Daily Archives: September 22, 2020

September 22d The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.—2 Corinthians 6:17.

I BELIEVE that a Christian man should lead a separated life. The line between the church and the world is almost obliterated to-day. I have no sympathy with the idea that you must hunt up an old musty church record in order to find out whether a man is a member of the church or not. A man ought to live so that everybody will know he is a Christian. The Bible tells us to lead a separate life. You may lose influence, but you will gain it at the same time. I suppose Daniel was the most unpopular man in Babylon at a certain time, but, thank God, he has outlived all the other men of his day.[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.) (pp. 166–167). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Nation Surprised To Learn All Politicians Are Hypocrites — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Americans were shocked this week after their preferred political parties completely reversed their positions from what they were just a few years ago. Avid political loyalists are heartbroken at the realization that maybe all politicians are hypocrites who probably never mean a single word they say, ever. 

“I thought my favorite politicians were honest, principled people,” said local voter Harlita Finnbop. “My senator has never lied to me, ever! I never imagined he would betray my trust by believing literally the opposite thing he believed just a few weeks or years ago! If we can’t trust our politicians, who can we trust?”

Voters across the country briefly considered voting for the other political party but realized candidates in the other party were hypocrites too. They also considered supporting other candidates who appeared to have more integrity but backed out when they realized those guys were total losers and sissies.

Suddenly, everyone came to the realization that everyone who ever lived was probably a hypocrite. After a few moments of sad disbelief, the country collectively sighed and decided they don’t really care if their politicians are hypocrites as long as they win.

Nation Surprised To Learn All Politicians Are Hypocrites — The Babylon Bee

September 22 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

May my meditation be sweet to Him;

I will be glad in the Lord.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my Beloved among the sons. In His shade is great delight, and His fruit is sweet. For who in the heavens can be compared to You, Lord God? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to You?

The beloved of the Song is white and ruddy, chief among ten thousand. My Jesus is one pearl of great price … the ruler over the kings of the earth.

His head is like the finest gold; His locks are wavy, and black as a raven. Jesus is head over all things … the head of the body, the church.

His cheeks are like a bed of spices, banks of scented herbs. Jesus could not be hidden.

His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. No man ever spoke like Jesus!

His countenance is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. Lord God, make Your face shine upon me, Your servant. Lift up the light of Your countenance upon me.

Lord, receive my praises as I receive Your blessings!

Psalm 104:34; Song of Solomon 2:3; Psalm 89:6; Song of Solomon 5:10; Matthew 13:46; Revelation 1:5; Song of Solomon 5:11; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18; Song of Solomon 5:13; Mark 7:24; Song of Solomon 5:13; John 7:46; Song of Solomon 5:15; Psalm 31:16; Psalm 4:6[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 285). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A Mini Q&A on A Few Calvinistic Doctrines — Gospel Relevance

I, along with my co-pastor, are preaching through the Gospel of John. We’re about halfway done. The Fourth Gospel is not merely introductory material on the Christian life, but a deep, theological book that covers many weighty topics. I would argue that John’s Gospel is highly Calvinistic, especially in John chapter six and John chapter 10.

To my delight, I’ve received a few questions along the way about doctrines like election, effectual calling, and the perseverance of the saints. Below is a sample of some of those questions, along with my answers. The aim of my answers is to reflect accuracy, brevity, and simplicity.

Before I show you the questions and answers, let me give you one passage that has encouraged me over the years as I wrestled through, in particular, the doctrine of election: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25).

God is 100% just in all his actions. Even though I don’t always fully understand why he does what he does, I can go to bed at night without all my questions answered, and still have peace knowing that it is impossible for God to be unjust in any of his dealings with his creation.

A Mini Q&A on A Few Calvinistic Doctrines

So some had/have no chance at eternal salvation-completely out of their hands?

It’s true that one can come to faith in Christ only if God grants that person faith to believe. However, the Bible never blames God for who he chooses and who he doesn’t. Always the blame is on the person for not believing, not on God’s sovereign choice. God is never under obligation to be gracious (to quote a Shai Linne lyric). Grace is an undeserved gift. How one can come to faith only if God opens their eyes and how the blame is on people and not God, is a mystery that finite humans are not able to reconcile.

Are there ones God chose that don’t ever come to believe?

No. If God chooses someone, they will irreversibly come to faith in Christ at some point. It is impossible for one to be chosen and not come to faith in Christ.

What about the ones that walk away — were they really chosen?

I can’t say with full accuracy, since only God knows their hearts. For example, I know someone who made a profession of faith when they were a child. They walked away from God in high school and in college. And then after college — through a series of hardships (this is the way God often works to get someone’s attention), they came back, so to speak, into the fold. Now they are a vibrant follower of Jesus. They were saved the whole time. But if one is truly apart of God’s people, they may sin or stray, but he will always bring them back to himself.

What about those who make a profession of faith in Christ as a young kid but never seem to come back into the fold? Again, I can’t say with the utmost certainty since only God knows the human heart, but at this point, it seems best to infer that they were never truly saved in the first place, and we need to pray like crazy that God saves them.

Those who persevere until the end are saved. Those who don’t, aren’t. Since those whom God chose are in the metaphorical hands of Jesus (John 10:28), he will never let us go. Typically, theologians will provide something called “grounds for assurance,” which are signs that you are truly saved. Signs of genuine conversion are: a love for God and his people, a conviction when you sin, a desire to obey and please God, and — probably most prominently — a quiet, inward, and supernatural assurance from the Lord that you are a son or daughter of his (John Frame, Systematic Theology, p. 1006).

This doesn’t mean that you’ll be perfect. We all stumble in many ways. This doesn’t mean your faith will be spotless. We may have some doubts from time to time. But it does mean that if you truly belong to Christ, he will ensure that you persevere until the end. As R.C. Sproul says: “We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us.”

Why would God condemn some? How can He be a loving God if He condemns some?

I guess we have to define what “love” means. When you use the word “loving,” which standards are you referring to — one’s subjective standards, how the world uses it, or how God uses it? How to answer this question will depend on what we mean by “loving.” It is true — gloriously true — that God is loving. God is love, but love is not God. Love is merely one attribute of God, but it’s not the only one. R.C. Sproul reminds us that the Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy, but it never says that he is love, love, love. God is loving, but he is also a God who feels righteous anger toward sin, a God of wrath and justice.

Believe me — you don’t want a God who is loving but not just. He would be a whimsy, pathetic God who could do nothing about sins and injustice in the world. On the other side, you don’t want a God who is only just and wrathful. He would be terrifying. What we see in Scripture of God is this: he is 100% loving and gracious and merciful, but he is 100% a God of anger and justice and wrath. His character is perfect. So we must not take one of God’s attributes and pit them against the other. When we consider God’s character, we must consider all of his attributes collectively.

So how could God be loving if he condemns some to hell? By condemning (to use a term of your choice) to hell, God is not acting unjustly. He is exercising his wrath and justice against sin. Those are part of his attributes, too. He’s allowed to do that because he is God. God doesn’t owe anyone mercy.

Then are we all made in God’s image?

Yes. All humans — regardless if they have faith or not — are created in the image of God and should be treated with equal value, dignity, and respect. This is the chief distinction between human beings and animals as outlined in Genesis 1.

So does God not really love all creation?

I’m going to answer your question in a slightly different way then you asked it and say yes, God loves all of his creation, but not in the same way. He loves all people in a general way, but he loves his chosen people, all Christians, in a special way. Here’s a quick metaphor.

A married Christian man will love the women of his church in a general way. If a woman in his church goes to the hospital, he’s concerned for her. He may pray for her or visit her. When a woman is doing well, he is happy for her because he cares. But this man has a different, special, exclusive, loyal kind of love reserved for his wife only. In the same way, God loves all people in a general way, but he has a different, special, exclusive, loyal kind of love reserved for his people that secular people do not enjoy.

I know it’s not on our works or anything we’ve done, but if some don’t even get the chance, how is that in line with a loving God?

John Piper answers that question here:

I get that some would never choose to believe, but never to be given the opportunity, I don’t understand. Just really unsettles me.

God’s choice of who is saved doesn’t negate personal responsibility. All people everywhere in Scripture are commanded to repent from their sin and believe in Jesus — and that decision has real, eternal consequences. We have a responsibility to make a choice, but only those for whom God pursues and opens their eyes will decide to believe in Jesus. How those two go together is a mystery. There is a mysterious element to this that requires faith.

Doesn’t make me question my belief in God, makes me hope scholars have interpreted this wrong (on election).

There are some scholars who would align with saying that your salvation is totally up to you. However, I don’t think the biblical evidence aligns with this perspective.

My thought/hope has always been that God puts a yearning in all human hearts. That we all feel an emptiness or longing for something more that can only be filled by God. So how can a person who is not chosen be held to the personal responsibility part when it doesn’t even matter for them?

Amen. God has already put a yearning in all human hearts. Read Romans 1. It explains this in more detail. Essentially the argument is this: God reveals himself to all humans — every single person everywhere — through their conscience and through creation, among other ways. God has placed an inner sense in each person that says that he’s real, a small whisper, so to speak, that says, “I’m real. Repent before it’s too late.” Many ignore this internal sense. That’s why Paul says, “They are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

We must not portray those who are not believers as innocent. Like they are bummed to not be saved. When in reality, a bigger, more robust doctrine of sin would see it differently: that unbelievers are God-haters, who ignore the many ways in which God has revealed himself, and many of whom would rather spend an eternity in damnation than repent and believe in Jesus.

I don’t know how/why the individual is held responsible and not God. I don’t fully understand it. It’s a mystery to me. Ultimately, the more we see God’s holiness and how much he hates sin, the more we will understand why hell is real.

They are not going to heaven no matter what and it’s not because they chose not to believe, it’s because they weren’t chosen. So they don’t even have the spiritual capacity to believe because they aren’t chosen? Does that make sense?

Yes, it makes sense. Perhaps this C.S. Lewis quote, from The Great Divorce, will paint a clearer picture.

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

We should not see unbelievers as innocent. They’re not. They know exactly what they’re doing in not repenting. God has clearly revealed himself to all people, and yet they blatantly ignore their conscience and creation. They do not repent because they don’t want to. They’d rather be a god than worship the true God. If Lewis is right, then hell is something unbelievers choose for themselves.

A Mini Q&A on A Few Calvinistic Doctrines — Gospel Relevance

September 22, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Attitude of Evangelistic Prayer

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. (2:8)

Therefore indicates that this verse goes with the preceding section, not with what follows. The change of subject comes in verse 9, as the word “likewise” shows (cf. 3:8, 11). Having stressed the importance of evangelistic prayer, Paul now tells us with what attitude we are to pray. Want is from boulomai, and could be translated “I command,” or “I purpose.” Men is from anēr, and means men as opposed to women. Men are the leaders when the church meets for corporate worship. When prayer is offered for the lost during those times, the men are to do it. In the synagogues, only men were permitted to pray, and that was carried over into the church. The phrase in every place appears four times in Paul’s writings (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Thess. 1:8). All four times it refers to the official assembly of the church.

Some might argue that this teaching contradicts 1 Corinthians 11:5, where Paul permits women to pray and proclaim the Word. That passage, however, must be interpreted in light of 1 Corinthians 14:34–35, which forbids women to speak in the assembly. Women are permitted to pray and proclaim the Word, but not “in church”—that is, when the church meets for its corporate worship services. That in no way marks women as spiritually inferior (cf. Gal. 3:28). Not even all men proclaim the Word in the assembly, only those so called and gifted. (For a further discussion of this issue, see my book Different By Design [Wheaton, Ill.: Victor, 1994].)

The Old Testament saints frequently prayed lifting up their hands (cf. 1 Kings 8:22; Neh. 8:6; Pss. 63:4; 134:2; 141:2; Isa. 1:15). But Paul’s emphasis here is not on a particular posture for prayer. The hands symbolize the activities of life, thus holy hands represent a holy life. That is a prerequisite for effective prayer (cf. Ps. 66:18). Holy translates hosios, which means “unpolluted,” or “unstained by evil.” Those who pray for the lost must not be characterized by wrath and dissension. They must be holy in heart and deed.

The greatest example of evangelistic praying is our Lord Himself. Isaiah 53:12 tells us He “interceded for the transgressors.” On the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). God answered those prayers with three thousand converts on the Day of Pentecost, and countless thousands more through the centuries.

Do we pray for the lost like that? Do we have the passion that inspired John Knox to cry out, “Give me Scotland or I die”? Is our attitude that of George Whitefield, who prayed, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul”? Can we, like Henry Martyn, say, “I cannot endure existence if Jesus is to be so dishonored”?

God honors evangelistic prayer. Standing among those who killed Stephen was a young man named Saul of Tarsus. Could it be that the great apostle’s salvation was in answer to Stephen’s prayer, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”? Evangelism begins with evangelistic prayer.[1]


8 Paul now moves past his first main point (the offering of all kinds of prayer, vv. 1–2) to his second (related) injunction (oun, “then,” here [untranslated in NIV] and in v. 1). He wants the “men” in the congregation to unite in prayer (proseuchomai, GK 4667; cf. v. 1 and 5:5) without any hint of “anger” (orgē, GK 3973) or “disputing” (dialogismos, GK 1369). Just as ritual purity was essential for Jews, NT believers were to pray with their hands cleansed from all spiritual defilement or impurity (“holy hands”). The plural seems to reflect a plurality of men leading the congregation in prayer and worship (cf. 2:12; 3:2, 5; 4:11–16; 5:17).

The immediate reference of “everywhere” (lit., “in every place”) is to the various house churches making up the Ephesian church (so Thomas R. Schreiner, “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9–15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” in Women in the Church, ed. Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995], 113), though ultimately the scope is universal (Barrett, 54: “in every Christian meeting place”; Kelly, 65: “wherever the gospel is preached”; cf. 1 Co 1:2; 2 Co 2:14; 1 Th 1:8; cf. Mal 1:11 [LXX]; see Quinn and Wacker, 208–9).

The lifting up of hands in prayer was practiced in OT times and is attested in Jewish intertestamental, Greco-Roman, and Christian literature (cf. Knight, 128–29). By this time, lifting up hands in prayer may have become a figurative expression similar to “washing the feet of the saints” (5:10). In this congregation devoted to prayer, there must be neither “anger” (cf. Eph 4:31; Col 3:8) nor “disputing” (cf. Php 2:14). The apostle’s teaching here mirrors that of Jesus (Mt 5:22–24 cf. 6:14–15; 18:21–35; Mk 11:25).

Paul’s concern (similar to that of Jesus) is the removal of barriers to ensure effective prayer (1 Co 7:5; Eph 4:26–27; 1 Pe 3:7; cf. Did. 14:2). The apostle’s main emphasis is on the adjective “holy” (hosious, GK 4008; cf. Tit 1:8; Heb 7:26). The picture painted here is that of a church submitted to authority and united in prayer for the salvation of all.[2]


8 At this point, Paul engages the congregation according to gender groups. In this adaptation of a household code, he takes the men first and speaks to them authoritatively, enlarging on the instruction about community prayer22 initiated at 2:1. There are several issues to be addressed. First, in Greek the term “men” is ambiguous and could mean “husbands” or “men.” Typically either a standard modifying possessive pronoun or similar device will clearly indicate “husband” (e.g. 3:2, 12; 5:9; Titus 1:6; 2:5; 1 Pet 3:1; Eph 5:22), or something else in the context will specify the meaning. The absence of such a signal might support the more generic reference, but the context nonetheless suggests the husband/wife relationship is largely in view (especially when discussion of the women is considered, see below). On the one hand, the norm for men and women was marriage, and this is the assumption in reference to the women and childbearing in v. 15. On the other hand, the language and content of the proscribed “sumptuousness” of wealthy women in 2:9–10 has in mind mainly a trend among wealthy married women (and widows; see on 5:6, 11–15) to adopt a new liberated lifestyle of dress and sexual promiscuity (see below). If this is the case, the generic categories of “men” and “women” are almost certainly intended to express more precision.

Second, Paul is specifically concerned about the holiness and demeanor of men when they pray. This is set out in positive terms first by reference to the symbolic gesture of raising the hands in prayer (coupled with allusion to the rite of hand washing to signify purity). The background is the biblical tradition in which prayers in various contexts (invoking God’s intervention, pronouncing blessing on others) were accentuated by the raising or extending of hands. Within Israel’s cultic regimen, the actual outward act of washing the hands was a fundamental preparatory step for priests to enter the Tent of Meeting (Exod 30:19–21). The visible public act of purification signified the presumed inward condition of purity/holiness of those about to engage in ministry. From the act and its significance, the image of “purified hands” acquired metaphorical status in its reference to moral purity (e.g. 1 Clement 29:1; LXX Pss 25:6; 72:13) just as the image of “bloody” or stained hands signified metaphorically the reverse (Isa 1:15). The combination of the adjective, “holy/pure,” and the symbolic gesture depicts one who is completely (outwardly and inwardly) ready for ministry.

Measured negatively, the holiness that facilitates acceptable prayer is devoid (“without”; 5:21) of attitudes and actions that put relationships at risk. Here Paul highlights two such things. First, the presence of “anger” indicates the absence of patience, kindness and forgiveness, all of which are requisite to the maintenance and fostering of relationships. Consequently, refusing to harbor anger (and related feelings) towards other people (Eph 4:31; Col 3:8), along with taking the positive step of forgiveness (e.g. Mark 11:25), is a condition of effective prayer. Second, hostile feelings issue in hostile actions, and Paul illustrates this with a very relevant reference to “disputing.” This is an almost certain reference to the modus operandi of the false teachers, whose false doctrines and teaching style engendered disputes and division in the community.28 But in the nearer context a reference to some kind of volatile interaction between men and women (who teach) may also be in mind. For the thought that one’s moral condition will affect one’s prayer, positively or negatively, see James 1:19–20 and 1 Pet 3:7.

Third, a subtly inserted phrase often overlooked in translations and commentaries, “in every place” (“everywhere,” TNIV) initiates an OT echo designed to invite the readers/hearers to understand the significance of their entire worship activity in the eschatological framework of God’s redemptive promise to save the nations.29 In the NT the phrase is Pauline, restricted elsewhere to three occurrences (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8). Notably, in each of these instances either Paul’s prayer (1 Cor 1:2) or preaching mission (2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8) is in view. Both of these features and the sense of universality suggest that the phrase originated in and consciously echoes Mal 1:11:

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place (en panti topō) incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

Within Judaism, Mal 1:11 was associated in the Targumic tradition with prayer. Didache 14:3, perhaps influenced by the interests in 1 Tim 2:8 and certainly by those of Judaism, later conflated Mal 1:11 and 14 to construct a citation, attributed to the Lord, that instructed those quarreling to reconcile before praying. But in the OT context, “prayer,” that is, the offering of incense and declaring of God’s name, is not the sole topic; it is rather symbolic of the gracious outward turn of God to the nations and pronouncement of judgment on the corrupt temple-centered worship.

The function of the echo in the Pauline texts is to explore the implications of this prophetic promise in the new eschatological reality of the church. Viewed within this line of OT promise, the churches’ prayer (1 Cor 1:2; 1 Tim 2:8) and Paul’s apostolic ministry (2 Cor 2:14; 1 Thess 1:8; 1 Tim 2:7) become signs of the fulfillment of God’s promise to offer salvation to “the nations.” Equally, the church in its proclamation and prayer becomes the vehicle by which promise is fulfilled. This is exactly the eschatological perspective Paul had of his ministry (Rom 9–11; 15:9–13; Gal 1:15–16), so it is hardly surprising to find it extended here to a discussion of the church’s prayer responsibility within the Pauline mission.33 Within the broader context of 1 Tim 2:8, this echo of Mal 1:11 resonates with the theme of universality and prayer in support of Paul’s mission (2:1–6) and Paul’s self-understanding of his calling to the Gentiles (“herald, apostle … teacher of the Gentiles”; 2:7) to underline the intrinsic place of prayer within the gospel ministry and the ministry of this church. Paul’s audience would have been sensitive to the thematic cue. But equally this missiological frame forces the conduct both of Christian men (holiness) and women (modesty) to be evaluated in terms of its effect on observant outsiders.[3]


2:8 / This sentence is tied to what precedes by the conjunction oun (“therefore”), untranslated in the niv (probably because it was understood to be transitional). “Therefore,” Paul says, “while we’re on the subject, as the people gather to pray be sure it is for prayer and not in anger or disputing.” That is, the instruction is neither that men should pray nor that only men pray nor that they should do so with uplifted hands, but that when at prayer they should do so without engaging in controversies.

This is to be so everywhere, that is, “in every place where believers gather in and around Ephesus” (the house-churches). To lift up holy hands while in prayer is the assumed posture of prayer in both Judaism and early Christianity (see note). The imagery is that of ritual purity, hands cleansed before praying, and here refers to their not being “soiled” by anger or disputing, the particular sins of the false teachers.[4]


2:8. Therefore, I desire men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and disputing.

This verse picks up the theme of prayer from 2:1. Paul instructs men in the church to pray and he lays down a few guidelines for how they are to pray. It is important to see from the outset the universal nature of this command. Paul desires men ‘in every place’ to pray. This clearly goes back to verse 1, where Paul commands prayer ‘for all people’. Wherever there is a community of God’s people, the men are to pray.

The universal quality of this command sets the tone for the entire passage. Those who deny that Paul’s instructions to women in the verses that follow apply to the church today typically do so on the basis that his words are conditioned by the culture of the day or the local situation. However, nothing in the verses that follow warrants such an understanding, and the universality of Paul’s command here suggests that these are his instructions for propriety in all the churches of God. The direct instructions for men to pray makes it clear that men are to lead in public worship (cf. 1 Cor. 14:33–36).

Paul goes on to say two things about how that prayer is to be offered. First, men are to pray ‘lifting up holy hands’. The practice of praying with lifted hands was common in the Old Testament (e.g., Exod. 9:29; 1 Kings 8:22; Isa. 1:15) and was adopted by Jews and the early Christians. It symbolizes the lifting up of our hearts to God, seeking his face and worshipping him. Therefore, our hands must be ‘holy’; that is, our prayers to God should be lifted up from pure hearts.

Secondly, prayer is to be offered ‘without anger and disputing’. This qualification expounds Paul’s reference to ‘holy’ hands, though the absence of anger and disputing is certainly not the totality of what it means to be holy. These sins are only representative. Scripture clearly teaches elsewhere that our relationships with others directly affect our prayers to God (cf. 1 Peter 3:7; Matt. 6:15). ‘Anger’ indicates rupture in church relationships, not the peace and forgiveness that are to characterize the people of God. Paul’s reference to ‘disputing’ may reflect the dissension caused by the false teachers in Ephesus, yet lack of unity is common wherever ransomed sinners meet together. Indeed, it seems to characterize all the churches that Paul addresses in his letters.[5]


Ver. 8.—Desire for will, A.V. the men for men, A.V. in every place for everywhere, A.V. disputing for doubting, A.V. I desire, etc. He takes up the subject again which he had opened in ver. 1, but had somewhat digressed from in vers. 4–7, and gives further directions as to the persons who are to make the prayers spoken of in ver. 1, viz. men (τοὺς ἄνδρας), not women, as it follows more at large in vers. 9–15. The stress is clearly upon “men” (or, “the men”—it makes no difference); and there is no force in Alford’s remark that in that case it would have been τοὺς ἄνδρας προσεύχεσθαι. The prayers had been already ordered in ver. 1; the additional detail, that they were to be offered by men, is now added. In every place; not, as Chrysostom thinks, in contrast to the Jewish worship, which was confined to the temple at Jerusalem, but merely meaning wherever a Christian congregation is assembled. Lifting up holy hands. Alford quotes Clem. Rom. ‘To the Corinthians,’ Ep. i. ch. 29: Προσέλθωμεν … ἐν ὁσιότητιψυχῆς ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴρουντες πρὸς αὐτόν (comp. Ps. 26:6; 28:2; 44:20; 63:4; 2 Chron. 6:12, 13). Without wrath. It appears from several passages in Chrysostom that the habit of praying angry prayers was not unknown in his day. “Do you pray against your brother? But your prayer is not against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering those impious words, ‘Show him the same;’ ‘So do to him;’ ‘Smite him;’ ‘Recompense him;’ … and much more to the same effect” (‘Ham.’ vi.). In ‘Hom.’ viii. his comment on this passage is: “Without bearing malice.… Let no one approach God in enmity, or in an unamiable temper.” And disputing (διαλογισμοῦ). The exact meaning of διαλογισμός is perhaps best seen in Luke 5:21, 22, where both the verb and the substantive are used. The διαλογισμοὶ are cavillings, questionings proceeding from a captious, unbelieving spirit. They are διαλογισμοὶ πονηροὶ (Matt. 15:19). The word is always used in a bad sense in the New Testament. Forms of prayer were not yet established in the Church, but these cautions show the need of them.[6]


8. I wish therefore that men may pray. This inference depends on the preceding statement; for, as we saw in the Epistle to the Galatians, we must receive “the Spirit of adoption,” in order that we may call on God in a proper manner. Thus, after having exhibited the grace of Christ to all, and after having mentioned that he was given to the Gentiles for the express purpose, that they might enjoy the same benefit of redemption in common with the Jews, he invites all in the same manner to pray; for faith leads to calling on God. Hence, at Rom. 15:9, he proves the calling of the Gentiles by these passages. “Let the Gentiles rejoice with his people.” (Ps. 67:5.) Again, “All ye Gentiles, praise God.” (Ps. 117:1.) Again, “I will confess to thee among the Gentiles.” (Ps. 18:49.) The material argument holds good, from faith to prayer, and from prayer to faith, whether we reason from the cause to the effect, or from the effect to the cause. This is worthy of observation, because it reminds us that God reveals himself to us in his word, that we may call upon him; and this is the chief exercise of faith.

In every place. This expression is of the same import as in the beginning of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, “with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,” (1 Cor. 1:2,) so that there is now no difference between Gentile and Jew, between Greek and barbarian, because all in common have God as their Father; and in Christ is now fulfilled what Malachi had foretold, that not only in Judea, but throughout the whole world, pure sacrifices are offered. (Mal. 1:11.)

Lifting up pure hands. As if he had said, “Provided that it be accompanied by a good conscience, there will be nothing to prevent all the nations from calling upon God everywhere. But he has employed the sign instead of the reality, for “pure hands” are the expressions of a pure heart; just as, on the contrary, Isaiah rebukes the Jews for lifting up “bloody hands,” when he attacks their cruelty. (Isa. 1:15.) Besides, this attitude has been generally used in worship during all ages; for it is a feeling which nature has implanted in us, when we ask God, to look upwards, and has always been so strong, that even idolaters themselves, although in other respects they make a god of images of wood and stone, still retained the custom of lifting up their hands to heaven. Let us therefore learn that the attitude is in accordance with true godliness, provided that it be attended by the corresponding truth which is represented by it, namely, that, having been informed that we ought to seek God in heaven, first, we should form no conception of Him that is earthly or carnal; and, secondly, that we should lay aside carnal affections, so that nothing may prevent our hearts from rising above the world. But idolaters and hypocrites, when they lift up their hands in prayer, are apes; for while they profess, by the outward symbol, that their minds are raised upwards, the former are fixed on wood and stone, as if God were shut up in them, and the latter, wrapped up either in useless anxieties, or in wicked thoughts, cleave to the earth; and therefore, by a gesture of an opposite meaning, they bear testimony against themselves.

Without wrath. Some explain this to mean a burst of indignation, when the conscience fights with itself, and, so to speak, quarrels with God, which usually happens when adversity presses heavily upon us; for then we are displeased that God does not send us immediate assistance, and are agitated by impatience. Faith is also shaken by various assaults; for, in consequence of his assistance not being visible, we are seized with doubts, whether or not he cares about us, or wishes us to be saved, and things of that nature.

They who take this view think that the word disputing denotes that alarm which arises from doubt. Thus, according to them, the meaning would be, that we should pray with a peaceful conscience and assured confidence. Chrysostom and others think that the apostle here demands that our minds should be calm and free from all uneasy feelings both towards God and towards men; because there is nothing that tends more to hinder pure calling on God than quarrels and strife. On this account Christ enjoins, that if any man be at variance with his brother, he shall go and be reconciled to him before offering his gift on the altar.

For my part, I acknowledge that both of these views are just; but when I take into consideration the context of this passage, I have no doubt that Paul had his eye on the disputes which arose out of the indignation of the Jews at having the Gentiles made equal to themselves, in consequence of which they raised a controversy about the calling of the Gentiles, and went so far as to reject and exclude them from the participation of grace. Paul therefore wishes that debates of this nature should be put down, and that all the children of God of every nation and country should pray with one heart. Yet there is nothing to restrain us from drawing from this particular statement a general doctrine.[7]


8. Paul now resumes the subject of prayer. The authority which he has just vindicated shines out in the opening verb I want (boulomai), which may be regarded almost as a command. Paul is expressing more than a passing desire. For him prayer was a matter of great importance.

Presumably the singling out here of men as those who should pray must be taken in conjunction with what is afterwards said about women (verse 9). In using the phrase everywhere (lit. ‘in every place’), Paul may be echoing Malachi 1:10–11 (cf. Brox), but the phrase is typically Pauline (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Thess. 1:8), while the practice of lifting up hands was common among Jews and pagans as well as Christians when in the attitude of prayer (cf. Lock). Although constant prayer is here regarded as a matter of Christian obligation, the gesture mentioned is incidental to the qualifying adjective holy. Worshippers with hands stained by unworthy deeds must first be cleansed before approaching God in prayer (cf. Ps. 26:6). The closing words of this verse without anger or disputing show that wrong attitudes of mind are as alien to the holy place of prayer as sullied hands. Not merely pure actions but pure motives are essential in Christian worship.[8]


Men and their prayers (2:8)

Everywhere (literally ‘in every place’, namely wherever public prayer is offered) the men are to lift up holy hands … without anger or disputing (8). Here are three universal characteristics of public prayer, or, expressing them negatively, three hindrances to prayer, namely sin, anger and quarrelling. The reference to ‘holy hands’ reminds us of Psalm 24, in which those who wish to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in his holy place must have ‘clean hands and a pure heart’. Here too Paul uses ‘the outward sign for the inward reality, for our hands indicate a pure heart’. So it is useless to spread out our hands to God in prayer if they are defiled with sin.79 As for anger and quarrelling, it is obviously inappropriate to approach God in prayer if we are harbouring resentment or bitterness against him or other people. As Jesus himself insisted, reconciliation must precede worship.

So holiness, love and peace are indispensable to prayer. But what about the lifting up of our hands—is this equally essential? No, bodily postures and gestures in prayer are cultural, and a wide range of variations occurs in Scripture. The normal posture while worshipping was to stand, as when the Levites summoned the people to ‘stand up and praise the Lord your God’. And while standing before God, it seems to have been common either to ‘lift’ the hands to him or to ‘spread’ them before him, as an expression of dependence and faith. So we read: ‘I lift my hands towards your Most Holy Place’, and ‘Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven’.82 Meanwhile, the eyes could also be lifted up in expectation or else be cast down in humble penitence.84

But standing was not the only acceptable prayer posture. David ‘sat before the Lord’, and many times we read of people, especially in times of humiliation, anguish or confession, bowing down or kneeling before God.86 Sometimes it seemed natural to God’s people to express their sense of awe in his presence by prostrating themselves, with their faces to the ground, especially after a vision of the majesty of God.88

To sum up, although holiness, love and peace should always accompany our prayers, yet whether we stand, sit, bow down, kneel or fall on our faces, and whether our hands are lifted, spread, folded, clasped, clapping or waving are matters of little consequence, although we may be inclined to agree with William Hendriksen that ‘the slouching position of the body, while one is supposed to be praying, is an abomination to the Lord’. Otherwise, we need to make sure that our posture is both appropriate to our culture and genuinely expressive of our inward devotion. For Jesus warned us of the dangers of religious ostentation,90 and our worship must never be allowed to degenerate into ‘a piece of sacred pantomime’.[9]


Ver. 8. Pray everywhere.

Prayer:

  1. Let us consider the subject of attention. This is prayer. And what is prayer? Prayer is the breathing of desire towards God. Words are not essential to it. As words may be used without the heart, so the heart may be engaged where words are wanting. Words are not always necessary to inform a fellow-creature, and they are never necessary to inform God, who “searcheth the heart,” and knoweth what is in the mind. What interesting looks will the hunger of the beggar at the door display! How is it in the family? You have several children: the first can come and ask for what he wants in proper language, and the second can only ask in broken terms, but here is a third who cannot speak at all: but he can point, he can look, and stretch out his little hand; he can cry, and shall he plead in vain? “No! no!” says the mother, refuse him? his dimpled cheeks, his speaking eye, his big round tears, plead for him. Refuse him? Further, we notice the kinds of prayer. Prayer may be considered as public. There is also domestic prayer, by which we mean the prayer that is offered every morning and every evening at the family altar. Mr. Henry observes, “A house without this has no roof.” Prayer may be considered as private. “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and shut thy door, and pray to thy Father which seeth in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Prayer may be considered as ejaculatory, a darting up of the mind to God, as the word signifies. This may be done at any time, and under any circumstance. Nehemiah was the king’s cup-bearer, and while he was in the room attending upon his office, he prayed to the God of heaven.
  2. Observe the injunction. “I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”

III. Where it is to be offered. “Everywhere.” Now, this is opposed to restriction or respect. Let us see what we can make of it in either of these views. You remember the Assyrians thought that the God of Israel was the God of the hills, and not of the valleys. And when Balaam was baffled in one of his endeavours to curse Israel, he went to another place to see if he could be more prosperous, and to try if he could curse them from thence. You see how the devotions of the heathens always depended upon times, and places, or pilgrimages. Anong the Jews, who were for a time under a Theocracy, God chose a place where He might reside, and where were the symbols of His presence, and there all the males resorted thrice in the year; but even then God said to Moses, “In all places where I record My name, I will come unto thee and bless thee.” What think you of those sons and daughters of superstition and bigotry who would confine God to particular places and stations? Where was Jacob when he said, “This is none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven”? Where did Paul take leave of his friends? “He kneeled down on the seashore.” Where did the Saviour pray? “He went out into a private place,” “He went into a desert place,” “He went up into a mountain to pray.” When Jones, a famous Welsh preacher, was commanded to appear before the Bishop of St. David’s, the bishop said to him, “I must insist upon it that you never preach upon unconsecrated ground.” “My lord,” said he, “I never do; I never did; for ‘the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof’; and when Immanuel came down to set His foot upon our earth, the whole was sanctified by it.” God is no more a respecter of places than of persons. This should also encourage you when you are under disadvantageous circumstances. For instance, if you are called to assemble in a very poor place, or in a very small place, He Himself hath said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name”—let it be where it will—“there am I in the midst of them.” But now, further, as men may pray everywhere, so they ought to pray everywhere. The injunction not only allows, but enjoins, universal prayer. The duty is more opposed to neglect than even restriction. Men should pray everywhere, because they may die everywhere. They have died in all places: they have died in a bath, they have died in a tavern, they have died upon the road, they have died in the temple of God. You are therefore to pray everywhere. But what are we to say of those who, instead of praying “everywhere,” pray nowhere?

  1. Let us notice how this duty is to be discharged. It is to be offered up under three attributes. 1. The first implies purity, “lifting up holy hands.” Solomon says, “The prayer of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” David says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” You have heard the Dutch proverb, “Sinning will make a man leave off praying, or praying will make a man leave off sinning.” These will not do well together, therefore they must be separated. It would be better for a man to neglect his benefactor than to call at his house to spit in his face, or to smite him on the cheek. James says, “Can a fountain bring forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” 2. The second attribute is kindness. This is expressed by the opposite extreme. “Without wrath.” There are those whose lives may be far from egregious vices, but whose tempers do not partake of the meekness and gentleness of Christ; they bring their rancorous spirit into their worship, and think to appease the anger of God for their uncharitableness by offering it up on the altar of devotion. “He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 3. The third attribute is confidence. This is expressed negatively: “I will that men pray everywhere,” not only “without wrath,” but “without doubting.” Our Lord says in the Gospel by St. Matthew, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.” This confidence includes a persuasion in the lawfulness of the things we pray for. Then it takes in confidence in the power of God. “Believe ye that I am able to do this”? This confidence takes in the disposition of God towards you; you are not only to “believe that He is,” but that “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Especially you must have confidence in the mediation of Christ. (W. Jay.)

A Scripture description of prayer:

  1. The employment which is here commended. 1. That prayer must be addressed exclusively to God. This grand truth is introduced, and ought to be solemnly and uniformly affirmed, in direct contradiction to those mistaken propensities and systems by which men have addressed invocations to idols—mere imaginary beings, or beings really existing but created and inferior. 2. Prayer must be offered to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an established and a cardinal principle in all revealed religion that man as a guilty sinner can have no access to God but through a Mediator—One whose merits, as having offered a sacrifice for sin, must be alleged as constituting a satisfactory ground for favour and acceptance. 3. Prayer offered to God through the Lord Jesus Christ must be presented by all mankind. The statement of our text is, that men are to “pray everywhere”; wherever men exist, men are to pray. The universal call to prayer arises from the fact that men are universally in precisely the same relationship to God. They are everywhere characterized by the same guilt, the same wants, the same responsibility.
  2. The spirit with which this employment is to be inseparably associated. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” 1. First the apostle recommends importunity. Importunity is symbolized by the figure of the “lifting up of hands”—an attitude which was practised in prayer in ancient times, as externally indicating the place from whence man expected blessing, even heaven the dwelling-place of God, and the spirit with which they desired to receive blessing, laying hold (as it were) by eagerness and by strength of what they desired to receive from Him. Who, for example, can pray for pardon, for sanctification, for knowledge, for love, for protection, for comfort, for victory over death and hell, and for the final enjoyment of a happy immortality in heaven—without importunity? It is palpable that coldness to a rightly regulated mind must be utterly and finally impracticable. 2. But again; the expressions of the apostle, when they recommend importunity, also recommend purity. “Lifting up holy hands”—these expressions, or the epithets with which the expressions we have noticed already are connected, referring to a custom, frequent or universal among the Jews as well as other Oriental nations, of carefully washing the hands before they engaged in the performance of any act of devotion, this being intended to be the sign and symbol of moral rectitude and of the preparation of the heart. Hence it is that in the Old Testament Scriptures you find a connection established between the cleanness of the hands and the purification or holiness of the heart. For instance, in the Book of Job we have this statement—“The righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger”—there being of course an identification between the two expressions. In the twenty-fourth Psalm David inquires thus—“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.” This being the import of the expression, we might refer it to the state, which must be rendered judicially pure or holy by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, dependence on whom we have already advocated and required; but we must especially regard it as referring to the heart, which must undergo the sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, so as to be morally conformed to the character and the law of God. In all ages, God demands to be worshipped in “the beauties of holiness.” 3. The apostle also recommends benevolence. “I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath.” The expression “wrath” of course must be regarded as having respect to other men; we are to be careful against indulging towards them resentment or dislike, arising from whatever source, and we are to cultivate towards them the spirit of benevolence and of good-will, these prompting on their behalf intercession for their interests before the throne and in the presence of God. The apostle well knew that there is a great disposition to the indulgence of selfishness in prayer; and hence it was that he bore in the present instance his solemn protest against it. 4. The apostle at the same time recommends faith. “I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”; the term “doubting” is placed as the converse of faith. Faith in regard to the exercise of prayer, must not merely have respect to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Mediator through whom prayer is to be presented, but must have respect to the entire testimony of God regarding prayer—in its mode, matter, and results. There may perhaps be stated certain limitations to the exercise of faith, as connected with the employment of prayer. Those limitations may justly have respect to the desires we are accustomed to present before the Divine footstool, for the impartation of what we deem temporal blessings.

III. The reasons by which this employment in this spirit may especially be enforced. 1. First, this employment in this spirit is directly commanded by God. 2. Again; this employment in this spirit is connected with numerous and invaluable blessings. Is it not associated with blessing to ourselves, and have we not been distinctly informed that the great instrument of the continuance of spiritual blessings to us, when converted by Divine grace, has been the agency of prayer? 3. And then it must be observed that the neglect of this employment in this spirit is attended and succeeded by numerous and by fatal evils. No man is a converted man who does not pray. No man can be a happy man who does not pray. No man can possess the slightest indication of the spiritual favour of God who does not pray. (J. Parsons.)

Prayer without anger:—“Anger,” says he, “is a short madness, and an eternal enemy to discourse and a fair conversation: it is a fever in the heart, and a calenture in the head, and a sword in the hand, and a fury all over and therefore can never suffer a man to be in a disposition to pray. For prayer is the peace of our spirits, the stillness of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the rest of our cares, and the calm of our temper; prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of untroubled thoughts: it is the daughter of charity and the sister of meekness: and he that prays to God with an angry, that is, with a troubled and discomposed spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to meditate, and sets up his closet in the out-quarters of an army, and chooses a frontier garrison to be wise in. For so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and soaring upwards, and singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and rise above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, till the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over: and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and motion from an angel.” (Jeremy Taylor.)

Praying everywhere:—Forty years ago, Audubon, the distinguished American naturalist, was pursuing his vocation in a wild, remote, and, as he believed, perfectly uninhabited district of Labrador. Rising up from the bare ground after a cold night’s rest he beheld, on one of the granite rocks which strew that desolate plain, the form of a man accurately outlined against the dawn, his head raised to heaven, his hands clasped and beseeching. Before this rapt and imploring figure stood a small monument of unhewn stones supporting a wooden cross. The only dweller on that inhospitable shore had come out from his hut to the open air, that without barrier or hindrance his solitary supplication might go up directly unto Him who does not dwell in the temples that are made with hands.

Wrath and prayer:—Prayer is represented in the gospel as a holy and solemn act, which we cannot surround with too many safeguards, in order to prevent anything of a profane and worldly nature from interfering with the reverential freedom of this con verse between the creature and its Creator. Prayer prepares for acts of self-denial, courage, and charity, and these in their turn prepare for prayer. No one should be surprised at this double relation between prayer and life. Is it not natural that we should retire to be with God, that we may renew our sense of His presence, draw on the treasures of light and strength which He opens to every heart that implores Him, and afterwards return to active life, better provided with love and wisdom? On the other hand, is it not natural that we should prepare by purity of conduct to lift up pure hands to God, and carefully keep aloof from everything that might render this important and necessary act either difficult, or formidable, or useless? The words introduced at the end of the verse so unexpectedly, and which we believe, for a moment, excite surprise in every reader—these words, “without wrath and doubting,” contain a very marked and impressive allusion to the circumstances in which Christians were then placed. The question is anew brought before you at every new attack of your enemies; in other words, every new attack will necessarily tempt you to wrath and disputation as you are men, if it do not urge you to prayer as you are Christians. You cannot escape from wrath except by prayer, nor from hatred except by love; and not to be a murderer, since hatred is murder, you must as much as in you lies give life to him to whom you wished to give death. At least it is necessary to ask it for him, it is necessary by your prayers to beget him to a new existence; it is necessary in all cases, while praying for him, to exert yourselves in loving him. It is necessary that wrath and disputation be extinguished and die away in prayer. Two classes of men may excite in us wrath and disputation. The former are the enemies of our persons, those who, from interest, envy, or revenge, are opposed to our happiness, and more generally all those who have done us wrong, or against whom we have ground of complaint. The latter are those who become our enemies from the opposition of their views and opinions to ours, or the opposition of their conduct to our wishes. Both are to us occasions of wrath and disputation. The gospel requires that they be to us occasions of prayer. In regard to the former, I mean our personal enemies, I might simply observe that God does not know them as our enemies. God does not enter into our passions, or espouse our resentments. He sanctions and approves all the relations which He has Himself created, those of parent and child, husband and wife, sovereign and subject. But the impious relation of enemy to enemy is entirely our work, or rather the work of the devil. God knows it only to denounce it. Besides, in His eye the whole body of mankind are only men, and some in the relation which they stand to each other, only brethren. You would wish to pray for your friends alone; but this very prayer is forbidden, and remains impossible, if you do not extend it to your enemies. And if you persist in excluding them from your prayers, be assured that God will not even accept those which you offer to Him in behalf of the persons whom you love. Your supplications will be rejected; the smoke of your offering will fall back upon your offering; your desires will not reach that paternal heart which is ever open. Not only ought we to pray for our enemies, although they be our enemies; but we ought to pray for them because they are our enemies. As soon as they again become to us like the rest of mankind another distinction takes place, and a new right arises in their favour. They are confounded for a moment with all our other fellows, in order afterwards to stand forth from the general mass as privileged beings, with a special title to our prayers. When we meet with an opposition which frets and irritates us, Christian prudence counsels us to pray that the temptation may be removed; and, in particular, that our self-love and injured feelings may not weaken our love for our neighbour. But this prudence, if it counsels nothing further, is not prudent enough. If the same feeling which disposes us to pray does not dispose us to pray for our enemies or opponents, it is difficult to believe that it is a movement of charity. Charity cannot be thus arrested. Its nature is to overcome evil with good, and this means not merely that it does not render evil for evil, but that in return for evil it renders good. It would not be charity if it did less. Its first step overleaps the imaginary limit which it does not even see or know. It does not restrict itself to not hating; it loves. It would not do enough if it did not do more than enough. Can we renew our hatred for one for whom we have prayed? Does not every desire, every request which we send up to God for him endear him to us the more? Does not each prayer set him more beyond the reach of our passions? No; not till then is the work of mercy accomplished. We have no evidence of having pardoned an enemy until we have prayed for him. For to allege the gravity, the extent of the offence which we have received, has no plausibility. If we have brought ourselves to pardon him who has committed it, we might surely bring ourselves to pray for him; and if we cannot pray for him we have not pardoned him. An offence! But think well of it; can we really be offended? The term is too lofty, too grand for us. The offence may have grated very painfully on our feelings, or thwarted our interests, but it has gone no farther. Whatever injustice may have been done us, whatever cause we may have to complain, that is not the real evil. What evil absolutely is there in having our faith tried and our patience exercised? Because our fortune has been curtailed, our reputation compromised, our affections thwarted, does the world go on less regularly than it did? Not at all. The evil, the only real evil is the sin of that soul, the infraction of the eternal law, the violence offered to Divine order; and if any other evil is to be added to this, it will be by our murmurings, since the effect of them will be to make two sinners in place of one. Do you then seek a reason for refusing your intercession, and consequently your pardon to your adversaries? I have found one, and it is a fit ground for resentment: God your Father was insulted in the insult which you experienced. But show me, pray, the extraordinary man who, quite ready to pardon on his own account, cannot resolve to pardon on God’s account! It may belong to God to be angry with them; us it becomes only to pity them, and pity them the more, the more grievously God has been offended. But alas! instead of seeing in the injury which we have received only an injury done to God, we insolently appropriate to ourselves the offence of which He alone is the object. In what hurts Him we feel ourselves offended, and consequently become angry, instead of being grieved. It will be well if, instead of praying, we have not cursed! Contrast the ordinary fruits of wrath and debate with these results of prayer. In yielding to the former, not only do you place yourself in opposition to the holy law of God, but you destroy the peace of your life and the peace of your soul; you aggravate the evils of a situation already deplorable; you kindle up hatred in the heart of your enemy; you render reconciliation on his part, as well as on yours, always more difficult; you run from sin to sin in order to lull your pride, and this pride gives you only a bitter, poisoned, and criminal enjoyment. How much better, then, is prayer than wrath and strife! But personal enemies are not the only ones who are to us the occasion of wrath and strife. The class of enemies, as we have already said, includes all those whose opinions, views, and conduct are in opposition to our interests or our principles. How little does the impatience which they excite differ from hatred! With regard to such enemies, our usual method is to hate in silence if we feel ourselves weak, or to dispute obstinately if we believe ourselves strong. The gospel proposes another method. It approves neither of hatred nor strife. Zeal, courage, perseverance, indignation itself, must all be pervaded with charity, or rather, proceed from charity. Indignation and prayer must spring from a common source; the former from love to God, the latter from love to men, and consequently both from love. How widely different is this conduct from that which is commonly pursued in the world! Let Government commit an error, it is greedily laid hold of and bitterly commented on; and this is all that is done. Let a religious teacher profess a system which is judged dangerous; his minutest expressions are laid hold of, and isolated so as to distort their meaning; his life is boldly explained by his opinions, or his opinions by his life, and there the matter rests. To pray, to entreat the Lord to shed His enlightening Spirit on this government, on that teacher, on that individual; to wrestle for them in presence of the Divine mercy, ah! this is what is seldom thought of. Ah! the Divine Intercessor must have fully established His abode in the soul before the spirit of intercession can dwell there! How difficult is it for the old leaven to lose its sourness! What seeds of hatred, what homicidal germs are in the heart which has received Jesus Christ! How much of Cain still remains in this pretended Abel! And what avails it to believe much if we love little, or to believe if we do not love? And truly, what have we believed, in whom have we believed, if we do not love? (A. Vinet, D.D.)[10]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 74–75). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 513). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 201–204). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (pp. 70–71). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 87–88). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Timothy (pp. 34–35). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 63–65). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 87–88). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Stott, J. R. W. (1996). Guard the truth: the message of 1 Timothy & Titus (pp. 82–83). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[10] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: First Timothy (pp. 121–125). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

Why the Church Needs Gentle Shepherds — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Polarization. Tribalism. Division. Outrage.

These words are regularly used to describe our current cultural moment. Sadly, they are often accurate descriptions of our cultural climate, which has been made increasingly evident in recent months. American culture is like two boats heading in opposite directions, with the members of each boat yelling at those of the other boat. If you aren’t an angry voyager on one of the boats, you are hopelessly drowning somewhere in between.
Unfortunately, many believers exemplify this worldly tendency toward polarization and outrage. We shout. We gossip. We quickly label those we disagree with, and then we divide from them in anger, annoyance, and plain disinterest. A quick jaunt through almost any neighborhood of Christian social media will look sadly similar to that of the surrounding culture.
But why should this cultural descent into outrage matter so much for the church and church leaders? This polarizing tendency shapes our character more than we realize. It pushes us to extremes in the qualities we exemplify. We become experts in wielding a hammer. So, of course, everything looks like a nail.
My humble suggestion is that at least part of the solution to polarization among believers doesn’t lie in directly addressing our tribalism. We can endlessly bemoan outrage culture with little-to-no effect. We need leaders of character in the church to show us how to thrive in between the boats.
Character and Church Leadership
It is well-known that the New Testament requirements for elders (found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) have more to do with character than skills. We need to spend more time thinking about what it looks like to display these character qualities. To do that, we need to grasp what we mean by “character.”
Think of character as the sum of your tendencies, dispositions, inclinations, and affections. It’s all the virtues and vices that determine who you are and what you will do. Character is an established reality, not a passing choice. For example, if you possess the character quality of patience, your natural response to an annoying circumstance will be one of kindness, not anger. Character develops a bit like a golf swing. At first you have to think through every movement and detail of your swing. But over time, as you learn and practice, your swing becomes more automatic. The qualities that make up our character work the same way. Over time, we think and act in ways that carve grooves onto our souls. It is those grooves that determine character. Puritan Thomas Watson described the development of Christlike character as a fixed thing:
The blush of godliness is not enough to distinguish a Christian, but godliness must be the temper and complexion of the soul. Godliness is a fixed thing. There is a great deal of difference between a stake in the hedge and a tree in the garden. A stake rots and moulders, but a tree, having life in it, abides and flourishes. When godliness has taken root in the soul, it abides to eternity: ‘his seed remaineth in him’ (1 John 3:9). Godliness being engraved in the heart by the Holy Ghost, as with the point of a diamond, can never be erased.[1]
Obviously, as followers of Christ, we want the “temper and complexion of the soul” to be shaped by our Lord rather than the world. And this is precisely the problem we encounter in our polarized cultural moment. The grooves of our souls are being cut and deepened by the world as an attitude of polarization shapes every aspect of life. So how should we respond? I’m convinced we need shepherds who cultivate the Christ-like quality of gentleness.
Gentleness
In 1 Timothy 3:3, Paul writes that the elder must be “gentle.” Paul isn’t looking for men who act gentle in one or two arenas of life, or who do something gentle several times a month to save face. The roots of gentleness grow deep in his soul. To exhibit this quality, a man must have the channels of his character carved over time to reflect our Lord.

One does not become gentle over night or in response to some dramatic event.
Gentleness simmers long


To understand why this quality is so necessary in our “outrage” culture, we need to see that Paul understands gentleness to be the virtue opposite the vice of violence (1 Tim. 3:3). When we read the word “violent,” we think of a man who expresses his anger physically. But Paul isn’t only talking about one who hits with his fists. The NASB uses the word “pugnacious,” and the picture is of a man prone to a fight, either verbal or physical. His character has been formed in a way that keeps him alert for the opportunity to disagree. He’s irritable and treats others in a rough or harsh manner, but he’s often unable to recognize these tendencies in his own life.
On the playground of social media, this is the bully roaming the social feed, hunting for an altercation. He’s quick to identify the problems with others, and is drawn to controversy like an insect to light. For obvious reasons, Scripture forbids a man like this from holding the office of an elder. Rather than bringing unity and peace to the local church, he fosters frustration and division, often without realizing it. If Paul were ministering in twenty-first century America, he would quickly identify the pugnacious man as one who exemplifies “outrage” culture.
Instead, Paul tells Timothy that elders must be men who embody gentleness. Alexander Strauch has called gentleness “one of the most attractive and needed virtues required of an elder.”[2] The rest of the New Testament confirms Strauch’s take. In James 3:17, the virtue of gentleness flows from heavenly wisdom. In this passage, gentleness is paired with being “peaceable” and “open to reason.” The gentle leader nurtures rather than dominates. He is not gullible, but he eagerly listens and is able to see things from a different perspective. He may not ultimately agree with a certain point of view, but he pursues relational peace even amidst disagreement (James 3:18).
In Titus 3:2, Paul exhorts every believer to be gentle toward all men. The context (v. 1) of this exhortation even includes political authorities—a timely word for our current moment.

Gentleness grows where the soil has been plowed by grace

Paul makes this clear in verses 3–7. The gentle man has gazed into the mirror often enough to see his own sinfulness and brokenness (v. 3), and yet, God has shown him goodness and kindness beyond measure through the work of Christ (vv. 4–7). The grace of God has stamped gentleness onto his character, and it will manifest itself in his words and actions.
The Necessity of Gentleness
I believe that the present cultural circumstances require attention be paid to this leadership quality. Of course, the biblical qualifications for elders are not subject to cultural winds or seasons. However, it’s often the case that certain moments highlight the need for certain qualities. Now is one of those moments, and gentleness is that quality.
In the midst of the cultural upheaval that 2020 brought with it, more than ever we need shepherds who are gentle. Your church members are learning how to respond both to political authorities and frustrated church members by watching you. The pugnacious pastor will only fuel the fire of outrage in his congregation, while the gentle shepherd will calmly and patiently teach and model the truth for the good of his flock (2 Tim. 2:24–25). Let’s push back against the darkness of polarization and outrage by letting the grace of God shine the light of gentleness through us and into the church.
 
[1] Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1992), 14.
[2] Alexander Strauch, Biblical Eldership (Littleton, CO: Lewis and Roth Publishers, 1995), 197.

Why the Church Needs Gentle Shepherds — The Master’s Seminary Blog

September—22 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Who maketh thee to differ from another?—1 Cor. 4:7.

My soul! sit down, in the cool of this lovely evening, and, in the recollection of distinguishing mercies, look up and behold the gracious hand that “maketh thee to differ from another;” until thine heart overflow, in a view of the wonderful subject, with thanksgiving, love and praise. If thou wilt open the volume of thine own life, (and surely, of all volumes, when explained by the word of God, it is the most interesting to read,) thou wilt behold such a multitude of instances, in all the departments of nature, providence, and grace, as, under divine teaching, will bring home the question with the most awakened earnestness to the heart, and cause thee frequently to exclaim, as thou passest on, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” Every defect of nature in others, every poor cripple, or the blind, or deaf, which thou meetest with; the want of intellect, or the want of understanding, yea, that thou wert not born among the reptiles of the earth, but among them who are created in the image of God, may, and ought to direct thy heart to the contemplation of him and his distinguishing favour, “in whose book all thy members were written!” And when, from the kingdom of nature, in the appointments of the Lord, thou followest the tract of thine own history into the kingdoms of providence, and grace, and beholdest through all, and in all, the distinguishing mercies with which thy life hath been marked, the question will arise all around, and in every direction, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” What a mercy to be born in this land of thy nativity, and not among the dark places of the earth, where the name of Jesus was never heard, nor the sound of the church-going bell invites sinners to salvation! What a mercy to have had praying parents, who sought blessings for us before we had power to ask for ourselves! Or, on the other hand, if sprung from ungodly parents, who never, by advice or example, led us to the throne of grace, what a mercy, that, under all such unpromising circumstances, without advice and without example, the word of God, and the ordinances of Jesus, are dear to us! Surely the apostle’s words enter with a strength of inquiry under these views, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” And, my soul, if now, as from a rising ground thou lookest back, and tracest “all the way which the Lord thy God hath brought thee these many years, to humble thee, and to prove thee, and to show thee what was in thine heart,” thou beholdest thy Lord’s gracious dealings with thee, compared to others; how many with whom, in thy boyish days, thou enteredst the field of life together, that are now no more; how many that still survive, but know not the Lord; how many, in circumstances far more promising than thine, and yet have come short of the grace of God! Views like these, and all the thousand, and ten thousand incidents connected with them, instead of lifting the mind with pride, are enough to humble the soul to the dust before God, and melt all the finer affections into the most heartfelt sense of the apostle’s question, “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” Jesus! my Lord, behold me at thy feet! How shall I dare lift mine eyes to thee, while in the moment of recollection of thy distinguishing mercy towards me, I call to remembrance my baseness towards thee? Lord! is it possible, that in a life where so much grace hath abounded, sin should so much abound? That in every spot where my God hath erected a monument of his love, my sinful and ungrateful heart should have left an inscription of my unworthiness? What others feel, I know not: but blessed, for ever blessed, be the unwearied patience and goodness of my God, that through his distinguishing grace alone, I am what I am; and while my soul desires to refer all and every part of divine mercy, in all the departments of nature, providence, and grace, into the Lord’s own free, and rich, and sovereign pleasure, I praise him for having given me that precious testimony in my soul, which the Lord himself said should be the consequence, in wrought by his divine teaching in the heart: “I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: that thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 16:62, 63.)[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 276–278). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

September 22 – Wings As Eagles — VCY America

September 22
Isaiah 39:1-41:16
Ephesians 1:1-23
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 23:25-28

Isaiah 39:3 – Joshua said the same thing about the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:6). Seek the LORD first before you start making alliances (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Isaiah 40:3 – John the Baptist quoted this to identify his role (John 1:23, Mark 1:3).

Isaiah 40:5 – London Symphony Orchestra performed this part of Handel’s Messiah.

Isaiah 40:8 – The only two things that will live forever is God’s Word and People’s Souls. Spend time in God’s Word and with People!

Isaiah 40:11 – The Shepherd of Psalm 23 will come (from Isaiah’s perspective) and has come (from ours)!

Isaiah 40:12 – This sounds like the end of Job – the wisdom poetry – unable to compare the LORD to anyone! (Isaiah 40:25)

Isaiah 40:28 – This is a great memory verse on the nature of God. The Infinitude of God.

Isaiah 40:31 – This is an incredible chapter we’ve read – ending with the phrase “wings as eagles.” From our good friend Ron Hamilton!

Isaiah 41:10 – Another great verse to memorize thanks to another good friend Earl Martin:

Ephesians 1:1 – We’ve read Paul’s doctrinal discussions with the Romans, dealings with the deep troubles of the Corinthians, disputing with the defecting Galatians, and now the delightful Ephesians!

Ephesians 1:7 – Redemption through his blood! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

Ephesians 1:11 – Notice how inheritance is used three times – we’ve obtained an inheritance thru Christ (Ephesians 1:10), the Holy Spirit is the “down payment” (Ephesians 1:14), and there is unknown riches of glory ahead (Ephesians 1:18). All things – starting with our redemption are thru Jesus Christ!

Psalm 66:3 – As we mentioned before, the English language has de-volved. Terrible, from the Latin Terreo (Frighten), has been hijacked to mean “poor quality” (I did a terrible job). It’s true meaning is impressing terror, dread, awe.

Psalm 66:18 – The Psalmist shares with us this important truth about prayer. As we see sad tales of pastors falling into sin – we realize their sins were unheard. What’s sad is like David – it’s possible to spend a year as the leader of God’s chosen people, and yet not spend any time with God (2 Samuel 11:27).

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

September 22 – Wings As Eagles — VCY America

September 22 Defining the Gospel

 

1 Corinthians 15:3–4

I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.

Duncan McNeil, the Scottish evangelist, once said that in school he had a seminary professor who insisted on opening his theology classes with a question. No one could ever anticipate what the question would be. One day he said to his students, “Gentlemen, can someone give me a definition of the gospel?”

A student rose and read John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The professor said, “That is a good gospel text, but it is not a definition of the gospel.” Another student read 1 Timothy 1:15: “How true it is, and how I long that everyone should know it, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the greatest of them all.” Again the professor declined to accept it; he waited for what he wanted. Finally, a student stood and read 1 Corinthians 15:3–5, much to the professor’s delight. It was evident that he had the reply he desired; he said, “Gentlemen, that is the gospel. Believe it, live it, preach it, and die for it if necessary.”[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 277). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

Franklin Graham’s Prayer March & Jonathan Cahn’s ‘The Return’ Aim to Keep USA From ‘Point of No Return’ | CBN News

Has America moved so far from God, it’s passed the point of no return? Religious believers gathering on the National Mall and around the nation September 26th are pleading with God that it not be so. At two huge events – Washington Prayer March 2020 and a solemn assembly called The Return – they’ll be praying America be given more time.

Evangelist Franklin Graham and prophetic writer Jonathan Cahn both say God led them separately to call for these huge assemblies on the National Mall September 26th.

“God is Converging Everything”

Cahn doesn’t think it’s just a coincidence. He told CBN News, “God is converging everything. That’s how important this day is.”

In a promotional video for The Return, Cahn pointed out the significance of this time, saying, “This will take place not only 40 days before the presidential election but also on the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, in the days of America’s founding and dedication to God.”

He insists the country has to get back to that dedication…or else.

America: Dividing & Disintegrating?

“I believe that America is heading to calamity if it continues on its course, and I believe we have the warning signs all around us,” Cahn argued. “We could have [a] total economic collapse. We’re already seeing the beginning of it. We could have the dividing of America, the breakdown, the disintegration of America.”

He added, “It would also mean persecution for the people of God. It could also mean the end of religious freedom.”

Meanwhile, Franklin Graham told CBN News, “We’re coming to pray. And I’m just asking people to join me.”

Franklin Graham says The Return and the noontime prayer march he’s leading the same day are a good start to get America out of trouble and back to God.

Fill This City with Prayer

Looking across the nation’s capital, he said, “Let’s fill this city with people who are willing to pray for this country, to pray for the president, to pray for all of our leaders, Democrat and Republican.”

The Return will go from 9 am to 9 pm a couple of blocks from the Washington Monument towards the Capitol building. Then over by the Lincoln Memorial, around noon the Washington Prayer March 2020 will begin, stopping for targeted, focused prayer at famous Washington sites on or near the National Mall.

In his promo for the prayer march, Graham said, “As I stand in this nation’s capital, this country is in trouble. The only hope for America is God.”

He continued, “Prayer is our most important weapon. It allows us to go directly to the King of Kings, directly to stand before the throne of grace and make our petitions known directly to God.”

‘The Return’ landed on the Day Called ‘Shuvah,’ Which Happens to Mean ‘The Return’

Cahn said of September 26th and the National Mall, “There is something that is very big and spiritual focused on that day and that place.”

In fact, though Cahn says God told him months ago to have this sacred assembly called The Return September 26th, Cahn just found out it’s the Sabbath day called “Shuvah” on the sacred Hebrew calendar.

“‘Shuvah’ in Hebrew means The Return,” Cahn said. “And it’s the day set in the Bible’s calendar for Return, and specifically for the Return of a nation, back to God for repentance.”

CBN News will simulcast The Return on the CBN News Channel on Friday evening and Saturday morning, September 25 and 26.

Cahn emphasized, “It can’t just be prayer. It’s got to be repentance.”

 

 

The Harbinger II author also didn’t know the pre-set scripture for synagogues nationwide to read that day are these special words in Joel 2 that Cahn shared with CBN News, stating, “It says ‘And consecrate a fast and consecrate a solemn assembly to repent before the Lord.’ We had no idea. So this is clearly…this is not our thing. This is God’s thing.”

Forget Being Politically Correct

It’s a time to repent and return, but Graham also says it’s time to be bold.

“Let’s don’t try to be politically correct,” he urged. “Let’s just take a stand for what we believe God wants us to do. And let’s don’t be afraid. And we need to speak out in this country.”

Graham pointed out a hundred years ago, pastors and their churches were political leaders in their communities across America. He says it’s time for God’s people to return to such a position of crucial influence in the land.

“I’m just encouraging churches and pastors to speak up and be the leaders in your community that you need to be,” the evangelist said.

Each location visited during the prayer march will have a particular prayer focus. At the Lincoln Memorial – that focus will be repentance and healing of America. (Click HERE to view a map of the march route.)

At the World War Two Memorial, it’ll be prayers for the military, police, and peace in the land.

Prayers at the Washington Monument will be for families and salvation and against abortion.

Then the marchers will turn from the towering Monument toward the White House to lift up the president and America’s leaders.

At the nearby National Museum of African-American History & Culture, the focus will be on national reconciliation.

Next, they’ll wheel toward the National Archives where the Constitution is enshrined to pray for religious freedom and churches.

Finally, facing the Capitol building, the marchers will lift up Congress and the Supreme Court, as well as leaders and judges across the land.

“The only hope for this country is God,” Graham summed up. “Donald Trump can’t turn it around. Joe Biden isn’t going to turn it around. Only God can do this. And we need God’s help.”

Even if the Coronavirus Has You Concerned, You Can Still Take Part

Cahn stated those gathering will be practicing all the safety protocols to keep the coronavirus at bay. But if worries about that or other reasons keep you from DC, Cahn said you can still participate.

“Calling everybody who can come, come; but we’re also going to be streaming it all over,” Cahn shared. “So no matter where you are…if you can’t come… in your homes, with your families, in your churches, you can have your own event; it doesn’t matter. It’s a national day of prayer and repentance before the Lord for our own sins and then to intercede for America. And God will hear our prayer.”

“God doesn’t want to judge. He doesn’t. He’s long-suffering. Look at all we’ve done and what we do in His face. Look at the millions that have been killed, the unborn children who’ve been killed,” The Harbinger II author pointed out. “God doesn’t want to, but He has to deal with evil. But His heart is for salvation. His heart is that none should perish. God is calling to America: ‘America, return to Me and I will return to you.’ I believe that’s the heart of God.”

Cahn concluded, “The movement and chance we have before us now may never come again. If we don’t return now, we may pass the point of no return.”

Media Will Try To Personally Destroy Trump Nominee, Just Like Kavanaugh

If we learned anything from Brett Kavanaugh, it’s that if it’s up to the media, there’s no way the nominee’s character makes it out of the next 42 days alive.

Source: Media Will Try To Personally Destroy Trump Nominee, Just Like Kavanaugh

Flashback: Obama, Biden, and Pelosi Demanded SCOTUS Vacancy Be Filled Before the 2016 Election

As soon as the news broke Friday that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away, it feels like it wasn’t five minutes before the mainstream media was talking about Republican hypocrisy. It may have been longer; I wasn’t quite counting.

Source: Flashback: Obama, Biden, and Pelosi Demanded SCOTUS Vacancy Be Filled Before the 2016 Election

Tim Tebow Joins Trump Administration For Stunning Announcement Of $100 Million Dollar Grant To Combat Child Sex Trafficking And Human Slavery — Now The End Begins

Tim Tebow proceeded to outline a three-fold approach in addressing human trafficking. It starts, he explained, with a proactive approach to support families “before they get in a desperate situation where they do something that eventually they’re gonna regret.”

One of the reasons why Donald Trump is so hated by The Swamp is because there is a huge child sex-trafficking pedophile ring in Washington. And no, I am not talking about PizzaGate or QAnon. I was told by someone who works in the DoD that there is more pedophilia happening in Washington than you could shake a stick at. President Trump has taken unprecedented action to combat child sex trafficking and human slavery, signing an executive order aimed at combating human trafficking and online exploitation back in January. Now Tim Tebow has joined the Trump administration in the fight, and The Swamp is furious.

Joe Biden is running for president and Kamala Harris as his vice president, and both of them agree with abortion on demand up to the due date of the child. Over the past few years, Democrats have embraced abortion as a means of population control to a degree that would make Hitler and the Nazi concentration camp people blush. Never before in American history have the battle lines been so clearly drawn. The Democrats are the party of death, if you vote for them, you are saying you are in agreement with them.

DEMOCRATS ARE CONSUMNED BY THEIR DESIRE TO ABORT THEIR BABIES, CLICK TO SEE HOW BAD IT REALLY IS

Tim Tebow Joins AG Barr, Ivanka Trump To Announce $100M in Grants To Combat Human Trafficking

Tim Tebow has teamed up with Attorney General William Barr and White House adviser Ivanka Trump to provide much-needed funding to organizations fighting the ongoing battle against the modern-day slavery of women, girls, and boys across the world.

According to NBC8, Barr and Trump hosted a roundtable in Atlanta on Monday to discuss the issue and announce the creation of $100 million in grants to fight human trafficking. At the discussion, Tebow, whose tireless work to fight human trafficking eclipses his successful career in professional sports, shared his vision for “making a dent” in the fight against modern slavery.

“I’m grateful for all of you that are here and all of the work that you have done,” Tebow said, addressing the room alongside his wife, Demi-Leigh. “I truly am so grateful, because, for me and my wife, this isn’t an 8 to 5, a 9 to 5, this is a calling.”

“It’s a calling because we believe it’s the greatest form of evil in the world today. Because there are 40 million people around the world that need us,” Tebow declared. “They need us to say, ‘no longer is it about the credit, it’s about the mission.’”

“Eventually we have to say, ‘not on our watch. Not anymore,’” he went on.

Tebow proceeded to outline a three-fold approach in addressing human trafficking. It starts, he explained, with a proactive approach to support families “before they get in a desperate situation where they do something that eventually they’re gonna regret.”

The second prong, Tebow went on, was to be “a part of the rescue.”

“That’s one of our non-negotiables, is we’re on a rescue mission. When you say ‘rescue mission,’ it puts a timeline on it… We have to live with a sense of urgency to rescue as many lives as possible.”

The third aspect of the plan is to build long-term relationships, Tebow said, because “it does take holistic healing. It takes holistic love, and it also takes sharing with someone that they might have been a slave physically but they’ve also so many times become a slave inside. Slavery’s not just on the outside, it’s on the inside as well.”

“So many times, these survivors have forgotten their worth,” Tebow lamented.

“You know, the reason why we got into this was because eight years ago, my dad was preaching in a remote country, and there were four girls that he was next to that were being sold,” Tebow recalled. “And he took out all the money out of his wallet, which was $1,250 and he bought those four girls. And then he called me and said, ‘I just bought four girls and not really sure what to do now.’ and I said, ‘that’s OK, dad. we’ve got your back.”

Tebow and his father proceeded to build their first safe home, supporting those four girls and going out to rescue more from the clutches of slavery.

“I’m so grateful for that day because it opened my eyes to what is happening around the world.”

“Another one of our non-negotiables is that there’s power when we come together,” Tebow concluded. “We need more people to be able to come together on this, because when we do, we believe there’s power, and we believe we can make a dent.” READ MORE

Tim Tebow Foundation Joins Human Trafficking Effort With Trump

Tim Tebow Joins Trump Administration For Stunning Announcement Of $100 Million Dollar Grant To Combat Child Sex Trafficking And Human Slavery — Now The End Begins

Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 1:00pm Livestream — The Last Refuge

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing from the Brady room.  Anticipated start time 1:00pm Livestream Links below:

White House Livestream – Fox Business Livestream – Alternate Livestream

Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 1:00pm Livestream — The Last Refuge

Mid-Day Snapshot · Sept. 22, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“[The judicial branch] may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)

Senate Republicans Have the Votes, BUT…

Trump and the GOP must overcome The Mother of All Obstruction Efforts.


Biden’s SCOTUS Political Play

Joe charges Trump with politicizing the Court while refusing to release his own list.


BLM Erases Its Own History

The organization deleted a key page on its website, but its radicalism still shows.


Countering Biden’s Economic Baloney

Biden has a terrible record on the economy that he wants voters to forget.


Pelosi Refuses to Hold China Accountable

She blocked a bill to prevent Beijing from censoring speech on U.S. campuses.


How Trump Jumped China in the Battle for Air Supremacy

Under this president, we’ve seen a far shorter turnaround time for a key air asset.


Oldest WWII Vet Gets a Flyover

Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans turned 111 with a special treat.


Video: I Love America Too Much to Stay Silent

“There’s no better place to live for anyone … than America.” —Nestride Yumg


Video: Dr. Voddie Baucham on Cultural Marxism

An in-depth explanation for why it doesn’t jive with the Christian faith.


Video: Flashback: Democrats Demand Vote on Merrick Garland

“Give [the] nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote.”



TODAY’S OPINION

TONY PERKINS
Supreme Court Vacancy Pours Rocket Fuel on 2020 Election
RICH LOWRY
The Left Wants Regime Change
SCOTT POWELL
Do You Want the People Who Believe America Is Racist in Charge?
STEPHEN MOORE
Biden Anti-Business Agenda Would Wreck the Economy
SALENA ZITO
NFL’s Social Justice Experiment Is No Touchdown
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Executive Summary

Ginsburg to lie in state, Louisville “state of emergency,” ballot updates, and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Rich Lowry, Allie Beth Stuckey, Chuck Schumer, 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)

Read Online

Global economy has no capacity to carry any more debt – Max Keiser | RT – Daily news

The hosts of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy, look at the US national debt, which has spiked by $4.2 trillion in a year to total $26.7 trillion.

Max says there’s a reflection point here: “Global GDP is roughly $100 trillion, and the amount of assets bought by top central banks around the world is now approaching $100 trillion” – and it’s likely to tip over that mark. That’s like pouring water into a bucket, Max says, and as the water fills the bucket and, at some point, reaches the top, it starts to pour out.

“There is no capacity for earth economy to carry any more debt. We are at saturation point,” he says, adding: “Now, every dollar that central banks print will go directly into consumer price index inflation… and that’s going to cause incredible social unrest,” particularly in countries such as the United States.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business

Source: Global economy has no capacity to carry any more debt – Max Keiser

RZIM Reportedly Cutting 10% of Staff and Forcing Employees to sign NDA’s — Protestia

RZIM is reportedly in the process of cutting 10% of its staff members and forcing all outgoing employees to sign Non-disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) designed to force the silence under the threat of punitive monetary damages and legal threats of any exiting employees.

The move from the company, which has nearly 50 employees and brings in $37,000,000 a year in donations, comes after the passing of Ministery figurehead and leader Ravi Zachariahs earlier in the year, as well amidst new allegations unearthed by Julie Roys of Ravi’s sexting scandal, (which we covered in 2018 here) and allegations from Ravi’s business partner that he was sexually harassing staff at some spa’s he owned a decade ago.

RZIM has up to this point denied the allegations but has not elaborated further. When we asked them about the latter allegations, they said in a statement that it was “virtually impossible” to investigate, even though with the accusers and victims being in the same city and willing to talk, it is imminently possible and quite easy- only a phone call or an uber away. Sadly, RZIM has shown a refusal to address any wrongdoing on the part of Zacharias, and as a result, bring reproach to the name of Christ.

Wishing to kneecap the ability of the staff to say any damaging information that may hurt the ministry, or which may reveal the presence of more victims, Protestia has learned that human resource protocols are being revamped to prevent existing and outgoing staff to comment publicly on any inner workings at RZIM or from addressing any information the may know about the brewing scandals. In these cases, ministries will frequently withhold severance due to the employees if they don’t sign or will entice them with large cash payouts if they do sign.

RZIM has infamously utilized NDA’s in the past, most recently when they continue to enforce one against Lori Thompson, the woman at the center of the sexting scandal, who has repeatedly reached out to RZIM publicly and privately to beg them to release her, but not to no avail.

While there may be some reason for businesses to have employees sign NDA’s it is far less comment in Christian circles, with NDAs frequently being used as a tool, with Geoff Robson rightly noting that they silence victims, protect perpetrators, and ‘eschew a gospel-shaped response to sin in favor of a secular response to sin‘.

We at are still in the process of investigating RZIM and these allegations, and will update accordingly.

RZIM Reportedly Cutting 10% of Staff and Forcing Employees to sign NDA’s — Protestia