Daily Archives: January 1, 2020

On This Day in US History — Republicans Freed the Slaves — The Gateway Pundit

Another Great moment in United States history.

On this day in 1863 Republicans freed the slaves.

And Democrats and newspapers denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves.

Republicans rejoiced. Democrats cursed.
Grand Old Partisan reported:

On New Year’s Day in 1863, the Republican Party’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. While Republicans rejoiced, Democrat politicians and newspapers denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves.

Demonstrating their depravity, New York’s Gov. Horatio Seymour, who would be the 1868 Democrat presidential nominee, denounced the Emancipation Proclamation as “a proposal for the butchery of women and children.”

The Louisville Daily Democrat called it “an outrage of all constitutional law, all human justice, all Christian feeling.”

Although this is often ignored by the revisionists in academia Republicans led the charge on civil rights and women’s rights.

via On This Day in US History — Republicans Freed the Slaves — The Gateway Pundit

Hebrews 11 and the Hall of Faith (Part 2) | No Compromise Radio Podcast

Is “faith” the same thing as “faithfulness?” Does it even matter? Was Noah faithful? Are you faithful? Is Hebrews 11 supposed to be encouraging or convicting? or both? Tune in to hear Mike answer these questions and many more. Hebrews 11

Source: Hebrews 11 and the Hall of Faith (Part 2)

New study: belief in free will linked to ability to behave morally and to help others

WINTERY KNIGHT

A while back I finished reading “God’s Crime Scene”, the new book by J. Warner Wallace. I wanted to post something about some studies he mentioned in Chapter 6, on free will. This is one of the places where he found evidence in a surprising area.

Wallace says that free will makes more sense if theism is true, because we have non-material souls that interact with our bodies, but are not causally determined by them. On atheism, only matter exists, and you can’t get free will (or consciousness) from matter. So atheists like Sam Harris and Alex Rosenberg, for example, deny free will, because they are materialists and atheists.

Anyway, here’s what he writes on p. 256:

In 2008, researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of British Columbia conducted experiments highlighting the relationship between a belief in determinism and immoral behavior. They found students who were exposed to deterministic literature prior…

View original post 1,222 more words

As 2020 begins, I’m using a great new app to read through the entire Bible — the #1 best-selling book of all time — and I’m encouraging you to do the same. Here’s how. — Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

(Jerusalem, Israel) — Whether you’re opening the Bible for the first time in your life, or have read it cover to cover numerous times, I hope you’ll join me in using a wonderful (and free) app called “Read Scripture.” 

I’m not associated with the team that developed it, nor do I receive any remuneration for mentioning it. It’s just a very well done app and after my pastor and wife recommended it I’m excited to use it this year.

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Beginning with Genesis chapter one, the app provides a daily plan of a few chapters of Scripture to read. Follow the plan and you’ll get through the whole thing in 365 days.

What I really like is that the app also provides a series of short but wonderfully creative and remarkably clear and helpful videos that provide context to what we’re reading.

Yes, the Bible can, for many, feel complicated and confusing at times. But the videos, developed by world class Bible teachers, help us see and keep track of the overarching story that God in His loving kindness is trying to communicate to us.

Shouldn’t 2020 be a year of seeing God, ourselves and the world more clearly than ever before? Come, let’s read through the entire Bible together.

via As 2020 begins, I’m using a great new app to read through the entire Bible — the #1 best-selling book of all time — and I’m encouraging you to do the same. Here’s how. — Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

January 1 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

January 1.—Morning.
“The Lord is my light.”

THE mere reading of the holy Scriptures will be of no avail to us, unless the Holy Spirit sanctify the truth to our souls. Let us pray that (in commencing this year’s Family Reading) he who commanded light to shine out of darkness may shins into our hearts and give us to know the inner meaning of his word. We shall begin at the opening page of revelation.

Genesis 1:1–5

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Thus dark are we by nature, thus disordered are all our powers through sin. We are nothing but confusion and emptiness.) And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Spirit of God is the first efficient-mover in the new creation. He visits the dead and dark heart, and begins the work of salvation within.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (See the power of the word of God! He speaks and it is done. Thus powerful is the word of the gospel when heard in the soul. May its enlightening power be felt by us all.)

And God saw the light, that it was good: (Wherever God puts his grace he looks upon it with pleasure) and God divided the light from the darkness. (Grace also makes a separation, for what fellowship has light with darkness?)

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Thus the first day of the week, the day of our Lord’s resurrection is a day of light. May it ever be so to us.

IT is interesting to notice how the New Testament, as written by John, opens in the same manner as the Old Testament, with. “In the beginning.” Let us add to our reading the first fourteen verses of John’s Gospel. Jesus, the Lord our Saviour, is called “the Word,” or the uttered mind of God.

John 1:1–14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God. (Jesus was in existence when all created things began; he was with God in nature, in love, and in co-operation, and he is himself essentially God.)

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (If we live unto God, and have any spiritual light, it comes to us by Jesus Christ.)

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

No one can get light from any other source, and all who desire light may have it from him.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (The Jews, who were his own kinsmen, rejected him; and, alas! too many of the children of godly parents refuse the Saviour. May it not be so in this house.)

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (This is the essence of the gospel, Christ is the giver, we are only receivers. Faith like a hand receives Christ, and with him the privilege of adoption.)

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (The Lord grant unto us to receive of his grace and to know his truth. Amen.)

Ere the blue heavens were stretch’d abroad,

From everlasting was the Word:

With God he was; the Word was God,

And must divinely be adored.

But lo! he leaves those heavenly forms,

The Word descends and dwells in clay,

That he may hold converse with worms,

Dress’d in such feeble flesh as they.

Mortals with joy beheld his face,

Th’ eternal Father’s only Son:

How full of truth! how full of grace!

When through his eyes the Godhead shone!

January 1.—Evening. [Or January 2.]
“Create in me a clean heart.”

Genesis 1:6–13

AND God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

The expanse of the atmosphere separates the vapours above from the waters below. Luther used to wonder at the arch of heaven, which stands unsupported by pillars. He saw in it a lesson for his faith, teaching him that the Lord could uphold him by unseen power. He who creates with a word can sustain in the same manner.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. (What the Lord in the former verse commanded he in this verse creates: in the same manner one Scripture bids us believe, and another tells us that faith is the work of God.)

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Note the frequent repetition of those little words, “and it was so.” We may gather from them that none of God’s words of promise or threatening will fall to the ground.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

God’s care in naming “day” and “night,” and “earth,” and “sea,” should teach us to call things by their right names; let us never call sin pleasure, or the Lord’s service a weariness.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

When God has put light into a soul, and divided its sin from its new life, he next looks for fruit, and ere long it is brought forth to his glory.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. (So far, we have considered the second and third day’s work of creation: it may be well for us now to be reminded that our Lord Jesus was there, and “without him was not anything made that was made.”) Let us read—

Proverbs 8:22–36

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24, 25, 26 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27, 28, 29 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30, 31 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32, 33 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

May we hearken to him who is “made of God unto us wisdom,” and find life and favour in him.

I sing th’ almighty power of God

That made the mountains rise;

That spread the flowing seas abroad,

And built the lofty skies.

There’s not a plant or flower below,

But makes his glories known;

And clouds arise, and tempests blow,

By order from his throne.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 1–2). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANY – JANUARY 1

At the Beginning of a New Year

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This saying, which is found in a broad variety of lands, does not arise from the brash worldly wisdom of an incorrigible. It instead reveals deep Christian insight. At the beginning of a new year, many people have nothing better to do than to make a list of bad deeds and resolve from now on—how many such “from-now-ons” have there already been!—to begin with better intentions, but they are still stuck in the middle of their paganism. They believe that a good intention already means a new beginning; they believe that on their own they can make a new start whenever they want. But that is an evil illusion: only God can make a new beginning with people whenever God pleases, but not people with God. Therefore, people cannot make a new beginning at all; they can only pray for one. Where people are on their own and live by their own devices, there is only the old, the past. Only where God is can there be a new beginning. We cannot command God to grant it; we can only pray to God for it. And we can pray only when we realize that we cannot do anything, that we have reached our limit, that someone else must make that new beginning.

New Year’s Text:

If we survive during the coming weeks or months, we shall be able to see quite clearly that all has turned out for the best. The idea that we could have avoided many of life’s difficulties if we had taken things more cautiously is too foolish to be entertained for a moment. As I look back on your past I am so convinced that what has happened hitherto has been right, that I feel that what is happening now is right too. To renounce a full life and its real joys in order to avoid pain is neither Christian nor human.

Bonhoeffer to Renate and Eberhard Bethge,

written from Tegel, January 23, 1944

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

2 Corinthians 5:16–17[1]

 

[1] Bonhoeffer, D. (2010). God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas. (J. Riess, Ed., O. C. Dean Jr., Trans.) (First edition, pp. 80–82). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

January 1st The D. L. Moody Year Book

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.—John 14:27.

DID you ever think that when Christ was dying on the cross, He made a will? Perhaps you have thought that no one ever remembered you in a will. If you are in the kingdom, Christ remembered you in His. He willed His body to Joseph of Arimathea, He willed His mother to John, the son of Zebedee, and He willed His spirit back to His Father. But to His disciples He said,

“My peace, I leave that with you; that is My legacy. My joy, I give that to you.”

“My joy,” think of it! “My peace”—not our peace, but His peace!

They say a man can’t make a will now that lawyers can’t break, and drive a four-in-hand right straight through it. I will challenge them to break Christ’s will; let them try it. No judge or jury can set that aside. Christ rose to execute His own will. If He had left us a lot of gold, thieves would have stolen it in the first century; but He left His peace and His joy for every true believer, and no power on earth can take it from him who trusts.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 7). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

The Attitude of Prayer (Part 1 of 2) | Truth For Life Programs

How do we make prayer a regular practice? How do we continue trusting God when He doesn’t seem to answer? Join us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg takes a closer look at this foundational aspect of Christian life.

Listen…

Source: The Attitude of Prayer (Part 1 of 2)

A New Year’s Motto — Tried With Fire

Do not look back — as Lot’s wife did.

Do not look within — as too many do.

Do not look around — as David did.

But “look up!” Look up to God — He is your Father, your Friend, your Savior. He can help you. He will help you. He says, “Look unto Me, and be delivered — for I am God!”

Look up for light to guide you — and He will direct your path.

Look up for grace to sanctify you — and the grace of Jesus will be found sufficient for you.

Look up for strength to enable you to do and suffer God’s will — and His strength will be made perfect in your weakness.

Look up for comfort to cheer you — and as one whom his mother comforts, so will the Lord comfort you.

Look up for courage to embolden you — and the Lord will give courage to the faint; and to those who have no might — He will increase strength.

Look up for endurance to keep you — and the God who preserves you will enable you quietly to bear the heaviest burden, and silently to endure the most painful affliction.

Look up for providence to supply you — and the jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry; but God shall supply all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Look up in faith — exercising confidence in the Word of a faithful God.

Look up in prayer — asking for what God has graciously promised.

Look up in hope — expecting what you ask in the name of Jesus.

Look up with adoration — and adore the sovereignty, righteousness, and wisdom of God.

Look up constantly — let nothing daunt or discourage you! Rather say, “Our eyes are on the Lord our God until He shows us mercy.”

Look up — for this will keep . . .
the head from swimming,
the heart from sinking,
the knees from trembling,
the feet from slipping, and
the hands from hanging down!

Well, my friends, what do you say? Will you follow this advice? Will you take this counsel? Will you act upon this direction? He who loves you best, who knows you most, and who always wishes you well — gave it. Take it — and you will never regret it. Act upon it — and you will never repent of it.

It is impossible to say what will happen to us, or what will be required of us this year — but “Look up!” This direction, if properly attended to, will . . . procure for us all that we need, secure us against all that we dread, and make us more than a match for all our foes and fears!

Fellow-Christian, are you fearful? “Look up” and hear Jesus saying to you, “Do not be afraid — I Myself will help you!”

Are you discouraged? “Look up” — and your youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s, and fresh light, comfort, and courage shall be given to you!

Are you desponding? “Look up” for Jesus never breaks the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax.

Do not look too much at your sin — look most at the infinitely meritorious blood of God’s dear Son!

Do not look too much at self — but look at Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for you in Heaven.

From A New Year’s Motto by James Smith, 1865.
Photo attribution: Thomas Sørenes from Tacoma, Washington, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D

via A New Year’s Motto — Tried With Fire

January 1 Streams in the Desert

The land whither ye go to possess it is a land of hills and valleys and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” (Deut. 11:11, 12.)

TODAY, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? But here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, “The Lord thy God careth for it.” “His eyes are upon it away to the ending of the year.

All our supply is to come from the Lord. Here are springs that shall never dry; here are fountains and streams that shall never be cut off. Here, anxious one, is the gracious pledge of the Heavenly Father. If He be the Source of our mercies they can never fail us. No heat, no drought can parch that river, “the streams whereof make glad the city of God.”

The land is a land of hills and valleys. It is not all smooth nor all down hill. If life were all one dead level the dull sameness would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys. Ah, so it is with us! It is the hill difficulty that drives us to the throne of grace and brings down the shower of blessing; the hills, the bleak hills of life that we wonder at and perhaps grumble at, bring down the showers. How many have perished in the wilderness, buried under its golden sands, who would have lived and thriven in the hill-country; how many would have been killed by the frost, blighted with winds, swept desolate of tree and fruit but for the hill—stern, hard, rugged, so steep to climb. God’s hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!

We cannot tell what loss and sorrow and trial are doing. Trust only. The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today. It shall be a good, a blessed new year!

He leads us on by paths we did not know;

Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,

Though oft we faint and falter on the way,

Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;

Yet when the clouds are gone,

We known He leads us on.

He leads us on through all the unquiet years;

Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,

He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze

Of losses, sorrows, and o’erclouded days;

We know His will is done;

And still He leads us on.

N. L. Zinzendorf.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 1–2). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Are You Bored with the Gospel? | The Aquila Report

When I sit back and read the deluge of thoughts and opinions online about what the church ought to be doing, I sense a noticeable lack of focus on the Gospel. In the many Twitter rants that recur on a daily basis, there is a discernible deficiency with regard to Scripture and the Gospel. Any intellectually honest assessment of the content of so much that is bandied about on the Internet must necessarily lead to the conclusion that people are bored with the Gospel.

 

Over the past decade a floodwater of cultural change in our country has occurred, leaving a massive impact on the church in America. Twenty years ago, there was a push to address the issue of mercy ministry and evangelism in our churches. Much of this was, no doubt, a helpful corrective to a perceived deficiency in local churches.

Today, the loudest voices speak incessantly about issues related to social justice, intersectionality, and human flourishing. Time will most certainly tell whether this was a needed corrective or a toxic corrosive for the church. Movements and organizations spring up almost as fast as they whither. The leaders of many social and para-ecclesial syndicates wish to influence the church in such a way that the church will embrace the obligations they press on her.

There is a noticeable lack of focus on the Gospel in many churches today.

When I sit back and read the deluge of thoughts and opinions online about what the church ought to be doing, I sense a noticeable lack of focus on the Gospel. In the many Twitter rants that recur on a daily basis, there is a discernible deficiency with regard to Scripture and the Gospel. Any intellectually honest assessment of the content of so much that is bandied about on the Internet must necessarily lead to the conclusion that people are bored with the Gospel.

Either they don’t believe that it is “the power of God unto salvation for those who believe,” or they have convinced themselves that the Gospel is simply one among many messages that ought to take front seat in the message and ministry of the church. In either case, the only conclusion we can draw from the fact that the preaching of the Gospel is no longer the center of gravity in the message and ministry of many churches in our day is that people don’t believe the Gospel works. They are not astonished by the glory, majesty, unspeakable greatness of the message of Christ crucified and risen.

The central message of Scripture is the message of the Gospel.

When we turn to the Scriptures, we get everything necessary for life and godliness. We hear God’s voice in Scripture. “The Holy Spirit says,” “The Spirit said through…,” and “As the Spirit says,” are some of the most commonly used introductions to Old Testament citations in the New Testament. The whole of the Bible is the whole of God’s word. It is God speaking by the Holy Spirit to the church. The church is perfected by the washing of the water of the word and the proclamation of the whole counsel of God given by those men God has called and equipped to faithfully preach and teach the Gospel. Christ is the only head of the church and as such is the sole authority for how the church is to function in the world.

“Any intellectually honest assessment of the content of so much that is bandied about on the Internet must necessarily lead to the conclusion that people are bored with the Gospel.”

Jesus is also the great High Priest of his church and the perfect sacrifice for the salvation of the souls of his people. The central message of Scripture is the message of the Gospel—the good news of what God has done through the death and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation of his people. Surely, the message of the cross impacts more than simply the forgiveness of the sins of an individual, but it is not less than that. In fact, whenever the Gospel in preached by the apostles, that is the central message of the cross.

Read More

Source: Are You Bored with the Gospel?

Religious People Think Democrats Will Strip Our Rights Because It’s True — The Federalist

A professor claims religious people are afraid of atheists and Democrats because they’re projecting ignorance and hatred. Maybe instead religious people just follow the news.

“White evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats would strip away their rights. Why?” asks a recent op-ed in the Washington Post. The op-ed author, Paul A. Djupe, a professor at Denison University and scholar with the Public Religion Research Institute, offered two completely out-of-touch reasons.

The first is “because that’s what they’re hearing, quite explicitly, from conservative media, religious elites, partisan commentators and some politicians, including the president.” The second is an “inverted golden rule,” meaning white evangelical Protestants “express low levels of tolerance for atheists, which leads them to expect intolerance from atheists in return.”

It’s not about projection or an authoritarian impulse. Religious conservaties worry atheists and Democrats will strip their rights because they have repeatedly witnessed attempts, typically by Democrats, to strip them of their religious liberties.

Read more: Religious People Think Democrats Will Strip Our Rights Because It’s True — The Federalist

Will War Wipe Out Trump’s Chances for Re-Election? | The American Conservative by Patrick Buchanan

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” Yogi Berra reminded us.

But on “The McLaughlin Group,” the TV talk show on which this writer has appeared for four decades, predictions are as mandated as was taking Latin in Jesuit high schools in the 1950s.

Looking to 2020, this writer predicted that Donald Trump’s great domestic challenge would be to keep the economy firing on all cylinders. His great foreign policy challenge? Avoiding war.

When one looks at the numbers—unemployment at or below 4 percent for two years, an expansion in its 11th year, the stock market regularly hitting all-time highs—Trump enters his reelection year with a fistful of aces. One has to go back half a century to find numbers like these.

Moreover, the opposition shaping up to bring him down seems, to put it charitably, not up to the task.

Joe Biden, 77, with 45 years in electoral politics, has lost more than a step or two and his most memorable Senate vote was in support of George W. Bush’s decision to take us to war in Iraq, the greatest blunder in U.S. diplomatic history.

Biden’s challengers are a cantankerous 78-year-old democratic socialist who just had a heart attack, and a 37-year-old mayor of a small town in Indiana who claims that his same-sex marriage is blessed by the Bible.

Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg are white male billionaires who are dumping scores of millions into TV ads to buy the nomination of a party that professes to stand on principle against white male privilege, wealth inequality and the noxious effects of big money in politics.

While Trump is facing an impeachment trial, an acquittal by a Mitch McConnell-run Republican Senate seems a pretty good bet.

And the coming report of U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russiagate probe is expected to find political bias, if not conspiracy, at its root. Trump could emerge from the Mueller Report, Horowitz Report and Durham Report as what his allies claim him to be — the victim of a “deep state” conspiracy to fix the election of 2016.

If there are IEDs on Trump’s road to reelection, they may be found in the Middle and Near East, land of the forever wars, and North Korea.

Not infrequently, foreign policy has proven decisive in presidential years.

The Korean War contributed to Harry Truman’s defeat in the New Hampshire primary and his 1952 decision not to run again. When General Eisenhower, architect of the Normandy invasion, declared, “I shall go to Korea,” his rival Adlai Stevenson was toast.

Lyndon Johnson saw his party shattered and chances vanish with the Tet Offensive of 1968, Eugene McCarthy’s moral victory in New Hampshire, and antiwar candidate Bobby Kennedy’s entry into the race.

Jimmy Carter’s feckless response to the seizure of U.S. hostages in Iran consumed the last year of his presidency and contributed to his rout by Ronald Reagan.

The critical foreign theaters where Trump could face problems with his presidential re-election include Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

As of Dec. 30, Kim Jong Un’s “Christmas gift” to Trump had not been delivered. Yet it is unlikely Kim will let many weeks pass without making good on his warnings and threats. And though difficult to believe he would start a war, it is also difficult to see how he continues to tolerate sanctions for another year without upgrading and rattling his nuclear arsenal.

Trump is eager to make good on his promises and remove many of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan before Election Day. Yet such a move is not without risks. Given the strength of the Taliban, the casualties they are able to inflict, the inability of the Afghan army to hold territory, and the constant atrocities in the capital city of Kabul, a Saigon ’75 end to the Afghan war is not outside the realm of the possible.

Nor is a shooting war with Iran that rivets the nation’s attention.

Yesterday, U.S. F-15s, in five attacks, hit munitions depots and a command center of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Syria and Iraq, a retaliatory raid for a rocket attack on a U.S. training camp that killed an American contractor and wounded four U.S. soldiers.

“For those who ask about the response,” warns a Kataib Hezbollah spokesman, “it will be the size of our faith.” One has to expect Iran and its militia in Iraq to respond in kind.

They have a track record. During 2019, with its economy choked by U.S. sanctions, Iran and its allies sabotaged oil tankers in the Gulf, shot down a $130 million U.S. Predator drone, and shut down with missiles and drones half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

In former times, a confrontation or shooting war often benefited the incumbent, as there was almost always a rallying to the flag. Those days are gone. This generation has had its fill of wars.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

Source: Will War Wipe Out Trump’s Chances for Re-Election?

Economic vs. Cultural Marxism: The Most Important Distinction | American Thinker

The modern social justice advocate uses the abolition of individuality as a tool to strip human beings of their individuality and bifurcate society.

Many on both ends of the political spectrum are aware of the fact that social justice is simply Marxism, masquerading as a new ideological movement.  Like Marxism, social justice’s goal is to make the world a more balanced and equitable place.

As Marx phrased it in Das Kapital, “[i]n order to establish equality, we must first establish inequality” (1).  By finding the inequalities of the world, the Marxist can then begin eliminating the obstacles that impede equality.  The more of these sources of inequality the Marxist eliminates, the closer we move to an equitable socialist utopia.  This is why Marx was so adamant about abolishing certain fixtures of society.

Among the ills of society perpetuating inequality that need abolition, according to Marx, were history, private property, the family, eternal truths, nations and borders, and religion (2).  By destroying these sources of inequality, the Marxist is one step closer to the equitable world the Marxist knows is possible.  Marx believed that economic issues are the driving force of conflict in the world (3).  Eliminating class structure was the central goal of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

Marx’s Manifesto influenced a group of intellectuals known as “The Frankfurt School” (4), who expanded on Marx’s foundational premises.  They shifted the front from class to cultural struggle.  One of these intellectuals, György Lukács, is credited as the first person to advocate for the application of Marx’s economic principles to cultural struggles: “he justified culture to the Marxists by showing how to condemn it in Marxist terms. And in doing so … he provided crucial concepts to … the thinkers of the Frankfurt School” (5).

The Frankfurt Schoolers elaborated on and furthered Lukács’s cultural Marxism.  While the foundational tenets of economic Marxism are still present in their cultural Marxist works, there is a tenet that militates more with cultural than economic Marxism.  In shifting fronts from class to culture, a different aspect of Marxism mandates emphasis.

That aspect is Marx’s desire to abolish individuality.  As Marx himself wrote: “And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom!” (6).  The social justice warriors of today are using this tenet of Marxism most frequently and strongly in their quest to create an equitable society.

The modern social justice advocate uses the abolition of individuality as a tool to strip human beings of their individuality and bifurcate society.  A bifurcation is a logical fallacy where a person makes things one or another, with no area in between.  For example, a bifurcation would be the faulty assumption of saying a person is either a Trump-supporter or a Hillary-supporter.  What about those who like Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz?  What about those who like both Trump and Hillary?  What about those who like neither?

For Marx, his bifurcation was the bourgeois versus the proletariat.  You were either a rich person or a working stiff.  There was no in between.  For the social justice warrior, you are either privileged or oppressed.  Look at the diagram below for a visual interpretation of the bifurcation the social justice warrior uses (7):

This diagram is the axis of privilege versus oppression. You’re either privileged or oppressed, with little to no in between.  The more demographic characteristics one has from the privilege side, the more unfair advantages he has in life that are unearned (8).  These unearned advantages must be taken from the privileged and given to the oppressed (9).  This is where the abolition of individuality really comes into the picture.

Thomas Sowell, visionary economist, referred to social justice as “the quest for cosmic justice” (1999) (10).  He articulated that:

One of the many contrasts between traditional justice and cosmic justice is that traditional justice involves the rules under which flesh-and-blood human beings interact, while cosmic justice encompasses not only contemporary individuals and groups, but also group abstractions extending over generations, or even centuries. (11)

Social justice is not just about living individuals involved in the current world; rather, it is about abstractions, generalizations, and the past.  Sowell explained that “cosmic justice must be hand-made by holders of power who impose their own decision on how these flesh-and-blood individuals should be categorized into abstraction, and how these abstractions should then be forcibly configured to fit the vision of the power-holders” (12).

The social justice–Marxist strips the individual of individuality and then turns the person into an abstraction.  If a human being is an individual, then we can be held accountable only for our own actions; we cannot be held accountable for the actions of another person, let alone the actions of a group of people who lived and died long before our time.  If we are not individuals, then we can be turned into abstractions.  As abstractions, we can then be blamed for the actions of others who classify as members of these abstractions.  Those in power are the ones dictating the terms of these abstractions.

For an example of this, take race relations.  If I am an individual, I had nothing to do with slavery, Jim Crow, waging war with the American Indians, or anyone who did anything hundreds of years before I was born.  However, if my individuality is abolished, I am not a unique individual with specific characteristics.  I can be broken down into an abstraction designated by those in power.

When the rubber meets the road between theory and practice, it looks something like this: “you’re a straight white male, and straight white males have committed crimes against people of color, therefore you have committed crimes against people color.”  Knowing the Marxist tenet driving this, the implicit basis for stripping white males of privilege and then assigning those privileges to people of color is no longer camouflaged.

Sowell really understood the latent heart of the issue: “It is about putting particular segments of society in the position that they would have been in but for some undeserved misfortune” (13).  Sowell astutely recognized that it is not about real justice, but rather about an ideological matrix built to take things away from one segment of the population and give them to another.  Sowell concluded this thought by saying, “This conception of fairness requires that third parties must wield the power to control outcomes” (14).

These third parties are the politicians, academics, movie stars, and athletes.  These people are using Marxism, many without even knowing it, to advance certain peoples and ideas, while simultaneously penalizing others for issues they are not responsible for.

This is possible only by abolishing individuality.  In a world with individuals, we are responsible only for our own actions.  In a world without individuality, we, as individuals, can be held accountable for the actions of others.  It does not matter if these crimes and abuses were committed by the dead against the dead from hundreds of years before either party was born.

The next time you hear someone advocating to rectify injustices committed by the dead against other dead people, pay attention.  This is merely the Marxist charade to abolish individuality.

Endnotes

1. Marx, as quoted by Kirk, 1954, p. 264.
2. Marx, 1848.
3. Ibid.
4. Scruton, 2015; Walsh, 2015; and Kengor, 2015.
5. Scruton, pp. 117–118.
6. Marx, 1848.
7. Haidt, and Lukianoff, 2018.
8. Macintosh
9. Ibid.
10. Sowell, 1999.
11. Ibid, p. 31.
12. Ibid, p. 46.
13. Ibid, p. 12.
14. Ibid, p. 12.

References

Haidt, J. & Lukianoff, G. (2018). The coddling of the American mind: how good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Kirk, R. (1953). The conservative mind: from Burke to Elliot. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books.

Kengor, P. (2015). Takedown: from communists to progressives, how the left has sabotaged family and marriage. Washington, D.C.: WND Books.

McIntosh, P. (1989). White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack. Retrieved from: https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf

Marx, K. (1848). The communist manifesto. Retrieved from: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm

Scruton, R. (2015). Fools, frauds and firebrands: Thinkers of the new left. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Continuum.

Sowell, T. (1999). The quest for cosmic justice. New York, NY: Touchstone Books.

Walsh, Michael. (2015). The Devil’s pleasure palace: the cult of critical theory and the subversion of the West. New York, NY: Encounter Books.

Source: Economic vs. Cultural Marxism: The Most Important Distinction

The Wednesday Word: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

Reformedontheweb's Blog

“Whether He is a sinner or not, I don´t know; one thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9: 25).

Several believers I´ve recently met wonder about the reality of their salvation. They are in doubt because they cannot, with certainty, point to the day and hour of their conversion.

But does that matter?

It does if one holds to decisional regeneration, (i.e., we get saved by making a decision). In that case, it would seem that indeed, this matters much. It´s because, however, there is a failure to grasp the eternality of the Gospel that people fall victim to such punishing thinking. By the way, I like what John Stott says on the matter. He says, “A decision is involved in the process of becoming a Christian, but it is God’s decision before it can be ours. This is not to deny that…

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Communist Takeover? China Is Building Enormous Self-Sustaining Chinese Cities All Over The African Continent | DC Clothesline

During colonial times, European powers exploited Africa for the vast resources that it possesses.  But what China is doing today is actually much worse.  Yes, the Chinese greatly desire African resources, but ultimately what they want is Africa itself.  But instead of conquering Africa using military force, China is using economics instead.  Today, more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms are operating in Africa, and virtually every major road, bridge, railway and skyscraper is being built by the Chinese.  As a result, most African nations are very deeply indebted to China at this point.  And as you will see below, when those debts go bad that gives the Chinese a tremendous amount of leverage.

Many people believe that the endgame for China is to make a whole lot more money and to gain control over a whole lot more resources.  And China is undoubtedly pursuing those goals, but as Forbes has noted, ultimately what this is about is turning Africa “into another Chinese continent”…

The reason Chinese corporations are in Africa is simple; to exploit the people and take their resources. It’s the same thing European colonists did during mercantile times, except worse. The Chinese corporations are trying to turn Africa into another Chinese continent. They are squeezing Africa for everything it is worth.

Right now, approximately two million Chinese citizens already live in Africa, and that number is steadily rising with each passing month.

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These days, it is difficult to find a major construction project on the continent that is not being handled by the Chinese, and this has enabled them to put their imprint on some of the largest African cities.  For example, just check out what is happening in Nairobi, Kenya

On the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, a small sign points to “Beijing Road,” where a new housing development called the Great Wall Apartments looks like the concrete towers you’d find in a Chinese city.

Across Africa, Chinese developers are building highways, light rail systems, apartment buildings, and entire cities.

Most of the “cities” that China is building are known as “special economic zones”.  These “special economic zones” are essentially enormous self-sustaining Chinese cities that have been dropped right into some of the most strategic parts of Africa.  For example, one of the biggest has been built right next to Lagos, Nigeria

Next to Lagos, Nigeria, Chinese developers have built a walled-off “special economic zone”–basically a separate city, with separate rules designed to attract investors–based on a model they’ve used inside China for the last 30 years. After Shenzhen became a special economic zone in the 1980s, it went from a small town of 20,000 to, by some counts, 15 million today.

In these “special economic zones”, you will find Chinese factories staffed with Chinese managers that are supervising Chinese workers that are using Chinese equipment to make their products.

And the size of some of these projects is absolutely staggering.  Just check out what has been planned for an area along the coast of Tanzania

Bagamoyo, if the project goes ahead as planned, will be transformed into the largest port in Africa. That is looking ever more likely: after years of delay, the Tanzanian government says it is in the final stages of talks with state-run China Merchants Holdings International.

The lagoon will be dredged, to allow access to the vast cargo ships that will queue many miles out to sea. As for the special economic zone, the original masterplan shows factories in a fenced-off industrial area, and apartment blocks to accommodate the estimated future population of 75,000. There is even talk of an international airport. Many of the villagers have already accepted compensation for the loss of their homes.

Of course Chinese development is definitely not limited to these “special economic zones”.  In Ethiopia, the capital city of the entire nation is literally becoming known as “the city that China built”

Cars chug through the city on smooth Chinese roads, Chinese cranes lift the skyline, sewing machines hum in Chinese factories in Chinese-owned industrial parks, tourists arrive at the Chinese-upgraded airport and commuters ride modern Chinese trains to work.

Simply put, Addis Ababa is becoming the city that China built — but at what diplomatic and economic cost?

Are you starting to get the picture?

As the western world sleeps, the Chinese are literally taking over an entire continent.

And as they increasingly dominate the landscape economically, they are bringing their culture with them as well

Chinese influence also goes beyond physical infrastructure. Now it’s possible to pick up a copy of China Daily, China’s state-run newspaper, in some African cities, and watch CCTV, China’s state-run news channel. Some cities have Chinese language schools, and some African students are given grants to go study in China.

Apologists for China could point out that all of this development has pulled millions of Africans out of poverty.

And that is true.

But all of this development also carries with it a very hefty price tag

China is now Africa’s biggest trade partner, with Sino-African trade topping $200 billion per year. According to McKinsey, over 10,000 Chinese-owned firms are currently operating throughout the African continent, and the value of Chinese business there since 2005 amounts to more than $2 trillion, with $300 billion in investment currently on the table. Africa has also eclipsed Asia as the largest market for China’s overseas construction contracts. To keep this momentum building, Beijing recently announced a $1 billion Belt and Road Africa infrastructure development fund and, in 2018, a whopping $60 billion African aid package, so expect Africa to continuing swaying to the east as economic ties with China become more numerous and robust.

Needless to say, the Chinese are not doing all of this out of the goodness of their hearts.  African governments are going very deep into debt in order to afford all of this infrastructure, and several of them are now in way over their heads

There have already been warning signs: the $4 Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway ended up costing Ethiopia nearly a quarter of it’s total 2016 budget, Nigeria had to renegotiate a deal with their Chinese contractor due to their failure to pay, and Kenya’s 80% Chinese-financed railway from Mombasa to Nairobi has already gone four times over budget, costing the country upwards of 6% of it’s GDP.

This is the sort of predatory lending that western powers once did so well, but now China has taken things to an entirely new level.

And once China has an African government by the throat, they can be absolutely ruthless

There have been credible reports of talks between the Zambian government and China on handing over the country’s national electricity company, ZESCO to the Chinese due to the inability of Zambia to meet its loan repayment promises. This is expected as China is already in control of the country’s broadcasting company, ZNBC. There are also fears the main airport in Lusaka could be the next target.

Obliviously, Zambia is in trouble. And for other African beneficiaries of Chinese loans, they should prepare for the same possibility in the eventuality that they aren’t able to repay China.

Basically, Zambia is in the process of becoming totally owned by China.

And this is going to happen in country after country until someone stops them.

But who is going to stop them?

After all, the U.S. is about a trillion dollars in debt to the Chinese at this point.

When it comes to foreign policy, China is playing chess while most of the western powers are playing checkers.

They are literally running circles around us, and we are so clueless that we don’t even understand what is happening.

Source: Communist Takeover? China Is Building Enormous Self-Sustaining Chinese Cities All Over The African Continent

Company That Paid Paul Pelosi, Jr. Hundreds Of Thousands Gave Bill & Hillary Millions | DC Clothesline

POSTED BY: DEAN JAMES

From 

Opinion| Mark Sidney| It seems that with each new day, a new revelation about the incestuous nature of the financial dealings of the Democrat cabal comes to light.

The Biden and Pelosi families, along with others in the orbit of the Obama administration … and corporations and nations who were in their sphere of influence … before Trump’s election, comes to light.

Today, the one and only, Paul Pelosi Jr. is back in the spotlight.

If you recall, Patrick Howley, the dogged, gumshoe investigator from National File, has been working with Paul Pelosi Jr’s ex to expose all the messed up … ‘stuff’ Paul has allegedly done, to children, mind you.

An example? Sure:

‘Karena Feng, a Taiwan-born woman living in San Francisco, alleges that Paul Pelosi Jr. was “abusive” to her, that he forced her to have an abortion by threatening her life, that he conducted foreign business while claiming to be a representative of Nancy Pelosi, and that he engineered Child Protective Services’ seizure of Feng’s four children. Feng supports her claims with text messages and documents presented in this article below.’

You can read the rest of the article, and see the white papers referenced in the excerpt HERE.

Today, The Gateway Pundit is reporting: ‘Shortly after his mother Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker, Paul Pelosi Jr., was hired by InfoUSA for $180,000 a year as its vice president for Strategic Planning in 2007.

Pelosi kept his other full-time day job as a mortgage loan officer for Countrywide Loans in California. And, unlike all of the other InfoUSA employees, Paul Pelosi did not report to work at the company’s headquarters in Omaha.’

In what is becoming a constantly reoccurring theme among the children of powerful Washington brokers, Paul allegedly had no prior experience that would qualify him as a logical pick for the job.

The Pelosi’s do, however, have a mutual connection between them and InfoUSA: InfoUSA is owned by a big time HRC & WJC backer, Vinod Gupta (pictured below with HRC and Warren Buffet)

According to DavidJHarrisjr.com‘s Steven Ahle,

‘Coincidentally, Gupta hired Pelosi’s son just four weeks after she became the Speaker of the House. Fortunate timing, to say the least.

InfoUSA repeatedly rented marketing databases to unscrupulous persons who used the information to defraud the unsuspecting elderly, investigators found.

The company is also under fire in a shareholder lawsuit, which alleges that Gupta is appropriating company funds for personal use and his political pet projects.

The shareholders were angry because Gupta paid Bill Clinton $2.1 million when he left office with another $1.2 million promised to be paid later.’

Inc.com went into further detail about the relationship Gupta has with the Clintons:

‘How about this for a story? A man leaves India for Omaha with $58 in his pocket. He starts a company in 1972 that reaches peak revenue of $400 million, spends a night in the Lincoln bedroom, puts Bill Clinton on its payroll, sails Bill on his 80-foot yacht with an all-female crew, and flies Hillary Clinton to campaign events on his corporate jet.

And he’s as happy as a clam — despite getting sued by shareholders, being pushed out as CEO, incurring over $12 million in debts to settle shareholder lawsuits, and using insurance to pay $13 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that he sold his company — netting him $150 million for his 40% stake — at too low a price.

The man is Vinod Gupta, former CEO of InfoUSA, a company that built a database that marketers use to sell everything from consumer products to politicians.

Gupta got himself into a larger-than-life heap of trouble.

According to the New York Times, a 2006 lawsuit filed against Gupta by disgruntled shareholders — Connecticut-based hedge funds, Dolphin Limited Partnership and Cardinal Capital Management — charged that Bill Clinton and current presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, took a January 2002 family vacation to Acapulco on InfoUSA’s private jet — costing the then-public company $146,866.’

Inc.com went on to state that Gupta’s InfoUSA also footed the bill for a Clinton trip on ‘American Princess’, a 80 foot, $3,000,000 yacht … with a crew consisting solely of females.

Inc continues:

‘He helped Hillary as well. In January 2004 InfoUSA paid $18,480 — about $2,000 of which was reimbursed — to fly Mrs. Clinton “and her four-person entourage” to New York from New Mexico, where she had made a campaign appearance and attended a book signing, according to the lawsuit.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg. As the Times wrote, “InfoUSA paid Mr. Clinton more than $2 million for consulting services, and spent almost $900,000 to fly him around the world for his presidential foundation work and to fly Mrs. Clinton to campaign events [when she was running for Senate in New York].”

It never ceases to amaze me that the Democrats did not just try to make nice with Trump after his stunning victory in 2016. I will never understand, for the life of me, why people with so many bodies, buried in such shallow graves, in their own backyards, would choose to go to war with a man on a mission, a man who came to Washington on a mandate of ‘draining the swamp.’

I assume they thought they would be able to ‘take him out’ before he could uncover their crimes, but it seems they were wrong, dead wrong.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information towards the end of January. There are teams of highly skilled investigators digging into the facts and recreating exactly what was going on for the 8 years during which team Obama’s crime spree carried on. I would bet they farm that they will have some juicy giblets for consumption very, very soon.

Pelosi/Clinton

This article originally appeared at We Are Biased OPINION Blog and was republished with permission.

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God Bless.

Source: Company That Paid Paul Pelosi, Jr. Hundreds Of Thousands Gave Bill & Hillary Millions

Europe: Anti-Christian Attacks Reach All-Time High in 2019 | Gatestone Institute

  • The issue of anti-Christian vandalism was rarely reported by the European media until February 2019, when vandals attacked nine churches within the space of two weeks. The issue made headlines again in April 2019, when a suspicious fire gutted the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Since then, however, the European media are once again shrouding facts in silence.
  • “Seeking to destroy or damage Christian buildings is a way of ‘wiping the slate clean’ of the past.” — Annie Genevard, MP, Republicans Party, in an interview in Le Figaro, April 2, 2019.
  • “In the past, even if one was not a Christian, the expression of the sacred was respected. We are facing a serious threat to the expression of religious freedom. Secularism must not be a rejection of the religious, but a principle of neutrality that gives everyone the freedom to express his faith.” — Dominique Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, in an interview with the Italian magazine Il Timone, August 5, 2019.
  • “We are witnessing the convergence of laicism — conceived as secularism, which relegates the faithful only to the private sphere and where every religious denomination is banal or stigmatized — with the overwhelming emergence of Islam, which attacks the infidels and those who reject the Koran. On one hand, we are mocked by the media … and on the other, there is the strengthening of Islamic fundamentalism. These are two joint realities.” — Dominique Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, in an interview with the Italian magazine Il Timone, August 5, 2019.

Source: Europe: Anti-Christian Attacks Reach All-Time High in 2019