Daily Archives: November 4, 2019

November 4 The Believer’s Conduct

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:17–21

Key Verse: 1 Peter 1:21

… who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

We must guard against falling into the trap of turning our walk with the Lord into a grocery list of dos and don’ts. Should this ever happen, the passion, the zeal, the fervor that we once had for the Lord will vanish.

It is easy to get away from relationship and enter into a rigid pattern of relating to God. We can come to a point where we don’t feel or express anything, acting almost like robots for God. To fear God isn’t to be frightened into doing what He wants us to do. To fear God is to worship, respect, and love Him so much that we desire to do what is right. We desire to serve Him in a way that pleases Him and brings glory to His name.

Peter knew that we have to meld discipline with passion. With God’s love and forgiveness serving as Peter’s motivation, he fulfilled the law. This is the beginning of understanding how a believer needs to conduct himself. At the end of this portion of Scripture, Peter reminds us where our hope is: “Your faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:21).

If you are living a life that supports your words, why would you do anything but serve Him? Our conduct reflects what we truly believe about our God and His Word. What message does your conduct convey?

Lord, when I asked You into my life, it was so I could be Your disciple, not Your robot. Keep me from turning our relationship into a list of rules and duties.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 323). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 4 “In the Beginning God”

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 1:1–4

Key Verse: Psalm 135:1

Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; praise Him, O you servants of the Lord!

Our God is an awesome God who has seized the initiative in revealing Himself to mankind. Apart from God’s revelation, man would be mired in ceaseless ignorance and frustration. John Stott painted this awe-inspiring portrait of God in his book Basic Christianity:

“In the beginning God.” The first four words of the Bible are more than an introduction to the creation story or to the book of Genesis. They supply the key which opens our understanding to the Bible as a whole. They tell us that the religion of the Bible is a religion of the initiative of God.

Before man existed, God acted. Before man stirred himself to seek God, God has sought man. In the Bible we do not see man groping after God, we see God reaching after man.

The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to Him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from His throne, lays aside His glory, and stoops to seek until He finds him.

Before the foundation of the universe, God loved you and prepared a way for you to know Him and hear His voice. Meditate on that for a moment, and spill out your gratitude in worship.

Father, before I sought You, You sought me. I do not have to grope after You because You are continually reaching out to me. You prepared a way for me to know You and hear Your voice. I praise You![1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 323). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Do You Believe the Whole Gospel? | Ligonier Ministries

Unbelief. This one word expresses the judgment Emil Brunner, the Swiss “crisis theologian,” used to describe nineteenth-century liberal theology. The rise of such liberalism was a conscious synthesis between naturalism in the world of philosophy and historic Christianity. Liberalism sought to de-supernaturalize the Christian faith and to restrict the modern significance of Jesus and the New Testament to ethical considerations, particularly with respect to the needs of human beings, and especially with respect to their material needs.

This provoked a significant dilemma for the organized church, first in Europe and then in America. If an institution repudiates the very foundation upon which it is built and for which it exists, what happens to the billions of dollars worth of church property and its numerous ordained professionals? The clergy were left with nothing to preach except social concerns. In order to maintain a reason for the continued existence of Christianity as an organized religion, nineteenth-century liberalism turned to a new gospel, dubbed the “social gospel.” This was a gospel that focused on considerations of humanitarianism and had at the core of its agenda a commitment to “social justice.”

The use of the term “social justice” involved an ironic twisting of words. What was in view in this philosophy was basically the redistribution of wealth, following the template of socialism. The false assumption of this so-called social justice was that material wealth can be gained only by means of the exploitation of the poor. Ergo, for a society to be just, the wealth must be redistributed by government authority. In reality, this so-called social justice degenerated into social injustice, where penalties were levied on those who were legitimately productive and non-productivity was rewarded — a bizarre concept of justice indeed.

The rise in importance of the social gospel provoked a controversy known in church history as the “modernist-fundamentalist controversy,” which raged in the early years of the twentieth century. This controversy witnessed an unholy dichotomy between two poles of Christian concern. On the one hand, there was the classic concern of personal redemption accomplished by Christ through His atoning death on the cross, which brought reconciliation for those who put their trust in Jesus. On the other hand there was the consideration of the material well-being of human beings in this world right now. It included the consideration of clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, and caring for the poor.

Many evangelicals at this period in history, in order to preserve the central significance of the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, gave renewed emphasis to evangelism. In many cases, this emphasis upon evangelism was done to the exclusion of the other pole of biblical concern, namely, mercy ministry to those who were poor, afflicted, and suffering. So glaring was the dichotomy between liberal and evangelical concerns that, sadly, many evangelicals began to distance themselves from any involvement in mercy ministries, lest their activities be construed as a surrender to liberalism.

The fallacy of the false dilemma takes two important truths and forces one to choose between them. The assumption of the either/or fallacy is that of two particular matters, only one is true while the other is false; therefore, one is required to choose between the true and the false. The either/or fallacy that stood before the church in this period was either the gospel of personal redemption or the gospel of social concern for the material welfare of human beings.

Even a cursory reading of the New Testament, however, makes it clear that the concerns of Jesus and of the New Testament writers cannot be reduced to an either/or dilemma. The problem with this fallacy, as with all fallacies, is that truth becomes severely distorted. The New Testament does not allow for this false dilemma. The choice that the church has is never between personal salvation and mercy ministry. It is rather a both/and proposition. Neither pole can be properly swallowed by the other. To reduce Christianity either to a program of social welfare or to a program of personal redemption results in a truncated gospel that is a profound distortion.

Historically, before the outbreak of nineteenth-century liberalism, the church did not seem to struggle with this false dichotomy. For centuries, the church understood her task as both to proclaim the saving gospel of the atoning work of Christ and, at the same time, to follow Jesus’ example of ministry to the blind, to the deaf, to the imprisoned, to the hungry, to the homeless, and to the poor. The ministry of the church, if it is to be healthy, must always be firmly committed to both dimensions of the biblical mandate, that we may be faithful to Christ Himself. If we reject either the ministry of personal redemption or of mercy to the afflicted, we express “unbelief.”

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine in 2010.

Source: Do You Believe the Whole Gospel?

November 4 The Fires of Affliction

Scripture reading: Psalm 77:1–20

Key verse: Hebrews 12:1

We also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

During her life, Mrs. Charles Spurgeon faced many difficult trials. The following is an excerpt from a devotional she wrote:

At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch … and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision … In sorrow of heart I asked, “Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me?…”

For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound, a clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin … plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious … Suddenly I realized it came from the log on the fire! The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak’s innermost heart.

Perchance it had garnered up this song in the days when all was well … and the soft sunlight flecked its tender leaves with gold. “Ah,” I thought, “when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified.” Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust and love in Him.

Heavenly Father, when I am being tried in the fires of affliction, help me to praise You. Give me a song in the night.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 323). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jeffrey Epstein, the Clintons, Lolita Express, the MIT Media Lab, and Bill and Melinda… | Natural News

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(Natural News) Just because pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is now being reported dead from alleged suicide doesn’t mean that his unspeakably heinous crimes against humanity, including the seemingly interminable trail of scandals associated with his child trafficking enterprises, have fully received justice.

Truth be told, there remain more unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries than definitive answers as to who all was part of Epstein’s vast network of child sex predators. More than likely, felonious sex crimes against innocent children are still continuing even in Epstein’s absence, which means there’s still a whole lot of work to be done in bringing it all to light.

What we do know is that political cronies Bill and Hillary Clinton maintained a close and personal relationship with Epstein over the course of many years, as did faux philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. And yet, as far as we know, none of these people have been probed for information about the nature of their relationships with Epstein.

The Clintons in particular had long maintained an intimate “business” relationship with Epstein, with Bill having visited Epstein’s infamous “pedo” island numerous times via Epstein’s personal “Lolita Express” airplane. Bill Gates was also spotted at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion on numerous occasions.

As we recently reported, the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was also secretly accepting large cash “donations” from Epstein, as was The New York Times, which coincidentally had Joicho Ito, the now-former head of MIT’s Media Lab, on its board of directors.

Some of the biggest names in government, philanthropy, media, and education were all mysteriously connected to Epstein, we now know, which is why the saga can’t just be put to rest now that Epstein is supposedly dead. As far as rabbit holes go, in other words, this one runs very deep.

Why did Bill Gates meet with and donate millions of dollars to Jeffrey Epstein AFTER Epstein was convicted of sex crimes in 2008?

It’s certainly no secret that Epstein preferred to hobnob with the world’s richest and most famous people. And even after he was convicted of sex crimes back in 2008, Epstein maintained many of these relationships as if nothing had changed – and even formed new ones, including with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The Epstein-Gates relationship reportedly began in 2011, a full three years after Epstein was convicted of luring underage girls to give him massages, after which he would sexually abuse them.

This apparently wasn’t a problem for Gates, who regularly visited Epstein’s New York City mansion with his entourage, as well as flew on Epstein’s private jet. Gates also donated at least $2 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Epstein’s behalf, for reasons that remain largely unknown.

The Times reportedly obtained a photo taken in 2011 of Gates and Epstein together at Epstein’s mansion, along with Jes Staley, who at the time was chief executive officer of investment bank JPMorgan. Staley has since gone on to become the CEO of Barclays.

Another noteworthy individual in that same photo is Boris Nikolic, Gates’ former science adviser who was apparently so intimately tied to Epstein that he was named in Epstein’s will as the fallback executor of his estate – a position that he has since legally resigned, now that the Epstein saga is being blown wide open for the world to see.

25 mind-blowing things that are likely to happen if the Dems succeed in removing Trump from office | Natural News

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(Natural News) A coordinated, deep state attempt to remove Trump from office at any cost is now gaining steam. With the collusion of the deep state media, CIA operatives and anti-Trump tech giants that censor all truth, the deep state is hoping to crush democracy, destroy Trump and install Hillary Clinton as President of the United States in just the next few months.

Should they succeed in achieving a U.S. Senate conviction of Trump — which would remove him from office — here are 25 shocking, history-changing events we may see unfold.

Disclaimer: This author does not condone any of the actions outlined below. This is analysis, not a call for action. Many of the events described below involve mass executions and other horrific crimes. We hope to see none of this come to pass.

#1) The stock market will implode. That’s because Trump seems to be the only person remaining in Washington D.C. who doesn’t want the stock market to crash. If Dems seize power, expect a collapse of the stock market and U.S. economic activity as Wall Street investors head for the exits. Democrats will thrust America into an economic nosedive approaching Venezuela-scale collapse.

#2) Once Trump is impeached, convicted and removed from office, the focus will immediately shift to removing Mike Pence so that Nancy Pelosi — current Speaker of the House — becomes President without any election taking place. (Note that the deep state traitors absolutely despise the voters and will do everything possible to override the will of the People.)

#3) Once Nancy Pelosi becomes President, she will immediately push to nominate and have Hillary Clinton confirmed as Vice President. This will require confirmation from the Senate, but if Senate Republicans have already lost any backbone to prevent the conviction of Trump, they will have no resistance whatsoever to Democrats shoving Hillary Clinton down America’s throat.

#4) At this point, the Republican party will have folded into oblivion, and the GOP will cease to exist as an influential political party in America. The Democrats will push for absolute rule through the continued elimination of their political opponents as described below. The voters will abandon the GOP and send them packing, opting for a new, independent political party to challenge the lawlessness and tyranny of the Democrats.

#5) This is not a prediction, but a possibility: After being removed from office, President Trump could form his own political party and run for president again. If elected, he could serve two more terms, since his first term will have been nullified by the impeachment effort. Most Americans who previously voted for Trump as a member of the GOP would go with Trump to the new “Trump party,” and the GOP would collapse to little more than a handful of delusional Washington academics who mentally circle jerk each other with elitist conversations like, “We are so polite” and “tis better to lose an election than be criticized by the media.”

#6) After removing Trump from office and installing Hillary Clinton as President, Democrats will immediately begin to work to reverse all of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, which so far cover Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. This will be pushed with the media-led narrative that goes something like this: “Since Trump was convicted of working with the Russians to steal the election, everything he did while in office is tainted with criminality and must be reversed.”

To help remove Kavanaugh from office, watch for a reprise of the sobbing crisis actor Christine Blasey Ford, who has been practicing crying on cue and pretending to talk like a 16-year-old. Come to think of it, Greta Thunberg, an actual 16-year-old, is now pretending to be a climate scientist, which just goes to show you that acting is a crucial skill for Leftists, since nothing they do is genuine or rooted in reality.

The new, fabricated claims against Kavanaugh will likely consist of Blasey Ford claiming Kavanaugh recruited 12 circus monkeys to rape her on a trapeze while flying through the air after being shot out of a cannon. And he did it while holding a beer cup, too. The fact that she’s crying on camera means you can’t question it, remember? “All women must be believed,” say the Democrats. Unless that woman is Ivanka Trump.

#7) Beyond merely removing Trump’s Supreme Court justices, an effort will be made to reverse all of Trump’s federal judge nominations which have already been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. This will impact hundreds of federal judges. But remember, the Dems will claim orange man bad, and therefore all the orange man’s decisions must be reversed and nullified. (Never mind the fact that impeachment is the Dems’ attempt to nullify an entire election and erase the votes of the American people…)

#8) There’s one more thing that will take place on the nullification front: Dems will attempt to reverse Trump’s tax cut, his de-fanging of Obamacare and all his eliminations of regulatory burdens on various businesses. They will also claim that every executive order, international agreement or treaty signed by Trump is now null and void.

#9) Removing Trump will also unleash a coordinated agenda to block the upcoming confirmations of pro-Second Amendment judges to federal courts. As the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms explains in a November 1 press release:

…[T]here is a “hidden agenda” behind the impeachment efforts of House Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and it is designed to tie up the U.S. Senate and derail efforts to confirm more pro-Second Amendment judges to the federal courts. “It is clear to us that Capitol Hill anti-gunners are doing everything in their power to prevent confirmation of conservative judges who will adhere to the Constitution,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “By burdening the Senate with this nonsense, Democrats believe they can prevent confirmation of pro-Second Amendment judicial nominees during the final year of President Donald Trump’s first term.”

The patriot uprising and the coming mass arrest of all traitors in Washington D.C. (and your local state government)

#10) It’s unlikely that all the Democrat nullification actions described above will ever succeed because the moment Trump is convicted by the U.S. Senate, America will very likely see a massive patriot uprising against the corrupt establishment, culminating in as many as one million legally armed Americans converging on Washington D.C. There, they will demand the arrest and indictment of every last treasonous piece of D.C. filth who voted for impeachment in the House or the Senate. Before long, it will be swamp rat season in D.C., and the “new President,” Nancy Pelosi, will no doubt invoke the very same Insurrection Act that President Trump should be invoking right now.

That will result in the U.S. military being ordered to defend President Pelosi against a million armed Americans who are determined to oppose the illegal coup and defend the real president — that’s Trump — from the lawless deep state that fabricated everything to illegally remove him from power.

The net effect of all this will be a civil war inside the military itself that spills out onto the streets of America.

Former US Attorney General: Whistleblower Is Not Guaranteed Anonymity, He Does Need to Publicly Testify and Be Open to Cross Examination (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Democrats don’t want their anti-Trump CIA “whistleblower” to testify.
They know if America finds out his liberal background, ties to the Obama deep state, and far left anti-Trump work history, their case will be ruined.

The complete list of anti-Trump CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella’s ties to top Democrat operatives will SHOCK YOU!

CIA snitch Eric Ciaramella filed a whistleblower complaint on August 12 over President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky where the two discussed ferreting out corruption.  This included talk on investigating the Biden crime family.

** The so-called “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella is a Democrat who had a “professional” tie to a 2020 Democrat.

** Ciaramella  coordinated and took guidance from Adam Schiff’s staff and Schiff lied about it.

** Schiff’s staff recommended attorneys for the so called “whistleblower.”

** Ciaramella was kicked out of the White House for leaking negative stories about Donald Trump in 2017.

** Trump-hater Ciaramella was behind the fake story that Putin told Trump to fire Comey — a COMPLETE FAKE NEWS STORY from 2017!

** Ciaramella’s attorneys worked for James Clapper, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and donated to Joe Biden.

** An attorney for Ciaramella is a member of the #Resistance.

** Ciaramella  worked with Joe Biden in the executive branch when he was Vice President.

** Ciaramella had no problem with the Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s million dollar pay-for-play scandal with Ukraine.

** Ciaramella traveled with Joe Biden to the Ukraine.

** Ciaramella worked with DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa in the creation of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

** A former associate of James Clapper, Charles McCullough, assisted Ciaramella with his complaint against Trump.

** And Adam Schiff’s aides, Abigail Grace and Sean Misko worked with Ciaramella in the White House.

On Monday former US Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Harris Faulkner that the “whistleblower” is NOT guaranteed anonymity and should testify in public.

Matthew Whitaker: A whistleblower is never guaranteed anonymity. All they’re guaranteed is that they won’t be retaliated against from a workplace and a job standpoint. For me, I believe this whistleblower does need to publicly testify and be subject to cross examination which is consistent with the American legal traditions that we all believe make this a great country.

via Former US Attorney General: Whistleblower Is Not Guaranteed Anonymity, He Does Need to Publicly Testify and Be Open to Cross Examination (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Archaeologists Discover AR-15 Cain Used To Kill Abel — The Babylon Bee

IRAQ—Archaeologists working near the ancient Fertile Crescent made a stunning discovery Friday morning: the AR-15 Cain used to kill Abel as recorded in the Bible.

Scholars have long suspected Cain could not have committed history’s first murder without access to some kind of assault weapon since guns are the root of all violence. Now, there’s proof, in the form of Cain’s personal, heavily customized AR-15.

“Cain was planning on using a rock, but the area was designated as a rock-free zone,” said one leading scholar at the dig site. “So of course, he had to use the next best thing: an AR-15.”

“If only there were sensible gun control laws, humanity’s first-ever homicide could have been avoided.” Researchers believe Cain bought the gun illegally, however, utilizing a little-known gun show loophole.

Several spent shell casings were discovered nearby. The gun had scary features like a handle, a stock, a barrel, and an “eye-looky thingy,” according to media firearm experts at the site. All of these features made the murder “triple bad,” since if it had just looked like a wooden hunting rifle, it would not be as scary.

At publishing time, scholars had also discovered a ticket stub to the Joker movie nearby, suggesting Cain was a white male incel influenced by Joaquin Phoenix’s disturbing performance.

via Archaeologists Discover AR-15 Cain Used To Kill Abel — The Babylon Bee

Putin pledges to ‘do everything to protect Christians in the Middle East’ | Washington Examiner

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Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to protect Christians threatened by the conflict in Syria, appealing to the plight of religious minorities as justification for Russia’s involvement.

After a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday, Putin expressed sorrow over the persecution experienced by Christians in the Middle East, according to the Associated Press. Russian leaders have worked to develop close ties with Syria’s Christian communities. Melkite Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart has called Russia’s intervention in the country a source of “hope for the country’s Christians.

“The Middle East is the cradle of Christianity, and Christians are in peril there, facing persecution, being killed, raped, and robbed,” said Putin. “Russia will do everything to protect Christians in the Middle East. We must help them restore and preserve their holy sites, preserve their congregations.”

At a meeting later in the day, Putin expressed concern for the “massive exodus of Christians from the Middle East.”

“We are watching what’s happening to the Christians in the Middle East with tears in our eyes,” said Putin.

Russia’s efforts to work closely with Syria’s Christians have also earned praise from Syrian President Bashar Assad, who called Putin “the sole defender of Christian civilization one can rely on.” Putin has propped up the Assad regime against his opponents in the country’s civil war.But some Syrian Christians are skeptical of the Assad-Putin alliance and want the United States to pressure Putin to agree to a political solution that yields a secular, democratic Syria. President Trump promised in 2017 to prioritize protecting persecuted Christians in Syria, and his administration has supported free elections and a new Syrian constitution. But the recent U.S. troop withdrawal from northern Syria raises questions about the strength of America’s influence in the country.

Fed’s Balance Sheet Soars Above $4 Trillion: Up $250 Billion Since Repo Crisis | ZeroHedge News

If it seems like it was just over a month ago that the repo market suddenly suffered its biggest cardiac arrest since the financial crisis, when overnight repo rates exploded from 2% to 10% in an instant with no observable news or catalyst on the 11th anniversary of Lehman’s collapse…

… and only immediate Fed intervention prevented a full-blown financial crisis, it’s because it was.

As we have already discussed, we now know that said crisis was precipitated by JPMorgan quietly and steadily withdrawing liquidity from money markets

Source: Monday Morning Macro

… while at the same time Jamie Dimon’s bank reduced the cash it has on deposit at the Federal Reserve, from which it might have lent to other banks and prevent the repo crisis, by $158 billion in the year through June, a 57% decline, as JPM faced the highest G-SIB surcharges of all US banks due to the specific composition of its balance sheet.

Of course, whether this was indeed the reason behind JPM’s liquidity withdrawal, or if Jamie Dimon strategically shrank the bank’s available liquidity in order to incite a repo market crisis (the same way some speculate Lehman was sacrificed to launch QE1 and the global financial bailout), there is no way of knowing for sure – we can hope that Elizabeth Warren’s questions to Steve Mnuchin will provide some additional insight, although we doubt it – but what we do know is that in response to September’s repocalypse, not only did the NY Fed launch overnight and term repos to inject liquidity into the market, it also started “Not QE”, or “Quasi QE”, which is never ever to be confused with “QE 4” (as that would suggest the US economy is now in a recession and the Fed is panicking to prevent a market crash). Why? Because whereas the narrative never touched on JPM and its explicit liquidity withdrawal, pundits were all too eager to point to the drop in Fed reserves to “only” $1.3 trillion as the culprit behind September’s fireworks.

Fast forward to today, when for JPMorgan and all other US commercial banks (which happen to own the Fed), it is mission accomplished: not only did the Fed’s excess reserves spike to $1.5 trillion, a level which the experts say is far more suitable for the US financial system (as a reminder, before the financial crisis the level of excess reserves was precisely $0), but as of last week, the Fed’s balance sheet is now back over $4 trillion (at roughly the same time total US debt hit $23 trillion for the first time), surging over $250 billion since September, and one third of the way to regaining it’s all time highs of $4.5 trillion.

And since the Fed’s POMO will continue well into 2020, expect the previous all time highs in the Fed’s balance sheet to be surpassed soon. Just don’t call it QE.

Meanwhile, if one strips away the superficial debate whether the US repo market is fixed or still broken, if interbank plumbing remains clogged up, if JPM caused the September repo crisis (on purpose) or if the dollar funding crisis was due to a drop in bank reserves, and if this is QE or not QE, what is really taking place just behind the scenes is very simple: global central banks, from the ECB, to China, and now to the Fed, are once again flooding the world with liquidity. In fact, the only reason the S&P is up 23% YTD is – drumroll – a $4 trillion surge in the global money supply as shown in the chart below.

Finally, for those – who like the IMF – say central banks are tapped out, a recent report from Nomura shows that whereas some central banks – such as the ECB and BOJ – have already tried everything, there are those like the Fed and the PBOC which still have some ammo left…

… which means that the can will be kicked at least a little bit longer before central banks use up all their available means to extend and pretend, and the market finally collapses.

Source: Fed’s Balance Sheet Soars Above $4 Trillion: Up $250 Billion Since Repo Crisis

Fireworks on Fox! Steve Hilton Accuses Marie Harf of Covering Up Ukraine Corruption by Biden and Kerry (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

As Fox News Channel host of The Next Revolution Steve Hilton laid out a case of corruption by the Obama administration in Ukraine during a segment on the FNC program Outnumbered on Monday, former Obama-Kerry State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, now a Fox contributor, got indignant and blew up at Hilton when he accused her of covering up the corruption. Fox cut away to a press conference by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on his impeachment investigation of President Trump as the fireworks erupted on set.

Hilton spoke about the hiring by the Ukraine gas company Burisma of then Vice President Biden’s son Hunter Biden and a former chief of staff for then Secretary of State John Kerry, David Leiter. Hilton said US taxpayer money was funneled to Ukraine and Burisma by V.P. Biden and Kerry, then to the likes of Biden and Leiter and back to Democrat politicians who then call for more money to be sent to Ukraine.

Video clip posted by the Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona:

Later in the show Hilton and Harf continued their debate in more civil tones.

Excerpt from a 2014 article by Time on the Burisma hires of Biden and Leiter that Hilton spoke about:

When Vice President Joe Biden’s son, R. Hunter Biden, joined the board of a private Ukrainian oil and natural gas company this spring, he explained his new job as a legal one, disconnected from any effort to influence the Obama Administration. In a press release, the younger Biden boasted of his abilities on issues like improving corporate transparency.

But the company, Burisma Holdings, did not disclose at the time the scope of their plans for influencing the U.S. government. Recently released documents show that Biden’s hiring coincided with the launch of a new effort to lobby members of Congress about the role of the company in Ukraine and the country’s quest for energy independence.

David Leiter, a former Senate chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, signed on to work as a lobbyist for Burisma on May 20, 2014, about a week after Biden announced he was joining the company, according to lobbying disclosures filed this month…

via Fireworks on Fox! Steve Hilton Accuses Marie Harf of Covering Up Ukraine Corruption by Biden and Kerry (Video) — The Gateway Pundit

The King Laughs – Kanye West’s Profession of Faith — TheWeeFlea.com

This week’s article on Christian Today – you can get the original here. I had originally entitled it ‘The King Laughs” – but I guess that was too subtle for a headline grabber!  If you know your Psalms you will get the drift….

What should we make of Kanye West’s conversion?

Kanye West talks about supporting Donald Trump, says liberals can't bully him
(Photo: ABC)

Every Christian and their dog apparently has an opinion about Kanye West, and it’s been a bit depressing and somewhat amusing to see some of the discussion. For those who have landed from a holiday on Mars, Kanye West is a controversial rapper whose latest album is entitled Jesus is King, and who has made a very public profession of faith in Christ.

The Fundamentalist

I think my favourite negative comment was the fundamentalist pastor attacking Reformed (Calvinist) Baptists who welcomed Kanye as “Lordship salvation, heresy preaching, drunken tattoo, ESVfests” and who announced he was preaching a whole sermon against Kanye – thus bringing a whole new meaning to the idea of ‘preaching the Good News’!

The Failure

On the other hand I heard someone who welcomed the rap star’s conversion with the lament that he had done so little for Jesus compared with Kanye. The temptation to judge, either to pronounce this new Christian as fake on the one hand, or as the great Black Hope of the Church on the other, is one that is apparently hard to resist.

The Calvinist

But we don’t need to buy into either the cynical or the celebrity culture. We need a more Christian perspective, and dare I say it, in response to the fundamentalist pastor quoted above, a Calvinist approach really helps!

What do I mean by that? We acknowledge that God is sovereign and that means that no one is saved without his initiative, but also that no one is beyond redemption. The Lord doesn’t save who we determine, he saves who he determines. He takes the lowly, the weak, and often the unusual. His ways are not our ways. Which is why I have no difficulty in believing that God has worked through his Spirit in Kanye’s heart.

But we also recognize that sin is powerful and that new converts need to be encouraged, discipled and protected. They don’t lead churches. We also know that all human beings are weak and fallible – and so we don’t place our trust in politicians, celebrities or church leaders. In other words like the angels in heaven we rejoice over one sinner who repents, but unlike the angels in heaven we don’t know whose are the Lord’s; he does.

I have a suspicion that the Kanye story will be a wild ride….and I’m loving it already. Here are just a couple of snippets from the recent interviews and the album.

“I’m not a theologian, I’m a recent convert.”

“My only mission and calling is to spread the gospel.”

Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A
You’re my number one, with the lemonade
Raise our sons, train them in the faith
Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake
Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave

I bow down to the King upon the throne

My life is His, I’m no longer my own

That sure sounds like a believer to me!

I watched the whole of his Sunday service – the preacher was good, the music outstanding. But the most encouraging thing I have seen is his recent ‘Airpool’ with James Corden.

via The King Laughs – Kanye West’s Profession of Faith — TheWeeFlea.com

November 4, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Superiority of God’s Wisdom

For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1:18)

When man elevates his own wisdom he automatically attempts to lower God’s wisdom, which looks to him like foolishness, because it conflicts with his own thinking. That God would take human form, be crucified, and raised in order to provide for man’s forgiveness of sin and entrance into heaven is an idea far too simple, foolish, and humbling for the natural man to accept. That one man (even the Son of God) could die on a piece of wood on a nondescript hill in a nondescript part of the world and thereby determine the destiny of every person who has ever lived seems stupid. It allows no place for man’s merit, man’s attainment, man’s understanding, or man’s pride. This word of the cross is foolishness (moria, from which we get moron). It is moronic, absolute nonsense, to unbelievers who rely on their own wisdom—to those who are perishing. That phrase is a graphic description of Christ rejectors, who are in the process of being destroyed in eternal judgment.

Word in verse 18 is from the same Greek term (logos) as “speech” in verse 17. Paul is contrasting man’s word, which reflects man’s wisdom, and God’s Word, which reflects God’s wisdom. Consequently the word of the cross includes the entire gospel message and work, God’s plan and provision for man’s redemption. In its fullest sense it is God’s total revelation, for His revelation centers in the cross. God’s whole redemption story and His whole redemption process seem foolish to unbelievers. And because Christ’s work on the cross is the pinnacle of God’s revealed Word and work, to reject the cross is to reject His revelation, and to perish.

When Paul first came to Corinth he continued to face the maelstrom of philosophies with which he had contended in Athens (Acts 17:18–21). But he had “determined to know nothing among [them] except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The response of some in Corinth was the same as that of some in Athens: “When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, [they] began to sneer” (Acts 17:32). But Paul did not change his message to suit his hearers. The Corinthians, like the Athenians and most other Greeks, had more than enough philosophy. They did not need Paul’s opinions added to their own, and the apostle was determined not to give them his opinions but the word of the cross. He would give them nothing but God’s profoundly simple, but historical and objective, truth—not another man’s complex and subjective speculations.

Human wisdom cannot understand the cross. Peter, for example, did not understand the cross when he first heard Jesus speak of it. In fact Peter took Jesus “aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You’ ” (Matt. 16:22). Peter’s own understanding about the Messiah had no place for the cross. He thought the Messiah would soon set up an earthly kingdom and that everything would be pleasant for His followers. But Peter’s wisdom was contrary to God’s wisdom, and anything contrary to God’s wisdom works for Satan. Jesus’ reply to His disciple was quick and sharp: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (v. 23). When the soldiers came to the garden to arrest Jesus, Peter still did not understand. He still tried to interfere with God’s plan. Drawing his sword, he cut off a slave’s ear—for which Jesus again rebuked him (John 18:10–11). Only after the resurrection and ascension did Peter understand and accept the cross (Acts 2:23–24; 3:13–15). He now had God’s Spirit and God’s wisdom, and no longer relied on his own. Years later he would write, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

To the natural mind, whether Jewish or Gentile, the cross is offensive and unacceptable. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. All men are either in the process of being saved (salvation present is not complete until the redemption of the body—Rom. 8:23; 13:11) or of being destroyed. One’s view of the cross determines which.

Paul proceeds (1:19–2:5) to give five reasons why God’s wisdom is superior to man’s: its permanence, its power, its paradox, its purpose, and its presentation.[1]


18 Paul now addresses the quest for wisdom, saying in effect, “Let’s face it. Anyone who loves the way the world works and the wisdom promoted by the scholars of this world would never have dreamed up the message of the cross—that people can be saved through a crucified Messiah. Nor would anyone who loves the world’s way ever follow the message of the cross. Rather, to them it is foolishness, but that only goes to show that they are perishing.”

In other words, the message of Christ crucified “is foolishness” to the world. Why? The answer seems obvious. Who in their right mind would say that the way to get peace with God is to build a relationship with someone who suffered the type of death reserved only for the worst criminals in the Roman Empire? Such an attitude is not unlike suggesting to people today to count as their hero someone condemned to the electric chair or to death by lethal injection.

Yet it is precisely by that means that God has displayed his “power,” his dynamis (GK 1539). This is a favorite word of the apostle, especially as applied to the message of the gospel. For example, the gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Ro 1:16). Or again, God has put his message “in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Co 4:7). Or one more example, Paul prays that believers may know God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (Eph 1:19–20). If we want true power in our lives—power over sin, death, and Satan—then what we need is Jesus, crucified, risen, and coming again.[2]


18 The “for” that begins this sentence ties it to v. 17 as an explanation of the final clause in that verse. Unfortunately our paragraph break and the limits of English tend to cause us to miss the subtle contrast that Paul intends. At the end of v. 17 he had said (literally): “not in the wisdom of logos (word, rhetoric, reason), lest the cross of Christ be invalidated.” Now he says, “For the logos (word, message) of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” There is a logos (speech) that belongs to wisdom and there is a logos (message) whose content is the cross; but they are mutually exclusive.

From the standpoint of his new position in Christ, Paul with this sentence sets forth the two basic groups of humankind. Formerly, as a Jew, it was Jew and Gentile (just as for the Greco-Roman it was Greek/Roman and barbarian). Now it is “us who are being saved” and “those who are perishing.”7 The former groups, Jew and Gentile, continue to exist (indeed, in v. 22 they will serve as representatives for the two most common human “idolatries”), but apart from Christ they now both belong to the “perishing.” In Pauline theology the new division is not so much predicated on their response to the message of the cross as it is on the event of the cross and resurrection itself. That is, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus for Paul marked the “turning of the ages,” whereby God decisively judged and condemned the present age and is in process of bringing it to an end. Those who still belong to it, therefore, are in process of “perishing” with it. From this “old-age” point of view the message of the cross is foolishness.

On the other hand, those who are “being saved,” because they have been called (v. 24) and believe (v. 21), have come to see their present existence as the result of God’s power, which was also effected by God through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, of course, it is not just “those” who are being saved, but us, a word that includes himself but especially serves to remind the Corinthians of who they are.

The contrast between “foolishness” and “power” is not precise, of course. The greater precision (between folly and wisdom, power and weakness) will come later in the paragraph (vv. 22–25). For now the contrast has been set up by the language of v. 17, between “wisdom of word” and “the cross being emptied” (the NIV rightly adds “of its power”).[3]


1:18 / Paul sets up a rhetorical contrast scheme that captures the heart of the gospel as he understands it. He begins the sentence with the word For, showing that it is an extension of his statement in verse 17. Now Paul explains that declaration more precisely in relation to the theme of “the word of the cross,” or the message of the cross. In speaking of the proclamation of the saving death of Jesus Christ, Paul refers to humanity in two groups. The division he envisions is eschatological, for it supersedes older divisions that were real, but humanly constructed—e.g., Jew and Gentile, Greco-Roman and barbarian, slave and free, male and female—and this eschatological division occurs as an act of God. Thus, on the one hand, there are those who regard the word of the cross as foolishness; Paul says they are perishing. The word typically translated foolishness (Gk. mōria) refers to something stronger or more problematic than that which is merely silliness or simplistic. The English word “moron” comes from the Greek root of this word, so perhaps it should be translated “moronity” to ensure that we see the degree of disdain that those who are perishing have for the message of the cross. On the other hand, there are those who are being saved. Paul includes himself and most likely those to whom he is writing in this group. The passive voice of the verb “being saved” acknowledges that God is the actor, the one who is saving. Moreover, in the scheme of this contrast, perishing versus being saved, one finds foolishness contrasted with the power of God. The natural opposite of foolishness in this context would be “wisdom,” so if the Corinthians are paying careful attention they will be surprised at this.

Paul’s rhetoric trips the logic of his readers. Remarkably, Paul says that it is what God does, not what humans know, that saves. God acted in the cross of Christ, and that action produces a division among humanity that itself reveals God’s unexpected power. Paul is not decrying the value of sensible reflection; rather, he is insisting that humans cannot discern the reality of God through their reason based only upon their own experience. God’s self-revelation in the cross is the key to comprehending God, it is the necessary starting point for valid comprehension of the divine, and without the cross we are bound to misunderstand God. The apostle himself employs reason, but always in reflection on the significance of God’s revelation in and through the cross. Paul’s point was not popular among many in the first-century church—witness the attraction to law-observance in Galatia and the fascination with power in 2 Corinthians. Often today people still do not like this message.[4]


1:18 the message of the cross. Picking up on the connection made between “gospelizing” and Christ’s cross in verse 17, Paul summarizes the gospel as the “message [lit., ‘word’] of the cross.” In this context “word” functions as a synonym for preaching, while “cross” identifies the origin of the message. Paul’s aim here is to show how Christ’s cross should have a transformative effect on believers. Paul’s proclamation reveals a wisdom that differs 180 degrees from human wisdom because it is generated by Christ’s work on the cross.

foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Paul’s deliberate play on grammar can easily be lost in translation. The force of the middle voice in the descriptive participle “perishing” is most likely reflexive, thus highlighting the effect of their own actions (those destroying themselves). In clear contrast to this stands the passive participle describing those who are “being saved.” The passive voice underscores that salvation is not self-caused but granted.4 In other words, if Paul deliberately uses a reflexive middle, the grammatical construction throws the situation into the sharpest relief. The opposite of foolishness is not human wisdom but God’s power. The contrast is between self-destroying pride and God-empowering transformation.[5]


18. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Every word in this text is significant, for each contributes to one powerful message. The conjunction for serves as a link to Paul’s reference to the cross of Christ (v. 17) and makes verse 18 explanatory. When Paul writes the word of the cross, he separates it from the phrase wisdom of words (v. 17). Although the two terms translated “word” and “words” have the same original form (logos) in Greek, in context they have nothing in common. In fact, they are opposites. The word of the cross is the message that proclaims an event of historical and theological significance. It points to Christ who died the death of a criminal but whose death concerns the eternal destiny of man. But the wisdom of words that the orator utters is of human origin and is opposed to the message of the cross.

“The word of the cross is foolishness.” For Paul’s Gentile contemporaries, the account of Christ’s death on a cross outside the city of Jerusalem was folly. They classified Jesus as a criminal or a degenerate slave, for only such social deviates were crucified by the Romans. Paul’s message of the cross, therefore, was foolishness to the Greeks (v. 23).

“[Foolishness] to those who are perishing.” The present participle are perishing denotes action that is in the process of occurring. This expression has both a subjective and an objective element: subjectively, the people repudiating Paul’s message regard it as folly; objectively, the effect of the rejection is irrevocable doom (2 Cor. 2:15; 4:3; 2 Thess. 2:10). They are not on the verge of perishing but in actuality are perishing.

By contrast, the Corinthians are not perishing. They have been called and sanctified (v. 2); they belong to a different class because they have accepted the “word of the cross” and believe the gospel. Therefore, Paul encourages his readers. He includes himself when he says:

“But to us who are being saved.” Notice that the clause who are being saved serves as an explanation of the personal pronoun us. Paul places himself on the same level as the Corinthians and affirms that they are being saved. But were they not saved when God called them? What precisely does Paul teach concerning the time of salvation? What tense of the verb to save is used? A few examples illuminate Paul’s teaching:

Past: “For in this hope we were saved” (Rom. 8:24)

“By grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:5, 8)

“By his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5).

Present: “Through which [gospel] you are being saved” (1 Cor. 15:2)

“Those who are being saved” (2 Cor. 2:15).

Future: “How much more shall we be saved?” (Rom. 5:9)

“Thus all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26).

Believers, then, are saved in principle during their life on earth. Throughout their earthly sojourn they cherish this blessed assurance, for they are on the way to being saved completely (compare Heb. 1:14). Complete salvation comes to them when they leave this earthly scene and enter the presence of God.

“It is the power of God.” Paul confidently tells his readers: “to us belongs God’s power.” This language resembles what Paul uses in his epistle to the Romans: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (1:16). God’s power becomes effective when Christ’s gospel is proclaimed and people accept this message in faith. “The word of the cross” has power to raise the sinner from spiritual death and to provide newness of life. In essence, God is dynamically providing salvation for his people.

However, Paul’s sophisticated contemporaries thought he was proclaiming utter folly by connecting God’s power to the weakness of the cross. Adopting Jesus’ methodology of turning to the Scriptures for proof, Paul confirms his teaching by citing a passage from the Old Testament.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 40–41). 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, pp. 268–269). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (1987). The First Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 68–69). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (pp. 39–40). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Vang, P. (2014). 1 Corinthians. (M. L. Strauss, Ed.) (pp. 28–29). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 53–55). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Ask Ligonier with John MacArthur: Live Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET — Ligonier Ministries Blog

On Tuesday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET, Dr. John MacArthur will join us as a special guest on our Ask Ligonier team to answer your biblical and theological questions live online.

Dr. MacArthur has been pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., for the past fifty years. He is the featured teacher on Grace to You, and he has written numerous books, including None Other, Good News, and Final Word.

Simply tweet us your questions by using the hashtag #AskLigonier or leave them as comments or messages on our Facebook page. This special online event will be streamed live on Ligonier’s blog, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow.

via Ask Ligonier with John MacArthur: Live Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Why Are People So Resistant to Reformed Theology? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

When we find ourselves resisting what Scripture teaches, it may be because the Bible challenges our presuppositions about who God is and how He should act. From one of our Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons reflects on his former objections to the doctrines of grace.

Message us for clear, concise, and trustworthy answers to your biblical and theological questions at Ask.Ligonier.org

via Why Are People So Resistant to Reformed Theology? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

OMG THE DEMS MUST BE TERRIFIED! Extrapolated Results from FOX News Poll Show 70% of Americans (Reps and Inds) Are Against Trump Impeachment – Only Dems (30%) Are For It!! — The Gateway Pundit

FOX News Never Trump

As we reported yesterday, FOX News released a poll where they state that 49% of Americans are for Trump Impeachment.  But their polling was faulty.  The real extrapolated results of the poll using an accurate proportion of Republicans, Democrats and Independents shows that only 30% are in favor of Trump’s Impeachment and their all Democrats. 

After four weeks of non stop lies and leaks all against the President, Republicans and Independents are not buying it.  70% of Americans are against impeachment according to the extrapolated and more accurate results of the FOX News survey.

Ann Coulter in her great best seller from now nearly 20 years ago titled “Slander” pointed out how liberals always slander polling results through bogus sample sizes and leading questions.  This is exactly what the FOX News poll did.

The Democrats and their media understand that they must continue to lie to the American public or be found out.

The fake news media knows who the Schiff Anti-Trump leaker is — They just don’t want to report it because it will ruin their narrative in the impeachment investigation.  The Democrat media knows the truth will destroy them.

On Sunday FOX News released another questionable poll on the current sham impeachment investigation by Democrats in their secret basement star chamber.

According to FOX News 49% of Americans want President Trump impeached.

FOX News posted the results on a separate page. The poll over-sampled Democrats by about 19%.

The poll included 49% Democrats, 41% Republicans and 11% Independents.

So the headline SHOULD BE that Republicans and Independents overwhelmingly reject the Democrats’ sham impeachment process.

What a horrible piece of propaganda!

We took the results and extrapolated them to an accurate sample mix using 30% Democrats, 30% Republicans and 40% Independents.  The result is 30% of the sample (Democrats) are for impeachment.  But more shocking is that 30% of Republicans and 40% of Independents are against impeachment.  

OMG – The Democrats must be horrified.

Image via Rush Limbaugh

via OMG THE DEMS MUST BE TERRIFIED! Extrapolated Results from FOX News Poll Show 70% of Americans (Reps and Inds) Are Against Trump Impeachment – Only Dems (30%) Are For It!! — The Gateway Pundit

Briefing: What You Need to Know About the First Baptist Naples Crisis — Capstone Report

Five Things You Need to Know About the FBC Naples Crisis

1. Two sides, Two stories at FBC Naples

Church leadership announced that a new senior pastor was not hired because the nominee failed to meet the 85% approval threshold. Marcus Hayes, an African-American who is on staff at Biltmore Church in the Asheville, North Carolina area, was the candidate. The final vote was 81 percent in favor and 19 percent against. The church staff alleged that racism was behind the rejection. However, no evidence of racism has yet been produced. In fact, concerned church members have come forward to reveal the questions and concerns they had about the nominee. Their considerations related to legitimate theological, moral, and political issues. The church leadership released a statement explaining how the church membership wasn’t supposed to vote their conscience, but rather rubberstamp the search committee’s recommendation:

“As most of you know, in Southern Baptist life, when a Senior Pastor comes in view of a call by the recommendation of a Search Committee, the actual vote is most always viewed as a ceremonial and celebratory affirmation of the Spirit’s leading within the hearts and minds of the Search Committee that has extended the call. Most church experiences, when it comes to a new Senior Pastor, are just that, a celebration and a time of looking forward with hope and optimism to what God has for the future. Our Pastoral Search Committee, lay leadership, and the Pastoral Staff all anticipated that our vote would be nothing less than an affirmative statement from our people that God had sovereignly chosen for Marcus Hayes to be our next Pastor. Sadly, that did not come to fruition. Our constitution and bylaws stated that a Senior Pastor must be affirmed by at least an 85% or higher vote. It is widely known that an 85% affirmative vote is unusually high. Our church voted by a percentage of 81 % to bring Marcus Hayes as our next Pastor. Unfortunately, this did not meet the threshold. If all things had been equal and fair, our story would not have reached as far and wide, and stoked the emotions that it has. But what was concluded was that all things were not fair nor were they right. A portion of the 19% that voted against Marcus Hayes did so based on racial prejudices. We know this because of the campaign that started just days before by a few disgruntled people in our church.”

Takeaway: So much for a democracy. So much for giving church members the benefit of the doubt. Raising concerns over a pastoral candidate’s seeming endorsement of the book Woke Church doesn’t make someone a racist.

2. Church members are upset over the treatment of the retiring pastor who served 27 years at FBC Naples

FBC Naples, Florida’s longtime senior pastor Hayes Wicker announced his retirement from pastoring the church in January 2019. Wicker spent 27 years as pastor of First Baptist Church of Naples. According to sources, Wicker wanted a long period of transition to the new leadership, with even an overlap to help the transition process.  However, at some point the church leadership became hostile to the longtime pastor, according to church members. The leadership spread negative comments about the pastor and accused him of acting in bad faith, according to sources close to the church. Instead of the transition period Wicker announced, the staff strong-armed Wicker out after over a quarter of a century of service to the people of FBC Naples, sources told the Capstone Report.

Takeaway: The treatment of the retiring pastor at FBC Naples is eerily similar to the treatment of the retiring pastor at McLean Bible Church. What does this say about Big Eva? 

3. Silencing Dissent: Church leadership begins questionable discipline process to punish conservative church members against or suspected of being against the pastoral nominee.

After Marcus Hayes failed to receive the necessary 85 percent affirmative vote to install him as pastor, the leadership of First Baptist Church Naples, including the church staff, launched a pogrom against dissenters. They released a statement to the church family blaming racism for the rejection of Marcus Hayes. They’ve even released an open letter to the SBC with the same claim. On the surface, Marcus Hayes is a highly recommended pastor who is seemingly qualified for the role. At the same time, some members were concerned about some of his social media posts that might indicate support for a pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ Democrat presidential candidate, his endorsement of the problematic book Woke Church, his blocking some FBCN members on his social media platforms, and other theological, political, and administrative issues. Regardless of what specific concerns were held, it’s important to know that 1) no evidence of genuine racism on the part of those holding them has surfaced, and 2) the efforts these members made to ask questions and express reservations were not taken seriously.

Takeaway: One could reject the concerns of the church members and not label them racist. Why did the church leadership behave in such an aggressive and dismissive manner?

4. FBC Naples used unbiblical process to expel conservative critics.

Numerous now-former church members have been purged from the church membership roll. The process did not adhere to or reflect any biblical model. The church by-laws allow for the expulsion of members without consulting the entire church body. First Baptist Naples has a byzantine process that allows the pastoral staff to recommend to the deacons the expulsion of a member. The deacons vote on it, and, if they approve the recommendation, the individual then is informed. The process offers no protections for those suspected worthy of dismissal, so it invites rampant abuse. By circumventing the clear teachings of Matthew 18:15-17 regarding church discipline, this process showcases glaring problems with approaches to discipline that rely entirely on church oligarchies.

Takeaway: The problems here illustrate how important biblical models of church governance and judicial process are. Christians should model justice and love to the world. This models anything but love and mocks justice.

5. Intimidation used to silence some church members.

Many church members are staying silent because they fear their children will be kicked out of the Christian school run by the church. Sources close to the church administration have said they fear raising any issues that might bring adverse consequences to them, their children, or their grandchildren.

Takeaway: Using children as political pawns is despicable. Yet, that’s what multiple sources have alleged is happening to them. This is a warning to all Southern Baptists. If it can happen at FBC Naples, it can happen anywhere. 

via Briefing: What You Need to Know About the First Baptist Naples Crisis — Capstone Report

Trump takes action on unemployment, healthcare, environment, refugees, adoption

WINTERY KNIGHT

I have a Canadian friend named McKenzie who sometimes reviews my blog post drafts. She usually says the same two things: 1) this post should be one third as long as it is, and 2) don’t tell me any more about why Democrats are bad, tell me why Republicans are good. So, in this post, I will tell you 5 reasons why Republicans are good, all from news stories about events from the last week alone.

Let’s start with healthcare. I’ve been bashing Elizabeth Warren on healthcare for a couple of posts. What are the Republicans going to do about healthcare?

Here’s Daily Signal:

The White House is making a strong push against Democrats’ “Medicare for All” proposal, laying out a “Health Care for You” agenda to boost competition and transparency, lower prescription prices, and produce greater affordability in health-related costs.

[…]The White House also has touted $6 billion…

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