Daily Archives: October 28, 2019

October 28 God’s Plan for Good

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 1:3–11

Key Verse: Nehemiah 1:4

So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Do you sometimes feel that a dark cloud of discouragement is following you no matter what you do? Have your peace and joy been replaced by feelings of hopelessness and frustration?

Certainly the prophet Nehemiah experienced great discouragement as he learned of the distress and destruction in Jerusalem. Chapter one, verse 4, tells us that in response to this news, he grieved and prayed for days.

The interesting part of this passage is the description of what Nehemiah did next. After his period of mourning, he offered God a four-part prayer.

First, Nehemiah offered praise to God for His faithfulness and loving-kindness (verse 5). Next, he confessed the collective sins of his people (verse 7). Then, he acknowledged the appropriateness of God’s judgment (verse 8). And finally, he asked God to show him success and compassion (verse 11).

Nehemiah’s heartfelt petition contains valuable insight for the discouraged: no matter what happens in the physical world around us, God is in control. He is able to work all things, including our failures, into His plan for our good.

If you are discouraged today, use Nehemiah’s words to create your own prayer to God. Give Him praise, confess any sin in your life, acknowledge the authenticity of His Word, and request His favor as you get up and try again.

The Lord is faithful in all things. Don’t let discouragement block your view of His awesome love and power.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness and lovingkindness. Renew my focus. Help me get up and try again.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 315). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Justified by Faith — Ligonier Ministries Blog

What does it mean to be justified by faith alone? In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul looks at the instrument that links us to Jesus.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for this month only, you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript:

When we say that justification is by faith, we are talking about the instrumental dative—the means by which a person is justified. Justification by faith simply means that the instrument of our justification is that with faith, and by faith, and through faith we are linked to Jesus so that all that He is and all that He has done is given to us.

via Justified by Faith — Ligonier Ministries Blog

October 28 Sitting Before the Lord

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7:18–28

Key Verse: 2 Samuel 7:18

King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”

Are you confused? Unsure of what the next step might be? Anxious about the future? Perplexed over the problems that still beset you?

Perhaps the time is right to meditate on God’s Word. God’s Word is wisdom for your uncertainty, peace for your anxiety, comfort in times of trouble and turmoil. Meditating on the Scriptures is much like enjoying a good meal. How much would you savor the flavor and nourishment of your favorite food if you placed it on your fork, put it in your mouth, and then immediately took it out again?

When we meditate on God’s Word, we taste its rich goodness and receive its energizing life. God’s truths are absorbed into the inner man. They are no longer hollow or superficial. There is nothing complex about biblical meditation. Get out your Bible, and locate some Scriptures that are relevant to your need. Then ask God two questions: “Lord, what are You saying here?” and “Lord, what are You saying to me through this passage of Scripture?”

The answer may come quickly. You may need to wait, but know that God hears you and will answer you. Apply what you know to be true, and lean on God’s sufficiency. He will sustain you and see you through your problem.

Father, I am confused, anxious, and perplexed. I wait in Your presence. What do You have to say to me today?[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 315). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Credalist Torch and Pitchfork Society — hipandthigh

While the vast majority of the Beth Moore defenders were overcome with the vapors and collapsed on their fainting couches in response to John MacArthur’s comments, there was another side controversy with him that went unnoticed. During his opening message to the GTY Truth Matters conference, John cited the following Tweet that states,

MacArthur never mentioned the tweeter by name, but a number of folks demanded that he apologize forthwith to the man for slandering his character. One has to wonder what it is exactly he needs to apologize for seeing that he merely just read the guy’s tweet.

Never the less, the tweet represents a small number of Reformish folks who insist MacArthur’s position defending the Lordship of Christ in salvation is adding works to the Gospel. Now, anyone who is familiar with what it is he has taught over the years about the Lordship controversy is bumfuzzled by such a bizarre assertion. That was the smear that rose out of the fever swamps of independent fundamentalist Baptists who hated Calvinism. Why would those Reformish people claim such an absurd assertion against MacArthur?

I’m here to help, so let me break down the basic complaint.

Their charge against MacArthur emerges out of their idea that the Bible must be rigidly interpreted alongside one of the many historic creeds. In the case of the tweeter, the 39 Articles of Religion. The historic creeds, that can also include the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, as well as the early church creeds affirmed at Nicea and Chalcedon, are considered guard rails that prevent the misinterpretation of Scripture. The London Baptist Confession of 1689 is the exception because these Reformish types tend to believe Baptists are heterodox renegades.

MacArthur, of course, acknowledges the importance of those creeds in defining for the modern church the theological thought of Christianity throughout the centuries. He has never said church history or creeds are of no value for the church in understanding what it is Christians have believed and confirmed about Scripture. It’s that idea of the Bible MUST BE interpreted according to those creeds, that’s the sticking point. That sounds an awful lot like the Roman Catholic Magisterium handling of Scripture and their notion that the Bible is interpreted by church authorities. It’s like a Roman Catholic “sola scriptura.” MacArthur’s Reformish critics insist it’s not really, because it’s Protestant, which is okay, because it’s not Roman Catholic. BUT, if the biblical teaching from your church or denomination isn’t governed by one or more of those creeds, you’re all in danger of ignoring church history, and becoming “Bible Only” biblicists or a Dispensational. That’s like really bad.

Their Protestant magisterium application of the creeds and confessions brings them to nitpick over the semantics of theological terminology and concepts. Because MacArthur hasn’t used the credal precision in his preaching about soteriology and the Lordship of Christ as they insist he must, they accuse him of confusing law/Gospel distinctives and mixing up sanctification and justification, and being a dastardly Dispensationalist.

For those familiar with MacArthur’s views on Christ’s Lordship, he was originally responding to the spiritually disastrous teaching that was permeating all of evangelical Christianity in America at the time, that being, in order for a person to be saved all he ever has to do is pray a prayer telling Jesus he wants eternal life. That person is now saved, and even if his life never changes so as to conform to godly Christlikeness, and he continues to live worldly, he is saved, because he prayed what amounts to a Christianized mantra when an evangelist told him to raise his hand if he wanted salvation.

MacArthur then spent a lot of his time — like years! — preaching and writing against such easy-believism infecting the church. Salvation entails much more than just “praying a prayer” or “walking and aisle.” It involves repenting from sin and making Jesus Lord of your life. His sermons and books, like the Gospel According to Jesus and Hard to Believe, flesh all of that out. But again, because he doesn’t use credal terminology, the credal only Reformish insist he is confusing law, gospel, works and grace, and teaches justification by grace+works.

There are a number of individual articles, podcasts, and Youtube videos berating  MacArthur about this, for instance HERE (featuring our tweeter). His critics come from two extremes on the theological spectrum from R.Scott Clark (HERE) and of recent, Brannon Howse (see HERE).

So to recap:

The tweeter took note of MacArthur reading his tweet and responded to him by retweeting his original tweet (see above) and then expanding on his view against “Lordship salvation” under the thread. The responses he offered to inquirers asking why MacArthur’s Lordship view is works oriented were — to be charitable here — a tad misleading.

Consider his examples,

He cites from a couple of places in MacArthur’s seminal book on the topic, The Gospel According to Jesus. The examples provided has MacArthur saying that faith is humble, submissive, and encompasses obedience. The implication is that he is advocating that true faith somehow requires humility, submissiveness, and obedience from the sinner in order for it to be genuine. Meaning, the sinner musters those qualities FIRST so as to generate true faith. Thus, faith is not a divine work and considered alone with humility, submission, and obedience being the fruit that grows in the work of sanctification. The conclusion drawn by our critic is that MacArthur is saying that faith is an act of obedience on the part of the sinner and is so confusing justification with sanctification.

There are a couple of problems with these examples.

First, the citations are taken out of context, and that’s kind of big. Let me reproduce the paragraphs in their entirety. I will bold the quotes mentioned in the tweets.

This is taken from chapter 12, The Treasure of the Kingdom,

Obviously, a new believer does not fully understand all the ramifications of the Lordship of Jesus at the moment of conversion. But a true believer has a desire to surrender. This is what distinguishes true faith from a bogus profession. True faith is humble, submissive obedience. As spiritual understanding unfolds, that obedience grows deeper, and the genuine believer displays an eagerness to please Christ by abandoning everything to His lordship. This willingness to surrender to divine authority is a driving force in the heart of every true child of the kingdom. It is the inevitable expression of the new nature. [GATJ, 1st edition, 140].

In context, MacArthur is nowhere saying that obedience, or submissive humility, are necessary preconditions for saving faith. That charge is rather scurrilous to say the least.

Consider the second and third citations taken from pages 172 and 173,

This is taken from chapter 16, The True Nature of Saving Faith.

We have seen already that repentance is a critical element of genuine faith, and that repentance is granted by God; it is not a human work (Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25). Likewise, faith is a supernatural gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 is a familiar passage: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” [GATJ, 1st edition, 172).

The third citation is terrifically dishonest,

Again, taken from chapter 16,

The faith God begets includes both the volition and the ability to comply with his will (cf. Philippians 2:14). In other words, faith encompasses obedience. [Here the critic inserts ellipses, but in doing so robs MacArthur of his argument and making him say something he never did] Berkhof sees three elements to genuine faith: an intellectual element (notitia), which is the understanding of truth; and emotional element (assensus), which is the conviction and affirmation of truth; and a volitional element (fuducia), which is the determination of the will to obey truth. Modern popular theology tends to recognize notitia and often assensus but eliminate fiducia. Yet faith is not complete unless it is obedient. [GATJ, 1st edition, 173].

Put together in context, MacArthur is not confusing law/Gospel or sanctification with justification. He is clear that saving faith, and even repentance, are a supernatural, divine work of God. His point is that real faith is more than just a profession that never amounts to a changed life. Real faith is the fuducia kind mentioned by Berkhof that is a determination to willfully obey truth, not just the emotional acknowledgement of facts as true. Our tweeter (and the entire host of credal critics) have, I can only guess intentionally, misrepresented everything that MacArthur has taught on this topic.

But even worse, those critics are arguing with the first edition of the Gospel According to Jesus. The second edition contains some clarifying rewrites and an entirely new chapter on the topic of justification that was added for the purpose of addressing those sorts of dishonest criticisms. MacArthur writes this important paragraph in the preface of the second edition,

The original edition had no treatment of the doctrine of justification by faith. My goal in writing the book, of course, was not to set forth a systematic soteriology, but simply to expound the major evangelistic messages of our Lord. I rather assumed that evangelicals on both sides of the lordship question were in basic agreement on the matter of justification. Admittedly, this omission was unfortunate. It seems to have contributed to some reader’s [Insert here: pedant Reformish credal nitpickers] of my views. A few even imagined that I was explicitly repudiating the great Reformation emphasis on justification by faith alone. Of course, that was not at all the point I was making. [GATJ, 2nd edition, 13-14].

Peruse MacArthur’s catalog of sermons and books and it will be discovered that he affirms and teaches a forensic understanding of justification, that men are saved by faith alone in Christ alone by the grace of God. This is clearly seen in his sermon series on the book of Romans, specifically his study on chapters 3 and 4. I would also add his messages on the Doctrines of Grace, as well as his message specifically on the Gospel According to Jesus.

I would hope that going forward, the credalists would interact with John’s most recent thought on this topic, rather than cherry-picking selected highlights from an older work. Even still, the older work, when considered in full, doesn’t even come close to advocating what they claim it does.

via Credalist Torch and Pitchfork Society — hipandthigh

October 28 Your View of God

Scripture reading: Psalm 31:1–24

Key verse: Psalm 31:23

Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!

For the Lord preserves the faithful,

And fully repays the proud person.

What you hear from your heavenly Father will be affected by your attitude. Your relationship with God also will be impacted for better or worse by how you view God Himself. What is your understanding of this loving God, our blessed Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer?

There is a revealing exercise you can conduct to monitor how properly you view God. Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. Use the left-hand side for one list of descriptions and the right-hand side for another.

On the left side, write (1) “a loving Father,” and on the right side, write “demanding.” In the same manner, record the following phrases on opposite sides of the line: (2) an intimate Friend; distant; (3) a patient Teacher; intolerant and critical; (4) a gentle Guide; rigid and strict; (5) an understanding Counselor; insensitive; (6) a generous Provider; reluctant and stingy; (7) a faithful Supporter; inconsistent.

Now, which god do you serve? The God of the Bible is the One you have characterized with the descriptions on the left-hand side of your page. There is no shadow of turning in your heavenly Father, and He did not create you for a relationship with Him only to become demanding, distant, intolerant, critical, rigid, strict, insensitive, reluctant, stingy, and inconsistent.

Father, thank You for Your love, patience, and understanding. You are my Provider, Supporter, and intimate Friend. I rejoice in You today![1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 315). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Watch: President Trump SLAMS Head of Chicago Police Who Boycotted His Speech – Then Dunks on Hollywood Hoaxer Jussie Smollett (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Following his historic weekend with the news of ISIS leader’s death in Syria President Trump spoke at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference at McCormick Placein Chicago on Monday.

During his remarks President Trump took a shot at Chicago Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson who boycotted the president’s speech today to appease Chicago Democrat leaders.

And then the president took a shot at Hollywood hoaxer Jussie Smollett for his criminal actions faking a hate crime and smearing Trump supporters.

President Trump: Then you have the case of this wise guy Jussie Smollett who beat up himself. (laughter) And he said, “MAGA Country did it.” MAGA Country. OK. It’s a hate crime. That’s a hate crime. And it’s a scam. It’s a real big scam. Just like the impeachment of your president is a scam.

The post Watch: President Trump SLAMS Head of Chicago Pol

via Watch: President Trump SLAMS Head of Chicago Police Who Boycotted His Speech – Then Dunks on Hollywood Hoaxer Jussie Smollett (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

JPMorgan Prepares For Next Recession By Shifting Jobs From NYC To Texas | ZeroHedge News

A new report via Bloomberg details how JPMorgan Chase & Co. is preparing for the next economic downturn by weighing the option to relocate its Manhattan headquarters to lower-cost financial hubs such as ones in Plano, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Wilmington, Delaware.

JPM spokesman Joe Evangelisti told Bloomberg the bank’s new headquarters (likely to be in Texas), will house twice the number of employees than its Manhattan office.

Sources told Bloomberg that hundreds of credit-risk employees have already transferred to Texas. Other sources have said Manhattan will no longer be the location for the bank’s compliance.

Bloomberg noted that other large financial institutions had been exiting NYC for lower-cost commercial hubs across the country.

Deutsche Bank expanded operations in Jacksonville, Florida; Goldman Sachs has built officers in Salt Lake City; and AllianceBernstein Holding LP announced plans to move its headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee.

While JPM CEO Jamie Dimon told investors the bank would build a new headquarters at 270 Park Ave, in Midtown Manhattan, it has also quietly constructed a new building that can house 4,000 employees in the Dallas suburb of Plano. Already, JPM has 25,000 employees in Texas, and if the next recession strikes, it seems that the bank has a clear choice to move operations to a low-cost hub to weather the financial storm.

Dimon mentioned in an investor call last year that the Plano site could be the company’s next headquarters.

“There are more JPMorgan Chase employees in Texas than any other state outside of New York,” he said. “I’m sure it will be No. 1 soon.”

Evangelisti said, “Location strategy is not simply about costs…We build in places to be close to local talent such as Palo Alto, to better serve clients and for business resiliency reasons.”

JPM’s location strategy is a response to streamline the bank before the next economic downturn.

The cost to run a company in NYC has skyrocketed in the last decade. Also, regulations and taxes in the city are some of the highest in the country.

In total, the bank has 37,000 employees across NYC, at least half are bank branch workers, a source told Bloomberg. Once construction at 270 Park Ave is completed, expected in 2023, JPM could consolidate employees across the entire metro area.

As for the next big trend in business, Wall Street banks are already making their exit plans out of NYC to lower-cost financial hubs across the country.

Source: JPMorgan Prepares For Next Recession By Shifting Jobs From NYC To Texas

President Trump Delivers Impromptu Remarks From Joint Base Andrews – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

President Trump delivers remarks to the traveling press pool from Joint Base Andrews. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript]

via President Trump Delivers Impromptu Remarks From Joint Base Andrews – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Recording Industry Adds ‘Explicitly Christian’ Warning Label To Kanye’s New Album — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—In a move designed to protect listeners from content deemed too offensive, the Recording Industry Association of America will add a new “Explicitly Christian” warning label to Kanye West’s latest album, Jesus Is King.

“The new ‘EC’ label will ensure that no one is accidentally exposed to the shockingly Christian messages Kanye is spouting,” a spokesperson for the RIAA told sources. “Consumers deserve to be warned about objectionable lyrics like ‘I b*w down to the K**g’ and ‘accept Him as your L*rd and S***ior’.”

“There’s even an entire song about Chick-fil-A on the album,” he added with a shudder.

At publishing time, the RIAA considered applying the label to all contemporary Christian music but found most of it was too watered down and not explicitly Christian enough to justify the warning.

via Recording Industry Adds ‘Explicitly Christian’ Warning Label To Kanye’s New Album — The Babylon Bee

Washington Post To Run All Headlines By In-House ISIS Marketing Rep — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In order to ensure all headlines about Islamic terrorism are culturally sensitive and do not offend any brave freedom fighters in the Middle East, The Washington Post has retained an ISIS marketing representative.

All headlines published about terrorism will be run by the marketing rep. The PR rep was immediately put to work as headline writers worked to come up with a sensitive take on the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Do you think we should call him an extremist terrorist leader or is that considered offensive?” one intern asked the representative, Aarif al-Samarrai, in a brainstorming session Sunday.

An angered Samarrai began firing his AK-47 into the air and screamed, “ALLAHU AKBAR!” at this suggestion, apparently not happy with the angle. Post writers frantically tried to come up with different headlines to appease him, such as the following:

  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, mischevious rapscallion, passes away of entirely natural causes and definitely not a raid ordered by Trump. Also Trump is bad.
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, noted firearm and explosive enthusiast, dies at 48.
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, prophet of God and all-around swell guy, rewarded with 72 virgins.
  • Evil Americans kill innocent Middle Eastern farmer.
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48

He was finally appeased with the last suggestion, and the Post was able to run it. “This should make everybody on the internet happy,” said one writer, excited to see what Twitter’s reaction would be.

via Washington Post To Run All Headlines By In-House ISIS Marketing Rep — The Babylon Bee

Trump Defends Keeping ‘Leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi Out Of Loop On Al-Baghdadi Raid | The Daily Wire

President Trump, on Monday, defended his decision to keep some top congressional Democrats out of the loop before the U.S. strike on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying the mission was too important to risk.

Trump, on Sunday, said he did not notify some members of Congress — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and senior Democrats on the committees currently working to impeach him, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — about a raid because he was worried about leaks.

Trump, on Monday, repeated his charge.

“The only thing is they were talking about why didn’t I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee, and the answer is because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” Trump said on Monday. “You know that, I know that, we all know that. I’ve watched Adam Schiff leak. He’s a corrupt politician. He’s a leaker like nobody has ever seen before.”

Pelosi, on Sunday, demanded that Trump brief the House on the mission.

“The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region,” she said in a statement. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”

Pelosi also downplayed the significance of taking out the top ISIS leader.

“The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS. Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror,” she said.

On Sunday, Trump said of congressional leaders, “We notified some [and] others are being notified now as I speak.”

“We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before,” Trump said. “There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine.”

Trump added that the “only people that knew were the few people that I dealt with … A leak could have caused the death of all of them.”

“I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in but out,” Trump added. “I wanted to make sure this was kept secret. I don’t want to have men lost and women. I don’t want to have people lost.”

Schiff told ABC News’ “This Week”, on Sunday, that Trump had made a “mistake” by not notifying the congressional “Gang of Eight,” made up of the top Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate intelligence committee as well as leaders from both parties.

“In terms of notifying the Gang of Eight, that wasn’t done. Look, the reason to notify the Gang of Eight is frankly more important when things go wrong. If — the president said it was dangerous flying in. The Russians could have shot down American planes,” Schiff said.

“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a firefight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able to say, ‘We informed Congress we were going in, they were aware of the risks. We at least gave them the chance to provide feedback.’ That wasn’t done here. I think that’s a mistake,” the California Democrat said.

Source: Trump Defends Keeping ‘Leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi Out Of Loop On Al-Baghdadi Raid

Hillary Clinton thinks ‘God put her on earth’ to be president, former Bill Clinton adviser says | RT USA News

Despite a failed run at the presidency in 2016, one former adviser to Bill Clinton reckons Hillary is waiting in the wings for another try in 2020, claiming “She feels like God put her on the earth to do it.”

Speaking to New York talk radio host John Catsimatidis on Sunday, Dick Morris said that Hillary Clinton is likely eyeing up Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, expecting the former vice president to drop out so she can take his place as the Democratic establishment’s chosen candidate.

“My feeling is that she wants to,” Morris said. “She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she’s hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad.”

She’s got to wait until Biden drops out because he’s obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there’s an opening for her

Since losing to Donald Trump in 2016, Hillary has revisited her campaign’s failures, alternately blaming Russia, Benie Sanders, the FBI, WikiLeaks, and misogyny for her loss at the ballot box. Along the way, rumors of a possible rerun of 2016 have simmered away.

Most of these rumors have been just that – rumors. Though her former adviser Philippe Reines told Politico last year that while Clinton’s chances of actually running in 2020 are “somewhere between highly unlikely and zero,” he appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night again to keep the door open.

“She ran for president because she thought she would be the best president,” he told host Tucker Carlson. “There might be a reason that she would be the best person, not only to beat Donald Trump, but to govern after Donald Trump.”

Also on rt.com

Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Tulsi Gabbard sow more Democratic division than Moscow could ever dream of

Indeed, Hillary’s opportunity may come around soon. Joe Biden, the only centrist among the current crop of frontrunners, has had trouble raising funds recently, and has stumbled through a series of embarrassing gaffes on the campaign trail. Meanwhile left-wing candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have pulled ahead.

If Biden drops out, Morris said “all the Democrats are going to say, ‘Oh my God, are we going to nominate Elizabeth Warren… We need a moderate to come out.’ And Hillary will dust off her credentials and say, ‘I’m a moderate. I was that when my husband was president and I’ll be that now.’”

“Make no mistake. She wants it,” he added. “She’s planning on it. She’ll do everything she can to achieve it.”

Though he once advised Hillary’s husband, Morris is not hoping for another Clinton presidency himself. Once one of Bill’s closest and most trusted advisers, he has since switched his allegiance to the Republican party, and swore in 2008 that he would leave the US if Hillary Clinton was elected president.

Source: Hillary Clinton thinks ‘God put her on earth’ to be president, former Bill Clinton adviser says

Pundits ‘Sickened’ by Sight of Fans Booing Trump During World Series | IJR

Pundits, even those vehemently opposed to President Donald Trump, said they were “sickened” by the sight of baseball fans booing the president during Sunday night’s World Series match between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

On their Monday morning show, MSNBC Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi decried the boos and chants of “Lock him up” that erupted among fans when Trump’s name was announced on the stadium public address system and his image popped up on the giant television screen.

“We are Americans,” Scarborough said. “And we do not do that. We do not want the world hearing us chant, lock him up, to this president, or to any president.”

Even though the phrase, directed at Hillary Clinton, was a fixture at Trump’s own rallies during the 2016 campaign, the hosts said such language was uncalled for at a sporting event. Trump left the game about an hour after being booed, well before it was finished.

Politically, Washington is a heavily Democratic-leaning city. More than 90 percent of its residents voted for Clinton in the 2016 match-up.

Trump attended Sunday night’s game with First Lady Melania Trump and a handful of diehard Republican supporters from Congress.

He declined to throw out the first pitch of the series, as is customary for presidents, so as not to detract from the fan’s experience, according to Major League Baseball Rob Manfred. The privilege went instead to celebrity chef Jose Andres.

The Nationals lost Game 5 of the series 7-1.

Source: Pundits ‘Sickened’ by Sight of Fans Booing Trump During World Series

The ongoing move out of stocks into bonds and cash is the biggest since 2008, Goldman Sachs says (GS) | Business Insider

Reuters

  • The gap between flows out of equity funds and into bond and cash funds is the widest since 2008, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote.
  • The shift in allocation signals investors are selling stocks for stabler assets. The analysts cited decelerating economic growth and trade uncertainty for lowered risk appetites.
  • The outflow trend will likely stabilize in 2020 and corporations will continue to prop up equity demand, Goldman said.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Investors continue to flee stocks for bonds and cash as equities reach record highs and economic pressures mount, Goldman Sachs analysts said.

US equity funds saw net outflows of $173 billion in the past 12 months, according to Goldman. Bond and cash funds saw inflows of $259 billion and $592 billion, respectively. The 12-month flow gap from stocks to bonds and cash is the biggest since 2008, the analysts wrote.

Goldman Sachs

“Decelerating US economic growth, trade and geopolitical uncertainty, and near-record high starting equity allocations have likely contributed to the rotation from equities to bonds and cash this year,” they said.

Investors’ appetite for risk appears to sit at a lower point compared to the year-ago period, Goldman noted. The S&P 500 reached a record high early Monday, and stock buyers may see the peak as the opportune time to cash out.

The outflow trend will likely persist through 2019 and stabilize in 2020, according to Goldman. Economic uncertainty will “likely limit a significant increase in equity allocations,” but positive stock returns and rising interest rates should stave off continued outflows, the analysts said.

Investors may not want to stomach the wild swings in stock prices, but corporations are poised to maintain their buying spree. A decline in IPO deals and an increase in cash acquisitions suggests corporations will lead the pack in equity demand next year, the analysts wrote.

Goldman expects corporate buybacks to prop up equity demand, but the bank’s analysts previously forecasted a steady decline in repurchases through 2020. The peak in buyback activity arrived in 2018 after the Trump administration’s tax cut fueled a wave of repurchase programs. Buybacks are projected to fall 15% in 2019, and drop another 5% in the following year, Goldman said.

Source: The ongoing move out of stocks into bonds and cash is the biggest since 2008, Goldman Sachs says (GS)

Hillary Clinton Will Likely Join 2020 Race if Biden Drops Out, Claims Former Adviser | The Epoch Times

Former first lady Hillary Clinton will likely join the 2020 presidential race if former Vice President Joe Biden drops out, said Dick Morris, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton.

“My feeling is that she wants to,” Morris said on Sunday, according to The Hill. “She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it.”

Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to Trump, is “hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad,” Morris claimed.

He said that she is waiting for an opportunity to get into the race and has one condition: If Biden drops out.

“She’s got to wait until Biden drops out because he’s obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there’s an opening for her,” Morris said.

(L) Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Time 100 Summit event on April 23, 2019, in New York. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images) (R) Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio, U.S., Oct. 15, 2019. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Morris said that if Biden leaves the race, Clinton would replace him as a “moderate” candidate because voters will want an alternative to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“The question is are there enough moderates to beat Elizabeth Warren the leftist?” he asked. “Make no mistake. She wants it,” Moris added. “She’s planning on it. She’ll do everything she can to achieve it.”

Clinton’s former aide, Philippe Reines, told Fox News that she isn’t ruling out running for office again.

“You know, she ran for president because she thought she would be the best president,” Philippe Reines said during an Oct. 23 appearance on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. “If she still thought that now, if she thought she had the best odds of beating Donald Trump—I think she would think about it long and hard.”

“She’s not, she hasn’t foreclosed the possibility, I guess,” Carlson added. “No, she has not,” Reines said.

There have been unconfirmed reports saying Clinton, 72, is eyeing a last-minute bid for president. In recent public appearances, Clinton took shots at President Donald Trump, including during an attempt to eulogize Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died earlier this month, at his funeral last week.

She also criticized 2020 candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), claiming she is controlled by the Russians.

“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, referring to Gabbard, as reported by Fox News. “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Senators Say ‘No’

Several Senate Democrats have gone on public record telling Clinton to move on.

“She’s done a great service to our country and public service, and I supported her wholeheartedly, but I believe it’s time for another nominee,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), reported Politico last week.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D )in Chicago Tuesday. Sen. Durbin said the campaign’s strategy of working on voter turnout at the grass-roots level, and in specific swing states, had been significant in Obama’s win. (Shar Adams/The Epoch Times)

“I don’t think it would be good for her,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told the website. “She’s been through this war once. The Republicans have made a target out of her for 30 years and she’s still going to [be] that same target. I just think it would be tough.”

“That would be a mistake,” claimed Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). He then repeated the statement: “That would be a mistake.”

“Absolutely not,” added Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Source: Hillary Clinton Will Likely Join 2020 Race if Biden Drops Out, Claims Former Adviser

The Vengeance of the Lord — Christian Research Network

“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition. But test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification. It was him.”

The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Psalm 58:10

(Steve Lumbley – Apostasy Watch) President Trump held a press conference Sunday morning to announce the death at the hands of US Special Forces one Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, wanted terrorist and head of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  The president described his death in this manner:

“A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm an innocent man, woman or child. He died as a dog. He died as a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”

He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way…….. He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition. But test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification. It was him. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,”

In this news I say Christians everywhere should rejoice. The military operation which resulted in his death was named after Kayla Mueller, a US aid worker and Christian who hostages say stood up to her captors and defended her Christian faith right up to the end.

Kayla Mueller in Captivity: Courage, Selflessness as She Defended Christian Faith to ISIS Executioner ‘Jihadi John’

Photograph: MATT HINSHAW / HANDOUT/EPA

 

During her time as a hostage Mueller was tortured and raped repeatedly by al-Baghdadi himself.  Ultimately ISIS claimed that she died during a Jordanian air strike in Syria. According to witnesses she was praying for escape and survival but in the end she died a martyrs death.

…….I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Rev 6:9-10

Gods judgment upon the wicked is certain. Sometimes we get to see it happen. This is one of those times and for that I am filled with awe and reverence for the Lord.

Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. Deu 32:43

Steve Lumbley 2019 http://www.apostasywatch.com

This article may be reproduced and distributed free of charge as long as it remains in its original form.

via The Vengeance of the Lord — Christian Research Network

October 28, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Past Benefits of Grace

I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus … even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you. (1:4, 6)

The first benefit of being a saint is the grace of salvation. Both which was given and was confirmed in the Greek are in the aorist tense, indicating action completed at a particular, definite point of time. At the moment a person trusts in Jesus Christ, he receives God’s grace and the testimony of Christ is confirmed in him. Once we are in Christ the grace of God is ours. Paul is grateful [I thank my God always concerning you] for those who have received the grace of salvation. His passion was to see people redeemed, and his joy was greatest when that happened. Keeping a proper perspective, his thanks is directed Godward.

Grace (charis) was a common Christian greeting, which Paul had just used in the previous verse in his salutation. The basic meaning of the word is “favor,” but in regard to God’s saving men through His Son it always has the special and distinct sense of undeserved and unrepayable kindness or mercy given to sinners. It is supermagnanimous giving, giving that is totally undeserved and unmerited. It need not, in fact cannot, be repaid. God’s saving grace is free and unearned.

In order to understand the true meaning and significance of God’s grace we need to understand three things that cannot coexist with grace: guilt, human obligation, and human merit.

grace cannot coexist with guilt

First of all, grace cannot coexist with guilt. Grace provides for the alleviation of guilt. God cannot say, “I am gracious and I give you salvation, but one false move and I’ll take it away.” That would not be a gracious gift, but a qualified, legal gift that could be taken away whenever we fell short of God’s requirements. Grace would not be grace if God said, “I will save you if you don’t sin.” If we could keep from sinning we would not need grace, because we would merit salvation, we would deserve it. If grace were given and then later withheld in the least degree because of sin, it would not be the grace taught in Scripture. Grace involves unmerited, undeserved, and permanent forgiveness. Grace can operate only where there is sin. Without need of forgiveness there is no need of grace.

Man can neither escape from nor atone for his own sin. He is guilty and helpless in himself. Because God is holy and just He cannot ignore sin. It must be punished, and its penalty is death (Rom. 6:23). Yet this same verse that declares sin’s penalty also declares the way of its removal, its atonement: “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” By His work on the cross, Christ fulfilled the demands of God’s justice by taking the penalty of our sins upon Himself. In this was God’s supreme provision of grace. When Jesus Christ became guilty for our sin, the price was paid in His death. And once God sovereignly acts in grace to forgive a person’s sin because of trust in His Son’s work, that person is totally and forever free of guilt. He stands in grace, which is continually dispensed to him (Rom. 5:1–3). All guilt is removed and can never return. Grace is God’s gift that completely and permanently overrules guilt.

I have talked with Christians who are so absolutely distraught with guilt that they no longer are able to cope with life. They cannot accept the reality of forgiveness. They have long before trusted Christ as Savior and understood the truth of grace theologically and theoretically. But they do not understand it practically. This is often because they fail to separate the feelings of guilt that result from sin from the ultimate condemnation of the guilty. Sin not only produces feelings of guilt but real guilt, for we are guilty for the sins we commit. Yet that is the very guilt that Christ bore on the cross and that God’s grace in Christ removes. We feel it, we may be chastened for it (Heb. 12:3–11), but we will never be condemned by it. The pain that follows sin is not a mark of condemnation or rejection by God, but is a reminder that we have sinned and should also be a deterrent to further sin.

To have the benefit of being a saint but not be able to experience its full blessing because of doubting is tragic. Still some Christians apparently cannot believe that God could be so completely gracious. Yet incomplete or temporary grace would not be grace. Of course we cannot earn it. Of course we can never deserve it. Of course we can never repay it. That is what makes grace grace.

What greater motivation for becoming a Christian could an unbeliever have, and what greater consolation could a believer have, than to know that in Christ all sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven forever? In Christ all guilt and all penalty are permanently removed. In Him we will stand totally guiltless and holy for the rest of eternity. When God saves, He ultimately takes away all sin, all guilt, all punishment. That is grace.

grace cannot coexist with human obligation

Second, grace cannot coexist with human obligation. We are not to say, “Well, God was gracious to me and He saved me, and now I have to pay Him back.” Grace is a free gift, not a loan. Grace makes us totally indebted to God, but because the cost is so great we cannot repay it, and because His grace is so great we need not repay it. In other words, we are completely indebted, but we have no debt. We cannot pay for our salvation either before or after we are saved.

In discussing the relationship of faith and works to God’s grace, Paul writes, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor [charis, grace], but as what is due” (Rom. 4:4). If we were able at any time or in any way to earn God’s forgiveness, it would be our due. We would earn it and God would owe it to us. We may thank our employer for getting our paycheck to us on time and for paying us willingly and gladly, but we do not thank him simply for paying us. If we have worked for it as we should, we deserve the money and he is obligated to pay it. In paying his employees what they have earned, an employer is not being gracious but simply honest and just. And if for any reason he will not pay for work done, his employee can demand his money, because by right it belongs to the worker.

But grace does not operate on the principle of works, of earning. It is the giving of that which has not been earned or deserved. In relation to God’s gift through His Son, it cannot be earned or deserved. Money can be given or it can be earned. But God’s grace can only be given.

How could we pay for what is priceless? To offer God the greatest love and devotion and obedience and service we have could not approach paying for what He offers us in Jesus Christ. To do so would be like offering a few pennies to pay the national debt. Beside God’s grace our very best works are even more of a pittance.

What makes the message of Christ such good news is that we do not need to pay for salvation. By itself, the truth that we cannot earn salvation would be bad news, the very worst of news, because it would leave man entirely hopeless. But grace makes it good news, the very greatest of news, because grace has made it unnecessary to pay for salvation. Our sinful limitations make it impossible; God’s abundant grace makes it unnecessary. God in Christ has paid for it; we have only to receive it through Him.

We owe God our highest love, our deepest devotion, and our greatest service as expressions of our gratitude and because all we have and are belong to Him—but not because these are able in the least way to buy or repay His gift of love and mercy to us. We love Him; but we are only able to love Him because first “He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). We owe Him everything out of gratitude; we owe Him nothing out of obligation.

grace cannot coexist with human merit

Third, grace cannot coexist with human merit. Grace is not offered simply to “good” people. In relation to each other, some people obviously are morally better than others. But in relation to God’s righteousness, our very best is “like a filthy garment” (Isa. 64:6). A person’s goodness, in relation to other people and certainly in relation to God, is not considered in God’s grace. Merit, like guilt and obligation, has no part in grace. Jesus, speaking to the religious and moral Jewish leaders, shocked them with the fact that tax collectors (traitors to their own people and usually dishonest) and prostitutes (the lowest members of that society) would enter the kingdom of God before those religious leaders (Matt. 21:31–32). Luke 18:9–14 gives the classic account of a morally good man condemned to hell and a morally bad man headed for heaven.

For centuries Israel believed that God had chosen them as His special covenant people because they were better than others. They firmly believed this, in spite of the fact that God had told them otherwise at the very beginning. “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers” (Deut. 7:7–8).

Paul points out that, though the Jews had many blessings and many advantages, especially as recipients of God’s special revelation of Himself, they were not chosen because they were deserving. In many ways they were especially undeserving (Rom. 2:17–3:20). To Gentiles he gave the same warning. They were no better, “for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin” (3:9). Among ourselves we can distinguish between those who are humanly better and those who are worse, but before God every person spiritually stands the same—sinful and condemned in regard to his own merit, his own righteousness. “There is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:22–23). Even in himself—in fact especially in himself—Paul recognized no righteousness, no merit before God. In his own eyes he was the foremost of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15) and “the very least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8).

But again God’s grace turns bad news into good. Because of His grace we do not need to merit salvation. Paul was eternally grateful for the grace of God which was given … in Christ Jesus.

In recent years we have been able, through magazines, newspapers, and television, to see vividly the terrible plight and anguish of people in such places as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Central America, and the Middle East. The sensitive Christian who lives in a free, peaceful country cannot help asking, “Why, Lord, have you given me so much? Why am I free to live peacefully, free to worship where and as I choose, free to work, free to raise my family as I think best, free to have fellowship with other believers?” We know it is not because we are more deserving of blessing. We are blessed because of God’s grace and for no other reason.

three reasons for god’s grace

God has three reasons, three motives, for being gracious to us. First, He provides salvation in order that those who are saved may produce good works. Good works touch and help the lives of others, including telling them of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Ephesians, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). In another letter he instructs Titus that Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). Later in the epistle he explains, “This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men” (3:8). God saved us to do good works because good works benefit men. God wants His children to touch all the world with their goodness, made possible through His Son.

Second, saving grace is meant to bring blessing to believers. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, … made us alive together with Christ, … in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4–7). God graciously saves us in order that He can pour out His great blessings on us forever.

Third, and most importantly, God saves us through grace in order to glorify Himself. Grace is given “in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church” and that “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever” (Eph. 3:10, 21). Jesus taught that the primary purpose for letting our light shine before men, made possible by our salvation, is to “glorify [our] Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Jesus’ own primary purpose in going to the cross, which made our salvation possible, was to glorify His Father and to be glorified Himself (John 12:28; 17:1, 4–5). God’s glory is clearly on display in the gracious and powerful work of salvation.

The Lord’s gracious salvation is given in order for the saved to bring blessing to other men through good works, to bring blessing to believers themselves, and above all to bring glory to Himself. He is gracious for the world’s sake, for His children’s sake, and for His own sake.

even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you. (1:6)

We receive God’s grace when the testimony of Christ is confirmed—that is, settled, made steadfast and solid—in us. Testimony is the Greek marturion, meaning “witness,” as it is sometimes translated (see Acts 1:8). It is from this term that we get the English martyr. Christ’s witness is settled and confirmed in us when we trust in Him as Lord and Savior. At that moment, and forever after that moment, we stand in God’s grace.

In the New Testament marturion is most commonly used in relation to the gospel, and first of all to its proclamation. The Holy Spirit empowered the apostles, and continues to empower all Christ’s disciples, to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Paul’s own calling centered in his “solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21; cf. v. 24), whether his testimony was accepted or not (22:18). The Lord assured Paul that he would not die until his testimony for Him was complete, the final witness being in Rome (23:11).

The context indicates that the deepest meaning of marturion (or marturia), however, is in its representing the gospel itself, not merely its proclamation. The testimony of which Paul counseled Timothy not to be ashamed was the “testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:8), that is, the gospel of the Lord. John tells us that “the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). The greatest testimony is not about the message of salvation but is the message of salvation. It is not when we hear the testimony about Christ, but when we have the testimony concerning Christ … confirmed in us, that we become partakers of God’s grace.

In 1 Corinthians 1:4, then, we see the divine offer of grace, and in 1:6 the positive human response to grace. When a person in faith accepts God’s offer, grace becomes operative. All sin is forgiven and all guilt is removed, forever. At that time God begins to pour out the superabundance of His blessings and riches on His new child, and He will not stop throughout all eternity. That is the extent of God’s grace.[1]


4 The most important thing to recognize about Paul’s thanksgiving is that he directs it to God, not to any human being. Thus his praise of the Corinthians is only indirect. Whatever spiritual blessings and gifts they display should never be an occasion for pride on their part; rather, they owe it all to the “grace [of God] given you in Christ Jesus”—the same grace that redeemed them in the first place. This message is as important today as it was when Paul first wrote it. No one should ever manifest personal pride in his or her abilities, regardless of whether they are used in the church or in society at large. All thanksgiving belongs to God, for it is only he who has “enriched [us] in every way” (v. 5).[2]


4 It is Paul’s regular habit (“always”) to give thanks for his converts, as well as for other Christians. Indeed, his ability to give thanks for these Christians probably says much about his own character. If he must speak strongly to them, indeed at times be sarcastic and shame them, he nonetheless never ceases to be thankful for them; for in the final analysis, even though he feels responsible for them as a father for his children (4:14–21), they are God’s people, not his own. In every redeemed person there is evidence of the grace of God, and that brings forth Paul’s gratitude, both to God and for them. To delight in God for his working in the lives of others, even in the lives of those with whom one feels compelled to disagree, is sure evidence of one’s own awareness of being the recipient of God’s mercies. So it was with Paul. The self-sufficient are scarcely so disposed.

The specific basis of Paul’s thanksgiving in their case is God’s “grace given you in Christ Jesus.” Commonly this is viewed as a thanksgiving for grace as such, i.e., the gracious outpouring of God’s mercy in Christ toward the undeserving. However, for Paul charis (“grace”) very often is closely associated with charisma/charismata (“gift/gifts”) and in such instances refers to concrete expressions of God’s gracious activity in his people. Indeed, the word “grace” itself sometimes denotes these concrete manifestations, the “graces” (gifts), of God’s grace. So, e.g., in 1 Cor 16:3 and 2 Cor. 8–9, charis refers not only to the “grace of giving” on the part of the Corinthians, but concretely to their gifts as well.

Such a “concrete” understanding of grace seems to be what is in view here, since vv. 5–7 specify its manifestations in terms of certain charismata (“gifts”), which in fact the Corinthians tended to prize very highly. Paul’s emphasis, of course, differs considerably from theirs. They stressed the gifts per se; he the gracious activity of God, who would so gift his people. Precisely because they are “given” by God and are “grace” (unmerited by the recipients), there can be no grounds for boasting on their part. Paul’s dilemma in this letter is to convince the Corinthians to share his view of these benefits, since they arrogantly boast over the very things that as gifts may not be the source of personal boasting (cf. 4:7).[3]


1:4 / Paul reports his giving thanks to God at the outset of this section. He reiterates such thanksgiving later in the letter at 14:18. Paul does not mention prayer per se at this point, but the fact that his thanksgiving is directed to God indicates that he has prayerful activity in mind. The word always in this report emphasizes Paul’s regularity and constancy in remembering and rejoicing over the Corinthians. Paul’s thankfulness, however, is not primarily because of the Corinthians themselves, but rather because of the grace of God that affects the lives of the Corinthians. God as the source of grace and the giver of grace is the object of Paul’s thanksgiving. Grace itself in this statement is the experience of salvation, but not merely as the moment of initial faith. Rather, the following comments show that for Paul grace is the ongoing experience of God’s endowing the Corinthians with spiritual gifts that redefine their lives.

Paul’s references to grace make it clear that the Corinthians experience grace as a gift from God. Grace is given by God; there is no foundation for boasting (a major concern of the rest of the letter) in the Corinthians’ experience of grace. The grace the Corinthians have, the gifts that are manifested among them, are God’s and not their capacities and achievements (cf. 4:7–8). Moreover, Paul locates the experience of God’s grace specifically in relation to Christ Jesus. In the context of Christian faith and life the Corinthians are the recipients of God’s gift of grace, so that the grace is never purely at their disposal. Grace comes in a context and for a purpose, as Paul makes plain throughout the entire letter. God’s endowments are for specific reasons in the context of the Christians’ relationship to Christ and his community of faith.[4]


1:4 I always thank my God. Thanksgiving flows from a recognition that a gift is given and a debt of gratitude is owed. Such a clear sense of indebtedness to God made thanksgiving the daily pattern of Paul’s life. Paul may have been instrumental in planting the church, but it was God’s nurturing grace that gave it root and made it grow (3:6). Thanksgiving was not diminished by the problems flourishing among the Corinthians; the problems were caused not by God’s generous gifts but by the church’s misunderstanding and misuse of these gifts.

because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. The Greek construction here underscores that God’s grace is not just the occasion for the thanksgiving; rather, grace is the undergirding foundation for every statement Paul makes and for every experience the church has. The grace Paul talks about is not from a human patron but from God, who grants his grace in Christ. Put differently, God’s grace flows to those who are a part of the “in Christ” community.

To be “in Christ” is to be part of the community that belongs to Christ and recognizes his lordship. The modern and Western individualized interpretation of Paul’s use of the phrase “in Christ,” which argues that personal faith can live without community participation, is foreign to Pauline texts. To Paul, the suggestion that one could be Christian without belonging to the Christ community would be as odd as to suggest that one could be a Jew without belonging to Israel. Furthermore, in the Greco-Roman context the notion of individual independence would seem odd. The very structure of social interaction was built on participation in communities that depended on goodwill from patrons (and loyalty from clients). This is why Paul consistently uses plural pronouns (speaking to the community, not the individual) when he speaks of being “in Christ.”[5]


4. I always thank my God concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus.

When Paul writes “I always thank my God concerning you,” he reveals his pastoral heart. He prays for the churches he has founded and thanks God for them. He uses the adverb always to qualify the verb thank. But how is Paul able to express his gratitude to God on behalf of the Corinthian church? The members have caused him untold grief with their divisions, immorality, marital problems, and lawsuits. Can Paul accurately write the word always? Is he using a formula at the beginning of his epistle? No, Paul’s heart is filled with gratitude because God chose to call his people out of the immoral and idolatrous environment of Corinth. Even there God established the church in fellowship with Jesus Christ (v. 9). For that reason he can continually thank God.

“For the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus.” This is the second time in as many verses (vv. 3 and 4) that Paul uses the expression grace. In the Greek, derivatives of this expression also appear in the verb thank (v. 4) and in the noun gift (v. 7). In brief, Paul stresses the concept grace in these verses. What is the significance of this concept? Paul is amazed at God’s grace, in the form of spiritual gifts, lavished on the Corinthian Christians (see, e.g., the enumeration of gifts in 12:4–11). God’s grace becomes evident in the gifts he gives to his people.

Notice that Paul uses the passive construction in the second half of this verse. Grace was given to the Corinthians by God. He is the implied agent and the Corinthians are the passive recipients (see Rom. 12:6; 2 Cor. 8:1). Paul gives thanks for God’s faithfulness to the believers in Corinth, but he says nothing about any inherent virtues of the Corinthians. Further, Paul states that God’s grace has been given in Christ Jesus. That is, in Christ the recipients of this grace have been redeemed and are now set apart from the pagan world in which they live.[6]


1:4. Before wrestling with a long list of problems in the Corinthian church, Paul mentioned several positive feelings and hopes. He affirmed that he was always sure to thank God for his readers, and explained why.

Paul first explained that the cause of his gratitude was the grace, or unmerited favor, the Corinthians had received in Christ Jesus. Some interpreters have also suggested that grace refers to the Corinthians’ charismatic gifts. The phrase in Christ appears often in Paul’s writings. It refers to his teaching that all who trust in Christ have been joined to him, participating in his death and resurrection. Those united to Christ die to the judgment of death and come alive to countless blessings of new life, sharing in Christ’s inheritance (Rom 6:1–7; Gal 3:28–29; Eph. 1:3–14). By being united to Christ, believers draw their life from him (Gal. 2:20; cf. John 15:1–8; 17:22–23), and Christ represents them as righteous before the Father (Rom. 5:15–19; 1 Cor. 15:22).[7]


1:4 Having concluded his salutation, the apostle now turns to thanksgiving for the Corinthians and for the wonderful work of God in their lives (vv. 4–9). It was a noble trait in Paul’s life that always sought to find something thankworthy in the lives of his fellow believers. If their practical lives were not very commendable, then he would at least thank his God for what He had done for them. This is exactly the case here. The Corinthians were not what we would call spiritual Christians. But Paul can at least give thanks for the grace of God which was given to them by Christ Jesus.[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 11–16). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 262). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (1987). The First Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 37–38). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (pp. 23–24). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Vang, P. (2014). 1 Corinthians. (M. L. Strauss, Ed.) (pp. 16–17). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 37–38). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[7] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, pp. 6–7). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1747). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

October 28, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

For President Donald Trump, the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a signature achievement that may help quell growing criticism from his own ranks, but it is unlikely to offer much relief from Democratic-led scrutiny of his dealings with Ukraine.

Fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying” in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, fulfilling what he called his top national security goal.

The Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump will have made a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism if a U.S. assertion that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead is true.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday the United States would increase economic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, making the pledge during a Middle East trip that includes visits to U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese banks said on Monday they would ensure public sector workers were paid their salaries as they remain closed by a wave of protests against politicians blamed for corruption and steering Lebanon toward economic collapse.

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said on Monday that he would meet foreign ministers from Turkey, Iran and Russia in Geneva on Tuesday, a day ahead of the first meeting of Syria’s Constitutional Committee.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he planned to call Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales later in the day to congratulate them for winning recent presidential elections.

The European Union agreed a three-month flexible delay on Monday to Britain’s departure from the bloc as Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushes for an election after opponents forced him to request an extension he had vowed never to ask for.

The fate of Missouri’s only abortion clinic is at stake on Monday, as a state arbiter hears arguments from Planned Parenthood and state officials who have threatened to close the clinic and make Missouri the sole U.S. state without legal abortion services.

Hong Kong has fallen into recession, hit by five months of anti-government protests that erupted in flames at the weekend, and is unlikely to achieve any growth this year, the city’s Financial Secretary said.

AP Top Stories

More than 180,000 people have been forced to flee their homes after “historic” winds whipped up a wildfire in northern California’s wine country and forced the state’s largest utility company to cut electricity for millions to prevent more fires.

Nearly 900 children in the small Pakistani city of Ratodero were bedridden early this year with raging fevers that resisted treatment. Parents were frantic, with everyone seeming to know a family with a sick child. In April, the disease was pinned down and the diagnosis was devastating: The city was the epicenter of an HIV outbreak that overwhelmingly affected children. Health officials initially blamed the outbreak on a single pediatrician, saying he was reusing syringes.

The number of bodies recovered from a mass grave in Mexico near the Arizona border has risen to 42 after three days of searching, the Sonora attorney general’s office said.

Freshman Representative Katie Hill (D., Calif.) resigned after allegations she engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with a male congressional staffer and a female campaign staffer.

Global markets are “awash” in crude thanks to the surge in U.S. oil output, and the boom looks set to continue, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said.

A rubber boat with 53 African migrants, including 14 women and two children, was stopped off Libya’s western town of Abu-Kemmash, about 15.5 miles from Tunisia, said the coast guard.

Lebanese demonstrators set up barricades and parked cars across key roads to protest corruption and press their demands for a radical overhaul of their country’s sectarian political system.

Police found more than 40 skulls, dozens of bones and a fetus in a glass jar next to an altar in the den of suspected drug traffickers in Mexico City during a raid this week. Four of the skulls were built into the altar in the central Tepito neighborhood, where police arrested 31 people on Tuesday on suspicion of drug cartel activity. A judge ordered 27 of the suspects released.

The vast majority of Japanese voters back allowing women to inherit the Chrysanthemum Throne. The survey, conducted in the wake of last week’s enthronement proclamation ceremony for Emperor Naruhito, found 81.9 percent favor Japan having a woman take the throne, with 13.5 percent opposed.

Beijing’s new $63 billion Daxing airport began its first scheduled international flights on Sunday as it ramped up operations to help relieve pressure on the city’s existing Capital airport.
BBC

Claudia López, a gay politician who advertises herself as “incorruptible”, has become the first woman to be elected mayor of Colombia’s capital, Bogotá.

Roman Catholic bishops have voted to allow married men to become priests in the Amazon region, exempting them from the centuries-old rule on celibacy.

WND

A compensation plan has been developed for victims of a program established by the city of Philadelphia that confiscated homes, cars and money without reason.

A Russian woman is fighting a fine of about $155 in court in St. Petersburg, Russia, for allowing her church to hold a worship service at her home.

Anecdotes and evidence are slowly bubbling to the surface that the organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prisons and labor camps are unwillingly harvested.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 28, 2019

The Foundation

“If we desire to insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.” —George Washington (1793)

Operation Kayla Mueller — Baghdadi Dead

U.S. forces took out the self-proclaimed “caliph” of the Islamic State in a big win.


A Case Study in Leftist Mockery of Marriage

Katie Hill resigns from Congress following the initiation of a House ethics probe.


Conservatives’ True North

The Heritage Foundation offers guidance on how to recalibrate the conservative movement.


Recapping a Spying, Lying Obama Administration

The previous regime had quite the sordid history of scandalous spying on Americans.


Hillary’s Third Time a Charm?

Rumors about Clinton entering the presidential race are likely for another design.


Homelessness ‘Backlash’ Isn’t the Real Problem

Leftist policies that created a rash of homelessness get less focus than the “backlash.”


The Lies the Left Tells About Lynching

Why is so-called “woke” culture so desperately worried about words?


Video: Can Biological Males Menstruate?

Matt Walsh discusses how the feminine hygiene brand “Always” was recently bullied.


Video: Why New Star Wars Trumps New Coke Disaster

Stephen Green says JJ Abrams never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.



Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Barr Launches Criminal Probe
Tony Perkins
Secretary Ben Carson: America’s Dr. Politically Incorrect
Kathryn Jean Lopez
Missed Opportunity for the Dems
Burt Prelutsky
Sucking Up to China
Peggy Noonan
Elijah Cummings and the Little Sisters
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday Top News Executive Summary

ISIS leader dead, Katie Hill out, judicial activism, news from The Swamp, and more.


Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Ronald Reagan, Erick Erickson, George Soros, 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 – 10/28/2019

Biden says Kushner has no ‘credentials’ to be drafting Middle East peace plans

Gantz after meeting Netanyahu: ‘I’ll do everything I can to avoid unnecessary elections’

Netanyahu, Gantz government talks bear no fruit

‘You are hurting me,’ Netanyahu heard telling publisher in leaked recording

WJC to honor Nikki Haley for calling out anti-Israel bias at UN

Pittsburgh victims remembered at anniversary ceremony with tears and prayers

Tree of Life massacre: A year later, US Jewish communities still facing ‘significant threats’

Netanyahu: Chief of Staff’s Warnings of Approaching War with Iran Not a Spin

Lebanon protesters successfully form 170-kilometer human chain, says organizer

Lebanon is at a crossroads between a new start or a return to unrest

Egyptian Sisi extends state of emergency

ISIS target believed to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is killed in Syria: sources

Report: al-Baghdadi’s location was given by one of his wives

Kurdish commander: ‘Historic’ Baghdadi op was result of joint intel work with US

ISIS leader killed in daring U.S. raid in Syria, Trump says

Trump says ISIS leader “died like a coward” in U.S. raid in Syria

America ‘woke up to learn’ that US will destroy any terror group that threatens it, Pence says

Pence: ‘All credit’ for al-Baghdadi raid goes to Trump’s ‘decisiveness’ and special operations forces

Trump wins big with Baghdadi death — and intends to milk it

Baghdadi assassination succeeded despite Trump, not thanks to him – US officials

Pelosi: Trump Notified Russia of Baghdadi’s Death Before Telling Congressional Leadership

Trump says he kept details of ISIS operation from Pelosi to avoid leaks

Pelosi slams Trump for cutting Democrats out of loop on Baghdadi raid

Al-Baghdadi takedown catches Dems flat-footed, blunts criticism of Trump’s Syria pullback

Netanyahu Congratulates Trump for Baghdadi Killing

Netanyahu: Death of ISIS chief an ‘important milestone’

Islamic State leader’s death is important, but not a game changer

ISIS Already Has a New Leader, But Baghdadi May Not Have Been Running the Group Anyway

France on high alert for revenge attacks following death of al-Baghdadi

Russia Accusing US of Smuggling Syrian Oil to the Tune of $30 Million a Month

US still pressing Turkey to nix Russian missile purchase, official says

North Korea growing impatient with US, warns of ‘exchange of fire at any moment’ amid stalled talks

350,000 protest on the streets of Barcelona

U.S. lawmakers hear from ‘corroborating’ witness in Trump impeachment probe

Schiff: ‘Bolton is a very important witness’

Impeachment Panels Threaten Contempt If Official Defies Subpoena

Trump opponents are ‘chasing the ghost’ on impeachment, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says

Comey on Trump Winning in 2020: I’ll Be at ‘My New Home in New Zealand’

Christians who don’t vote for Trump will ‘stand accountable before God’, says Paula White

So much for a cashless society: Currency is popular again, especially the $100 bill

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Damai, China

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Aksu, China

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Kluchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 23,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

A remarkable record-breaking tropical system in the North Atlantic today – hurricane PABLO forms west of the Bay of Biscay

Tropical Storm Pablo churns in Atlantic, Olga falls apart in the Gulf

Hurricane-Force Diablo Winds Fan Massive Kincade Fire; Flames Closing In On Windsor

Gov Gavin Newsom Struggles To Stay In Control As California Goes Dark, Wildfires Spread, And Gas Prices Spike

California Wildfires: Nearly 200,000 Forced To Evacuate Amid Statewide Emergency

Support group for religious parents of LGBT children to launch in West Bank settlements

Chinese Church Fined $1,400 for Owning ‘Wrong’ Version of Bible

2 dead, 14 injured in shooting at college party in Texas


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

Baghdadi Operation Named After Christian Woman Who Refused to Give Up Faith Before ISIS Killed Her — Faithwire

By Emily Jones

The US military operation that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dedicated to Kayla Mueller, a young Christian woman who was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by the Islamic State.

Mueller, 26, was abducted by ISIS in August 2013 in Aleppo, Syria while serving on a humanitarian mission with Doctors Without Borders. US officials said Baghdadi tortured and repeatedly raped her at his compound before announcing in 2015 that she died in captivity. Her body has never been recovered.

White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told NBC’s Meet the Press” on Sunday that the operation against Baghdadi was named after Mueller.

“The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” O’Brien said, adding that Baghdadi was the “most vicious, cruel man.”

Her father, Carl Mueller, recounted his daughter’s last days in an interview with  The Arizona Republic shortly after President Donald Trump announced Baghdadi’s death.

“What this man did to Kayla — he kidnapped her,” Mueller said. “She was held in many prisons. She was held in solitary confinement. She was tortured. She was intimidated. She was ultimately raped by al-Baghdadi himself.”

“He either killed her or he was complicit in her murder,” Mueller said. “I’ll let people who read this article make up their own mind how a parent should feel.”

Standing Strong in Her Faith

Mueller’s fellow hostages, who were later freed, told ABC News in 2016 she never stopped caring for others and even defended her faith against the infamous British ISIS executioner named Mohammed Emwazias, also known as “Jihadi John.”

Emwazias oversaw three other British ISIS terrorists who were in charge of the hostages. Those in captivity called them “The Beatles.”

One former male hostage from Denmark, Daniel Rye, explained that Emwazias paraded Mueller in front of the other captives. It was also a chance for her to present an in-person “proof of life” by introducing herself.

“One of the Beatles started to say, ‘Oh, this is Kayla and she has been held all by herself. And she is much stronger than you guys. And she’s much smarter. She converted to Islam.’ And then she was like, ‘No, I didn’t,’” Rye said.

“I would not have had the guts to say that. I don’t think so,” he continued. “It was very clear that all of us were impressed by the strength that she showed in front of us. That was very clear.”

‘I Have Surrendered Myself to Our Creator’

Mueller also spoke extensively about how she relied on her faith in a hand-written letter given to her parents while she was in captivity. Mueller’s cellmates who were eventually freed gave the letter to her family in the spring of 2014.

Mueller wrote: “I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else.+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall…I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful.”

“I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it,” Mueller said. “I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another.”

She ended the heartfelt letter urging her family to give their pain to God.

“Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong,” she wrote. “That is exactly what I am doing… Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.”

Mueller’s parents praised the Trump administration and the soldiers who killed Baghdadi, but they still have one request: find Kayla and bring her home.

“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller said.

“For me what matters most I’m hoping now we will finally get the answers we have been asking for all along,” Marsha Mueller said. “I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened.”

via Baghdadi Operation Named After Christian Woman Who Refused to Give Up Faith Before ISIS Killed Her — Faithwire

Ken Starr: Trump Impeachment Frenzy ‘Wildly Over-Criminalizing the Conduct of the Business of Government’ — National Review

(Jim Young/Reuters)

Former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr, who headed the impeachment efforts against President Clinton, said on a podcast Monday that the impeachment frenzy surrounding President Trump stems from “creative” efforts and holds Trump “to a remarkable standard.”

“He did nothing that sounds in the nature of a corrupt bargain,” Starr said. “. . . There were 17 people on the phone, including the Secretary of State, so the president was so open, and shall I say transparent, about it that that goes to his intent. There was no corrupt bargain, or attempt to achieve a corrupt bargain.”

Discussing the situation with Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Starr said that while the president may have been imprudent in bringing up Joe Biden, “a potential opponent,” Trump’s concern was “information about election past, not election future.”

Starr said that the much-discussed Ukrainian military aid, which was part of a “quid-pro-quo” with the Ukrainians for investigating Hunter Biden, was delivered by its legally-required end of the fiscal year, making the case even more speculative.

“Even assuming that is was ‘being withheld in this kind of corrupt arraignment,’ it was issued in good order, it was not, in fact, held up, and then you move to, I think, a genuine squabble over the timeline, interpretations over the timeline — this is so far from a cold, on the docks, Richard Nixon-engaged-in [case], and everyone accepted it, in a conspiracy to obstruct justice,” he said.”

Starr pushed back on the use of impeachment as a political weapon, and instead argued that it would be “within the bounds of reason” for Democrats to attempt to censure Trump for mentioning Biden on the call, in the same way the House Republicans recently attempted to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.)

“We need to ratchet down the conversation because of the evils of impeachment,” Starr stated. “Impeachment has become a terrible, terrible thorn in the side of the American democracy and the conduct of American government since Watergate. We need to get rid of this ‘let’s go to impeachment immediately,’ let’s at least have a reasoned and deliberate conversation about some lesser kind of response.”

Starr closed by suggesting the current impeachment tactics by House Democrats have not been pursued in good faith.

“Right now, the Democrats have embarked on quite an unusual and unorthodox process. Time will tell, but fundamental norms of fairness are not being observed at this stage,” he said. “Once this sinks in to the public conscience, as it’s bound to do, because the procedures are so unorthodox, so unusual, such a substantial departure from history that the American people will eventually understand that, and that they will either care about it, as I think they will, or they will brush it off and say ‘well, they should not have done this, but they did.’”

via Ken Starr: Trump Impeachment Frenzy ‘Wildly Over-Criminalizing the Conduct of the Business of Government’ — National Review