Daily Archives: February 9, 2020

The Sad, Swift Road To Destruction — CultureWatch

Another celeb thinks she is a theologian and wants to ‘correct’ our views:

It was Jesus who made this very sombre statement, as found in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

And it was also Jesus who said the following: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). And if those two passages are not enough to shake us out of our lethargy and to shatter our delusions, then consider one more, this one from Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

The reality of fake Christians is an exceedingly important one. How many millions of people have convinced themselves that they are Christians when they are not? How many people go around claiming to be Christians yet routinely stand against everything Jesus and Scripture stand for?

In addition to countless individuals who fall into this camp, there are plenty of very public personas that are also doing this. Indeed, it seems that there is a never-ending stream of these celebs who claim to be Christians while pushing every anti-Christian agenda item out there.

And the two key indicators of their talk not matching their walk, of their profession of faith not lining up with what God has to say about these issues, involve their views on abortion and homosexuality. When you hear people claiming to be real deal Christians, yet proudly promote baby killing and the homosexual agenda, we have every right to ask some hard questions.

I have dealt with a number of these folks over the years. For example, a year ago Lady Gaga tore into some genuine Christians, Mike and Karen Pence, claiming that her version of the faith was to be embraced, not theirs. And the defining issue was – you guessed it – homosexuality. I discussed it here at the time: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/01/22/gaga-pence-and-christianity/

And here: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/01/22/29112/

But many others can be mentioned. One recent case involves the American pop star Taylor Swift. Of late the 30-year-old singer has been passing herself off as yet another Christian who has come to set the record straight on these hot potato issues.

She now sees it as her mission to correct 4000 years of Judeo-Christian teaching on these matters, and to bring us up into the 21st century. Thus she has been seeking to make the case as to why Christianity in particular is just thrilled with things like abortion and homosexuality.

As to the latter issue, consider a few article segments:

Taylor Swift says she felt compelled to publicly champion LGBTQ causes in recent months because rights are being “stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male” in the US today. The singer, who has been criticised in the past for not speaking up on political issues, particularly during the 2016 US presidential election campaign, discussed her recent shift to advocacy in a rare interview with Vogue magazine. “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she says in the September issue. “I didn’t realise until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of.” http://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/aug/09/taylor-swift-reveals-why-she-took-a-stand-for-lgbtq-rights

It did not take long for her to make up for lost time. So active and eager has she been to push the homosexual agenda, that she was even given an award for it:

The LGBTQ advocacy organization’s president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis announced that the group will honor Swift with this year’s GLAAD Vanguard Award. In a statement, Ellis said, “From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance.” http://www.vulture.com/2020/01/taylor-swift-glaad-vanguard-award.html

And she tries to say it is because she is a Christian that she has taken these stands:

The new Netflix documentary “Miss Americana” features pop star Taylor Swift touting her shift to politics, and it takes a left turn when she tries to define what Christians believe to match her own progressive ideas. In the aftermath of President Trump’s election, Swift has not only been speaking out about political candidates, she’s even been using her music to promote a pro-LGBT agenda. For example, Swift’s rainbow-clad music video last year for her single, “You Need to Calm Down,” is an ode to the LGBTQ community and takes jabs at those who disagree with the lifestyle.

Now one excerpt from the Netflix film “Miss Americana” highlights how Swift has been breaking away from her earlier apolitical image to become someone with a heart for politics, tying it to her brand of religion. One clip from the film shows Swift trying to explain what led her to speak out on her political beliefs, particularly her endorsement of Democrat Phil Bredesen in the 2018 Senate race against pro-life Republican Marsha Blackburn. “This was a situation where, from a humanity perspective and from what my moral compass was telling me I needed to do, I knew I was right, and I really didn’t care about repercussions,” Swift said.

The excerpt depicts Swift arguing with her parents and publicist over whether to post social media messages regarding her entry into politics and the backlash it may cause. Swift goes on to describe her disgust with Blackburn’s Bible-based policies and Christian beliefs. “I can’t see another commercial and see Marsha Blackburn disguising these policies behind the words ‘Tennessee Christian values’. Those aren’t Tennessee Christian values. I live in Tennessee. I’m a Christian. That’s not what we stand for.” www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2020/february/pro-lgbt-pro-choice-taylor-swift-says-her-brand-of-christianity-is-the-real-christianity

And she made clear her pro-abortion views last year in an interview: “The Guardian met Swift as Tennessee lawmakers were voting to impose a near-total ban on abortion in the state. ‘Obviously, I’m pro-choice,’ Swift said on the matter. “I just can’t believe this is happening.’ She pledged to ‘do everything I can for 2020’.” http://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/aug/23/taylor-swift-trump-thinks-his-presidency-autocracy

There you have it, folks: the gospel according to a very young Ms Swift. She is here to straighten out our faulty beliefs. Jews for 4000 years and Christians for 2000 years have simply got things wrong here, and this budding theologian is here to set the record straight. And how very thankful we all are for these new revelations.

As is always the case in these sad situations, we need to keep people like this in prayer. If she persists in this shaking of her fist at God, telling him he is wrong, and that she is right, she will very swiftly and easily indeed slide into a lost eternity. She needs to learn that it is her Creator and Judge who gets to decide what is right and wrong, true and false, and not some young upstart.

She needs to renounce her own humanist agendas and surrender her life to Christ. Otherwise she is just another celeb who is on the highway to hell, as one rock song put it. Otherwise she is on the broad road that leads to destruction, as Jesus put it. Please keep her in your prayers.

via The Sad, Swift Road To Destruction — CultureWatch

Contending for the True, Biblical Faith: Jude Sermon — David Fiorazo

This message is a warning for today’s Christian church. Deceivers and false teachers have infiltrated the ranks and are leading many astray!

Early Christian church leaders warned about them and today’s church is filled with them. Some have accepted their unbiblical ideas because on the surface they might sound good. It is easy to fall into deception, but few understand the underlying spiritual dynamic going on – a war against the Truth.

Read more: Contending for the True, Biblical Faith: Jude Sermon — David Fiorazo

February 9 Life-Changing Moments With God

Now he is comforted.

The sun shall no longer go down, nor shall the moon withdraw itself; for You, mighty Lord, will be my everlasting light, and the days of my mourning shall be ended. You will swallow up death forever, and You, Lord God, will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of Your people You will take away from all the earth. These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of Jesus the Lamb. Therefore they are before Your throne, Lord God, and serve You day and night in Your temple. You who sit on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And You, Lord God, will wipe away every tear from my eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

What a glorious promise and picture of hope! I thank You, Lord God, for this promise of comfort eternal that awaits fulfillment when Jesus returns to reign!

Luke 16:25; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:14–17; Revelation 21:4[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 50). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sanctified Minds and Bodies

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NASB)

I was a teenager in the 1960’s. That period has often been called a time of the beginning of a great sexual revolution. I remember that time as magazines and movies becoming more and more open about nudity and sex. At the same time I remember people from my grandparent’s generation scoffing at all that saying that none that was any different from what was going on in what they referred to as the “Roaring 20’s.” My parent’s generation was the one that grew up in the Great Depression and then went to war during World…

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Devin Nunes Optimistic AG Bill Barr Will Get to the Bottom of C.H., Spygate, Mueller, Impeachment Hoaxes… — The Last Refuge

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appears with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the Russia and Ukraine hoaxes.  Rep. Nunes is optimistic Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham will get to the bottom of the weaponization of government; however, Nunes puts the majority of blame for promoting the hoaxes upon a duplicitous mainstream media in cahoots with Democrats in DC.

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Additionally, it seems quite noteworthy – with the current urgency amid the media to rehabilitate the image of the Democrat apparatus writ large –  there’s a conspicuous absence of Adam Schiff.

via Devin Nunes Optimistic AG Bill Barr Will Get to the Bottom of C.H., Spygate, Mueller, Impeachment Hoaxes… — The Last Refuge

When the Left Lectures Us On Right and Wrong — CultureWatch

The sanctimonious and duplicitous left just loves to moralise and preach at us:

Here are two things you can always count on: One, the secular left loves to moralise, take the moral high ground, and tell us how we ought to live. Two, in almost every case our best response is to just ignore these folks, or tell them to take a hike.

The truth is the secular left can be amongst the most immoral – or at least amoral –  bunch around, yet they are going to keep lecturing us on morality? I don’t think so. Indeed, the blatant double standards and hypocrisy abounds just about every time they open their mouths and start telling us peons what is right and wrong.

Examples are endless of course, and we see this duplicity on display on a daily basis. We have socialists like Bernie Sanders for example lecturing us on the evils of capitalism, the need to make radical changes to our lifestyles to save the planet, and how we must do away with fossil fuels, etc.

But he and others like him happily drive around in their SUVs and enjoy flying in their private jets (yes, that picture is of him). They enjoy their collection of very nice homes – or should I say, mansions – while they denounce us for the way we live. Good grief, just zip it Bernie and Co. Nobody wants to hear sanctimonious sermons from old hypocrites like you guys.

Indeed, the same can be said about all the other leftist green hypocrites such as Al Gore. He lives the good life, has a raft of mansions (often right on the sea that is supposed to rise and destroy all of life), flies around in private jets, and drives around in a fleet gas-guzzling cars. Yeah, preach it brother, preach it.

And of course the American Democrats offer us a never-ending supply of this sort of thing. The most moralistic party around, it is made up of some of the most immoral folks you will find. Consider the batch of contenders for the Democrat nomination.

Every single one of them supports open slather on abortion, advocating and celebrating abortion right up until birth. Most of them denounce the rest of us as greedy materialists who need to radically reduce our lifestyles to save the planet, while they live like king’s kids.

They always seek to take the moral high ground, yet on a daily basis demonstrate what complete frauds they are. They go on and on, speaking of the need for civility and respect, claiming that Trump and the Republicans are the epitome of evil in the world.

Yet all we have had for the past three years are a group of whining cry babies who have never come to accept that their candidate was defeated, and Trump is their duly elected President whether they like it or not. So for three years they have been the most uncivil bunch of brats imaginable.

Three years of Russia, of the Ukraine, of impeachment – all because like spoiled brats and self-centred toddlers they cannot accept the will of the American people. And the highlight of this of course took place a few days ago when the ever petulant and hateful Nancy Pelosi ripped up Trump’s SOTU speech.

Talk about an out-of-touch whiny baby. Talk about a shameless grandstander who needs to grow up. But of course she is simply a clear manifestation of the Democrats in action. A Party that preaches to us about right and wrong yet does not seems to even know what those words mean. So stop lecturing us already.

Oh, and don’t get me started on someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is among the worst of the lot. But just one example is worth running with here. She of course famously said last year that we’re all gonna die: “We’re like, ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.’ And, like, this is the war; this is our World War II.”

So she has declared war on all fossil fuels, cars, airplanes, and the like. But does she live what she preaches? Um, no, not at all. As Tammy Bruce explains:

“Since declaring her candidacy in May 2017, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign heavily relied on those combustible-engine cars — even though a subway station was just 138 feet from her Elmhurst campaign office. She listed 1,049 transactions for Uber, Lyft, Juno and other car services, federal filings show. The campaign had 505 Uber expenses alone,” the Post reported. “In all, Ocasio-Cortez spent $29,365.70 on those emissions-spewing vehicles, along with car and van rentals — even though her Queens HQ was a one-minute walk to the 7 train,” the New York newspaper noted. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tammy-bruce-alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-hypocrisy-is-on-display-in-some-remarkable-ways

And behind the political left stands the mainstream media which is also awash with double standards and hypocrisy. I have written plenty about this over the years. Like the left itself, these folks champion – or say they champion – things like tolerance and diversity and acceptance. But the almost complete absence of any counter points of view, of any conservative voices, gives lie to all this.

The MS is made up almost entirely of those of the secular left, and there is not a day that goes by that we do not see them bashing and hating on conservatives, Christians, and anyone else who dares to question their PC agenda. And what better proof do we have of this in Australia than that wretched Q&A show on the ABC? I rest my case.

But wait, there’s more. Perhaps the epitome of hypocritical moralisers and egotistical ethics’ preachers of course can be found in that cesspit of immorality and debauchery, Hollywood. These guys are forever lecturing the rest of us mere mortals about how we need to live, and it gets especially bad as the various annual award shows come around.

Speaking of which, Mark Latham, the leader of One Nation in NSW, just let out a ripper of a comment about this on the social media: “Great, it’s Oscars day, when the people who protected Harvey Weinstein for 20 years and sucked up to Jeffrey Epstein get to tell the rest of us how to run our lives. Puke.”

Of interest, it was decided that today’s Oscars will be hostless. The 92nd Academy Awards is perhaps fearful of how things transpired at the Golden Globes. Remember how host Ricky Gervais roasted all the Hollywood elites? I wrote about his performance last month, including his scorching barb at the Hollyweird crowd:

“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and f**k off.” billmuehlenberg.com/2020/01/07/golden-globes-highlights-and-lowlights/

While he may not be hosting today’s event, that has not stopped him from already offering a few cutting tweets: “It’s great to see such diversity in the room tonight. Rich sex pests of all shapes and sizes.” And again, “I can’t wait to hear all your inspirational speeches about equality, and it’s great that the 3 hours you’re here tonight is the only time your badly paid migrant house staff will get some time off to sleep this week.”

If ever we had a group of sanctimonious moralisers addicted to lecturing us on all things right and wrong, it is this mob of hyper-rich, hyper-arrogant and hyper-immoral denizens of LA and beyond. Thankfully a few of these celebs keep their mouths shut and do not preach to us about morality, but far too many do.

The moral of the story is this: most of the loud-mouthed secular lefties have no morals. And if they do have any standards, they are simply double standards. So just leave us alone already – we really do not need you lecturing to us anymore.

via When the Left Lectures Us On Right and Wrong — CultureWatch

February 9, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

12–14 As the time approaches for Moses to take up the lead of the Israelites, he becomes concerned as to the identity of the companion God has promised him (32:34; 33:2). He believes that a mere angel is no substitute for the presence of God. “I know you by name” (v. 12) is tantamount to saying, “I have singled you out” or “I have chosen/selected you.” There are six uses of the verb yādaʿ (“to know, teach” in v. 13) in five verses (vv. 12–17). Moses asks the Lord for a demonstration of his love so that he might know and serve him better (v. 13). The Lord responds by promising, “My Presence [lit., ‘my face’] will go with you” (v. 14). With this new word the Lord reinstates the angel of his presence, in whom he has invested his “Name” (23:20–21), as the leader of Israel’s way to Canaan.[1]


teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you (33:13). ‘Teach me’ is ‘cause me to know’. Moses pleads with humility and intensity that unless the Lord condescends to reveal to him what is going to happen, he will never find out. What Moses is concerned about is not the Lord’s ‘ways’ (which is how the Hebrew text is now spelled), that is his directions for human conduct as a whole, but rather his ‘way’ (the singular was the original reading of the Hebrew text), that is, regarding the future of Israel and how God is going to provide for them. As the one appointed to lead Israel, this is what Moses needs to know. With fuller understanding about how the Lord intends to act, Moses will have a greater knowledge of the character of the Lord himself, and as a consequence be in a position to act in a fashion that wins divine approbation. If he is left in the dark about what God intends doing, then he will easily stumble into all sorts of difficulties. And of course, if their leader stumbles, the people will not be far behind. Moses pleads with the Lord his duty of care towards the people he had claimed as his own and established his covenant with. Remember (‘see’, ‘take this other fact into consideration’) that this nation is your people.[2]


13. Observe how Moses improves upon God’s mercy; just now it was this people, and the Lord in displeasure had called them Moses’s people, but now Moses calls them God’s people. What a sweet prayer is that of the prophet’s to this amount. Isaiah 63:15–19.[3]


[1] Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (2008). Exodus. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, p. 545). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Mackay, J. L. (2001). Exodus (p. 555). Fearn, Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[3] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Genesis–Numbers (Vol. 1, p. 384). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

February—9 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.—Isaiah 38:1.

My soul! whether or not the decree be as yet gone forth for an early day for thy removal, as here to Hezekiah, it must shortly arrive; and as thou knowest not how soon, it is good to set both thine house and thine heart in order; for he that is best fitted to live, is best prepared to die. How stands thy great account? This body of thine must go down to the chambers of the grave. And surely if the soul be safe in union with Jesus, such an event as the dissolution of the body is more to be desired than dreaded. If the pearl be safe, no matter though the casket be broken. Pause over the view; for though it be solemn, it is profitable. If a voice from heaven declared the dead to be blessed, who die in the Lord; then will thy death be blessed, if thou art living in union with Christ. See to it this night, this very night, whether this be thy case; all is well, if this be well. Hath not the Holy Ghost, in times long since passed, led thee to all-precious Jesus? And from his sweet teachings, and constraining influences, hast thou not ventured thyself upon him? Convinced that there is salvation in no other, neither any other name under heaven given among men, whereby thou mightest be saved, didst thou not cast thyself upon his blood and righteousness, and at a time when under the deepest sense of thy sin and his all-sufficiency to save? And hast thou not many a time since, when the false reasoning of men, the temptations of hell, and a host of foes, from within and without, would have turned thee aside from thy Lord; hast thou not, by his sweet, constraining, and supporting grace, been kept leaning upon Jesus? Yea, moreover, hath not that dear Redeemer, the Lord God of the Hebrews, who first met thee by the way, brought thee acquainted with himself, and caused thee to believe in him; hath he not since, in a thousand, and ten thousand renewed manifestations of his love, comforted thee, strengthened thee, and made thee sensible of his gracious presence? Surely, then, if he saith to thee, “Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live;” it is but the call of Jesus to the exercise of the last act of faith, and indeed to die to this world only, that thou mayest live with him in glory in a better. And wouldst thou now draw back? Didst thou first venture upon Christ, when thou hadst known but little of his faithfulness? And shall it be said now, that the shadow of a doubt remains, when multitudes of evidences upon evidences have been given thee, that he is, he must, he will ever be Jesus? Precious, precious Redeemer! Oh! for a full tide of thy grace to be poured in upon my soul, when thou shalt be pleased to send forth a messenger with “Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live;” that I may then gather all into one of the many tokens of thy redeeming love to a poor worthless worm, such as I am; and all the many goings forth of my soul after thee, through a life of grace, since thou wast pleased to quicken me to the knowledge and desire after thee: that finally, fully, and completely, I may, once for all, cast my soul into thy blessed arms, with a “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 45–46). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 9 Streams in the Desert

He answered her not a word.” (Matt. 15:23.)

He will be silent in his love.” (Zeph. 3:17.)

IT may be a child of God is reading these words who has had some great crushing sorrow, some bitter disappointment, some heart-breaking blow from a totally unexpected quarter. You are longing for your Master’s voice bidding you “Be of good cheer,” but only silence and a sense of mystery and misery meet you—“He answered her not a word.”

God’s tender heart must often ache listening to all the sad, complaining cries which arise from our weak, impatient hearts, because we do not see that for our own sakes He answers not at all or otherwise than seems best to our tearblinded, short-sighted eyes.

The silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His speech and may be a sign, not of His disapproval, but of His approval and of a deep purpose of blessing for you.

“Why art thou cast down, O … soul?” Thou shalt yet praise Him, yes, even for His silence. Listen to an old and beautiful story of how one Christian dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt the Master drew near to them.

As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace, with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music.

Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed head, and gave her one look of loving approval.

The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance. The woman in her dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look.

“I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?” As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: “O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall.

“The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do.

“The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service.

“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of My approval. She is not dismayed nor discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she shall pass; she trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel;—because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter.

“I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also for your sakes that you may learn to love and trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love, without the spur of anything outward to call it forth.”

He “will do marvels” if you will learn the mystery of His silence, and praise Him, for every time He withdraws His gifts that you may better know and love the Giver.—Selected.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 44–46). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.