Daily Archives: August 26, 2020

2020 Election Nightmare: Armies Of Lawyers Are Ready To Fight A Long Legal Battle Over The Election Results — End Of The American Dream

Armies of lawyers have already been recruited, reasons to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election results are already being floated, and top politicians on both sides are already urging a fight to the bitter end.  Initially, it appeared that we might avoid this sort of a scenario.  For several months Joe Biden had a large lead in all of the major national polls, and some people were even discussing the possibility of a “landslide”.  But now the polls are tightening up, and this is especially true in the swing states which will ultimately decide the outcome of the election.  If the race is quite tight once we get to election night, it is likely that neither side will be willing to concede until every conceivable legal challenge is completely exhausted.  That could mean an extended legal battle lasting for months, and that is something that none of us should want to see.

But it appears that such an outcome could be quite likely.  In fact, former FEC chair Michael Toner is warning that the 2020 election could potentially be “Bush v. Gore on steroids”

The November presidential election is poised to become the most litigated vote in recent U.S. history, according to a former federal election honcho.

“The 2020 election might be Bush v. Gore on steroids,” said Michael Toner, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and former chief counsel at the Republican National Committee.

I don’t like the sound of that at all.

When that election happened, I was actually going to law school down in Florida, and it was complete and utter madness.

In the end, Bush’s legal team was superior to Gore’s, and that may have made all the difference.

This time around, both sides have recruited “armies of volunteer lawyers” in the key battleground states…

President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden’s campaigns have enlisted armies of volunteer lawyers in battleground states and swing districts to fight out close calls on Election Day. Both sides have already filed multiple lawsuits.

The Biden campaign has been particularly aggressive in rounding up lawyers.  At one point, Biden bragged that his campaign had already recruited 600 lawyers

Joe Biden’s campaign is assembling hundreds of lawyers nationwide to monitor potential voting issues as part of its extensive voter protection efforts heading into the general election.

Speaking at a virtual fundraiser Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee said his team has organized 600 lawyers and others across the country to “try to figure out why the chicanery is likely to take place.”

One of the fastest ways to ruin anything is to get lawyers involved.

I was once a lawyer, and so I know what I am talking about.

And I have a feeling that this election will end up in the hands of the lawyers after election night.  I do not believe that either side is going to be willing to concede if the results are remotely close, and earlier this week Hillary Clinton actually said that Joe Biden should not concede “under any circumstances”

“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton said in an excerpt posted Tuesday.

That certainly sounds quite ominous.

On multiple occasions, President Trump has also indicated that he may challenge the outcome of the election, and one of the biggest things that he is concerned about are mail-in ballots.  The following is what he told “Fox and Friends” not too long ago

“Now with that being said, I have to tell you that if you go with this universal mail-in, where you send millions of votes–in California tens of millions of ballots being sent to everybody and their dogs, okay? Dogs are getting them, okay? People that have been dead for 25 years are getting them–you have to see what’s happening. Then you’re never going to have a fair election.”

In this case, I think that Trump has a very legitimate point.

In some states, millions of mail-in ballots are being sent out to voters whether the voters request them or not.  That opens a door for all sorts of potential vote fraud, and this is something that alarms me greatly.

In this election, every single vote in the battleground states is going to matter, and the integrity of the voting process is of paramount importance.

At first, Joe Biden had built up impressive leads in many of the most important swing states, but now those leads are deteriorating.  Just check out the following numbers that pollster Frank Luntz just posted on Twitter

Swing state polls on August 25th:

Pennsylvania

• 2016: Hillary +9.2

• 2020: Biden +5.7

Michigan

• 2016: Hillary +9.0

• 2020: Biden +6.7

Wisconsin

• 2016: Hillary +11.5

• 2020: Biden +6.5

Florida

• 2016: Hillary +2.9

• 2020: Biden +4.8

Those numbers should definitely set off alarm bells for Democrats.

And today Real Clear Politics has posted four new battleground polls that show how much the race is shifting.  One poll shows Biden up by only 3 points in Florida, another has him up by only 2 points in Arizona, a third has him up by only 1 point in North Carolina, and a fourth poll actually has Trump up by 1 point in Wisconsin.

Trump was definitely not supposed to win Wisconsin this time around, and so that should definitely be freaking Democrats out.

So why are the polls moving in Trump’s direction?

Well, it appears that all of the violence that is going on around the country is backfiring on the Democrats in a major way.  Trump is perceived to be the “law and order candidate”, and Biden is making a massive political mistake by not strongly speaking out against the riots that are happening on a nightly basis.

According to one recent survey, 59 percent of voters say that violent crime is a “very important” factor in deciding who to vote for…

The bedlam is now reflected in the polls, with Americans becoming increasingly concerned about law and order.

“A sizable 59 percent of voters in the survey indicate that violent crime, which President Trump has framed as happening in Democrat-controlled cities, is a ‘very important’ factor in casting their ballots,” writes Rusty Weiss.

And Zogby Analytics has just released new numbers that seem to show that the chaos in our major cities is helping Trump significantly…

“As violent protests and violent crime continue to spike in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee New York City, and Portland, Trump’s standing with urban voters in large cities (59% at least somewhat approved/38% at least somewhat disapproved), and small cities (51% at least somewhat approved/49% at least somewhat disapproved) continues to climb higher.”

It truly is ironic what we are witnessing.  All of these protesters think that they are promoting the cause of “social justice”, but their actions may be giving us four more years of Trump instead.

At this point, even CNN’s Don Lemon is realizing that Joe Biden’s inaction on these issues is moving the poll numbers

“That’s all you. This is where I come in. We’ll get to that. But when you said it’s too little too late, I don’t know about that. I mean, we still have a lot of time left until election day. I do think that this —what you said was happening in Kenosha is a Rorschach test for the entire country. I think this is a blind spot for Democrats. I think Democrats are hoping this will go away, and it’s not going to go away.”

I think maybe Joe Biden may be afraid to do it. I’m not sure. Maybe he won’t, maybe he is. He’s got to address it. He’s got to come out and talk about it. He’s got to do a speech like Barack Obama did about race. He’s got to come out and tell people that he’s going to deal with the issue of police reform in this country, and that’s what’s happening now is happening under Donald Trump’s watch. When he is the president, Kamala Harris is the vice president. Then they will take care of this problem. But guess what? The rioting has to stop. Chris, as you know, and I know it’s showing up in the polling, it’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking.

If the election had been held a couple of months ago, Joe Biden probably would have won by a large margin, but now everything is changing.

At this point it appears that we could have a very tight election with legal challenges that could last for months afterwards.  If such a scenario plays out, that could definitely set the stage for the sort of civil unrest that I warn about in my new book.

Could you imagine the national temper tantrum that we would see if Trump has a very, very narrow lead after election night?

Of course the left will pull out every legal trick in the book in order to try to deny Trump a second term, and Trump has his own army of lawyers ready to fight back.

I have a feeling that things are going to get very, very ugly, and that is extremely unfortunate.

2020 Election Nightmare: Armies Of Lawyers Are Ready To Fight A Long Legal Battle Over The Election Results — End Of The American Dream

This Is What Happens To Tyrants Who Think They Are Gods — CultureWatch

God will not allow wicked rulers to flourish:

We have had plenty of leaders, rulers and politicians who think that they are gods, and they have acted with evil and reckless disregard for the masses, and for the one true God. We especially think of tyrannical rulers who have sought to persecute and stamp out the people of God over the centuries.

I mentioned in a recent article how Julius Caesar made himself “dictator for life,” as he sought total control. More recently we have had monstrous tyrants such as Stalin and Hitler. And now we have terrible thugs like Kim Jung Un (although it is said he is now in a coma, and his sister – who is just as tyrannical as he is – is now in charge).

And in the West we also have rulers who want to get all the power and control that they can. Here in Australia for example we have ‘benign dictators’ such as Dan Andrews seeking various power grabs. Thankfully many are now warning about their various moves against democracy and freedom. Still, we must always be on guard against those who so greatly lust after power.

But the good news is, all these tyrants do – and will – come to an end. The Bible is full of examples of such dictators and how they have eventually been stripped of their powers, be it by death, political coups, or some other means. And Scripture also contains many strong words against evil, arrogant and tyrannical rulers. We read plenty about this in the prophetic books in the Old Testament.

One can argue that the book of Daniel is all about such worldly powers and their temporal nature, compared to the one true eternal ruler: God Almighty. The first four chapters of Daniel are about the mega-powerful Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar.

Here I want to focus on chapter 4. There we read about how he had a second dream, how Daniel interpreted it, how it was fulfilled in the king’s downfall and humiliation, and how he was later restored. Daniel 4:28-37 tells us about the fall and restoration of Nebuchadnezzar:

All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”
At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

This account should give us all hope. It should remind us that even the most powerful and evil rulers do not last forever, and God is quite able to humble them in his own time and his own way. So when people today languish under wicked tyrants, whether overseas or here in the West, there is hope indeed. God is still on the throne. He is still in charge.

Tremper Longman offers this commentary on these truths:

This chapter teaches that God is sovereign. He uses Nebuchadnezzar as he uses all human powers, even those hostile to his name, for his own purposes. Nebuchadnezzar is Yahweh’s tool. The king wins victories only when God gives them to him (Dan. 1:1-2); he understands his dreams only when God reveals their meaning through Daniel, his servant (CHS. 2 AND 4). Nebuchadnezzar cannot harm a hair on the head of one of God’s people (ch. 3). The book of Daniel reveals that the Babylonian king is powerless in his own right.

Image of Daniel (Expositional Commentary)
Daniel (Expositional Commentary) by Array

He goes on to talk about how we can all take great comfort in knowing that God is in control:

No matter what the odds, God is in control. Fate, or even intentional evil, may seem to have the upper hand against us, but the reality is that God is in control. In the present chapter, we observe this as God effortlessly reduces the most powerful man in the most sophisticated city in the world to a beastlike state in the wilderness. God’s people are called to take comfort in this truth, whether they lived at the time of Nebuchadnezzar, at a later time of persecution, or even today.

And the sin of pride is a major theme in this chapter, and in the entire book. As Iain Duguid remarks:

It is worth noticing where Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes are directed at the beginning and end of his time of judgment. At the beginning of the episode he is on a lofty perch, the rooftop of his house, from where his eyes roam sideways and downwards, comparing his glory to that of other men and glorifying himself. He thought of himself as the center of the universe, the tree from which everything else receives its sustenance. This is exactly what pride does: it locates the self at the center of the universe, glorying in its own achievements, and putting everyone else in second place. Its eyes are always directed sideways and downwards, comparing ourselves with others, and endlessly trying to outdo them. In its very nature, pride has to be cleverer than someone else, or more attractive than other people, or a better cook, or a faster runner, or a more skillful gardener, or whatever. Pride is never satisfied in what has been accomplished because its essence always lies in defeating others, not in achieving the thing itself. The eyes of pride are thus always fixed on myself and my performance, in a way that leaves no room for looking upwards to God.

James Montgomery Boice talks about the appropriateness of the king’s punishment:

Everything God does is significant. So when God caused Nebuchadnezzar to be lowered from the pinnacle of pride to the baseness of insanity and to be associated with the beasts and behave like a beast, God was saying by that punishment that this is the result when men give the glory of God to themselves. They become beastlike. In fact, they become even worse than beasts. Because beasts, when they are beastlike, are at least behaving the way beasts should behave. But we, when we become beastlike, behave not only like beasts, which is below where we should behave and is therefore bad enough, but even worse than beasts.

Or as Stephen Miller has said:

Many outstanding achievements may be attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, but sadly he failed to give God the glory for his blessings. His heart was filled with pride and self-importance, and he began to boast of his own greatness and ability. . . . How ironic that the king who saw himself superior to other men had now sunk to a subhuman level. For seven years the king continued in this condition until he finally came to his senses, repented of his pride, and recognized that God was sovereign over the affairs of men.

As I have said before, I pray daily for some of our leaders, including our Victorian rulers. My prayer is always that God would improve them or remove them. And I know that these sorts of prayers WILL be answered, one way or another.

This Is What Happens To Tyrants Who Think They Are Gods — CultureWatch

RNC 2020: Former DNI Ric Grenell Goes There — RIPS Obama-Biden for Spying on and Sabotaging Trump Campaign and Transition Team (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

What an incredible RNC 2020 convention. And what an incredible night!

Former US Ambassador to Germany and former DNI Ric Grenell spoke on Wednesday night at the RNC 2020.

Ric focused on the historic foreign policy accomplishments of the Trump administration including the defeat of ISIS, the blows to the Iranian regime and the successes with NATO and our foreign trade partners.

Then at one point in his talk Ric confronted the Obama-Biden regime and their spying on the Trump campaign, the Trump Transition team and the administration.

Ric was the first speaker this week to blast the former president for his criminal acts and unprecedented behavior.

Ric Grenell: Today the Democrats blame a global pandemic that started in China on President Trump. And they still blame Russia on Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. As acting Director of National Intelligence I saw the Democrats’ entire case for Russian collusion. And what I saw made me sick to my stomach. The Obama Biden Administration secretly launched a surveillance operation on the Trump campaign. And silenced the many brave intelligence officials who spoke up against it. They presented bogus information as facts. They lied to judges. Then they classified anything that undermined their case. And after Donald Trump won the election, when they should have continued the American tradition of helping the president-elect transition into the White House, they tried instead to undercut him even more. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden asked intelligence officials to uncover the hidden information on President Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser three weeks before the Inauguration. That’s the Democrats.

RNC 2020: Former DNI Ric Grenell Goes There — RIPS Obama-Biden for Spying on and Sabotaging Trump Campaign and Transition Team (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Barna: 1 in 5 Churches Could Close in the Next 18 Months

Barna president David Kinnaman says that based on trends both before and after the COVID-19 outbreak, American churches will look significantly different after the pandemic—and a fifth of them could close. 

Barna: 1 in 5 Churches Could Close in the Next 18 Months

The Gospel Coalition Created Cool Christianity, aka the YRR Celebrity Cult, and Are Pretending They Had Nothing to With It | The Wartburg Watch

Crab Nebula: Observations Through Time-NASA, JPL

“Well you, young man, need to learn about what is much more important than cool. And that is: what is beautiful.” ― John Butler


Recently, Brett McCracken, Senior Editor of The Gospel Coalition (TGC), wrote a post that startled me: Cool Christianity Is (Still) a Bad Idea I have been following TGC since I started blogging in 2009. Let’s take a look at some quotes from the article.

  • Sensing new urgency to make the gospel more appealing to the next generation—which polls showed were leaving faith in greater numbers—pastors, church leaders, and Christian influencers tried to rebrand fail
  • It was the moment when plaid, skinny jeans, beards, and tattoos became the pastor’s unofficial uniform.
  • Mark Driscoll’s Seattle megahurch dissolved.
  • I know a few people who have stayed in hip churches for most of the last decade, but many more have moved on to another (usually liturgical and refreshingly boring) church.
  • For pastors and churches, chasing “cool” is a fool’s errand
  • Attempts to square Christianity with the politics of whatever audience you want to impress (and this happens across the spectrum) eventually leads to a faith shaped by politics rather than a politics shaped by faith.
  • A theologically conservative 20-something seminary grad is amped about planting a church in some post-Christian place with killer coffee
  • An initially earnest attempt at “relevant Christianity” gave way to cynicism, a compromised witness, and maybe even abandoning the faith.
  • But ignorance of the past makes evangelicals susceptible to all manner of theological and ecclesiological confusion.
  • But secular observers are right to be suspicious when they notice the large number of churches pitching themselves as new, different, and out-of-the-box (“We meet in an abandoned J. C. Penney!” “Our worship band sounds like Pink Floyd-meets-Sigur Rós!” “We’re charismatic Calvinists with an in-house coffee roaster!”)
  • All the cool churches, well-coiffed pastors, and sleek “new ways to be Christian” pitched in the last two decades haven’t reversed the downward trend of Christian affiliation in America.
  • Better than the awkward desperation of “cool Christianity” is the quiet confidence of faithful Christianity.

I agree with much of what McCracken says. I am one of those who left the megachurch movement to become Lutheran, a move that has been the smartest church move my husband and I have made in years. Prior to that, I left my Reformed Baptist church, visited another mega Reformed Baptist church, and watched an intellectually stimulating non-denominational church become a Reformed church in which the newbie pastor preached the value of Mark Driscoll, John Piper, and CJ Mahaney. he was a big The Gospel Coalition fan along with the typical and necessary references to Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung. They also paid a correctly submissive attitude to JD Greear’s Summit Church because one cannot be a *cool* Reformed church without such homage.

Unlike those he speaks of in his post, I am well aware of church history (I devised a way to teach the history in the church to adult Sunday school classes) and have devoted myself to documenting the trends in churches since the beginning of the third millennium. At one point, a college professor contacted me to let me know he used some information about the development of the church during the last 20 years and he included it in his history book. Please note. I am not doing anything special. I’m just documenting what everybody sees out there.

My Response: TGC needs to look in the mirror. They are the epitome of cool Christianity.

The Gospel Coalition started in 2005. In 2006, Collin Hansen wrote: Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church. TGC totally bought into this movement and it supported was *the thing* to do. Let’s take a look at those TGC pushed.

CJ Mahaney:

Mahaney was a previous TGC Council member. It was his influence within this crowd that brought Reformed thinking together with charismatic theology. He used to have a prophecy microphone in his meetings. I started documenting the excesses in Mahaney’s church when I first started blogging. Then, quite quickly, came the horrific accusations of the coverup of many sex-abuse accusations which was well documented in The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch.

He came out of the shepherding movement in the 70s which had become known for all kinds of abuse. For example, he developed a bizarre response to those asking tough questions, telling them that they were sinfully craving answers. 

Mahaney was loved by Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan…the list goes on and on. Does anyone remember the numbers of young men shaving their heads to look like Mahaney? As I raised a red flag, I was accused of slanderby none other than TGC editor, Joe Carter. Mahaney was pushed at all the right conferences. Young, restless, and Reformed men rushed to get him to autograph his books like the laughable Humility, True Greatness. If this book is recommended by your church, you have some church leaders who don’t know what’s been going on.

TGC: You created the hype behind Mahanehy and you’ve got bird doo on your heads.

Joshua Harris: 

Harris was a member of the TGC council. How many of the dudebros bought into I Kissed Dating Good-bye which would lead to much pain? If you have the time, go to the TGC website and Google all of these names. For example, search Josh Harris and The Gospel Coalition. I think you will be surprised.

There were a number of posts praising Harris. Mahaney was Harris’s mentor so his weirdness intertwined with Harris. Of course, Harris eventually quit the Council over the mess with Mahaney. He has gone onto a new life and a new identity. Yet, there are many who continue to push his previous nonsense. They are still recommending his books at TGC since they are listed under *resources.*

Mark Driscoll:

TGC dudebros pushed every aspect of Mark Driscoll. They all wanted to dress like him, talk like him, and act like him. Can you imagine? When I first spoke out against the excesses of Driscoll, the blowback was terrific. His sweet followers sent me emails calling me a *radical lesbo* amongst other choice language.  I sincerely believe that today’s in your face authoritarianism is residual garbage from the Driscoll days. Recently, I went back to see how many Driscoll posts were still on TGC’s site. The website has been scrubbed. Guess they were a bit embarrassed by their close association with him. For crying out loud, even John Piper endorsed him, saying he looooooooved Driscoll’s’ theology. In the Calvinista world, if you run around saying things like Institutes, Synod of Dordt, TULIP, elect, etc. Piper will loooooove your theology.

I wrote this post 3 years ago. When Will TGC and Friends Admit That Mark Driscoll Taught Tacky Theology? They haven’t. Being a YRR Calvinist means never having to explain anything.

Janet Mefferd exposed plagiarism on the part of Mark Driscoll. I have heard from several sources that a certain Reformed/Calvinist seminary leader intervened and Mefferd was told to apologize although she was correct. There may have been threats of a job loss in there but maybe I’m *misremembering.*

How about the time he called Queen Esther a slut because his daughter said so? What about the Song of Solomon fiasco in which he sermon was scrubbed from a website in Scotland? I believe the glorification of Driscoll has led today to dudebros who still want to be like him. The man as a king culture had its big start at Mars Hill and may women were hurt. Do you remember the time he threw a hissy when his wife cut her hair because it had become difficult to manage while caring for all of their kids? He demanded she grow it right back and discussed her sin in front of the whole church. It’s still long today. Oh yeah, there was the thing about the sex demons...

Duck Dynasty

Google The Gospel Coalition and Duck Dynasty. Do you have any idea how many articles they posted spouting the theology of the bearded ones? Do you know how many of the dudebros, hoping to be *popular*,  grew beards like the DD boys? The dudebros were either deliberately bald or hugely bearded.

TGC Resources: Does this represent what they really care about?

I expect that the dudebros will try to say they’ve gotten rid Mahaney, etc.  Go to the Resource Section and look at how many things they still recommend by Mahaney…  Mark DriscollTullian Tchvidjian…There are  5 articles on Duck Dynasty …   only 7 articles on sex abuse in the church, … 72 articles on gender…This may explain why things are rather quiet on the sex abuse front.

The appearance of the dudebros

In the post, McCracken said this about the *cool pastors.*

It was the moment when plaid, skinny jeans, beards, and tattoos became the pastor’s unofficial uniform.

There are many pastors within the Reformed camp who still dress in skinny jeans or jeggings, especially if they are under 50. Well, there is one 50+ Reformed guy who wears jeggings but has a huge potbelly. But, hey, if he feels good, let him be. #jeggingsaren’tcool.

Sneakers

Also, have you seen the expensive sneakers that have become de rigueur? JD Greear was seen porting a $250 pair which is cheap compared to some. Although I must admit I have never spent $250 on a pair of sneakers. ( He says they were given to him which is what lots of these guys say when cornered.) Ed Young Jr. is the king of getting people to give him things like cars and leather pants for his wife. (This was 25 years ago when I was there for a very short period of time.)

“The New York Times wrote Let He Who Is Without Yeezys Cast the First Stone “Should pastors wear $5,000 sneakers? There’s been soul-searching recently over materialism in houses of worship.”

Sneakers appear to be just the newest iteration in how fashion has influenced religious expression.

…“You could think about it this way: They’re making sneakers a liturgical garment,” said Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here is a link to Preachers and Sneakers on Instagram

Tattoos and Body Building

I have seen Reformed pastors with tattoos. I have seen many pastors who are into bodybuilding. Those are the guys who wear tight tee shirts.They have to show off somehow.

Final thoughts:

In the end, my point is this. Cool Christianity is alive and well and living within The Gospel Coalition. TGC has fallen into the trap of cool Christianity within its own *cool* parameters. We posted this 4 years ago. Together for the Gospel – Who Is REALLY Being Worshipped?

Here’s how Carl Trueman explains the potential pitfalls of the YRR movement:

“The significance of the leaders of the YRR movement, however, seems less like that of ages past and at times more akin to the broader cultural phenomenon of the modern cult of celebrity, a kind of sanctified Christian equivalent of the secular values that surround us.”

Trueman goes on to name the world’s celebrities: Brad, Angelina, Tom, Barak, etc., and explains that the Christian world has its celebrities, too.  Then he then hints of the idolatry described in 1 Corinthians 1.

Here are quotes from Trueman’s article that I found thought-provoking:

“The supply side economics of the YRR movement is also worrying here, as it can easily foster such idolatry by building up a leader’s importance out of all proportion to his talent.”

“Carrying on from the danger of personality cults, part of me also wonders if the excitement surrounding the movement is generated because people see that Reformed theology has intrinsic truth or because they see that it works, at least along the typical American lines of numbers of bodies on seats (in Britain, we’d say ‘bums on seats’…)”

“Finally, I worry that a movement built on megachurches, megaconferences, and megaleaders does the church a disservice in one very important way that is often missed amid the pizzazz and excitement: it creates the idea that church life is always going to be big, loud, and exhilarating, and thus gives church members and ministerial candidates unrealistic expectations of the normal Christian life.”

Trueman then explains that in the real world many of us worship in churches of 100 people or less, and church for most of us is rather routine and ordinary.  All the hype will inevitably lead to disappointment.

The concluding paragraph of Trueman’s article begins as follows:

“Ultimately, only the long term will show if the YRR movement has genuinely orthodox backbone and stamina, whether it is inextricably and inseparably linked to uniquely talented leaders, and whether ‘Calvinism is cool’ is just one more sales pitch in the religious section of the cultural department store.  If the movement is more marketing than reality, then ten to fifteen years should allow us to tell.  If it is still orthodox by that point, we can be reasonably sure it is genuine.”

Our question about the YRR movement is this:  just who is being glorified – God or man?  We can be so idolatrous.  That’s why God’s first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me.”  For those of you who are caught up in the YRR movement, it’s just something to think about…

The Gospel Coalition needs to look in the mirror. There they will discover who created the *celebrity cult.*

The Gospel Coalition Created Cool Christianity, aka the YRR Celebrity Cult, and Are Pretending They Had Nothing to With It

August 26 Pray at All Times

 

Luke 18:1

He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

Here is something I have learned about prayer that I have not seen mentioned in books on prayer I have read: Prayer is meant to be preventative more than remedial. We usually treat prayer as remedial, meaning we pray when we have a need or are in trouble. But in Luke 18:1 Jesus says that at all times we “ought to pray … and not lose heart.” In other words, prayer isn’t the last thought; it’s the first thought. It is preventative, not remedial. Also instead of praying when we are tempted, Jesus says we should pray that we “may not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). When we are not under pressure and stress, we should be praying so that we might be shored up and defended against the pressures that will come.

Until we come to the place of prayer, we will never find release from stress. If we treat prayer as just a religious ritual or option, then we are not truly living in dependence upon God. Prayer is the soul of man crying out in inadequacy to a God who is adequate, a God who is able to do what man cannot.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 249). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

‘I hope he tells the full truth’: The other Miami pool boy who ‘had a personal relationship with Becki Falwell’ and sued the family over his stake in…

Another Miami man who claims to have had a personal relationship with Becki Falwell and sued the family last year over his stake in their LGBTQ-friendly hostel has urged the pool boy now speaking out against the family to ‘tell the full truth’. 

Gordon Bello sued Jerry Falwell Jr. in 2019 over his stake in the hostel that the Falwell family invested in and which Giancarlo Granda runs. 

Since Monday, Granda and the Falwells have been trading insults and conflicting statements about a six-year affair he had with Becki. 

Granda says that Jerry, who stepped down as president of Liberty University on Tuesday as a result of the scandal, watched him and Becki having sex. Jerry and Becki deny that, and say that while she had an affair with him, it was a mistake and Jerry was not involved. 

On Wednesday, Bello told DailyMail.com that he felt Granda had more to share. 

‘Giancarlo is not telling the full truth of what happened, I hope he finds the courage to do so,’ he said. He did not go into any more detail. 

In his most recent claims against the couple, Granda alleged that Jerry once sent him a photograph of a Liberty University student exposing herself on the family’s farm. 

He claims that Jerry is a ‘predator’. 

Granda and Bello are high school friends. In 2017, Bello filed a lawsuit against the Falwells claiming his father, a builder, gave them the idea for the hostel that they bought and went into business with with Granda. 

He said he met Becki at the Loews Miami Beach hotel in 2012. Granda met them at the Fontainebleau Hotel. 

While Granda was given a 25 percent stake in the business – and even flew on corporate jets with them – he was left out. 

Bello and his father had changed their names from Jesus Fernandez Jr. and Sr in 2016 and claim it was ‘due to a matter directly related to the subject matter of this lawsuit’.

The father told the Miami Herald at the time the decision was based on ‘major concerns’ and those concerns were ‘based on threats’.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail

‘I hope he tells the full truth’: The other Miami pool boy who ‘had a personal relationship with Becki Falwell’ and sued the family over his stake in…

The charmed life of Jerry Falwell Jr before pool boy sex scandal: A $1 million salary, sprawling Virginia farm and private jet trips to the Bahamas …

Before a pool boy sex scandal prompted his resignation this week, Jerry Falwell Jr. lived a charmed life as the president of Liberty University, the school he inherited from his reverend father then ruled over ‘like a dictator’, taking private jet trips to Miami and the Bahamas. 

The 58-year-old took over in 2007 when his father, Jerry Falwell Sr, died, 37 years after the elder Falwell founded it as a religious sanctuary for college students in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Under the leadership of the younger Falwell, the school has flourished financially. It now boasts more than $3billion in assets, according to its website, and student debt is lower than ever. As the school became more profitable, Falwell Jr. also enjoyed a life of luxury that included a salary of close to $1million. 

It’s unclear where the college’s money ends and Falwell Jr.’s personal wealth begins. He is walking away from Liberty with a reported $10million – $1.25million for two years, plus a lump sum of $8million because his duties have been curtailed. 

He was flown around the country on the university’s private jet, including to Miami once a year for an annual doctor’s physical. Because it was a job requirement that he have the examination, the college paid for the flight. It remains unclear why he needed a doctor in Florida to perform it and not one in Virginia. 

He lives on a sprawling farm in Cifax, Virginia, some 30 minutes from the university campus, with his wife Becki and at least some of their children and grandchildren.

On social media, they regularly share idyllic photographs from the grounds, horseback riding through water or watching as the college’s ice hockey team play on the frozen lake. 

They have also enjoyed luxury yacht vacations to the Greek islands. Falwell Jr. claimed in a post from that trip that he and his family had been the guests of ‘friends from the Middle East’. 

He and Becki went on the trip, as did their daughter, Caroline, and her then-boyfriend. 

Now, the pair are engaged; he recently proposed on a family yacht trip to Sunset Key in Florida. 

Falwell Jr. and his wife regularly traveled to Miami, which is where he met Granda in 2012 while the then 20-year-old was working as a cabana boy at the Fontainebleau Hotel. 

Benjamin Crosswhite, a personal trainer, flew with them on one of the flights. He was later given a gym on Liberty land. 

Before Falwell Jr. stepped down this week and before any rumors of sexual affairs surfaced, staff at Liberty said he ran it like a ‘dictatorship’. 

‘It’s a dictatorship. Nobody cr**s at the university without Jerry’s approval,’ said one unnamed employee in a 2019 Politico piece. I feel like I’m betraying them in some way. 

‘But someone’s gotta tell the freakin’ truth.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail

The charmed life of Jerry Falwell Jr before pool boy sex scandal: A $1 million salary, sprawling Virginia farm and private jet trips to the Bahamas …

Night #3 – RNC Convention “Land of Heroes” – 8:00pm Livestream Feed and Links… — The Last Refuge

The Republican National Committee kicks-off the third night of the 2020 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  [RNC Convention Website Here]  For evening #3 the theme is “Land of Heroes.” Speakers include: Vice-President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence. You can follow the convention via a series of links to multiple media resources.

RNC Convention Facebook Link – RNC Convention Twitter Link

RNC Convention YouTube Link – RNC Multimedia Link

RNC Livestream – Trump Campaign Livestream – CSPAN Livestream – RSBN Livestream

Night #3 – RNC Convention “Land of Heroes” – 8:00pm Livestream Feed and Links… — The Last Refuge

August 26th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what men can do unto me.—Psalms 56:11.

IF God has hid me in the secret pavilion, let men slander me and abuse me if they like! If I can say that God is my Father, Jesus is my Saviour, and heaven is my home: let the world rail, let the flesh do what it pleases, I will not be afraid of evil tidings, for my trust is in God! Is not that a good footing for eternity? “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away.” If you get your feet fair and square on the rock, let the waves beat if they will. A Christian once said that he trembled sometimes, but the foundation never did: he had his feet upon the rock.[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. 149). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

August 26, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Great Exhortation

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (15:58)

If we really believe and if we are truly thankful that our resurrection is sure, that we will be transformed from the perishable, dishonorable, weak, natural, mortal, and earthy to the imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual, immortal, and heavenly—we should therefore prove our assurance and our thankfulness by being steadfast, immovable [negative] and always abounding [positive] in the work of the Lord.

Hedraios (steadfast) literally refers to being seated, and therefore to being settled and firmly situated. Ametakinētos (immovable) carries the same basic idea but with more intensity. It denotes being totally immobile and motionless. Obviously Paul is talking about our being moved away from God’s will, not to our being moved within it. Within His will we are to be always abounding in the work of the Lord. But we should not move a hairbreadth away from His will, continually being careful not to be “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).

Gordon Clark gives a helpful paraphrase of this verse: “Therefore we should mortify emotion, be steadfast, unchangeable, not erratic and scatterbrained, easily discouraged, and should multiply our good works in the knowledge that the Lord will make them profitable.”

If our confident hope in the resurrection wavers, we are sure to abandon ourselves to the ways and standards of the world. If there are no eternal ramifications or consequences of what we do in this life, the motivation for selfless service and holy living is gone.

On the other hand, when our hope in the resurrection is clear and certain we will have great motivation to be abounding in the work of the Lord. Perisseuō (abounding) carries the idea of exceeding the requirements, of overflowing or overdoing. In Ephesians 1:7–8 the word is used of God’s lavishing on us “the riches of His grace.” Because God has so abundantly overdone Himself for us who deserve nothing from Him, we should determine to overdo ourselves (if that were possible) in service to Him, to whom we owe everything.

What a word Paul gives to the countless Christians who work and pray and give and suffer as little as they can! How can we be satisfied with the trivial, insignificant, short-lived things of the world? How can we “take it easy” when so many around us are dead spiritually and so many fellow believers are in need of edification, encouragement, and help of every sort? When can a Christian say, “I’ve served my time, I’ve done my part; let others do the work now”?

Reasonable rest is important and necessary. But if we err, Paul is saying, it should be on the side of doing more work for the Lord, not less. Leisure and relaxation are two great modern idols, to which many Christians seem quite willing to bow down. In proper proportion recreation and diversions can help restore our energy and increase our effectiveness. But they also can easily become ends in themselves, demanding more and more of our attention, concern, time, and energy. More than one believer has relaxed and hobbied himself completely out of the work of the Lord.

Some of God’s most faithful and fruitful saints have lived to old age and been active and productive in His service to the end. Many others, however, have seen their lives shortened for the very reason that they were abounding, overflowing and untiring, in service to Christ. Henry Martyn, the British missionary to India and Persia, determined “to burn out for God,” which he did before he was thirty-five. David Brainerd, one of the earliest missionaries to American Indians, died before he was thirty. We know very little of Epaphroditus, except that he was a “brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier” of Paul’s who “came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life” (Phil. 2:25, 30). He became so lost in godly service that he literally became sick unto death because of it.

Until the Lord returns there are souls to reach and ministries of every sort to be accomplished. Every Christian should work uncompromisingly as the Lord has gifted and leads. Our money, time, energy, talents, gifts, bodies, minds, and spirits should be invested in nothing that does not in some way contribute to the work of the Lord. Our praise and thanksgiving must be given hands and feet. James tells us, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).

Our work for the Lord, if it is truly for Him and done in His power, cannot fail to accomplish what He wants accomplished. Every good work believers do in this life has eternal benefits that the Lord Himself guarantees. “Behold, I am coming quickly,” Jesus says, “and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12). We have God’s own promise that our toil [labor to the point of exhaustion] is not in vain in the Lord.[1]


58 Paul concludes this triumphant chapter with a moral message—one that all of us ought to apply to our lives daily. Earlier he had shown how lack of belief in the doctrine of the resurrection led to the Epicurean lifestyle of finding pleasure in eating and drinking and in immoral behavior (see comments at vv. 33–34). The converse is that belief in the resurrection leads to a “purpose-driven life” of service for the Lord. We know that our service for him will not be in vain because we are on the winning side in the battle of life. Though we all struggle at times, the battle against sin and Satan is worthwhile because in the end, they will be defeated.

Paul’s use of “in vain” (kenos, GK 3031) picks up his use of that adjective in v. 14, where he indicated that if Christ has not been raised, then Paul’s preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain. But because of the resurrection of Christ and the assurance of our future final victory over death, life even with all its difficulties is never in vain.

It is no wonder, then, that Paul encourages believers to “stand firm” and “let nothing move [them].” He began this section on the resurrection by reminding the Corinthians that they had stood firm in the apostolic doctrine preached to them about the death and resurrection of Christ; now he closes with an exhortation to remain firm in that knowledge and to let it shape their everyday lives. May it do so for us as well![2]


58 In light of the sure hope of resurrection, and now especially in light of Christ’s triumph over sin and the law as well, Paul concludes, as is his wont, on a strong word of exhortation. The opening “so then” (NIV, “therefore”) is the last of the long series of these inferential conjunctions in this letter.408 For its use with this vocative see two earlier moments (11:33 and 14:39). The vocative in this case is accompanied by the term of endearment, “my dear [= beloved] brothers and sisters.”410 Despite Paul’s misgivings over their theology and behavior, and despite their generally anti-Paul stance on so many issues, from his own point of view they are ever his “dear brothers and sisters,” and that because, even though in one sense they are his dear children in the Lord (4:15), in the much greater sense predicated on the theology of the preceding doxology he and they are brothers and sisters, because they have the same divine parent.

The surprising feature of this exhortation is that, unlike before (vv. 33–34), it is not directed toward ethical behavior as such, but toward the work of the gospel. Probably, therefore, it is to be understood as a word to the congregation as a whole vis-à-vis those who are leading them astray by denying the “resurrection of the dead” (v. 12). On the contrary, Paul urges, not only must they not go that route because of what Christ has effected (vv. 20–28, 45–49, 54–57), but they must in general remain loyal to the gospel as he preached it among them. He makes this point in two ways.

First, on the negative side, “Let nothing move you.” This translation combines two Greek words, “steadfast” and “immovable,”412 which together urge that they not “move from the hope held out in the gospel … that you heard” (Col. 1:23). This urgency is almost certainly in direct response to the denial of the resurrection by some. It urges by way of exhortation what was affirmed at the beginning of the present issue (vv. 1–2), that the gospel of Christ is that on which they have in fact taken their stand.

Second, on the positive side, “Always give yourselves fully414 to the work of the Lord.” It is not absolutely certain what kind of activity Paul had in mind by the phrase “the work of the Lord.” Minimally, it may refer more broadly to whatever one does as a believer, both toward outsiders and fellow believers. But along with the next word, “labor,” Paul frequently uses “work” to refer to the actual ministry of the gospel. Probably in their case it covers the range but leans more toward the former. That is, there are those kinds of activities in which believers engage that are specifically Christian, or specifically in the interest of the gospel. This seems to be what Paul has in mind here.

Finally, with a marvelous stroke of genius, whether intentional or not, Paul concludes on the same note with which he began this whole “reminder” (vv. 1–2). There he was concerned, because of the denial of the resurrection by some, whether his own “labor”—namely their own existence in Christ—was in vain. Now, after the strong evidence for the resurrection presented throughout, he concludes with such faith as the ground for their continued labor: “because you know that your (own) labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Thus with this language the entire chapter is tied together. The implication in all this, of course, is that if they continue their present route, they have good grounds for lacking any confidence that what they do as believers has any meaning (vv. 14–19). But Christ has been raised from the dead, and they too shall be raised to share his likeness; therefore they may not only abound in his service, but know assuredly that what they do is not in vain.

It is of some interest that Paul’s own moment of hesitation at the very beginning (vv. 1–2) is answered for him by his own arguments, so that this concluding paragraph exudes with confidence and triumph. There is little doubt as to why it is read regularly at Christian funerals. Read without comment, it has its own power. Here the Word has its own regenerative power because it expresses the truth of Christ himself. But here, too, it is a word for all seasons. Our present existence in Christ, and our present labors, are not in vain. Standing beneath them is the sure word of Christ’s own triumph over death, which guarantees that we shall likewise conquer. Victory in the present begins when one can, with Paul, sing the taunt of death even now, in light of Christ’s resurrection, knowing that death’s doom is “already/not yet.” Because “death could not hold its prey, Jesus our Savior,” neither will it be able to hold its further prey when the final eschatological trumpet is blown that summons the Christian dead unto the resurrection and immortality. What a hope is this. No wonder Paul concluded on a note of exhortation that we may confidently continue on our way in the Lord.[3]


15:58 / At last, verse 58 follows, issuing a final admonition (therefore) that Paul appears to base on the traditional materials he presents throughout this chapter. The command is not a mere work ethic. Rather, Paul once again calls for action and issues an assurance of the Lord’s preserving of vital Christian efforts (cf. 3:10–15). Thus, Paul argues for the reality of resurrection, basing his argument on God’s work in Christ and calling for the Corinthians to embrace his teaching as the basis for their future hope and current living. Paul’s use of eschatological materials is remarkably similar in 1 Thessalonians. There, in two dramatic segments of apocalyptic teaching, Paul informs the readers about the truth of God’s future and directs them to action. Here he says, Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord; and he explains that the Corinthians are able to do so, because they know that their labor in the Lord is not in vain. They have such knowledge from what Paul has told them about God’s resurrection of the dead. Similarly, in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, Paul admonishes, “Therefore encourage each other with these words”; and in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, he advises, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Paul consistently moves from eschatological teaching to ethics, from instruction about God’s future and its meaning for believers to directions for the shape and substance of life in the Christian community.[4]


15:58 Therefore … Let nothing move you. The inferential conjunction “therefore” (hōste) draws Paul’s discussion to a conclusion that places Christ’s resurrection as the central theological motivation for Christian life and worship. Since believers will be raised, their present struggles as faithful clients in the Christ community are not in vain (15:10, 14 and 3:8; 4:12; cf. Heb. 6:10). They have cause for standing firm in their faith (cf. Col. 1:23; 1 Pet. 5:9), being unwavering (ametakinētos; NIV: “let nothing move you”) in their commitment, and consistently overflowing in their work for Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 6:4–10; 1 Thess. 1:3).[5]


Ver. 58.—Therefore. Seeing that you ought not to despair, but to share in this confidence of triumph. Steadfast. Firmly fixed in your own conviction (Col. 1:23; 2 John 9). Unmoveable. By others (Eph. 4:14). Abounding in the work of the Lord. Doing diligently and ungrudgingly the work of your lives, which is his work. That your labour is not in vain. The thought of the verse is the same as that of Gal. 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Some general facts are very observable in this glorious chapter. 1. One is that St. Paul does not meet doubt by angry denunciation, or by crushing it with the iron mace of impatient authority. What would now be thought of Christians who denied the resurrection? Doubtless they were not mere speculative deniers of the resurrection, like Hymenæus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17), but recent Gentile converts, who could not get over their pagan difficulties. Yet St. Paul meets them by personal appeals, by helpful analogies, by lofty reasoning, by the glowing force of inspiring convictions. Instead of taking refuge—more ecclesiastico—in Anathema and excommunication, he meets error by the counter-presentation of ennobling truth. 2. Another noteworthy fact is that St. Paul’s hope of the resurrection rests, like all his theology, on the thought that the life of the Christian is a life “in Christ.” 3. A third is his superiority to false analogies—like those of the butterfly and the phœnix—which sufficed many ancient reasoners. Even Christian writers like St. Clement of Rome continued to appeal to the phœnix as a proof of the resurrection. The greatest ancient thinkers—like Tacitus—believed in the existence of that fabulous bird, and even in the genuineness of a specimen of it which had been exhibited at Rome. Was there no “grace of superintendency” at work which prevented the sacred writers from adopting the universal error of their day? Had St. Paul appealed to the phœnix, centuries of Christian writers would have continued to maintain the existence of that creature; and science, laughing the belief to scorn, would (most unjustly) have made any allusion to it a proof of mental weakness, and of the falsity of the doctrine which it was supposed to prove. 4. A fourth point to be observed is the wisdom with which St. Paul holds himself aloof from speculative fancies. He does not, like Plato, appeal to the doctrine of “reminiscence” (anamnesis), or of unfulfilled ideas. He does not, like Kant, build any argument on man’s failure to obey “the categorical imperative” of duty. He points to the sinless Man—to the fulfilled idea of Christ. His argument, which all could understand, is summed up in the words, “Ye are Christ’s, and Christ is risen.” Your resurrection from the death of sin to the life of righteousness is a pledge of your participation in Christ’s resurrection from the grave.[6]


58. Wherefore, my brethren. Having satisfied himself that he had sufficiently proved the doctrine of the resurrection, he now closes his discussion with an exhortation; and this has much more force, than if he had made use of a simple conclusion with an affirmation. Since your labour, says he, is not in vain in the Lord, be steadfast, and abound in good works. Now he says that their labour is not in vain, for this reason, that there is a reward laid up for them with God. This is that exclusive hope which, in the first instance, encourages believers, and afterwards sustains them, so that they do not stop short in the race. Hence he exhorts them to remain steadfast, because they rest on a firm foundation, as they know that a better life is prepared for them in heaven.

He adds—abounding in the work of the Lord; for the hope of a resurrection makes us not be weary in well-doing, as he teaches in Col. 1:10. For amidst so many occasions of offence as constantly present themselves to us, who is there that would not despond, or turn aside from the way, were it not that, by thinking of a better life he is by this means kept in the fear of God? Now, on the other hand, he intimates, that if the hope of a resurrection is taken away, then, the foundation (as it were) being rooted up, the whole structure of piety falls to the ground. Unquestionably, if the hope of reward is taken away and extinguished, alacrity in running will not merely grow cold, but will be altogether destroyed.[7]


58. Arising out of all this comes an exhortation to Christian stability. Hedraioi (firm) was used in 7:37 of having ‘settled the matter’; there is the thought of stable purpose, something that will not easily be disturbed, for the person’s whole bent is behind it (cf. Col. 1:23). Let nothing move you underlines this thought. The Corinthians were prone to fickleness, shifting without reason from one position to another. Let them get a firm grip on the truth of the resurrection, on God’s final plan for all people and all things, and they will not be so readily shaken. The imperative ginesthe, ‘be’ (niv stand), might be translated ‘become’. Paul sets before his readers a state from which they were as yet all too far, and urges them to continue in it. They should be ‘always abounding in the work of the Lord’ (av, rsv). The Christian life is an abundant life. There is nothing cramped or narrow in the genuine Christian experience. Edwards speaks of faith in the resurrection as producing ‘a consciousness of boundless and endless power for work’, and adds, ‘In the case of a believer, youth’s large dreams never contract into commonplace achievement.’ Because you know is probably not the right way to translate the participle ‘knowing’; it introduces the accompaniment of the foregoing, not the reason for it (the reason is surely the resurrection truth that Paul has been expounding). Because of the resurrection with all that it means of God’s final triumph, and of the survival of the believer through death, Christian labour (kopos, labour to the point of weariness) is not in vain (kenos, ‘empty’; Moffatt, ‘never thrown away’). Deissmann sees in these words ‘a trembling echo of the discouragement resulting from a piece of work being rejected for alleged bad finish and therefore not paid for’ (LAE, p. 314). The Christian faces no such discouragement. His labour is in the Lord. And what is done in the Lord is never done in vain.[8]


Final exhortation (15:58)

58. A conclusion is drawn (Therefore) from the entire chapter. Since sins are forgiven through Christ, since death has been conquered and since believers have an indestructible hope of a future resurrection, they are encouraged to stand firm in the gospel and to not move away from the hope they have (Col. 1:23). They are to give themselves gladly and fully to the Lord’s work since nothing done on earth is futile or useless (cf. 2 Chr. 15:7; Isa. 65:23). For Paul, the hope of the resurrection does not lead to earthly lassitude or disconnection from life in this world, but should propel believers to perseverance and labour in what is good.

Theology

Those who doubt a future resurrection body should consider the power of God. The God who makes plants from seeds and has created a world with such a dazzling array of variety in bodies, from humans to animals, fish and birds, certainly has the ability to raise the dead. Since he has created both earthly and heavenly bodies (the sun, moon and stars), there is no reason to doubt a future resurrection body. Perhaps some doubted the resurrection because of the corruption and weakness of human bodies in the present age, but there is also discontinuity between present and future bodies. The body that is raised will be imperishable, full of splendour and power, and animated by the Holy Spirit. The resurrection body is physical but incorruptible and imperishable. Corruptible flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom. When Jesus returns, the believing dead will be raised with imperishable and immortal bodies, and the believing living will be instantaneously transformed and given imperishable and immortal bodies as well. Final victory over sin and death will be realized. Such hope should motivate believers to endurance, perseverance and labour in the present age, for they know that their work makes a difference and has eternal consequences.[9]


Conclusion (15:58)

Because this is the glorious hope in front of the Christian, Paul urges the Corinthians (with a particularly warm form of address, my beloved brethren) to be steady and unshakeable in pressing on with the Lord. There can be little doubt that ‘the hope of glory’ is the strongest incentive for abounding in the work of the Lord, especially when the going is tough or simply unexciting. One of the inevitable and common results of a false triumphalism—as distinct from authentic victory in Christ in all circumstances—is later disillusionment, and even disappearance from Christian fellowship.

In the instant mood of modern society there are many switched-off Christians who, having been led to believe that complete victory in Christ was to be expected now rather than later, have an inbuilt cynicism towards any authentic experience of the risen Christ. We need a sober realism (as Jesus himself provides in the parable of the sower), imbued with a fervent hope in resurrection. Such a combination will tackle the Lord’s work with unswerving dedication, recognizing that it involves real labour, or toil (kopos): the word talks of ‘the fatigue involved in hard work’. Modern Christians need that kind of ‘stick-ability’ and Paul states the incentive with typical understatement: in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

This final clause is, in fact, a summary of the whole chapter and contains two specific phrases which recall key arguments concerning resurrection: in vain and in the Lord. If resurrection is ruled out of court altogether, Christian preaching and even faith in Christ are in vain, i.e. empty (15:14). But if resurrection is real and certain, the whole of a Christian’s life and work are full of purpose and hope. The other phrase, in the Lord, recapitulates the major theme of this chapter: those who are in Christ will be resurrected in the same way and with the same body as Christ himself was raised from the dead. Indeed, the Greek text ends with the phrase in the Lord, thus adding even further emphasis to the significance of being in Christ.[10]


An Exhortation

15:58

  1. So then, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

The exhortation has little to do with the immediately preceding verses on the victory the believers share with Jesus Christ. It is an entreaty that arises from the entire chapter if not the whole epistle. The last instructions and final greetings aside, Paul has come to the end of his epistle and now admonishes his readers to do the work of the Lord.

  1. “So then, my dear brothers.” The first two words introduce a concluding statement. Paul frequently uses this expression in his epistles. For the last time in this letter he addresses the recipients in a personal manner by calling them “dear brothers [and sisters].” At two other places, Paul addresses the readers as “my dear children” (4:14) and “my dear friends” (10:14). Each time he speaks to the Corinthians as a father to his children. He remains the spiritual father of the Corinthians, who through the preaching of the gospel are his offspring (4:15). Paul is their pastor who loves them despite the numerous difficulties in the church.
  2. “Be steadfast, immovable.” Paul commends the believers for their steadfastness and exhorts them to continue their dedication to the Lord (compare Col. 1:23). Amid the onslaught of diverse teaching in a pagan culture, he urges them to remain firm in the Lord and not to waver. Paul tells the Corinthians to be immovable. This last word is a compound that signifies an inability to move from their spiritual moorings. Paul is not talking about retaining the status quo in the church. He wants the people to grow in their love for the Lord and to communicate this in their deeds.
  3. “Always abounding in the work of the Lord.” After telling his readers not to be moved in any way, Paul encourages them to excel in the Lord’s work. To express constancy and emphasis he adds the word always which, in the original, he places last in the clause for emphasis. What is the work of the Lord? The work entails preaching and teaching Christ’s gospel, applying the contents of Scripture to our lives, edifying one another, and loving our neighbor as ourselves (compare 16:10). It consists of an earnest desire to keep God’s commandments and to do so out of gratitude for our salvation provided through his Son. As his love extends to us without measure, so our selfless deeds are done for him without measure.
  4. “Knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” The faithful Corinthians have a sure knowledge that the deeds done out of love and thankfulness to God will not be forgotten (see Heb. 6:10). The word labor is often used by Paul in a missionary setting and means working with his own hands for his own support (4:12) “and for activity in the Christian community as a whole.” Such labor given freely in service to the Lord is never in vain because the Lord himself blesses his servants (Matt. 19:29).[11]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 446–448). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 405). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (2014). The First Epistle to the Corinthians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Revised Edition, pp. 892–894). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 353). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Vang, P. (2014). 1 Corinthians. (M. L. Strauss, Ed.) (p. 221). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Corinthians (pp. 492–493). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, p. 66). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Morris, L. (1985). 1 Corinthians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 7, pp. 224–225). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Schreiner, T. R. (2018). 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary. (E. J. Schnabel, Ed.) (Vol. 7, pp. 326–327). London: Inter-Varsity Press.

[10] Prior, D. (1985). The message of 1 Corinthians: life in the local church (p. 277). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[11] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 587–588). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

False Teachers and the People Who Follow Them — ChurchLeaders

I really want to be a good listener. A couple of times over the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve found myself drifting while somebody’s talking to me. And then, at the end, it’s become clear to both of us that I’ve missed some important detail in the conversation, and I’ve had to admit that I wasn’t paying complete attention — frankly, because I lost interest in the conversation.

This happens sometimes, especially when somebody is talking about a subject that’s important to them, but not as important to me. When someone else is interested in a topic and you’re not, it’s easy for our minds to drift.

To be honest, that’s what could happen with the passage we’re looking at today.

We’re studying a letter written by the Apostle Paul, the last letter he ever wrote. It’s written to his protégé Timothy. And there’s a theme that keeps coming up. We’ve been looking at it for the past few weeks. Here’s the theme: People are going to abandon Jesus, but you’ve got to stand firm because it really matters.

Paul wasn’t just prognosticating from prison. All throughout this letter, Paul speaks from personal experience. Look at what he says later in this letter:

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. (2 Timothy 4:14–16)

You can understand Paul talking about this. Paul was in jail and about to die because he preached the message that Jesus is Lord. But everybody in Asia had repudiated him, and many had repudiated his message. And Timothy had people in his church who were wobbling on the message of the gospel. It’s no wonder Paul kept returning to this theme.

But as we look at the passage today, we may be tempted to say, “Darryl, this is the third sermon in a row that you’ve covered what Paul says about false teaching. It’s clear that Paul has a lot to say about this, but really, I’m not as interested as he is. Please, can we move on to something else?”

Well, yes and no. Here’s the no part: we need to take one last look at why this matters even if we don’t like it. And then we need to look at the biggest step we can take as a church to inoculate ourselves against this danger, because we’re not immune to this danger either.

So that’s what we’re going to do today. What is the danger we face, and what can we do about it?

What Is the Danger We Face? (3:1-9)

When we last looked at 2 Timothy, Paul told Timothy to correct his opponents gently, because “God may perhaps grant them repentance” (2 Timothy 2:25). That sounds hopeful. Maybe there’s hope for false teachers. Maybe some of them can come to their senses. Not all is lost.

But Paul’s more realistic than this. In the passage we just read, Paul says:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-)

It’s true that some may repent, Paul says. But opposition isn’t going anywhere. False teachers will actually increase. The “last days” he mentions doesn’t refer to a distant time in the future. The “last days” refers to the period that goes from Jesus first coming to his future return. In other words, we’re living in the last days. This is the present. So what Paul writes here is going to be true of us as well.

“In the last days there will come times of difficulty.” The word difficulty is a little mild for the term that Paul uses. A better word may be fierce. There are going to be fierce seasons in the season between Jesus’ first and second comings.

In verses 2 to 5, Paul describes the people who will cause problems in the last days. It’s quite the list. There’s nothing positive about this list. And so it’s important for us to understand what’s behind the traits that Paul lists here.

There’s a belief out there — it’s very common — that people generally mean well, and so our major problem is we just see things from different perspectives. If that were the case, we just need to work hard at understanding where others are coming from so we can find common ground and agree. And certainly there’s a lot of truth in this perspective, and this is the appropriate action we should take much of the time.

But if that’s your only category for disagreement, and if that’s your only approach to handling disagreement, you will not be prepared for what’s coming in difficult days. Because Paul says in this passage that what is behind some disagreement in the church — not all, but some — is not misunderstanding but rather pure evil. It’s not motivated by a different perspective, but by a love of self and a desire to decide for ourselves what’s right.

It is important to grasp that it is men who are responsible for the menacing seasons which the church has to bear, fallen men, evil men, men whose nature is perverted, whose behavior is self-centered and godless, whose mind is hostile to God and his law (cf. Rom. 8:7), and who spread evil, heresy and dead religion in the church. (John Stott)

The question I want to ask you is: do you have a category for this? If you don’t, you’re not really prepared for one of the greatest dangers that the church always faces. Some false teachers aren’t just misinformed. Some are narcissistic and proud. Some are evil. Not everyone who has something to say about God is motivated by good. Their character is off. Their devotion to God is fake. Some have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power.

He even compares them in verse 8 to Jannes and Jambres. Jewish tradition said that these were the names of the two chief magicians in Pharaohs’ court. Moses was one of the greatest of God’s servants in the Hebrew Scriptures, sent by God himself with a message for Pharaoh and the ability to do miracles as a sign to Pharaoh that God was speaking. But we read in Exodus, “Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts” (Exodus 7:11). They were able do the same things as Moses without having the same godliness as Moses. They were counterfeits. Counterfeits existed in Moses’ day. They existed in Paul’s day. And they exist today.

That’s why you need to have a healthy concern for whatever is taught in this church. That’s why teachers will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1). It’s why you should double-check everything that I or anyone says with the Bible. We should be on guard because of the danger of counterfeits and people who appear to be okay, but are actually dangerous.

The worst part is the influence they have on others. Verses 6 to 9 say that they end up taking others with them. They “capture” other people, according to verse 6. It’s like a military operation. It seems that these false teachers had found disproportionate influence among some of the women in Ephesus. Paul’s not slamming women in general; he’s speaking to a particular situation in that church. I love Paul’s description: “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (3:7). I’ve seen this! Always raising questions. As Acts 17 says, some people “spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21).

Paul’s asking us to add two categories in our understanding of who’s in the church. Truth be told, we may be in one of them.

  • Evil people who look like the real thing and try to capture people with their false teaching. You need a category for this type of person, because they exist.
  • Unsuspecting people who are susceptible to be led astray because these false teachers sound so good.

Please, please, please understand that these two categories of people exist: evil people spreading false teaching, and unsuspecting people who are in danger of being led astray. Just as parents have to teach their kids that there are dangerous people out there, Paul us teaching us that there are dangerous people out there with evil motivates, and we have to be on guard so that we’re not sucked in and captured by them.

What We Can Do About It? (3:8-17)

Okay, so what we can do about it?

Paul is very clear. He issues two commands in this passage that we must follow if we’re going to avoid the danger he’s just described.

  • Here’s the first command at the end of verse 5: “Avoid such people.” The word is in the present tense. It’s supposed to be something that we continue to do. Shun them. As someone translates this phrase, “avoid them with disgust.” If they knock on your door, don’t answer it. If they phone you, you let it go to voicemail and don’t call back. When you find someone who claims to be a Christian but tries to capture people and lead them away from the truth, you don’t worry about being polite. Stay as far away from them as possible.
  • Here’s the second command, found in verse 14: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed…” Don’t look for something new. Continue in what you already know. Stay close to the Word. Keep going deeper into it. Don’t innovate. Stay close to the old message we’ve received, the one that Timothy heard from Paul, the message of the apostles about Jesus Christ. Don’t depart from the gospel.

Here’s the message of this passage in two sentences: Evil teachers will try to capture gullible followers. Avoid the false teachers and stay close to the gospel.

Because of an accident, Google Maps one day rerouted dozens of drivers down a dirt road on the way to Denver International Airport. About 100 drivers drove down the private dirt road that had been flooded after recent heavy rainfall. Most of the motorists became stuck behind a few cars that had become bogged down in mud.

One driver said, “My thought was, ‘Well there are all these other cars in front of me so it must be OK.’ So, I just continued.” Fortunately, those with all-wheel drive vehicles were able to get through.

A traffic reporter in Denver said, “You are driving. Google Maps is not driving. Google Maps is not perfect. You need to know where you are going and, if it does not look like that’s where you should be going, turn around and try again.”

That’s pretty much what Paul is saying in this passage. Stay close to the truth about Jesus. And if someone comes along and it looks like they’re trying to take you where you shouldn’t be doing, turn around and try again.

Evil teachers will try to capture gullible followers. Avoid the false teachers and stay close to the gospel.

Father, keep us close to the truth about Jesus through the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This article about false teachers originally appeared here.

False Teachers and the People Who Follow Them — ChurchLeaders

August—26 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And all king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold, none were of silver; it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.—1 Kings 10:21.

Behold, my soul! the splendour of Solomon, and figure to thyself what a court and people his must have been, with whom silver was as nothing; and then turn thy thoughts to Jesus, and ask thyself, whether it be possible to suppose that he, with whom are hid “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” can be otherwise than rich himself, and abundantly gracious to enrich his people. Thy Solomon, thy Jesus, hath all things, and all things richly to dispense. He is the universal Lord and proprietor of all. In him dwelleth all fulness; “yea, durable riches and righteousness.” And what endears Jesus, and marks the superiority of his kingdom, is, that every thing in it is everlasting. Solomon’s splendour was great; but it was limited to the period of his life; yea, less than life. But Jesus is everlasting—the riches and the blessings he hath, and which he gives, are everlasting. Jesus maketh both gold and silver, yea, the riches of grace and wisdom, as the stones of the street for abundance; and their blessedness is, like him, eternal. So that here we find an eternity of blessings. All beside is hollow, transitory, fading. But with Jesus it is solid and substantial. “I will cause them,” he saith, “that love me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasure.” Precious Lord! may I never contemplate earthly pageantry, without taking into the view thy glory; and while I behold human grandeur, however splendid, or however shining, which is but for the day, may my soul hasten to the consideration of thy glory, which is a portion for thy redeemed to live upon to all eternity![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 252–253). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Video: “Living on Dead-End Street” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

As the Philistines gathered their forces, King Saul was alone and desperate. Afraid for his life, he inquired of the Lord, but after years of ignoring God’s word, Saul received no answer. He then disguised himself and consulted a medium, only for an apparition of Samuel to tell him of his impending death. As Alistair Begg explains, Saul’s hopeless situation reflects our natural condition apart from Christ. If we hear God’s voice today, we must not harden our hearts.

Video: “Living on Dead-End Street” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

August 26 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: Holiness To The Lord.

Lord God, help me to pursue holiness, without which I will not see You. You are Spirit, and those who worship You must worship in spirit and truth. I am like an unclean thing, and all my righteousnesses are like filthy rags. By those who come near You, Lord God, You must be regarded as holy; and before all the people You must be glorified.

This is the law of the temple: the whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Holiness adorns Your house, O Lord, forever.

For my sake, Jesus sanctifies Himself, that I also may be sanctified by the truth. Seeing that I have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, I come boldly to Your throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Thank You for cleansing me by the blood of Your Son. Thank You, Holy God, for welcoming me to Your throne of grace and being the Source of help whatever my needs—spiritual, physical, emotional.

Exodus 28:36; Hebrews 12:14; John 4:24; Isaiah 64:6; Leviticus 10:3; Ezekiel 43:12; Psalm 93:5; John 17:19; Hebrews 4:14, 16[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 257). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Pelosi declares Republicans to be “enemies of the state” and launches plan to seize the White House by force… the season of TREASON is here

(Natural News) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Demon-Calif.) has just declared Republicans to be “enemies of the state” and “domestic enemies,” further admitting her plan to seize the White House by force, followed by mass arrests of all GOP members and Trump supporters.

Source: Pelosi declares Republicans to be “enemies of the state” and launches plan to seize the White House by force… the season of TREASON is here

Rand Paul Delivers Blistering Foreign Policy Attack: “Biden Will Choose War Again” | ZeroHedge News

Among the most notable highlights at last night’s Republican National Convention, Senator Rand Paul delivered a blistering take down of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s foreign policy, which Paul linked to multiple wars under Democrat administrations spanning decades (going back to Clinton’s bombing of Serbia).

“I fear Biden will choose war again,” Paul asserted“He supported war in Serbia, Syria, Libya. Joe Biden will continue to spill our blood and treasure. President Trump will bring our heroes home.”

“If you hate war like I hate war, if you want us to quit sending $50 billion every year to Afghanistan to build their roads and bridges instead of building them here at home, you need to support President Trump for another term,” said Paul, who has long been a fierce critic of former President Obama’s foreign policy, including overt intervention in Libya, and covert action toward destabilizing Syria.

He slammed Biden as a hawk who has “consistently called for more war”and with no signs anything would be different.

Interestingly, Sen. Paul has also in the recent past led foreign policy push back against President Trump – especially over the two times Trump has bombed Syria following alleged Assad chemical attacks, which Paul along with other anti-interventionists across the aisle like Tulsi Gabbard questioned to begin with.

But it appears Paul is firmly supportive of Trump’s newly released 50-point agenda for his second term outlining the Commander-in-Chief will “stop endless war” and ultimately bring US troops “home.” The plan still emphasized, however, the administration will “maintain” US military strength abroad while ‘wiping’ out global terrorism.

“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home. Compare President Trump with the disastrous record of Joe Biden, who has consistently called for more war,” Paul said further.

Back during the primaries in 2016, Paul and Trump sparred intensely over national security questions:

He also highlighted Biden’s unrepentant yes vote to go to war in Iraq.

“I’m supporting President Trump because he believes as I do that a strong America cannot fight endless wars. We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires,” Paul concluded.

Elsewhere in the approximately four-minute speech, Paul said Trump will fight “socialists poisoning our schools and burning our cities.”

Source: Rand Paul Delivers Blistering Foreign Policy Attack: “Biden Will Choose War Again”

‘Those are the Facts’: Cissie Graham Blasts ‘Radical Left Bullies’ for Attacks on Religion — Faithwire

By Steve Warren

Even though Tuesday night’s lineup of the 2020 Republican National Convention was planned around the theme “Land of Opportunity,” it was faith in God, religious freedom and the pro-life movement that stole the spotlight. 

Among the evening’s scheduled speakers, Cissie Graham Lynch, the daughter of Franklin Graham, walked up to the podium and said she wanted to talk about something “that is so important to all of us, our faith.” 

“As Americans, we know the first line of the First Amendment protects our freedom of religion. But what we often forget, the actual words are ‘free exercise of religion’,” Lynch, 34 said. “That means living out our faith in our daily lives…at our schools and at our jobs. And yes, even in the public square.”

The granddaughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham also reminded the audience that the nation’s founders did not envision a quiet, hidden faith. 

 “They fought to ensure that the voices of faith were always welcomed,” she noted. “Not silenced. Not bullied.”

She told viewers that under the Obama-Biden administration these freedoms were under attack. 

 “Democrats tried to make faith organizations pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Democrats tried to force adoption agencies to violate their deeply-held beliefs. Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms. Those are the facts,” Lynch said. 

“Then we the people elected Donald Trump. The people of faith suddenly had a fierce advocate in the White House,” she added. “He appointed judges who respect the First Amendment. He supported religious beliefs in court. He ensured that religious ministries would not be forced to violate their beliefs. He reversed the policies that placed our little girls at risk,” she continued. 

“And on the world stage, President Trump became the first president to talk about the importance of religious freedom at the United Nations, giving hope to people around the world,” Lynch said. “In America, we have not experienced physical persecution even though the left has tried to silence us.”

She cautioned that even during the pandemic, Americans saw how quickly life can change.

“Some Democratic leaders tried to ban church services, while marijuana shops and abortion clinics were declared essential. But do you know what is truly essential?” Lynch asked. “Our right to worship freely and live our faith in every aspect of life.”

She warned the Biden-Harris vision of America leaves no room for people of faith and also recalled what her world-famous grandfather once said about freedom. 

“Whether you’re a baker or a florist or a football coach, they will force a choice between being obedient to God or to Caesar. Because the radical Left god is government power,” Lynch noted. “So in the words of my grandfather Billy Graham, ‘Let us stand for political freedom, moral freedom, religious freedom, and the rights of all Americans. And let us never give in for those who would attempt to take it from us’.”

Lynch’s father Franklin Graham is scheduled to pray during Thursday night’s convention activities. Her late grandfather gave the benediction at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1988.

Abby Johnson Calls on Americans to Protect the Unborn

The convention also highlighted the need for the protection of the unborn. Pro-life advocate Abby Johnson told her personal story about how she worked in a Planned Parenthood clinic, rising to the job of abortion clinic director. Her story is told in a book and a movie titled “Unplanned.”

“When I was in college, Planned Parenthood approached me at a volunteer fair,” she recalled. “They talked about helping women in crisis. And their commitment of keeping abortion, safe, legal and rare.”

 Convinced to volunteer, Johnson said she was later offered a full-time job as a medical assistant before being promoted to director of the clinic. 

 “I truly believed I was helping women,” she said. “But things drastically changed in 2009. In April, I was awarded Planned Parenthood’s Employee of the Year Award and invited to their annual gala where they present the Margaret Sanger Award, named for their founder.”

 Margaret Sanger was a racist who believed in eugenics. Her goal when founding Planned Parenthood was to eradicate the minority population, Johnson said. 

“Today, almost 80 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are strategically located in minority neighborhoods,” she noted. “And every year, Planned Parenthood celebrates its racist roots by presenting the Margaret Sanger Award.”

Johnson said later that August, her supervisor assigned her a new quota to meet — an abortion quota. 

“I was expected to sell double the abortions performed the previous year. When I pushed back underscoring Planned Parenthood’s public-facing goal of decreasing abortions, I was reprimanded. And told ‘Abortion is how we make our money,’” she recalled.

 The tipping point in her career with the nation’s largest abortion provider came a month later when a physician asked her to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion.

 “Nothing prepared me for what I saw on the screen,” Johnson told viewers. “An unborn baby fighting back, desperate to move away from the suction. And I’ll never forget what the doctor said next — ‘Beam me up, Scotty.’”

 “The last thing I saw was a spine twirling around in the mother’s womb before succumbing to the force of the suction,” she continued.

 Johnson said she left the clinic looking back only to remember why she now advocates for life. She’s the founder of And Then There Were None,  a non-profit organization dedicated to helping clinic workers leave the abortion industry. So far, the organization has helped more than 600 former abortion workers transition out of the industry. 

The former clinic director then described in graphic detail a particular room in an abortion facility. 

“For most people who consider themselves pro-life, abortion is abstract. They can’t even conceive of the barbarity,” she said. “They don’t know about the Products of Conception Room in abortion clinics where infant corpses are pieced back together to ensure nothing remains in the mother’s womb. Or that we joked and called it, “The Pieces of Children Room.”

“For me, abortion is real,” Johnson said. “I know what it sounds like. I know what abortion smells like. Did you know that abortion even had a smell? I’ve been the perpetrator to these babies…to these women. And I now support President Trump because he has done more for the unborn than any other president.”

Johnson reminded viewers that “life is a core tenant of who we are as Americans. This election is a choice between two radical anti-life activists and the most pro-life president we have ever had. That’s something that should compel you to action,” she continued. “Take action that re-elects our president and do it with our very most vulnerable Americans in mind. The ones who haven’t been born yet.” 

‘Those are the Facts’: Cissie Graham Blasts ‘Radical Left Bullies’ for Attacks on Religion — Faithwire

Alexander: The REAL Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State: Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Schumer

Anytime Democrats invoke their oath “to support and defend” our Constitution, it should evoke herniating laughter!

Mark Alexander

“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.” —Joseph Warren (1775)

Each week, I typically have to choose from among 10 or more active and carryover topics to write about. Choosing just one can be a challenge.

I’ve been holding a topic — “Enemies of the People” — for six weeks, waiting on Joe Biden to announce Kamala Harris as his 2020 running mate.

The “enemies” topic was high on my list this week, and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened her pie hole, making it the indisputable frontrunner.

Two years ago, President Donald Trump set Democrat Party heads on fire when he declared, correctly, that their Leftmedia propagandists were the “enemy of the people.” According to Trump: “There is great anger in our country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open and obvious hostility and report the news accurately and fairly. That will do much to put out the flames of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!”

For the record, when Trump says “fake news” is the “enemy of the people,” he clearly means the enemy of American Liberty, the foundation that has sustained our Republic since its inception.

Fast-forward to this week, as Democrats are trying to throw the 2020 presidential election to Biden with Pelosi’s Postal Service subterfuge: carpet-bombing mailboxes with ballots rather than requiring the prescribed absentee ballot process now used by every state. Preemptively mailing ballots offers no assurance of who is actually casting a ballot — precisely the “election interference” Democrats are seeking.

Demos are desperate to control the outcome of the 2020 election after their 2016 Russia-collusion coup failed, as did their effort earlier this year to impeach Trump for what Biden actually did.

That desperation caused Nancy Pelosi to offer up this extraordinary invective: “The Russians were there [in 2016] and they are there now 24/7 trying to interfere in our election, but they’re not the only ones. We take an oath to protect [sic] and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring of the Constitution are, uh, ah, uh, right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States.”

Pelosi added: “They’re doing everything they can [to] suppress the vote with their actions, scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there… It’s really actually shameful. Enemies of the state.”

First, anytime Democrats invoke their oath “to support and defend” (not “protect and defend”) our Constitution, and by extension the Rule of Law it enshrines, it should evoke herniating laughter from all of us who have sworn the same oath to defend Liberty at great personal risk. The sad truth is that Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer spend all day every day violating that oath.

Second, her phrase “enemies of the state” is tantamount to the phrase “enemies of the people” in that both imply a group of people who are acting against our Republic’s Constitution and the good order of society.

So, how do you really spot an enemy of the state? Watch for their opportunistic response to a national crisis.

For example, when our nation is in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed an estimated 180,000 lives and 40 million American jobs so far, pay attention to what the enemies of the state do.

First, they start an election-year pandemic inquisition with the sole political objective of blame-shifting to their political opponents. At the same time, they embrace the real enemy responsible for the plague, Red China, our nation’s most perilous adversary and existential threat. As Pelosi noted recently in a moment of accidental honesty, “China would prefer Joe Biden.”

Then, when our nation is at its most vulnerable, they conjure up a pandemic of “systemic racism” to explain the unjust death of a deeply troubled Minneapolis man. Then they blame cops in order to further stir division and hatred, for which they then blame Trump.

That’s right: Enemies of the state are those anti-American politicians at all levels, and their Marxist haters and “useful idiots,” who politicize a deadly virus and then foment race riots across the nation in the midst of that national security crisis.

And to enhance their machinations, they have teamed up with the leftist billionaire archenemies of Liberty, particularly socialist George Soros. He recently acknowledged that the China Virus pandemic provided a “revolutionary moment,” and we all know that leftists never let a good crisis go to waste. According to Soros: “I would describe it as a revolutionary moment when the range of possibilities is much greater than in normal times. What is inconceivable in normal times becomes not only possible but actually happens. People are disoriented and scared.”

Seasoned political analyst Charles Hurt likens them to rats in a plague: “This is the perfect time for Washington Democrats to pillage for their own personal political profit. … After all, there is no time like a plague when rats like to party it up.”

Hurt is much too kind.

These Demo-rats are feeding on the fear, anger, and misery of the most vulnerable among us.

Biden promises to be “the most progressive [read: ‘regressive’] president in history,” which earned him the endorsement of the Communist Party USA. As Barack Obama said this week, “If you look at Joe Biden’s goals and [socialist] Bernie Sanders’s goals, they’re not that different.”

As focused as they are on divisive racial issues, you’d think these Democrats would know the difference between light and dark. But this week, they’re collectively claiming that the upbeat messages of hope and opportunity from RNC convention speakers, who uphold American exceptionalism, are categorically “dark.” How dark? Check out this video compilation of Leftmedia talkingheads parroting the Demos’ “dark” memo.

But it is Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Schumer who would like to shutter our nation in the darkness of socialist oppression. They are, indeed, the enemies of Liberty, which makes them the enemies of the state and all American people.

Most American citizens are good and decent people, and by “most” I mean the vast majority — however lost some may become in the darkness cast by the Left. Most Americans simply want the opportunity to prosper, to be secure in their person and property, to support their family, to care for others, and to live in peace. Unfortunately, those common desires will progressively elude them under the leadership of Democrat Party enemies.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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

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Mid-Day Snapshot · Aug. 26, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.” —Benjamin Rush (1773)

RNC Day Two: A Couple of Compelling Kentuckians

Nick Sandmann took the media to task. Daniel Cameron did the same to Biden.


Which President Misused Government Power?

The Leftmedia is worried about Trump’s RNC, but it should remember Obama.


The Lawless Clinton-Comey Tag Team

Hillary tells Biden not to accept an election loss, while Comey calls Trump a threat.


Democrats Falsely Claim ‘Epidemic of Gun Violence’

The lies are all in service to the Left’s anti-Constitution agenda of gun control.


‘There Is No Place to Hide’

Cuban immigrant Maximo Alvarez’s powerful testimony about the blessings of liberty.


Biden’s Low-Energy Jobs Plan

The Democrat figurehead would double down on Obama’s “green jobs” boondoggle.


The Biden Juggernaut?

Just listen to all the things Biden promises he’ll fix. After spending his life in DC.


Video: Media Talking Point Alert: The RNC Was DARK!

Check out this compilation of Leftmedia talkingheads parroting the Demos’ “dark” memo.


Video: What the Media Won’t Consider About the WI Shooting

There is plenty of rationale and justification, explains Matt Walsh.


Video: TN Dem State Rep. Excoriates BLM Protests

John DeBerry Jr. on the difference between rioting and integrity.



TODAY’S OPINION

STAR PARKER
BLM Suppresses the Truth About Poverty
BEN SHAPIRO
Democrats Push Charges of Racism for Purposes of Convenience
WALTER E. WILLIAMS
Institutional Racism
BETSY MCCAUGHEY
The Phony Post Office Crisis
KAY C. JAMES
Fight for America — Voters Must Do This to Stop Socialism and Anarchy
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Executive Summary

Hurricane Laura nears landfall, RNC Night 2 highlights, BLM thugs, and more.


Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Bette Midler, Don Lemon, Susan Rice, 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)

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