Daily Archives: May 18, 2020

May 18 Life-Changing Moments With God

As the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.

My Savior Jesus Christ has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. He is the resurrection and the life. Because He lives, I will live also. I have become a partaker of Christ … of the Holy Spirit … of the divine nature. The first Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. It is a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! You live forever and ever. The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality. Now to the King eternal, immortal … be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

You alone are worthy of praise, Lord God! I praise You for the gifts of life and life eternal!

John 5:26; 2 Timothy 1:10; John 11:25; John 14:19; Hebrews 3:14; Hebrews 6:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 51–52; Revelation 4:8–9; 1 Timothy 6:15–16; 1 Timothy 1:17[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 153). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May—18 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.—2 Corinthians 11:3.

And what is “the simplicity that is in Christ?” The apostle answers this question in another part of his writings, when he saith, “Christ is all, and in all.” Now nothing can be more simple than this: “Christ is all;” then it would be folly to seek any thing but Christ. And “Christ is in all:” then it would be equally folly to seek for happiness in any thing but in Christ. So that if our minds are led away to seek a supply from any thing short of Christ, this is the same temptation that the devil played off upon our first parent, and succeeded. This indeed is the grand device of Satan: it is the masterpiece of his subtilty. This is what all carnal, unawakened men fall into: to fancy somewhat that is left for us to do, to qualify ourselves to be made partakers of grace, and to improve the talent which is given to us. And as these things are very flattering to the pride of our nature, and exactly correspond to the state the devil left our first parents in, when he had ruined them, so it becomes the very method which he still pursues with all their poor children to lull them on to ruin. “Ye shall be as gods,” (said the devil to our first mother,) “knowing good and evil:” and, in like manner, thus flattering the pride of our nature, and shutting out Christ, with his blood and righteousness, does he now deceive men. Now Paul was alarmed and distressed on this account. The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, saith Paul, and I fear lest he should beguile you.—How blessed, then, is the teaching of the Holy Ghost, which strips the sinner, makes him all bare, leaves him nothing, but shows him his own insolvency, emptiness, and poverty, that he may make room for Jesus! And when he hath thus made the sinner sensible of his nothingness, he makes him equally sensible to Christ’s fulness and all-sufficiency; and that in bringing nothing to Christ, but living wholly upon Christ, and drawing all from Christ, in this simplicity that is in Christ, he teacheth the poor sinner how to live, and how to keep house by faith, wholly upon the fulness that is in Christ Jesus. This is the sweet instruction taught in the school of Jesus. “I fear,” saith Paul, “lest the serpent that beguiled Eve, should have corrupted you by his subtilty, from the simplicity that is in Christ.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 153–154). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

May 18 Streams in the Desert

I was crushed … so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8, 9)

“Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;

Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;

Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,

Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.

Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.

Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

“Pressed into knowing no helper but God;

Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.

Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;

Pressed into faith for impossible things.

Pressed into living a life in the Lord,

Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.”

THE pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.

There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said, “Death worketh in you.”

Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves.

A. B. Simpson.

“Out of the presses of pain,

Cometh the soul’s best wine;

And the eyes that have shed no rain,

Can shed but little shine.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 150–151). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

May 18 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

May 18.—Morning. [Or October 2.]
“My groaning is not hid from Thee.”

IN these sad times the psalmist probably wrote

Psalm 38

which is entitled

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

He feared that he was forgotten by his God, and therefore pleaded to be remembered.

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Rebuked I must be, but Lord deal gently with me; chastening I richly deserve, but do not smite me too heavily lest I utterly perish.

For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. (Spiritual distress is painful to the last degree. However sweet sin may have been in David’s mouth, it was bitter enough when it had once reached his inward parts.)

4, 5 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (Conscience laid on stripe after stripe till his soul was wounded in a thousand places, and the wounds became loathsome as well as painful. No ulcers and putrefying sores can match the unutterable vileness and pollution of iniquity.)

I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. (Thus the penitent are made to feel the smart of sin. The reprobate feel nothing of this, but go singing merrily down to hell; those whom the Lord loves are never allowed to find comfort in sin.)

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

The good Physician understands our case without our needing to explain to him—

He takes the meaning of our tears,

The language of our groans.”

10 My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. (Here begins another tale of woe. While he was in pain within, he was forsaken and persecuted without.)

11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

13, 14, 15 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. (He would not hear Shimei, so as to punish him. A deaf ear is often a great blessing.) Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

16, 17, 18 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity: I will be sorry for my sin. (He would not deny that he had done amiss, although he was innocent of the worst charges which were laid against him.)

19, 20, 21 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me.

22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. (God is not only our Saviour, but our salvation. He who has the Lord upon his side has salvation in present possession. Faith sees in this last sentence the sure result of her prayers, and begins to glorify God for the expected mercy. We shall never be forsaken by our heavenly Father. His grace will come to the rescue, and ere long we shall magnify his name for saving us out of all our troubles. Have we all repented of sin? Are we all resting by faith in him?)

Jesus, full of every grace,

Now reveal thy smiling face;

Grant the joys of sin forgiven,

Foretaste of the bliss of heaven.

All my guilt to thee is known;

Thou art righteous, thou alone,

All my help is from thy cross;

All beside I count but loss.

Lord, in thee I now believe,

Wilt thou, wilt thou not forgive?

Helpless at thy feet I lie;

Saviour, leave me not to die.

May 18.—Evening. [Or October 3.]
“Cursed be he that setteth light by his father.”

THE counsel of Hushai, the Archite, was accepted by Absalom instead of that of Ahithophel, whereupon Ahithophel put an end to his own life. Absalom with a great army pursued his father, and a decisive battle was the consequence.

2 Samuel 18:1; 5–18

And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. (But when all were counted, his troops were not one half so numerous as those of his rebellious son.)

And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. (This tender charge showed that David expected to gain the victory, but hoped that it would not prove fatal to his son. We have here a type of that gracious King, who, even while his persecutors were scorning and killing him, yet prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”)

6, 7 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

¶ And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

The very trees of the wood are in arms against the ungodly. Absalom had made his hair his pride, and it became his ruin; men often perish through that which they idolise. What must have been the thoughts of this unnatural young prince when he found himself caught in the forked branch of the oak, and suspended between heaven and earth to die the death of the accursed! Let children beware of ingratitude to parents, for it is a sin which peculiarly provokes the wrath of the Most High.

10, 11 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.

12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.

13 Otherwise I should have wrought false hood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.

14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.

15 And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.

16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.

17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.

An old writer says, “One death was not enough for Absalom, he was at once hanged, shot, mangled and stoned, Justly was he lifted up by the oak, for he had lifted himself against his father and sovereign; justly was he pierced with darts, for he had pierced his father’s heart with many sorrows; justly was he mangled, for he had dismembered and divided all Israel; and justly was he stoned, for he had not only cursed, but pursued his own parent.”

18 ¶ Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.

Absalom’s pillar is still pointed out to travellers, but its only purpose is to immortalise the infamy of the unnatural son. Children, love and obey your parents, lest you fall into Absalom’s sin and doom.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 291–292). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Fed Warns Economic Downturn Could Last Until Late 2021 | The Epoch Times

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday that America’s economy may not recover from the COVID-19 crisis until the end of 2021, casting doubt on hopes for a quick, V-shaped rebound.

Powell told CBS in an interview on 60 Minutes that while the Fed is “not out of ammunition by a long shot,” referring to the pallet of crisis response tools it has deployed to shield businesses and families from the worst of the outbreak, he said the U.S. economy could be in for a prolonged bout of pain.

“It could stretch through the end of next year,” Powell said. “We really don’t know. We hope that it will be shorter than that, but no one really knows.”

The Fed Chairman said second-quarter economic activity, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), could fall by an annualized rate of over 30 percent.

“The numbers are going to be very high. And it’s hard to be precise. I wouldn’t want to guess,” he said of the fall in GDP. “[It] could easily be in the twenties or thirties.”

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at a press conference in Washington on Jan. 29, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The Fed Chairman’s remarks to CBS reinforce statements he made last week, in which he warned of lasting harm to harm to the economy unless policies were brought to bear to counteract the damage.

“The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II,” Powell said in prepared remarksbefore holding an online discussion with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease, has battered economies worldwide.

In the United States, the virus-related lockdowns and plummeting demand have destroyed a record 20.5 million jobs in April, according to Labor Department figures released May 8, and pushed the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent, both post-World War II records.

“This is a time of great suffering and difficulty,” Powell told CBS. “And it’s come on us so quickly and with such force, that you really can’t put into words the pain people are feeling and the uncertainty they’re realizing.”

A recent Fed report on the economic well-being of U.S. households found that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who lost jobs or whose hours were cut as the spread of COVID-19 intensified.

Still, Powell told CBS that he does not expect America to suffer a repeat of the Great Depression, vowing that the Fed would act to prevent the worst.

“In the long run, and even in the medium run, you wouldn’t want to bet against the American economy. This economy will recover,” he said, adding, “There’s a lot more we can do to support the economy, and we’re committed to doing everything we can as long as we need to.”

Still, the Fed Chairman said that for a robust economic rebound, consumer confidence would have to see a revival.

“Assuming that there’s not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year,” Powell told CBS, adding, “For the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident, and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”

Source: Fed Warns Economic Downturn Could Last Until Late 2021

Survey Reveals Young People Praying More Often, Thinking More About Spiritual Issues During Pandemic

A new survey of America’s college and high school students reveals that 39 percent are praying more often, while 28 percent said they are also thinking about spiritual issues more often as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Survey Reveals Young People Praying More Often, Thinking More About Spiritual Issues During Pandemic

Back To Normal: Conservatives Go To Work While Liberals Stay Home — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—Americans in some states are finally starting to feel normal again, now that stay-at-home orders are being lifted. Children are at the park again, adults are back at the bar, and the elderly continue to play bingo at 4 p.m. sharp on a daily basis.

But there’s one thing that has everybody feeling at a near-peak level of normal: conservatives are going to work while liberals stay at home and do nothing—just like always.

“We can now say with undeniable certainty that these are normal times,” explained social psychologist Ben O’Reilly as he handed a hippie a twenty-dollar bill.  “Conservatives are once again doing all the hard work to keep the economy afloat, while liberals sit at home, pretend to be sick with the Coronavirus, and collect government paychecks. Congratulations America, you are back to normal!”

While some conservatives are upset that liberals get to stay home and mooch off of them, most say they don’t even care anymore.

“I just want to get back to work,” said Jared Renfro, an electrician from Wisconsin.  “If liberals don’t want to work, hey, more power to them. I don’t mind paying their bills.”  Renfro then polished his “Trump 2020” bumper sticker and hopped in his truck.

“I do love liberals, though,” he admitted as he started the engine.  “Without them, what would we have to complain about?”

via Back To Normal: Conservatives Go To Work While Liberals Stay Home — The Babylon Bee

Beware of The Globalists’ “New World Order” | Global Research

This article was originally published by The Aspen Times in 2011.

Eisenhower’s legendary warning that the industrial-military complex could engender a “disastrous rise of misplaced power” has obviously come true. Notably, in the same speech, Eisenhower also advised of “equal and opposite danger.” Back in the 1960s, Ike insisted “that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” However, his second warning was hushed by the deafening silence of the mainstream media.

The following was spoken by David Rockefeller at the Bilderberger Meeting, Baden Germany, June 1991. Rockefeller has devoted his life to one world government, i.e. the New World Order (NWO). He founded the Trilateral Commission and is integral to the Council on Foreign Relations.

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

Later, he notes:

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure, one world if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

The primary obstacle blocking the “sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers” is a strong, democratic, sovereign America. Both cannot exist simultaneously. Therefore, our mortal enemy has been decimating America for decades, the battlefield littered with the middle class, dazed soldiers wandering in despair, jobs lost, pockets empty, homes foreclosed, dreams crushed and forced to bow to their oppressors if they travel by air. America is on the verge of losing our battle for freedom and has not yet even identified who the real enemy is.

The age-old dream of world domination is alive and well. Our real enemy are the globalists, scientific-technological elites who, as Eisenhower warned, are attempting to establish the NWO. Their primary weapons are perpetual war and central banks, i.e. the Fed which is a cartel of international bankers, including Rockefeller, who control our economy and, astoundingly, have not been audited during the 98 years they have systematically destroyed the dollar while becoming inconceivably powerful. Jefferson, Lincoln, Andrew Jackson – the list is long and distinguished – all scream as to the lethal danger of a central bank.

Never audited, until a few weeks ago, when a partial audit finally revealed some of their treachery. While America was held hostage by a phony debt ceiling debate that pretended to help resolve our annual $1.7 trillion deficit, we learned that the Fed secretly bestowed more than $16 trillion to American and foreign banks over the past three years. Two trillion dollars, more than our annual deficit, was dumped into the vaults of the Bank of America.

Ron Paul forced the audit and is the only presidential candidate campaigning against the Fed, international bankers and the NWO. Against those who are swiftly establishing and would be masters of “one world if you will.”

Source: Beware of The Globalists’ “New World Order”

Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Kirk Cameron & Others Urge Congress to Protect Religious Organizations Against COVID-19 Lawsuits

Nearly 300 religious leaders are urging Congress to protect faith-based organizations from facing possible lawsuits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Kirk Cameron & Others Urge Congress to Protect Religious Organizations Against COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Covid-19 Tracer Training Course Is A Guide To Suspending Rights — The Federalist

A Johns Hopkins training course for coronavirus tracers explains why they have the right to restrict personal autonomy.

Johns Hopkins has released an online training course for people who wish to become contact tracers in the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus. Passing the six-hour course is mandatory for those who want to work as tracers in New York state, which is planning to hire thousands. Toward the end of the course is a section on ethics. Its language about the fundamental rights of American citizens is troubling.

In regard to people having the autonomy to make their own decisions, such as leaving their houses or seeing others, the course says this:

Next, let’s talk about autonomy. Autonomy legally means the right of a person to make their own decisions. It’s also known as the right to self or an agency. And what this really means, is that each person can make their own decisions. This is true unless the decisions they make or the things they do can harm someone else. And we all know that this is true. And in the case of contact tracing, it means that people can make their own decisions. But if they’re not isolating themselves or not quarantining themselves, that could harm someone else. It does put other people at risk so they do have some limits on their autonomy, or their ability to make their own decisions within the context of contact tracing.

This tortured and Orwellian language is bizarre. It says we can make our own decisions as long as they don’t harm others, and then just pronounces, “We all know that is true.” We do? People make perfectly legal choices all the time that have the possibility of hurting others. The “heightened circumstance” of making a choice that may harm others authorizes the government to send someone to my house and make me comply?

Is there any limiting principle here? Owning a gun could harm others, heating your home could cause climate change, having a lot of children can put a burden on those who do not. Are these situations where if we call it an emergency the state can compel our choices even to engage in activities specifically protected by the Constitution, like, I don’t know, leaving the house or going to church?

Public health officials will inform us this is a temporary and much-needed set of measures specific to the Chinese virus situation. But is it? New York City is hiring full-time tracers at $57,000 with full benefits. This looks a lot more like a career track than a part-time summer job. What are all these people going to do when the coronavirus case numbers come to a trickle? Will they be fired? Or will their new surveillance skills be put to use to protect the public in other ways?

Frankly, this text from the course looks like something a medical expert would have written and maybe had a medical ethicist take a glance at. It presumes, as public health officials tend to, that avoiding sickness and death is the only and overriding legitimate interest when it comes into conflict with individual liberty. That simply runs counter to the entire concept of a free society. Lip service is paid to respecting individual liberty, but ultimately tracers are sent a crystal-clear message that it is a secondary priority.

What’s even more troubling in the context of New York is that Michael Bloomberg, whose philanthropy in large part funds the Johns Hopkins effort, has been put in charge of implementing the tracing plan in the state. If he agrees with what’s in the training, this means forced quarantines. Who will enforce that? Tracers? The police? Some other agency? What will the penalty be for disobeying?

We are preparing to create a new and very large group of civil servants with enormous power over our personal lives. Nobody seems to know exactly how this is all supposed to work, but judging from the language in the six-hour course that qualifies one for this powerful job, we have a lot to be worried about.

via The Covid-19 Tracer Training Course Is A Guide To Suspending Rights — The Federalist

COVID-19 Panic Sparks Surge In Democratic Socialists Of America Memberships | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Robert Wenzel via TargetLiberty.com,

Memberships in Democratic Socialist of America chapters around the country have surged in the past eight weeks, reports The Atlantic.

An estimated 10,000 people have joined since March, bringing the group’s total membership to roughly 66,000, according to internal figures.

Leaders of the DSA attribute some of this recent growth to Senator Bernie Sanders suspending his presidential campaign in early April, which sent his supporters seeking another outlet for their organizing energies. But current economic and public-health conditions have sparked anger nationwide – and the present moment seems especially ripe for socialist outrage, according to the magazine.

“People are really starting to just look around and say, ‘Man, capitalism isn’t working,’” said the co-chair of the Detroit DSA chapter, who requested to be quoted anonymously for fear of professional repercussions, reports Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey.

“If the markets can’t even produce hand sanitizer or toilet paper or masks during a plague—what good is this system?”, he asked.

Of course, the problem with the shortages of hand sanitizer and toilet paper are not the result of capitalism but the lack of free-market capitalism, as I explained back in March, here: There is Plenty of Toilet Paper.

Right now, the DSA is emphasizing recruitment, framing their efforts as giving struggling workers “a way to fight back,” the DSA Denver labor chair, Mariah Wood said.

“It’s a good time to be a socialist,” she added.

According to the article, “the DSA is interested in recruiting higher-income workers on the front lines of the crisis, too. Through word of mouth, the Twin Cities chapter has reached out to health-care employees who feel like their workplace conditions are unsafe.”

Keep in mind, socialists are very clever operators. They will use any crisis,including the lockdown which is closer to socialist central planning than anything else, to promote their very shallow understanding of economics and societal organization.

They do, however, understand organizing to gain power, because power-seeking and the desire to rule over others is what they are all about.

Source: COVID-19 Panic Sparks Surge In Democratic Socialists Of America Memberships

“This Is The Biggest Shock We’ve Had For Generations”: El-Erian Says ‘Buckle Up’ For Bumpy Ride | ZeroHedge News

Mohamed El-Erian does not see a smooth, V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in the cards – and instead says that it will probably look more like a series of Ws.

“Think of a pendulum swinging, and we don’t know the magnitude of the swings, and we don’t know the duration of the swings or the settling point. So it really is an uncertain outlook,” he told Fox News‘ Chris Wallace in a Friday interview which aired on “Fox News Sunday.

We should not forget how bad this picture is. With the additional three million [unemployed], that is 36 million people who have signed up for jobless claims in 8 weeks. That’s one quarter of our labor force. So it’s an enormous shock,” he added.

El-Erian also says that reopening the economy will be an uphill battle, and that until a vaccine is readily available, it will take time for people to resume normal activities.

“It’s very difficult for me to convince you I’m healthy and for you to convince me I’m healthy until we get a vaccine,” he said, while noting that the pandemic has “shaken consumer confidence,” and that it will take a while before a public that “isn’t wired for social distancing” to adjust to the new normal.

Another variable is that states are reopening on different timelines, and that it’s unclear how businesses will resume operations with “different states doing different things.”

“We have these three massive uncertainties all in play at the same time, and it’s very hard to say, oh everything’s going to be resolved overnight,” El-Erian added (via Fox Business). “We hope so, but I think we should buckle our seatbelt that it’s going to get bumpy still.

Source: “This Is The Biggest Shock We’ve Had For Generations”: El-Erian Says ‘Buckle Up’ For Bumpy Ride

Joel Osteen Warns It Is Far Too Soon To Reopen The Bible — The Babylon Bee

HOUSTON, TX—Prosperity gospel preacher Joel Osteen has warned the nation that it is far too soon for Christians to reopen their Bibles.

“We must continue our indefinite lockdown of the Bible,” he said in a sermon Sunday. “If we open it up too soon, it could be a disaster. Just think: if people started reading their Bibles willy-nilly, they wouldn’t believe what I have to say any longer. And my luxury cars aren’t going to pay for themselves.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, it’s important that we keep our Bibles closed as long as possible.”

Studies have shown that reopening the Bible can lead to sudden heart change, reduced fear and anxiety, and the destruction of every tenet of the prosperity gospel. Osteen says these effects are detrimental to Christians who simply want God to bring blessing, favor, and lots of cold, hard cash into their lives.

“We simply can’t reopen God’s Word any time soon.”

Osteen then declared words of victory over himself and his congregation for the next twenty minutes to get the taste of the word “Bible” out of his mouth.

via Joel Osteen Warns It Is Far Too Soon To Reopen The Bible — The Babylon Bee

Man Leaves The 99 Bible Verses That Contradict Him To Go Find The One That Doesn’t — The Babylon Bee

HOUSTON, TX—As a dedicated Christian who believes in following the Bible, Charlie Schafer has been spending the past few days desperately combing through scripture, searching for just one verse that will support his beliefs.

Schafer says he has recently felt a calling in his heart to become grotesquely wealthy and live a comfortable, materialistic lifestyle. While he has heard from several prominent Christian leaders that this is not only acceptable, but admirable, he has run into several scriptural obstacles along the way. Ninety-nine of them, to be precise.

Strangely, verses such as Luke 6:24, 1 Timothy 3:3, and Matthew 19:24, among others, all seem to very clearly say the exact opposite of what Schafer wants to believe.

“I believe in the Bible, so every doctrine must be supported by scripture, or else I won’t believe it!” says Schafer, a long-time attendee at Plankwood Church. “That’s why it’s been so frustrating to find almost a hundred verses that contradict my beliefs! But I’m confident that if I keep searching, I’ll eventually find at least one verse that says what I want it to. And then I’ll be able to safely assume that all those other verses were simply being interpreted out of context.”

After much searching, Schafer was relieved to finally stumble upon Jeremiah 29:11, which states that God has “plans to prosper you.”

“Some might say that this verse was referencing a covenant God had made with a specific group of people during a specific period of time, and was never intended as a blanket statement about every Christian’s life being financially prosperous and comfortable,” Schafer says, “but I’m just gonna go with it!”

At publishing time, Schafer had also found Matthew 4:9, and expressed plans to throw a lavish party and barbecue a fatted calf in celebration.

via Man Leaves The 99 Bible Verses That Contradict Him To Go Find The One That Doesn’t — The Babylon Bee

The Latest on coronavirus and its effect on the world — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Artists paint an image of Darna, a fictional Filipino comics superhero, wearing a protective mask and scrub suit to honor health workers and frontliners in their fight against the new coronavirus on a building in Manila, Philippines on Monday, May 18, 2020. Crowds and vehicular traffic returned to shopping malls in the Philippine capital after a two-month coronavirus lockdown was partially relaxed over the weekend, prompting police to warn of arrests and store closures. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Italian steelworkers protest layoffs, furloughs.

— Germany’s Merkel: “No country can solve this problem alone.”

— Japan plunges into recession as US states start opening up.

— Greece reopens Acropolis in Athens and other ancient sites.

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GENOA, Italy — Hundreds of steelworkers protested outside a factory in the port city of Genoa on Monday in what they billed as Italy’s first industrial protest since the country locked down due to the coronavirus in early March.

As restrictions eased significantly, workers gathered to protest ArcerlorMittal’s decision to put another 1,000 workers at plants throughout the country on short-term unemployment schemes at a fraction of usual pay. The company has already put more than 3,000 workers in its beleaguered Taranto plant in southern Italy on temporary unemployment.

Many Italian steelmakers stopped producing during the lockdown, although ArcelorMittal’s plant in Taranto — Italy’s largest — remained open throughout.

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Thousands of people in Bosnia who lost their jobs over the past two months due to the coronavirus lockdown in the country have been blocked by cumbersome and lengthy application procedures from accessing unemployment benefits they had been promised by the government.

Hundreds can bee seen daily waiting in long queues outside the government employment offices around the country. The offices are where all who had lost their jobs must report to start the application procedure.

According to the incomplete official statistics, over 30,000 people have lost their jobs in Bosnia since March when the authorities ordered all nonessential businesses, schools and public venues to close as part of measures to stem the spread of the virus.

Experts warn that many of those jobs will be lost for good, dealing a heavy blow to the country of some 3.5 million people where nearly 40% percent of the labor force was unemployed prior to the pandemic. So far, the economic upheaval has not hit public-sector jobs in Bosnia. But this could become a source of popular outrage since Bosnia’s oversized public sector is funded by a relatively small, but highly taxed private sector. Almost a quarter of government spending in Bosnia is used on salaries of nearly 100,000 public administration workers.

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GENEVA — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says countries need to work together to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video address Monday to the annual World Health Assembly, Merkel said that “no country can solve this problem alone.”

She backed the World Health Organization’s efforts to combat the outbreak but added that countries should “work to improve procedures” at the global body and ensure its funding is sustainable.

Merkel made no direct reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding for WHO over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Danish health minister said Monday that adults in Denmark over the age of 18 can now be tested for the coronavirus.

“It is imperative that there are no hidden pockets of infection that can cause the infection to rise again. Every single chain of infection is one too many and can potentially turn into several,” Magnus Heunicke said.

“So, if one has the slightest suspicion that you have been infected with COVID-19, then one should be able to be tested,” he added.

People can book a time online and tests will be carried out in makeshift centers that have been erected across the country near hospitals, or in mobile unit for people living in remote areas.

He said the first 600,000 to be allowed to be tested would be those between 18 and 25. After that, other age groups will be able book time online and about 50,000 tests can be conducted per week.

The ministry didn’t give a number for how many who could potentially get the test, saying they presently have enough capacity. Denmark has a population of 5.8 million.

People with symptoms of the disease, medical staff, residents and employees at retirement homes, among others, will automatically be tested.

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GENEVA — Chinese President Xi Jinping says China will provide $2 billion over two years to help with the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

XI’s announcement by videoconference at the start of the World Health Organization’s annual assembly marks a sharp contrast to the United States: The Trump administration has announced a suspension of its funding for WHO over its alleged mishandling of the outbreak and praise of China’s response.

Xi did not specify where the injection of Chinese funds would go, but said “China will provide $2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response.”

Xi also said that vaccine development and deployment of vaccines in China will be made a “global public good” and said that China supported a review of the global response to the outbreak after it is brought under control.

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MILAN — The tony Montenapoleone district of luxury boutiques in Milan reopened Monday — but no shoppers were in sight.

The shopping district is home to such Milan fashion mainstays as Armani, Versace, Ferragamo, Fendi and Bottega Veneta, but most sales are to foreigners — primarily Arabs and Americans, according to official figures — who still are not able to travel to Italy.

Air traffic remains severely limited and a 14-day quarantine on arrivals in place until June 3.

Meanwhile, nearby at city hall, hundreds of open-market vendors were protesting the failure of the city to come up with rules for non-food stands to reopen.

“They haven’t worked for three months. What are they going to do if they can’t reopen — steal, go ask charity?” said Nicola Zarrella, the vice president of Euroimprese, which represents 22,000 market vendors in Lombardy. “They want to work, not get handouts.”

—-

LONDON — The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called the ongoing coronavirus pandemic “the greatest challenge of our age” and said it’s still unclear when we will have effective treatments or vaccines against the disease.

In a virtual address to the World Health Organization’s decision-making body on Monday, Antonio Guterres echoed the WHO’s repeated calls for global solidarity, saying “we are all paying a heavy price” for the sometimes contradictory national responses to the pandemic.

“Many countries have ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organization,” he said. “As a result, the virus has spread across the world and is now moving into the global south, where its impact may be even more devastating and we are risking further spikes and waves.”

Guterres said it was a “false dichotomy” to assume governments would be choosing between saving their citizens or their economies.

“Unless we control the spread of the virus, the economy will never recover,” he warned. He called for the G20 countries to urgently consider a large-scale stimulus package that would amount to a “double-digit percentage of global GDP.”

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LONDON — British health officials are adding a loss or change of taste or smell to the list of symptoms of COVID-19.

The decision announced Monday came amid pressure from experts that cases were being missed under a more narrow symptom list, which includes fever and persistent cough.

In a statement, UK health officials say they had been “closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19 and after thorough consideration, we are now confident enough to recommend this new measure.”

The health officials say that people should self-isolate if they develop anosmia — the loss or a change in a normal sense of smell. The sense of taste can also be affected, as they are closely linked.

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LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s prime minister has taken his morning coffee at his local Lisbon cafe and is having lunch at a restaurant with the speaker of parliament, as officials encourage people to emerge from a lockdown.

Some cafes and restaurants are reopening in Portugal on Monday. Nursery schools also reopened their doors, while school classes resumed for students age 16-18. Social distancing, masks and temperature checks at entrances are among the establishments’ new rules.

The government is gradually easing measures introduced to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. The country has officially recorded just over 1,200 deaths and about 29,000 confirmed cases.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters that “we can’t return to our old life as long as the virus is around” but noted that the economy has to come back to life.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — The coming Eid-al Fitr holiday looks set to be a somber one for millions of people in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Indonesia’s COVID-19 tally exceeded 18,000 cases with nearly 1,200 deaths as of Monday.

The figure prompted President Joko Widodo to reiterate that he will not relax nationwide restriction during the Islamic holiday, which will fall on May 23 or 24, depending on the moon sighting by religious authorities.

Confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in Indonesia spiked by 496 on Monday to take the total cases to 18,010, including 1,191 deaths and 4,324 recoveries.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged Norwegians to wash their hands and observe other measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic as the Scandinavian country marked its National Day.

In an online message on Sunday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg spoke of the importance of new limitations to fight the pandemic before switching over to someone she said is “good at getting things back.”

The actor and former California governor then appeared on the screen wearing a cowboy hat. He said that parades and other events that normally take place on May 17 “will be back,” as using a catchphrase made famous in his 1984 film “The Terminator.”

“But make sure to wash your hands every day, over and over, and over again. And do the social distancing. Then we are all gonna be back,” he said flashing a thumbs up. “Hasta la vista,” he said, using a phrase from the 1991 sequel “Terminator 2.”

___

PARIS — France has reported about 70 cases of people infected with the virus in the country’s schools since they started reopening last week, after two months of lockdown.

French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the affected schools have been closed again. He did not break down the numbers by students or teachers.

Given that the incubation period for the virus is several days, people are “likely” to have been infected before the reopening of the schools, he said, speaking on French radio RTL on Monday.

France reopened about 40,000 preschools and primary schools last week, with classes capped to 15 students. About 30% of children went back to school, Blanquer said, as the government allowed parents to keep children at home.

This week France is reopening junior high schools in regions less affected by the virus.

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LONDON — The boss of budget airline Ryanair slammed the UK government’s plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on international travelers, claiming the proposals have no scientific basis.

Michael O’Leary told the BBC on Monday that using face masks instead would “eliminate” the risk of spreading coronavirus. His comments come days after the airline announced plans to ramp up its schedule starting in July.

Britain’s government has outlined plans for visitors to have a two-week quarantine either in accommodation of their choice or provided by the government as a last resort, but an implementation date has not yet been announced.

O’Leary described the idea as “idiotic” and “unimplementable.”

___

BELGRADE, Serbia — Limited commercial air traffic has resumed at Serbia’s main airport after authorities eased the lockdown against the new coronavirus.

One flight is scheduled on Monday with Wizz Air flying from London’s Luton Airport to Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport and back.

The airport has said that travel will resume gradually and under strict rules. Only passengers with tickets are allowed into the airport building and the use of protective gear and hand sanitizers is mandatory.

The country of 7 million people has reported 10,610 cases and 230 deaths.

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BERLIN — German authorities say an outbreak of the coronavirus at a home for asylum seekers in a western town is under control after more than half the residents tested positive for COVID-19.

Vanessa Nolte, a spokeswoman for city of Cologne, said Monday all 312 residents of the home in nearby Sankt Augustin have been tested since the virus was first detected there late last week.

The facility was home to primarily younger people and families of various nationalities seeking asylum. A total of 170 tested positive for the virus, but none have required hospitalization.

___

Source: Associated Press

via The Latest on coronavirus and its effect on the world — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Approaching the Existence of God — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

How do we know God exists?  Over the years, when I have been asked this question, I used to just jump to an argument for God. I would sit down and try to explain it in detail to the individual. I have now decided to take a different approach and back up: I ask the person “How should we approach the existence of God?” or, “What method should we use?” Now I know that when  you ask a Christian, Jewish person or Muslim, and Mormon as well how they know what they believe is true, they might just say, “I have faith.” This should cause us to stop and ask if that is an adequate answer. It probably won’t go very far in a skeptical and pluralistic culture.  Some say God’s existence is irrelevant. But remember, the God question impacts:    

  1. Metaphysics/Ontology: The way we view reality
  2. Epistemology: How we define and attain knowledge
  3.  Ethics: Rules or standards governing the conduct by which we make decisions.
  4. Origins: Where do we come from?
  5. Destiny: Where are we going?
  6. The Human Condition: What is wrong with humans? How do we fix it?

So in this post I want to discuss some of the various ways we can approach the existence of God. I am well aware that there are other methods as well.

#1: The Revelatory Approach

The skeptical issue in our culture mostly enters into the religious dialogue in the following way: “In the case of God, who isn’t some physical object but a divine being, what kind of evidence should we expect to find? There is a tendency to forget that the Bible stresses that sin can dampen the cognitive faculties that God has given us to find Him. Therefore, sin has damaging consequences on the knowing process (Is. 6:9-10; Zech. 7:11-12; Matt. 13:10-13). Thus, people are dead, blinded, and bound to sin.

Christianity stresses that  the God of the Bible is capable of giving a revelation to mankind through a specific medium. One of the most important themes of the Bible is that since God is free and personal, that he acts on behalf of those whom he loves, and that his actions includes already within history, a partial disclosure of his nature, attributes, and intentions.  Think about all the relationships you have with others: one person had to initiate the relationship. They had to speak to you, email you, or do something to reveal themselves to you. Perhaps someone introduced you to that person. Revelation is a disclosure of something that has been hidden– an “uncovering,” or “unveiling.” There are three things are needed for a revelation to take place: God, a medium, and a being able to receive the revelation.

The mediums God uses in the Bible are General Revelation (The Created Order/Conscience; Rom. 1&2); Special Revelation: Jesus (John 3:16; 14:9; Colossians 2:9; Heb. 1:1-2), The Bible (2 Tim. 3:16); Miracles, Prophecy, Theophanies, Missionaries/Messengers, and other means as well.

But  why the need for revelation? First,  we need to know the character of GodHence, we need a clear communication to establish the exact nature of God’s character. Who is God and what is He Like? Also, we need a revelation to understand the origin of evil/the Fall. In other words, we need to be educated concerning the reasons for where we are at as a human race. Furthermore, without a clear revelation, people might think they are the result of a blind, naturalistic process instead of being created in the image of God. And without a clear revelation we would not know our destiny.

Let me expand on the miracles/prophecy issue a little bit: There seems to be a pattern of how God works in the history of Israel. Every time he is doing something new in their midst, he confirmed what he was doing through a prophet. Signs are used to provide evidence for people to believe the message of God through a prophet of God.

#2: Historical Arguments/Prophecy

When it comes to historical arguments, we ask if God has revealed Himself in the course of human history? If so, when and where has He done this? We can look at religious texts and see if they pass the tests for historicity. Thus, we enter the domain of historical apologetics.

For example, former atheist Anthony Flew said the resurrection of Jesus was the best attested miracle claim that he had seen (see There Is A God? How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind(New York: Harper Collins, 2007). Another aspect of the historical argument  is the argument from prophecy. Fulfilled prophecy does not prove the existence of God, but it does show that events predicted in his Name that come to pass are evidence of his special activity. When we look at the resurrection of Jesus, we can ask what is the best explanation for:

  1. The death of Jesus. Note: not many debate whether Jesus actually died by Roman crucifixion. Mostly Muslims disagree (Quran was written 600-640 years after NT).
  2. Jesus appeared to many individuals and groups after he died.
  3. Paul, once a persecutor, became a follower of Jesus.
  4. The empty tomb.
  5. Why James, once an unbeliever, came to faith in Jesus.
  6. How and why the Jesus movement got started and continued on after the death of Jesus. Could it have continued without a resurrection?
  7. Why the early followers of Jesus changed their devotional practice to include Jesus (he was worshiped, honored, prayed to, etc).

Also see The Argument from Miracles: A Cumulative Case  for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Also, see our clip called “Answering 15 Objections to the Resurrection of Jesus” 

#3: God or Theism as an Explanatory Hypothesis?

Is God the Best Explanation of Things?: A Dialogue by [Joshua Rasmussen, Felipe Leon]

The inference to the best explanation model takes into account the best available explanation in our whole range of experience and reflection. For example, when we look at these features of reality, which provides a more satisfactory explanation:

  • How do you explain the Origin of the Universe?
  • How do you explain the Mathematical Fine-Tuning of the Universe?
  • How do you explain the Terrestrial Fine-Tuning of Planet Earth?
  • How do you explain the Informational Fine-Tuning of the DNA molecule?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Mathematical Laws?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Logical Laws?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Physical/Natural Laws?
  • How do you explain the Origin of the First Cell?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Human Reason?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Human Consciousness?
  • How do you explain the Origin of Objective Morality?
  • How do you explain Ultimate Meaning in Life?
  • How do you explain Ultimate Value in Life?
  • How do you explain Ultimate Purpose in Life?

Abduction can operate when people on both sides of an argument agree on what needs to be explained (certain features of reality) but they disagree on why this feature of reality exists.   Why does this feature of reality exist? Is it the result of nature itself or something outside nature? Remember, when we look at the questions above, if you are committed to philosophical naturalism (the idea that nothing exists outside the natural realm of the material universe), you’ll find a way to interpret every piece of data to confirm your naturalistic presuppositions, even if the best inference from evidence points to something else.

You can see this approach in The Return of the God Hypothesis  by Stephen C. Meyer or Paul Copan’s God: The Best Explanation

#4: Metaphysical Demonstration

If we could remember the nature of the object determines how we know it, than for skeptics to constantly say there is no evidence, the first thing to ask “What is the nature of the object they are trying to know?” What is God? Welcome to natural theology!

Recall that ‘proof’ is a loaded term, which turns on our understanding of what constitutes knowledge. There are knowledge claims that are rooted in inference, and are therefore on various levels of probability. Some arguments for God’s existence use this approach. A different approach in terms of ‘proof’ in establishing the existence of God is by metaphysical rational demonstration. This is found in the classical writings of Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Maimonides, Avicenna, Aquinas, & Leibniz. Feser writes that philosophical arguments are still the most adequate approach to showing there is a God—the God of classical theism. The God of classical theism is immutable, immaterial, eternal, uncaused, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and can’t be compared to created gods that are part of the physical world such as Thor, Zeus, and others. Two recent books that have taken this approach are the following books by former atheist Edward Feser.  Please note that if you want to find out about these thinkers by reading Richard Dawkins, you are already off to the wrong start. You can also see his interview with Ben Shapiro here:

Five Proofs of the Existence of God by [Feser, Edward]

#5: Pragmatic Arguments?

Many people might ask why I would bring this one up. The reason I mention it is because about 70% of people I talk to about Christianity object to it by saying ” I don’t understand what difference Christianity would make in my life?” This is a very popular approach. In this argument, many people say their religious beliefs have been tried and tested out in the reality of life. Thus, they think their beliefs correspond to reality because they do make a difference. In other words, “Christianity works because it is true!”

This does have some merit. After all, if the Christian faith is the one true path, it should make a radical difference in the reality of life. The challenge of this argument is that in some cases, it seems Christianity doesn’t work. Christians have challenges in their families, work related issues and relationships. However, just because Christians don’t always reflect the character of Jesus and don’t always show the difference it makes, this doesn’t mean Christianity is false. Furthermore, the Gospel is not “What Can Jesus Do For Me?” but instead a call to die to ourselves and follow the Lord (Luke 9:23).

It could be that the person is not under healthy teaching/discipleship or living in sin.  So the pragmatic argument can be a tricky one. Everyone knows Christians have done some amazing things for the world (see here), but we also have some inconsistencies.

#6: Existential Arguments

The latest book by Clifford Williams Called Existential Reasons For Belief in God is another approach to why people believe in God.

According to Williams, for some people logic and reason are dominant and in others emotion and satisfaction of needs are dominant.

Williams mentions 10 existential needs from his book:

  • the need for cosmic security
  • the need for meaning
  • the need to feel loved
  • the need to love
  • the need for awe
  • the need to delight in goodness
  • the need to live beyond the grave without the anxieties that currently affect us
  • the need to be forgiven
  • the need for justice and fairness
  • the need to be present with our loved ones

#7: Religious Experience 

Here we have to differentiate between knowing our faith is true and showing our faith is true: [1]

1.Knowing our faith is true though personal experience:  Disciples of Jesus are blessed to receive the assurance of the truthfulness of our faith through the work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8: 16-17; 2 Cor. 2:2). However, people of other faiths claim to have personal revelations/experiences. Thus, people have contradictory religious experiences that seem quite real. For example, Mormons claim that the Holy Spirit confirms their faith as true by a “burning in the bosom”—this is something they consider to be a confirmatory personal experience.

Showing our faith is true through reasons and evidence: While religious experience is important, all experience must be grounded by truth and knowledge. Knowledge can be the key thing as to what keeps us close to God over the long haul. Plus, Jesus says we should love him with all our being (i.e., mind, emotions and will). Sometimes people think that personal religious experience negates the need for having other good reasons for faith.

But think about this: Would you accept Islam as true if a Muslim said to you, “I know Islam is true because of my personal experience.” Or, what if a Mormon said to you, “I know Mormonism is true because of personal experience.” The list goes on. I assume many of us wouldn’t consider Islam nor Mormonism as being true based on these comments. Therefore, perhaps when we say, “I follow Jesus  because of my personal experience,” some people aren’t very impressed.  In conclusion, religious experience should be one aspect of our overall cumulative case for our faith.

Conclusion:

There are several other approaches to the existence of God.  Given humans are emotional, intellectual, and volitional creatures, there is no “one size fits all approach.” I hope that has caused you to go further in the question of God’s existence.

[1]. W.L. Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics 3rd ed. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 43-60.

via Approaching the Existence of God — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

About the Word-Faith / Charismatic religion — Eternity Matters

This is a phenomenal video.  Justin Peters is great at clearly taking down these leaders, who are demon-possessed frauds.  I pray that their followers will watch, learn and escape.

Here are some screen shots and notes:

 

 

 

 

 

Both Hindus and Word-Faith/Charismatic groups do this.  Watch videos of each and you’ll see the behavior is indistinguishable.

Cessationism is the belief that the apostolic spiritual gifts have ceased, not that all have ceased.

Pagans can speak in tongues just as professing charismatic Christians do.  And they sound the same!

The “you must speak in tongues to be a Christian” reasoning is nonsense on many levels.  Biblical tongues were known languages, not gibberish.  And they had to be interpreted.  And not everyone was speaking in tongues at once.  And not everyone had the gift of tongues.  Other than that . . .

Go to the 15 min. mark of the video to watch wolf Sid Roth “teach” you how to speak in tongues.  You have to have a complete void of discernment to follow these people.


He does a great job exposing all the “Heaven tourism” books and the dangers of “Christian” bookstores, which have about half biblical books and half satanic books.  They are poster children for being unequally yoked.  It shows that their real motive is profit, not glorifying God (remember that even a pagan can sell Bibles for profit).

Don Piper, for example, claimed in his book that he went to Heaven but didn’t see God.  But now he goes on TV with detailed descriptions of how he did see God.  What a phony.  If your entire claim to fame is that you went to Heaven then there is no way you miss a detail like that.

Peters also exposes the Burpo, Malarkey and other frauds.  One of the alleged Heaven visitors said it was a fraud, but his dad wrote the book and exploited his son’s paralysis for the sake of gain.

Jesse Duplantis is a fraud on many levels, including claiming that an angel called God “Jehovah.”  I didn’t realize that Jehovah was a word made up in the 1500’s and that an angel wouldn’t use it.

Only Stephen, Paul and John are listed in the Bible as having glimpsed Heaven.  Paul humbly said he couldn’t describe the splendor.  But the “Heaven Tourists” describe it in weird and contradictory ways.   And their claims imply that scripture wasn’t complete.

If you want to learn about Heaven, read In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn.


He also took on Beth Moore and Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling early on (the video is from 2013) about their “God told me” nonsense.  As Peters says, “If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible.  If you want to hear God speak audibly, read it out loud.”  God is not speaking outside scripture in the way that these wolves claim.


He also exposes the faith healers who pretend that you can always avoid sickness and disease, or that if you get sick then healing is guaranteed.  By claiming that God always heals those who have faith then they are saying it is always your fault if you are sick.  Hey, that’s great, please pile on those who are already suffering.  Oh, and you need to send them money.

Those wolves are not Christians.  You can’t be a Christian and teach those vile lies.  The atonement accomplishes so many things, but some are realized here and some in Heaven.  God still heals, but not on command and definitely not at all times.  The apostolic gift of healing ended almost 2,000 years ago.

And note the goofiness of those who pick a random Bible verse and say that is why you need to “sow a seed” for the chapter and verse (e.g., $54.17 for Isaiah 54:17)?

No legitimate teacher should go on TBN, Daystar, etc. because it gives legitimacy to these wolves.

Sure, pray for healing, but God can use our suffering to sanctify us and glorify himself.


He notes how we are losing the battle on the sufficiency of scripture.  So many people want something more, as if the Bible isn’t enough.


P.S. One of my favorites posts: Most charismatics are closet cessationists

via About the Word-Faith / Charismatic religion — Eternity Matters

Whistleblower: ‘Dangerous’ theology taught at Al Mohler’s SBTS seminary — Capstone Report

Dr. Russell Fuller says SBTS Old Testament Professor promotes view that Bible contradicts other parts of the Bible.

Says Theological Liberalism & Higher Criticism taught by recent hire.

Dr. Russell Fuller affirms there is a real Leftward Drift of the SBC and SBTS.

Dr. Russell Fuller said that “Dangerous” theological liberalism is taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). The revelations were made by the former SBTS Old Testament Professor in a video interview with Jon Harris for Conversations That Matter. The first of a three-part interview with Dr. Russell Fuller released moments ago.

In the first part of the three-part conversation, Dr. Fuller said the seminary hired Dr. Dominick Hernandez over his objections. Dr. Fuller cited Dr. Hernandez’s apparent use of Higher Criticism to undermine the reliability of the Bible as his point of alarm.

Dr. Fuller said this is not a personal issue with Dr. Hernandez. “All I did was read his dissertation and say, ‘Hey, there are problems here.’ I have nothing against him personally. I didn’t even know him before he walked in the room. What I was concerned about is that what he is teaching is Dangerous.”

The “Dangerous” ideas include teachings that the Book of Job includes and mythology—not only that the speakers believed it but specifically the author of Job intended to promote mythology.

“This comes from like a Higher Criticism,” Dr. Fuller said. “And in Higher Criticism the assumptions are not that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, the very Word of God. The assumption is just the opposite. That you treat it like any other book.”

Also, Dr. Fuller said it appears in selected passages that Dr. Hernandez teaches that the Book of Job “goes against other parts of Scripture.”

“In other words, what the Bible considers wise in other places, the Book of Job is teaching contrary that—teaching against that,” Dr. Fuller said. This includes area like Job’s view of eschatology. “He’s really saying the Bible is contradicting the Bible.

The technical discussion is fascinating and if interested you should examine the supporting works and the extended interview. However, what is news to the average Southern Baptist is how SBTS responded to warnings raised by Dr. Fuller.

There are documents supporting Dr. Fuller’s criticism. You can read those here. Dr. Fuller said in his extended discussion of the issue, “The conclusion of the paper confirms that the author of Job (not Bildad), and therefore the Scriptures, accepted mythological beings as actual and genuine. Notice again the capitalizing of ‘Firstborn of Death’ and ‘King of Terrors.’”

Also, Dr. Fuller warned the writings taught the non-historicity of Job. He said, “These passages imply that Job and his friends are simply literary characters through whom the author speaks. Hernandez’s writings, therefore, cast doubt on their historicity. We would never say, “Matthew speaking through Jesus says.” Jesus’s words are his words, not Matthew’s. They are Jesus’s words found in the book of Matthew. The Bible affirms the historicity of Job in the book of Job itself (see the whole book) and Ezekiel 14:14, 20; James 5:11. Claiming, implying, or just poorly communicating that Job and his friends are nonhistorical compromise the integrity of Scripture.”

SBTS Leadership Ignored Warnings

Dr. Fuller raised the alarm but SBTS faculty and leadership refused to listen. The story is stunning about how faculty members who had not even read Dr. Hernandez’s work insisted Dr. Fuller misunderstood it.

“Later on, one of the deans at Southern Seminary Herschael York the Dean of the School of Theology said the same thing to me,” Dr. Fuller said. “He says, ‘You misread Hernandez’s work,’ and I said, ‘Well, Hershael have you read his dissertation?’ ‘Not yet, but I’m going to.’ Somehow he knew I misread the work but yet he himself hadn’t read it yet. You see again this shows a bias of mind. That no matter what evidence I show him he’s not going to believe it.”

And Dr. Fuller said his objections were certainly known by SBTS President Albert Mohler.

“There was no way Al Mohler did not know the truth about Dominique Hernandez when we hired him,” Dr. Fuller said.

Fired for Standing against SBC’s Leftward Drift

Fuller says he was fired after years of standing against the SBC’s Leftward Drift

“Nobody likes to be fired,” Dr. Fuller said. “But I have a clear conscience about the stuff I did there. I stood up against Critical Race Theory that is being taught there and Social Justice. And not only that. There are other things being taught there like postmodernism. I stood up against that and I think there was a price to be paid for that.”

Dr. Fuller said he felt he “did his duty” by standing up against these problems happening at Southern. However, the Seminary leadership “threatened him many times.”

And why was he threatened by SBTS?

“For bringing up that the direction of the school is problematic we’ve got some teachers who are teaching things that are a real problem theologically and clearly not consistent with the abstract of principles,” Dr. Fuller said.

Hiding behind Statements

Of course, the disputed faculty member was hired over Dr. Fuller’s objections and then signed the Abstract of Principles.

Which no doubt has conservative Southern Baptists asking how can someone who believes these types of things sign our statements?

“In my opinion, we want to hide behind that,” Dr. Fuller said. “Even if you have the most perfect confession, even if you have the most perfect Abstract of Principles it is not going to prevent somebody who wants a job from signing it. I’ve never had a cross word with him. But, when I look at his teaching, even after he has been on our faculty now for a year or so and see what he is teaching—it is very dangerous. He even believes you can get more information about the fate of the wicked from Ancient Near Eastern material than you can from the Bible. He even says things like that in his dissertation.”

Social Justice?

The 22-year veteran Old Testament professor was the only (SBTS) professor who signed the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. Mohler remedied that when the eminent professor was fired. Fuller wrote the book used by many other Hebrew professors at SBTS. Yet, his experience and respect among peers was not enough to save him from Mohler’s axe—even when lesser teachers and scholars were retained.

This weekend video footage of Dr. Fuller sitting for an interview with the film Enemies Within the Church leaked. In that interview, Dr. Fuller stated clearly that on the campus of SBTS and under Mohler’s nose that Critical Race Theory is promoted by professors.

“We are living a lie when we say Critical Race Theory—Social Justice—has never been taught on this campus,” Dr. Fuller said. “We are living a lie.”

Now everyone waits on the next installment of Dr. Fuller’s long conversation with Jon Harris about what is happening at SBTS.

Whose name is named next?

What other revelation about Dr. Mohler’s leadership explodes upon the Southern Baptist Convention?

Last week was a rough one for Dr. Mohler.

This one looks to be even worse.

via Whistleblower: ‘Dangerous’ theology taught at Al Mohler’s SBTS seminary — Capstone Report