Daily Archives: January 2, 2021

The Salt That Has Lost Its Savor: The Woke Church and the Undoing of America | The American Spectator

When editors at The American Spectator asked me to write a column for their exceptional magazine about the liberalization of the American church in the age of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and what parades as social justice, I liked the idea. My mind had been ranging over that ground for some months, and their call was confirmation that the idea was worth pursuing. But rather than an article addressing that topic in merely impersonal, philosophical terms, I suggested giving it a face: Pastor Timothy Keller.

For the uninitiated, Tim Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, a successful confessional church in a place many Christians regard as the heart of darkness. Keller is also a best-selling author who does not shrink from dipping his toes into political waters as so many ministers do. He is something of an unofficial pope to a large segment of the evangelical Christian population. His influence on this demographic is vast, and he leverages it in books, interviews, and a robust social media presence. For our purposes, the question is this: is it a good influence?

Over the course of his career, Tim Keller has been a light for the Christian faith in the pulpit. He has also written several helpful books. Yet, bizarrely, he has recently embraced the so-called social justice movement. In a series of articles and tweets this year, Keller, confusing Christianity with the Democrat presidential platform, pronounced authoritatively on issues ranging from “systemic racism” to the “corporate guilt” of white America. All of this, of course, was simply a precursor to his inevitable conclusion:

when it comes to taking political positions, voting, determining alliances and political involvement, the Christian has liberty of conscience. Christians cannot say to other Christians “no Christian can vote for … ” or “every Christian must vote for … ” unless you can find a biblical command to that effect.

Such a position would seem reasonable in, say, the 1916 presidential election between incumbent Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Republican Charles Evans Hughes. But in 2020, a year when Democrats represent all that is unholy? I can think of several biblical commands that made the choice for any Bible-believing Christian absolutely clear in this election. I mean, would Jesus endorse a radical pro-abortion and pro-infanticide policy; every sordid sexual agenda, even the sexualization of small children; a complete disregard for the rule of law; and open hostility toward His followers? I don’t think so.

Unfortunately, Keller is not an evangelical anomaly. While he was giving theological justification to those who would betray their faith and defect to the opposition with their votes, popular Baptist pastor John Piper was encouraging Christians not to vote at all. In a recent blog post, he maintained that Republicans aren’t morally rigid enough. Whipping out the ultimate tool in the pastor’s mystification toolbox, he employed biblical Greek to add authority to his case against President Trump. (Some pastors love to do this. It is their way of saying, “Don’t try this at home.”) Piper says the president is guilty of “unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), [and] unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai).”

One wonders how he knows Trump is unrepentant and why he is the one to blame for factiousness. Did the president concoct a Russia collusion narrative? Did he spy on Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Did he illegally use the FBI to push false evidence? Did he do anything justifying impeachment? Did he support the looting, burning, and rioting in our streets? Did he take money from China through a family member serving as a proxy? No. As for his vulgarity and boastfulness, I suggest Piper get out more. Trump is fairly typical of the chest-beating, plain-speaking businessmen one finds in places like New York, New Jersey, Boston, and Philadelphia.

I am reminded of a quotation attributed (perhaps inaccurately) to George Orwell: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Orwell or not, the sentiment is true. Like many of those who do violence on our behalf for the sake of our freedom, Trump is a rough man. That’s too much for Piper. Oddly, Piper represents a segment of the evangelical population that demands his president bear the characteristics of a Mother Teresa. Does he make the same demands of his barber, his mechanic, his accountant, or his surgeon? One suspects not.

In July 2012, I was speaking at a youth retreat in the mountains of Tennessee when I received a call from CNN. It seemed that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy had publicly commented on the issue of same-sex marriage, and now the gay mafia was lining up to do both him and his restaurant chain as much harm as possible. Would I, asked CNN, be willing to offer the orthodox Christian perspective on homosexuality and defend Chick-fil-A in this controversy? After reviewing Cathy’s remarks and concluding that they were neither outrageous nor biblically incorrect, I agreed to the interview, and later that day I defended the Christian position on the network as vigorously as possible.

Shortly thereafter, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for Christians to mobilize and show their support for the embattled fast food restaurant with “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” They did. Lines at the restaurant stretched for blocks. This event marked the first time in modern memory that Christians fought back rather than meekly submitting to the media and special interest bullies.

But not all evangelical Christians were supportive of the Home of the Chicken Sandwich. In an article for WORLD magazine, Barnabas Piper, son of John Piper, wrote that he was against Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day because, he said, it “clearly promote[s] an ‘us versus them’ mentality.” Thus, taking a stand was too divisive.

At the time, I was stupefied by these remarks and wondered how the elder Piper, whom I respected, felt about his son’s views. Now I know the apple does not fall far from the tree. Perhaps it had escaped the young Piper’s notice, but it is us versus them. Besides, Huckabee wasn’t asking Piper or other Christians to die for their faith. He wasn’t asking them to take to the streets and destroy property as protesters on the left so often do. He was asking them to do nothing more than eat a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries for Jesus. Has any protest in history been easier or tastier?

A generation ago, pop star Bonnie Tyler famously asked the question, “Where have all the good men gone?” Since then, the situation has only gotten worse, Bonnie. As C. S. Lewis noted, men in the Western world have largely been emasculated, and men in the Church are seldom an exception to this decades-long trend. To stand strong for one’s faith in Jesus Christ and push back at a culture that, in the words of Isaiah 5:20, “call[s] evil good and good evil” is today seen to be “divisive,” “unloving,” “bigoted,” and “intolerant.”

This is because evangelicals in the English-speaking world have confused Christ’s command to love others with being civil as if that were an attribute of God. (It isn’t.) As a consequence, a superficial, self-righteous, good-for-nothing pietism that prefers tone to truth and style to substance has displaced authentic Christianity in many of the roughly four hundred thousand churches in America. This doctrinal malpractice has given us a generation of men, Christian and otherwise, who are what Lewis called “men without chests.”

Don’t know the sort of Christians I am talking about? I’ll give you a hint. They are the sort who will, upon reading this article, take great offense at what I have written here and waste no time in letting me know it, but are not particularly offended by the sixty-one million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973, by universities that are incubators of radicalism, by Democrats who are compiling a “hit list” of Trump supporters, or by the godlessness of the Marxism they openly advocate, which has killed no less than 125 million people in the twentieth century alone.

Too many Christians today are risk-averse. They prefer the safety of the family life center to engaging the culture in any way that might cost them something. God forbid they might sacrifice their wealth or comfort, endure the social media mob, or be excluded from the neighborhood barbeque. To such Christians, the “woke” messages of pastors like Tim Keller and John Piper et al. are a justification to do what they were inclined to do anyway: nothing.

But that doesn’t strike me as Christian at all. C. S. Lewis called Christianity a “fighting religion.” Think on that. These days, such a statement strikes a somewhat absurd note with a generation that has never known war, privation, or suffering in defense of anything, much less of noble ideals. For them, Jesus has been reinterpreted to meet a lifestyle preference. One might wonder if they truly know him. Because when Jesus said to turn the other cheek, he did not mean to turn a blind eye. And the highest calling of a Christian is not to be civil; it is to be salt and light.

Larry Alex Taunton is a freelance columnist and the author of the just-released Around the World in (More Than) 80 Days: Discovering What Makes America Great and Why We Must Fight to Save It. You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com and find him on Twitter @larrytaunton.

The post The Salt That Has Lost Its Savor: The Woke Church and the Undoing of America appeared first on The American Spectator | USA News and Politics.

Source: The Salt That Has Lost Its Savor: The Woke Church and the Undoing of America

Sen. Blackburn: An Audit Will Answer Questions As To What Happened In Disputed States | RealClearPolitics

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6219744894001&w=466&h=263

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained why she will support the objection to the certification of the Electoral College results due to election irregularities in particular states. In an interview Saturday on FOX News, Blackburn said she and her Republican Senate colleagues are doing this because “millions of people that feel like this election was not a fair election.”

“A couple of us had been working independently on finding a way to address the issues of election integrity to make certain that legal votes are counted and that votes that are not legal are not counted and that people can trust that this is a true and fair election,” Blackburn said Saturday.

“Looking at where the American people are on this, the millions of people that feel like this election was not a fair election,” Blackburn continued. “We knew that there needed to be something that was done. People can define the problems, but defining an action that leads to a solution is something that is a little bit more difficult to do.”

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“This audit will answer the questions as to what happened in some of the disputed states,” she said. “There are many questions in Pennsylvania. But when you look at what transpired this year and people saying, we want to know what happened.”

“You also have to realize what happened over the last four years,” Blackburn continued. “The Democrats never accepted President Trump. They spent every single day trying to undermine him, trying to work against him, trying to obstruct. The day after, they named themselves the resistance and said they were going to resist him every single day.”

Source: Sen. Blackburn: An Audit Will Answer Questions As To What Happened In Disputed States

Facebook deletes 1.7 million member group ‘Joe Biden Is Not My President!’

(THE SCOOP) – The far-left radicals that run Facebook just deleted the 1.7 million member group ‘Joe Biden IS NOT MY PRESIDENT!’ The group’s admins say they were given no warning and no explanation as to why the group, which was created on December 15, 2020, was deleted.

Source: Facebook deletes 1.7 million member group ‘Joe Biden Is Not My President!’

New Year Prayers for 2021 to Renew Our Hearts and Minds — Christianity.com

May these prayers for the New Year bring you comfort and gratitude for another year on earth and fill your heart with hope for the coming year. new year prayer, new year prayer 2021

The arrival of a new year brings a great opportunity to renew our faith and love for God and Jesus. It’s also a wonderful time to renew the joy of salvation in our hearts, as a new creation in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Whether 2020 brought you success, fulfillment, and joy or you faced grief, setbacks, and struggle, you can look ahead to 2021 with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

15 New Year Prayers for 2021

Let’s end this year with a thankful heart and start the new year with peace and faith. Let us release the bitterness and frustrations of the past year. Let us move into the next year knowing that God loves us and wants the best for us. Let’s pray that the new year will be focused on healing ourselves through repentance and the renewing of our minds. We were not meant to do life alone! We can bring the light of hope into our own heart, home, and world.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2

May these prayers for the new year bring you comfort and gratitude as you step into the next year! Share them with your friends and family to inspire the hearts of those you love most. God Bless!

(Find inspirational Bible verses for the New Year at the bottom of this article for additional encouragement from scipture)

A Prayer for New Days Ahead

Heavenly Father, thank You for making all things new!  As another new year begins, help me live each day for You.  May I continually have a new song in my heart to sing to You, no matter what comes my way. I trust in You because I know that Your mercies are new every morning, and nothing ahead of me will take You by surprise.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Joan Walker Hahn, Encouragement Cafe

For Peace in the New Year

At the start of each day, help us to recognize you above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see you, and notice how you’re at work through our lives. Give us the wisdom to make the best choices, fill us with a desire to seek after you more than anything else in this world. Let your Spirit and power breathe in us, through us, again, fresh and new. Thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day. Thank you that your presence goes with us and that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances, but it is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we’re up against. We ask that your peace lead us, that it would guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives this day. We love you Lord…we need you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” – Debbie McDaniel

For New Beginnings

Dear God, Thank You for new beginnings. What an incredible day this is with a fresh year’s potential stretched out before me. I want to be found faithful this year in each and every opportunity You bring to me. Thank You, Lord, for new beginnings. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. – Pastor David McGee 

New Year’s Prayer: Name of Jesus

O Jesus, our Savior and our Lord,
by the proclamation of your grace,
you took the yoke of the law from our necks,
and removed the burden from our shoulders to your own;

Hear the prayers of your Church,
that we may joyfully serve you here,
and see your glorious presence in all its joy in the life to come;
through your mercy, O our God, you are blessed,
and live and govern all things, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for New Year

A Prayer to Keep God First This New Year

Dear God, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.

We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.

We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways. Amen. – Debbie McDaniel

New Year Prayer

O God,
your days are without beginning
and without end.
We dedicate this coming year to you.

Give us such prosperity as you know is good for us,
and make us abound in doing whatever is pleasing to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. -Source: Mozarabic Collect for New Year

For God’s Presence in the New Year

Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are with me, that You are in me. Resolutions might come in one year and go out the other. Open my ears this year, so that I can hear You and enjoy You at every junction, when You tell me to turn right or left. Amen. – Pete Briscoe, Experiencing Life Today

For Strength in the New Year

Lord, moving in a new direction, opposite my comfort, is hard. I need Your strength, Your wisdom, Your confidence. I believe You will empower me as I step out in faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Lynn Cowell

Prayer for a Renewed Heart

O Lord,
you have mercy on all.
Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.

Take away my heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Prayer for a Victorious New Year

Lord Jesus, I come to you in this brand new year with a desire to move forward, not backward. Last year is gone and with it all the foolish mistakes I made. I’m eager to put the past behind and to press on toward the mark of knowing you, loving you, serving you, and making Your name known in this coming year.

I need You, Lord. Without You, I can’t meet the heavy demands of life or the unrelenting pressures that I’ll face this coming year. I am making a new commitment today—not a New Year’s resolution—but a new desire to place You where You always belong, first place in my life. Make the “I will’s” of Scripture become my affirmations: “I will trust You; I will praise You; I will follow You.” I will replace fear with faith, knowing You are always with me. And with You on my side, it will be a victorious New Year.

I lay down my broken armor, my rusty tools, my self-defenses, and every excuse I’ve used for not living victoriously. Purge my bad habits; free me from wrong expectations; and fill my heart, soul, and mind with praiseworthy thoughts and actions. I want to exchange my past disappointments for Your divine appointments this year. My life is Yours; my relationships belong to You; everything I have is Yours, Jesus. Set my feet on the right path this year, and grant wisdom so I can make the right choices that will honor You. Let me see others as You see them, as precious ones You created. Renew the gifts and abilities You’ve so generously given me so I can bless others as You’ve blessed me.

I realize my desire for perfection is misplaced. My relationship with You doesn’t depend on my performance but upon Your presence in my life. I will make mistakes. But I don’t have to be perfect! You’ve already made me acceptable in Your sight because of Your death and resurrection. You covered my past, present, and future. You have given me everything I could possibly need for the coming year. In You, I am complete, Lord. Help me to accept my faults and make Your mirror my own. I want to reflect You daily.

Because of Your love and the price, You paid for my sin, I can not only enjoy a victorious new year but a triumphant life. You put a new “want-to” in my life and in my heart. And as the calendar turns another page in this brand new year, I want more than ever, to live it for You. There is no battle in my life too great with You in my life. There is victory in You, Jesus! -Rebecca Barlow Jordan

A Prayer for Hope in the New Year 

Dear Lord, As the new year begins, I look to You for our hope, joy, and peace. Give me the courage to do all that You ask of me. Please also make me brave to not do what isn’t from You. Show me how to walk in grace and embrace Your love for me even more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Holly Gerth

Prayer for Strength and Power in the Year Ahead

Lord, we ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Prayer for Grace and Favor in the New Year

We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.”

Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set your way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Prayer for Hope After a Difficult Year

Dear God, Thank you for helping us to make it through this difficult year. Thank you that you’ve carried us through the uncertainty of deep waters, through the flames of trials, and through the pain of hard losses. We are constantly aware of how much we need you, your grace, your strength, your power working through even the toughest days.

Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit. Direct our hearts and minds towards you. Thank you for your reminder that both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us. For you never leave us. Thank you for your daily powerful Presence in our lives, that we can be assured your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to our prayers. Thank you that you surround us with favor as with a shield, and we are safe in your care.

We choose to press in close to you today and keep you first in our hearts and lives. Without You, we would surely fail, but with you, there is great hope. Thank you for your healing power, thank you for bringing us into this new season up ahead. We look forward to all that You still have in store. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. – Debbie McDaniel

A Prayer for Salvation

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.

Bible Verses for the New Year

Isaiah 43:18-19 – “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Psalm 34:8 – Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Romans 13:11-13 – Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

2 Peter 1:3-10 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love…

New Year Prayers for 2021 to Renew Our Hearts and Minds — Christianity.com

Something Worse Than Atheism — The Aquila Report

The greatest enemy of God in Scripture is Satan. He is the dragon, the serpent who has waged war against God from of old. He and the other fallen angels (the demons) are not atheists. They know God exists, and they hate God. Because they hate God, their entire existence is one of defying God. And here is where we see something worse than atheism.

For as long as there has been sin, there have been atheists, those who deny God. Christians today sometimes think that atheism is a new phenomenon, something that began to exist in the twentieth century. Those who have studied some history might push the date a little farther back, perhaps to the Enlightenment. But atheism is much older than that. We encounter it even in the pages of the Old Testament. The psalmist, for example, speaks of the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1).

Atheism is certainly much more culturally acceptable today than it might have been one thousand years ago. We do, in fact, see a change in the West with the spread of Enlightenment philosophy. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, men such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud represented an atheism come into its own. In our own day, the new atheists (who are much less philosophically aware than the old atheists) have popularized the philosophy of the fool.

Because atheism is so widespread today, Christians often view atheism as the worst possible sin. Certainly, it is sin and it is foolish, but is it the worst possible sin? Is there anything worse than atheism? I would like to suggest that there is.

Consider the following comments from the book of James: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19).

To those who are boasting that they believe in God while living lives that indicate the opposite, James is effectively saying: “You believe in God? Good for you! But so what? Demons believe in the existence of God too. It isn’t going to help them, and it isn’t going to help you who live like demons.”

Read More

Something Worse Than Atheism — The Aquila Report

Exclusive: These Pastors and Churches Took Millions in PPP Loans — Christian Research Service

Ray Fava
Evangelical Dark Web
evangelicaldarkweb.org

Joel Osteen landed in hot water when the Houston Chronicle broke the story that Lakewood Church had indeed accepted Payroll Payment Protection loans under the Small Business Administration’s allocation for non-profit organizations to benefit from this lockdown relief program, which he previously denied. But Joel Osteen was far from the only pastor and Lakewood Church was far from the only church to have received these forgivable loans. In fact, Lakewood Church’s $4.4 million haul was not even the largest.

Methodology

The Evangelical Dark Web analyzed the data released by the Small Business Administration of all organizations that were approved of loan amounts greater than $150,000. We searched and selected several prominent Evangelical organizations found to have been granted a loan. Catholic Dioceses and mainline denominations are excluded from these findings. It is possible that some of the churches under non-denominational are affiliated organizationally or ideologically with established denominations. The exact loans amounts were not disclosed in the SBA metadata. The selected examples are not exhaustive, but they are meant to contain the largest churches and America’s most influential pastors, particularly those who are in and represent Big Eva, and teachers and churches that readers have requested more research on. These results contain churches, seminaries, faith-based media outlets, and ministries. Blatant heretical movements are labeled but this categorization is not universally applied to organizations theologically aligned to these movements for the brevity of research.

Results

The organizations synonymous with Big Eva such as The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks, and programs under the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention all have forgivable loans. Tim Keller’s The Gospel Coalition received up to $1 million while his church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York City, received up to $5 million. Mark Dever’s 9Marks and his church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, received up to $350,000. The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, helmed by Russell Moore, received up to $1 million. Five of the six Southern Baptist Seminaries (SBTS being the outlier) received loans ranging from $1 million to $5 million.

Southern Baptists were very partial to accepting forgivable loans. The SBC President JD Greear’s Summit Church accepted between $2-5 million. Greear is certainly not alone. Receiving between $2-5 million dollars includes Harvest Christian Fellowship (Greg Laurie); Shadow Mountain Community Church (David Jeremiah); Elevation Church (Steven Furtick), First Baptist Church Houston (Greg Matte), New Spring Church. Receiving between $1-2 million were Green Acres Baptist Church (David Dykes); McClean Bible Church (David Platt); First Baptist Church Orlando (David Uth); Fellowship Church (Ed Young Jr.); Thomas Road Baptist Church (Jonathan Falwell).

The biggest hauls range between $5-10 million. Life Dot Church (Craig Groeschel), Willow Creek Community Church (David Dummitt), Joyce Meyer Ministries all hauled in over $5 million each, and the separate Willow Creek Association received an addition $1-2 million.

One would think the Prosperity Gospel would be all over forgivable loans. However, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers are outliers. Hillsong’s various LLCs all received somewhere between $150,000 and $1 million. VOUS Church (Rich Wilkerson Jr) and Transformation Church (Mike Todd) both  received under $1 million. This could be that several Prosperity Churches were not thoroughly identified, but people like Creflo Dollar, Paula White, John Gray, obvious figures, were conspicuously absent.

Other notable absences include Rick Warren who is the only SBC church of comparable size to not take the money and Andy Stanley. Church of the Highlands, one of the largest churches in the country did not directly take money; however, the Association of Related Churches (ARC) formed by its pastor Chris Hodges did take somewhere between $350,000 and $1 million.

Beloved celebrity pastors were quick to get this money. John MacArthur double dipped with Grace Community Church received between $1-2 million, while Master’s Seminary received $5-10 million. Master’s Seminary received their approval on August 8, a late outlier. John Piper’s Bethlehem College and Seminary received up to $1 million. Churchome featuring Judah Smith received up to $2 million. Levi Lusko’s Fresh Life Church received up to $1 million. Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (Tony Evans) received between $2-5 million. Max Lucado’s Oak Hills Church received $1-2 million. The Potter’s House (TD Jakes) received up to $1 million.

One consistent finding was charismatic churches were far less likely to take out loans than Southern Baptists. Bethel Redding did not take out a loan but Bethel Music and Bethel School of Technology each took up to $350,000. Other New Apostolic Reformation churches received money.

Read article HERE.

Exclusive: These Pastors and Churches Took Millions in PPP Loans — Christian Research Service

REVEALED: Full List Of Western Media Outlets Participating In Chinese Communist Propaganda Events

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

We knew that these Leftist/Marxist media outlets had no morals – no scruples. So, this does not surprise me, brethren. Disappoints me – yes, but no surprise.

From thenationalpulse.com

The National Pulse is today publishing a full list of news outlets said to have granted the Chinese Communist Party and its propaganda outlets “favorable coverage” or “positive messages”following an investigationinto the China-United States Exchange Foundation and ‘BLJ Worldwide’.

The full list follows a National Pulseexposéon the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), founded by the Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which has been identified by the U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission as a key component of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Work Front.

The effort, according to the U.S. governmentreport, aims to “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist…

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Big Business and the Big State Mean Big Trouble — CultureWatch

When Big Business and Big Government get into bed together, we are in big danger:

As a conservative, I have often written about the dangers of statism and Big Government. And I have also defended the free market – at least in principle. But what happens when Big Business and Big Government climb into bed together, scratching each other’s back?

Big trouble is the answer, and we have a term for that: crony capitalism. And what happens when big, powerful and often monopolistic corporations get into bed with radical left politics? The answer is the same: big trouble. And we have a name for that as well: woke capitalism.

And what happens when big, powerful and often monopolistic media and tech giant corporations get into bed with the state and the left? Once again, the answer is the same: big trouble. And we also have a name for this: it is called surveillance capitalism.

As I say, I support capitalism and detest its failed rival: socialism. But needless to say, I have real problems with crony capitalism, woke capitalism, and surveillance capitalism. And all three are upon us big time. So I must add to my many older writings in which I warn about the dangers of Big Government new articles warning about where Big Business is heading.

Of course many have been sounding the alarm about this for years now. One very important new book has made the case that these new mutant forms of capitalism are easily leading us down the path of soft totalitarianism and will eventually lead us into hard totalitarianism.

In Live Not By Lies Rod Dreher argues that this hybrid capitalism along with the radical “social justice” agenda is taking the West down the tubes real fast. See my review of this very significant book here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/12/30/a-review-of-live-not-by-lies-by-rod-dreher/

An important part of this volume is a collection of stories of a number of those who lived under Marxist totalitarianism and have lived to tell the tale that he appeals to. Their stories are such a powerful – but often unheeded – warning. He notes how utterly shocked they are with the way Westerners are now undergoing the same sort of things that they once did.

Let me draw from Dreher’s fourth chapter, “Capitalism, Woke and Watchful.” He starts it with the story of a Czech couple who lived under communist tyranny. Their apartment of course was bugged, and they dared not say anything of substance since the State heard every sound they made. They are utterly shocked about how Americans by the millions are installing things like smart speakers in their homes where all their talk is overheard.

And Dreher mentions the East German secret police and how their job was made so much easier by ordinary citizens who, “with no prompting by the government, volunteered negative information about their friends and neighbors.” Hmm, sound just like the Covid snoops and snitchers of 2020! As Dreher says:

Should totalitarianism, hard or soft, come to America, the police state would not have to establish a web of informants to keep tabs on the private lives of the people. The system we have now already does this—and most Americans are scarcely aware of its thoroughness and ubiquity. 

The rapidly growing power of information technology and its ubiquitous presence in daily life immensely magnifies the ability of those who control institutions to shape society in according to their ideals. Throughout the past two decades, economic and technological changes—changes that occurred under liberal democratic capitalism—have given both the state and corporations surveillance capabilities of which Lenin and Stalin could only have dreamed.

He also discusses the enormous power and influence of Big Business: “Now an elite club of global megacorporations are more powerful than many countries. Walmart has more annual revenue than Spain and more than twice as much as Russia.”

And the five internet monoliths – “Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google – have an almost incalculable influence over public and private life. At the same time, Big Business has moved steadily leftward on social issues. . . . The embrace of aggressive social progressivism by Big Business is one of the most underappreciated stories of the last two decades.”

Couple this leftward move with surveillance capitalism and the picture gets even uglier. He tells us that we have NOT learned our lessons from Orwell. He says 70 million Americans already have smart speakers in their homes. The massive amount of personal data various groups have on all of us is simply staggering.

Writes Dreher: “You may have given up Facebook over privacy concerns, and may have vowed never to have a smart device under your roof, but unless you are a hermit living off the grid, you are still thoroughly bounded and penetrated by the surveillance capitalist system.”

We all have experienced this. The other day I looked up online a very particular and specific home appliance, and within moments that exact same item was being advertised on my personal FB page. They know everything about us, and they are talking to each other! The State can also far too easily get into the action. Critics will say that there are laws to prevent all this.

But over and over, dissidents told me that the law is not a reliable refuge: if the government is determined to take you out, it will manufacture a crime from the data it has captured, or otherwise deploy it to destroy your reputation. Both the spread of the cult of social justice and the reach of surveillance capitalism into areas that the Orwellian tyrants of the communist bloc could only have aspired to have created an environment favourable to the emergence of soft totalitarianism.

Image of Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents
Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Array

And the marriage of technology and totalitarianism already exists in places like communist China. Dreher quotes one writer who says, “China is about to become something new: an AI-powered techno-totalitarian state.” As I said in my book review:

“The Chinese social credit system is a clear case in point: it ‘automatically tracks the words and actions, online and off, of every Chinese citizen, and grants rewards or demerits based on obedience.’ Doing what the State approves of will get you a higher social credit score, while doing what it frowns upon will result in a downgrade.”

Says Dreher:

The bottom line: a Chinese citizen cannot participate in the economy or society unless he has the mark of approval from Xi Jinping, the country’s all-powerful leader. In a cashless society, the state has the power to bankrupt dissidents instantly by cutting off access to the internet. And in a society in which everyone is connected digitally, the state can make anyone an instant pariah when the algorithm turns them radioactive, even to their family.

And the Chinese leaders are ensuring that the next generation cannot properly fight back: “The state’s information-control apparatus has demolished the ability of young Chinese to learn facts about their nation’s history in ways that contradict the Communist Party’s narrative.” Scary stuff indeed.

They are not alone: all this is happening here, especially thanks to the corona panic. Numerous states and businesses have already told us you will NOT be able to travel, do business, or be schooled without a mandatory vaccine. This is just like what is happening in communist China, and it sure sounds like the spooky stuff we read about in the book of Revelation.

He tells the story of one Slovakian teen whose parents lived under totalitarianism. She was in the US in the mid-2000s as a student, not too long after 9/11. Says Dreher:

“I saw that people were willing to sacrifice a lot of their personal freedoms for the sake of national security,” says Petra. “There was a lot of talk along the lines of, ‘I don’t care if they listen to my phone calls or read my emails or text messages, because I don’t have anything bad to say.’ So that was really strange for me, because I thought, this is something really personal. And it doesn’t really matter if you do or don’t have something bad to say. It’s just my personal space.”

How strange it was for a teenager to come from a culture just emerging from the reality of one careless word or indiscreet meeting having the potential to destroy a person’s life, only to find herself living temporarily in one place where everyone said whatever they wanted to, without a care in the world.

He goes on to discuss Western young people raised on smartphones and social media who are willing to share everything to everyone: “having become habituated to sharing reams of personal data with marketers simply by moving through their daily lives online, these young people are making themselves highly vulnerable to manipulation by corporations and outside entities. To put it bluntly, we are being conditioned to accept a Westernized version of China’s social credit system.”

He closes the chapter this way:

Big Business’s embrace and promotion of progressive social values and the emergence of “surveillance capitalism”—the sales-directed mining of individual data gathered by electronic devices—is preparing the West to accept a version of China’s social credit system. We are being conditioned to surrender privacy and political liberties for the sake of comfort, convenience, and an artificially imposed social harmony.

This is the brave new world of the twenty-first century. Christian dissidents will be unable to mount an effective resistance if their eyes aren’t open to and focused on the nature and methods of social justice ideology and the ways in which data harvesting and manipulation can and will be used by woke capitalists and social justice ideologues in institutional authority to impose control.

It is coming, and it is coming fast.

Sober words about a sober reality. I am not stretching things by saying this may be one of the most important books you will read this year. I strongly encourage all of you to get a copy or two, for yourself and for those you care about.

Big Business and the Big State Mean Big Trouble — CultureWatch

January 2, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

13:49 The whole region was predominantly Gentile. Thus those who were historically “outside” God’s people were coming to overshadow and redefine God’s people.[1]


13:49. As a result of the conversion of these Gentiles the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. Apparently the rejoicing, glorifying, and now justified Gentiles evangelized that region, grateful for God’s grace to them.[2]


49 That the word of the Lord spread through the whole region should probably also be seen as part of Paul’s missionary strategy. He seems to have done his work mainly in urban areas and allowed the local people to take the message to the surrounding towns and villages (perhaps because of the location of local synagogues, perhaps partly because of language constraints; see 14:11, 18). [3]


49. The word of the Lord was spread abroad. Luke doth in this place declare the proceeding of the gospel; wherein appeareth how true the parable of Christ is, when he saith that it is like to leaven, (Luke 13:21.) We heard before that there was great concourse of people, so that the seed of true doctrine was sown throughout the whole city. Luke saith now that it was spread farther, to wit, throughout the whole country.[4]


Ver. 49.—Spread abroad for published, A. V. As the persecution after the death of Stephen led to the preaching of the Word in Judæa and Samaria and beyond, so here the contradiction and opposition of the Jews led to the free preaching of the gospel for the first time among the heathen population of Pisidia.[5]


49 Through the conversion of many of the Gentiles, who brought the message of salvation to others, “the word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” This spreading of the Christian proclamation (ho logos tou kyriou, “the word of the Lord”), along with the apostles’ own outreach to the various cities named in chs. 13 and 14, probably led to the agitation of the “Judaizers,” which resulted in the problem that Paul had to deal with in his letter to converts in the province of Galatia.[6]


The Positive Response

And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. (13:48–49)

In contrast to the Jewish animosity, when the Gentiles heard the good news that salvation was offered to them, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. The news that proved a stumbling block to the Jews resulted in rejoicing among the Gentiles. They were glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many of them as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

That last phrase is one of the clearest statements in all of Scripture concerning God’s sovereignty in salvation. As such, it is the balancing truth to the doctrine of human responsibility discussed earlier. The Bible unhesitatingly affirms that in salvation man does not choose God, but God chooses man. “No one,” Jesus stated plainly, “can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65). Paul described Christians as “those who have been chosen of God” (Col. 3:12; cf. 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1). To the Thessalonians he wrote, “We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). In fact, the term elect is used as a title for believers in such passages as Matthew 24:22, 24, 31; Luke 18:7; and Romans 8:33. Peter calls believers “those … who are chosen” (1 Pet. 1:1). This choice by God was made before the world began (Eph. 1:4), when their names were actually written in the book of life (Rev. 13:8). The matter of human will and divine election is so inscrutable, so incomprehensible to our minds, as to demand that we believe both without being able to comprehend how they fit together in God’s mind.

Appointed is from tassō, which is used in some ancient documents in the sense of “to inscribe” or “to enroll” (F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, The New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 283 n. 72). The list on which the elect are enrolled is described as “the book of life” (Ps. 69:28; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19; cf. Ex. 32:32–33; Dan. 12:1).

Scripture affirms that those who go to hell do so because they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life (v. 46). Conversely, the elect are saved because God appointed them for eternal life (v. 48). Those truths form a narrow causeway between two deep chasms. To emphasize either truth at the expense of the other is to plunge oneself into the abyss of doctrinal error.

Evangelism always follows true salvation, as those who are saved naturally desire to share their faith. The converts in Antioch were no exception. Through their enthusiastic testimony, the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. As always, the agent through which salvation came was the word of the Lord (cf. vv. 44, 46, 48). Antioch was turned upside down not because Paul discoursed on self-esteem, politics, or social issues, but because he proclaimed God’s Word.[7]


48–49 Distasteful as this announcement was to the synagogue leaders, it was joyful news to the Gentiles who heard it, and many of them believed the gospel—all, in fact, who had been enrolled for eternal life in the records of heaven (for this appears to be the sense of the words here used). And not only in the city itself, but throughout the surrounding countryside as well, those who believed the good news carried it to others.[8]


49. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50. But the Jews aroused the God-fearing and honorable women and the leading men of the city. They instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of their region.

The effect of Paul’s presentation of the gospel is phenomenal: everywhere the people talk about “the word of the Lord.” By word of mouth the Good News is spreading in the city of Antioch and the countryside of Pisidia. Gentile Christians filled with enthusiasm proclaim the gospel message to anyone who wishes to listen. The Christian church is rapidly growing and developing. From Paul’s point of view, he can say that God is blessing the missionary labors.

After some time passes, a violent persecution ensues. The Jews of the local synagogue are envious of Paul and Barnabas because of the unexpected response they have received from the Gentiles. These Jews realize that their religious influence is waning, because the Gentile converts have now accepted the teachings of Christ. As someone has said, “Jealousy is the raw material of murder” (compare 14:19). Jealousy poisons the minds of the Jews and impels them to seek support from high-ranking women who are still frequenting the synagogue worship services. (In the first century, Gentile women of prominence often attended the services of the local Jewish synagogue. They were God-fearing converts who were often present in goodly numbers [see 17:4].) The Jews have these influential women persuade the leading men of the city to instigate a persecution against Paul and Barnabas.

The Jews want the city fathers to take their side, stir up a persecution against the missionaries, and banish Paul and Barnabas from Pisidia. They do not seem to realize that the gospel has taken root in their region and cannot be eradicated. The church of Jesus Christ continues to develop (14:21–24). The persecution instigated by the Jews and permitted by the city authorities not only touches the lives of the new Christians but also leads to the expulsion of the two missionaries. Among the rulers are Roman officials who champion the Roman policy of promoting peace and order. Even if Paul and Barnabas themselves do not create turmoil, the Jewish agitators generate sufficient unrest that the governing authorities are compelled to intervene. The local rulers expel Paul and Barnabas from the region, although the expulsion itself seems to have been temporary. Some time later the missionaries are back in Antioch, strengthening the believers and appointing elders in the church.[9]


13:48–49. Luke wastes no time telling us how the Gentiles responded to this amazing turn of events. He avoids his tendency at hyperbole (we saw it again in verse 34) to make sure his readers understand that only those appointed for eternal life believed. Whatever one’s view on election for salvation, it is impossible to avoid this doctrine in the pages in the New Testament. As we have noticed earlier, it runs hand in hand with the doctrine of free will. The harmonization of those two seemingly conflicting views exists only in the mind of a gracious God. Somehow, God chooses us while at the same time (from our point of view) we trust him. The gospel then spread through the whole region (presumably southern Galatia), not only by the apostles’ continuing visits to other towns but by the witness of new Gentile believers.[10]


13:48–49. In contrast to the Jews, Gentiles rejoiced and those who were appointed to eternal life believed. As God chose Israel as His special people, He now sovereignly granted eternal life to Gentiles. In addition, Luke indicated that no one can save himself; people are saved only because of God’s gracious choice. Opposition could not stop the word of the Lord; the gospel made an impact upon the entire region. Luke referred to the message as the word of the Lord (vv. 48–49) not to describe the apostolic preaching as Scripture but to indicate that their message was from God. As Paul stated in Gl 1 the gospel is not a message he created but one he received from God.[11]


13:49, 50 In spite of the opposition of the Jews, the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the surrounding region. This further aroused the opposition party to hinder and obstruct. The Jews stirred up some devoutwomen who had become converts to Judaism and were prominent in the community to agitate against the missionaries. Also they used the chief men of the city to further their wicked purposes. Such a storm of persecution was stirred up that Paul and Barnabas were forcibly evicted from the area.[12]


[1] Sills, M. D. (2017). Opportunities and Challenges in Global Missions. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1743). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Valdés, A. S. (2010). The Acts of the Apostles. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 555). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[3] Gempf, C. (1994). Acts. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1087). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[4] Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (2010). Commentary upon the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 1, p. 557). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 1, p. 409). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 928). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[7] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (Vol. 2, pp. 38–39). Chicago: Moody Press.

[8] Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Book of the Acts (pp. 267–268). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 17, p. 497). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[10] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, pp. 219–220). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[11] Marty, W. H. (2014). Acts. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1703). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[12] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1623–1624). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

January 2: So I prayed. — VCY America

As we’re starting the year, we’re looking at the short prayers of the Bible. For many of us we remember God right before a meal and right before bed. But God is always with us! 

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 2:4

Nehemiah was talking to King Artaxerxes, and he paused mid-conversation for a quick prayer. This week – let’s try to set a new habit in our lives of pausing this week at noon to pray.

As we intentionally pause for a moment at noon, we can ask God to help us pray throughout the day at other times too!

January 2: So I prayed. — VCY America

UPDATE: Letter by Ted Cruz and 6 GOP Senators and 4 Senators-Elect Sign Letter to Reject Election – Call For Election Commission 10-Day Emergency Audit Takes Place | The Gateway Pundit

Ten US Senators are discussing plans to join Senator Josh Hawley in objecting to the 2020 fraudulent election results.

According to Jack Posobiec they are upset with Mitch McConnell’s ABSOLUTE failure to follow President Trump’s lead and issue $2,000 checks to the American people.

 

Seven GOP senators signed the letter and FOUR GOP Senators-elect signed on!

  • Ted Cruz (R-Texas),
  • Ron Johnson (R-Wis.),
  • James Lankford (R-Okla.),
  • Steve Daines (R-Mont.),
  • John Kennedy (R-La.),
  • Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.),
  • Mike Braun (R-Ind.)

Four Senators-Elect signed on:

  • Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
  • Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)
  • Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)
  • Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.)

Here is the joint statement released on Saturday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lauren Bianchi:
lauren_bianchi@cruz.senate.gov
January 2, 2021

Joint Statement from Senators Cruz, Johnson, Lankford, Daines, Kennedy, Blackburn, Braun, Senators-Elect Lummis, Marshall, Hagerty, Tuberville

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) issued the following statement in advance of the Electoral College certification process on January 6, 2021:

“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.

“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.

“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.

“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.

“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread.

Reuters/Ipsos polling

, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).

“Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media.

“But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.

“Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.

“On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.

“At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.

“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states—Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina—were alleged to have been conducted illegally.

“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission—consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices—to consider and resolve the disputed returns.

“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.

“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.

“We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit—conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20—would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.

“These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”

Source: UPDATE: Letter by Ted Cruz and 6 GOP Senators and 4 Senators-Elect Sign Letter to Reject Election – Call For Election Commission 10-Day Emergency Audit Takes Place

Launch voter fraud commission or we won’t certify election results, Ted Cruz & 10 other Republican senators say | RT USA News

Launch voter fraud commission or we won’t certify election results, Ted Cruz & 10 other Republican senators say

US Senator Ted Cruz and 10 other Republicans announced plans to raise objections to formalizing Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, setting up a potentially drawn-out political showdown over certifying the result.

“By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes,” Cruz and his allies said on Saturday, in a joint statement. They called for an electoral commission to be appointed immediately to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of voting results in the states that have been disputed.

Cruz, who is from Texas, is joined in the dispute by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Steve Daines (R-Montana), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana), as well as by Senators-elect Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama). Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) had previously said he would raise an objection to the electoral certification, which is scheduled to take place when Congress convenes on January 6.

Also on rt.com

Republican senator vows to challenge Electoral College certification of Joe Biden’s victory, gets slammed as ‘enemy of democracy’

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) had hoped to avoid a political brawl with Republicans seen as resisting the will of voters, the Cruz-led group argued that after the Supreme Courts and other courts declined to examine the merits of election-fraud allegations, it’s incumbent on Congress to help restore confidence in the US democratic process. Biden is scheduled take office, replacing Republican Donald Trump, on January 20.

“A fair and credible audit – conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20 – would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next president,” the Republican group said.

Read more

Trump sues, asking US Supreme Court to overturn Wisconsin election outcome – campaign team

The senators cited polling showing that 39 percent of Americans, including 31 percent of registered independent voters, believe the election’s result was fraudulent. They also pointed out that when electoral objections were raised on many occasions in the past – from 1877 to 2017 – allegations weren’t dismissed by media outlets or portrayed as “radicals trying to undermine democracy.”

“Whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear,” the group said. “It should concern us all, and it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.”

Once the emergency audit is completed, the disputed states would evaluate the commission’s findings and convene special legislative sessions to certify or change their voting results, according to the statement.

At a minimum, the senatorial objections would likely lead to a contentious certification process. If both a senator and a House member object to an individual state’s election result, both chambers would then debate and vote whether to uphold the challenge.

Also on rt.com

2020: The year that may have finally broken American politics, and perhaps the USA itself

“We are not naïve,” the Cruz-led group said. “We fully expect most, if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue.”

Source: Launch voter fraud commission or we won’t certify election results, Ted Cruz & 10 other Republican senators say

Ted Cruz, Other GOP Senators Sign Letter Announcing Intent To Vote Against Electors From Disputed States Until Election Audit Is Conducted

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 10 other GOP senators have signed a letter announcing they will vote “to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’” until a 10-day emergency audit can be conducted in those states. “We do not take this action lightly.

Source: Ted Cruz, Other GOP Senators Sign Letter Announcing Intent To Vote Against Electors From Disputed States Until Election Audit Is Conducted

Cruz leads group of senators seeking to challenge Electoral College count

Nearly a quarter of Senate Republicans are officially preparing to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, a stunning development that demonstrates just how far some in the GOP will go to align themselves with President Donald Trump’s flailing claims that the election was stolen from him.

Source: Cruz leads group of senators seeking to challenge Electoral College count

Sen. Ted Cruz to Lead Senate GOP in Opposing Certification

A larger group of Republican senators is preparing a push to delay and even oppose certification of President Donald Trump’s loss, rejecting leadership who warned against attempts to undermine the election, two people familiar with the matter said.

Source: Sen. Ted Cruz to Lead Senate GOP in Opposing Certification

GOP Senators Including Cruz, Blackburn to ‘Reject the Electors from Disputed States’ January 6

GOP senators, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Mike Braun (R-IN) are joining Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) in objecting to Electoral College votes on January 6, they announced on Saturday in a joint statement alongside four senators-elect.

Source: GOP Senators Including Cruz, Blackburn to ‘Reject the Electors from Disputed States’ January 6

GOP senators to object to Biden’s electoral votes unless emergency commission probes voter fraud

A group of Republican senators and senators-elect led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pledged on Saturday to object to the congressional certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s Electoral College votes next week unless Congress approves an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an election commission.

Source: GOP senators to object to Biden’s electoral votes unless emergency commission probes voter fraud

Sen. Ted Cruz to Lead Senate GOP in Opposing Certification

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Saturday he is joining a block of about a dozen Republican senators that will raise objections Jan 6 to Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 victory, according to a joint statement from the lawmakers.

Source: Sen. Ted Cruz to Lead Senate GOP in Opposing Certification

GOP senators to object to Biden’s electoral votes unless emergency commission probes voter fraud

A group of Republican senators and senators-elect led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pledged on Saturday to object to the congressional certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s Electoral College votes next week unless Congress approves an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an election commission. “Voter fraud has …

Source: GOP senators to object to Biden’s electoral votes unless emergency commission probes voter fraud