over that same period.
  • Christians have declined and “nones” have grown as a share of the adult population in all four major U.S. regions. Catholic losses have been most pronounced in the Northeast, where 36% identified as Catholic in 2009, compared with 27% today. Among Protestants, declines were larger in the South, where Protestants now account for 53% of the adult population, down from 64% in 2009.Catholic share down 9 points in Northeast; Protestants down 11 in South
  • Religious “nones” now make up fully one-third of Democrats. And about six-in-ten people who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year. The ranks of religious “nones” and infrequent churchgoers also are growing within the Republican Party, though they make up smaller shares of Republicans than Democrats.Among Democrats, one-third are 'nones' and about six-in-ten attend religious services infrequently or never
  • The religious profile of white Democrats is very different from the religious profile of racial and ethnic minorities within the Democratic Party. Today, fewer than half of white Democrats describe themselves as Christians, and just three-in-ten say they regularly attend religious services. More than four-in-ten white Democrats are religious “nones,” and fully seven-in-ten white Democrats say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year. Black and Hispanic Democrats are far more likely than white Democrats to describe themselves as Christians and to say they attend religious services regularly, though all three groups are becoming less Christian.White Democrats are far less religious than black and Hispanic DemocratsLarger share of white Republicans than black Republicans identify as Christian Although 2009 surveys did not include enough black Republicans to analyze separately, the most recent surveys show smaller religious differences by race and ethnicity among Republicans than Democrats.
  • Among Protestants, share who say they are 'born-again or evangelical' Christians is as high as or higher than a decade agoPew Research Center’s telephone political polls do not typically include the detailed questions that are needed to determine whether Protestants identify with denominations in the evangelical, mainline or historically black Protestant tradition. However, the political polls upon which this analysis is based do ask Protestants whether they think of themselves as “born-again or evangelical” Christians. The data shows that both Protestants who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians and Protestants who are not born-again or evangelical have declined as a share of the overall U.S. adult population, reflecting the country’s broader shift away from Christianity as a whole. However, looking only at Americans who identify as Protestants – rather than at the public as a whole – the share of all Protestants who are born-again or evangelical is at least as high today as it was in 2009.
  • Most white Protestants continue to describe themselves as 'born-again or evangelical' ChristiansThe share of U.S. adults who are white born-again or evangelical Protestants now stands at 16%, down from 19% a decade ago. The shrinking white evangelical share of the population reflects both demographic changes that have occurred in the United States (where white people constitute a declining share of the population) and broader religious changes in American society (where the share of all adults who identify with Christianity has declined). However, looking only at white Protestants – rather than at the public as a whole – the share of white Protestants who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians is at least as high as it was a decade ago.

For complete information about trends in the religious composition and worship attendance habits of the U.S. public, see detailed tables.

Source: In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

October 17 Loyalty

scripture reading: Hosea 6:1–4
key verse: Proverbs 20:6

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

In certain sections of the country, a morning fog is almost a daily occurrence. The day begins with a heavy mist that dissipates within a few hours. The prophet Hosea described the Israelites’ relationship with God in a similar way: “For your loyalty is like a morning cloud, / And like the dew which goes away early” (Hos. 6:4 nasb).

Loyalty is an essential ingredient in the relationship between us and God. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for loving–kindness is translated as “loyal, faithful, steadfast love.”

Despite our rebellion and sin, God kept His covenant love for us through the generations, fulfilling His eternal plan for reconciliation through the cross of Christ. In return, God expects the wholehearted allegiance of His followers.

Are you actively demonstrating your loyalty to Jesus Christ? Has your devotion to the Lord slackened over the years? Do you question God’s care?

The Lord Jesus Christ is not as interested in your money or time or activity level as He is in your heart. He wants your wholehearted devotion that is not diminished by time or circumstances.

Almighty God, I declare my loyalty to You. I want to be faithful and steadfast. I pledge my wholehearted allegiance to You.[1]

 

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

17 october (preached 21 january 1855) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The Comforter

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

suggested further reading: 1 Peter 1:10–12, 22–25

I have heard many fanatical persons say that the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now that is very generally revealed nonsense. The Holy Spirit does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you.” The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added. God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one. When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he brings it out and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one. There are no new doctrines, but the old ones are often revived. It is not, I say, by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts. He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth has long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he creates no more, for enough is done. Believer! There is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever. If thou shouldst outnumber the years of Methuselah, there would be no need for a fresh revelation; if thou shouldst live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word; if thou shouldst go down as deep as Jonah, or even descend as David envisaged into the belly of hell, still there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence. But Christ says, “He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.”

for meditation: The Spirit of truth who guides into all the truth (John 16:13) does not work independently of Jesus the truth (John 14:6), the only true God (John 17:3) and the word of truth (John 17:17). Otherwise “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

sermon no. 5[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 297). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Thursday Briefing October 17, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 LeBron James Missed His Shot When He Entered the Controversy Between the NBA and China: The Moral Perils of Economic Involvement

PART II

 The Battle for the Dignity of Unborn Human Life Rages On: U.S. Appellate Court Blocks Ohio’s Ban on Abortion of Babies with Down Syndrome

PART III

 2020 Democratic Candidates Won’t Say “Abortion”: The Democratic Plan to Codify Roe v. Wade Becomes Clear on Debate Stage

PART IV

 The Defense of Life Defines the Race: Absolute Contrast In Election Battle for Kentucky Governor

DOWNLOAD MP3


DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

PART II

PART III

17 OCTOBER 365 Days with Calvin

Measured Grace

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Ephesians 4:7

suggested further reading: 2 Thessalonians 1

Let each one of us look to himself, for we shall each give account of the benefits that God has bestowed upon us (Luke 16:2). The more a person has received, the more he will be blamed if he does not discharge his duty in serving his neighbors. The purpose of God’s gifts is to edify one another so that God’s temple may grow among us and be further built until it reaches full perfection.

You see, then, how we ought to use the spiritual gifts that we have received from God. For the same reason, those who know the gospel should show by the conduct of their whole life that they are the children of light, and not be like blind wretches that wander in darkness (Luke 16:8).

Let us learn to make God’s gifts serviceable in such a way that he may be glorified in them. In that respect, we are told about the measure of those gifts so that we should not plead that this or that person fails to offer us a good example. For when it is a question of commendation, every one of us makes himself believe, and would persuade the entire world to believe, that he is most excellent. In the meanwhile, we do not consider that God has doubly bound us to him in promising to show us such bountifulness that he has set us higher than our neighbors.

Let us give better consideration to what we have done, both generally and particularly.

for meditation: To whom much is given, much is required. It is a terrible travesty that many men and women whom God has gifted in extraordinary ways have used those gifts in rebellion against him. But how wonderful it is to see great gifts used in the service of God! Whether our gifts are greater or lesser than those of others, let us be sure to use them in God’s service. How can you do so?[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 309). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.