Daily Archives: October 27, 2021

Apple Removes Bible App From Its Store After Communist China Complains — The Aquila Report

The Chinese government has ramped up restrictions limiting Chinese citizens’ access to the Bible overall. Physical copies of the Bible can no longer be purchased online in China, Christian businessmen have been prosecuted for selling audio Bibles online, and the Chinese Communist Party has announced that it is developing its own version of the Bible that will embrace socialist values.

Last week, it was reported that a Bible app and Quran app had been removed from Apple’s App Store in China following pressure from the Chinese government. This is hardly surprising behavior from the Chinese Communist Party. But now, an American company has been enlisted to do its dirty work.

The watchdog group Apple Censorship was the first to report that the apps, Bible App by Olive Tree and Quran Majeed, had been taken down. When Apple removed the Quran app, the app makers were told it contained content that is illegal in China. China’s restrictions on religious texts have affected those of all faiths, sometimes brutally so. In Xinjiang, Uyghur Muslims who are caught with religious content on their phones can be detained without trial in an internment camp.

Leaders at Olive Tree removed the Bible app themselves. “Olive Tree Bible Software was informed during the App Store review process that we are required to provide a permit demonstrating our authorization to distribute an app with book or magazine content in mainland China,” a spokesperson told BBC News. “Since we did not have the permit and needed to get our app update approved and out to customers, we removed our Bible app from China’s App Store.” They ultimately hope they can get the app back on the App Store.

This seems unlikely, as the Chinese government has ramped up restrictions limiting Chinese citizens’ access to the Bible overall.

Read More

Apple Removes Bible App From Its Store After Communist China Complains — The Aquila Report

Jordan Peterson’s Daughter Says She Has ‘Found God’ — Daily Declaration


Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of rockstar Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, last week shared that she has “found God”. Her belief in the God of Scripture is no longer psychological or metaphorical, but personal.

“I haven’t talked about this before,” Mikhaila Peterson opened during a recent interview on her podcast. Searching for the right words, she confessed, “about a month ago … I think I can say this … I found God.”

“I grew up with Dad so I learnt a lot about the psychological significance of the Bible,” she explained. Jordan Peterson is well known for his Biblical Series. Garnering some collective 20 million views on YouTube, the lecture series applies Bible stories as metaphors for life in the contemporary world.

Jordan Peterson, who has been heavily influenced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, has been elusive about his own beliefs. But he too has recently hinted at the beginnings of his own spiritual awakening.

His daughter is one step closer. Mikhaila Peterson recounted that for the last five years straight, she has had “way too many really absurd experiences that I couldn’t wrap my head around,” followed by a difficult time over the summer.

She explains that things had been going badly in four really important areas of her life. Mikhaila had done everything she could to fix these problems but they simply refused to change.

Shortly after this, Mikhaila met a Christian, and was sharing her experiences with him. The man challenged her to reach out to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to her.

She went home that night, she recounts, and was upset about her four major problems. “I was in bed. So I was praying, like seriously praying, like ‘please give me some sort of sign’,” Mikhaila said.

The next day, all four problems were suddenly resolved. To Mikhaila, this was too much. The way in which her problems were resolved made sense to her, but “the likelihood of all four of them clearing up randomly that day was too much”. She also woke up with a sense of calm. “That was enough,” Mikhaila summarised. From that point, she knew God was real.

“I’m pretty new to this, and what I’ve been doing for the last month or so is reading the Bible and praying,” said Mikhaila. “The amount of peace that I’ve had, I haven’t had before. It’s completely absurd. I can’t believe it.”

Watch Mikhaila Peterson’s full testimony here.

Images courtesy of National Post and National Review.

Jordan Peterson’s Daughter Says She Has ‘Found God’ — Daily Declaration

Pfizer Claims Vaccine Will Reduce Average Daily Child COVID Deaths From Almost Zero To Almost Zero — The Babylon Bee

NEW YORK, NY—In a moment celebrated by all hard-working lobbyists, Pfizer announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will reduce average daily child COVID deaths from almost zero all the way down to almost zero.

“These are phenomenal results. Our internal studies have proven a microscopic benefit to an even more microscopic risk to children,” stated Dee Pimbly, head of Pfizer’s Department of Propaganda to a crowd of journalists who have not allowed their own children to bask in the warm glow of sunlight, or interact with other children for almost no reason whatsoever.

FDA officials praised Pfizer for fighting a virus that is the leading killer of children after cancer, vehicular accidents, suicide, heart disease, drowning, suffocation, the flu, meteors from space, and slipping on a banana peel. Experts say the vaccine will probably kill more kids than it saves, but it’s ok because science. 

When asked about any safety concerns, an FDA official replied, “We’re excited to start giving it to them so we can find out.”

Pfizer Claims Vaccine Will Reduce Average Daily Child COVID Deaths From Almost Zero To Almost Zero — The Babylon Bee

The Century that Banished God — Founders Ministries

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. . . . And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:18, 28, ESV).

It is worthy of more than passing notice that some quite capable minds have seen the twentieth century—a century which could be seen as particularly characteristic of the modern era—as one which sought to banish God from human consciousness and human life. The first phrase of Romans 1:28, quoted above, could be said to provide a fitting epigram for the century, a phrase aptly rendered by Greek lexicographer J. H. Thayer: “they did not think God worthy to be kept in knowledge.”[1] The significance of such a designation is that the twentieth century has perhaps been—among all the centuries of human history—the most willfully destructive of human life, the most stridently expressive of the human rebellion against the moral order instilled by God in the universe, and the most perversely detrimental to human culture and human flourishing. The twenty-first century is merely seeing the continued outworking of these tendencies.

Princeton theologian B. B. Warfield, writing in the first decade of the twentieth century, describes the influence of the “modern naturalism” which had arisen in the late seventeenth century with English Deism and had recently come to full fruition (“it has at length run to seed in our own day”).

It has invaded with its solvent every form of thought and every activity of life. It has given us a naturalistic philosophy (in which all ‘being’ is evaporated into ‘becoming’); a naturalistic science (the single-minded zeal of which is to eliminate design from the universe); a naturalistic politics (whose first fruits was the French Revolution, and whose last may well be an atheistic socialism); a naturalistic history (which can scarcely find place for even human personality among the causes of events); and a naturalistic religion, which says ‘Hands off’ to God….”[2]

In retrospect, Warfield’s observations seem prophetic of the entire century.

No less an intellect than the great Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, attempting to identify the salient characteristic of the twentieth century, put his finger on human forgetfulness of God. In his Templeton Lecture (delivered in London in 1983), after mentioning the disaster which had befallen his homeland in the Russian Revolution, Solzhenitsyn continued: “if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entiretwentieth century, here too I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God’”—a Russian saying recalled from his youth. He went on to affirm, “The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.”[3]

Solzhenitsyn’s suggestion finds support in the later work of Peter Conrad, an Australian literary scholar, lately of Oxford University. Conrad defines the project of the twentieth century, displayed in its art, as the banishment of God and God’s replacement by man. As the twentieth century began—under the influence of the mighty changes of the nineteenth century—“its plot seemed radiantly clear: in the future, men would replace God.” But along the way, it became apparent that “The older version of human nature . . . was far from obsolete, and history seemed to demonstrate that man remained a savage.”  On the last page of the book, Conrad concludes, “Modernity had a single, simple project, carried through in all fields of mental endeavor. Declining to give God credit for creation, it took the world to pieces.”[4] It is striking that a cultural historian, with no apparent religious axe to grind, should identify anti-theism or the “death of God” theme as the central feature of twentieth-century culture. He mentions it not merely at the beginning and the end of his account, but repeatedly throughout.

That this anti-theistic outlook was the driving force of the twentieth century is lent credibility by a review of the origins of the disastrous and destructive events of that century. The first half of the century was marked by two horrific world wars and communist revolutions in Russia and China. Both world wars (1914-18; 1939-45) arguably originated with Germany, which in the preceding century had adopted and advanced a destructive intellectual movement, historical criticism of the Bible, which was based on naturalistic premises and required the elimination of a personal and infinite God from any explanation of the origin of the Bible and the events it records. The second of these wars involved the explicit effort to eradicate European Jews, the people who were instrumental in giving to the world the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament), including the Ten Commandments. The two communist revolutions (Russia in 1917, China in 1949) were both explicitly atheistic, as Marx’s ideology prescribed. Taken together, these two wars and two revolutions resulted in the deliberate deaths of untold hundreds of millions of human beings, making the twentieth century the most deliberately deadly in all human history. All this was undertaken against the background or in the interest of the banishment of God—the God of the Bible—from human consciousness.

The same tendency was evident in the internal cultures of the nations of the West during the first half of the century. Historical criticism of the Bible became the accepted mode of removing the biblical worldview from serious engagement by educated people in both Europe and the United States. Its advance was somewhat delayed in the U.S. by the broad and common acceptance of biblical authority by large portions of the American population, but by the 1920s and 1930s the naturalistic view of the Bible was beginning to prevail among educated Americans.

The second half of the century was marked by a cultural and intellectual revolution (motivated by the same anti-theistic impulse) which now runs the risk of destroying Western civilization. A personal account of this cultural revolution, fitting nicely within the latter half of the century, is provided by Alvin Kernan, an academic who was the product and employee of elite educational institutions. Kernan (who does not at all seem to have been operating from a Christian perspective), writing at the end of the century, reports beginning his academic career believing in something like absolute truth: “I did not think that truth remained to be discovered; I believed that in the main it already had been found and that I had not yet been informed of the results.”[5] He records his personal journey through academia, observing in the process the decline of higher education from rationality, absolutes, objectivity, and political liberalism into the irrationalism, relativism, subjectivity, and revolutionary radicalism which now reigns on most American university campuses. Kernan was arguably more optimistic about the outcome than the situation warranted, as witnessed by the events of the quarter-century since his book was published, leading to the current state of higher education in the West, which might aptly be described as indoctrination in radicalism.

The significance of all this is not difficult to discern: it is not accidental that a century which sought to banish God also saw the callous destruction of human life, a precipitous decline of Western culture, and a culminating (and continuing) rebellion against historic moral standards.

IMPLICATIONS

This briefest of surveys suggests some appropriate conclusions.

First, these historical developments arguably represent the outworking of the logical and natural consequences of the anti-theistic ideology. As J. Gresham Machen argued in 1923, “the true way in which to evaluate a spiritual movement is in its logical relations; logic is the great dynamic, and the logical implications of any way of thinking are sooner or later certain to be worked out.”[6]The banishment of the God of the Bible from human consciousness and from all practical and social considerations leaves the Western world without the metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical foundations on which it was built. The “death of God” resulted in the loss of the unifying center of the Western worldview, the loss of a sure basis of knowledge, and the loss of absolute morality (as the scientific concept of relativity was improperly transferred to the moral concept of relativism). Without the foundation of the Bible’s authority and intellectual content, the result was that the Western superstructure of ordered liberty, self-regulating behavior of the populace, and limited government was bound to collapse in due course. This is precisely what has been observed during the twentieth century. While the underlying intellectual developments which shaped the twentieth century were framed in the nineteenth (destructive biblical criticism; Marxism; Darwinism; the humanistic triumphalism of Nietzsche; Freudianism), and their roots may be traced back to the Renaissance (“man the measure of all things”) and the Enlightenment (rationalistic materialism), yet their fruit was borne in the twentieth century. During that era we observe humanistic society organized into mass movements in opposition to biblical theism (symbolized in the Bible by “Babylon”) for purposes of national aggrandizement (World War I) and for the perpetration of evil (Germany under the Nazi regime in World War II) or subjugated to the atheistic ideology of revolutionary utopian deceptions (Soviet and Chinese communism), or in the current setting, the promotion of a Neo-Marxist vision of “social justice” through the division of humanity into competing power blocs which vie against each other for political and social control. The result has been the collapse of humane values and the loss of both civilized behavior and millions of lives. We continue to see the increased influence of socialistic ideologies and the diminishing of human liberties. All this has been enabled by the culture-wide loss of the authority of the Bible and the resulting collapse of acknowledgment of the biblical worldview and moral standards, and by the absence of the influence of the biblical gospel of human reconciliation with God as churches fell (and continue to fall) into promulgation of a “social gospel”—in short, in all this, by the attempted banishment of God from human life and society.

Second, given the truthfulness of the biblical account of things, this leaves the world exposed to the judgment of God. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…” (Rom. 1:18). What biblically informed person can deny that the devastations we are currently observing (and those of the twentieth century) have likely come at the hand of an omnipotent and holy God who is exercising his wrath?  Paul’s statement continues: “…who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” The root cause of the exercise of divine wrath is human rejection of the truth of divine revelation and the resulting belief of “the lie” (the attribution of divinity to the creature; Rom. 1:25, NKJV) and corresponding corruptions of human worship and life. The root of culture is “cultus,” the worship and religious life of a society. If the latter (the cultus) is corrupt, so will be the former (the culture), making it ripe for God’s judgment. In Romans 1, the judgment of God takes the form of judicial abandonment in which God “gives them over” (1:24, 26, 28, NASB) to the effects of their own idolatrous tendencies, as we are witnessing in our own day.

Third, this anti-theistic outlook pervades the cultural atmosphere and provides the context in which we must minister. Practically, this means, first, that the secular elites of our day continue to seek the banishment of God from the public square, thus making the environment more hostile toward faithful Christians who seek to base their stance upon the God of the Bible and his revelation. There will be opposition to an openly theistic viewpoint for which we must be prepared and which we must be determined to resist. This atmosphere means, secondly, that many among the secular ruling elites (even at the local level) cannot begin to grasp or even imagine that some of their fellow-citizens would base their actions upon theological considerations or upon high ethical principle. This is inconceivable to them and will lead them to conclude that these poor (Christian) people are either ignorant or are irrationally acting against their own best interests or are trying to establish a theocracy; such deluded people must of course be stopped and re-educated. Those who seek to be consistently Christian will be met with an attitude of condescension and hostility, in response to which will be required a significant measure of fortitude, patience, and grace as they seek to communicate the gospel and to live accordingly amidst a perverse culture.

Fourth, God alone can pull Western societies out of the abyss into which they have fallen. Recovery is beyond human grasp and ability. There is a great need for the beneficial effects of the gospel (the humbling of human pride; a sense of dependence on God; conformity to divinely-given ethical standards) and the shaping force of the biblical-Christian worldview. But typically the latter (the culture-wide influence of the biblical worldview) does not prevail without the former (individual renewal), requiring the conversion to a Christian stance of a critical mass of the population who will then impact the whole of their society. This type of conversion has often occurred in the past as the result of revivals (the Reformation; the Great Awakening or Evangelical Revival; the 19th-century awakening). In the present, it appears that nothing short of a divinely-wrought revival, fueled by prayer and the preaching of the gospel, will prevail to effect the changes needed to overcome the deleterious ideologies of the nineteenth century and their disastrous consequences as exhibited in the twentieth. Such is the direction and outcome, Solzhenitsyn reminds us, of a century which forgets God.


[1] Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976 [reprint edition]) 154.

[2] Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, “The Present Day Attitude toward Calvinism: Its Causes and Significance,” in Calvin and Augustine(Philadelphia, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1956), 504.

[3] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Templeton Lecture,” in The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005(Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2006), 577.

[4] Peter Conrad, Modern Times, Modern Places (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), 13, 736; originally published by Thames and Hudson as Modern Times, Modern Places: Life and Art in the Twentieth Century.

[5] Alvin Kernan, In Plato’s Cave (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999), 2.  While Kernan provides a telling description of this cultural decline in an academic setting, the potential reader should be aware that the book contains accounts of his sexual escapades and some vulgarities of language.

[6] J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1956 [reprint edition]), 173

The Century that Banished God — Founders Ministries

Top Four Must-See Moments From The Senate Judiciary’s Questioning Of AG Merrick Garland — Conservative Review

Republican senators grilled Garland in a Senate Judiciary oversight hearing on Wednesday for authorizing the Department of Justice to target parents.

Top Four Must-See Moments From The Senate Judiciary’s Questioning Of AG Merrick Garland — Conservative Review

The Catholic Dilemma: Which Pope? — VCY America

Date:  October 27, 2021 
Host: Jim Schneider 
​Guest: Mike Gendron 
MP3  ​​​| Order

https://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/1027212121201668/

This week, President Biden will be meeting with Pope Francis.  This meeting is generating considerable controversy as Mr. Biden is an advocate of abortion, something the Catholic Church and the pope oppose.  However, what should create even greater discussion is how the teachings of Pope Francis contrast with the teachings of the Apostle Peter, the man considered by Catholics to be the first Pope.  

Returning to Crosstalk to provide listeners with biblically-based answers was Mike Gendron.  Mike is the founder and director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry.  Mike was a devout Roman Catholic for over 3 decades and was taught to rely upon the authority of the church above all else.  Mike searched the Scriptures and was amazed to find that what he read in Scripture contradicted the teaching and tradition of the church he had been a part of for so long.  He trusted Jesus as his Savior and now the Bible has become his sole authority in all matters of faith.  Mike is the author of the books, Preparing for Eternity and Contending for the Gospel and has produced numerous videos with warnings concerning false teachings vs. the truth of the Scriptures.

Mike noted that there is a conservative wing of the Catholic Church that opposes Pope Francis and his unwillingness to forbid President Biden from receiving communion due to the president’s support for abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Jim also noted another inconsistency surrounding President Biden and his Catholic faith.  It surrounds the pope’s appointment of Jeffrey Sachs, an abortion advocate and population control activist, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. 

Mike added that the pope met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Her position on abortion is the same as that of President Biden.  Unfortunately, the pope never addressed that issue with her, nor did he encourage the bishops to deny her communion.

Yet in all this hypocrisy, there’s an even bigger dilemma.  Who are Catholics going to follow?  

Mike began answering that by dealing with the issue of reverence and how this is handled by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It tells readers that the Roman pontiff enjoys infallibility as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful.  He also proclaims infallibility whenever he gives a definitive act or doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.  

The definitions pronounced by the pope must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.  This means Roman Catholics have a dilemma.  Should they trust the man they’re told was their first pope (Peter) or should they trust the current pope.  After all, each of these individuals disagree on major issues of the Christian faith.

According to Peter’s own words, he wasn’t a pope but rather a fellow elder who submitted to Jesus as the head of the Church (1 Peter 5:1), while also teaching that Jesus was the shepherd and guardian of souls (1 Peter 2:25).  On the other hand, Pope Francis believes he’s the vicar of Christ and the head of the Church with supreme and universal power which is exercised unhindered by him.   

Does the Bible mention the papacy?  How can two popes, whose teachings are considered infallible, contradict each other?  Was Peter really infallible?  What does this mean for those trying to adhere to the Catholic faith?  

Mike brought much clarity to this issue and listeners contributed their questions and comments to the broadcast as well. 

More Information

To obtain the DVD Hard Questions for Good Catholics and the tract Have You Ever Been Deceived at a reduced price, go to proclaimingthegospel.org or call 817-379-5300.

The Catholic Dilemma: Which Pope? — VCY America

Poll: Majority of Americans Say Big Tech Censorship of Hunter Laptop Story Interfered With Election — Conservative Review

Over half of Americans believe media censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story constitutes election interference, a new survey finds.The post Poll: Majority of Americans Say Big Tech Censorship of Hunter Laptop Story Interfered With Election appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Poll: Majority of Americans Say Big Tech Censorship of Hunter Laptop Story Interfered With Election — Conservative Review

Man Excited For Giant Refund After Claiming $1 Million Of ‘Unrealized Charitable Donations’ — The Babylon Bee

RENO, NV—According to sources, local taxpayer Brad Chuckston just finished preparing his taxes and is looking forward to a large refund after claiming $1 million in “unrealized charitable donations.” 

“So… I haven’t exactly given away any money to charity this year, that’s why it’s unrealized,” said Chuckston. “I fully intend to give maybe a million or so to charity at some point over my lifetime, or maybe my kids will. But I think I’m going to go ahead and claim the exemptions for all of it right now!” 

Tax experts said they’re not sure if claiming unrealized donations is legal, but admitted it’s all very confusing, as the government is printing fake money and taxing nonexistent profits and nothing is real anymore.

President Biden, responding to the situation, said, “Come on, man! You can’t do that! Someone’s gotta pay for my totally free Back Build Butter plan! I’m gonna get that money, Jack, and you can’t stop me unless you have some F-15s or maybe some nukes!”

The IRS has responded by sending Chuckston a tax bill for the unrealized income from that movie script he wrote but never sold.

Man Excited For Giant Refund After Claiming $1 Million Of ‘Unrealized Charitable Donations’ — The Babylon Bee

The Atlantic Has Some Ideas Why the Evangelical Church Is Breaking Apart. I Have a Few More. — The Wartburg Watch

Is it only about politics?

“Many of us [in the church] are like porcupines trying to huddle together on a bitterly cold night to keep each other warm, but we continually poke and hurt each other the closer we get.” Howard Hendricks


Today I am going to touch on politics but not in the way you might imagine. I still do not want comments about who to vote for or which politician to hate. I want to delve into why there has been such an uptick in the connection between politics and faith. I have a few ideas but we need to take a look way back in history. My family members sent me the following post from The Atlantic: THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH IS BREAKING APART: Christians must reclaim Jesus from his church by Peter Wehner. I find much to agree with within the article but my love of church history combined with my 12 years of blogging on abuse in the church give me a unique perspective.

MacLean Bible Church, under David Platt, is used to claim that the mess is all about politics. That is only one small part of the picture.

I had to smile that the author used the mess that is going on at McLean Bible Church with David Platt as the head. The author appears to lay all of the blame on the huge fight over elders, etc on the political right.

Platt, who is theologically conservative, had been accused in the months before the vote by a small but zealous group within his church of “wokeness” and being “left of center,” of pushing a “social justice” agenda and promoting critical race theory, and of attempting to “purge conservative members.” A Facebook page and a right-wing website have targeted Platt and his leadership.

Although there is some of that going on, it runs far deeper than that simplistic explanation. I wrote about the whole mess in Was McLean Bible Church *Predestined* to Come Under the Umbrella of David Platt and the Southern Baptist Convention I believe it has as much to do with Platt’s secrecy involving the incursion of the SBC into the church without carefully explaining this to the members.

The Washington Post wrote David Platt’s dreams for McLean Bible Church sour as members file lawsuit over elder vote. These were the elders that Platt wanted. Then, there were reports of some shenanigans when those elders lost the first round of voting and then won on the second round.

Platt has angered other members for maintaining the church’s reputed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The church’s constitution describes it as an independent church that “shall not, and cannot, be affiliated with any denomination.” But in 2016, under Solomon, the church began to give money to SBC church planting programs and it has donated about $100,000 a year as a cooperating church. When Platt began preaching at McLean, the church was identified as an SBC church in press accounts.

Current McLean leaders have denied that the church is a member of the SBC and posted a letter from the SBC’s Executive Committee to support that claim. The letter describes McLean as a partner with the SBC but not “affiliated denominationally with the SBC.”

But a spokesman for the SBC, while saying “McLean Bible Church, like all Southern Baptist churches, is an independent and autonomous local church,” confirmed that McLean is considered an SBC church.

Yesterday, in the midst of this mess, I checked the SBC church directory and MBC was still a member but the elders are worried and I bet that won’t be the case for much longer. This church has been playing the *we are not SBC* game for far too long.

There is also the problem that the church had Lon Solomon, the previous pastor, sign an NDA so he cannot speak adding to the suspicion of the congregation. So, when The Atlantic attempts to claim that all that is going on at MacLean is due to a bunch of rednecks, they fail to see a much bigger picture. I am not saying that there aren’t rednecks. I am saying that there is much more to this controversy.

Overlooking the authoritarian, Reformed leadership of David Platt also contributed to the problem.

David Platt is no Lon Solomon. Not only was he the head of the International Mission Board of the SBC, but he is also a died-in-the-wool Calvinist. I have written that the Calvinists have a playbook for taking over a congregation. I have also said that the SBC, now under the control of the Reformed crowd, has been looking for big churches with awesome infrastructure to bring into the fold. Think $$$. Again from my post:

Mclean Bible Church was ripe for the picking. Ask yourself a question. Why would the head of the SBC’s International Mission Board, a died-in-the-wool Reformed Baptist, suddenly become available to preach on Sundays while running the IMB which had enormous financial problems. At the same time, he claimed he wanted to spend time with his family. He was not going to be a real pastor at that moment but it was almost guaranteed to happen. The baloney of being onboard as the head of IMB which coordinates things with the NAMB is seen in this article.

I can picture the SBC dudebros drooling over the possibility of acquiring MacLean. I wrote this post in 2017. David Platt May Be Many Things But He Will Not Be a Pastor to the People at McLean Bible Church. Platt couldn’t keep up his commitments and within the year became their full-time pastor. I wonder if anyone at MBC had an inkling of what might be going on. Platt got money, bodies, buildings, and even the possibility of changing the theology of the church. There is nothing that a Calvinista loves more than changing the direction of a church.

Some of you may want to read this post. The Reform of First Baptist Church of Durham. There are remarkable similarities.

Platt appeared to lie about the membership in the SBC. I think there are many things he didn’t share with MacLean and I think there should be an independent investigation into this mess.

So, I make my case that the author only caught one small part of the problem at MacLean. How easy it was to make this all about politics. It was, just a little bit.

When the historical comparison doesn’t fit the world today.

From The Atlantic:

Many Christians, though, are disinclined to heed calls for civility. They feel that everything they value is under assault, and that they need to fight to protect it. “I understand that,” Dudley said. “I feel under assault sometimes too. However, I also know that the early Christians transformed the Roman empire not by demanding but by loving, not by angrily shouting about their rights in the public square but by serving even the people who persecuted them, which is why Christianity grew so quickly and took over the empire. I also know that once Christians gained political power under Constantine, that beautiful loving, sacrificing, giving, transforming Church became the angry, persecuting, killing Church. We have forgotten the cross.”

I have made this exact same argument many times myself. However, there is a flaw in applying this too broadly. I have often spoken of the burial societies that the early Christians formed. Bodies were thrown over the wall into the burning garbage dump. Christians, showing their belief that man is created in the image of God, would go to their unbelieving neighbors and offer to prepare the deceased for burial. I learned about this in the Ray Vander Laan series “That the World May Know.”

However, if the early Christians wanted to go into the public square and demand their rights, the Romans would have taken care of them in a minute. They would have been killed. Go back 2,000 years and think about the life of the average peasant. Poverty was rampant. Schooling for children was unheard of, medical care was nonexistent, and hunger was common. Entire people groups were sold into slavery. Yet slavery was one way that people could be fed. Of course, the love that was shared by the early Christians was welcomed. Their bravery when facing the Coliseum was widely known. Perpetua is one of my heroes.

The church was a place that protected their people. The history of the monastery movement is replete with instances that they hid people from persecution and attacks. They were known for medical care and they taught people how to farm using crop rotation. As time went on, other Christian groups would emerge. One of my favorites is Jan (John) Comenius who championed to the teaching of children.

But, the Revolution in the US and France earmarked a change. Finally, average people could participate in the governmental process. The average person had a voice and could join others in pushing for reforms in the government and in society. This is where we find ourselves today.

How then do we live with one another?

Make sure people understand their faith to prevent *insider abuse.*

I find myself in agreement with this.

Some of the most distinctive features of the evangelical movement may have left it particularly vulnerable to this form of politicization. Among religious believers, evangelicals are some of the most anti-institutional, Timothy J. Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, in Manhattan, told me. The evangelical movement flourished in this relatively anti-institutional country at a particularly anti-institutional time. Evangelical ministries and churches fit the “spirit of the age,” growing rapidly in the 1970s, and retaining more of their members even as many mainline denominations declined.

At the same time, Keller argues, that anti-institutional tendency makes evangelical communities more prone than others to “insider abuse”—corruption committed by leaders who have almost no guardrails—and “outsider-ism,” in which evangelicals simply refuse to let their church form them or their beliefs. As a result, they are unrooted—and therefore susceptible to political idolization, fanatical ideas, and conspiracy theories.

“What we’re seeing is massive discipleship failure caused by massive catechesis failure,”

One of the eye-opening experiences that I have had at my Lutheran church is helping with catechism classes. I find myself in awe as the two-year course carefully teaches the kids the important basics of the faith. I only wish my own children had such a course. I have mulled an idea. Why not get this going for adults who missed this growing up? The average person entering the church today does not have this sort of background. Not all of them will do what many of us did-catechize ourselves.

If people in churches are more committed to their politics than their church, the church may be to blame.

I think we sometimes hold onto “what worked” 40 years ago. However, it is quite apparent that today’s culture is immersed in politics. Sadly, I’ve seen some churches try to make a difference by simply “changing the politics” from left to right or right to left. Instead, we need to rethink how we are teaching the basics of the faith to the people. It is interesting that I have not seen any political polarization in my current church. I’ve been trying to figure out why. Our pastors pray for a wide variety of topics. Last week, they prayed for justice yet did not say what sort of justice. Perhaps they were leaving that for us to figure out. I asked myself, “How do I embody justice in my day today?”

Authoritarianism and keeping secrets from the church body leads to mistrust.

Sadly, this is apparent in David Platt’s new gig at MBC. He has Joe Carter as his executive pastor. Joe is deeply enmeshed in the authoritarian “we are in charge” type of Calvinism. This will continue to lead to more anger and more lawsuits. They should just confess that they blew it and start again with more openness. Stop with the stupid NDAs and other forms of securing the fort.

I truly believe that today’s church must start with where were are at. The average person has the ability to enter the political arena and make changes that the early Christians could not. This is good. Sometimes, the political machine overtakes them. That is bad. It is time for churches to innovate by accepting that politics are here to stay. Teach people the faith. Tell the truth. Ditch authoritarianism for love. Stop trying to be “in control.” Often churches are just another version of the political morass. We can make a difference.

The Atlantic Has Some Ideas Why the Evangelical Church Is Breaking Apart. I Have a Few More. —

​Rep. Cawthorn targets ‘subsidized medical apartheid’ with bill to block federal government from saddling businesses with employee vaccine and testing requirements — Conservative Review


Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has introduced legislation that would block the secretary of labor from utilizing any funds to develop, promote, or enforce a rule obliging employers to require that their workers either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested for the illness.

“No funds may be used by the Secretary of Labor to draft, promulgate, or enforce a rule mandating that employers require employees to be vaccinated against or tested for COVID–19,” the text of the bill states. 

The Justice for All Businesses, or JAB Act, also states that, “The Secretary of Labor shall not assess civil monetary or criminal penalties under section 17 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 666) for violations of a rule mandating that employers require employees to be vaccinated against or tested for COVID–19.” 

The legislation, which likely has no chance of making it through the Democrat-controlled House chamber, comes amid anticipation of the issuance of a rule to requirecompanies with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are fully vaccinated or that they furnish a negative test each week.

“Forced injections mandated by the federal government are nothing short of subsidized medical apartheid,” Cawthorn said in a statement included in a news release. “There is nothing American about ripping financial stability away from the American people simply because they choose to make medical decisions for themselves. 

“I’m proud to introduce this bill denying the federal government and Joe Biden the chance to trample on Americans any further. This is not a matter of health, it’s a matter of liberty. There are patriots across the nation who would rather see their jobs ripped away from them then lose their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I stand with them to defend freedom at all costs.”

Several other GOP lawmakers, including Reps. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Tracey Mann of Kansas, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Randy Weber of Texas, joined Cawthorn as original cosponsors, according to the release.

​Rep. Cawthorn targets ‘subsidized medical apartheid’ with bill to block federal government from saddling businesses with employee vaccine and testing requirements — Conservative Review

President Trump Writes into Wall Street Journal on Stolen Election — Points Out the Obvious — The Gateway Pundit

Trump rallies in Pennsylvania in 2020

Former President Donald Trump wrote in to The Wall Street Journal Wednesday to continue his push for the truth in the greatest crime in American history — The Stolen 2020 Presidential Election.

Nearly a year has gone by and even today a majority of American voters believe the Democrats cheated to win the 2020 election and only 39% believe the election was free and fair.

Poll: 35 Percent Want 2020 Presidential Election Overturned; Only 39 Percent Definitely Believe Election Was ‘Free and Fair’

This is from President Trump’s letter to The Wall Street Journal.

In your editorial “The Election for Pennsylvania’s High Court” (Oct. 25), you state the fact that a court wrongly said mail-in ballots could be counted after Election Day. “This didn’t matter,” you add, “because Mr. Biden won the state by 80,555, but the country is lucky the election wasn’t closer. If the election had hung on a few thousand Pennsylvanians, the next President might have been picked by the U.S. Supreme Court.”…

…“Actually, the election was rigged, which you, unfortunately, still haven’t figured out. Here are just a few examples of how determinative the voter fraud in Pennsylvania was:

* 71,893 mail-in ballots were returned after Nov. 3, 2020, at 8 p.m… None of these should have been counted according to the U.S. Constitution
* 10,515 mail-in votes from people who do not exist on the Pennsylvania voter rolls at all.
* 20,000 excess voters not yet accounted for by the Pennsylvania Department of State—far more votes than voters!
* Hundreds of thousands of votes unlawfully counted in secret… while GOP poll watchers thrown out
* 39,771 people voted who registered after the Oct 19 deadline”

On election night President Trump was ahead of Joe Biden by 785,000 votes.
Democrats worked in locked rooms for the next several days behind closed doors to give Joe Biden the win.

The Supreme Court and Republican Party did nothing to save the republic.

Americans aren’t stupid and know a cheat when they see one.

Trump Spokesman Liz Harrington posted these nuggets from the editorial.

President Trump Writes into Wall Street Journal on Stolen Election — Points Out the Obvious — The Gateway Pundit

WINNING: Florida Now Has the LOWEST Rate of New Covid Cases Per Capita in The Nation – State Has Remained Open With No Mandates, No Masks, and Almost No Restrictions — The Gateway Pundit

Florida has officially become the nation’s leader in getting the Covid-19 crisis under control – and the best part of it all, they validated their strategy of ignoring the ‘expert advice’ of the tyrannical public health regime in the process.

According to the most recent data that was published by the CDC, Florida now owns the LOWEST rate of new Covid-19 cases in the nation on a per capita basis. The state checks in well below several other democrat havens, including ones that employ the most restrictive mandates (California, New York), and also the states with the highest vaccination rates in the country (Vermont, Rhode Island).

The latest numbers are just more proof that the Democrats’ dystopian policies to combat Covid do nothing other than crush people’s freedoms.

Florida is now averaging just 60.6 new cases per 100,000 residents a day, which blows several other blue states’ numbers out of the water. In comparison, New York’s case rate is more than DOUBLE, at 129.8, and Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware is approaching FOUR TIMES as bad, checking in at 211.1 new daily cases per capita.

Keep in mind, Florida was kept open for business almost the entire time, and thanks to that, is also pacing the country with its economic success as Democrats continue to push crippling lockdowns and abhorrent vaccine mandates on businesses across America. 

In other words, Florida = WINNING.

Throughout the ‘pandemic’ Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has stood firmly against the calls to impose draconian Covid restrictions and mandates on the citizens of the sunshine state. His resistance to the Left’s sweeping power grab that’s being masqueraded around under the guise of public health had created an intense backlash from the ‘experts’ in the Biden administration and the hacks in the politicized media that dutifully carry water for them.

For months, scathing pieces were published in ‘news’ outlets across the country, characterizing the governor as some sort of crazed conspiracy theorist that was intentionally leading the citizens of Florida to their certain deaths. One of the best examples of this ridiculous gaslighting was from the Guardian’s piece titled: “The Pied Piper Leading Us Off a Cliff: Florida Governor Condemned as Covid Surges.”

There was even a horror-movie-style TV ad that was created by a progressive group called “Remove Ron.” The unbelievably stupid video depicts DeSantis’ Flordia as if it was going to become the sequel to “The Purge” and includes several clips of DeSantis saying things like “we trust people to make their own decisions in the state of Florida”  as evidence that the State has become too dangerous.

These people are clearly unhinged.

But now – like always – as time continues on and more information becomes available, the Democrats have been left standing in the open, holding an empty bag with no clothes on. 

As Clay Travis points out, Florida was able to pull this feat off “without mask or vaccine mandates, which he explains is why DeSantis is able to have such an impact in the fight against the left’s power grab.

“This is why Ron DeSantis terrifies the coronabros. Because all their shutdowns and mandates, which destroy freedoms, provide no benefits.”

WINNING: Florida Now Has the LOWEST Rate of New Covid Cases Per Capita in The Nation – State Has Remained Open With No Mandates, No Masks, and Almost No Restrictions — The Gateway Pundit

October 27 Evening Quotes of The Day

The Importance of Pious Education in Children
1 Samuel 3:11–14; 4:12–18; Proverbs 22:6

The speediest way to turn your children into swords to wound your very soul is to suffer them for want of pious education to wander from God and his word. Such parents, like Eli, bring up their children to bring down their houses, and to bring their own souls to the earth with grief.

GEORGE SWINNOCK

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Asking Christ for Endurance
Psalm 2:9; Romans 9:21; 2 Timothy 2:10

I ask Christ for this one thing only, that He will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that He break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases Him.

ULRICH ZWINGLI

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

October 27 – Being patient with our brothers and sisters — Reformed Perspective

…the judge is standing at the door – James 5:9

Scripture reading: James 5:9-10

Living in this world with all its brokenness and pleasures, we, as Christians, can often think differently in how we are to conduct our lives day to day. We may see other Christians possessing goods and doing things we deem unwise, and wonder if they are really living for the Lord and His Kingdom? We cannot say they are sinning, yet question their loyalty to the Lord. In doing so we can easily grumble and judge our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We may think they are not doing enough for the church and for the Kingdom of God or that they have it easy while I am suffering in my service to the Lord. But if there is no sin we can see, we must leave it with the Lord, who as the Judge standing at the door, is also watching us.

Being at the door means He is close at hand and will take care of it in His time. This is what the prophets of the Old Testament had to do regularly. They preached the Word of the Lord and then had to wait on the Lord. They had to be patient, trusting that God would bring about His purposes through His Word. We must be patient as we deal with each other as God’s children. Speaking God’s Word to each other in love without grumbling or judging does not mean we give up on discipline in the church. Rather, it is done with patience, not grumbling or judging, but of love.

Suggestions for prayer

That we would have patience with each other, trusting that the Lord is at the door.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

October 27 – Being patient with our brothers and sisters — Reformed Perspective

The Lord’s Free Men — VCY America

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

Sin will reign if it can: it cannot be satisfied with any place below the throne of the heart. We sometimes fear that it will conquer us, and then we cry unto the Lord, “Let not any iniquity have dominion over me. This is His comforting answer: “Sin shall not have dominion over you. ” It may assail you and even wound you, but it shall never establish sovereignty over you.

If we were under the law, our sin would gather strength and hold us under its power; for it is the punishment of sin that a man comes under the power of sin. As we are under the covenant of grace, we are secured against departing from the living God by the sure declaration of the covenant. Grace is promised to us by which we are restored from our wanderings, cleansed from our impurities, and set free from the chains of habit.

We must lie down in despair and be “content to serve the Egyptians” if we were still as slaves working for eternal life; but since we are the Lord’s free men, we take courage to fight with our corruptions and temptations, being assured that sin shall never bring us under its sway again. God Himself giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Free Men — VCY America

A Conscience Captive to God’s Word — Grace to You Blog

When Martin Luther was summoned to the Diet of Worms in 1521 and asked to recant his teaching, he replied, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.”

READ MORE

A Conscience Captive to God’s Word — Grace to You Blog

Wait for the Lord — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”. Psalm 27:14


Thoughts on today’s verse

If there is anything we don’t like to do, its wait. Maybe that is why God is so interested in us learning to do it! There is something purifying about remaining strong in tough times and remaining faithful when ill winds blow. So God gives us times of waiting to see if our search is really for him or merely for something new.

Prayer:

Loving Father, I know you have waited for me so many times — for me to show my faith, repent of my sins, grow in holiness, come to you in prayer, act more mature, give to those who cannot return my care… Help me as I wait for you to show me the way with my decisions, to meet my needs, and reveal your presence in my loneliness. I really do seek you with all my heart. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.

by Phil Ware
Used by Permission


Further Reading

•  Cling to the Lord

•  We Plan, God Directs

•  Salvation Explained

Wait for the Lord — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Wait on God — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Aren’t you glad that when we call out to God, we know that he will answer? He DOES care!


Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.”  Psalm 38:15

I recently had the opportunity to experience “extreme waiting.” For anyone who has had to phone a 1-800 number, perhaps you will identify with what I went through in trying to change the date on a return flight.

There is always repetitive music to soothe the anxious heart. I found this prerecorded message (which was played over and over again) very interesting as a comparison to waiting on God in prayer:

All agents are still assisting other callers. Your call is very important to us. Please remain on the line for the next available agent.”

While waiting for an actual person to answer, I found myself questioning whether someone would actually come to help me with my problem. I also wondered whether someone really did care. Was my call really important? I was tempted to give up, but would continue to wait, hoping that I would actually hear a human voice if I just persisted a little longer.

After spending over 5 hours over 3 days, I did get through and was able to change my ticket. I have heard of others who waited a lot more hours than I did. For me, the key was to phone in at the beginning of the day. This makes me think of another verse David penned in Psalm 5:3:

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

Aren’t you glad that when we call out to God, we know that he will answer? He DOES care! We are important to him! We do not have to “wait for the next available agent”!

Father God, I confess my unbelief. I sometimes doubt that you will really answer me. Teach me to hope in you and to pray with confidence. Amen.

Waiting is hard. David was really hurting when he wrote this prayer. Can you identify with him? Pour out your heart to your heavenly father, affirming as David did, “You will answer.

By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission


Further Reading

• Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

• To Whom Are You Listening?

•  Salvation Explained

Wait on God — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

October 27 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

“On the Full Stretch for God”
2 Kings 10:29–31; Philippians 3:13

I am never better than when I am on the full stretch for God.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD*

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The Truth Will Conquer
John 1:14; 14:6; 2 Corinthians 13:8

I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.

JOHN WYCLIFFE*

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

New C. S. Lewis film “The Most Reluctant Convert” is an inspiring account of a legendary story — Denison Forum

The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C. S. Lewis debuts in theaters on November 3 and brings the viewer into C. S. Lewis’ shoes, from his childhood to when his life begins anew as a full-fledged follower of Jesus. 

The short movie is based on the successful stage production by the same name, which heavily draws from C. S. Lewis’ own account in his book Surprised by Joy, sometimes using direct quotes. 

The biopic account is narrated by an older “Jack” Lewis who journeys with you, the viewer, through his life. Jack is played by acclaimed narrator and stage performer Max McLean, known for his solo stage shows based on Lewis’ books The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce.

The film also stars Nicholas Ralph as the younger Lewis and Eddie Ray Martin as Lewis as a child. The Most Reluctant Convert is directed by Norman Stone, who may be best known as the director of another film about C. S. Lewis, Shadowlands. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWEjo6pr2Qk&t=4s

Witness real-world sets

I’ve personally had the pleasure of going to Oxford and Cambridge, Lewis’ grave, the Kilns (his home later in his life), the Eagle and Child (a pub frequented by Lewis and Tolkien), and studying the legendary man. The movie uses all of these real-world sites as sets, bringing a unique realism to the story. 

Though the storytelling certainly delivers, the constant narration gives the impression of a documentary, and one should set their expectations appropriately. The film uses simplistic and beautiful cinematography as the camera follows the older Lewis through the critical events of his life.

Lewis’ reluctant conversion 

From bookish boy to young professor, Lewis’ spiritual journey moves from indifferent child to rationalistic teen and atheist, to a dabbler in the occult, to a weakened atheist, to a believer in the transcendent, to aloof theist, and, finally, to reluctant Christian. In each step in the process toward Christ, Lewis dragged his feet, putting up his best fight against God’s draw on his life. 

At the beginning, we hear a tirade from the old Lewis explaining what he would have said if you’d asked him “why he was an atheist” all those years ago. His beginning monologue tears down Christianity, posing the problem of evil with rational and rhetorical force. From the beginning, the viewer knows it would take God himself to move a man like this away from his atheism, and that is precisely what happened. 

Avid Lewis fans will enjoy how the movie fills between the lines of Surprised by Joy. People who have only heard of the Chronicles of Narnia will get an introduction to one of the most brilliant minds and greatest communicators of the twentieth century and his reluctant conversion to Christianity.

How to watch The Most Reluctant Convert 

The movie debuts on November 3 and has a short run through November 7. To see if the film is playing at a theater near you, visit CSLewisMovie.com

The filmmakers’ commitment to showing Lewis’ Christian story is apparent in their website, which includes a workbook that your small group or family can use to discuss the biblical truths in his story.

New C. S. Lewis film “The Most Reluctant Convert” is an inspiring account of a legendary story — Denison Forum