“President Biden has no strategy to stop the border madness and little ability to persuade anti-vaxxers. Therefore, when yet another strain of Covid gathered strength, the federal government had no coherent response. The result is the foolish and destructive panic we are seeing now.”
(Bill O’Reilly) There are so many things going on with the Covid resurgence, it is impossible for Americans to make sense of the problem. With the deconstruction of Dr. Anthony Fauci, there is no longer a trusted medical authority disseminating information to the public. CNN may still love Fauci, but few others believe him.
So, we are left with a symbolic Tower of Babel, a public discourse that is chaotic and even dangerous.
President Biden is at fault, of course. He is incapable of leading a divided nation in any direction. His verbal skills are non-existent (repetition of words cartoonish), and his problem-solving ability mirrors that of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez; approximately zero. View article →
Here’s a brief list of headlines from the “Round-Up” broadcast for this week. Review the program for more stories and details as well as comments from listeners.
–Speaking from the White House yesterday afternoon, President Biden announced the new COVID testing and mask mandates for all federal employees.
–States and cities are being asked to use federal rescue funds to provide $100 payments to individuals as an incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
–Jim provided audio from the Deputy White House Press Secretary who was asked if the nation is going to be shut down again.
–The mayor of one Philippine city issued a new executive order that bans those who have not received a COVID-19 injection from supermarkets, department stores and convenience stores effective August 25.
–Anti-vaccine passport protests erupt across Europe.
–A union that endorsed Biden in the last election is furious about his vaccine mandate.
–3 House Republicans filed a lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she enforced the mask mandate against them.
–The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened their training camp with a new protocol designed to single-out players who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
–Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is escalating his attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci.
–The founder of “Shake Shack” said that his Union Square Hospitality Group will require indoor diners and drinkers to be able to show that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
–Americans with long COVID symptoms might qualify for disability benefits.
–Jim provided audio from a Maryland pastor who is using the COVID-19 shot as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit.
–Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill making them the second state to repeal HIV criminalization laws.
–The Republican head of the Wisconsin Assembly Elections Committee said Monday that she will ensure there’s a comprehensive forensic examination of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election at the same time the state’s non-partisan audit bureau conducts a review.
–Auditors in Arizona’s largest county on Wednesday finished a third count of ballots and will shift to compiling a draft report on the audit results.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that anyone visiting or working at the Capitol will be arrested on sight if they do not wear pool floaties in case a flash flood hits the building.
“Good morning, Friday morning,” Pelosi said to reporters gathered in their swim floaties, pool rings, snorkels, and life jackets. “We will continue to abide by health experts’ guidelines at the Capitol. If you care about your fellow humans, you will wear the swim floaties. If you don’t, you want your grandmother to die. And that’s not very Christian. I would know. I’m a great Catholic.”
“We are doing this for your safety,” she added.
She went on to say that although she had previously encouraged people to get swim lessons so they would not need to wear the floaties, she is reversing that decision due to the new “delta variant” of water which comes with an additional 0.0007% chance of drowning.
Senator Ted Cruz announced that he would not be wearing the floaties. He promptly drowned in a fountain.
U.S.—Scientists are warning of a deadly new COVID variant: the Supersized Double Mega Limited Edition Teenage Mutant Ninja Snyder Cut Variant With Frickin’ Laser Cannons.
“God help us all,” murmured one scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s evolved laser cannons! Frickin’ laser cannons! If it weren’t so deadly, it’d be pretty frickin’ rad. Man, oh man.”
The new variant is double the size of the last one. It is also supersized, so it comes with larger fries and a giant sweet tea, which is a nice consolation for it being so deadly. It’s a limited edition, so get it while supplies last. It also apparently had radioactive sludge spilled on it while it was being developed at the Wuhan lab, so it has developed a craving for pizza and the tendency to shout, “Cowabunga!” and other radical phrases. And, as we mentioned before, it’s got frickin’ laser cannons. Finally, it’s the Snyder Cut of the virus, so it has over 4 hours of extra lung-hacking action.
“This virus is now totally rad,” said Dr. Fauci. “I hope you guys like it.”
Fauci has promised the “Fauci Cut” coming soon, where he has total creative freedom to create the virus without the Chinese government editing his work so closely.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—All the witnesses who have testified before the January 6 Committee were given honorary Emmy awards this week for their outstanding performances pretending to cry for dramatic effect.
“Look at the way they are able to cry on command — so realistic!” said one member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences upon reviewing the tearful performances. “These folks have a bright career ahead of them. The Hallmark Channel is always looking for new talent, as they have about 6,000 Christmas movies to make before November.”
“Keep an eye on these actors — they’re hot, hot, hot!”
While most praised the awards, others criticized the move, saying that Senator Cory Booker and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are “far more deserving” of the recognition.
Trump was also given an Emmy Award for his excellent work still pretending that he won the election.
Mark Driscoll craziness.
As we approach August, I wanted to tell you all know that things will be a bit crazy for the coming month. My daughter is being married in Duke Chapel on August 14th. In the last week of the month, we will finally be able to take our rail trip to Switzerland which was canceled last year due to COVID. Thankfully, we have found folks to live at our house to care for the pugs as well as to look in on my 92-year-old mother. Next week, she will probably be admitted to the hospital to take care of some issues she’s experiencing. She wants to get better to dance at my daughter’s wedding. I will do my very best to keep up with the blog and interesting news. Yesterday, I had a procedure yesterday on my back and the sedation hit me pretty hard. It usually doesn’t so we decided to go to the beach for a couple of days to rest up. I have listened to these podcasts that I’m suggesting. I have recently been getting more into podcasts while I’m working around the house. I can assure you that you will find these interesting.
The Rise and Fall of Mark Driscoll produced by Christianity Today.
There are five episodes that can be found at this link. There are more to come.
This has been getting quite a lot of play on social media. I have some disagreements with their assessments. The one that might be good to think about is this. Do you think that because so many people got saved and baptized at Marks Hill, Seattle, that the good outweighs the bad?
Inside the Driscoll “Cult” Part I
I have really enjoyed listening to this discussion. Here is a link to The Roys Report podcast :
The cultic activities of Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church have escalated to a whole new level. As Julie’s guests describe on this edition of The Roys Report, Driscoll is now sending cease and desist letters, threatening to sue whistleblowers. And the threat is not in vain. Driscoll reportedly has amassed a $10 million dollar litigation fund to sue whistleblowers into oblivion.
Despite this, two men cannot remain silent. And on this edition of The Roys Report, they’ll tell you the stories Mark Driscoll doesn’t want you to hear.
You’ll hear about a couple who reported their concerns about a staff member violating child safety protocols, who were then abruptly kicked out of the church the same day. You’ll hear about Mark’s abusive behavior towards his staff behind closed doors—and the “yes men” who take it. And you’ll hear about the paranoid claims Driscoll makes about his days at Mars Hill, claiming people were trying to kill him and members of his family, and that’s why they all have PTSD.
Inside the Driscoll “Cult” Part II -Roys Report
Here is a link to this podcast.
On this edition of The Roys Report, Chad Freese, the former head of security at The Trinity Church, and his former colleague, Ben Eneas, reveal more details about the cult of personality and family business that Driscoll has cultivated.
In a bizarre example, Chad and Ben share how staff members, and even church parishioners, are covertly rated on their loyalty to Mark Driscoll. They also give a behind-the-scenes look at the Christian executive who runs the business operations at the church—and the crazy things he instructs church staff to do.
Two families are divided due to the marriages of their children. (Roys Report)
The next two articles are not podcasts but they give more in-depth looks at the apparently bizarre behavior of Mark and Grace Driscoll. I used to leave Grace Driscoll out of my discussions due to my concern that she needed to support her husband due to their children. As the kids are growing up, I now believe that Grace is behind her husband 100%. So I now add her name into posts about hubby.
Todd and Janna Davis used to be close with their daughter and son-in-law, Lanna and Brandon Andersen, and the family’s four children.But that was before Brandon Andersen became Mark Driscoll’s right-hand man and campus pastor at Driscoll’s new church in Scottsdale, Arizona—The Trinity Church.
…Now, like many who don’t rate high enough on Driscoll’s loyalty rating scale, the couple says they’ve been deemed “toxic” and “unsafe.”
Likewise, Doug and Pauline Chase are estranged from their son and daughter-in-law. Their son, Landon Chase is a Trinity pastor who’s married to Mark and Grace Driscoll’s oldest child, Ashley.
In 2007, when Jolie Monea first considered attending Mars Hill Church—Mark Driscoll’s former church in Seattle—her friends “heavily warned” against it. They said Driscoll was “misogynistic” and his sermons would be triggering. But Monea recalls thinking, “We have five kids. They have five kids—how bad could it be? Like, he’s a dad.”
Now 14 years later, Monea’s daughter, Chloe, is married to Mark and Grace Driscoll’s son, Zac Driscoll. And Monea has a drastically different perspective.
She says Mark Driscoll’s cult-like demand for loyalty has driven a wedge in her family. Simply because Monea associated with a family that had been kicked out of Driscoll’s new church, The Trinity Church, her daughter and son-in-law severed their relationships with Monea, her husband, and their four other kids.
I’m sure these stories and podcasts will be deeply disturbing. So, take it in stride. I cannot imagine being a member of Mark Driscoll’s church.
Also, I want to thank Dee Homes who faithfully protest outside his church on Sundays.
(Matt Margolis – PJ Media) In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky revealed that she and Joe Biden are “looking into” the possibility of establishing a vaccine mandate.
“Are you for mandating a vaccine on a federal level?” Baier asked her.
“Ummm. That’s something that I think the administration is looking into. It’s something that I think we are looking to see approval of from the vaccine,” Walensky replied….
“Overall, I think in general, I am all for more vaccination. But, I have nothing further to say on that except that we are looking into those policies.” View article →
“Be Killing Sin or It Will Be Killing You”
Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5
Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
“My Sole Occupation Is Love”
Deuteronomy 10:12; 11:13; Joshua 22:5; 1 Corinthians 13:4–13
My soul is occupied,
And all my substance in His service;
Now I guard no flock,
Nor have I any other employment:
My sole occupation is love.
JOHN OF THE CROSS
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
When I moved to central Florida in 1992, I was told that this part of the state had not been directly hit by a hurricane since the fifties. We were hit by the outer edges of some hurricanes and tropical storms on occasion, but nothing major. All of that changed in 2004 when this one small part of the state was hit by not one, but three strong hurricanes in the short space of six weeks. Hurricane Charley hit us the evening of August 13. Three weeks later we were hit by Hurricane Frances. Three weeks after that we were hit by Hurricane Jeanne. It was not a pleasant time to live in this part of Florida.
There was one side effect of the 2004 hurricane season that I probably should have expected but did not, and that was the effect it would have on our local meteorologists. As the 2005 hurricane season approached, some of them lost their minds. If I may be permitted a bit of hyperbole, the typical weather report that year could be paraphrased as such: “A tropical depression has formed off the coast of Africa. It is probably going to turn into a major hurricane. It is probably going to hit us, and we are probably all going to die.” They seemed to have one goal—to create a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. I stopped watching after a few weeks of this and asked my wife to let me know if and when there was something I needed to know, such as the need to board up the windows and/or evacuate.
Those who have watched or read the news over the last several years have likely noticed this tendency regardless of where you live. Watch the news long enough and a monologue begins to develop in your mind:
The economy will soon collapse, hampering our war against the terrorists who are on the verge of attacking us again. The only thing that may stop them is a pandemic of bird flu, swine flu, or the black plague, but this pandemic will only affect those of us who haven’t already succumbed to the dire effects of global warming. Stay tuned for a report on what popular food product that you eat every day has been shown to cause cancer in lab rats and chimpanzees.
So, we are faced with a certain amount of fear and anxiety that is media-induced to one degree or another. There is also, however, fear and anxiety caused by actual frightening events. Strong hurricanes are frightening to experience. Other natural disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes are frightening. Diseases are frightening, especially when they spread across the world—as the coronavirus has done so far in 2020. Wars and terrorist activity are also frightening.
Complicating matters is the lack of trust that many have in the news media. We know that fear sells because it keeps people glued to their screens and that is profitable. We know bias exists in news reporters as it does in everyone. Due to factors such as these, however, many people have lost all trust in the news media to accurately report events. Social media has intensified this problem because friends and family share stories without always checking the sources. This can cause problems when a truly dangerous event is unfolding and a certain segment of the population writes it off as nothing but media hype, or worse, the fruits of some vast dark conspiracy.
When we are dealing with something that is potentially life-threating, we need to err on the side of loving our neighbor. If a Category 5 hurricane is predicted to hit your area directly, it is not loving or wise to tell everybody on your social media pages that it’s all a hoax. Convincing a neighbor to not prepare for a strong hurricane can result in your neighbor’s death. Similarly, if there are reports of a highly contagious virus spreading, we need to err on the side of loving our neighbor. Many of our neighbors are elderly. Many have chronic respiratory issues such as COPD and asthma. Many have compromised immune systems due to things like cancer treatment. It is not loving to those neighbors to put them at risk of catching something from you that your own immune system can most likely handle. This is true even during a normal flu season. It is not loving toward your neighbor to go to work or to church or to any public place if you are sick with a contagious illness.
There is, then, the matter of loving our neighbor. There is also the deeper matter of dealing with fear and anxiety—regardless of its source. How do we deal with all of the fear and anxiety that we face, whether media-induced or event-induced? An example from church history proves instructive. Saint Augustine (354–430) lived at a time of great fear and anxiety. His world changed dramatically in A.D. 410 when the barbarian Alaric entered Rome. This was the beginning of the end for the western half of the Roman Empire. As refugees fled to northern Africa, bringing all manner of ominous reports, Augustine was forced to deal with the issues as many were going so far as to blame the fall of Rome on Christianity. His classic work The City of God was written to respond to the crisis. One of my favorite quotes from this book addresses the fearfulness of his readers. He encourages Christians who are surrounded by danger on every side, saying: “Among the daily chances of this life every man on earth is threatened in the same way by innumerable deaths, and it is uncertain which of them will come to him. And so the question is whether it is better to suffer one in dying or to fear them all in living” (1:11). These are the words of one who trusts the sovereignty of God. Augustine knew there was no point in being constantly fearful about all of the dangers surrounding him. He knew God was in control and that not a single hair could fall from his head apart from God’s will.
The world is fearful and anxious, but it is fearful and anxious about the wrong things. The world is fearful about the economy. The world is fearful about retirement accounts. The world is fearful about natural disasters and man-made disasters. The world is fearful of terrorism, and the world is fearful of diseases like the coronavirus. The world, however, is not fearful of God. Jesus tells us that we are not to fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead we are to fear God who can destroy both (Matt. 10:28). The wrath of God makes all other objects of the world’s fears seem like nothing in comparison. A truly fearful thing is to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31).
Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, however, have nothing to fear from man, or from anything else for that matter. Those who trust Christ have nothing to fear from hurricanes, diseases, economic collapse, war, famine, or even death. All of these things are under the control of our sovereign Father in heaven. Of course, this is easy enough for us to say, but we all too easily take our eyes off of God and dwell on the dangers surrounding us.
Is there anything we can do to fight worldly fear and anxiety? I believe Paul provides one important clue by contrasting fear with prayer. He writes: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7). A neglect of prayer almost always results in a corresponding rise in our fear and anxiety. This is no coincidence. Prayer is an act of faith in God, and faith in God leads to the peace of God.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in Tabletalk magazine.
Source: Fighting Fear and Anxiety
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him. – 1 Peter 5:8, 9a
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 5:5-9
Being humble does not mean we are to be weak, timid or unengaged in the Christian life. The next exhortations make clear that humble servants are called to action: be sober, be vigilant, resist the devil!
When we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand and know that He cares for us, He picks us up and enables us to resist the devil-only then. Do not try this on your own. The devil is not a plaything. He is your enemy, the accuser. He is pleased to devour you with lies that lure you into disobedience. And, when you fall, he is pleased to paralyze you with guilt and fear, “I can’t believe you did that, God will never forgive you!”
“Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It’s not a matter of the flashy spiritual warfare tactics. You resist him, says Peter, when you are steadfast in the faith and stand firm with the Word of God. When you are tempted, you resist him when you go back to the Word and say, “It is written.” You stand firm in the faith when you draw near to God, cry out with prayer and supplication, casting all your cares on Him. These challenges are experienced by your brothers and sisters all over the world. But God is faithful. He has given us one another to encourage one another. He is the God of all grace! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Suggestions for prayer
Reflect on the schemes the devil is using as your enemy. Ask God to uphold and encourage you in His grace, to help you be steadfast in the faith. Pray for those who experience the same sufferings throughout the world.
Rev. John A. Bouwers is pastor of the Hope Reformed Church (URCNA) in Brampton, ON, where he has served since December 2017. He is married to Julie and they have been blessed with six children and twelve grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)
Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy’s country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.
Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed.
“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” Romans 5:8
A dear friend and Christian leader from another country hated and resented his father, who was an alcoholic. Through the years, my friend had been humiliated and embarrassed by his father’s conduct. He wanted nothing to do with him.
As he grew more and more mature in his faith, and the Christlike qualities began to develop in his life, he began to realize that his attitude toward his father was wrong. He knew well that God’s Word commanded him to love and honor his mother and father, with no conditions.
Then he began to comprehend and experience the truth of loving by faith after a message which he had heard me give. As a result, he went to his father and, as an act of the will, by faith – because at that point he did not honestly feel like doing so – he expressed his love.
He was amazed to discover that his father had been hurt for years because he had sensed that his son despised and rejected him.
When the son began to demonstrate love for him – to assure him that he cared for him, whether he drank or did not drink – it prompted the father to commit his life to Christ and to trust Him to help him overcome the problem which had plagued him most of his life.
Through this new relationship with the Lord, my friend’s father became a new creature and was able to gain victory over the addiction to alcohol several years before he died – a dramatic example of the power of love.
Bible Reading: Romans 5:9-15 (scroll down)
Action Point: Knowing Christ’s great love for me, I will claim His supernatural love for others today.
By Dr. Bill Bright
Used by PermissionRomans 5:9-19New International Version
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
“faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2
Many people know the hymn, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” The melody soothes, the words bring hope. But like many familiar pieces of verse, Louisa Stead’s words can easily slip like quicksilver off our lips without lodging in our hearts and minds.
We may be tempted to think that Louisa wrote the words while gazing at a beautiful sunset with a light breeze rippling through her hair. In fact, however, it was while living in a culture far from her own and after experiencing deep sorrow that the poem was written. She had planned to be a missionary in China but hopes were dashed when her health failed. Later her husband drowned in a tragic accident after a picnic on the beach. Shortly after the death of her husband, Louisa took their young daughter and moved to the African continent where she served as a missionary, later remarrying, raising her daughter, and faithfully ministering to others.
Easily overlooked in the familiar poetry is one line: “I’m so glad I learned to trust you, precious Jesus, Savior, Friend.” Louise learned to trust God not through the easy spaces of life, but through the dark nights when all seemed bleak and dark. Many of us plaintively cry out for more faith but too often we want that faith handed to us without going through the process that God chooses.
“Giants of the faith” known in history and lauded in scripture are those who deeply believed God even when they could not see His love or plan. In spite of pain and discouragement, Louise Stead could end her hymn with the words, “And I know that you are with me, will be with me to the end.”
Father, your promise to be with me gives so much comfort, but I confess that I too often want that presence without any pain. Teach me more about your love and help me trust you in all circumstances.
By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission
Glorying in the Cross of Christ
Galatians 6:14; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
Let us serve him faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teaching as our Prophet. Let us walk diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming Redeemer of body as well as soul. But above all, let us prize Him as our sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as an atonement for sin. Let His blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live. Whatever else we glory in about Christ, let us glory above all things in His cross.
J. C. RYLE*
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Learning Through Dryness and Abandonment
Psalm 31:9–10; 35:22; 38:21; 88; 94:14; Lamentations 2:7–8; 3:31; 2 Corinthians 4:9–11
Many holy and devout souls have been proved by dryness, and seemed for a long while as if it were abandoned by God, that they might thereby learn patience and compassion for others, by the sense of their own sorrow and need, and not to presume too much on themselves in the moment of fervor, and in the season of spiritual jubilation.
THOMAS À KEMPIS*
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Much has been written with regard to the subject of religious doubt. Paul Thagard, writing in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, defines doubt as “a cognitive/emotional state caused by the incoherence of a claim relevant to a person’s goals.” In his work The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God Professor Gary Habermas defines doubt in another way, as “the lack of certainty about the truthfulness of Christianity, one’s own faith, or how it applies to real life situations.” Habermas, who himself went through a lengthy period of sustained religious doubt, warns of a number of “myths” surrounding doubt which he believes to be unhealthy and misleading.
Myth #1: “Doubt is the opposite of faith and is actually unbelief.”
To this point, Christian philosopher and author Os Guiness clarifies, “To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at once and so be ‘in two minds.’” This distinction is important to note; one could experience religious doubt while still very much being a believer. In fact, scripture is full of examples of believers experiencing and wrestling with doubt while all the while remaining children of God, even including Abraham. James 2:23 says this of Abraham, “Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called a friend of God.”
However, Abraham demonstrated great doubt as to God’s promises to him. Although promised by God that God would protect and bless him, while in Egypt Abraham feared for his life to such an extent that he lied about his marriage to the Pharaoh. Even after God supernaturally rescued him and Sarah, Abraham made the same mistake when overcome with fear of King Abimelech. While Abraham clearly had doubts about the Lord’s promises to him, Abraham was never considered by scripture to be an unbeliever. Instead, scripture treats Abraham as a great man of faith who experienced repeated moments of religious doubt. While doubts can lead to unbelief, the two are separate and distinct concepts which should not be mistaken for one another.
Myth #2: “Doubt shouldn’t be admitted or discussed since it is basically a character flaw.”
It is easy to see why someone might draw this conclusion when examining the story of Abraham referenced above. After all, any man willing to give his wife to another to save themself must have more than a few character flaws! However, even if it were a universal truth that doubt always originates from a character flaw, there would still be good reasons to talk about religious doubts. In a study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion authors Christopher G. Ellison and Neal Krause found that suppressing religious doubt did not lead to less doubt or greater belief.
Instead, suppression of doubt was found to be correlated with the development of more religious doubt. Scripture seems to support the idea that doubt is normative and should be discussed; throughout the Old and New Testaments the religious doubts of God’s people are frequently put on display. If God wanted us to keep quiet about doubt it is unlikely He would be so vocal in scripture about his servants’ numerous doubts.
Myth #3: “Doubt never produces positive results.”
Despite the “knee-jerk” reaction many feel when hearing that a loved one is having doubts, the process of doubting itself can lead to a stronger faith experience. In an article aimed at a general audience, Focus on the Family once wrote, “Christianity isn’t about having faith in faith alone… Instead, it’s a solid confidence based on convincing evidence… This implies that the process of making your faith your own is probably going to entail some hard work.” These claims by Focus on the Family are well-supported by research.
In the same Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion study mentioned above, Ellison and Krause discovered, “People who receive more spiritual support from their church members will be more likely to seek spiritual growth when doubts about religion arise.” The study additionally found that these same people experienced less religious doubt overall.
It seems people who experienced support from their religious community and viewed doubt as an opportunity put in “hard work” ended up with a stronger faith, especially when compared to those who suppressed their religious doubts. Os Guiness argues much the same, stating, “The person who has the courage to go back [and examine their doubts] when necessary is the one who goes on in the end.”
Doubt is to be expected by any religious person (perhaps even of non-religious persons) and is something that should be embraced and addressed rather than shunned and ignored.
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Many of the myths surrounding religious doubt can be detrimental to one’s spiritual growth. If doubt is treated as an ugly or even sinful quality people will be more and more likely to try to suppress their doubts instead of seeking support. The personal experience of Habermas, scientific study into this issue, and even scripture itself tells another story. Doubt is to be expected by any religious person (perhaps even of non-religious persons) and is something that should be embraced and addressed rather than shunned and ignored.
 Thagard, Paul. “What is Doubt and When Is It Reasonable?” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 30. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.ccu.edu/login .aspx? direct=true&db=aph&AN=115985175&site=eds-live.
 Habermas, Gary. The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God. Grand Rapids: B & H Publishings, 1999. http://garyhabermas.com/books/thomas_factor/thomas _factor. htm.
 Guinness, Os. God in the Dark. 23. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1996.
 Genesis 12:10-20.
 Genesis 20:1-16.
 Gary Habermas, The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God.
 Ellison, Christopher G and Krause, Neal. “The Doubting Process: A Longitudinal Study of the Precipitants and Consequences of Religious Doubt.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Volume 48. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839364/#:~:text= Religious%20doubt%20is%20defined%20by,and%20Pancer%201993%3A%2028).&text=Moreover%2C%20it%20is%20understood%20that,congregation%20feel%20the%20same%20way.
 Gary Habermas, The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God.
 Focus on the Family. “Wrestling With Doubt and Disbelief.” FocusOnTheFamily.com, accessed July 13, 2021. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/wrestling-with-doubt-and- disbelief/
 Christopher G Ellison and Neal Krause. “The Doubting Process: A Longitudinal Study of the Precipitants and Consequences of Religious Doubt.”
 Os Guinness, 18.
Google officially announces subsea cable to connect Europe and Asia via Israel
Tech giant Google is expected to officially announce today the launch of its subsea cable project that will connect Asia and Europe through Israel, Calcalist has learned. The project was first revealed in the Wall Street Journal last November, but to date hadn’t been officially confirmed by Google. The project will see Google Cloud collaborate with Sparkle, a Telecom Italia company, together with other partners. The project’s budget was estimated at $400 million by Dubai-based Salience Consulting.
CUNY Professor Claims Muslims Will ‘Erase This Filth Called Israel’ in Anti-Semitic Sermon
An imam who serves as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) said in a sermon that Muslims will “erase this filth called Israel” after accusing Jews of creating a “colonial” settlement. Mohammad Abbasi, who teaches at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, delivered the remarks in a June 25 sermon at the Islamic Center of Union City, N.J.
New York Times reporter deletes tweet calling Trump supporters ‘enemies of the state’
A New York Times reporter deleted a tweet that called supporters of former President Trump “enemies of the state,”
Israeli cyber companies are eyeing the U.S government
“One of the questions we get a lot is ‘can an Israeli company even sell into the federal market’,” “So many Israeli cyber companies come out of the military’s Unit 8200 and that’s the world they know, a lot of times we hear that companies want to go sell to the NSA or the CIA. That’s not the place that’s going to buy Israeli technology, at least not easily.”
New bill proposes facial recognition cameras in public spaces
Police are promoting a bill that would allow them to use facial recognition technology in public spaces across Israel without a warrant. A draft of the bill posted by the Public Security Ministry was made public earlier in July, and is open for public comment until tonight, Thursday, at midnight.
Fight against terrorism: Dangerous ISIS member arrested in Greece
Moroccan security services have ended the hectic career of an Daesh terrorist. The General Directorate of Studies and Documentation (DGED) and the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance were able, thanks to precise information, to arrest, in Athens, the so-called Abou Mohamad Al Fateh, a 28-year-old Moroccan who joined the ranks of Daesh and which was the subject of an international arrest warrant at the initiative of the Moroccan justice system. According to information available to the Moroccan security services, he was planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Morocco.
Public prefers Netanyahu’s handling of COVID-19
Twice as many Israelis prefer how the former prime minister handled the COVID-19 crisis compared to those who preferred Naftali Bennett.
King of Jordan claims Iranian drones are attacking his country
Jordan’s King Abdullah told CNN on Sunday that this year, his country has faced an increasing number of attacks by Iranian-made drones. The issue came up while discussing the pro-Iranian stance of the Biden administration and its influence on the region.
Russia-Israel relationship takes turn for worst as coordination on Syria halted
O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2. Lebanese media outlets as well as Saudi Arabia’s London-based Asharq Al-Awsat have reported that Israel’s freedom of action against Iran in Syria is dwindling as Russia makes changes to its policy vis-à-vis its relationship with Israel. But this so-called reversal of policy by Russia may be manufactured news and does not necessarily reflect reality.
The FBI needs to go away’
Chris Farrell, a distinguished senior fellow at Gatestone Institute and director of investigations for government watchdog Judicial Watch, says it’s time for the FBI to be over. “The FBI needs to go away,” he writes at Gatestone. “It should happen in an orderly and thoughtful process, over a period of months. Congress should authorize and create an investigative division in the U.S. Marshals Service and open applications for law enforcement officer seeking to be rigorously screened, vetted and then accessed into the new organization. … the agency is continuing to trend “downward” and appears headed toward “terminal corruption.”
Massive M8.2 earthquake hits near the coast of Alaska, tsunami warnings issued
A massive shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M8.2 hit near the coast of Alaska at 06:15 UTC on July 29, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 32.2 km (20 miles). EMSC is reporting it as M8.2 at depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). This is the strongest earthquake in the world since M8.2 off the coast of Fiji on August 19, 2018.
Why Are Globalists and Governments so Desperate for 100% Vaccination Rates?
I don’t think I am the only person that has noticed it – There has been a sudden deluge of covid vaccination propaganda and vaccine passport propaganda in the past month, more so than I think we have seen since the beginning of this year
BREAKING! Firearm Confiscation Imminent, Language Changed in Legislation OVERNIGHT in Canada!
Canadians’ gun rights are being targeted, and confiscation seems imminent as bill C-71 was changed, literally overnight.
Amid Constant Flip-Flopping On Virus Transmission, Biden To Announce That All Federal Employees Must Be Injected With Experimental Vaccine
If you are doing your best to follow all the COVID recommendations coming from the Biden administration, you must be experiencing something akin to vertigo right now with all the flip-flopping they’re spewing. They started out saying that all you had to do was ‘get the shot’ and you’d be safe from COVID. As it turns out, that’s not true or even close to true.
RUH-ROH: California counties with highest vaccination rates also have highest delta infection rates
The Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “delta variant” is spreading like wildfire in areas with high “vaccine” compliance, new reports indicate.
“Fully vaccinated” medical worker had to have both legs amputated following jab-induced arterial blood clots
Just days after receiving her second Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) “vaccine” dose, a Minnesota medical worker developed arterial blood clots and multiple inflammatory syndrome (MIS), which led to her having to get both of her legs amputated.
Mark Zukerberg Is Positioning Facebook To Take Over Online Worship Services And His First Line Of Attack Is Partnership With Laodicean Hillsong
Just a short while ago, Facebook removed my post because it went against their Community Standards, and was something that could potentially ’cause harm’ to certain groups of people. What was in that post that was so egregious and offensive to the Facebook censors? It was Proverbs 20:1 warning against the corrupting influence of alcohol. Now Facebook wants to control the Christian worship service, and to that end, they have found the perfect first willing victim. Laodicean Hillsong.
Minnesota Woman Beheaded in Broad Daylight on Minneapolis Street After Judge Allowed Killer Out of Jail
America Thayer was found beheaded in Shakopee, Minnesota Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight. A Minnesota woman was beheaded on the street on Wednesday in a Minneapolis suburb. 42-year-old Alexis Saborit was arrested for the crime.
Video game allows player to “disinfect” cities of anti-lockdown protesters and “save lives” by blowing them up with thermite grenades
Video gamers who support the government’s fascist Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) dictates have a new opportunity to murder those who oppose lockdowns, face masks, and “vaccines” – at least digitally.
CDC confesses: Vaccines are failing, the vaxxed can be super-spreaders, demands return to mask mandates for everyone, including the vaxxed
Via the words of the CDC’s own director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the official narrative on vaccines and covid has just self-destructed. While in March of this year, Walenksy had publicly promised that vaccinated people could not spread the virus and infect others, this week she publicly stated that vaccines are failing, and that vaccinated people may now carry higher viral loads than unvaccinated people, contributing to the spread of covid.
Outdoor mask mandate for eight LGAs makes ‘it easier for police to enforce’ compliance
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says “part” of the reason masks have been mandated outdoors for the eight LGAs of concern is it “makes it easier for police to enforce” compliance.
Members of Congress BLOCKED from seeing conditions of January 6th political prisoners…
What are they hiding? DC Department of Corrections locked out members of Congress today
Netflix Mandates Vaccinations for All Actors on US Productions
Netflix has become the first major Hollywood studio to roll out companywide COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cast members and those who come in contact with them for all productions in the United States.
NYC to Offer $100 Incentive for Vaccination Starting Friday
Anyone who gets a first dose at a city-run site starting Friday July 30 will get the $100
USA Today Scrubs Passage Suggesting Vaccinated Individuals May Spread COVID With ‘Higher Levels’ Of Virus
“NBC News, citing unnamed officials aware of the decision, reported it comes after new data suggests vaccinated individuals could have higher levels of virus and infect others amid the surge of cases driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus,” the USA Today reported in a passage that was later scrubbed from an article.
White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most Among Religious Groups
More than six months into the country’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, evangelical Christians are more resistant to getting the vaccine than other major religious groups, according to newly released data.
Source: 30 Jul 2021 – Rapture Ready
|China on Cusp of Eliminating Cash, Pushing the World Toward Total Government SurveillancePosted: 30 Jul 2021 09:05 AM PDT(OPINION) CBN – The Chinese were the first in the world to invent paper money back in the 7th Century. Now, more than 1,400 years later, China is again on the cusp of creating a new form of government currency that some say could pose a serious economic threat to America and the West.“In effect, they are not cryptocurrencies, they are not so-called stable coins, in effect, they are the national physical currency of a country just represented in a digital form,” said Erik Bethel, former U.S.Continue reading China on Cusp of Eliminating Cash, Pushing the World Toward Total Government Surveillance at End Time Headlines.|
|Los Angeles schools will now mandate weekly testing for students and teachers…Posted: 30 Jul 2021 08:46 AM PDT(ETH) – The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday it would require all students and employees returning for in-person instruction to participate in weekly COVID testing regardless of vaccination status according to ABC Los Angeles.“As part of our efforts to maintain the safest possible environment for students and employees, we are closely monitoring evolving health conditions and adapting our response in preparation for our full return to in-person learning on August 16,” Interim Superintendent Megan K.Continue reading Los Angeles schools will now mandate weekly testing for students and teachers… at End Time Headlines.|
|FALLING AWAY: America’s new religion is “Fake Christianity”Posted: 30 Jul 2021 08:25 AM PDT(OPINION) TWT – Earlier this month, the Western Journal reported that the “American Church Has Fallen: Shocking Poll Shows ‘Fake Christianity’ Has Supplanted the Biblical Worldview.”Writing for the Journal, Rachel Bratton said this: “American Christianity has fallen. Thanks to cultural corrosion and a lack of biblical literacy, a new ‘fake Christianity’ is now being preached within the American church.”“This counterfeit religion is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,” stated Ms.Continue reading FALLING AWAY: America’s new religion is “Fake Christianity” at End Time Headlines.|
|Ontario church fined additional $85,000 for worship service violating lockdown ordersPosted: 30 Jul 2021 08:16 AM PDT(CP) – A Canadian pastor whose church has been fined over $80,000 a second time for holding a worship service during Ontario’s ongoing restrictions on church gatherings said: “Jesus is worth it.”Trinity Bible Chapel, a Waterloo-based church, was sentenced Tuesday for a worship service it held in April that violated provincial restrictions on in-person gatherings in response to COVID-19. Justice John Krakchenko ordered the church and its leaders to pay $85,000 in fines after finding the church in contempt of court, according to Kitchener Today.Continue reading Ontario church fined additional $85,000 for worship service violating lockdown orders at End Time Headlines.|
|Sydney prepares military enforcement as COVID lockdown fails to squash Delta outbreakPosted: 30 Jul 2021 08:06 AM PDT(ETH) – Sydney’s poorest neighborhoods are reportedly bracing for military enforcement of the city’s toughest and longest lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic as the infection numbers held persistently high five weeks since restrictions began according to the latest from Reuters.With the city of 5 million people ordered to stay home amid an outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant, authorities outlined even tighter restrictions for the worst affected suburbs, including mandatory testing and mask-wearing outdoors.Continue reading Sydney prepares military enforcement as COVID lockdown fails to squash Delta outbreak at End Time Headlines.|
|DEVELOPING: Multiple twisters reported in PhiladelphiaPosted: 29 Jul 2021 07:03 PM PDT(ETH) – A number of tornadoes have touched down in Philadelphia after multiple warnings were issued by the National Weather Service according to the Express. A “dangerous” twister was spotted at 5.50 pm near Lumberville, Bucks County moving at 25 mph toward Mercer County, NJ.Another tornado was reported to have touched down near New Hope, Pa around 10 minutes later. Christie Lleto, a reporter for the news channel 6abc, described some of the damage sustained at a car dealership in Trevose, Pa – by what might have been a tornado.Continue reading DEVELOPING: Multiple twisters reported in Philadelphia at End Time Headlines.|
|White House signals it’s willing to reinstate lockdowns, School closures if recommended by CDCPosted: 29 Jul 2021 06:47 PM PDT(OPINION) Faithwire – The White House signaled Thursday that President Joe Biden is willing to return to the draconian lockdowns and school closures of 2020 if the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention recommends them.Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre why Americans should trust Biden when he says the U.S. won’t return to pandemic-related lockdowns when he “also once said that we didn’t have to wear masks anymore once we were vaccinated.”View this post on InstagramA post shared by Faithwire (@faithwire)“Well, because we listen to the scientists, we listen to the expert[s],” said Jean-Pierre.Continue reading White House signals it’s willing to reinstate lockdowns, School closures if recommended by CDC at End Time Headlines.|
|Woman found beheaded on sidewalk in MinnesotaPosted: 29 Jul 2021 04:57 PM PDT(ETH) – A woman was found beheaded on a Shakopee sidewalk in Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon according to a report from CBS Minnesota. The incident led to an arrest according to the Shakopee Police Department, the incident occurred at around 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street.A 55-year-old woman, identified as America Mafalda Thayer of Shakopee, was found on the sidewalk near the intersection and pronounced dead at the scene.Continue reading Woman found beheaded on sidewalk in Minnesota at End Time Headlines.|
|In what is being deemed an “extraordinary discovery” astronomers see light behind black holePosted: 29 Jul 2021 01:13 PM PDT(Futurism) – A team of scientists detected a series of bright flares of X-ray light coming from one of the least expected places: behind a supermassive black hole.“Any light that goes into that black hole doesn’t come out, so we shouldn’t be able to see anything that’s behind the black hole,” said Stanford University astrophysicist Dan Wilkins, lead author of a paper about the research published today in Nature Communications, in a statement.Continue reading In what is being deemed an “extraordinary discovery” astronomers see light behind black hole at End Time Headlines.|
|UPDATE: 8.2 Quake in Alaska was the largest earthquake to strike the US in 50 yearsPosted: 29 Jul 2021 12:57 PM PDT(UPDATE) ETH – The monster 8.2 Alaska earthquake that struck in the early hours of Thursday morning was officially the largest quake since 1965 to strike the US and caused a tsunami warning and local evacuations along the southwest Gulf of Alaska coast late Wednesday according to a new report from Anchorage Daily News. After tsunami waves of less than 1 foot arrived onshore, the warning was canceled and coastal residents returned home.Continue reading UPDATE: 8.2 Quake in Alaska was the largest earthquake to strike the US in 50 years at End Time Headlines.|
|Converse releases new designer shoe that some say have “Satanic Symbol” replacing traditional star LogoPosted: 29 Jul 2021 12:46 PM PDT(OPINION) ETH – Converse has just unveiled its new limited-edition collaboration with fashion designer Rick Owens, through his brand, Drkshdw. The sneakers — coming in several styles — feature a pentagram in place of the iconic Chuck Taylor star according to Faithwire.In a quote posted by Converse, Owens said he has “been using this pentagram for a long time because, obviously, it has adolescent occult associations.”Rick Owens DRKSHDW x Converse TURBODRK Chuck 70.Continue reading Converse releases new designer shoe that some say have “Satanic Symbol” replacing traditional star Logo at End Time Headlines.|