Daily Archives: June 22, 2020

How to be a better hater — HeadHeartHand Blog

You’re a hater!” It’s one of the worst insults anyone can hurl at us today, isn’t it? To be a hater is to be outside civil society. If you’re a hater, you’re a non-person. The media tells us that there’s too much hate in our culture and that hate is causing so many problems.

The problem is that we don’t hate enough. We don’t love enough either, but the two are connected. In Proverbs 6:16-19, Wisdom University offers a class on how to hate. Specifically it’s how to hate what God hates. That’s the first part of the class. The second part is how to love what God loves.

What happens when we get this wrong, when we hate what God loves or love what God hates? We become part of what God hates, and miss out on experiencing God’s love. Let’s therefore learn what God hates and loves. In the process we will become better haters and better lovers.

Read more in my sermon notes.

via How to be a better hater — HeadHeartHand Blog

June 22 Don’t Lose Your Vision

 

I was not disobedient to the vision.
(Acts 26: 19, NIV)

When Alexander the Great had a vision, he conquered the world; when he lost it, he couldn’t conquer a liquor bottle. When David had a vision, he conquered Goliath; when he lost it, he couldn’t conquer his own lust. When Samson had a vision, he could defeat a thousand men; when he lost it, he couldn’t handle one woman. When Noah had a vision, he built an ark and preserved the human race; when he lost it, he got drunk. It’s your dream that keeps you on track; it’s your vision that keeps you in focus.

The average man’s lifetime includes twenty years sleeping, six years watching television, five years shaving and dressing, three years waiting for others, one year on the telephone, and four months tying his shoes. You say, “Surely there’s got to be something more?” There is! It’s the thing that kept Paul going, through shipwreck and starvation, beating and betrayal, persecution and prison—his vision! Listen: “I was not disobedient to the vision” (Acts 26:19). Do you have a vision? If you don’t, get into God’s presence today and ask Him to give you one.

 

Without it, what’s your purpose for living?[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 173). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 22 There’s No Substitute for God’s Word

 

Romans 15:4

We through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The Bible is filled with encouraging truths. There’s no need to find substitutes from other sources. God’s Word is filled with truth, given to us for the sole purpose of encouraging our hearts. In Romans 15, Paul reminds us that one of the purposes of the Old Testament was to provide encouragement for us today: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort [encouragement] of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Everything from Genesis to Malachi was written for our learning, so that we, through the encouragement of the Scriptures, might have hope. If you don’t get your encouragement from God’s Word, you may find its benefit sadly temporary.

In the New Testament, the theme of encouragement is everywhere, especially in Paul’s writings. When Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus, he reminded those young pastors of the critical importance of using God’s Word as a tool of encouragement. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort [encourage], with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 181). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

Americans’ happiness falls to all time low: Three reasons for encouragement and the path to our best life — Denison Forum

If you’re feeling stressed this morning, know that you’re not alone.

A recent General Social Survey shows that just 14 percent of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31 percent who said the same two years ago. That year, 23 percent said they had often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50 percent say that.

In total, fewer Americans are likely to call themselves happy than at any point since the survey began in 1972. The study aligns with research analyzing words on Twitter, which reported that Americans’ happiness in recent weeks was the lowest ever recorded.

According to a new report by the American Psychological Association, more than 70 percent of Americans say this is the lowest point in US history they can remember. And the percentage of Americans who are “extremely proud” of their country has fallen to 21 percent, the lowest since Gallup began measuring this sentiment in 2001.

In response to the discouragement of these days, let’s begin the week with news stories that offer trinitarian reasons to be encouraged.

A star so large, Saturn’s orbit would fit inside it 

Did you see the “ring of fire” solar eclipse yesterday?

Such an eclipse happens only once a year. It’s a “ring of fire” event because the moon is at its farthest point from our planet when it passes between us and the sun; its small size in the sky leaves the sun’s outer rim visible, making it look like a bright ring.

Parts of China, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, India, and Pakistan were able to watch the full annual solar eclipse. Those in southern and eastern Europe and northern Australia were able to see a partial annular eclipse. If you live in North America, you were out of luck.

Our moon could cause such an eclipse only because our sun is relatively small. By contrast, researchers have been studying a red supergiant star named Antares. They announced last week that the star is so large, Saturn’s orbit would fit inside it. Not just the planet, but its entire orbit around our sun.

Psalm 147:4 proclaims that our Father “determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Here’s why his astounding omnipotence is so relevant today: verse 3 assures us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” And verses 5 and 6 add: “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.”

Our God created every one of the one billion trillion stars in the observable universe (that’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars). He measures them and the entire universe with the palm of his hand (Isaiah 40:12).

Now his power is available to heal the brokenhearted and encourage all who humble themselves enough to trust him.

A watch that costs more than $1,200,000 

I found my Father’s Day gift in the news last week: a Vacheron Constantin Celestia watch. It displays the time, local high and low tides, the relative position of the earth and moon to the sun, the length of day and night, the time of sunrise and sunset, and the position of the sun in the signs of the Zodiac. It also indicates equinoxes and solstices.

The back of the watch displays a large star map, which makes one rotation a day. The watch can be yours for just over one million pounds (that’s over $1,200,000).

As unique and expensive as this watch is, know that you are even more unique and expensive.

Anna Quindlen writes: “There are thousands of people out there with the same degree you have; when you get a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul” (A Short Guide to a Happy Life, quoted by James Clear).

Jesus’ best friend wrote this about our Savior: “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation [atonement] for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1–2).

Jesus considered your eternal life worth his tortured and crucified death (Romans 5:8). And he is praying for you right now because he loves you (Romans 8:34).

A boy in Iceland joins a basketball camp in Oakland 

One last news story: Bjarki Robertsson participated in the Golden State Warriors’ basketball camp last week. The eleven-year-old did the drills along with the rest of the kids in the annual event. He even joined in the fist bump at the end of a recent workout.

Here’s why Bjarki is making headlines: he did all of this in Iceland. The Warriors used video technology to bridge the four-thousand-mile gap between Oakland and Reykjavik. “He’s basically speechless,” Bjarki’s mother said of his experience.

What the Warriors did through technology, the Holy Spirit does through divine agency. If Jesus is your Lord, his Spirit lives in you as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; John 14:17). He will coach you and lead you through every problem and decision you face (John 16:12–15).

Here’s my invitation to you this morning: Name your greatest challenge, fear, or worry. Now trust it to your omnipotent Father, specifically and intentionally. Thank Jesus for loving you and praying for your needs right now. And ask the Holy Spirit to show you the path to your best life today.

All of God there is, is in this moment.

via Americans’ happiness falls to all time low: Three reasons for encouragement and the path to our best life — Denison Forum

June 22, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

1  The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2  for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 24:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


1–2 The opening verses begin the movement of the poem by asserting that the earth belongs to the Lord, because it was created by the Lord. The rhetorical point scored is that the earthly sphere—into which the Lord moves in this psalm—is already the Lord’s by virtue of the fact that he created it. The Lord’s coming is not the hostile act of an invader conquering that which properly belongs to another. Rather, the Lord comes precisely as the proper lord of earth. The verses contain two poetic pairs: the earth … and all that is in it and the world and those who dwell in it. What is significant about the earth/world is precisely that they form the environment for life. The earth is the ecology that contains life—all that is in it (melôʾāh) refers to all the nonhuman animal and plant life that fill the earth (note that ʾereṣ ûmelôʾāh [“earth and all that is in it”] forms a known pair in Hebrew [Jer. 8:16; 47:2]). Those who dwell in it refers to the human residents of the earth.

The second verse refers to the primitive cosmological view that the earth was founded on the chaotic waters that were hostile to life (cf. Gen. 1:1–13, etc.). The Lord’s act of creation was to transform a nonplace that was inhospitable to life (cf. Pss. 46:2–3; 65:7) into a place that is hospitable to life. God performs this transformation by imposing order onto chaos. The metaphor here is that God founded and established the earth on the waters (ʿal yammîm) and the rivers (ʿal neharôṯ). The metaphor cuts two ways. On the one hand, chaos remains an active element in creation. God has limited the reach of chaos (“thus far shall you come, and no farther,” Job 38:11), but chaos and randomness remain present. On the other hand, creation is secure, because of the Lord’s ongoing providence and stewardship of creation. Thus, the creation into which God is entering in the psalm needs God’s presence, because only God can hold chaos at bay and secure the environment for life.[1]


The Lord of Creation (vv. 1–2)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters (vv. 1–2). The opening words of this psalm are quoted by Paul (1 Cor. 10:26) to show that all foods can be eaten, because they all come from the Lord. The words were very familiar in Jewish circles because they were part of prayers said at mealtimes. Paul was clearly thinking of mealtimes when he uses this quotation as his later comment on partaking of a meal and giving thanks to God make evident (1 Cor. 10:30). He does not draw a conclusion from his use of the quotation, but the reader is expected to understand that even though meat may be offered to idols, because it comes from God, it may be eaten. Central to the psalm’s message is that the Lord is not only the God of Israel; he is the God of the whole world. To him it belongs, as well as all who live in it. It is his, because he is the creator of it. The founding of the earth is described in terms reminiscent of other ancient Near Eastern creation accounts. Other passages in the Old Testament use similar language (Pss. 104:5–6; 136:6; Job 38:4–11).[2]


24:1–2 / Modern readers are bound to look at verse 2 as prescientific naïveté. But this reaction, in fact, reflects on our own naïveté regarding ancient imagery. This poem employs the ancient Near Eastern motif of the divine warrior who becomes king by virtue of his victory over chaotic waters (see the Introduction). This background helps us to make sense of the strange claim, he founded it upon the seas (Hb. yammîm) and established it upon the waters (lit. “rivers,” Hb. nehārôt). In the Canaanite epic the storm god, Baal, becomes king once he vanquishes Prince Sea (Yam)–Judge River (Nahar). His dual name contains the same word pair we see here. Thus, in language familiar to the ancients, Psalm 24 sings of Yahweh’s right to divine kingship.

We can now also understand the point of verse one. What may sound to modern readers like a confession of Yahweh’s possessiveness is, in fact, a proclamation of victory and of liberty for the world, and all who live in it. The point is not that “the earth belongs to Yahweh” but that “to Yahweh the earth belongs,” not to chaos (this is the word order in the Hb. text). The issue is not possession but who possesses it. These verses are no mere doctrinal confession; they are a victory shout. (This is similar to the point of the confession, “Jesus is lord.” He is lord, not death, human tyrants, principalities and powers, etc.)

Also contrary to the expectations of most modern readers, Yahweh’s kingship is not described as a static state but is portrayed as a dynamic victory. The ancient Near Eastern motif of divine kingship also helps us to make sense of the divine roles in verses 7–10. Because he had vanquished the seas (v. 2), “Yahweh of (the military) hosts” (niv “the Lord Almighty,” v. 10), “a warrior (Hb. gibbôr) mighty in battle” (v. 8), is now the King of glory (vv. 7–10) over all the world (v. 1). These verses alert us to the fact that creation order is not a given, rather Yahweh must continue to exert his heroic strength to maintain it. This is a message that we in the nuclear and environmentally critical age must take to heart.[3]


24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it … and all who live in it. The theological truth behind the statement “the earth is the Lord’s” is based on the Pentateuch, found especially in Exodus 9:29 and Deuteronomy 10:14, and, of course, generally attested by the creation narrative of Genesis 1–2.

24:2 for he founded it … established it. The personal pronoun “he” comes before the verb to emphasize that it is God who did this (“for it is he who founded it”). The root word for “establish” (kun) means to “build” a house. Psalm 8:3 uses the same verb in the sense of “create” (NIV: “set in place”).[4]


1–2. The sovereignty of Jehovah over the universe is here beautifully set forth by right of creation; and all the inhabitants, in like manner, are his by the same right, as their Author and Maker. And the sovereignty of the kingdom of grace is also as beautifully set forth, inasmuch as God hath created all things by Jesus Christ, so hath he redeemed his church and his people by him. Hence he hath given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as he hath given him. John 17:2.[5]


Ver. 1.—The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. God’s glory was set forth in Ps. 19 from a consideration of the heavens (vers. 1–6); here it is manifested from the other half of creation—the earth. The whole earth, and all its fulness, is his. He made it, and he remains its sole Owner and Master. There is no inferior δημιουργός, as some believed, who framed it and governs it. All its marvels, all its beauty, all its richness, proceed from God alone. The world, and they that dwell therein. “The world” (תֵּבֵל) seems to be here synonymous with “the earth” (הָאָדֶץ). Not only do its material products belong to God, but its inhabitants also.

Ver. 2.—For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods (comp. Gen. 1:9). God has established the earth above the seas and floods, causing it to “appear,” and thus making it a fitting habitation for man. Hence his right of property in the earth and in all the dwellers on it. They exist through his providential care (comp. Ps. 104:6–9).[6]


1. The earth is Jehovah’s. We will find in many other places the children of Abraham compared with all the rest of mankind, that the free goodness of God, in selecting them from all other nations, and in embracing them with his favour, may shine forth the more conspicuously. The object of the beginning of the psalm is to show that the Jews had nothing of themselves which could entitle them to approach nearer or more familiarly to God than the Gentiles. As God by his providence preserves the world, the power of his government is alike extended to all, so that he ought to be worshipped by all, even as he also shows to all men, without exception, the fatherly care he has about them. But since he preferred the Jews to all other nations, it was indispensably necessary that there should be some sacred bond of connection between him and them, which might distinguish them from the heathen nations. By this argument David invites and exhorts them to holiness. He tells them that it was reasonable that those whom God had adopted as his children, should bear certain marks peculiar to themselves, and not be altogether like strangers. Not that he incites them to endeavour to prejudice God against others, in order to gain his exclusive favour; but he teaches them, from the end or design of their election, that they shall then have secured to them the firm and peaceful possession of the honour which God had conferred upon them above other nations, when they devote themselves to an upright and holy life. In vain would they have been collected together into a distinct body, as the peculiar people of God, if they did not apply themselves to the cultivation of holiness. In short, the Psalmist pronounces God to be the King of the whole world, to let all men know that, even by the law of nature, they are bound to serve him. And by declaring that he made a covenant of salvation with a small portion of mankind, and by the erection of the tabernacle, gave the children of Abraham the symbol of his presence, thereby to assure them of his dwelling in the midst of them, he teaches them that they must endeavour to have purity of heart and of hands, if they would be accounted the members of his sacred family.

With respect to the word fulness, I admit that under it all the riches with which the earth is adorned are comprehended, as is proved by the authority of Paul; but I have no doubt that the Psalmist intends by the expression men themselves, who are the most illustrious ornament and glory of the earth. If they should fail, the earth would exhibit a scene of desolation and solitude, not less hideous than if God should despoil it of all its other riches. To what purpose are there produced so many kinds of fruit, and in so great abundance, and why are there so many pleasant and delightful countries, if it is not for the use and comfort of men? Accordingly, David explains, in the following clause, that it is principally of men that he speaks. It is his usual manner to repeat the same thing twice, and here the fulness of the earth, and the inhabitants of the world, have the same meaning. I do not, however, deny that the riches with which the earth abounds for the use of men, are comprehended under these expressions. Paul, therefore, (1 Cor. 10:26,) when discoursing concerning meats, justly quotes this passage in support of his argument, maintaining that no kind of food is unclean, because “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.”

  1. For he hath founded it upon the seas. The Psalmist here confirms the truth, that men are rightfully under the authority and power of God, so that in all places and countries they ought to acknowledge him as King. And he confirms it from the very order manifested in the creation; for the wonderful providence of God is clearly reflected in the whole face of the earth. In order to prove this, he brings forward the proof of it, which is most evident. How is it that the earth appears above the water, but because God purposely intended to prepare a habitation for men? Philosophers themselves admit, that as the element of the water is higher than the earth, it is contrary to the nature of the two elements, for any part of the earth to continue uncovered with the waters, and habitable. Accordingly, Job (chap. 28:11, 25) extols, in magnificent terms, that signal miracle by which God restrains the violent and tempestuous ragings of the sea, that it may not overwhelm the earth, which, if not thus restrained, it would immediately do, and produce horrible confusion. Nor does Moses forget to mention this in the history of the creation. After having narrated that the waters were spread abroad so as to cover the whole earth, he adds, that by an express command of God they retired into one place, in order to leave empty space for the living creatures which were afterwards to be created, (Gen. 1:9.) From that passage we learn that God had a care about men before they existed, inasmuch as he prepared for them a dwelling-place and other conveniences; and that he did not regard them as entire strangers, seeing he provided for their necessities, not less liberally than the father of a family does for his own children. David does not here dispute philosophically concerning the situation of the earth, when he says, that it has been founded upon the seas. He uses popular language, and adapts himself to the capacity of the unlearned. Yet this manner of speaking, which is taken from what may be judged of by the eye, is not without reason. The element of earth, it is true, in so far as it occupies the lowest place in the order of the sphere, is beneath the waters; but the habitable part of the earth is above the water, and how can we account for it, that this separation of the water from the earth remains stable, but because God has put the waters underneath, as it were for a foundation? Now, as from the creation of the world, God extended his fatherly care to all mankind, the prerogative of honour, by which the Jews excelled all other nations, proceeded only from the free and sovereign choice by which God distinguished them.[7]

24:1, 2. The All-Creating

Characteristically, the first and emphatic Hebrew word is the Lord’s, in verse 1, and he in verse 2. To him as Creator and Sustainer (2), pictured as a city’s founder and establisher, belongs the earth in all its aspects: fruitful earth (1a), peopled earth (1b), solid earth (2). Fullness (translated in 98:7 as ‘all that fills it’) conjures up its wealth and fertility, seen here not as man’s, for exploitation, but, prior to that, as God’s, for his satisfaction and glory (cf. the same Heb. expression in Isa. 6:3). This view of it is not impoverishing but an enrichment: cf. 1 Corinthians 3:21b, 23, and (quoting our verse) 10:25f., 31.

  1. The Psalms claim the peopled earth (1b) for God as Creator (2), King and Judge (e.g. Ps. 9:7f). The New Testament goes further still (John 3:16f.).
  2. Upon could be translated ‘above’, as in 8:1 (Heb. 2), but the poetic image is of the solid earth rising out of the waters, and the allusion is to Genesis 1:9f.; cf. 2 Peter 3:5. rsv rightly has rivers rather than the older versions’ ‘floods’ or neb ‘waters beneath’. To the Old Testament, ‘the foam of perilous seas’ tends to dominate such a scene, making the deep a reminder of formlessness (Gen. 1:2), menace (Ps. 46:5) and restlessness (Isa. 57:20). But (against heathen belief) ‘the sea is his’, as surely as ‘the dry land’. See also on 46:2–4; 74:13; 96:11.[8]

24:1–2. God the Creator

The psalmist begins with a hearty affirmation that everything, animate and inanimate, belongs to the Lord. He owns everything and everyone, and everything and everyone are completely dependent on him. After all, according to the psalmist in verse 2, God created everything and everyone. He thus has authority over all.

The earth was created by placing it on the primordial waters. While it is debated whether or not Genesis 1 assumes the existence of the waters when God began his acts of creation (implied in the translation of Gen. 1:1–2 in the nrsv) or whether the text describes the creation of the waters from nothing (so the niv), here the waters are pre-existent, and the creative act is the founding of the land. Contrary to ancient Mesopotamian creation accounts (Walton 2009 and 2011), though, there is not a hint of conflict between the Lord and the sea in the description of creation (but see Ps. 74:13–17).[9]


Vers. 1, 2. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.The earth the Lord’s:

So the Psalmist in this place speaks of the Divine sovereignty and of the Divine purpose and programme. The Divine sovereignty—the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. God stretches out His sceptre over all places, all peoples, all events. However you parcel the earth out, He is the great Landlord and the Sovereign Ruler doing according to His will amongst the inhabitants of the earth. And the Psalmist tells us in this place on what this rests. God created it, and He sustains it. What a great deal you see in the world that your ancestors did not see, and what a great deal your children will see in it that you do not see! It is a mysterious world, with the fulness thereof. How there is wrapped up in the world unknown possibilities to be manifested in due season. When God created the world He did not leave it; He lives in the midst of the splendour He first created. He is evermore active in all the things of nature and of history. You build a palace, and it comes to ruin, but the earth never comes to ruin. You never have to put an iron band round the firmament to hold up the dome as they have put an iron band upon the dome of St. Peter’s at Rome. Now, the Psalmist here tells how God seeks to accomplish His great purpose in the world that He created, the world that He maintains, the world that He redeemed. He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. What is that? That God, who is the Sovereign of this world, has a great purpose in its government, and He seeks to accomplish that purpose through endless mutability and conflict. Now, you see the very same thing when you look into nature. God has made this world in exactly the same way, and the tangible world, the planet itself, how has it come to pass? He called forth His Spirit, and His Spirit moved on the face of the waters. Movement, you see. So it was in that strange old world, out of movement, mutability, catastrophe, out of these seas and floods, that this lovely earth arose, as the Greeks fabled that Venus arose out of the foam of the sea. Why, you know the history of your planet now pretty well. You know, your fathers, when they wanted to explain the configuration of this planet, always used to talk about the flood and the deluge. Oh! the deluge explained a lot. But you know a great deal better. You have studied geology since then. Nowadays you do not talk about Noah’s deluge having made the planet what it is. You push it a great deal further back than that. For all that went on in these revolutions have left their signs on the rocks. What terrific floods, what mighty deluges, what burnings, what ages of frost and glaciers, and through all that God never lost sight of His final purpose to make this planet into what you see it to-day—music, colour, fragrance—a great and delightful theatre of intellectual and spiritual life. He hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods, and out of movement, unsettlement, change, it arose, the lovely planet that you see it to-day. And mind, it is always going on just the same to-day. One would think sometimes, to look at the earth, that it was asleep. But make no mistake about that. The one thing nature never will stand is immovability. She won’t tolerate stagnation. They say that sometimes in the Pacific they have periods of absolute calm, and in a few days the very sea begins to rot, and the stench is insufferable. Nature won’t stand it, she is full of unsettlement, full of movement, full of catastrophe. That is the way you keep the ocean pure, the atmosphere sweet, and the earth full of vitality. Now, I want to say to you that that is all just as true in the history of ourselves. If you will look down the history you will find that God has ever been active in the midst of the nations, always overturning that He may introduce a civilisation that is a shade better than the civilisation that preceded it. You never can make a nation fixed and permanent. The world from the beginning amongst the nations has been in a state of unrestfulness and changefulness. But I believe there never has been a change in this world but it has been for the better. Mind you, it often seems to a careless eye as if the world were going back, but whenever the critical period comes the best is always on the top. You go back in history to the great conflict, say, between the Greeks and Orientals, when there seemed a time that the Oriental world was likely to swamp Europe, when it was likely to destroy the civilisation of Greece, which was the promise of all future civilisations. But when the critical battle came the Greek was master of the situation. It was just the same again when you come to the great conflicts between the Romans and the Phœnicians. As you know perfectly well, there seemed a day when the Phœnician, with his dark superstitions, his terrible practices, was going to triumph; but when the ultimate time came, when the final battle was fought, the Roman was at the top, with his wiser, healthier, and nobler conceptions, ideals, and strivings. It was just the same again a little later when Mohammedanism came into contact with Europe, and the Moor was at the very gate of Vienna. It seemed as if the inferior civilisation was going to swamp the nobler, but God, who sat upon the face of the waters, said, “Hitherto and no further,” and Mohammedanism was turned back, and it has been going back ever since. It has stopped a bit at Constantinople, but it will have to go. God has not made this world to go backwards. He has made it on the principle of a sure but ofttimes obscure development. Mind, I confess it looks as if it were not so. It seems sometimes as if we made a great deal of movement for positive retrogression. It looks so until we think about it. The world keeps going to pieces continually, and you never get anything fixed. But I am not going to lose sight of the fact that in the midst of instabilities and revolutions God is always quietly present. Always His end is to make men and nations pure and perfect. He has done it in the past; He will do it still. Why, you know well enough, in the fifth century—was it in the fifth or sixth?—a few fishermen laid the foundations of Venice in the slime of the lagoons. These men, with a few sticks and stones, began the creation, and as time went on there grew out of this slender and rude beginning the city of solemn temples, gorgeous palaces, the city of great painters, sculptors, and poets. And they built it out of the seas and established it upon the floods—the ideal city, the city dear to all lovers of the perfect. A few fishermen, in the first century, under the direction of the Master Builder, laid the foundations of a new world in the modern rottenness of the old civilisations, and now for 1900 years another building has been going on, the Church of Christ, the City of God, the Spiritual Venice. And mind, there is not a single movement in this world but aids it. There is no revolution but puts another bit of marble into it. He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods, and I can stand and see the whole world going to pieces with the utmost tranquillity, because I know that the destructive is also the constructive, and God never destroys unless He is going to build in its place something that is larger and more rational and more perfect. And all this is true of the individual life. Prepare yourselves for it. Just look at your lives. They have been one course of unsettlement, and it will be so until that man in white comes and reads over you that we never continue in one state. That is the way with us here. People imagine sometimes that they have got things pretty fairly square, that they have got things on a good basis, and that they are going to have a nice, tranquil time of it. Not a bit of it. He has built it upon the seas and founded it upon the floods. He will turn it over directly. You may be sure of that. When people marry and settle down, you sometimes hear people say, “Oh! they are married and settled now.” You fancy you have got things into shape. You don’t know where the next change is to come from. But it will come. There is no settlement; but mind this, every time God unsettles you it is for a great moral end. There ought to be no change in your life which does not leave you stronger and purer. So look up, the world is not purposeless: no man’s life is a chaos. With endless variation, contrast, conflict, and catastrophe God is with us, and He will bring it out well at last, because when I get to the last page of the Book I read, “And there shall be no more sea.” (W. L. Watkinson.)

God’s mundane property and man’s moral obligation:

  1. His property.
  2. Its extent. The earth and its fulness (ver. 1).
  3. Its foundation—creatorship. “He hath founded it,” &c. (ver. 2).
  4. Man’s moral obligation.
  5. It urges him to be just. “Will a man rob God?”
  6. To be humble.
  7. To be thankful. It is God that has given us ourselves, with all our capacities and means of improvement and of pleasure.
  8. To be acquiescent. God has a right to do what He likes with His own. Let the text be written on our hearts. It is engraved on the front of the Royal Exchange, but how few pause to read it, and fewer still ponder it in their hearts. (D. Thomas, D.D.)

The earth and its fulness:

There was a time when every separate department of nature was supposed to have a separate deity ruling over it. Every nation, every district, every sphere of life, every profession, every trade had a god of its own. There was a time when each race and tribe acknowledged no god but one. Then there comes the conviction that the Power which all are in some form seeking after is one and the same everywhere. We never can pass from His dominions.

  1. The Divine Presence in the world. It is His power and His presence which we behold around us. He hath created and preserveth all. The universe is itself a manifestation of Him; it is His garment, it is illuminated and aglow with the Divine presence. As with the earth, so with its fulness. Its products are irradiated with a heavenly glory. They, too, come from Him who is wise in counsel and excellent in working. The earth is given to the sons of men, that it may be subdued and cultivated, that its boundless treasures may be sought out and developed. There is no doubt a wrong way as well as a right way of availing ourselves of them.
  2. All things God’s good gifts. If this can be said of meats and drinks, how much more may it be said of the manifold gifts with which the earth is ripe; the means placed at our disposal for the amelioration of human suffering, the lessening of toil, the advancement of knowledge, the increase of well-being in every shape and form. There was recently brought to light in Cornwall an old picture of our blessed Lord, in which His precious blood is represented as flowing over the various implements of industry—the reaping-hook, the scythe, the shuttle, the cart—implying that by His incarnation all human labour has been sanctified, that everything wherewith we carry on the work of the home, or of the world, is cleansed and consecrated through the life and death of Christ; that in Him all things are gathered together in one, and are made meet to be laid upon the altar of God. (P. MAdam Muir, D.D.)

God’s claims upon men:

There is a strong tendency in the present day to forget the immanence of God in creation. We do well to emphasise the constant dependence of the universe upon the preserving power of God. The Psalmist was wiser than the wisest atheistical philosopher when he declared that the earth is the Lord’s, for He hath founded it. The more we learn of the Creator and His works the more must we realise His infinite wisdom and almighty power. They tell us that the propositions of the evolutionist, if true, obviate all necessity for a personal Creator. But there must have been a great creative plan or this universe could not have come into being, and behind that plan there must have been an Omniscient Personal Intelligence. To what extent have men realised, and do men realise to-day, the conception of the text? How far have they grasped the thought that the earth is the Lord’s and they are His stewards? The Jew was vividly reminded of the truth by that strange institution, the “Year of Jubilee.” It served to remind the whole nation that “Jehovah was the Supreme Landlord under whom their tenure was held.” The Psalmist goes a step further when he declares not only that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof, but also “the world and they that dwell therein.” Not merely because we are created beings do we belong to God. We have realised an immeasurably higher claim upon our service. It is created by His “inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,”—in a word, by the mercies of Calvary. How many of you thus recognise God’s claim upon you in this definite manner? (Henry S. Lunn, M. D.)

The earth is the Lord’s:

The best of God’s gifts are often those which are least valued. It is the same with truths as it is with things. Whenever a truth becomes very common, whenever, that is to say, it is put by Divine Providence into the minds of all, we begin to neglect it, and to forget that God should be praised for it. To one of these old and familiar, yet pre-eminently useful, truths attention is now directed. From the earliest dawn of our reason we were taught that God made us, that a Wise and Holy Being who loves us was our Creator and the Author of all that exists, and what we were taught we believed, and still believe. But while we may both know and believe this truth, nothing is more likely than that, owing to its very commonness and our familiarity with it, we may realise most inadequately the worth of it, and feel very little of that gratitude to God for the revelation of it which we ought to feel. It is not yet a truth known to all the peoples of the earth. It is not a truth which any man, if left to himself, would be sure or even likely to find out. Great men, giants in the intellectual world, have failed to attain to a clear knowledge of God as the alone Creator and Lord of nature. He who believes in God as the Creator and Ruler of the universe can be neither atheist, materialist, or pantheist. The faith in God as the Creator is the necessary basis of all higher spiritual faith.

  1. The world being recognised as the work and manifestation of God is thereby invested with a deep religious awe, a solemn religious significance.
  2. It is a source of pure and holy joy from which we may draw whenever we look upon anything in nature that is fair and well-fitted to fulfil the end of its creation.
  3. By thus sending men to nature as well as Scripture for their religion our text tends to give breadth and freedom to the religious character.
  4. Only through realising our relation to nature can we realise our relation to God Himself. We owe all to God, and nothing is our own. (Robert Flint, D.D.)

The truth of Divine providence:

  1. Though this is generally acknowledged in principle, it is departed from in practice. Only casual and transient thought is given to the never-ceasing care and kindness of Divine providence.
  2. All the children of God have, in successive ages, proclaimed and deeply felt the truth of the providence of God. Many instances might be adduced from the lives and declarations of the patriarchs to prove that whether in prosperity or adversity the sense of God’s providence was ever present, and His right of possession and disposal ever uppermost in their minds.
  3. Practical reflections. The business of commercial life tends to corrupt the mind and the affections, to withdraw them from the Creator and to concentrate them on the creature. We learn the duty of gratitude for all those blessings which out of that fulness He has showered on us. Since the world and its fulness is God’s and not ours, as He can give so He can take away. As God has distributed to us some part of the world’s fulness, for the use and abuse of our trust we are responsible to Him. The text further declares that not only the “earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof,” but also “they that dwell therein.” “All souls are Mine,” saith the Lord. (Henry Clissold, M.A.)

The merchants of Britain:

  1. Of the advantages of commerce.
  2. How vast it is. Its standard is planted upon the Andes and the Himalayas. The great Pacific and Atlantic seas are beaten white by our ships. From the ghauts of Malabar to the sands of Coromandel, from the steppes of the Cossack to the wilds of the Arab, from the Thames and the Mersey to the Mississippi and the Missouri, the commerce of Britain has extended its influence.
  3. This great commercial power has done some good. It has opened up new channels of intercourse with mankind. It has created links of sympathy and bonds of union where all was severance and estrangement before.
  4. It has gathered round it great homage and éclat.
  5. It is very successful.
  6. Of great importance to the State.
  7. Must ever be associated with agricultural power.
  8. Is one of the greatest securities against war.
  9. Its perils.
  10. Avarice.
  11. Considering everything from the trade point of view.
  12. Absorbing care.
  13. Reckless speculation.
  14. Pride.
  15. Forgetfulness of God.

III. Its responsibilities.

  1. Merchants should acknowledge God.
  2. Seek to extend His kingdom.
  3. Remember they are but stewards of their wealth.
  4. Pity the poor.
  5. Spread the Gospel. (J. Cumming, D.D.)

The religiousness of secular learning:

This title is not a happy one. “Religiousness” seems to indicate, according to the conventional usage, a flimsy, fussy attention to the externals of religion, rather than a participation in the essential spirit of it. By the use of the adjective “secular” you might suppose I draw the usual broad distinction between things sacred and profane. My question is this, What of religion—of the religious spirit—is there about that which is usually called secular learning? By all other kinds of knowledge than the theological? When a man is studying languages, literature, or science, what is the attitude of the soul towards God? My doctrine is founded upon the principle asserted in the text. “The fulness,” that is, all which makes it up, every particle and grain of which it is composed. All things are directly related to God as effects are to their cause, as phenomena to their basis, substance, or reality. They exist in Him and by Him.

  1. All secular learning is directly or indirectly religious, because it directly or indirectly brings us into contact with the mind of God as manifested in His works. When you have learned a fact in nature you have learned a thought of God.
  2. Secular learning is directly religious in its tendencies, because it trains and educates the mind for the clearer and fuller comprehension of theological truth. (J. Cranbrook.)[10]

1. How very different is this from the ignorant Jewish notion of God which prevailed in our Saviour’s day. The Jews said, “The holy land is God’s, and the seed of Abraham are his only people;” but their great Monarch had long before instructed them,—“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” The whole round world is claimed for Jehovah, “and they that dwell therein” are declared to be his subjects. When we consider the bigotry of the Jewish people at the time of Christ, and how angry they were with our Lord for saying that many widows were in Israel, but unto none of them was the prophet sent, save only to the widow of Sarepta, and that there were many lepers in Israel, but none of them was healed except Naaman the Syrian,—when we recollect, too, how angry they were at the mention of Paul’s being sent to the Gentiles, we are amazed that they should have remained in such blindness, and yet have sung this Psalm, which shows so clearly that God is not the God of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also. What a rebuke is this to those wiseacres who speak of the negro and other despised races as though they were not cared for by the God of heaven! If a man be but a man the Lord claims him, and who dares to brand him as a mere piece of merchandise! The meanest of men is a dweller in the world, and therefore belongs to Jehovah. Jesus Christ has made an end of the exclusiveness of nationalities. There is neither barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but we all are one in Christ Jesus.

Man lives upon “the earth,” and parcels out its soil among his mimic kings and autocrats; but the earth is not man’s. He is but a tenant at will, a leaseholder upon most precarious tenure, liable to instantaneous ejectment. The great Landowner and true Proprietor holds his court above the clouds and laughs at the title-deeds of worms of the dust. The fee-simple is not with the lord of the manor nor the freeholder, but with the Creator. The “fulness” of the earth may mean its harvests, its wealth, its life, or its worship; in all these senses the Most High God is Possessor of all. The earth is full of God; he made it full and he keeps it full, notwithstanding all the demands which living creatures make upon its stores. The sea is full, despite all the clouds which rise from it; the air is full, notwithstanding all the lives which breathe it; the soil is full, though millions of plants derive their nourishment from it. Under man’s tutored hand the world is coming to a greater fulness than ever, but it is all the Lord’s; the field and the fruit, the earth and all earth’s wonders are Jehovah’s. We look also for a sublimer fulness when the true ideal of a world for God shall have been reached in millennial glories, and then most clearly the earth will be the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. These words are now upon London’s Royal Exchange, they shall one day be written in letters of light across the sky.

The term “world” indicates the habitable regions, wherein Jehovah is especially to be acknowledged as Sovereign. He who rules the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air should not be disobeyed by man, his noblest creature. Jehovah is the Universal King, all nations are beneath his sway: true Autocrat of all the nations, emperors and czars are but his slaves. Men are not their own, nor may they call their lips, their hearts, or their substance their own; they are Jehovah’s rightful servants. This claim especially applies to us who are born from heaven. We do not belong to the world or to Satan, but by creation and redemption we are the peculiar portion of the Lord.

Paul uses this verse twice, to show that no food is unclean, and that nothing is really the property of false gods. All things are God’s; no ban is on the face of nature, nothing is common or unclean. The world is all God’s world, and the food which is sold in the shambles is sanctified by being my Father’s, and I need not scruple to eat thereof.

2. In the second verse we have the reason why the world belongs to God, namely, because he has created it, which is a title beyond all dispute. “For he hath founded it upon the seas.” It is God who lifts up the earth from out of the sea, so that the dry land, which otherwise might in a moment be submerged, as in the days of Noah, is kept from the floods. The hungry jaws of ocean would devour the dry land if a constant fiat of Omnipotence did not protect it. “He hath established it upon the floods.” The world is Jehovah’s, because from generation to generation he preserves and upholds it, having settled its foundations. Providence and Creation are the two legal seals upon the title-deeds of the great Owner of all things. He who built the house and bears up its foundation has surely a first claim upon it. Let it be noted, however, upon what insecure foundations all terrestrial things are founded. Founded on the seas! Established on the floods! Blessed be God the Christian has another world to look forward to, and rests his hopes upon a more stable foundation than this poor world affords. They who trust in worldly things build upon the sea; but we have laid our hopes, by God’s grace, upon the Rock of Ages; we are resting upon the promise of an immutable God, we are depending upon the constancy of a faithful Redeemer. Oh! ye worldlings, who have built your castles of confidence, your palaces of wealth, and your bowers of pleasure upon the seas, and established them upon the floods; how soon will your baseless fabrics melt, like foam upon the waters! Sand is treacherous enough, but what shall be said of the yet more unstable seas?[11]


[1] Jacobson, R. A., & Tanner, B. (2014). Book One of the Psalter: Psalms 1–41. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (pp. 249–250). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[2] Harman, A. (2011). Psalms: A Mentor Commentary (Vol. 1–2, pp. 229–230). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[3] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (pp. 127–128). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Bullock, C. H. (2015). Psalms 1–72. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 1, p. 177). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Job–Psalms (Vol. 4, p. 238). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 1, p. 173). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 1, pp. 401–404). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Kidner, D. (1973). Psalms 1–72: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 15, p. 131). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Longman, T., III. (2014). Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. (D. G. Firth, Ed.) (Vol. 15–16, pp. 138–139). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[10] Exell, J. S. (1909). The Biblical Illustrator: The Psalms (Vol. 1, pp. 477–480). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company; Francis Griffiths.

[11] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 1-26 (Vol. 1, pp. 374–375). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

Biblical Answers for Bipolar Depression — Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

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Dale Johnson: This week on the podcast we are going to address one of those very difficult issues that we see in life, where people experience very deep and dark struggles. This week on the podcast to address this very difficult issue we have Dr. John Street. John has been an ACBC member for many years. He has been on our Board of Trustees for many years as well. He now serves as the Chair of our Board of Trustees for ACBC. He is also well known as a Professor of Biblical Counseling at the Master’s University. He chairs their Graduate Department of Biblical Counseling and he’s married to Miss Janie, they have four children and he’s better known as a grandfather as Papa.

I’m so glad that he’s here with us today to discuss this issue of bipolar. John, thank you for being here and thank you for being willing to address this very difficult issue.

John Street: Thanks Dale, it’s a pleasure for me to be here.

Dale Johnson: As we think about this subject, people have all sorts of questions. Certainly in a short podcast we can’t answer all those questions, but one of the questions that we get regularly about this label of Bipolar Depression is: Can genuine Christians have bipolar symptoms?

John Street: The short answer to that is really quick. The answer is yes. That’s really very possible and you’ve got to understand that this is a very complicated issue. There are not simple answers in dealing with an issue like that. But we do know from a lot of studies that have been done, that a lot of people who suffer from this kind of problem have a background with certain drugs—sometimes they can be legal drugs or illegal drugs. Or they’ve had a background with alcohol abuse, or sometimes it’s due to a medical condition. For example Cushing’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, or even some kinds of strokes can produce bipolar symptoms. Now, Christians are very susceptible to those kind of things if it’s a physiological issue, and they can begin to manifest bipolar-type symptoms if they’ve had anything like that occur in their past.

Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody has those particular physiological problems have bipolar depression, but it does say that there are some bipolar manifestations that can come from those kind of physiological diseases. The etiology goes back to the disease itself. However, I think that in the church the vast majority of bipolar-type depression is not related to any of those diseases. It can be—especially in the general population, where they say that 2.8 percent of the general U.S. population and 2.4 percent of the world’s population suffers from bipolar disorder. The vast majority of that is either misuse of drugs or a misuse of some kind of alcohol. Among the Christian scene, I don’t think that is as much the case. It’s going to be quite a bit less in terms of manifestation because there’s going to be quite a bit less misuse of drugs and alcohol unless a person—before they were Christian—had that kind of behavior.

Once that person is a believer and is living a generally righteous life and they love the Lord and they understand the gospel, then at that particular point the questions is: Is it possible for a person like that to have bipolar-type symptoms? And the answer is yes. I’ve counseled those kind of people and it is a very difficult disorder, or really problem. As soon as we put it in the category of a disorder we kind of equivocate on whether or not it’s going to be a physiological problem or not. Frankly, even the best science that’s out there in the world talks about the fact that the science has still not come to a definitive conclusion as to what the physiological cause is.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t physiological things that are operating behind the scenes. However, even if that is the case, we can still approach the spiritual side of this issue with people with the Word of God. I don’t think that we as Christians should be intimidated by what’s going on out there in the world when it comes to people claiming that this is primarily just a physiological problem. A lot of placebo studies have demonstrated that in working with bipolar people, placebos work just as well as antidepressants. That really is the case, it’s been proven time and time again, not only in the U.S., but in Canada in the medical system there and in the medical system in England. When they sought to treat bipolar with the use of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or even herbal medications like St. John’s Wort, they found that placebos work just as well.

If it was a physiological problem, then we would have a much more difficult time dealing with this particular issue and placebos obviously wouldn’t work in typical studies. It’s really interesting that in toddlers and children—we’re talking about children from the age of 3 up to the age of 13—it is very rare to have bipolar type depression symptoms. That’s very rare. It becomes common, or very common, in teenagers beginning around the age of 14 all the way through adults aged 60, then it’s very common. Then it drops off quite a bit when it comes to the elderly. If it is a biological problem, then somehow children are somewhat immune from it, and so are many elderly people immune from that problem. We don’t find diseases tracking that kind of a pattern.

What do we conclude? Well, there’s a significant part of this that can be addressed spiritually and that’s what I usually do in counseling.

Dale Johnson: Yeah, that’s right. I think it’s helpful that we distinguish between having a label of some sort of “disorder” versus having symptoms. Even as Christians, we can express those types of symptoms where we see mood swings and that sort of thing. We have to be cautious, and I think it’s helpful even to know what science is saying about this today. That brings us to a point where we have to begin distinguish and discern in counseling. How do we know the difference between these things being caused or motivated by spiritual issues or physical issues?

John Street: If you’re going to counsel someone like this, you’ve got to gather good data and good background. Part of that is background use on drugs or alcohol. What drugs have they had? What alcohol? What kind of physical problems—have they’ve been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease or multiple sclerosis or had a stroke? All of that is going to be critical in trying to identify if it’s more of a physiological problem or primarily a spiritual problem.

Of course, even if you are able to identify it as a physiological issue that really started their depression or manic swings, you can still address that from a spiritual level. In fact, the world recognizes that and there are many talk therapists who say that talk therapy oftentimes is just as effective as any kind chemical therapy.

That’s exactly what we’re doing as biblical counselors. We’re bringing the truth of the Word of God to bear upon the spiritual issues of their life. Their perception of what’s going on in their life is really critical. If you’re not used to the terminology of bipolar disorder, sometimes it has been referred to as manic-type depression. Bipolar disorder is where a person swings from a very manic mood or hypomanic, which is kind of less severe, where a person experiences a lot of euphoria and a lot of energy. I found out, at least in my counseling, that you can easily divide this down into people who have mild forms of this, people who have more moderate forms of it, and then those who have the more severe forms.

When we’re talking about the mild form, we’re talking about manic excitement with occasional or frequent downward mood swings towards depression, maybe within the same day. That would actually be a mild form. In fact, one of the illustrations I like to use in counseling is anytime you go to a soccer game or a football game, you can see bipolar behavior on a massive scale. When your team is winning, you are euphoric and you’re excited and you’re just on top of the world, and the moment your team falls behind, then all of a sudden everybody’s in despair. There’s bipolar behavior on a massive scale. That’s kind of a mild form of it, all within a short amount of time.

The moderate form of manic or even hypomanic phase one usually requires one or two days in length followed by restless sleep and depressive periods of equal length. This is stretched a little bit more. This can be more chronic where it reoccurs over and over again, but it’s still considered a more moderate form of that.

The more severe form of it has a manic or hypomanic phase that lasts from 7 to 10 days where a person is very euphoric, very active both day and night. Usually because of that they are deprived of sleep over those several days. That results in several days of severe depression after that’s over with. It’s associated also with a lot of suicidal thoughts. That’s the severe form of it.

How can you tell the difference between the two? Obviously unless you’re a medical doctor and you can run tests, you’re not going to really be able to fully identify as a biblical counselor whether or not there’s physiological causes behind it. It’s important that you have someone go to a qualified medical doctor to get a thorough examination. That’s really important. But let’s say setting that aside, and the person you’re counseling has already received a pretty thorough medical check-up and they’ve not been able to find anything that’s abnormal in their system or in their processing or there’s nothing that’s a part of their past that would lead to this, then let’s address this from a spiritual standpoint.

That’s what I usually say to people. Especially if a counselee says to me, “What if they’ve never discovered the physical cause of my problem?” Well, that’s true. Then that’s in God’s sovereignty too, so let’s address the spiritual side of this and then we’ll see how God can help you on that particular level. Usually, as time goes on, and their symptoms begin to improve by just addressing the spiritual perspective on this issue, then the issue of whether or not it’s a physical problem becomes less and less pressing for them.

Dale Johnson: You’ve delineated the difference between physical causality and even spiritual causality. We look at people who struggle with these symptoms and we’re still responsible for helping them. Even if we describe physical causes, it doesn’t mean that we as biblical counselors are obsolete and not necessary. That person still has to respond to whatever they’ve been diagnosed with from the doctor. They’re still responsible to respond to God appropriately. That brings in the question about medication, certainly. When we think about SSRIs, you mentioned selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and their value or their use to solve the problem. I think we can think about their use in a couple of different ways. Is someone who’s on SSRIs pursuing the most complete way to solve this problem of bipolar?

John Street: That is an excellent question. First, you’ve got to make sure as a good biblical counselor that you’re really dealing with a Christian. If you’re not, then we very commonly say that all counseling is pre-counseling until that person really comes to Christ because their heart is not going to be able to be responsive to the Word of God. But if this person is genuinely a Christian and there’s no physical disease symptomatology that’s behind it, then addressing that on a spiritual level is not just an option, it is necessary. It’s critical for them. They’ve got to be able to see that this is the way in which they are viewing life. Rather than viewing life from God’s perspective, they’re viewing life from their own perspective. As a result of that, they’re trying to deal with life in this way.

For example, a lot of the studies that have been done on bipolar disorder—one in particular from Harvard University—indicated that many people who begin to manifest these symptoms are people who have been under stress for a significant amount of time, and eventually that manifests itself in this kind of behavior. Stress is key here. That tells me as a counselor to ask, “How’s that person really dealing with stress?” For example Proverbs 14:32 talks about a tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones. When you take a look at the terminology that Solomon uses there, a tranquil heart is a heart that’s really at peace. That doesn’t mean that our environment is at peace, but our heart’s at peace. Then it goes on and says, “but passion.” The Hebrew word for passion there is a word that has to do with agitation. When a soul or a heart is agitated over a period of time, will there be certain physiological effects to that person because of that agitation? The answer is yes. Can it manifest itself in manic episodes of euphoria and then later on depression and sometimes severe depression? The answer is absolutely yes.

Just to give you an illustration of this: I have in my backyard an orange tree. It has some of the sweetest oranges on it you’ve ever had in your life. If I were to pick one of those oranges and I began to peel that orange, you can smell that sweet orange, you can look at it and see how deep orange it is. Now just in describing that, I know that some of the listeners are already salivating. They don’t have an orange in their environment, there’s nothing that they’re smelling. Just the mental description of that has caused physiological effects in their body.

The same thing is true with the way in which we think about life. Are there going to be physiological effects in the way that we’re dealing with life over a long period of time especially dealing with stress? The answer is categorically yes. Scripture tells us that a tranquil heart is going to bring life to the body. There’s going to be a confidence and stability to life. That doesn’t mean that the stress and their environment is gone. It’s just that they’re dealing with that stress while really trusting the Lord in the midst of it.

Dale Johnson: That is the work of biblical counseling. I wish we could spend a lot more time talking about this issue, it’s certainly a broad and big issue and one that we could say so much more about. The point I think, as we boil this down, is that we address a person holistically. We can’t allow a secular field to narrow down one aspect of a person and think that that’s addressing a person toward true and legitimate health. We have to begin to address some of the specific spiritual issues that arise and to see that there’s biblical hope to be found even when dealing with very complex issues like bipolar.

John Street: That’s exactly right. When a person becomes a very severely depressed, they may think suicidal thoughts, and one of the places that I go to when a person starts doing that is the book of Jonah. If there ever was a man who was given over to suicide, it was him. Here’s a man who is running from the Lord. He catches a boat heading in the opposite direction from Nineveh, because he doesn’t want to go there. The Ninevites are sworn enemies of Israel. He doesn’t want to go and preach the gospel to them. He gets on the boat and he’s perfectly at peace running away from the Lord. He falls asleep in the middle of the storm. Even the secular sailors are scared for their lives. He’s sound asleep and they have to go wake him up and bring him up. Rather than repenting, Jonah is suicidal. He so angry, Jonah is the ultimate racist. He doesn’t want to see God show His mercy to the Ninevites.

Later on in Jonah 4, when Jonah is confronted by the Lord, he says in verse 2, “I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”

I’ve had bipolar people say that kind of thing to me. Death is better to me than life—that was Jonah. But he was running from what the Lord really wanted. And then of course, you know the story on how God causes a gourd to grow up over top of him and shades him from the heat of the hot sun. After being in the belly of a big fish, and being bleached white because of the digestive juices there, his skin was especially sensitive to the sun and God has this gourd grow up over top of him. The Bible says, when God appointed the gourd to grow there, it says Jonah was “extremely happy about the plant.” That was his manic. The Hebrew terminology is very clear. He’s greatly greatly glad. There is his extreme euphoria going on. Then God causes the plant to die. After that, Jonah says in verse 8 “Death is better to me than life.” He goes back to suicide again.

How is he processing life? What is a person doing in relationship to the Lord in this way? This becomes really key.

Dale Johnson: John, thank you for a very helpful discussion as we talk about this issue of bipolar and the complex problems that people face. A beautiful thing we can trust in is that God in His Word has given us context and hope to deal with these very difficult and complex problems in life.

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via Biblical Answers for Bipolar Depression — Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

June—22 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Look when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his Master’s feet behind him?—2 Kings 6:32.

It is blessed to watch every dispensation of the Lord’s providence, as well as his grace; for Jesus is in all. So that when messengers of heaviness come, and with sad tidings, as in this instance of the prophet, if we shut to the door as they enter, and suffer them to open their commission, we shall hear the sound of their Master’s feet behind them, confirming every one. There are no events which can happen to a child of God, but they ought to be thus dealt with. They are like letters personally directed, and speak, in their whole contents, the causes for which the King’s post hath brought them; and they cannot be mistaken, if they are well read, and pondered over; for they point to the individual, as the prophet’s servant to Jehu. “To which of all us,” said Jehu, is this errand? The answer was, “To thee, O captain!” (2 Kings 9:5.) Now, my soul, learn hence how to receive all the messengers of thy Lord. Shut the door upon them, and detain them, until thou hast well studied, and perfectly understood their commission. O my Lord Jesus! in all thine afflicting providences, cause me to hear my Master’s feet following every one. “I know, Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in very faithfulness causeth me to be troubled.” I know, Lord, also, that they are graciously commissioned, and the issue must be blessed. And I know, Lord, that even during their exercise, however sharp, they will be sweetly sanctified, if, through thy blessing upon them, they cause my poor heart to cleave the closer to thee. So long, then, dear Lord, as thou causest me to entertain right conceptions of these soul-exercises, let me never shrink from shutting the door, that I may the more earnestly meditate upon thy messages; and if I see Christ in every one, and blessings in every one, sure I am the issue of no one will ever be doubtful. I shall then learn the same precious lesson that Job did, and through thy grace, like him, make it practical; and bless a taking God, as well as a giving God: for, let the Lord take what else he may from me, never, never will he take Christ from me; and while I have him, in him I shall possess all things. Oh! for grace so to receive all the sable messengers of my Lord, as to hear my Master’s feet behind them. Sure I am, that when their back covering is removed, I shall behold a fulness of blessings which they have brought with them under their garments. Like the angel to Peter in the prison, they may smite roughly on the side, but the very stroke will cause the chains to fall from my hands, and open the prison doors, to give liberty and joy. (Acts 12:7.)[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 190–191). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Why Is It Impossible for Christians to Lose Their Salvation? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

If we could lose our salvation, we would. From one of our Ask Ligonier events, John MacArthur invites Christians to find rest in the Savior who will never let them go.

To get real-time answers to your biblical and theological questions, just ask Ligonier.

via Why Is It Impossible for Christians to Lose Their Salvation? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

June 22d The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Do good … hoping for nothing again.—Luke 6:35.

LOVE never looks to see what it is going to get in return. I have generally found that those workers who are all the time looking to see how much they are going to get from the Lord are never satisfied. But love does its work and makes no bargain.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 106). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Wayne Root: IS AMERICA STARTING DOWN THE PATH OF NAZI GERMANY? — The Gateway Pundit

By Wayne Allyn Root

I cannot express how truly sad writing this OpEd has made me. But I’m a patriotic American. And I’m an American Jew. I have studied the beginnings of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. And I can clearly see parallels with what is happening in America today. Thank God we have President Trump (at the moment) keeping us from heading too far down this tragic path. But I must warn my fellow Americans, we are clearly headed in a frightening and tragic direction.

I know I’m not alone. A recent poll shows 80% of the American public believes things are spiraling “out of control.”

I never thought I’d write the following words about living in America: Those caught in the middle of the recent so-called “protests” in American cities, especially those seeing their businesses looted, burned, or destroyed; police stations burned or seized by radicals; or the downtown business district of their town taken hostage by thugs; finally understand how Jews felt in Nazi Germany on the infamous night of “Kristallnacht.”

This is exactly how it started in Nazi Germany all those decades ago:

  • Windows shattered, stores looted and burned.
  • “Blackshirts” roaming the streets demanding people kneel at their feet.
  • Censorship, book burning, snitching by neighbors and co-workers.
  • Media propaganda and manipulation.
  • The police and “good people” doing nothing to help.

Amazingly, it’s happening here today. And far too many political leaders, the media, and so-called “good people” are telling us it is acceptable.

All of us are experiencing some aspect of this dark period in America’s history…

  • Many of us don’t fly an American flag at our homes, or dare put a Trump sign on our lawn, or in our store window, or a Trump bumper sticker on our car, for fear of violence or vandalism.
  • Turn on the TV. We all see supposedly rational and respected people calling us “racist” solely because of the color of our skin.
  • Our free speech is monitored, censored, shadow-banned, or outright banned by those who control social media.
  • Our great American history is being destroyed, denigrated or erased. Radicals are toppling the statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and even abolitionists- heroes who bravely fought against slavery.
  • A black NASCAR driver can wrap his car with “Black Lives Matter,” but an NBA announcer loses his job for saying “All Lives Matter” and a Philadelphia newspaper editor is forced to resign for writing “Buildings Matter, Too” as his city burned.
  • NFL superstar quarterback Drew Brees was forced to beg for forgiveness for saying he will always stand for our national anthem. College football coach Mike Gundy was forced to beg for forgiveness from his players for wearing a T-Shirt with the name of a conservative TV network (OAN).
  • Demented “Never Trumper” Rick Wilson tried to destroy Domino’s Pizza for a corporate tweet thanking a prominent Trump supporter for a compliment about their pizza…in 2012…before Trump ever even got into politics.

When did America lose our freedom of speech and expression? When did we decide to erase all of our history? Isn’t that what ISIS does?

OPEN YOUR EYES. Study what happened in Nazi Germany began during the infamous night known as “Kristallnacht.” The night of November 9-10, 1938 marked the beginning of the attack on Jews by the Nazis. Jewish homes and businesses were looted, desecrated and burned while the police and so-called “good people” stood by and watched. Nazis laughed and cheered as books were burned.

The name ‘Kristallnacht’ refers to the litter of broken glass…exactly the same as what we saw take place in major American cities over the past few weeks. How did they compare? See the blocks of boarded up businesses all over Manhattan. See 700 buildings burned in Minneapolis. See downtown Seattle run by a “warlord” and armed domestic terrorists with AR-15s.

Today Black Lives Matter protesters in Paris chant “Dirty Jews!” The Marxist Mayor of New York City marches with tens of thousands at a “Black Trans Lives Matter” event in Brooklyn, while ordering parks and playgrounds for orthodox Jewish children welded shut.

Today’s version of book burning is Amazon banning “Gone With The Wind”…Google blanking out pictures of Winston Churchill…Hollywood cancelling “Cops” and “Live PD.”

Yes, all that happened in just the last few days. You may not have heard about it because it was scarcely reported by the mainstream propaganda media.

Never forget the famous Holocaust lesson…After they have come for me, they will come for you, and there will be no one left to stop them.

Trust me, they’re coming for all of us.

They won’t stop. This will only get worse. Unless we draw a line in the sand, stand up to the bullies, fight them tooth and nail, and stop them now, before this gets out of control.

Wayne Allyn Root is the host of the nationally-syndicated radio show, “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” on USA Radio Network from 6 PM to 9 PM EST M-F. Listen live at http://usaradio.com/wayne-allyn-root/

via Wayne Root: IS AMERICA STARTING DOWN THE PATH OF NAZI GERMANY? — The Gateway Pundit

Good News: Coronavirus Is Now Much Weaker, Could Disappear Without Vaccine, Top Doctor Says — Faithwire

While the summer heat and unceasing protests and riots have seemingly melted away our national fixation with the coronavirus, it appears the infection has grown significantly weaker and could disappear without a vaccination.

That is according to Dr. Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in Italy, which was an early epicenter for the virus. The patients who would likely have died from a COVID-19 infection two or three months ago, he explained, are now recovering.

“The clinical impression I have is that the virus is changing in severity,” he told The Telegraph, likening the virus, which originated last year in Wuhan, China, to “an aggressive tiger” that is now “like a wild cat.”

“Even elderly patients, aged 80 or 90, are now sitting up in bed and they are breathing without help,” Bassetti added. “The same patients would have died in two or three days before.”

He said the makeup of the novel virus was “completely different” in March and April than it is today, noting sick people were traveling to the hospital “with a very difficult to manage illness and they needed oxygen and ventilation, some developed pneumonia.”

Within four weeks, though, the virus’ patterns have “completely changed.”

The doctor attributed the major shift to genetic mutations, which is common for viruses like COVID-19. The measures taken across the country, he noted, helped mitigate the most disastrous outcomes.

“I think the virus has mutated because our immune system reacts to the virus and we have a lower viral load now due to the lockdown, mask-wearing, social distancing,” Bassetti said.

He’s so confident in his understanding, Bassetti believes the virus could actually disappear entirely without the introduction of a vaccination.

“Yes, probably it could go away completely without a vaccine,” he told the U.K. outlet. “We have fewer and fewer people infected and it could end up with the virus dying out.”

Bassetti’s analysis comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continues to go up, particularly among younger Americans, who are venturing out and take more risks, while the death rate is steadily declining.

Scott Gottlieb, MD

@ScottGottliebMD

New deaths from Covid continue to fall, both nationally and excluding hard hit New York area; among other things a reflection of improvements in medical care, and more diagnosed cases occurring in milder disease and younger patients as older individuals protect themselves better.

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via Good News: Coronavirus Is Now Much Weaker, Could Disappear Without Vaccine, Top Doctor Says — Faithwire

May/June 2020 issue — Reformed Perspective

WHAT’S INSIDE: When C.S. Lewis was an atheist / Why I’m religious, not just spiritual / Live-streaming: is it real corporate worship? / Solomon on the pull of pornography / A 4 p.m. English class and the Problem of Evil / Racism is wrong… / Free movies / Repentance: What does it look like? / The defenestration of Prague / Fiction for young readers / Why free enterprise makes bread in abundance / More Canadians condemn plastic straws than abortion / Black Lives Matters isn’t always about black lives / Christianity explains everything…even Reincarnation / and more…

Click the cover to view or right-click to download the PDF

Read More!

via May/June 2020 issue — Reformed Perspective

June 22, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Mid-Day Snapshot · June 22, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Desecrating and Whitewashing Our History

Rebutting the drive to rewrite history for the political ends of modern leftist radicals.


The Kerfuffle Over Trump’s Tulsa Rally

After touting a million ticket requests, just 6,200 showed up. Why?


In Racial Reconciliation, What Matters Is Truth

Black Lives Matter has roots in radical Marxism and “fundamental transformation.”


SCOTUS-Enabled Totalitarianism

The Court’s decision on “sex” opened the door for the evisceration of the women’s movement.


Senate Dems Target Religious Liberty

Congressional Democrats demand a vote on the dubious Equality Act.


It Was Demo/Russian Social-Media Collusion?

Who did Russian social-media advertising really benefit in the last campaign?


Video: Young Americans Speak Out Against Violence & Flag Burning

These young patriots can see the forest for the trees. There is hope for humanity.


Video: What Leftists Won’t Tell You About the History of Slavery

This overview proves that, contrary to Tim Kaine’s claim, America did not create slavery.


Video: Seattle’s Armed Camp Run by Warlords Best Ad for Progressivism

Bill Whittle says the best way to demonstrate the consequences of progressivism and socialism is to let them have it.


Humor: Official CHAZ Tourism Video

Welcome to CHAZ — this is the future leftists want!



TODAY’S OPINION

RYAN T. ANDERSON
Justice Gorsuch’s Misguided Sex Discrimination Opinion Fails Logic Test
HANS VON SPAKOVSKY
An All-Mail Election Would Be Dangerous for Democracy
JEFF JACOBY
The Constitution Says No to DC Statehood
MATTHEW CONTINETTI
The Seattle Soviet
GARY BAUER
Attacking America
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday News Executive Summary

DACA do-over, SDNY tumult, Bolton’s book gets the green light, and more.


Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Josh Hammer, Mike Pompeo, John Kerry, and more.



TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Israel-US defense tech cooperation may soon get a big congressional boost
A bipartisan effort is making its way through the US Congress that could see new support for Israel-US defense cooperation. It is a unique effort that now includes both a bill in the Senate called the United States-Israel Military Capability Act of 2020 and H.R. 7148 in the House of Representatives “to establish a US-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group.”

Israel vows to defend interests in Aphrodite-Yishai gas field dispute
Israel will insist on its rights to part of the Aphrodite-Yishai gas field in the Mediterranean as a matter of principle, an Israeli diplomatic source said on Monday, the day before Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides was set to pay a snap visit to Israel. Developing Aphrodite-Yishai is a matter of preserving Israel’s maritime borders, though it is not an urgent matter for Israel economically, the source explained.

Kochavi: Iran is the most dangerous country in the Middle East
Despite its distance from Israel, Iran is the most dangerous country in the Middle East, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said Sunday evening. “Iran has become the most dangerous country in the Middle East,” Kohavi says at a ceremony marking Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate, an entirely new position on the General Staff, which will focus principally on Israel’s fight against Iran.

Turkey’s airstrikes in northern Iraq threaten Christian villages
Civilians have been killed and villagers threatened by Turkey’s widespread airstrikes in northern Iraq. Ankara claims to be fighting “terrorists” but has used disproportionate force. Activists fear that Christian minorities, already threatened by Turkey’s invasions of northern Syria, will have to flee again.

Teddy Roosevelt Statue To Be Removed From Museum of Natural History
A statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt that has stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan for 80 years will be removed amid ongoing protests for racial justice, officials said Sunday. The bronze monument—which features Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and a Black man—has been at the front entrance of the museum since 1940.

Inflation dog may finally bark, investors bet
Gold, forests, property stocks, inflation-linked bonds – these are just some of the assets investors are pouring money into on the view that the recent explosion of government spending and central bank stimulus may finally rouse inflation from its decade-long slumber. With the world economy forecast to shrink 6% this year, it may seem like a strange time to fret about inflation.

Georgia House passes bill that could abolish police department after Arbery shooting
The Georgia House backed an effort Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department following its handling of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. The House voted 152-3 to allow voters to decide to eliminate their county police departments, moving authority to county sheriff’s offices. There are several county police departments in Georgia, including in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

US China cold war ‘bigger global threat than virus’
The deepening cold war between the US and China will be a bigger worry for the world than coronavirus, according to influential economist Jeffrey Sachs. The world is headed for a period of “massive disruption without any leadership” in the aftermath of the pandemic, he told the BBC. The divide between the two superpowers will exacerbate this, he warned.

Police deploy water cannon at The Hague’s anti-lockdown protest
Hundreds of people were arrested in The Hague in the Netherlands on Sunday, after a peaceful protest in the city turned violent. Mayor Johan Remkes allowed demonstrators to gather at 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday after originally banning the anti-lockdown protest amid fears that people would not observe social distancing.

Coronavirus: New Covid-19 tracing tool appears on smartphones
A Covid-19 tracing software tool has appeared in the settings of both Android phones and iPhones as part of an update of their operating systems. The “exposure notification” tool is switched off by default, and is not a tracing app itself. It enables an app to run in the background while still using Bluetooth.

Iran’s currency reaches lowest value ever against the dollar
Iran’s currency on Monday dropped to its lowest value ever against the dollar and officials warned Iranian exporters to bring their foreign earnings home from abroad. Money exchange shops briefly traded the Iranian rial 200,000 for a dollar and later in the day, the currency was valued at 198,000 rials against the dollar.

China FURY: World on brink as India taunts Beijing over secret deaths
“If 20 were martyred on our side, then there would have been at least double the casualties on their side,” V.K.Singh, the minister for roads and transport, told TV News24 in an interview broadcast late on Saturday.

Report: US administration to hold ‘dramatic’ meeting on Israel’s sovereignty bid
Senior U.S. administration officials will hold a meeting this week on whether or not to give the green light to the Israeli government to apply sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria, according to Israeli media reports.

Indian Troops Given ‘Fire At Will’ Orders Against Chinese Troops If Threatened, Enraging Beijing
Beijing is enraged over current widespread Indian media reports that the Indian Army has been given orders to shoot or use “complete freedom of action” in hostile engagements with Chinese PLA forces along the disputed Ladakh border region.

Israel’s New “Secret” Friend in Yemen
As Port of Aden declares autonomy from Yemen, it also casts a friendly eye on the Jewish state.

Backlash surges against Democrat control of cities
an African American female street preacher in Seattle’s CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) explaining to a white woman (presumably a liberal Democrat) why she would never vote for Joe Biden. Put Joe Biden in there. Watch what happens. These Democrats, and I’m sorry to say this and I’m not trying to be racist, but they hate black people. These are the same people who fought to keep slavery in. These are the same people who built the KKK. The Republican Party is the party of the blacks.”

Earthquake strikes Oklahoma after Tulsa Trump rally, shaking felt around state
An earthquake in northern Oklahoma on Saturday night rattled the entire state, including in Tulsa just after President Trump finished his return to the campaign trail before thousands of supporters.

The Only Way to Stop Socialism is to Decentralize the Internet
Power and politics are intertwined in the monopolistic affairs of Big Tech titans who rely on the social sanction that comes from the progressive side of politics to maintain and expand their holdings. The conflation of progressive politics with social utility has made censorship into the price of monopoly. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the pressures Mark Zuckerberg is facing in America and the European Union to silence political dissent from the right or forfeit his leadership role at Facebook. Big tech is indivisible from big government. Our government is as democratic as our internet.

‘Plague’ of Locusts goes Global Hitting Argentina: ‘An End of Days Prophecy’ says Rabbi
Locusts are currently swarming on three continents as an outbreak of the vermin has now spread from Paraguay into Argentina. The National Service of Agri-Food Health and Quality (SENASA) said the swarm, estimated at 40 million creatures, was passing through the province of Chaco in northern Argentina on Tuesday. SENASA reported that the swarms are composed of the Schistocerca Cancellata species of locust in the subfamily Cyrtacanthacridinae which is different than the desert locust currently devastating Africa and southwest Asia.

Jerusalem: Satanists get Cold Feet, Cancel Own ‘New World Order’ Event during Solar Eclipse
“Greetings citizens of Jerusalem,” the invitation on Facebook read in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. “We are the Disciples of Lucifer. And we are here to fulfill the Prophecies of Revelations and start the foundation of forming a One World Government. We are calling on every citizen of Earth to stand in support of the formation of The One World Government. So on June 21st, 2020 we’re calling on every citizen of the Earth to start marches all over the place in support of forming a one-world government. “Lucifer is Love Lucifer is Life”

Annular Eclipse over Temple Mount: A Warning to the Nations Plotting Against Israel
The first solar eclipse of 2020, a rare annular eclipse, appeared in the sky over Israel on Sunday, precisely coinciding with the anniversary of the day that Moses sent 12 spies into the Land of Israel. Israel experienced a very brief ring of fire eclipse last December during the holiday of Hannukah.

TV News Host Claims He Wasn’t Hired For ABC Job Just Because He’s White
In America, we used to believe in a meritocratic society, where the most qualified person would get a job regardless of their skin color, religion or any other immutable characteristics. At least we used to. Over at ABC News, management appears to have rejected this principle. According to Elex Michaelson, a former employee of Los Angeles’ KABC-TV who currently works at KTTV-TV in the city, he was rejected for a job at ABC because of his skin color.

Short-lived subtropical storm could develop in the western Atlantic
The tropical Atlantic has been rather quiet recently, but that could be changing on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center continued to track an area of disturbed weather in the western Atlantic that could — briefly — become a subtropical depression or storm. The hurricane center raised the probability of development from 10 percent early today to 40 percent for the system, which was located about 300 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., on Sunday afternoon.

Iceland: 6.0-magnitude earthquake hits off Siglufjörður on north coast June 21
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes north-north-east of Siglufjörður (Northeastern region) off Iceland’s northern coast on June 21; no immediate reports of damages or casualties.

The Real Mob Behind The Street Mobs
Completely missed in the Tyranny of Our Times—The Real Mob Behind The Street Mobs. Though the Democrat-complicit media will never tell you, the burning of America by anarchists raging freely out on the streets, is a carefully orchestrated major distraction for what Barack and Michelle Obama and their celebrity friends are well on their way to doing: Stealing Election 2020 by forcing an unprecedented complete MAIL-IN Vote on a largely unsuspecting American electorate.

Strong and shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Iceland, ongoing intense earthquake swarm
A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit near the coast of northern Iceland at 19:07 UTC on June 21, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.7 at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles). The quake is a part of an ongoing intense earthquake swarm, with more than 2 000 earthquakes since June 19.

Resist Or Submit
The objective of the coronavirus response and the riots…During the coronavirus hoax and the George Floyd riots, most people kept their comments and criticisms to private conversations and internet postings. They didn’t respond to forced lockdowns or violence in the streets with violence of their own, although many of them have the ability and capacity to do so. Their restraint has been the primary force keeping whatever remains of the peace in this country.

Ahead Of International Identity Day, Ghana Parliament Votes To Change Their Constitution To Make Biometric ‘Ghana Card’ Only Legal Means Of ID
It has been standard practice for decades now for the New World Order elites to test things like vaccines and technology in Third World Countries before rolling them out to the rest of the world. Africa is usually where Bill Gates tests his witches brew vaccinations, and today we see that Ghana is the new hub of technology. After passing a constitutional amendment, the biometric Ghana Card will be the only acceptable means of identification for things like voting. After this is done in Africa, where do you think it will land next?

The Failure to Understand the Psychology of the Chinese Is Leading to the Destruction of the United States
In the past 24 months, I have immersed myself in Chinese culture, government ideology and military strategy. What I have learned is frightening. We are facing an enemy that is totally amoral. They have no conscience about widespread death and destruction. The CHICOM Party is the posterchild for the ends justifies the means. Government is the CHICOMS substitute for God. Anything, and I mean anything done in favor of advancing the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) is divinely inspired.

Sisi’s ‘Declaration Of War’ Puts Egypt & Turkey On War Footing Over Libya | Zero Hedge
Egypt and Turkey have long been on opposite sides of the raging battle for the fate of Libya, with Turkey providing major military support and backing for the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and with Egypt backing Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

‘Luciferian March For One World Government’: Satanic Group Organizes Nationwide Rallies Promoting New World Order
A Satanic group is organizing an international march on behalf of The Fallen One to call for the globalists’ dream of a One World Government.

At least 17 people injured in multiple shootings overnight in NYC
One man was killed and at least 17 other people injured in 13 unrelated shootings across the Big Apple during a troubling 12-hour span, police said Saturday.

Black Lives Matter And ANTIFA Rioters Continue To Tear Down Statues Of American Heros Like Francis Scott Key And Union General Ulysses S. Grant
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the riots being staged by Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA are geared to one purpose and one purpose only – the destruction of America. On Friday, as blacks celebrated Juneteenth, Black Lives Matter was busy destroying the statue dedicated to the man who smashed the Confederate Army, and helped win the war against slavery, Ulysses S. Grant. Then, just for fun, they tore down the statue dedicated to Francis Scott Key. What was his crime? He wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner. Now do you see where all this is headed?

Judge says city can ban churches to keep downtown ‘fun’ 
The Pacific Justice Institute is appealing a federal judge’s ruling allowing Salinas, California, to keep churches out of its downtown in order to have a “fun” street there.


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

Revisiting Revoice — Conservative Resurgence: Voices

These articles appeared as a 5-part series at Founders Ministries:

Part 1: The Need For This Discussion

Part 2: Same-Sex Attraction in Creation

Part 3: Same-Sex Attraction in the Fall

Part 4: Same-Sex Attraction in Redemption

Part 5: Same-Sex Attraction in Sanctification

via Revisiting Revoice — Conservative Resurgence: Voices

‘Social Justice Is Not the Same as Biblical Justice’: Professor Issues Warning to Christians — CBN News feeds

ABOVE: CBN News anchor Mark Martin talks with Faithwire Managing Editor Dan Andros about Voddie Bauchman’s comments about social justice, and the Black Lives Matter movement.  Faithwire’s “Faith vs Culture” airs Monday night at 9:30 on the CBN News Channel

Voddie Baucham, an American who is currently Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, appeared on The Glenn Beck Radio program Thursday to explain the social justice and Black Lives Matter movement and warn believers of it’s often “anti-Christian” message.

Baucham also explained why it is that people seem to be speaking two different languages when it comes to discussions we’re having after the George Floyd murder.

Baucham is one of the more potent Christian speakers today and has addressed the issue of social justice at length for well over a decade. He believes it runs in direct opposition to the Christian Gospel message.

Beck and Baucham began by discussing Gnosticism, which comes from the Greek term “gnosis” or “having secret knowledge.” Baucham coined the phrase “ethnic Gnosticism” which, as Josh Buice explains, is “the idea that black people (and other ethnicities including white people as well) have the ability to possess secret knowledge of motive, intent, and goals in specific situations such as the recent cases involving police officers and black men.”

This is critical, Baucham explains because he believes it runs counter to the Christian Gospel.

“We have to understand that our knowledge comes from God, that God is the source of all knowledge,” Baucham said. “We understand that the Scriptures are sufficient. And we go to the Bible, to understand truth. And we look at the world — the way the world is… So as Christians, these are the ways that we seek truth. Not through special individuals, who have special knowledge.”

Baucham explained how many social justice leaders today have “likened this movement, this sort of anti-racism movement, to a religion. Jim Wallace wrote a book, and the title of his book was, ‘America’s Original Sin.’ So, again, there are religious connotations there.”

“And what worries me about this, is that there are real problems. There are — there’s real racism.  There’s real evil.  There’s real hatred.  There’s real injustice. And the answer to those things, is a God who saves, through Jesus Christ. That’s our message as Christians, right? Or at least it used to be.”

“Now the message is — the answer is something other than than the forgiveness that we find, through God in Christ. Now the answer is, somehow you have to do enough penance. And it’s been interesting to watch scenes of white people, literally kneeling and bowing and genuflecting, in repentance, you know, over their sin of — of white privilege. Or, you know, bias. Or conscious bias. Or unconscious bias. Or whatever else.”

Baucham says this is precisely why the social justice movement, while well-intentioned (by most) is ultimately problematic.

“And the problem is, that this religion is promising salvation, somewhere other than God,” Baucham said. “And unfortunately, there are many Christians, who are sounding like they’re satisfied with this.”

Baucham says that there’s more to the social justice movement than what Christians typically think of justice. “Social justice is about redistributing resources and opportunities,” Baucham explained. “Social justice is not the same as the biblical idea and the biblical concept of justice. You also need to understand that social justice is built on the back of critical theory. Which is all about the idea of, you know, hegemony and power structures.”

“Now the message is — the answer is something other than than the forgiveness that we find, through God in Christ. Now the answer is, somehow you have to do enough penance. And it’s been interesting to watch scenes of white people, literally kneeling and bowing and genuflecting, in repentance, you know, over their sin of — of white privilege. Or, you know, bias. Or conscious bias. Or unconscious bias. Or whatever else.” Baucham says this is precisely why the social justice movement, while well-intentioned (by most) is ultimately problematic. “And the problem is, that this religion is promising salvation, somewhere other than God,” Baucham said. “And unfortunately, there are many Christians, who are sounding like they’re satisfied with this.” Baucham says that there’s more to the social justice movement than what Christians typically think of justice. “Social justice is about redistributing resources and opportunities,” Baucham explained. “Social justice is not the same as the biblical idea and the biblical concept of justice. You also need to understand that social justice is built on the back of critical theory. Which is all about the idea of, you know, hegemony and power structures.”

Beck described this as “an upside down world from what God wants” saying that an “earmark of anything that I think would be evil, would be, there is no forgiveness.” Beck went on to say that people seem to “want to get along” and help the situation, but what’s happening now is people are expressing sympathy and wanting to help, but they’re also being accused of causing all the pain in the first place. “That doesn’t make any sense to me,” Beck concluded.

“I think you hit on something that is very important when you say, that doesn’t make any sense to me,” Baucham began. “I think what’s happening is, people are having two different discussions.  And they don’t realize they’re having two different discussions.

“People look at — for example, like the George Floyd death and they see this tragic situation. And on the one hand, there’s this universal condemnation, of what happened.

“But then what happens, people are explaining this, in two different ways. There are some people saying, ‘see, there is the racism’.  And there are other people who are saying, ‘wait, you know, there are four officers. Two black.  One Asian. The officer that did this, how do we just declare that this is racism?’” Baucham explained.

“And what that’s an example of is these two competing worldviews. One worldview, that says, racism is individual. It’s an individual heart issue. And that’s the world where we deal with the individual heart issue, with the message of the gospel. But then there’s another worldview that says, no, no, no, no. Regardless of individual heart issue, this is a structural and institutional issue.”

Baucham added, “Therefore, and this is what boggles people’s minds.  Sometimes they’ll say, it doesn’t matter what the facts of the case are. This is evidence of structural and institutional racism.  And what that’s doing is it’s driving people apart.  Because we’re having two different conversations, that doesn’t make sense to each other.”

Baucham says he’s been attacked for speaking his views on the social justice movement, which he says is frustrating.

“When you talk about it from the big picture, people tend to think, oh, you just don’t have empathy. You just don’t have compassion. You just don’t understand how bad it is,” an incredulous Baucham said. “Me. Who grew up in drug infested, gang infested, Los Angeles, born in 1969. Grew up during the crack era. Grew up during the drug wars with a Buddhist mother.  I wasn’t raised in Christianity.  Never heard the gospel, until I got to university. And so for people to try to marginalize me, because I don’t understand — I’ve been pulled over by the cops. I’ve been down on the sidewalk.  Because I was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know these kinds of things happen.  And yet, I still say, that these ideologies are poisonous.”

Baucham says messages that point to a salvation other than the Gospel of Jesus “have to be confronted” because “these ideologies actually undermine our message, as Christians. I’m concerned about people.  I’m concerned about justice. I’m concerned about souls. And I know where this stuff comes from. I understand where it comes from. And I am not willing to lay down my Bible and have anyone force me to agree with certain things, simply because, if I don’t, they will — you know, they will somehow label me and call me names.”

For emphasis, Baucham says “I couldn’t care less about people labeling me and calling me names. I know who I am before God. My conscience is clear.”

Baucham went on to explain that, as an expat in a foreign country, there are “two things I know” about the world. The first is “black people in America are the freest and most prosperous black people in the world. Period. Bar none.”

The second, “People outside of America, just think that we are the most oppressed people in the world. And people actually think that things like George Floyd are happening every day.  That they’re not an anomaly.  But that they’re commonplace. It sickens me. And it saddens me.  But also the reputation that black people have, that somehow we are weak and impotent.  And that we can’t do or be anything, unless white people do it for us. Which, by the way, is kind of racist. I — I believe that — I am a descendant of some of the strongest people in the history of the world.”

Baucham wondered why a people strong enough to overcome slavery would “bowing and scraping, like we need someone to do something for us.”

“Our individuality is at stake.  Our self-pride is at stake.  And our trust in about to do as the answer and solution to our problems is at stake.”

via ‘Social Justice Is Not the Same as Biblical Justice’: Professor Issues Warning to Christians — CBN News feeds

Republicans block Equality Act bill that makes Christian moral values a crime

WINTERY KNIGHT

22 states put sexual orientation and gender identity above the Bible 22 states put sexual orientation and gender identity above the Bible

Regular readers will be familiar with the cases where gay activists went after bed and breakfasts, wedding venues, photographers, florists, bakers, etc. who refused to participate in celebrations of same-sex marriage. Christians oppose same-sex marriage, because the leader of the religion defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. However, religious liberty wasn’t a defense in these cases, because these states had passed “SOGI laws”, which made it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Equality Act is a federal bill advanced by Democrats that forces all the states without SOGI laws to allow gay activists to weaponize government against Christians, forcing them to participate in non-Christian celebrations of gay activism.

Here’s the story from CBN about what happened to the Equality Act in the Senate:

Senate Democrats were emboldened by Monday’s…

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