Daily Archives: November 12, 2019

November 12 Transformed Through Prayer

Scripture Reading: Psalm 18:1–15

Key Verse: Psalm 18:3

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;

So shall I be saved from my enemies.

In the movie version of Shadowlands, which portrays the endearing relationship between Christian apologist C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham, a friend commented to Lewis that God finally answered his prayers. As part of his response, Lewis said, “Prayer doesn’t change God—it changes me.”

How profound and true that is! Your communication with God is your intimate connection with Him, and He allows you to participate in the work that He is doing and even to see His actions in relationship to your prayers. God hears and answers every prayer, but His purposes in prayer go far beyond just giving you a measurable response.

God wants to transform your life through the process of prayer. Your personal relationship with Christ is deepened and enlarged when you spend time talking to Him. As you come into His presence with reverence and a quiet heart, ready to listen, He begins to purify your heart and sift your priorities. You develop a passion for obedience to God, and you begin to see Him as the Provider for all your needs.

Most importantly, you experience the peace that comes from knowing God is in control (Philippians 4:6–7). Your anxiety melts away as you learn to trust Him. These are just some of the ways God uses prayer to change your heart. The more you pray, the more transformations you’ll discover.

Lord, I am so thankful that, through prayer, You allow me to participate in the work You are doing around the world. Transform my life. Deepen and enlarge my relationship with You.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 331). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 12 A Hearing Ear

Scripture Reading: Revelation 3:14–22

Key Verse: Revelation 3:22

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Jesus spoke these words to the Laodiceans, but they are just as relevant to us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they apply only to nonbelievers. They’re spoken to a believing church that had slipped into thinking of themselves as spiritually elite.

Warren Wiersbe remarked, “These people couldn’t see themselves as they really were. Nor could they see their Lord as He stood outside the door of the church. Nor could they see the open doors of opportunity. They were so wrapped up in building their own kingdom that they had become lukewarm in their concern for a lost world” (The Bible Exposition Commentary).

God speaks to those who listen for His voice. But if we are not listening, we won’t hear a sound. The Laodiceans were convinced they were on the right track. But their self-sufficiency and arrogance led Christ to say they were neither hot nor cold; therefore, “I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16 nasb).

It has been said that if you are going be cold in your relationship with God, then be cold. But if you are going to love Him and serve Him, then be hot in your devotion to Him. In other words, be committed. Don’t allow the devotion of your heart to become callous. Pray that your life will remain open and sensitive to His Spirit.

Precious heavenly Father, strip me of self-sufficiency and arrogance. I don’t want my devotion to become callous. Keep me open and sensitive to Your Spirit. Give me a hearing ear.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 331). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 12 The Dedication of Your Life

Scripture reading: Psalm 138:1–8

Key verse: Galatians 6:9

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Julian of Norwich (1343–1413) lived through plagues, poverty, and war. But a serious illness brought her into a new awareness of God’s personal love. In I Promise You a Crown, a compilation of her writings by David Hazard, she writes,

It had come to me that nothing can keep us from knowing the joy of heaven while we remain under the cross—that is, in humble obedience to God no matter what is sent to us.… I will tell you what faith showed me in its light. In my struggle, I saw the terror that lies in forsaking the power of the cross. For in making our soul submit, as Jesus submitted, we are remade into the image of Christ. This will never happen if we seek only earthly blessings. When I understood this, I did not want to look up, as if I had already achieved a place in heaven among the blessed. I knew that to do so would make my soul proud and arrogant in itself. And so I made my choice.

And I can tell you this: I would rather have remained in my terrible pain until the Day of Judgment than to try to come into heaven by any other means than the Way of Jesus. The light of faith had shown me He had bound this bundle of suffering to me. And faith showed me He would unbind me when suffering had done the work of His will in perfecting me.

Let the dedication of your life be set on pleasing Jesus above all else.

Dear heavenly Father, I rededicate my life to You today—to serve Your purposes, fulfill Your plans, and please You above all else.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 331). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Israel “Preparing For War” As 150 Rockets Fired From Gaza | ZeroHedge News

Israel and Gaza are on edge after an Israeli airstrike took out a senior Islamic Jihad commander in the Strip early Tuesday. Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants have since fired some 150 rockets into southern and central Israel, resulting in the closure of schools and public buildings, even in Tel Aviv.

Dozens of rockets have been reported hitting towns and cities throughout Israel after the rare targeted assassination of Islamic Jihad’s Baha Abu al-Ata. The Israeli army is now signalling preparations for war: “We are prepared for several days of battle with an aerial defense shield, including in the center of the country,” IDF spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said.

Rockets fired from Gaza on Tuesday, via AFP.

“Approximately 150 rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at central and southern Israel on Tuesday as of 1 p.m., according to unofficial tallies,” The Times of Israel reports. “Soldiers operating the Iron Dome missile defense system shot down some 60 of those incoming projectiles.”

Israel’s security cabinet held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to mull a response as things escalate quickly. This after Israel expanded its anti-Palestinian militant operations into neighboring Syria, where Israeli strikes additionally targeted another senior Islamic Jihad official, Akram Ajuri.

Reports note that this is the first time in a few years that such a string of high level assassinations have been carried out by the IDF. Drones are still said to be active over Gaza, and Palestinian health authorities have cited multiple civilian deaths and injuries.

Militants in Gaza also said they are “going to war” against Israel: “Palestinian Islamic Jihad declared Tuesday that it was preparing for war with Israel after the IDF carried out a dawn assassination of one of the terror group’s senior leaders in the northern Gaza Strip,” according to local reports.

Slain Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata, via the AFP.

A follow-up IDF statement said further: “We are ready for various scenarios, both offensive and defensive. We are not interested in escalating the situation.” Israeli officials, in an apparent attempt to excuse the mounting civilian casualties, also accused the Islamic Jihad commander who was targeted as surrounding himself with women and children.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has said “millions” are now seeking the safety of bomb shelters as rockets from Gaza rain down

“We tried to send a message to Abu al-Ata and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad that we are aware of his actions and to persuade him to stop these attacks. Obviously, these warnings were not successful,” said the IDF.

“Over the last week, we have been waiting for the opportune moment to conduct the surgical strike,” the IDF spokesman added.

Via Times of Israel: Israelis take cover from rocket fire on Route 4 near Rishon Lezion on Tuesday.

Chaos has gripped Israeli cities and towns especially in the south, where missile warning sirens are blaring and hospitals are on high alert.

According to the Jerusalem Post, southern Israel is currently under a mandatory emergency advisory:

All non-essential work has been cancelled. Those working in life-saving jobs, such as healthcare workers, are not under the advisory.

The Health Ministry opened an emergency situation room and is working with emergency services, including the Home Front Command, the IDF and Magen David Adom.

Additionally, the ministry announced that all health institutions are prepared for a potential influx of patients.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office of the successful operation against the Islamic Jihad leader that he was “responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets at Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks.”

Source: Israel “Preparing For War” As 150 Rockets Fired From Gaza

John MacArthur blasts Southern Baptist Convention on Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics — Christian Research Network

MacArthur said the acceptance of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality was a sign of “liberalism” taking over the SBC and called the approval of the resolution by messengers “a watershed moment” for decline of the denomination.”

(Will Hall – The Message) During a “Truth Matters Conference” held in mid-October, noted theologian John MacArthur, pastor of the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, criticized the Southern Baptist Convention for passing Resolution 9 during its annual meeting in June in Birmingham, Alabama.

This resolution described two controversial ideologies, Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, in neutral terms, suggesting that in some cases both have been misused “by individuals with worldviews that are contrary to the Christian faith” to come to wrong conclusions. However, the two theoretical frameworks actually arose from radicals in academia.

Critical Race Theory is traced to the Harvard Law School and the founding theorist Derrick Bell who insists that “the law,” for instance, is a power structure based on “white supremacy” and “white privilege.”

Meanwhile, the idea of Intersectionality is tied to the UCLA School of Law and Kimberlé Crenshaw, the pioneer of the concept, who developed this abstract idea to help her advance the notion that “privileging of whiteness or maleness” is prevalent throughout society and the cause for the oppression of women of color.  View article →

Research

Critical Race Theory

via John MacArthur blasts Southern Baptist Convention on Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics — Christian Research Network

Bank Breakout Of Financial Crisis Highs or Double Topping Again? — Kimble Charting Solutions

If the saying “So Goes The Banks, So Goes The Broad Market” is true, banks are facing a critical breakout/resistance test in my opinion.

This chart looks at Financials ETF (XLF) over the past 12-years. This chart reflects that a double top took place prior to the financial crisis getting started.

XLF has remained inside of rising channel (1) since the lows in 2012. It hit double resistance at (2), then it declined nearly 25%.

The decline then tested rising support at (3) and a strong rally has followed. The rally now has XLF nearing the Financial crisis double top and last years highs at (4).

Will XLF breakout above the old highs or is it creating another double top again?

What XLF does at (4), could well send important messages to the broad market and stocks around the world. Stay tuned friends, this looks to be a key price test!!!

via Bank Breakout Of Financial Crisis Highs or Double Topping Again? — Kimble Charting Solutions

The Gospel Coalition Employs Former Obama White House and Campaign Staffer to Sway Election — Christian Research Network

“Wear is a political animal who makes his living at the highest levels of progressive politics and working with The Gospel Coalition. He is billed at “President Obama’s ambassador to America’s believers” … And works for Tim Keller’s TGC.”

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  How politically gullible are many evangelical Christians today? Recent efforts to manipulate the conservative and the WOKE base appear to be glaringly obvious so we might at least assume that the most dedicated progressive political operatives think we are virtually clueless.

Who is Michael Wear? According to Wear’s website for his “Reclaiming Hope” initiative, he is former president Barack Obama’s “Ambassador to America’s Believers.”

Reclaiming Hope Newsletter President Obama’s “ambassador to America’s believers” provides exclusive analysis of the 2020 presidential race, a recap of the essential news in faith and politics, highlights must-read content

In this article at The Gospel Coalition, Greg Forster writes in praise of Michael Wear,

Wear is an evangelical Christian whose faith led him to seek justice and mercy in the world, and he sees that fulfilled through his work as a progressive Democrat. But he also longs to overcome polarization and find ways to work with conservative Republicans—including a candid assessment of our persistent disagreements—in order to move forward together toward the justice and mercy we all seek.  View article →

Research

The Gospel Coalition

via The Gospel Coalition Employs Former Obama White House and Campaign Staffer to Sway Election — Christian Research Network

UH-OH… Dems Went All-In on Schiff Impeachment and Now It’s Quickly Turning Into a Schiff Show – Unconstitutional, No Crimes, With Only Far-Left Democrat Support — The Gateway Pundit

Uh-Oh – The Democrats are in real big trouble.  Pelosi and gang went all-in on the Schifty Schiff and his rouge impeachment inquiry and it is quickly turning into a Schiff show.

There are no crimes that President Trump has committed that would lead to  an impeachment inquiry and so lying Schiff keeps moving the goal posts.  But most importantly, only far-left Democrats are in favor of impeachment.

You just can’t break the truth.  No matter how far you may bend it, it is always the truth.  The Democrats are learning this lesson again and it is going to be really ugly this time and it should. 

Speaker Pelosi and her band of socialist Democrats went ‘all-in’ on an impeachment of President Trump.  They’ve wanted this since before the 2017 Inauguration.  However, in their rage they forgot and are missing a couple of key points – one, there must be high crimes, misdemeanors, treason or bribery – and two, there must be public support.  Unfortunately for the Dems, they have neither.

The Schiff Sham is unconstitutional

As the Democrats move forward with their insane impeachment hearing in the House, the levels of insanity reach new levels.  The Schiff Sham is unconstitutional, that is why it is so insane!

The Democrats created an impeachment process where the individual leading the process was involved in creating it with a CIA spy who leaked information from a Presidential call.  The same CIA spy was kicked out of the White House in 2017 for leaking.

The spy met with Adam Schiff and his team before filing his complaint under the Whistleblower statute although this didn’t meet the standards for such a complaint.  Whistleblower complaints are only legitimate in the Intel Community if related to a member of the Intel community.  The President was the subject of the complaint and he is not a member of the Intel community.

The whistleblower form in the Intel community was updated to allow for second hand information.  This was not allowed before this complaint.

Schiff and his team flew to the Ukraine before the complaint and met with some of the individuals who testified in Schiff’s court held in the basement of the US capital.  The Republicans are not allowed to call in witnesses.  The witnesses were coached by Schiff.  The Republicans’ questions are constantly interrupted by the likes of ‘President’ Swalwell, a failed Democrat candidate for President, and other Democrats.

The President and his team was not allowed to interview the witnesses.  The witnesses are basing their testimonies in some cases on 4th hand information.

Schiff is in charge of the impeachment hearings set up based on the CIA spy’s complaint.   Schiff is the same individual who created the incident that the impeachment is based on.  All rules and guidelines are created by him alone.  He decides who interviews and when and what they are allowed to say.  He tells witnesses whether they are allowed to answer questions or not from the Republicans on the Committee.

The number of unconstitutional actions taken by Schiff is too numerous to count.  Nowhere in our constitution does it provide for an accuser to be a witness, a prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the ruler over who is heard and what is said in a trial!  And to think they are doing this not in a traffic court, but to remove the President of the United States from office!

President Trump committed no crimes

The whole SHAM is based on the President requesting the new President from the Ukraine to look into the 2016 campaign.  The President asked that Ukraine leader see if he could find anything on Hillary’s server, which some people believe may be in the Ukraine, as well as Crowdstrike, the Ukrainian owned firm that the FBI and DNC relied upon in 2016 when it claimed that Russians hacked Hillary’s emails.  Crowdstrike’s claim to this day is the only information used by the FBI, DOJ and Mueller gang as evidence that the Russians hacked Hillary’s emails.

The US has a treaty with the Ukraine that allows for the US and the Ukraine to assist each other with criminal investigations.  Based on a Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty with the Ukraine, the President had every right and even a duty to dig into criminal activities in the Ukraine that involve Americans.

The President of the Ukraine asked on the call whether he should look into the Bidens’ actions in the Ukraine.  A video where former Vice President Biden bragged about having a Ukrainian prosecutor kicked off a case where he was investigating his son, Hunter Biden, was shared all over the Internet.  The judge was removed in a quid pro quo arrangement.  The Ukrainians removed the prosecutor and then they received $1 billion from the US under Obama.

Biden’s son Hunter, was placed on the Board of Burisma Holdings in the Ukraine and he and Devon Archer, who’s connected to former Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was also on the Burisma Board, made at least $50,000 a month each in spite of knowing nothing about Burisma’s business.

Based on this Schiff and company believed they could impeach President Trump for a quid-pro-quo – like what Biden did – I’ll give you money if you remove the prosecutor in the Ukraine who is investigating my son and the company he is a Board member of, Burisma Holdings.  But this is not what President Trump did.  Joe Biden is guilty of quid-pro-quo.  The Democrats are projecting again!

Unfortunately for Democrats their Schiff sham is quickly falling apart.  There is no crime.  What President Trump did was completely legal.  They first tried to claim that the President was involved in a quid-pro-quo but this is falling apart, so they are now changing their crime to ‘extortion’ –

They also claim that the President is obstructing Congress by not answering their unlawful subpoenas.  But the President has the right to deny subpeonas that are unlawful.  Congress is not the Executive Branch and does not have the right to demand any item they want from the President.

Of course, Schifty Schiff is also reportedly considering bringing back the obstruction actions from the Mueller case to impeach the President but Mueller himself did not have the evidence to claim any of these actions were crimes because they weren’t.

Democrat attorney Alan Dershowitz agrees that President Trump committed no crimes –

No One in American Wants Impeachment except the Far-left Socialist Dems

Finally, the Democrats are totally blinded by their rage and they don’t realize that nobody is in favor of impeachment.

As we reported, FOX News released a poll where they state that 49% of Americans were for Trump Impeachment.  But their polling was flawed.  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 they’re 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 poll results from the FOX News survey.

This may end up being the Democrats worst move since seceding from the Union leading to the Civil War!  The Democrats belief that only they should be in power will again be their downfall!  This Schiff Show does not have a happy ending.

via UH-OH… Dems Went All-In on Schiff Impeachment and Now It’s Quickly Turning Into a Schiff Show – Unconstitutional, No Crimes, With Only Far-Left Democrat Support — The Gateway Pundit

CONFIRMED: Kanye West And His Sunday Service Will Be Performing This Weekend With Joel Osteen At His Lukewarm Laodicean Lakewood Church — Now The End Begins

via CONFIRMED: Kanye West And His Sunday Service Will Be Performing This Weekend With Joel Osteen At His Lukewarm Laodicean Lakewood Church — Now The End Begins

Get Ready for More Gay TV — David Fiorazo

Like it or not, if you watch TV, get ready for more gay! A study ‘came out’ – pun intended – a year ago showing a rapidly increasing trend: record numbers of LGBT characters on television, particularly on primetime, and more LGBT characters in leading roles.

They’ve been working on this for decades, but the agenda to normalize homosexuality goes back to the 1970s. And they won’t stop until the American public not only accepts and approves of their lifestyles, but celebrates them.

This week, GLAAD published its annual report on the status of LGBT infiltration of television and their plans to dominate the industry within five years. Gay rights activists, corporations, government schools, Hollywood, and media elites deny this is an agenda, but the facts tell a very – different – story.

I’m David Fiorazo and this is Christ and Culture.

GLAAD’s report is called, “Where We Are on TV,” and analyzes the number of LGBT and non-white characters on television. They are demanding one in five characters on primetime shows be LGBT by 2025.

GLAAD is calling on the industry to ensure the success of their agenda. Right now, 10.2 percent of broadcast series regular characters are LGBT. But according to a Gallup survey of adults in the U.S., an extremely liberal estimate of 4.5% of the population identifies as LGBT.

This means they are already overrepresented on television by 227%. If their demands are met, five years from now there would be an overrepresentation of roughly four-and-a-half times the actual LGBT population.

They advance the agenda in part by bullying corporate sponsors of TV shows and by spending millions to change public opinion, influence elections as well as teacher’s unions. Back in the 1970s, gay activists pressured the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality as a category of mental illness. Look it up.

And it doesn’t stop with television programs or streaming services like Netflix, it’s hard not to notice more gays, lesbians, and transgenders in commercials, social media, print ads and even cartoons.

The revolution is upon us.

GLAAD president, Sarah Kate Ellis states:

GLAAD has tracked the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) characters on television for 24 years, and… our community finds itself in 2019 facing unprecedented attacks on our progress. The role of television in changing hearts and minds has never been more important. Indeed, our nation’s cultural institutions are being called to stand in the gap at this tumultuous time in the history of our movement for full acceptance.

What do you think she means by ‘full acceptance’? The silencing and/or the abolishment of Christianity and biblical morality in our culture.

What about so-called ‘unprecedented attacks’ on their progress? An extreme talking point. Homosexuality has never had more acceptance, press, favorability, and visibility.

It is either disingenuous or naive for people to think the massively powerful LGBT lobby is willing to peacefully coexist with those who disagree with them. And by powerful, think mafia. You don’t have to be a Christian business owner to understand the danger here.

Once again, evil is being called good. In other words, sin is promoted as normal.

The Bible warned about this a few thousand years ago. In the Book of Romans for example, it is dishonorable and shameless when men and women give up natural relations for unnatural, same-sex behaviors.

Romans 1:26-28 states:

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Remember, someone’s natural identity (who a person is/how God created them) is not the same as their chosen sexual behavior or lifestyle (what a person does, who a person “loves”).

The laws and morality of the one true God are in the way of this immoral agenda. And so is anyone who follows the living God. Something has to give.

Over in Britain, you may not be surprised a judge in the UK recently ruled that belief in the Bible is “incompatible with human dignity.” Think about that. Human dignity exists because God made man in His image.

Without God, there can be no good, and no inherent value to human life at all.

I used to laugh when someone used the words “post-Christian” when referring to America. Not anymore. I realize this is disappointing news, but how are we responding? Remember, the more dark the culture, the more light Christians can shine on it.

We’ve all sinned, but forgiveness is available to anyone who admits it and turns to God. Let’s love our neighbors enough to tell them about Christ’s offer of salvation.

God bless you and keep speaking the truth about things that matter.

*video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

via Get Ready for More Gay TV — David Fiorazo

Nationalism is not a sin — Capstone Report

Why so many Christian leaders get it all wrong about nationalism, patriotism and immigration.

Seven Things You Need To Know About Nationalism, Christianity and Politics.

  1. God Created nations and states. These states serve a divine purpose.

God created nations. God created states. This is undeniably true. The Old Testament affirms the creation of both nations (Tower of Babel) and the state (God’s delegation of capital powers Genesis 9:5). The New Testament affirms a divine function for the state by the words of both Peter (1 Peter 2:13-14) and Paul (Romans 13, etc.)

Further, Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill in Athens provides even greater detail about God’s involvement with states. They serve the plan of Divine Providence. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,” (Acts 17:26-27).

  1. The Divine Purpose is salvation.

God’s created order is part of God’s plan of salvation. For some reason, the order states create in the protection of life and property aid in the spread of the Gospel. Paul touched on that in the above quote from his sermon in Athens, “feel their way toward him and find him.” This is something that the great New Testament scholar C.E.B. Cranfield explains,

“It is implied that God wills the state as a means to promoting peace and quiet among human beings, and that God desires such peace and quiet because they are in some way conducive to human beings’ salvation. It is God’s purpose that the state should, by restraining chaotic tendencies of human beings’ self-assertion, maintain those outward conditions under which the gospel may be preached to all and sundry without hindrance.

Thus, it is through the punishment of evil that even bad states can serve some ultimate good. The Roman Empire is one example that despite its corrupt rulers, the order and safety it created paved the way for the spread of Christianity.

  1. States and Nations are given limited realms.

States are given limited realms. Nations are given limited numbers of people. These are also facts supported by both Old and New Testaments. Once again, Paul preaching at Athens affirms this with reference to God’s Divine Will setting the times and extents of peoples.

Also, the Old Testament affirms the limited extent of nations and states. God limited nations at the Tower of Babel for the purpose of His divine plan. There are some important hints at why God created limited powers within the Genesis 11:1-9 history of the Tower of Babel—namely, when humanity amasses too much power it will work independently of God. According to one commentary, “Genesis 11:1–9 also mirrors the attempt of humanity in the garden to achieve power independently of God. The attempt of the Babelites to transgress human limits is reminiscent of Eve’s ambition (3:5–6).”[1]

As for states, the Old Testament goes into great detail explaining the borders of Israel. As Rich Lowry explains in his excellent new book, The Case for Nationalism (our review coming soon), “Borders are a key part of a nation, and God couldn’t have set them out more specifically to Moses absent a map and a surveyor: ‘And your border shall turn from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass on to Zin: and the going forth thereof shall be from the south to Kadeshbarnea, and shall go on to Hazaraddar, and pass on to Azmon,’ and so on.”

Yoram Hazony in his book, The Virtue of Nationalism, writes, “Moses, who speaks with the Lord of heaven and earth, nonetheless initiates no universal conquest, and presents himself as legislating for Israel alone. The prophets of Israel certainly understood that the Tora had been given for the betterment of all mankind. And yet Hebrew Scripture maintains a permanent distinction between the national state sanctioned by Moses in Deuteronomy, which is to govern within prescribed borders; and the aspiration to teach God’s word to the nations of the world.”

  1. States are responsible to God. Christians are responsible to God.

Since states hold their powers from God, they are ultimately answerable to Him. Christians have a dual responsibility to God, both to practice the teachings of Christ and upholding the God-ordained political order. There is no conflict between these missions, despite the claims of some. In America, Christians have the special blessing of being part of the political process. As such, Christians must evaluate policy through the lens of God’s purpose for the state. This Divine purpose for the state is told to us through biblical and secular sources.

The biblical model for the state is the creation of order so that the Gospel can be preached. Specifically, Peter and Paul affirm the punishment of evil and rewarding good as the purpose of a state.

The United States and its foundational document the Constitution declares the purpose of American government is to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Christians must evaluate politics through this lens: does it foster Divine order and meet the requirements of the US constitution. These are harmonious points. God ordained the United States as he ordains all nations and states. He expects the Christian-citizen here to rule in a way that fosters the National Interest.

All policies such as immigration and foreign affairs must be evaluated on how it serves the National Interest. After all, God expects the United States government to pursue the protection and benefit of the people entrusted to its care. The people under its sovereignty are divinely placed and entitled to a government that protects their life, liberty and property.

  1. God loves all People. The best way to bless the nations is through a strong America.

God loves all people. He cares for them and gives to them the blessings of life and government. However, the fact that God loves all people is not an argument for unlimited immigration, the removal of borders or similar Universalist missions for the State. We must remember the lessons from the Tower of Babel—the temptation is always there to make the state a replacement for God and to use human achievements to realize the eschaton.

Such moves are dangerous.

And futile. For any attempt to immanentize the eschaton will only result in frustration. The same frustration seen on the plain of Shinar.

This is disorder. It is what we see in the disintegration of Europe as it abandons its nation-states for the illusion of supra-nationalism. However, the lessons of history are that multiethnic empires are unstable, dangerous and expansionist.

The alternative approach to the disorder of the modern world is a strong America. The United States and its values are best served by enacting policies that serve to enhance American power. While this must never be unjust, it is not only wise but biblical to insist that policies do not weaken the nation.

  1. It is good to love America. Nationalism isn’t a sin.

If you are an American, it is good to love your country. We have a unique national identity that makes us different than other people. As Rich Lowry explains in his book, “As for national identity, it is what used to be known as national character. It is the culture that marks off one country from another, that makes France so French and England so English.”

So, love your national pastime whether it is baseball, college football or soccer. Love your apple pie, or the distinctly American takes on Italian, Mexican or French cuisines. Feel free to acknowledge a bond to the fellow citizen in Minnesota over the person in the Bahamas.

And Lowry goes further by explaining why Nationalism matters, “Whereas patriotism is loyalty to what is your own, particularly your own people and government, nationalism is more specific, namely, as the scholar Azar Gat writes, “the doctrine and ideology that a people is bound together in solidarity, fate, and common political aspirations.”

In the West, there are competing visions for how our political aspirations should be handled. Yoram Hazony writes in The Virtue of Nationalism, “FOR CENTURIES, THE POLITICS of Western nations have been characterized by a struggle between two antithetical visions of world order: an order of free and independent nations, each pursuing the political good in accordance with its own traditions and understanding; and an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single supranational authority.”

The single authority is an attempt to recreate Babel. To build, often for purposes of self-aggrandizement, an empire and power that rivals and surpasses all under heaven. It is wise to resist all such enterprises. It is best to prefer a limited state, controlling a limited land and with a limited number of citizens.

  1. Resources for the Christian

There are many excellent resources to help the Christian. First, check out our series on Evangelical Political Theology. We argue that one must Get the State right by understanding its divine purpose. Also, we explain a Two Kingdoms approach to politics.

Next, there is a free book from Prof. James K. Hoffmeier and the American Assocation of Evangelicals, Wise Welcome: A Bible Study on Immigration.

Lastly, consider some of the best recent scholarship on the issues of American history and nationalism. Prof. Mark Hall’s new book, Did America Have a Christian Founding? Is an excellent refutation of the secularist lies about America. As mentioned earlier, Rich Lowry’s new book The Case for Nationalism and Yoram Hazony’s new book The Virtue of Nationalism are useful studies. Both deal with the intersection of faith and politics.


[1] K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 467.

via Nationalism is not a sin — Capstone Report

Sanctification: God’s Will for You — Christian Research Network

“No matter what sin we happen to be struggling with. No matter how intense the battle in our members may appear to be we can take heart that God’s will is for us to be sanctified.  God’s will is that we will overcome the battle in our members.”  

(Jeffrey Stivason – Place For Truth)  For Christians, there are proverbial perennial questions that are, well, perennial.  Every May graduating Christians seek the will of God for where they will take further education….

Every college student wonders who God has for them on campus. And after boy meets girl and both graduate they labor to discover where God wants them to land. In short, believers ask, over and over, what is the will of God for my life.

That’s why a text like the one we have in I Thessalonians 4:3 can and ought to be viewed as a huge blessing.  Often God gives us lots of principles and then says, “Now, choose wisely!”  But in this text Paul writes, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” Now, we are glad to read a statement like this one but frankly we don’t get overly excited about it. After all, it doesn’t tell us much.  It says that God desires that we be devoted to him and so be separate from sexual immorality, which is really the focus of sanctification at this point in the text. And often the worst part or the least sanctified part of our brain thinks, “I could have guessed that much!”    View article →

via Sanctification: God’s Will for You — Christian Research Network

November 12, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Tuesday dangled a new line of defense a day before Congress’ impeachment inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine goes public, promising to release details about another call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

U.S. Democrats launch the public phase of their impeachment inquiry into President Trump this week, with open, televised hearings set for Wednesday and Friday.

Congressional Republicans said on Monday that weeks of closed-door impeachment testimony have not established that President Donald Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate his political rivals for his own benefit or that he has committed an impeachable offense.

Police fired tear gas at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong’s Central financial district and at demonstrators on the other side of the harbor on Tuesday as a senior officer said the unrest had brought the city to “the brink of total breakdown”.

Bolivia’s former leader Evo Morales was heading to Mexico to seek asylum on Tuesday as security forces sought to quell violence over the long-serving leftist’s resignation and lawmakers jostled to establish an interim replacement.

Consumers complained about glitches in Walt Disney Co’s streaming service on Twitter, just hours after its highly anticipated launch.

Iraq’s ruling parties appear to have rallied behind a strategy, blessed by Iran, to try to survive a mass anti-government uprising by containing protests on the streets of Baghdad while offering a package of political reforms and elections next year.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a blow to the firearms industry, rejecting Remington Arms bid to escape a lawsuit by families of victims aiming to hold the gun maker liable for its marketing of the assault-style rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre that killed 20 children and six adults.

Israel killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a rare targeted strike in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, drawing retaliatory rocket salvoes that reached as far as Tel Aviv.

AP Top Stories

San Diego State University has suspended 14 fraternities amid allegations that “possible misconduct” at one of them may have been linked to the death of a 19-year-old student over the weekend, the authorities said.

Denmark will temporarily reinstate border controls with Sweden and step up police work along the border after a series of violent crimes and explosions around Copenhagen that Danish authorities say were carried out by perpetrators from Sweden.

Mexico has made an unspecified number of arrests in last week’s massacre of three women and six children of dual U.S-Mexican nationality in the north of the country, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said on Monday. “There have been arrests, but it’s not up to us to give information,” Durazo told reporters in Mexico City.

A Saudi Arabian court has convicted 38 people of financing terrorism and declaring other Muslims non-believers, handing out sentences ranging from 30 months to 25 years, state-run Al Ekhbariya television reported on Tuesday.

Jordan’s king announced Sunday that his country is retaking “full sovereignty” over two pieces of land leased by Israel, reflecting the cool relations between the neighboring countries as they mark the 25th anniversary of their landmark peace deal.

Two well-known scientific groups have dropped job postings from their websites from Brigham Young University because of the school’s LGBTQ policies, igniting a debate on whether research organizations should take a stance on social issues.

GLAAD, the media-monitoring organization, just-released the “Where We Are on TV” report, which evaluates the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars and tallies the LGBTQ characters on cable networks and streaming platforms, says that where we are… is a pretty good place. Not only are there more LGBTQ series regulars than ever before, there has been a significant increase in the racial diversity of LGBTQ characters on broadcast and cable. In addition, there are now more LGBTQ women in regular and recurring roles on broadcast than LGBTQ men – a first in the 24-year history of the “Where We Are On TV” report. (Though LGBTQ women outnumber men 53 percent to 47 percent, gender parity was thisclose to being achieved.)

The United Nations and Kenyan government on Monday came under fire on the eve a global conference on sexual and reproductive health with Christian groups claiming hosting the event was promoting abortion and homosexuality in the east African nation.

BBC

Far-right groups turned out in force to mark Polish Independence Day. Poland won independence in November 1918, but lost it when Nazi Germany invaded in 1939.

Afghanistan is to release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in exchange for two hostages held by the group, President Ghani has said. American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks were lecturers at the American University of Afghanistan when they were kidnapped in 2016.

Queues have formed outside banks in Zimbabwe as people hope to get hold of the country’s first Zimbabwe dollar notes to be issued since 2009. The currency was scrapped a decade ago because of hyperinflation when prices were almost doubling every day.

WND

In South London, two 10-year-old Christian students say they were suspended after they asked their Heavers Farm Primary School head teacher if they could forgo participation in a lesson about LGBT topics during “Pride Month.”

Hollins University, a Virginia women’s college, will no longer require its applicants to be biologically female, but rather only to “identify as women.” Individuals already at the school who currently identify as women but who transition to live as men will be allowed to stay.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Nov. 12, 2019

The Foundation

“The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances provided they do not contradict the express words of the law.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

Supreme Court to Decide DACA’s Fate

Either way the justices rule, DACA will end unless Congress acts on immigration.


GLAAD Demands Even More ‘LGBTQ’ TV Characters

The Rainbow Mafia has a narrative to sell with emotional entertainment connections.


America Must Decide If It’s Serious About Winning War on Terror

There’s a lack of overarching strategy, or even an idea of what ultimate victory looks like.


Canadians Fire Broadcast Legend For Supporting Vets

Don Cherry wants people to support fallen veterans with poppies. He gets canceled.


Black Americans Thriving in Trump Era

Blacks enjoy record-low unemployment, criminal-justice reform, and greater school choice.


95-Year-Old WWII Vet Receives High-School Diploma

“It’s a thrill,” he said of earning the degree 74 after going to fight for his country.


Video: Who Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize?

The American military, which has routinely made the world a more peaceful place.


Video: What Trump Gets That Reagan Could Not

Trump puts on a spectacular display of message dominance while drowning out the mainstream media.



Today’s Opinion

Rich Lowry
Democrats Shouldn’t Blame Latin
Cal Thomas
Real Collusion
Gary Bauer
A Rousing Reception
Stephen Moore
The Post and Liberal Media Again Get It Wrong About Trump Economy
Tony Perkins
‘It’s Love. That Is the Real Bond of Warriors.’
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

DACA arguments, Democrat lawlessness, Google’s health-data harvesting, and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Thomas Sowell, Nikki Haley, Joe Biden, and more.



Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

Headlines – 11/12/2019

Jordan’s king visits Naharayim enclave after Israelis clear out

Katz: Israel wanted joint event to mark peace anniversary, but Jordan refused

First Jordanian envoy to Israel says peace accord should be reexamined

Netanyahu: There was never a ‘real reconciliation’ between Israel and Jordan

Jordan foils plot against US, Israeli diplomats, American soldiers

Gantz and Netanyahu closing in on deal for unity government: report

PM: Government backed by Arabs would be a ‘slap in the face’ to IDF soldiers

Israel kills powerful Islamic Jihad commander al-Ata in targeted strike

PA, UN condemn fatal shooting of Palestinian man by IDF soldiers

Israel hit by rockets after killing Islamic Jihad leader Abu al-Ata in Gaza

Sirens sound across southern Israel as area bombarded by rockets

Tel Aviv targeted; school, work off after Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander

IDF orders schools, businesses shut from Gaza to Tel Aviv for 1st time since ’14

Grapes of wrath: Israel sours on West Bank winery in spat over EU labeling

India says Israeli, Jewish targets under immediate terror threat

For Ukrainian Jews, having a Jewish president is a source of pride – and fear

In essay on anti-Semitism, Sanders says Trump inspired synagogue shooting

Syria says building attacked in Damascus, two killed

Iraq tells UN it regrets hundreds killed in crackdown

Hezbollah chief: Chance of US-Iran war down by 99%, Trump’s strategy failed

IAEA: Uranium traces found at undeclared Iranian site

Iran enriching 12 times as much uranium now Fordo restarted, nuclear head says

France, Germany, Britain urge Iran to reverse nuclear deal breaches

Turkey begins deporting foreign jihadists; Greece sends one back

Turkey’s proxy army ‘looting, kidnapping and executing Kurds at random’ in north Syria ‘safe zone’

Rohingya crisis: The Gambia accuses Myanmar of genocide at top UN court

Schools shut, riot police out as Hong Kong sees yet another day of unrest

US condemns latest Hong Kong violence, urges both sides to de-escalate

My Socialist Hell: Living in Post-Electricity Venezuela

Mexico gives asylum to ousted Bolivian leader; new elections planned

Rex Tillerson denies Nikki Haley’s claims that he sought to undermine Trump’s agenda

Bernie Sanders calls gun buybacks ‘unconstitutional’ at rally: It’s ‘essentially confiscation’

Republican breaks with Trump, insists whistleblower remain anonymous

Broadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage

Rush Limbaugh: Democrats will use Kavanaugh ‘model’ for this week’s public impeachment hearings

Giuliani considers launching an impeachment podcast amid public hearings

Congresswoman clutches Hebrew Bible in video backing impeachment inquiry

Mark Levin: We Need Whistleblower, Schiff To Testify So “The Whole House of Cards Will Collapse”

Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit over New York tax returns

For Millions Of Americans In The Middle Of The Country, It Feels Like An Economic Depression Right Now

Two of the world’s biggest economies are at risk of recession

There’s a race to replace our iPhones with smart glasses we wear everywhere

Planet 9 may have already been found, study suggests

Meteor Over St Louis, Missouri: People Spot Bright Light Streaking Across Night Sky

NASA detects record-breaking thermonuclear explosion produced by dead star

Southeastern France rocked by an unusual 5.4-magnitude earthquake: The quake is thought to be the biggest to hit France in 15 years.

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

4.9-magnitude quake shakes parts of Hawaii Island; no tsunami threat

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 33,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

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

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

This week’s Arctic blast will be so cold, forecasters expect it to break more than 300 records across US

American flight skids off Chicago runway in scary landing; cancellations soar to nearly 1,300

Fire crisis hits Sydney as 78 blazes intensify

San Francisco’s new DA pledges not to prosecute public urination, other quality-of-life-crimes

Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans

Genetic test aims to predict an embryo’s intelligence and health

Pete Buttigieg On Veterans Day: Fellow Troops ‘Did Not Care’ If I Was Gay


Apostasy Watch

The World Really Isn’t Going to Hell… Here’s Why
This piece is from an investment site but the subject here is our view of the future

Women Accuse Evangelical Pastor Of Abuse Years After Being Told To Keep Silent

Charismatic ‘Prophet’ Cathy Lechner Dies 1 day After Claiming Victory Over Death

Official Chinese Govt. “Christian” Publication Turns Jesus Into Chinese Man Spouting Communist Slogans

Violent Tensions Rise in Ethiopia as Churches Burned, Protestors Killed

Woman Charged With Murder For Killing Unborn Baby With Crystal Meth Instead of Morning After Pill


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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

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

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

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

November 12, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Attitude of Evangelistic Prayer

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. (2:8)

Therefore indicates that this verse goes with the preceding section, not with what follows. The change of subject comes in verse 9, as the word “likewise” shows (cf. 3:8, 11). Having stressed the importance of evangelistic prayer, Paul now tells us with what attitude we are to pray. Want is from boulomai, and could be translated “I command,” or “I purpose.” Men is from anēr, and means men as opposed to women. Men are the leaders when the church meets for corporate worship. When prayer is offered for the lost during those times, the men are to do it. In the synagogues, only men were permitted to pray, and that was carried over into the church. The phrase in every place appears four times in Paul’s writings (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Thess. 1:8). All four times it refers to the official assembly of the church.

Some might argue that this teaching contradicts 1 Corinthians 11:5, where Paul permits women to pray and proclaim the Word. That passage, however, must be interpreted in light of 1 Corinthians 14:34–35, which forbids women to speak in the assembly. Women are permitted to pray and proclaim the Word, but not “in church”—that is, when the church meets for its corporate worship services. That in no way marks women as spiritually inferior (cf. Gal. 3:28). Not even all men proclaim the Word in the assembly, only those so called and gifted. (For a further discussion of this issue, see my book Different By Design [Wheaton, Ill.: Victor, 1994].)

The Old Testament saints frequently prayed lifting up their hands (cf. 1 Kings 8:22; Neh. 8:6; Pss. 63:4; 134:2; 141:2; Isa. 1:15). But Paul’s emphasis here is not on a particular posture for prayer. The hands symbolize the activities of life, thus holy hands represent a holy life. That is a prerequisite for effective prayer (cf. Ps. 66:18). Holy translates hosios, which means “unpolluted,” or “unstained by evil.” Those who pray for the lost must not be characterized by wrath and dissension. They must be holy in heart and deed.

The greatest example of evangelistic praying is our Lord Himself. Isaiah 53:12 tells us He “interceded for the transgressors.” On the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). God answered those prayers with three thousand converts on the Day of Pentecost, and countless thousands more through the centuries.

Do we pray for the lost like that? Do we have the passion that inspired John Knox to cry out, “Give me Scotland or I die”? Is our attitude that of George Whitefield, who prayed, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul”? Can we, like Henry Martyn, say, “I cannot endure existence if Jesus is to be so dishonored”?

God honors evangelistic prayer. Standing among those who killed Stephen was a young man named Saul of Tarsus. Could it be that the great apostle’s salvation was in answer to Stephen’s prayer, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”? Evangelism begins with evangelistic prayer.[1]


8 Paul now moves past his first main point (the offering of all kinds of prayer, vv. 1–2) to his second (related) injunction (oun, “then,” here [untranslated in NIV] and in v. 1). He wants the “men” in the congregation to unite in prayer (proseuchomai, GK 4667; cf. v. 1 and 5:5) without any hint of “anger” (orgē, GK 3973) or “disputing” (dialogismos, GK 1369). Just as ritual purity was essential for Jews, NT believers were to pray with their hands cleansed from all spiritual defilement or impurity (“holy hands”). The plural seems to reflect a plurality of men leading the congregation in prayer and worship (cf. 2:12; 3:2, 5; 4:11–16; 5:17).

The immediate reference of “everywhere” (lit., “in every place”) is to the various house churches making up the Ephesian church (so Thomas R. Schreiner, “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9–15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” in Women in the Church, ed. Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995], 113), though ultimately the scope is universal (Barrett, 54: “in every Christian meeting place”; Kelly, 65: “wherever the gospel is preached”; cf. 1 Co 1:2; 2 Co 2:14; 1 Th 1:8; cf. Mal 1:11 [LXX]; see Quinn and Wacker, 208–9).

The lifting up of hands in prayer was practiced in OT times and is attested in Jewish intertestamental, Greco-Roman, and Christian literature (cf. Knight, 128–29). By this time, lifting up hands in prayer may have become a figurative expression similar to “washing the feet of the saints” (5:10). In this congregation devoted to prayer, there must be neither “anger” (cf. Eph 4:31; Col 3:8) nor “disputing” (cf. Php 2:14). The apostle’s teaching here mirrors that of Jesus (Mt 5:22–24 cf. 6:14–15; 18:21–35; Mk 11:25).

Paul’s concern (similar to that of Jesus) is the removal of barriers to ensure effective prayer (1 Co 7:5; Eph 4:26–27; 1 Pe 3:7; cf. Did. 14:2). The apostle’s main emphasis is on the adjective “holy” (hosious, GK 4008; cf. Tit 1:8; Heb 7:26). The picture painted here is that of a church submitted to authority and united in prayer for the salvation of all.[2]


8  At this point, Paul engages the congregation according to gender groups. In this adaptation of a household code, he takes the men first and speaks to them authoritatively, enlarging on the instruction about community prayer22 initiated at 2:1. There are several issues to be addressed. First, in Greek the term “men” is ambiguous and could mean “husbands” or “men.” Typically either a standard modifying possessive pronoun or similar device will clearly indicate “husband” (e.g. 3:2, 12; 5:9; Titus 1:6; 2:5; 1 Pet 3:1; Eph 5:22), or something else in the context will specify the meaning. The absence of such a signal might support the more generic reference, but the context nonetheless suggests the husband/wife relationship is largely in view (especially when discussion of the women is considered, see below). On the one hand, the norm for men and women was marriage, and this is the assumption in reference to the women and childbearing in v. 15. On the other hand, the language and content of the proscribed “sumptuousness” of wealthy women in 2:9–10 has in mind mainly a trend among wealthy married women (and widows; see on 5:6, 11–15) to adopt a new liberated lifestyle of dress and sexual promiscuity (see below). If this is the case, the generic categories of “men” and “women” are almost certainly intended to express more precision.

Second, Paul is specifically concerned about the holiness and demeanor of men when they pray. This is set out in positive terms first by reference to the symbolic gesture of raising the hands in prayer (coupled with allusion to the rite of hand washing to signify purity). The background is the biblical tradition in which prayers in various contexts (invoking God’s intervention, pronouncing blessing on others) were accentuated by the raising or extending of hands. Within Israel’s cultic regimen, the actual outward act of washing the hands was a fundamental preparatory step for priests to enter the Tent of Meeting (Exod 30:19–21). The visible public act of purification signified the presumed inward condition of purity/holiness of those about to engage in ministry. From the act and its significance, the image of “purified hands” acquired metaphorical status in its reference to moral purity (e.g. 1 Clement 29:1; LXX Pss 25:6; 72:13) just as the image of “bloody” or stained hands signified metaphorically the reverse (Isa 1:15). The combination of the adjective, “holy/pure,” and the symbolic gesture depicts one who is completely (outwardly and inwardly) ready for ministry.

Measured negatively, the holiness that facilitates acceptable prayer is devoid (“without”; 5:21) of attitudes and actions that put relationships at risk. Here Paul highlights two such things. First, the presence of “anger” indicates the absence of patience, kindness and forgiveness, all of which are requisite to the maintenance and fostering of relationships. Consequently, refusing to harbor anger (and related feelings) towards other people (Eph 4:31; Col 3:8), along with taking the positive step of forgiveness (e.g. Mark 11:25), is a condition of effective prayer. Second, hostile feelings issue in hostile actions, and Paul illustrates this with a very relevant reference to “disputing.” This is an almost certain reference to the modus operandi of the false teachers, whose false doctrines and teaching style engendered disputes and division in the community.28 But in the nearer context a reference to some kind of volatile interaction between men and women (who teach) may also be in mind. For the thought that one’s moral condition will affect one’s prayer, positively or negatively, see James 1:19–20 and 1 Pet 3:7.

Third, a subtly inserted phrase often overlooked in translations and commentaries, “in every place” (“everywhere,” TNIV) initiates an OT echo designed to invite the readers/hearers to understand the significance of their entire worship activity in the eschatological framework of God’s redemptive promise to save the nations.29 In the NT the phrase is Pauline, restricted elsewhere to three occurrences (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8). Notably, in each of these instances either Paul’s prayer (1 Cor 1:2) or preaching mission (2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8) is in view. Both of these features and the sense of universality suggest that the phrase originated in and consciously echoes Mal 1:11:

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place (en panti topō) incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

Within Judaism, Mal 1:11 was associated in the Targumic tradition with prayer. Didache 14:3, perhaps influenced by the interests in 1 Tim 2:8 and certainly by those of Judaism, later conflated Mal 1:11 and 14 to construct a citation, attributed to the Lord, that instructed those quarreling to reconcile before praying. But in the OT context, “prayer,” that is, the offering of incense and declaring of God’s name, is not the sole topic; it is rather symbolic of the gracious outward turn of God to the nations and pronouncement of judgment on the corrupt temple-centered worship.

The function of the echo in the Pauline texts is to explore the implications of this prophetic promise in the new eschatological reality of the church. Viewed within this line of OT promise, the churches’ prayer (1 Cor 1:2; 1 Tim 2:8) and Paul’s apostolic ministry (2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8; 1 Tim 2:7) become signs of the fulfillment of God’s promise to offer salvation to “the nations.” Equally, the church in its proclamation and prayer becomes the vehicle by which promise is fulfilled. This is exactly the eschatological perspective Paul had of his ministry (Rom 9–11; 15:9–13; Gal 1:15–16), so it is hardly surprising to find it extended here to a discussion of the church’s prayer responsibility within the Pauline mission.33 Within the broader context of 1 Tim 2:8, this echo of Mal 1:11 resonates with the theme of universality and prayer in support of Paul’s mission (2:1–6) and Paul’s self-understanding of his calling to the Gentiles (“herald, apostle … teacher of the Gentiles”; 2:7) to underline the intrinsic place of prayer within the gospel ministry and the ministry of this church. Paul’s audience would have been sensitive to the thematic cue. But equally this missiological frame forces the conduct both of Christian men (holiness) and women (modesty) to be evaluated in terms of its effect on observant outsiders.[3]


2:8 / This sentence is tied to what precedes by the conjunction oun (“therefore”), untranslated in the niv (probably because it was understood to be transitional). “Therefore,” Paul says, “while we’re on the subject, as the people gather to pray be sure it is for prayer and not in anger or disputing.” That is, the instruction is neither that men should pray nor that only men pray nor that they should do so with uplifted hands, but that when at prayer they should do so without engaging in controversies.

This is to be so everywhere, that is, “in every place where believers gather in and around Ephesus” (the house-churches). To lift up holy hands while in prayer is the assumed posture of prayer in both Judaism and early Christianity (see note). The imagery is that of ritual purity, hands cleansed before praying, and here refers to their not being “soiled” by anger or disputing, the particular sins of the false teachers.[4]


8. I will then that in every place the men offer prayer.

Paul, exercising his full authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ, continues to give directions. The translation of the A.V. “I will” fits the context and suits the word that is used in the original. The word then (either loosely inferential or continuative; cf. N.T.C. on John, Vol. II, p. 386, footnote 246) connects this paragraph with the preceding. Prayers must be offered in behalf of all people (verses 1–7); hence, let these prayers be offered; not, however, by the women but by the men (verse 8). It is clear that the verb offer prayer or simply pray must here be taken in the broadest sense, including every form of invocation mentioned in 2:1 (see on that passage).

Such prayers must be offered “in every place” of public worship. Often a large room in the house of one of the members would be used for that purpose. There were probably several places of worship in Ephesus and surroundings. In order and manner of worship the customs prevailing in the synagogue were followed as far as possible. The idea that the men should lead in prayer cannot have surprised those who were used to the synagogue, except in so far as Paul’s emphasis on the equality of the sexes “in Christ” (Gal. 3:28) may have caused some to wonder whether this spiritual emancipation of women might not imply a change in their position in public worship. Moreover, it must be borne in mind that many of the converts had been gathered from the Gentile world. And the church was still very young, with new centers of worship being established right along. Moreover, the possibility that false teachers had been spreading erroneous ideas with respect to the respective roles of men and women “in church” must not be entirely dismissed. However this may have been, Paul knew, at any rate, that instruction was necessary with respect to this point. He emphasizes that the Christian faith does not call for a complete break with the past. The presence of women in the religious assembly is, of course, assumed. Paul’s point is that these women should pray as Hannah did, “She spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard” (1 Sam. 1:13).

As for the men, they should offer prayer, lifting up holy hands without wrath and evil deliberation. Posture in prayer is never a matter of indifference. The slouching position of the body while one is supposed to be praying is an abomination to the Lord. On the other hand, it is also true that Scripture nowhere prescribes one, and only one, correct posture during prayer. Different positions of arms, hands, and of the body as a whole, are indicated. All of these are permissible as long as they symbolize different aspects of the worshipper’s reverent attitude, and as long as they truly interpret the sentiments of the heart. Note the following Prayer Postures:

(1).      Standing: Gen. 18:22; 1 Sam. 1:26; Matt. 6:5; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11; Luke 18:13. (Note the contrast between the last two passages. It makes a difference even how and where one stands.)

(2).      Hands Spread Out or/and Lifted Heavenward: Ex. 9:29; Ex. 17:11, 12; 1 Kings 8:22; Neh. 8:6; Psalm 63:4; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 141:2; Is. 1:15; Lam. 2:19; Lam. 3:41; Hab. 3:10; Luke 24:50; 1 Tim. 2:8; James 4:8. (Compare the “Orantes” of the Catacombs. And see A. Deissmann, Light From the Ancient East, translated by L. R. M. Strachan, fourth edition, New York 1922, pp. 415, 416.)

(3).      Bowing the Head: Gen. 24:48 (cf. verse 13); Ex. 12:27; 2 Chron. 29:30; Luke 24:5.

(4).      The Lifting Heavenward of the Eyes: Psalm 25:15; Psalm 121:1; Psalm 123:1, 2; Psalm 141:8; Psalm 145:15; John 11:41; John 17:1; cf. Dan. 9:3; Acts 8:35.

(5).      Kneeling: 2 Chron. 6:13; Psalm 95:6; Is. 45:23; Dan. 6:10; Matt. 17:14; Mark 1:40; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5; Eph. 3:14.

(6).      Falling Down with the Face Upon the Ground: Gen. 17:3; Gen. 24:26; Num. 14:5, 13; Num. 16:4, 22, 45; Num. 22:13, 34; Deut. 9:18, 25, 26; Jos. 5:14; Judg. 13:20; Neh. 8:6; Ezek. 1:28; Ezek. 3:23; Ezek. 9:8; Ezek. 11:13; Ezek. 43:3; Ezek. 44:4; Dan. 8:17; Matt. 26:39; Mark 7:25; Mark 14:35; Luke 5:12; Luke 17:16; Rev. 1:17; Rev. 11:16.

(7).      Other Postures: 1 Kings 18:42 (bowing, with face between the knees); Luke 18:13 (standing from afar, striking the breast).

As is clear from this final reference, the indicated postures and positions of members of the body may occur in various combinations. In Luke 18:13 (1) and (7) are combined. 1 Kings 8:22 (Solomon) combines (1) and (2). Neh. 8:6 combines (1) and (3). John 11:41 (see verse 38) links (1) with (4). In addition to being combined with (1), number (2) may also be combined with (5), “Solomon arose from the altar of Jehovah, from kneeling on his knees, with his hands spread forth toward heaven” (1 Kings 8:54; cf. Ezra 9:5). Moreover, the bow (3) was often so deep that the person would fall prostrate upon the ground (6). See, for example, Num. 22:31. In fact, a favorite method of prostration among Orientals has always been falling upon the knees (5), then gradually inclining the body, bowing the head until it touches the ground (3), which may become (6). And even in most cases where Scripture does not definitely indicate this, it may be gathered from the context that the man who spread out or lifted up his hands was standing. That is the case also in our present passage (1 Tim. 2:8).

Now all these postures were appropriate. The standing position (1) indicates reverence. The lifting up or spreading out of the hands (2)—arms outstretched, with palms upward—is a fit symbol of utter dependence on God and of humble expectancy. Bowing the head (3) is the outward expression of the spirit of submission. The lifting heavenward of the eyes (4) indicates that one believes that his help comes from Jehovah, from him alone. Kneeling (5) pictures humility and adoration. Falling down with face toward the ground (6) is the visible manifestation of awe in the divine presence. Striking the breast (7) beautifully harmonizes with the feeling of utter unworthiness.

The present custom of closing the eyes while folding the hands is of disputed origin. Though unrecorded in Scripture and unknown to the early church, the custom may be considered a good one if properly interpreted. It helps the worshipper to shut out harmful distractions and to enter the sphere where “none but God is near.” It is, at any rate, far better than some postures of the body that prevail among moderns when prayer is being offered.

What is stressed, however, throughout Scripture and also in the passage now under study, is not the posture of the body or the position of the hands but the inner attitude of the soul. The hands that are lifted up must be holy, that is, they must be hands unpolluted by previous crimes. A man who has just committed a murder or an act of adultery or a theft must not think that without pardon and restitution, when this “making good” is possible, his hands can now be lifted up in a prayer that is pleasing to God. See Psalm 24:3, 4; cf. Matt. 5:23, 24.

Moreover, this lifting up of hands must be done “without wrath and evil deliberation.” Wrath (cf. N.T.C. on John 3:36), that is, settled indignation against a brother, the attitude of the unmerciful debtor of the parable (Matt. 18:21–35), makes prayer unacceptable (see also, in this connection, Matt. 6:14, 15; Eph. 4:31, 32; Col. 3:8; Jas. 1:19, 20). And so does evil deliberation of any kind whatever. The word used in the original is related to our English word dialogue. The soul of man is so constituted that it can carry on a dialogue with itself. Thus a man can debate within himself whether he shall do this to his neighbor or that, balancing one thought against another (our word deliberate—from Latin de and libra—literally means to thoroughly weigh, libra being a balance). Although the word used in the original does not in itself brand the dialoguing as being evil (see Luke 2:35, in which passage the deliberations referred to are not necessarily evil), yet it is worthy of note (cf. Gen. 6:5; 8:21) that in almost every passage in which it is used the deliberation referred to is clearly of a sinful nature (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 9:46, 47; Rom. 1:21; 14:1; 1 Cor. 3:20; Phil. 2:14. In Luke 2:35 it indicates doubting, questioning). Here in 1 Tim. 2:8 the use of the word in conjunction with wrath makes this meaning certain.

The sum and substance, therefore, of the present admonition is that in public worship the men, not the women, should stand with uplifted hands and offer prayer aloud. The elders naturally would take the lead (1 Tim. 5:17). These hands, however, must be holy, and the prayer must be offered in the proper spirit. If the heart of a person is filled with wrath or malice against his brother, so that he is planning evil against him, prayer will not be acceptable.[5]


Instructions for men (2:8)

Paul next turned his concern to orderly, proper worship. Though his comments were directed to particular disturbances and troubles within the Ephesian church, we can extract principles that are applicable to all times and cultures.

2:8. Paul wrote, I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer. His first directive for worship was given to men. He did not use the generic word signifying mankind, but a word specifically targeting males.

In the original Greek text the sentence begins, “Therefore, I want men.” This connective word takes us back to the beginning of the preceding paragraph where Paul urged the congregation to pray especially for those in authority. He reasoned that if Christians could live in peace and harmony, this would create an environment for the spread of the gospel. With the salvation of the lost in mind, Paul looked at the men of the church and instructed them in effective prayer.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are encouraged to “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Heb. 4:16) and to come with the affection and security of a child, by the Spirit crying, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). Even so, we must remember that in prayer we are approaching God himself. Along with reassurance comes warning: we must be in proper relationship with our holy God.

Paul’s emphasis was on holiness, not physical posturing. The most general demeanor for prayer in the ancient world, for pagans, Jews, and Christians alike, was to stand with hands outstretched and uplifted, palms turned upwards. The frescoes in the Roman catacombs provide vivid illustrations from the life of the early church. The Jews ceremonially washed their hands before prayer as a symbol of spiritual cleanness because the hands represented the condition of a person’s soul and heart. “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3–4). It was in the spirit of such understanding and practice that Paul instructed men to pray with holy hands—to pray out of a character of righteousness, of complete devotion to God, unpolluted with sin. The implication is that our standing before God must be right.

In addition, Paul called for proper relationship among believers: Prayers must issue forth to God without anger or disputing.

The Spirit of God promotes unity, harmony, and order; these are divine qualities. Any time we pervert our identity in Christ and become entangled in divisions, factions, and chaos, the church’s mission is compromised, and our prayers are hindered. Our standing with others must be right.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 74–75). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 513). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 201–204). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (pp. 70–71). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 4, pp. 102–105). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 168). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

November 12 The Attributes of God

scripture reading: Psalm 93
key verse: Exodus 15:11

Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Another aid to the worship of God is meditation on His divine attri–butes. An attribute is a special quality of a person. God’s attributes are the inherent features that express His distinct personality.

God is immutable. God never changes in His character or in His dealings with humankind. He can always be counted on to act consistently with His unchanging personhood, giving you great stability (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17).

God is sovereign. God is in complete control of both good and evil. Nothing can come into your life that can thwart His plan for you. This gives you incredible confidence for the present and future. God uses even your mistakes and the mistakes of others for His purposes (Rom. 8:28).

God is faithful. God always acts for your good and His glory. He can always be counted on to be true to His revealed character. This gives you security as you face uncertain problems (Ps. 89:2).

God is loving. God always moves in history and toward humankind according to His benevolence and grace. Even His wrath and judgment can be used for His loving purposes. This gives you great comfort as you face rejection and frustration (Ps. 86:5).

O Lord, I pause today to reflect on Your attributes. You are immutable. You are sovereign. You are faithful. You are loving.[1]

 

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

12 november (preached 11 november 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Self-sufficiency slain

“Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

suggested further reading: 2 Chronicles 32:20–31

You are not capable of performing the lowest act of the divine life, except as you receive strength from God the Holy Spirit. And surely, my brethren, it is generally in these little things that we find out most of all our weakness. Peter can walk the waves of the sea, but he cannot bear the derision of a little maid. Job can endure the loss of all things, but the upbraiding words of his false friends, though they be but words, and break no bones—make him speak far more bitterly than all the sore boils which were in his very skin. Jonah said he did well to be angry, even unto death, about a gourd. Have you not often heard that mighty men who have outlived hundreds of battles have been slain at last by the most trivial accident? And has it not been so with professed Christians? They stood uprightly in the midst of the greatest trials; they have outlived the most arduous struggles, and yet in an evil hour, trusting to themselves, their foot has slipped under some slight temptation, or because of some small difficulty. John Newton says: “The grace of God is as necessary to create a right temper in Christians on the breaking of a china plate as on the death of an only son.” These little leaks need the most careful stopping. The plague of flies is no more easy to be stayed than that of the destroying angel. In little as well as in great things the just must live by faith. In trifles as well as in nobler exercises the believer should be conscious of his own inability,—should never say of any act, “Now I am strong enough to perform this; I need not go to God in prayer about this; this is so little a thing.”

for meditation: We need to bring everything to God in prayer, not only the things which worry us (Philippians 4:6); the apostle Paul had learned how to face all situations and how to do all things in Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13).

sermon no. 345[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 323). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Tuesday Briefing November 12, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Yet Another Democratic Candidate for 2020? Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Enters the Campaign — Maybe

PART II

 The Insatiable Hunger for Wealth: Why Money Can Never Ultimately Satisfy

PART III

 Why Are Married Couples Happier Than Cohabiting Couples? The World Is Asking the Question. Christians Know the Answer.


DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

NEW YORK TIMES

 Run, Mike, Run!, by Bret Stephens

NEW YORK TIMES

 You Must Never Vote for Bloomberg, by Charles M. Blow

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 The Water’s Fine, Mr. Bloomberg, by Editorial Board

PART II

NEW YORK TIMES

 Why Don’t Rich People Just Stop Working?, by Alex Williams

PART III

Ten Reasons Why Impeachment Is Illegitimate — National Review

President Trump speaks at the White House, April 17, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

We are witnessing constitutional government dissipating before our very eyes.

#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyershttps://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/826255624610729985 

“#coup has started. As one falls, two more will take their place. #rebellion #impeachment”

2017 Tweets from Mark Zaid, current attorney for the “whistleblower”

There are at least ten reasons why the Democratic impeachment “inquiry” is a euphemism for an ongoing coup attempt.

Read more: Ten Reasons Why Impeachment Is Illegitimate — National Review

In Their Own Words, Democrats Explain Why This Impeachment Is A Farce — The Federalist

The House impeachment effort is bureaucracy versus democracy in the Democrats’ brazen attempt to protect the ‘independence’ of the deep state.

It’s getting exhausting having to explain over and over and over why the Ukraine farce is a silly (if sinister) exhibition of poorly written political fiction. As such, I’m going to hand the microphone over to some of the people advancing this terrible sequel to the horrible Russia collusion hoax. Let’s start with the former vice president, the person with whom this all started. What is his opinion about the scandal?

“This behavior is particularly abhorrent because it exploits the foreign policy of our country and undermines our national security for political purposes,” Biden said in a statement. “It means that [President Trump] used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation — a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia — pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.”

Whoa! Don’t be so rough on yourself, Joe. Here is Biden’s video-recorded confession that he “used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation — a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia — pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.”

He said, “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. (Laughter) He got fired.” Biden held up U.S. aid to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired — but Donald Trump needs to be impeached.

Witnesses Are Only Relevant If They Favor Impeachment

How about the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee? Rep. Adam Schiff recently penned an article in which he partially explained why he’s so triggered. He wants to know whether the White House conditioned a meeting with Ukraine, “on Ukraine’s willingness to launch and publicly announce sham political investigations to discredit the unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and into President Trump’s potential political rival in 2020.”

Somewhere in Schiff’s version of the Constitution, it says the elected U.S. president can’t question or attempt to discredit a “unanimous” conclusion or else he must be impeached.

Schiff recently issued this letter in which he explained the criteria for approving witnesses requested by Republicans in his hippity-hoppity kangaroo impeachment court. Such witnesses must be “relevant,” or Schiff will not approve them. In order for a witness to be relevant, he or she must not contradict any of the following assumptions:

  1. That the president requested a foreign leader and government to initiate an investigation to benefit the president’s personal political interests,
  2. That the president sought to use the power of his office to advance his political interests, and
  3. That the president sought to obstruct, suppress, or cover up evidence of his actions.

Thus, in black and white, Schiff wrote a letter that instructed the powerless Republican minority that only evidence of the president’s guilt would be considered relevant. Does Schiff have a barn? “Maybe we could hold the trial there. I’ll sew the costumes and maybe Uncle Goober can be the judge.”

Anything that discredits the unanimous conclusion that Trump committed a high crime or misdemeanor will not be received as relevant evidence. So under this criteria, would evidence of a legitimate law enforcement concern over Biden’s involvement in Ukraine be relevant to justify Trump’s interest? No. Only evidence of Trump’s guilt is “relevant.”

What about evidence of the highly partisan nature of the whistleblower and his contacts with the chairman? No. There’s a unanimous conclusion that the burden of proof is on the president to prove the absence of his political motives.

Democrats Are Undermining Democracy

The House impeachment effort is a brazen attempt to protect the “independence” of the permanent bureaucracy. It’s bureaucracy versus democracy, and the ironically named Democratic Party has gone to the mattresses to oppose the threat that elections pose to permanent bureaucratic power.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told America, “It’s an abuse of power [for the elected president] to remove an [unelected] ambassador for political reasons because you don’t like what they’re doing … period.” Others have suggested the president should be impeached for threatening the independence of the Department of Justice. Others have argued that Trump questioning the House Intelligence Committee is an act of treason.

The voters are supposed to exercise their control over these powerful bureaucratic functions through their elected president. If Schiff gets his way, however, our elections will become ceremonial exercises that never change real power.

That leads to the question: Why take this question away from the voters? The voters can simply vote for a new president next year. For this, we turn to Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who was asked, “Congressman, are you concerned that impeachment talk might actually help the president’s reelection?” Green answered, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”

So in the words of the people running impeachment: Joe Biden threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless it fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company. This is a crime so troubling that nothing short of impeaching Trump will address the gravity of the situation.

Republicans will be allowed to call any witness and ask any question so long as the information shows why the president is guilty. All of this will defend bureaucratic independence, which has been threatened by the results of the 2016 election and must be accomplished before the voters have a chance to repeat their mistake in 2020.

These are their words. That’s what they’re saying about their own farce.

Adam Mill is a pen name. He works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. Adam has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

via In Their Own Words, Democrats Explain Why This Impeachment Is A Farce — The Federalist

12 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Used by the Lord

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2 Timothy 2:20

suggested further reading: 3 John

Let us submit ourselves to God’s providence in the church, for if we become angry and peevish and say everything is out of order, we shall not be excused. Let us be fully resolved that, despite Satan, God will be glorified. Moreover, let us learn to practice this doctrine so that when we see nothing but blemishes among us, stumbling blocks are not removed as they ought to be, there is not as much honesty as there should be, people shut their eyes for fear of seeing the light while pretending they do, and when there is not enough rigor and severity used to keep them in order, we should mourn, and, if possible, correct such irregularities.

We must not think that, because we see these disorders in the church of God, it is utterly destroyed and our Lord Jesus Christ is unable to do anything. Rather, we must consider that, though the wicked disfigure the beauty of the church, though they defile and pollute it, yet God will still be glorified. After they have troubled the church long enough, God will bring them to an end and show himself as their judge.

Therefore, let us be patient, knowing that we have a wonderful God who works by such means that he causes even the devil and wicked men to praise him. It is true that the devil will always show himself as a deadly enemy to God’s glory and will endeavor by all means to tread it underfoot, but in all of this, God will turn wickedness into good.

So it goes with the wicked who try to bring all things into disorder and to take charge of the kingdom of God among us, razing out the remembrance of God’s name. When they have done all they can, they will still remain vessels.

for meditation: You may be familiar with George Herbert’s words: “No sooner is a temple built to God, but the devil builds a chapel hard by.” If the Holy Spirit is working in our churches, we ought to expect opposition. To face no opposition from Satan and his seed is a bad sign. How can you more effectively respond to opposition in your church as well as persecution in your personal life in a way that glorifies God?[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 335). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.