Daily Archives: October 2, 2020

Weekly Watchman for 10/02/2020

Bill Cook: Warning Pastors, Enemies Attacking Church & Country

We discuss the importance of pastors to preach the whole counsel of God and to stand for truth and righteousness today – outside church walls in our culture. Teaching their congregations about political and worldview issues including the voting process is an important of a church leader’s role in society.

David Fiorazo and Bill Cook also discuss two of the biggest threats to America: the “Red-Green axis” of communists and globalists aligning with Islam against Christianity and our Constitution, the potential consequences of Christians not voting on November 3, what happens when government becomes perverted, and the importance of confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Debates and Idolatry and Addictions – Oh My!

On today’s podcast, Josh Parise of Ephesians 5 Ministries joins David and Crash. First topic, the (un)presidential debate Tuesday night; why our initial reactions may have been wrong; what was really accomplished? Also discussed, mail-in ballots, Christians and voting, religious freedom, sexual addiction and idolatry.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Paul Blair: America at a Critical Crossroads for Faith and Freedom

Today’s guest is Pastor Paul Blair, Senior Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma since 2001. He speaks nationwide about God in Government, as well as Apologetics and a Biblical Worldview. He serves on the Board of Directors for Bott Radio, and the Oklahoma Apologetics Alliance.

Paul was a football All Star at Oklahoma State University and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1986 playing under Coach Mike Ditka and alongside Hall of Famers Walter Payton, Dan Hampton, and Mike Singletary.

He’s an author, and President of Reclaiming America for Christ and founder of Protect Life and Marriage OK.  He is also a member of the Council on National Policy.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Stephen Broden: Political Correctness, Cultural Marxism, and the Church

TODAY’S GUEST is Pastor Stephen Broden, Senior Pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship in Texas. He’s also a political commentator, founder of Protect Life and Marriage Texas, member of the National Black Prolife Coalition, and former professor. He is the chairman of the Gone 2 Far Movement, and is also featured in the 2020 documentary, Uncle Tom: An Oral history of The American Black Conservative.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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October 2d The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Trust in Him at all times ye people.—Psalm 62:8.

THERE are a good many who trust God when they see all is light and clear before them, but not in the dark. They will trust when everything is fair and bright—no opposition, no persecution or bitterness, but all smooth sailing. Well, that is walking by sight, and not by faith. We are to trust in the Lord at all times. The Lord will not have one who cannot be tried. If you are starting out in the Lord’s work, you are going to be tempted. St. Augustine said that God has had one Son without sin, but no son without trial.[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. 173–174). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Announcing the Fall 2020 Edition of TMSJ — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Announcing the Fall 2020 Edition of TMSJ — The Master’s Seminary Blog

I am honored to announce the release of the Fall 2020 edition of The Master’s Seminary Journal. This issue addresses a variety of theological disciplines with articles we believe will serve our readers in a number of important ways. Without question, the mind of the pastor must be multi-disciplined. He must be versed in New Testament, Old Testament, linguistics, biblical languages, systematic theology, historical theology, and biblical theology, to name several. His calling requires him to weave these disciplines together each week in his study. The Master’s Seminary exists to serve and benefit the church, and to do that well, we must serve in ways that equip the pastor to better exposit the Word and to guard the truth entrusted to him.

As President, my desire is that The Master’s Seminary Journal will serve you well by informing, equipping, and encouraging you in your own pursuit of faithful service to Christ through the careful, accurate exegesis and exposition of God’s Word. To that end, our goal is that each edition of the journal will be marked by faithful scholarship for the edification of the Church.

To God be the glory.


Read The Master’s Seminary Journal 


Below are the abstracts for the articles included in the fall edition.

Analysis of Geerhardus Vos’ Nature and Method of Biblical Theology

Richard C. Barcellos (Ph.D., Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology, IRBS Theological Seminary)

When Geerhardus Vos stood to give his inaugural address for the “new chair” of biblical theology at the College of New Jersey in 1894 (now Princeton University), the field of study had been dominated by “the liberal/critical biblical-theological enterprise” for over one-hundred years. He was a Reformed-orthodox theologian entering a field of “perverse influences.” This paper traces the thought of Vos historically, beginning with his inaugural address (1894) and concluding with his last published work (1948). The focus of this paper is the nature and method of biblical theology as presented by Vos. This historical study discovers a harmony of thought—a hermeneutic grounded not only in how Scripture is formed, but in what it says and how it says it. He views revelation as pre-redemptive, redemptive, historical, organic, progressive, Christocentric, epochal-covenantal, and multiform. Vos would one day be considered “an all-time master in the field of Biblical Theology.” Whether or not readers agree with his methodology and/or doctrinal formulations, his work merits our attention, respect, and appreciation.

A Methodology for Janus Parallelism

Nathan LeMaster (Ph.D. Candidate, Cambridge University)

The Greek god of beginnings and endings had two faces, one looking to the future and the other to the past. This god was known by the name Janus. Thus, the masterful Hebrew literary device used to intentionally exploit a single word with two meanings—one meaning pointing to what has come before, and the other meaning to what has come after—was deemed Janus Parallelism. The conclusions one draws about Janus Parallelism impact a proper understanding of authorial intention and the semantic connections which existed in the mind of the Hebrew writer. The purpose of this article is to establish an initial methodology for identifying Janus Parallelism, as well as to expound the implications of Janus Parallelism for biblical studies. The pertinent question for this study is, how can one affirm that the biblical author purposefully exploited both meanings? While recent scholarship has been insightful on this issue, the danger of presuming upon the intention of the biblical author remains. This article argues that the first step in identifying Janus Parallelism is to prove a case of polysemy or homonymy (not ambiguity) within the Janus word. The second step is to demonstrate previously established semantic connections between both meanings of the Janus word and the immediate context. This initial methodology for determining Janus Parallelism will help to prove the intention of the biblical author, rather than allowing imagination of possible meanings to overshadow sound exegesis.

Divine Timelessness: A Recovery of the Foundational Doctrine of Classical Theism

Peter Sammons (Ph.D., Director of Academic Publications and Faculty Associate in Systematic Theology, The Master’s Seminary)

The doctrine of the timelessness of God has long baffled laymen and theologians alike. This article will address the current debate over the timelessness of God, providing a definition of time and uncovering the Scriptural foundations for this doctrine in the process. This article will also trace the development of this critical doctrine throughout church history. God’s timelessness is of no small consequence, because to tamper with this single doctrine is to send an eroding ripple effect through all the other attributes of God. The church must remember, regain, and rejoice over this forgotten doctrine in order to preserve the integrity of Christian theology.

Toward the Worship of God as Actus Purus

Alan Quiñones (Ph.D. Candidate, The Master’s Seminary)

God is Actus Purus, which is to say that He is eternally all that He can be. Potentiality is a trait of creatures, not God. The concept of Actus Purus was first articulated by Aristotle in his argument for the unmoved mover, and through its history, the church has considered this notion a valid articulation of the absolute perfection and preeminence of God over all things. This paper, then, explores the exegetical footing of Actus Purus. It also will seek to understand its implications for systematic theology. Careful exegesis will demonstrate that the doctrine of pure actuality is deducible from Scripture by good and necessary consequence. It is an instrument that helps to sound the unbounded perfection of God and arrive at a more settled understanding of His meticulous sovereignty. In short, pure actuality conveys that life cannot but belong to God, because He decrees, wills, knows, and does everything entirely from Himself.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on “Unity”

Kevin D. Zuber (Ph.D., Professor of Theology, The Master’s Seminary)

This article is the second in a two-part series that surveys several messages from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in an attempt to better understand his perspective on “unity.” In this second article, particular attention is paid to the message delivered at the meeting of the National Assembly of Evangelicals in October 1966—a message that marked a turning point in twentieth-century British evangelicalism. Two other messages on unity after 1966 are also examined. This examination will demonstrate that Lloyd-Jones’ message on unity in 1966 was consistent with his stance on unity before and after 1966. The article concludes with suggestions as to how Lloyd-Jones’ teaching on unity has application for twenty-first century evangelicalism.

Recent Scholarship and the Quest to Understand Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Peter J. Goeman (Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, Shepherds Theological Seminary)

This article analyzes Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. One of the most debated parts of these prohibitions is the phrase “as one lies with a female” (מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה). Although many modern scholars have attempted to explain this phrase as a technical phrase referring to incest or specific homosexual behavior, this phrase should be understood as a general reference to sexual activity. Thus, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 should be read as general prohibitions against sex between homosexual partners.

The Hermeneutics of the American Revolution

Gregg L. Frazer (Ph.D., Professor of History and Political Sciences, The Master’s University)

The American Revolution was a time not just of conflict between nations, but also between preachers. The differences of opinion between the Loyalists and the Patriots concerning rebellion resulted in differences in their interpretations of Scripture. This article compares two sermons—one by a Patriot, and one by a Loyalist. Patriot preachers largely began with a natural understanding of the biblical text, but then filtered that meaning through the lens of rebellion. The result was a creative, emotion-filled interpretation intended to bolster the cause of revolution. The Loyalists, on the other hand, interpreted and applied Scripture with a strict grammatical-historical hermeneutic. Through a comparative analysis of these two early-American sermons, modern readers have an opportunity to understand the importance of hermeneutics to practical living.

Postmodernism and the Gospels: Dancing on the Edge of Disaster

David Farnell (Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, The Master’s Seminary)

A saying that is so true for today’s liberal and evangelical critical scholars’ investigation in Gospel studies is found in the words of a nineteenth-century German philosopher, “Against that positivism which stops before phenomena, saying ‘there are only facts,’ I should say: no, it is precisely facts that do not exist, only interpretations.” The state of Gospel studies among liberals is always expected to be pathetically conflicting and arbitrary. Unfortunately, now evangelical-critical scholars evidence no substantive qualitative difference in Gospel studies from their more liberal counterparts. Increasingly as the twenty-first century develops, such distinctions between these two groups blur at an alarming rate, making both groups increasingly unified in presuppositions as well as conclusions in Gospel studies. This article will consider recent developments in the field of Gospel studies with the goal of illuminating shortfalls and providing productive alternatives in scholarly methods.

Read this issue online here, or email journal@tms.edu for more information about TMSJ.

October 2 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

Righteous God, as far as the east is from the west, so far have You, Lord God, removed my transgressions from me. “In those days and in that time,” You say, “the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; for I will pardon those whom I preserve.” You will cast all my sins into the depths of the sea. Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity?

All we like sheep have gone astray; I, too, have turned to my own way; and You, Lord God, have laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. He shall bear my iniquities. Therefore You will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for us transgressors. The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world!

Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sin—and thank You, Father God, for sacrificing Your Son for that specific purpose.

Leviticus 16:22; Psalm 103:12; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:19, 18; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 53:11–12; John 1:29[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 297). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 2 – Religious Credentials are Dung — VCY America

October 2
Isaiah 66:1-24
Philippians 3:4-21
Psalm 74:1-23
Proverbs 24:15-16

Isaiah 66:1 – This verse was one of the last words of Stephen (Acts 7:49), and was the transition from narrating the history of Israel to condemning his accusers. Isaiah has been the voice of the LORD rejecting the religious practices of His people:

  • Sacrifices – Isaiah 1:11
  • Fasting – Isaiah 58:5
  • Building Projects – Isaiah 66:1-2

Isaiah 66:22-24 – Wow – Isaiah concludes with a stark contrast. The redeemed of the LORD will dwell in the new heavens and the new earth, and the men that transgress against the LORD – their worm shall not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). From GotQuestions:

Mark 9:48 does not mean that there are literal worms in hell or that there are worms that live forever; rather, Jesus is teaching the fact of unending suffering in hell—the “worm” never stops causing torment. Notice that the worm is personal. Both Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:48 use the word their to identify the worm’s owner. The sources of torment are attached each to its own host.

Some Bible scholars believe the “worm” refers to a man’s conscience. Those in hell, being completely cut off from God, exist with a nagging, guilty conscience that, like a persistent worm, gnaws away at its victim with a remorse that can never be mitigated. No matter what the word worm refers to, the most important thing to be gained from these words of Christ is that we should do everything in our power to escape the horrors of hell, and there is only one thing to that end—receiving Jesus as the Lord of our lives (John 3:16).

https://www.gotquestions.org/worm-will-not-die.html

Philippians 3:8 – Paul recognizes the truth of Isaiah – God doesn’t care what religious credentials we have. No matter if we’ve been circumcised the eight day, a Pharisee, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Paul declares it is dung, echoing Malachi 2:3. Now there is a trend amongst the cool theologians to say that Paul really said a more vulgar version of the word dung, but Gary Manning helpfully debunks that myth:

Paul was not alone in using σκύβαλα as a metaphor for something worthless in the moral or religious realm. Philo and Sirach both used σκύβαλα to describe undesirable qualities that should be abandoned. Paul’s interesting, and somewhat different, use of the word is to say that his desirable religious credentials (circumcision, pedigree, Pharisaism, zeal, obedience to the Law) were σκύβαλα – worthless waste – in comparison to knowing Jesus (Phil 3:4-8).

https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2015/did-the-apostle-paul-use-profanity

Philippians 3:9 – Paul said his righteousness of the law was dung. It was worthless because it was powerless. Now the righteousness of Christ was powerful (Philippians 3:10) – it is priceless (not worthless) because it is powerful – so powerful it can defeat death (Philippians 3:11) 

Philippians 3:12 – Jesus caught Paul, now Paul is trying to catch Jesus. Notice that Paul hasn’t apprehended (entire sanctification) until glorification (Philippians 3:11).

Philippians 3:14 – May this be our goal in life as well. Not seeking a prize of an Olympic gold medal, or a Super Bowl ring, or a Fantasy Football championship, but of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! What a day that will be (Philippians 3:21).

Psalm 74:18 – What does God say about His name? There are 90 references in the Old Testament to My Name. What does God think about people who misuse His Name?

Proverbs 24:16 – Endurance is the mark of a just man. Don’t stop, Don’t Quit! (Sounds like Philippians 3:14!)

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.

October 2 – Religious Credentials are Dung — VCY America

October 2, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

loving money ignores the true gain

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. (6:6)

This verse is closely connected with verse 5. De (but) could also be translated “indeed.” In that case, Paul would be saying in response to the false teachers who saw their religious activity as a way to get rich, “Indeed, godliness does provide great gain.” The NASB translation reflects an adversative sense of the word. Paul’s meaning then is “But as over against the false understanding of godliness displayed by the false teachers, true godliness does result in great gain.” The apostle’s point is that true godliness is profitable, but not as some think.

Godliness translates eusebeia, a familiar term in the Pastoral Epistles. It means “piety,” “reverence,” or “likeness to God,” and here even “religion,” in the true sense. As such, it describes true holiness, spirituality, and virtue. When accompanied by contentment, such religion or godliness is a means of great gain. Autarkēia (contentment) means “self-sufficiency,” and was used by the Cynic and Stoic philosophers to describe the person who was unflappable, unmoved by outside circumstances, and who properly reacted to his environment (cf. Geoffrey B. Wilson, The Pastoral Epistles [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982], 85). To be content means to be satisfied and sufficient, and to seek nothing more than what one has.

For the Christian, unlike the Greek philosophers, contentment derives from God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” In 2 Corinthians 9:8 he adds, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” The apostle gave testimony to his own contentment in Philippians 4:11–13:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

In verse 19 of the same chapter he adds, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” For the believer, then, contentment is more than a mere noble human virtue. It is based on the sufficiency provided by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Loving money deprives one of that contentment, thus ignoring the true gain provided by true godliness.

True godliness produces contentment and spiritual riches. People are truly rich when they are content with what they have. The richest person is the one who doesn’t need anything else. When asked the secret of contentment, the Greek philosopher Epicurus replied, “Add not to a man’s possessions but take away from his desires” (cited in William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 129). He is richest who desires the least. Proverbs 30:8–9 puts it this way: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

A godly person is motivated not by the love of money but by the love of God. He seeks the true riches of spiritual contentment that come from complete trust in an all-sufficient God. David said in Psalm 63:1–5,

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory. Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips (cf. Ps. 107:9; Isa. 55:2; 58:11).

No amount of money will make up for a lack of contentment. John D. Rockefeller once said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” Cornelius Vanderbilt added, “The care of millions is too great a load … there is no pleasure in it.” Millionaire John Jacob Astor described himself as “the most miserable man on earth.” Despite his wealth, Henry Ford once remarked, “I was happier doing mechanic’s work.” And John D. Rockefeller commented, “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.”

Love of money and contentment are mutually exclusive. As a Roman proverb put it, money is like sea water, the more you drink the thirstier you get (Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 132). Ecclesiastes 5:10 sums it up, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.”[1]


6 In the first saying, Paul asserts that the true sign of “godliness” (eusebeia, GK 2354; see comments at 2:2) is “contentment” (autarkeia, GK 894; see 2 Co 9:8; Php 4:11; cf. Ps 34:10); such contented godliness is truly profitable (NIV, “gain,” porismos). Contentment, defined as “self-sufficiency,” was considered a virtue in Greek (Cynic-Stoic) philosophy. Paul, however, did not advocate that version of contentment. Rather, “putting new wine in old wineskins” (cf. Frederick E. Brenk, “Old Wineskins Recycled: Autarkeia in 1 Timothy 6.5–10,” Filologia neotestamentaria 3 [May 1990]:39–52), he “ ‘turned the tables’on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency” (Fee, 143). Such true contentment is set in contrast to the greed of always wanting more,which leads to the exploitation of others.

In essence, “godliness” is not an avenue for material gain; as a spiritual virtue, it is “gain” in and of itself. This message has strong countercultural implications in the increasingly materialistic cultures of Western society. Even Christians are frequently drawn into a pattern of excessive debt, consumer spending, and status-consciousness based on material possessions (see “Consumerism,” “Debt,” and “Economics,” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. S. Moreau [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000], 224–25, 262–63, 297–99).[2]


6 As indicated by the repetition of the two key terms, “gain” and “godliness,” and the linking “to be” verb (now moved to emphatic position), Paul turns the negative assessment just made inside out to correct (and further condemn) the heretical distortion of values. While the repetition of thoughts is rhetorically significant, it is the expansions he introduces, and the implicit redefinition of “godliness” that results, that shift the direction of meaning.

First, Paul takes the discussion to a higher level than the heretical understanding is able to reach. The “great gain” he associates with “godliness” exceeds the limited material “gain” sought by the opponents.

Second, his repetition of the term “godliness,” bearing the profound meaning of authentic Christian existence, also seeks a higher, spiritual level of meaning. The further qualification of it as “godliness with contentment [or self-sufficiency]” removes godliness from the material limitations of the false teachers’ motives and substantiates Paul’s spiritual thrust. The qualifying phrase contains a term that was essential to Stoic philosophy (and present also in Cynic and Epicurean teaching), where it expressed the notion of “self-sufficiency,” emphasized detachment from things or outside possessions, and stressed independence. Paul was clearly in touch with this theme (Phil 4:11–12; 2 Cor 9:8), but supplied a Christian basis for it. By introducing the counter-materialistic concept of self-sufficiency as an element of “godliness,” there is no room left for the acquisitiveness and financial implications attached by the false teachers. With a slight shift, the term comes to mean the satisfaction or contentment with what one already has. In the present context, both ideas converge (cf. the adjective in Phil 4:11). Godliness is not about acquiring better and more material things; it is instead an active life of faith, a living out of covenant faithfulness in relation to God, that finds sufficiency and contentment in Christ alone whatever one’s outward circumstances might be.[3]


6:6 / This verse stands in immediate contrast to the last words in verse 5, with a striking play on terms. They think godliness “is a way to become rich.” They are partly right. There is great gain (or profit, now used metaphorically) in eusebeia, provided it is accompanied by contentment, that is, if one is satisfied with what one has and does not seek material gain.

The word autarkeia (contentment) expresses the favorite virtue of Stoic and Cynic philosophers, for whom it meant “self-sufficiency,” or the ability to rely on one’s own inner resources. There are some (D-C, Hanson, Brox, et al.) who see that philosophical tradition as lying behind all of verses 6–8, and they translate “if it is coupled with self-sufficiency” (D-C; cf. neb, “whose resources are within him”). But Paul has already used this word in an analogous context in Philippians 4:11; there he “turned the tables” on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency. For Paul, therefore, the word means contentment, the empowering Christ gives to live above both want and plenty (Phil. 4:13). Moreover, there is no hint in 1 Timothy that its author considered anything like self-sufficiency to be a virtue. Life for him is all of grace and dependent on God’s mercies (1:12–17), and his ministry comes from Christ who appointed and empowered him for it (1:12).

Paul’s point, of course, is to combat the greed of the false teachers and, incidentally, of any others who might be tempted to lean in that direction.[4]


6:6. Godliness with contentment is great gain …

Paul repeats the word for ‘gain’ from verse 5, tying this new section to the previous one. Here, however, it is spiritual gain, spiritual riches, that he has in mind, as opposed to financial gain. ‘Godliness with contentment’ is the means to true spiritual riches. To put it in the words of Jesus, the issue is the location of our treasure (Matt. 6:21). Do we pursue the things of earth, or do we pursue the goals of heaven, including that holiness without which no one will see the Lord?

Contentment is an essential part of true godliness. Contentment in any and every situation (Phil. 4:11–12) reveals that we truly trust God’s sovereignty in our lives. Jeremiah Burroughs defines Christian contentment as ‘that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition’. Literally, the Greek word for contentment means ‘self-sufficiency’. The biblical idea is not that we are independent, not needing God or others. Rather, it is that our trust in God and our joy in him are not dependent on our outward circumstances. We quietly, graciously accept whatever comes from the hand of the Father. The world seeks contentment, but through illegitimate means, such as material gain. True spiritual contentment, the greatest form of riches, comes by trusting and resting in God’s provision.[5]


Ver. 6.—Godliness, etc. The apostle takes up the sentiment which he had just condemned, and shows that in another sense it is most true. The godly man is rich indeed. For he wants nothing in this world but what God has given him, and has acquired riches which, unlike the riches of this world, he can take away with him (comp. Luke 12:33). The enumeration of his acquired treasures follows, after a parenthetical depreciation of those of the covetous man, in ver. 11. The thought, as so often in St. Paul, is a little intricate, and its flow checked by parenthetical side-thoughts. But it seems to be as follows: “But godliness is, in one sense, a source of great gain, and moreover brings contentment with it—contentment, I say, for since we brought nothing into the world, and can carry nothing out, we have good reason to be content with the necessaties of life, food and raiment. Indeed, those who strive for more, and pant after wealth, bring nothing but trouble upon themselves. For the love of money is the root of all evil, etc. Thou, therefore, O man of God, instead of reaching after worldly riches, procure the true wealth, and become rich in righteousness, godliness, faith,” etc. (ver. 11). The phrase, Εστι δὲ πορισμὸς μέγας ἡ εὐσεβεία μετὰ αὐταρκείας, should be construed by making the μετὰ couple πορισμὸς with αὐταρκείας, so as to express that “godliness” is both “gain” and “contentment”—not as if αν̓ταρκεία qualified εὐσεβεία—that would have been expressed by the collocation, ἡ μετὰ αὐταρκείας εὐσεβεία. Contentment (αὐταρκεία). The word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in 2 Cor. 9:8, where it is rendered, both in the R.V. and the A.V., “sufficiency.” The adjective αὐτάρκης, found in Phil. 4:11 (and common in classical Greek), is rendered “content.” It means “sufficient in or of itself”—needing no external aid—and is applied to persons, countries, cities, moral qualities, etc. The substantive αὐταρκεία is the condition of the person, or thing, which is αὐτάρκης.[6]


6. But godliness with sufficiency is great gain. In an elegant manner, and with an ironical correction, he instantly throws back those very words in an opposite meaning, as if he had said—“They do wrong and wickedly, who make merchandise of the doctrine of Christ, as if ‘godliness were gain;’ though, undoubtedly, if we form a correct estimate of it, godliness is a great and abundant gain.” And he so calls it, because it brings to us full and perfect blessedness. Those men, therefore, are guilty of sacrilege, who, being bent on acquiring money, make godliness contribute to their gain. But for our part, godliness is a very great gain to us, because, by means of it, we obtain the benefit, not only of being heirs of the world, but likewise of enjoying Christ and all his riches.

With sufficiency. This may refer either to the disposition of the heart, or to the thing itself. If it be understood as referring to the heart, the meaning will be, that “godly persons, when they desire nothing, but are satisfied with their humble condition, have obtained very great gain.” If we understand it to be “sufficiency” of wealth, (and, for my own part, I like this view quite as well as the other,) it will be a promise, like that in the book of Psalms, “The lions wander about hungry and famished; but they that seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.” (Ps. 34:10.) The Lord is always present with his people, and, as far as is sufficient for their necessity, out of his fulness he bestows on each his portion. Thus true happiness consists in piety; and this sufficiency may be regarded as an increase of gain.[7]


6. The dictum of the false teachers is first of all admitted, yet with an all-important proviso. The notion of self-mastery inherent in the word translated contentment (autarkeia) is singularly Pauline (the noun occurs elsewhere only in 2 Cor. 9:8 and the adjective in Phil. 4:11). Godliness will only be true gain when independent of circumstances, and the apostle himself provides an admirable pattern of this in Philippians 4:11. To the Stoic notion of self-mastery Christianity brings the essential quality of a contented mind.[8]


6:6. Paul had just shown how the false teachers equated gain, success, and personal well-being with money. They promoted a form of outer godliness and intricate academic systems in order to draw people into their influence and so secure their financial support. Religion brought them prestige and profits.

But … This little qualifier is an important word. Paul negated the premise and goal of the false teachers. Success and personal well-being have nothing to do with rules, crowd adoration, or material prosperity: it is godliness with contentment [that] is great gain.

For Paul, godliness was the entire scope of the faith—correct doctrine combined with new life, truth measured by right living. The spiritual goals and disciplines necessary to progress in Christlikeness are to be the consuming passion of all his followers. This has nothing to do with material wealth or poverty. Material possessions are irrelevant. The human soul was not created to find contentment in the accumulation of stuff. This is a phantom that too many people chase. Personal peace is found in intimate relationship with God—this is great gain.[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 250–252). 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, pp. 553–554). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 398–399). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 143). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 189–190). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Timothy (p. 120). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 157–158). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 127). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 243). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Are Moral Truths a Product of Culture? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Does moral truth change from people group to people group? Are moral truths subjective and simply a matter of cultural consensus? If moral truth is objective, how can we account for it? In this video from J. Warner’s “Quick Shots: Fast Answers to Hard Questions” series on RightNow Media, J. Warner answers this common question related to the claims of Christianity.

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

Are Moral Truths a Product of Culture? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

October—2 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.—Luke 7:42.

My soul! nothing can be more grateful and commendatory to the state of thine insolvency, than the recollection of what thy God and Saviour hath taught in this beautiful parable; that the debtor of five hundred pence, and the debtor of fifty, being both equally incapable of discharging the respective claims upon them, are equally considered as objects of mercy, and are therefore both alike forgiven. And this, indeed, is the distinguishing property of grace. It is totally distinct from merit; yea, in direct opposition to it. Hadst thou the least pretensions to divine favour, or couldst thou have put forth the least helping hand towards thine own salvation; grace then would have been no more grace. The frank forgiveness of all debt, carries with it the plainest testimony of man’s total helplessness, and the sovereign freedom of divine love. And hence, when the sinner, of every description and character, is brought into this glorious privilege of redemption, the whole result is “to the praise of the glory of his grace, who hath made us accepted in the beloved.” What a beautiful and interesting view is this of the gospel of Jesus! It is full, and free, and suited to every case, and answering to the state and circumstances of every poor sinner. For as all have sinned and come short of God’s glory, so all, being unable to make the smallest restitution, are equally objects suited to divine mercy; and whatever other causes operate, certain it is, that the greatness or smallness of the debt, in a state of total insolvency, becomes no bar to pardon. So runs the charter of grace, and the proclamation from the court of heaven. Let all that are poor, and insolvent, and helpless, and conscious of their lost state, come alike to the footstool of the mercy-seat. The Son of God will have his court surrounded with such; and every one to whom his free salvation is welcome, that poor creature, be his circumstances what they may, shall be welcome to take it; whether him that oweth ten thousand talents, or whether him that oweth fifty; having nothing, either of them, to pay, the Lord frankly forgives both! Oh! the unsearchable riches of grace! Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 285–286). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 2 Thoughts for the quiet hour

 

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him

1 John 4:16

God is love; and it is good, as it is true, to think that every sun-ray that touches the earth has the sun at the other end of it; so every bit of love upon God’s earth has God at the other end of it.

Mark Guy Pearse[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 2, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety.” —Thomas Jefferson (1805)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

NYT Mocks President and First Lady

Douglas Andrews

As we stagger into the homestretch of an absolute dumpster fire of a year — a year that couldn’t possibly become any more odd or outlandish — 2020 just grinned that sadistic grin and said, Hold my Everclear.

So it was just after midnight last night, when President Donald Trump tweeted, “FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

His announcement came just hours after one of his top advisers, Hope Hicks, had tested positive.

True to form, The New York Times couldn’t resist the urge to ignore the first lady while mocking the president in the wake of this unequivocally awful news. “The president’s result,” the Times sneered, “came after he spent months playing down the severity of the outbreak that has killed more than 207,000 in the United States and hours after insisting that ‘the end of the pandemic is in sight.’”

As if we hadn’t heard the first time, the Times doubled down in its second paragraph: “Mr. Trump, who for months has played down the seriousness of the virus and hours earlier on Thursday night told an audience that ‘the end of the pandemic is in sight,’ will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign trail only 32 days before the election on Nov. 3.”

The schadenfreude is strong with these sick puppies. We can practically hear them in their newsroom, chortling away and fist-bumping with glee.

All this, of course, is indicative of the Left’s response generally. While the president has consistently conveyed hope, strength, and reassurance throughout the pandemic, his enemies — let’s call them what they are — have retreated to a dark and foreboding place. COVID, then, is the risk that a strong, resolute, and action-oriented president accepts while lesser men launch slings and arrows from the safety of their basements.

But enough about the Times and the hate-addled Left.

As for the remaining weeks of the campaign, those who think President Trump will simply kick back and rest comfortably might want to hedge their bets. The president will, of course, have to cancel all his in-person events — an unfortunate blow to his campaign — but there are other ways to communicate. And it simply isn’t in this man’s nature to take it easy, not when so much is at stake.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, “White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo early Friday that the president and first lady were both ‘well at this time’ and planned to remain at the White House while they recovered. He said the medical team would ‘maintain a vigilant watch.’” Later this morning, however, White House officials said Trump was “feeling mild symptoms.”

To the president and the first lady, we join all Americans of goodwill and decency in wishing Godspeed and a quick recovery.

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Last Jobs Report Before the Election

Nate Jackson

It’s the mark of a fairly healthy economic recovery when news reports express disappointment with a gain of 661,000 jobs in a month, but that’s where we are for this last jobs report before the November election. Economists had predicted 800,000 jobs in September and a headline unemployment rate of 8.2%. While the jobs numbers were below expectations — primarily because of, as CNBC reports, “a drop in government hiring” — the headline unemployment rate dropped to 7.9% from 8.4% in August. Back in February, which seems so very long ago, that rate was a historically low 3.5%.

Of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April’s economic bloodbath, the U.S. economy has recovered more than 11 million of them. But layoffs persist in some sectors. Just three companies account for 60,000 layoffs this week — Disney permanently laid off 28,000 theme-park workers, while American Airlines and United Airlines cut 32,000 jobs — and those losses aren’t included in the September report.

Democrats will, of course, attempt to hang a “sluggish” recovery around President Donald Trump’s neck. That might be fair enough in “the buck stops here” sense, but in reality it’s a gross distortion. The nation’s two biggest states, California and New York, are both run by Democrats and both remain significantly restricted economically.

The fallout in New York? According to state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, half of New York City’s restaurants and bars are at risk of having to “close forever.” That could cost 150,000 jobs — job losses that would be the responsibility of Democrat NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, not the president. It is their orders, not his, that keep such establishments running at a fraction of capacity, if at all.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that the COVID recession “is the most unequal in modern U.S. history” because unemployment has “overwhelmingly affected low-wage, minority workers.” Forgive us if we get the impression that blue-state governors and mayors find more political benefit in “unequal” job losses than they do in helping their own constituents by fully reopening the economy. These aren’t statistics or political pawns; they’re individuals’ livelihoods and futures.

On a final note, Congress is stalled on another COVID relief package. (The expiring money from the March CARES Act is why the airlines laid off all those employees.) Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats passed a larded-up $2.2 trillion package Wednesday, but without a single Republican vote and no hope of Senate passage. Ironically, if Democrats would get government out of the way, no one would need another debt-bomb relief package. But at least Democrats have a campaign issue.

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Schumer Promises to Pack Court, Biden Remains Coy

Thomas Gallatin

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has unabashedly embraced the Democrats’ radical plan for remaking the nation and its institutions should they win control of the Senate. Asked if Democrats would pack the Supreme Court, add DC and Puerto Rico as states (to pack the Senate), and end the filibuster, Schumer responded, “I would. Believe me, on DC and Puerto Rico … I’d love to make them states. And as for the filibuster, I’m not busting my chops to become majority leader to do very little or nothing. We are going to get a whole lot done. And as I’ve said, everything, everything is on the table.”

And as Gary Bauer insightfully notes, “By ‘everything,’ Schumer also means adding four or five more liberal Supreme Court justices, eliminating the Electoral College, mandating taxpayer funding of abortion on demand, passing a massive amnesty bill, massive tax hikes, a massive socialist healthcare scheme and the massively expensive Green New Deal.” In short, Schumer is making it crystal clear that, if Democrats win the Senate in November, they plan to put the petal to the metal imposing their radical leftist agenda.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden continues to dodge answering whether or not he supports packing the Supreme Court. When politicians play coy, they are aiming to deceive. Therefore the question is which group of voters Biden intends to fool — the hard-core Left, or moderates who may be turned off by Donald Trump’s persona but don’t agree with the Left’s extremist measures to radically transform the nation’s institutions.

While Biden, in his heart of hearts, likely embraces the court-packing agenda of the radical Left, he also knows that openly doing so would endanger not only his electoral opportunity with moderates, especially in tight swing states, but more significantly it would threaten the Democrats’ ability to gain control of the Senate. In fact, at least 12 Democrat senators running to hold or win seats have come out against packing the court. (Not that it would stop them from reversing course once elected…)

The reality is, should Biden win the presidency and Schumer and company gain control of the Senate, Democrats will do whatever they want. And Biden will point to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as his justification for why he refused to answer the question prior to the election.

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Reclaiming Our American History

Douglas Andrews

James Madison, our nation’s fourth president, had a personal motto that he used to seal his correspondence: Veritas non verba magistri. Loosely translated, it means, “Think for yourself.” But this doesn’t quite do it justice. The more literal and more powerful translation is, “Truth, not the word of teachers.”

Madison, of course, was also the principal author of our Constitution. So it seems fitting that President Donald Trump would convene on Constitution Day, September 17, at the National Archives Museum, the White House Conference on American History — a subject that for years has been hostage to the word of leftist teachers.

The conference was hosted by Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn, and it included presentations by Dr. Ben Carson, Peter Wood, Wilfred McClay, and others, as well as remarks by President Trump, who took dead aim at the leftist lies our children are being taught about their country and its remarkable history. “Our mission,” he said, “is to defend the legacy of America’s founding, the virtue of America’s heroes, and the nobility of the American character. We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms, and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”

Clearly, this isn’t what our sons and daughters are being taught. Instead, they’re being taught that their country is oppressive, rapacious, imperialistic, and irredeemably racist. In short, they’re being taught to hate their country rather than love it. And who among our children will grow up to support and defend a nation that they’ve been taught to be ashamed of?

“The Left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies,” continued the president. “There is no better example than the New York Times’ totally discredited 1619 Project. This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history.”

President Trump saved some of his sharpest criticism for critical race theory, a Marxist doctrine that is running rampant through our colleges and universities. The president accurately points out its core teaching: “that America is a wicked and racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression, and that our entire society must be radically transformed.”

Perhaps the principle architect of this poisonous history is the late Howard Zinn, an America-hating communist and the author of A People’s History of the United States. First published in 1980 and since reprinted numerous times, Zinn’s book has sold more than 2.5 million copies and can be found in virtually every American school and public library. Is it a stretch to say that this single book has done more damage to the United States than any other work?

To paraphrase Madison, We need truth, not the word of teachers like Howard Zinn.

Mary Grabar, who spoke at the conference, is a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization and the author of a long-overdue rebuke of Zinn’s scholarship titled, appropriately, Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History that Turned a Generation against America. According to Grabar, Zinn “misrepresented sources, omitted critical information, falsified evidence, and plagiarized.” And he promoted communist revolution while denying his own ardent communism. And yet, according to the Zinn Education Project website, “Tens of thousands of teachers, in every state in the United States, access people’s history lessons from [our] website. An average of 20 to 30 more sign up every day.”

Clearly, American history is under siege. And if we’re to rescue it, we should start by tossing Zinn’s rotten tome into the dumpster and picking up Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope, which Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, calls “an extraordinary new American history textbook [that] is unlike any text currently available.”

Kurtz continues, “Land of Hope is learned, inspiring, and honest. That combination may strike a generation of skeptical postmodernist historians and their progeny as implausible, but it’s not. The conviction that our core national narrative is false, while only its cynical debunking is true, is a prejudice like any other. To endure and flourish as a constitutional republic — respecting the fundamental liberties of our citizens and modeling all this for the world — is an accomplishment to be acknowledged and explained, every bit as much as America’s periodic failings and strife. McClay’s textbook does justice to all sides of the ledger, in a way that both informs and inspires.”

“If destruction be our lot,” said Abraham Lincoln, “we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”

Lincoln uttered those words in 1838, 23 years before he became president. Dr. Ben Carson uttered them again during his remarks at the conference two weeks ago. But while Lincoln was speaking of slavery, he might just as well have been speaking of history. Then as now, no nation can long endure without the love and affection of its citizens. We’ve been teaching our children to revile these United States, and we need only look to our streets and our toppled statues to see the fruits of this folly.

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Colleges Where Free Speech Is Endangered

Michael Swartz

There’s a sad irony in the fact that an institution originally conceived to encourage discourse and the free exchange of ideas is now rife with conformity and political correctness.

But a survey done this spring by campus free-speech advocates revealed that students at certain campuses are more into groupthink than others. This poll, which was conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and RealClearEducation and covered more than 20,000 students at 55 institutions across the nation, found that the University of Chicago was considered the best college for speech freedom, while students at DePauw University in Indiana believed their campus was the worst. Keeping DePauw company in the bottom 10 were Ivy League institutions Dartmouth and Harvard, along with other well-known schools like Louisiana State University and the University of Texas at Austin.

There’s one University of Chicago student, however, who begs to differ. Evita Duffy became the subject of derision when, as part of a “get out the vote” promotion, she wrote as her reason for casting a ballot, “I vote because the coronavirus won’t destroy America, but socialism will.” As Duffy explains, the reaction was fierce: “Fellow students attacked my character, my intellect, my family, my appearance, and even threatened me with physical violence, using foul and offensive language. I was called a racist and a xenophobe. Some compared me to animals. Others declared that they would personally stop me from voting, and many defended the personal attacks, saying I deserved to be bullied and that I don’t belong at the University of Chicago on account of my beliefs.”

Indeed, if that’s how they treat free speech at the first-place institution, one shudders to think of the reaction at the bottom-tier schools.

While the subject seems to be intended as encouragement, there’s a serious underlying problem illustrated by the survey. “Most students don’t want guest speakers with controversial views on campus,” writes analyst Jennifer Kabbany. “Seventy-one percent replied that they would oppose allowing a speaker on campus who would argue ‘transgender people have a mental disorder,’ 64 percent oppose a speaker who’d argue ‘abortion should be completely illegal,’ and 75 percent oppose a speaker who’d say ‘Black Lives Matter is a hate group.’” These ideas may not be mainstream, but they’re not particularly radical in nature, either. And they belong within the discourse on a college campus.

We often hear about conservative speakers getting shouted down on college campuses by left-leaning student groups. On the other hand, academics like Ibram X. Kendi, who recently coined the term “white colonizers” for white parents — such as Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett — who adopt black children, only create a ripple of criticism. Kendi dismissed these complaints, saying, “We should take it as a compliment when people attack us personally or when people misrepresent our work. Because that means they can’t challenge what we are actually saying or writing or meaning or doing. Take the compliments with grace and move on.” Of course, Kendi can say that since he has a secure position within the ivory tower, and since his cohorts secretly agree. And why shouldn’t they? Those on the Left are never subjected to “heckler’s veto” like conservative and libertarian speakers.

We should’ve seen trouble coming 40 years ago, when “free speech zones” began cropping up on college campuses. Even the ACLU objects to this censorship: “A university’s job is to teach students how to be contributing members of society, not to stifle expression.”

We’d argue that a university’s job is to broaden students’ educational horizons by teaching them about the benefits of Liberty and a free society, but at least they seem to get the point.

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Pope Francis Jilts Pompeo

Thomas Gallatin

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Rome visiting the Vatican on Wednesday and was scheduled to meet Pope Francis when the pontiff suddenly canceled it. Pompeo was there to solicit the Roman Catholic Church’s support in pressuring the Chinese Communist Party to end its religious persecution. Pompeo noted just how dire the situation is in China, stating, “[The] Communist Party’s program of forced sterilizations and abortions of Muslims in Xinjiang, its abuse of Catholic priests and laypeople, and its assault on Protestant house churches — all of which are parts of a ‘Sinicization’ campaign to subordinate God to the Party while promoting [President] Xi [Jinping] himself as an ultramundane deity.” The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is even rewriting the Bible itself, Pompeo warned.

A Vatican spokesman insisted that Francis’s reason for canceling the meeting was his desire to avoid appearing to support the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. “Yes, that is precisely why the pope will not meet American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” asserted Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican secretary of relations.

However, the Vatican’s explanation simply fails to hold water given the fact that just last week the pope similarly refused a meeting with Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, who was also seeking to compel Francis to apply pressure on China’s religious-freedom-trampling communist regime. It appears the true motive behind the pope’s decision has everything to do with an unwillingness to cross Beijing — especially after a 2018 deal to approve CCP-appointed Catholic bishops.

But that explanation doesn’t play well to the international public and Catholics across the globe, so blaming Trump (as if he were the devil incarnate) was a much easier play — one that the Trump-hating Leftmedia would eat up. Furthermore, Francis, with his Marxist sentiments, much prefers the ostensibly Catholic Joe Biden to Donald “America First” Trump.

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Teflon Trump Not Damaged by Attack Ads

Brian Mark Weber

There’s always a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking the day after a presidential debate. Everyone has a strong opinion about who won, who lost, and whether any minds were changed. But we all knew what the so-called political experts would conclude: Donald Trump is rude, aggressive, and unpresidential.

Ho-hum. Tell us something we haven’t heard before.

After all, these are the same “experts” who said Trump couldn’t win in 2016. And they’re pulling out the same playbook again in 2020.

Yet Americans are real people living with real problems. They don’t care much for eloquence in a president if they can’t pay their bills or walk safely down the street. And no political pundit will convince them otherwise.

That’s why Trump was the real debate winner.

No matter the issue, Trump was able to claim credit for getting things done, and he looked strong (if too obnoxious) while doing it. All Joe Biden could muster is “I’m not Trump.” And whenever Trump pushed him for details, the former vice president balked, stammered, and obfuscated.

Even worse, Biden called the sitting president of the United States a “racist,” a “clown,” and told him to “shut up.” Now that’s unpresidential.

Since Democrats have nothing to offer, it’s no wonder that groups like The Lincoln Project push ads that are nothing more than scurrilous personal attacks on Trump. These ads generate broad support and enthusiasm on the Left, but do they work in convincing Main Street voters to consider the Democrat alternative?

Vox’s Peter Kafka writes that some Democrats think “the Lincoln Project is at best a sideshow, doing things other campaigns have done and are doing that will have minimal impact on the 2020 election.” Kafka adds that some Democrats worry that the “project isn’t really meant to help Democrats but to do something else. Though they don’t know what that is.”

Doesn’t seem like a winning strategy.

Moreover, Vanity Fair’s Peter Hamby writes about another outfit called Fellow Americans that was “launched without public fanfare in early 2020 to develop a data-driven testing model for campaign ad making — to prove which messages actually move the needle against President Trump with important groups of voters.”

According to Hamby, there’s only one problem: “Ads that directly attack Trump, using his voice, news clips, or even just his face, have the effect of turning off not only persuadable voters, but also the Democratic-base voters whom Joe Biden needs in November.”

This is why the anti-Trump attacks ads don’t seem to be working for Democrats. It’s one thing to attack your opponent. After all, politics ain’t bean bag. It’s another thing if you have nothing to offer voters yourself. On any of the big issues, Biden clearly doesn’t have a plan — not a realistic one that isn’t chock-full of transparently unbelievable “free stuff” anyway. All he’s got is the tired old “I’m not the other guy” schtick and a few attack ads.

If 2020 turns out anything like 2016, Democrats may wish they had actually come up with some ideas instead of focusing on empty and infective attacks on Trump while running from their own record.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Donald Trump joins list of world leaders — including British PM Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 (NPR)
  • Amid failed talks with White House, House Democrats pass their own $2.2 trillion relief bill blue-city piñata before hitting campaign trail (Washington Examiner)

Politics

  • Senate Democrats formally (and inevitably) ask for delay in Amy Coney Barrett confirmation (Fox News)
  • Conflict of interest: Steve Scully, moderator for the upcoming Trump-Biden debate, worked as an intern for Joe Biden and a staff assistant for Ted Kennedy (The Daily Wire)
  • Trump won’t agree to debate-rule changes (The Washington Times)
  • Trump condemns white supremacists and Proud Boys in Fox interview (New York Post)
  • Joe Biden says Trump has never condemned white supremacy. Here are 20 times he did just that. (Not the Bee)

Leftmedia

  • “No context”: White House hits back after CNN airs surreptitiously recorded Melania Trump tapes on child immigrants and the media (Washington Examiner)
  • New York Times, Rolling Stone, ABC, and CBS all denied motions to dismiss lawsuit brought by Covington teen Nick Sandmann (The Post Millennial)
  • CNN (sort of) cracks down on Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home debacle after giving anchor’s brother softball treatment (Fox News)
  • New York Times op-ed was written by the Chinese Communist Party’s Hong Kong “enforcer” (Washington Examiner)
  • Daily Caller editor: Google won’t let you see our article even if you search for it by name (The Federalist)
  • Senate panel votes to subpoena conservative-suppressing Big Tech CEOs (Axios)

Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate

  • Air ball: NBA Finals featuring social justice mega-warrior LeBron James notches record-low viewership (Not the Bee)
  • AP Stylebook discourages use of “riot” and expands definition of “protest” to include “violence” (National Review)

Around the Nation

  • Texas governor forces counties to designate just one mail ballot drop-off site (Houston Chronicle)
  • Los Angeles ordered to pay NRA after losing First Amendment case; city will pay gun-rights group about $150,000 for lawsuit over unconstitutional ordinance (The Washington Free Beacon)

National Security

  • Donald Trump says he will overturn “ridiculous order” removing the words “brotherhood” and “man” from Navy SEAL ethos (Daily Mail)
  • Déjà vu: Thousands of U.S.-bound migrants cross into Guatemala without authorization (Reuters)
  • Judge blocks Trump’s ban on hundreds of thousands of foreign workers (The New York Times)

Other Notables

  • Chicago mayor’s Corona Destroyer outfit is “the cringiest thing I’ve ever seen” (Twitchy)
  • Heartwarming: A five-year-old sent a toy Baby Yoda to firefighters as a thank you gift and now they take it with them while they fight fires (Not the Bee)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: How to trim the defense budget without harming U.S. security (Foreign Policy)
  • Policy: Restricting global economic activity will lead to stagnation (InsideSources)
  • Humor: “You have to elect me to find out what my policy positions are,” says Joe Biden (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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Humor: The Very Presidential Debate — From the get-go, it had the makings of a blitzkrieg.

How to Save the Next Debate — Bill Whittle envisions not even having a moderator.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.” —Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Food for thought: “Like so many ‘bombshell’ revelations, the Melania tapes only make the Trumps look better. Secret recordings of FLOTUS and the worst thing they capture is her complaining about Christmas decorations? Give me a break. What do you think secret tapes of Michelle would sound like?” —Matt Walsh

Friendly fire: “Interesting to see those who’ve spent the last few years screaming that Trump’s an uncaring, heartless empathy-devoid b*stard now spewing their gleeful joy that he & his wife have a deadly virus. They’re no better than the man they loathe.” —Piers Morgan

For the record I: “I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the KKK. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing. But I condemn that.” —Donald Trump

For the record II: “I denounce white supremacy. I denounce anti-Semitism. I denounce racism. I denounce fascism. I denounce communism and any other -ism that is prejudiced toward people because of their race, religion, culture, tone of skin.” —Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio

Elitist contempt: “The people who were very transparent about, like, voting because they wanted a tax cut. Okay. But, like, you knew you also were voting for a racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, transphobic human being who was going to have a lot of power to manifest those, like, hateful bigoted values into the world. So that may be what is your motivation.” —Chelsea Clinton

The BIG Lie: “We never needed nursing home beds because we always had hospital beds. So, it just never happened in New York, where we needed to say to a nursing home, ‘We need you to take this person even though they’re COVID-positive.’ It never happened.” —Andrew Cuomo (Fact check: Yes it did.)

And last… “Republicans believe in forgiveness for your actual sins and Democrats believe in hating you for imagined sins. That difference has emerged as the major theme in this country.” —Scott Adams

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TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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‘I Hope They Die’: Left-Wingers React To Positive Coronavirus Diagnosis For Trump, Melania

Celebrities, former political staffers, journalists, and other verified Twitter users celebrated and mocked the president and first lady’s diagnosis.

Source: ‘I Hope They Die’: Left-Wingers React To Positive Coronavirus Diagnosis For Trump, Melania

“I Hope They Die” – Trump’s Critics Celebrate News Of COVID-19 Diagnosis | ZeroHedge News

Update (0845ET): It was only a matter of time before somebody pointed out Twitter’s hypocrisy as the social media platform has left thousands of tweets wishing death on the president standing.

Many are blatant violations of Twitter’s terms of service.

* * *

As we mentioned earlier, President Trump’s tweet announcing his and First Lady Melania Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis was his most liked, and most shared, tweet ever, according to analytics shared by Axios.

The tweet, which was sent at 12:54 am on Friday, chalked up record tallies while most of America was asleep, meaning it will likely be remembered as Trump’s most popular tweet ever. Judging by the reaction in the polls seen when the leaders of Canada and Great Britain came down with COVID-19, a diagnosis actually could help improve Trump’s popularity by making him more sympathetic.

Of course, Trump’s political opponents are fixated on Trump’s distaste for social distancing norms. Though President Trump and Joe Biden notably didn’t shake hands at the outset of the debate, Trump defended his decision to continue holding large rallies on the campaign trail, and also mocked Biden for wearing a mask every time he appears on TV. Those clips have been playing in a non-stop loop across cable news.

Self-styled “journalists” and “politicians” tweeted crude jokes, or even went so far as to claim they were praying for both the president and First Lady to succumb to their infections.

Hu Xijin, a top mouthpiece for the Communist Party of China, implied that the president deserved to be infected due to his “gamble” to play down the coronavirus, a comment that was first reported by Bob Woodward during the reporting on his book “Rage”.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have yet to weigh in, and VP Mike Pence has yet to confirm whether he has been tested since Trump’s last test came back positive.

But as the reactions to Trump’s condition grow increasingly spiteful and acrimonious, Paul Joseph Watson and Summit News have gathered some of the most egregious comments.

CNN put the icing on the cake by turning the fearmongering up to “11”.

Trump never called the virus itself a “hoax” (though he did suggest the media was overplaying it) and he never said Americans should inject bleach. But both of these ‘conspiracy theories’ have apparently stuck.

One ER doc repeated Joe Biden’s line blaming Trump for all 200k+ COVID-19 deaths.

One Twitter user argued that “the Simpsons” may have predicted Trump’s demise.

Still, not every reporter was completely devoid of class. One former Bloomberg scribe tweeted they wished both the president and the First Lady well.

Source: “I Hope They Die” – Trump’s Critics Celebrate News Of COVID-19 Diagnosis

Coronavirus vaccine trial subjects report extreme exhaustion, shortness of breath, day-long headaches and shaking so violently that one of them cracked a tooth | DC Clothesline

(Natural News) Get ready for the depopulation kill shots that cause severe neurological damage and lobotomize anyone stupid enough to take them. Even mainstream media outlet CNBC.com is now reporting that vaccine trials conducted by Moderna and Pfizer are producing extreme side effects in trial subjects.

“High fever, body aches, headaches and exhaustion are some of the symptoms participants in Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trials say they felt after receiving the shots,” reports CNBC:

Luke Hutchison woke up in the middle of the night with chills and a fever after taking the Covid-19 booster shot in Moderna’s vaccine trial. Another coronavirus vaccine trial participant, testing Pfizer’s candidate, similarly woke up with chills, shaking so hard he cracked a tooth after taking the second dose.

High fever, body aches, bad headaches and exhaustion are just some of the symptoms five participants in two of the leading coronavirus vaccine trials say they felt after receiving the shots.

Source: Coronavirus vaccine trial subjects report extreme exhaustion, shortness of breath, day-long headaches and shaking so violently that one of them cracked a tooth

New poll finds 60% of Americans don’t trust the media to report the news ‘fully, accurately, and fairly’ | Conservative Review

The distrust the American people have for the national media to provide fair and accurate reporting is continuing unabated, Gallup revealed this week.

And it is not just Republicans — who have long had problems with the the nation’s TV and newspaper outlets — keeping the media’s numbers low. Independents have trust issues with the media — as do a fair share of the country’s Democrats.

What’s going on?

A new Gallup poll published Wednesday reveals that a majority of Americans do not trust the mass media to tell the full story.

According to Gallup, only 40% of U.S. adults admit to having “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the media to report the news “fully, accurately, and fairly.” And 60% of adults say they have “not very much” trust or “none at all.”

Of the four options on level of trust — “a great deal,” “a fair amount,” “not very much,” and “none at all” — a plurality of respondents (33%) chose “none at all.”

The overall trust in media (40%) is the lowest it has been since 2016, when it dropped to 32%. And it hasn’t been above 50% since 2003.

Four in 10 U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in the media, while… https://t.co/5NBZvHfUAn

— GallupNews (@GallupNews)1601553701.0

Broken down by political affiliation, the data is not encouraging for the media.

Naturally, Republicans are unwilling to say they trust TV, newspapers, and radio to report the news accurately. This has been a decades-long fight for the GOP. And today, only 10% of Republicans are willing to say they trust the media. Some 58% of GOPers told Gallup they have no trust at all in the media.

But the news is not good among independents, either. Just over one-third (36%) of voters who identify as independent said they trust the media.

Even the party seen by many Americans as in bed with the liberal media is showing that it has some trust issues. Not even three-quarters (73%) of Democrats are willing to say they trust the media. Gallup noted that the share of Democrats who said they trust the media “a great deal” dropped from 24% to 16%.

— Chris Field (@Chris Field)1601585867.0

Source: New poll finds 60% of Americans don’t trust the media to report the news ‘fully, accurately, and fairly’

Gold Price Reversal Lower Warns of Potential Top — Kimble Charting Solutions

Precious metals multi-month rally continued into September, with Gold hitting new all-time highs.

But Gold may be sending a cautious message to bulls at the end of September month and quarters-end. While the trend is very much bullish, Gold has created a large bearish reversal pattern this quarter at (2).

This comes in the same quarter that Gold made new all-time highs while testing the very same 261.8 Fibonacci level that Gold kissed and was rejected by back in 2011 at (1). The reversal back in 2011 marked the high for several years!

If Gold bulls want this bull market to continue, they need to see price eclipse the recent highs and negate this reversal warning signal.

This article was first written for See It Markets.com. To see the original post CLICK HERE.

Gold Price Reversal Lower Warns of Potential Top — Kimble Charting Solutions

October 2 Life-Changing Prayer

 

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth.
(Psalms 25:4–5, NIV)

When David prayed, “Show me … teach me … guide me,” he was describing the process that prayer takes us through. When God shows you His standards and His will for your life, it requires you to grow and change. Once you accept what God wants to show you, He is able to teach you. And when you are teachable, He’s finally able to guide you into His plan and purpose. When God shows you, He has your heart. When He teaches you, He has your mind. When He guides you, He has your hand. When you pray, you grow to meet the very challenges about which you are praying!

In 1924, a group of climbers tried twice to get to the top of the world’s tallest mountain, but failed. In fact, two of their party were killed in that endeavor. They met in London a few weeks later to talk and give a report to a crowd of interested supporters. On the stage was a large picture of Mount Everest. One of the men stood up to speak. As he addressed the crowd, he turned to the picture of Mount Everest and said, “You have conquered us once, you have conquered us twice, but Mount Everest, you will not conquer us next time.” Then he turned to the audience and with determination said, “You see, Mount Everest can grow no larger—but we can!”

 

Prayer may not change your circumstances, but you can be assured, it will change you!
(Read John 16:23–24)[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 275). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

October 2 Your World Needs Kindness

 

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

The world needs kindness. But let’s narrow the scope even further. Your world needs kindness. Your home needs kindness. Where people are living in close proximity, kindness sometimes gets lost.

In the New Testament, the language given to the church is given to the home. The church met in the home. When Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you,” that’s also directed at the home.

We need to be tenderhearted, kind, and forgiving. The fruit of the Spirit is tested in that laboratory we call the family. If you can make it work there, it will work any place on the face of the earth. [1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 289). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

October 2 Streams in the Desert

 

And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place.” (Luke 9:10.)

IN order to grow in grace, we must be much alone. It is not in society that the soul grows most vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more Progress than in days of company with others. It is in the desert that the dew falls freshest and the air is purest.—Andrew Bonar.

“Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile,

Weary, I know it, of the press and throng,

Wipe from your brow the sweat and dust of toil,

And in My quiet strength again be strong.

“Come ye aside from all the world holds dear,

For converse which the world has never known,

Alone with Me, and with My Father here,

With Me and with My Father not alone.

“Come, tell Me all that ye have said and done,

Your victories and failures, hopes and fears.

I know how hardly souls are wooed and won:

My choicest wreaths are always wet with tears.

“Come ye and rest; the journey is too great,

And ye will faint beside the way and sink;

The bread of life is here for you to eat,

And here for you the wine of love to drink.

“Then fresh from converse with your Lord return,

And work till daylight softens into even:

The brief hours are not lost in which ye learn

More of your Master and His rest in Heaven.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 286–287). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Reps. Comer & Jordan: Democrats want to use mail-in ballots to steal election and deny Trump second term | Fox News

Democrats believe that all-mail voting will boost the political chances of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and sow chaos and uncertainty in case of a victory by President Trump.