Category Archives: Culture

CultureWatch: On Dealing with Idols

We all have our idols, and we all must deal with these idols. An idol is anything which commands our attention and loyalty over and above the one true God. We are too sophisticated to bow down before carved statues and graven images today, but we are just as idolatrous as our pagan forebears.

As A. W. Pink put it, an idol is “anything which displaces God in my heart. It may be something which is quite harmless in itself, yet if it absorbs me, if it be given the first place in my affections and thoughts, it becomes an ‘idol’. It may be my business, a loved one, or my service for Christ. Anyone or any thing which comes into competition with the Lord’s ruling me in a practical way, is an ‘idol’.”

There is nothing difficult about the manufacture of idols. It comes readily to us. As Calvin said, “Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.” And again, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.”

The Old Testament speaks plenty to the issue of idolatry, and how to deal with idols. In a word, it says we are to deal with them harshly. There is to be no compromise here, no softly softly approach. We are to be ruthless and severe in our opposition to idols.

And since idolatry did involve so many statues and graven images back then, actually destroying those idols was part of the response of God’s people. That is how God told his people to deal with idols. Plenty of passages speak to this. Since I am reading through Kings right now, let me confine myself just to some of the references found there on how Israelites were to deal with idols.

Godly kings and prophets were as one in how to deal with idols. Consider the godly King Asa. We read about his resolute opposition to idols in 1 Kings 15:11-13:

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley.

Consider how Elisha the prophet and King Jehu dealt with the evil and idolatrous King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. In 2 Kings 9:6-7 we read this:

Then the prophet [Elisha] poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD’s servants shed by Jezebel’.”

And that is what he did. In 2 Kings 10:1-17 we read about how Ahab’s family was killed. And in 2 Kings 10:18-36 we read about how the ministers of Baal were all killed. Verses 25-28 say this:

As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day. So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel.

And for this God praised Jehu: “The Lord said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation’” (2 Kings 10:30).

That is some pretty severe action taken against idolatry and the idolaters. Another faithful king was Jehoiada. In 2 Kings 11:17-18 we read about the actions he took to deal with idols:

Jehoiada then made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

Finally consider another great king – Josiah. After finding the Book of the Law and coming under great conviction, he took hardcore steps to deal with all the idolatry in the land. We read about this in 2 Kings 23:1-20. After Josiah renewed the covenant, he took strong action. We read about just part of this in verses 4-7:

The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.

As is apparent, the people of Israel were not to pussyfoot around with idols. They were not to tolerate them or put up with them. They were to strictly and sternly deal with them. Christians are also to deal harshly with idols today. However, let me offer two caveats on how we are to go about this.

First, I am not saying we should go around blowing things up today. What we find in the Old Testament is primarily the kings or prophets of Israel dealing with idols in their own land. We are not in that place today. But at the very least, we need God’s attitude on these idols. The Apostle Paul is a good example of this.

When he walked through the idol-filled Athens, we read about what he thought of it all: “Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:15-16).

We too should be greatly grieved and bothered by what grieves the heart of God. He loves us too much to allow us to continue in our idolatry. This is as true of Christians as of non-Christians. As C. S. Lewis put it, “Images of the Holy easily become holy images – sacrosanct. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast.”

Second, what I am especially saying here is that Christians should be ruthless with idolatry, primarily in their own lives. The obvious place to begin is with ourselves. That is where we must start as we engage in search and destroy missions against idolatry.

And if we are honest and open before God, we will know that we have plenty of such idols to deal with in our own lives. As John exhorted us: 1 John 5:21, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Individuals and churches both need to heed this warning.

All this is not to say we cannot and should not call out the idols of our age. We should speak out against them of course. But our role is not to try to physically tear them down (eg., seeking to demolish the MCG or other sporting shrines). Our role as Christians is to be salt and light in society.

We should be speaking prophetically against the idols of our day, be it power, or success, or sex, or greed, or materialism, or what have you. We are to share God’s heart on the idols all around us, pointing people to a better way – to the one true and living God.

So we begin by being ruthless with the idols in our own hearts, and then we have a prophetic ministry in showing a needy world where our loyalty and devotion should lie. And the only way we can really spurn false gods and useless idols is when God breaks through in our life. As R. C. Sproul put it:

Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him… To love a holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce our hardened hearts and awaken our moribund souls.

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The post On Dealing with Idols appeared first on CultureWatch.

Bibles Pulled from Online Stores as China Increases Control of Religion

Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House, said the sales ban “is an important example of how internet censorship intersects with restrictions on religious freedom. … Sensitive religious topics and groups are among the most censored in China,” she said. “In our research we found the Chinese authorities increasingly using more high-tech methods to control religion and punish believers — including surveillance and arrest of believers for sharing information online.”

The Bible appears to have been removed from online marketplaces in China, as Beijing clamps down on how its citizens practice religion.

China has always controlled sales of the Bible, only allowing it to be distributed and printed by state-sanctioned churches, but in recent years it had been available to buy online.

That loophole now appears to be firmly closed. Searches for “Holy Bible” did not return results on JD.com, and results on Amazon.cn did not include the main text, but did include study guides and the Koran.

On Taobao, China’s biggest online marketplace, a search returned results for the “baby food bible” and the “autoimmune disease healing bible,” but not the Christian scripture, though some related products such as an illustrated set of children’s Bible stories were still available.

JD.com, Amazon.cn and Taobao did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Thursday was a public holiday in China.

Two online merchants told CNN customers may still obtain copies of the holy book from them through private messages, but public listing of the Bible is now impossible on Taobao.

Historical hostility

Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for East Asia at Freedom House, said the sales ban “is an important example of how internet censorship intersects with restrictions on religious freedom.”

“Sensitive religious topics and groups are among the most censored in China,” she said. “In our research we found the Chinese authorities increasingly using more high-tech methods to control religion and punish believers — including surveillance and arrest of believers for sharing information online.”

Religious practice in China is tightly controlled by the government, with the five recognized faiths — Chinese Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism and Taoism — supervised by official organizations such as the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church or the Buddhist Association of China.

According to a recent five-year plan on Christianity in China, published by the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), maintaining the “principle of independence and self-management” is important due to the “humiliating history of the Chinese people” and the use of Christianity by the powers of “colonialism and imperialism.”

Chinese Catholic bishops are not appointed by the Pope, which has been a key sticking point between Beijing and the Vatican since relations broke down in 1951.

Progress did appear to have been made in recent weeks, with some Chinese officials saying a deal with the Holy See could take place over Easter, but this did not pan out.

William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International, said the Vatican “should probably take this issue into consideration in its discussions with their Chinese counterparts — since the banning of the sale of Bibles is obviously a worrying move demonstrating the worsening state for freedom of religion in China.”

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The post Bibles Pulled from Online Stores as China Increases Control of Religionappeared first on The Aquila Report.

China Bans Bibles from Online Sellers Like Amazon

As atheist government pledges to promote “Chinese-style Christianity and theology,” changes at JD.com, Taobao, and Dang Dang may revive debate over Bible access.

Last week, Chinese social media users began noticing that they couldn’t find Bibles listed on some of their nation’s most popular e-commerce platforms.

Shoppers who searched the word Bible on retailers such as Taobao, Jingdong, Dang Dang, and Amazon.cn began receiving a “no results” response, reported the South China Morning Post.

Search analytics revealed a significant spike in the keyword Bible on March 30. But by April 1, analytics showed a zero, suggesting that the word may have been censored, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Two days before the Bibles were banned from online purchase, the Chinese government released a document outlining how it intends to promote “Chinese Christianity” over the next five years. According to the document, one of the government’s key objectives is to reinterpret and retranslate the Bible in order to enhance “Chinese-style Christianity and theology.”

Among China’s main religions—which include Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and folk beliefs—Christianity is unique for having its holy text banned from commercial brick-and-mortar bookstores. Until the internet, Bibles could only be obtained via church bookstores (because they lacked a barcode), a reality that in the past has dissuaded house church Christians wary of official Three-Self churches from purchasing the text.

A joint venture between the Amity Foundation and the United Bible Societies, Amity Printing Company is the only press in China allowed by the government to print Bibles.

As CT reported in 2003:

Legal Bibles are not in short supply. The Red Guards confiscated Bibles, so that after the Cultural Revolution, the most pressing need of Christians in China …

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Diamond and Silk ‘If a Private Bakery Has to Go Against Their Christian Values to Bake a Cake Then Zuckerberg Has to Allow us to Speak Our Truth’ (VIDEO)

Diamond and Silk unloaded on Facebook Friday night after the social media giant finally responded to their many inquiries as to why Facebook is censoring their content and brand.

The dynamic duo boast over 1.2 million Facebook followers on their main Diamond and Silk page.

Diamond and Silk say their reach on Facebook has dramatically reduced prompting them to seek answers from Facebook.

After giving them the runaround for months, Facebook responded with, “The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community.”

Even worse, Facebook said their ‘decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way.’

Diamond and Silk appeared on Fox News to discuss the latest development from Facebook Fascistbook.

“We are two women of color, so how are we and our content, our brand unsafe for the community? We don’t sell drugs, we’re not laying out in the streets, we’re not thugs, we don’t belong to no gangs, so how are we unsafe to the community? It bothers me. It’s offensive. It’s appalling,” Diamond and Silk said.

“Why are you censoring two women of color, two black women?” the ladies continued.

Silk dropped a truth bomb at the end of the segment, “If a privately owned bakery has to go against their Christian values to bake a cake, then Mark Zuckerberg is going to have to suck it up buttercup and allow Diamond and Silk to speak our truth.”

VIDEO:

The ladies did not confirm whether they are moving forward with litigation against Facebook, however; they clearly stated they will not stand for the censorship.

Diamond and Silk rose in popularity during the 2016 presidential election.

They regularly appeared on Fox News and other outlets showing their support for Donald Trump.

The two ladies were also seen on the campaign trail stumping for Trump.

YouTube also recently demonetized Diamond and Silk’s videos.

The post Diamond and Silk ‘If a Private Bakery Has to Go Against Their Christian Values to Bake a Cake Then Zuckerberg Has to Allow us to Speak Our Truth’ (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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CultureWatch: On Moral Absolutes and Discerning Right from Wrong

There is perhaps no greater need today in the West than for people to be able to distinguish right from wrong. Most folks have altogether lost their moral compasses and are simply roaming aimlessly in an ethical no-man’s land. Moral absolutes have been jettisoned and relativism reigns.

This is always a recipe for disaster. And we have seen it occurring throughout human history. There has always been a connection between the abandonment of morality and the abandonment of God. When we declare the nonexistence or the inconsequentiality of God, we lose the basis for moral absolutes.

In his 2005 book Unspeakable, Os Guinness describes our modern world without God: “What was once unimaginable becomes thinkable and then fashionable. What used to be abnormal is now normal. Where we were shocked, we are now indifferent. What started as soft-core ends as hard-core.”

Here he is simply repeating the wisdom of the prophet Isaiah. Two and a half millennia ago he offered this sombre warning: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Most of the great thinkers since that time have made the connection between God, moral absolutes, and the state of a nation. Numerous quotes could be offered here. Plato for example knew that some objective basis of morality was needed.

He wrote: “Any system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” The classical philosophers spoke of the importance of cultivating virtue, both private and public. As Aristotle said, “Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.”

Sir Francis Bacon made this declaration: “All good moral philosophy is … but the handmaid to religion.” And John Locke said this: “To give a man full knowledge of morality, I would send him to no other book than the New Testament.”

The Irish political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke put it this way: “Manners [morals] are more important than laws. Upon them, in great measure, the laws depend.” President George Washington said it this way: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

President John Quincy Adams concurred: “There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments.”

In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville made this observation: “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

C.S. Lewis said this: “There is no escape… If we are to continue to make moral judgments (and whatever we say we shall in fact continue) then we must believe that the conscience of man is not a product of Nature. It can be valid only if it is an offshoot of some absolute moral wisdom, a moral wisdom which exists absolutely “on its own” and is not a product of non-moral, non-rational Nature.”

The great scientist Albert Einstein got it right when he said:

Science has provided the possibility of liberation for human beings from hard labor, but science itself is not a liberator. It creates means not goals. Man should use [science] for reasonable goals. When the ideals of humanity are war and conquest, those tools become as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a child of three. We must not condemn man’s inventiveness and patient conquest of the forces of nature because they are being used wrongly and disobediently now. The fate of humanity is entirely dependent upon its moral development.

Or as Martin Luther King Jr stated, “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

Such quotes could be repeated at length. The wisdom of the ages needs to be applied to the modern dilemmas we now find ourselves in. Everyday individuals and high-powered leaders both need to get back to morality, which means getting back to God.

The reason I have all this on my mind of late has to do with what I read in my daily Bible reading. This morning the familiar words of Solomon struck me with renewed force. Israel’s King David had died and Solomon was newly established on the throne (1 Kings 1).

In 1 Kings 2 we read about him subduing his enemies and securing his kingdom. God then appears to him in a dream and asks him what he would like. Most of you would know how the story goes. Instead of wealth or power or other selfish things, he asked for wisdom so that he might rule his people rightly.

We read about this in 1 Kings 3:5-10:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.

God did indeed answer this request, and in the very next chapter we encounter the very familiar story of his wisdom being applied to the case of two women and a baby they were fighting over. In 3:28 we read about the outcome of his ruling: “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”

And at the end of chapter four we read more about how Solomon’s wisdom became known even to the surrounding nations. As we find in verse 34: “From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”

Wow, we sure can use that sort of wisdom today. We sure need this sort of moral discernment that can distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong. That is in such short supply today. We all need it, and our political leaders certainly need it as well.

But very few seem to have it. Part of the way to get back to greatness as a people and as a nation is to have the ability to tell the difference between truth and error, between what is right and what is wrong. Would that more people – and more leaders – make the sort of prayer that Solomon did.

We sure need it bad right now.

[1297 words]

The post On Moral Absolutes and Discerning Right from Wrong appeared first on CultureWatch.

Pulpit & Pen: The SBC Should Not Want Black Leadership

The Southern Baptist Convention should not want black leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should not want white leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should not want Eskimo leaders, Pygmy  leaders, or polka-dotted leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should want godly leaders. And that, it seems, is in the shortest supply of all.

The Southern Baptist Convention should not want black leadership. The very idea is doctrinally bothersome, theologically incoherent, ethnically untenable, and morally perverse.

After the MLK50 veneration conference, hosted by The Social Gospel Coalition and the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Southern Baptists are calling for the white-guilted apologies offered to the world on behalf of past Southern Baptist sins to be proven by appointing black leaders to two openings at Southern Baptist entities. Both the International Mission Board (IMB), upon the resignation of David Platt, and the Presidency/CEO of the Executive Board of the SBC, upon the resignation of Frank Page, have openings which some feel should be filled based not upon the content of one’s character, but by the color of their skin.

I’m offering a few thoughts on the subject of filling race-based denominational appointment vacancies for barter here in the Marketplace of Ideas.

First, I understand the manufactured excitement that comes from a conference like MLK50, which was organized and hosted by radical Cultural Marxists and mission-drifting Critical Race Theorists. Neither The Gospel Coalition nor the ERLC are primarily religious organizations; they are political organizations funded by leftist billionaires and unsuspecting small-time donors whose chief ambition is to radically revolutionize the way evangelical Christians think about race and to change the political alliance between conservatism and Christianity. The Gospel Coalition (TGC) was founded by Tim Keller, a Marxist who self-professes to be influenced by the Frankfurt School of Social Theory, as written about in detail in E.S. William’s book, The New Calvinists. Daily on the cyber-pages of TGC, the ideas of intersectionality, globalism, and social justice are regularly promoted. They do so in the name of Jesus and the Gospel, which I find especially repugnant. Under the guise of being theologically astute, under the faux-imagery of Gospel-promotion, TGC promotes Affirmative Action, open borders and amnesty, reparations, and even lent their blog for explicit endorsements of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Russell Moore at the ERLC works for the George Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table, calls border walls a “golden calf” (likening it to idolatry), and is a former Democratic staffer who never left the Democratic party. It should only be expected that any bastardized offspring of these two organizations should bear the DNA of progressivism. Any conference hosted by the two organizations – especially that designed to venerate a Communist whoremonger who denied the deity of Christ and His resurrection, should certainly be expected to create an army of Useful Idiots eager to atone for sins they didn’t commit and vicariously apologize for sins of others. This is, after all, the goal of intersectionality.

Second, for the life of me, I cannot understand how four thousand people could gather in the name of Martin Luther King and Jesus (which is as absurd as gathering in the name of Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus) and overlook the message of King. In a disgraceful treatment of King’s actual legacy – as shameful as walking across his grave – MLK50 used his decaying, rotting corpse as a means to a political end that King himself would have opposed. Although King was funded by and sympathetic to economic Marxism, he promoted the notion of “color-blindness,” which both the ERLC and The Gospel Coalition have told us in recent days is “racist.” King, in spite of all of his theological and moral failings, taught that the difference between black and white was little more than color. MLK50 taught that racial differences were not only non-superficial but to assume them superficial is in itself racist. The greatest irony of all is that MLK50 would likely have been opposed by Martin Luther King, as much as Al Sharpton would be making King roll over in the grave, if corpses could respond to sacrilege. King wrote in his famous I Have a Dream speech:

“I have a dream, my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” and the desire to “transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood…And when this happens…and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

King, of course, was paraphrasing Scripture he didn’t believe inerrant, but did look to it for a degree of inspiration. King was echoing the words of Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” King was echoing the words of Colossians 3:11, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”  King was echoing the words of 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Of course, the Scripture speaks of integrated harmony for those who are in Christ, but King’s paraphrase was not far off base. There are only two races on the planet; there is the race of Adam, in which all die, and there is a race of Christ, in which all will live. We are not baptized as black men, white men, or red men. We are baptized as men, and we are made alive in the representative of men, Jesus Christ. The very notion promoted by MLK50 and now being lauded in the Southern Baptist blogosphere is as repugnant to King as it is to the Apostle Paul who wrote those three passages.

Third, and this is the point of my contention, calling for vacancies in the SBC to be filled as proof of our repentance is morally obtuse. It is not wise, it is not thoughtful, and it is not original. It is racist. The echo-chamber and SBC pep-rally known as SBC Voices posted an article by Alan Cross entitled Why We Can’t Wait: The SBC’s Continual Need to Pursue Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Leadership. With all the short-lived but fiery enthusiasm of a youth group drop-out fresh out of church summer camp, Cross opined his thoughts after coming back from MLK50. And what did Cross come away with? Cross, proving that computers are not the only data processors that can be programmed, came away with the notion that to best live out the ethos of Martin Luther King, we need to promote people to denominational office NOT based upon the content of one’s character, but by the color of their skin. This is not genius; this is mentally deficient, morally deluded, and intellectually vapid. Cross writes:

Over the past 3 years since 2015, progress has been made. There have been more appointments, resolutions have been passed addressing white supremacy, and a heightened awareness has been raised of the need for Southern Baptists of all backgrounds to work together, serve together, and submit to one another as we all submit to and follow Jesus. We have seen progress with appointments and more of an open door for participation. I am grateful for this and what has come before. But, while good, this work is only seen as progress relative to the abysmal situation that preceded it.

Cross defeats his own argument in the course of giving it. The SBC nominated and elected Fred Luter as its first black president (largely based on the color of his skin). H.B. Charles was elected the first black president of the SBC Pastor’s Conference. Dwight McKissic – a Bernie Sander’s supporting racist who puts dead babies at the bottom of the list of his ethical priorities – strong-armed SBC leadership into condemning the “alt-right,” after holding up his own denomination in scorn to the national media as purportedly racist for not following through on his race-baiting, politically-motivated propaganda tactics. Just today it was reported that a Georgia church was unilaterally kicked out of its convention for not allowing a little black girl to use the restroom. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted a Malcom X read-in this year (good grief). Southern Baptist institutions like Ouachita Baptist University have a department of Social Justice, ostensibly funded by Clinton financier and globalist, James Riady. Cross needs to understand – as do all 45 of SBC Voices readers – that it will never be enough. The goal is not equality. Blacks and Whites are equal under both United States law and Southern Baptist polity. This is an undeniable fact. What racism remains is thoroughly repudiated and regularly expunged, and in a denomination with a tent as wide as the SBC, finding a church with truly “institutional racism” is rarer than finding Southern Baptist churches who handle snakes (that is not hyperbole). Neither is it unrealistic to say that being black in the Southern Baptist Convention (or any theologically conservative evangelical organization) is a matter of extreme privilege and puts one at the front of the line to share the spotlight. The reason it will never be good enough is because the goal is political. The goal is to change our worldview, our ideological positions, and even our theology.

Fourth, acting as though appointing minority ethnicities to denominational leadership would cure racism is woefully unbiblical. It is anti-gospel. Is racism not a sin? Is righteousness legislated? Is morality induced by executive fiat? Could that change hearts and minds? The answer to these questions is that racism is a sin, righteousness cannot be legislated, morality cannot be mandated by executive decision, and that hearts and minds aren’t changed by twisting arms to put men or women of color in charge our entities. Instead, appointing a person of minority status to a denominational position would be a worthless symbolic overture we’ve already done before, and done it again and again.

Fifth, acting as though appointing minority ethnicities to denominational leadership would cure racism grossly overlooks the real reason for the deficiency of minority leadership. Here are some inconvenient facts. Black churches are disproportionally rife with liberation theology. They are disproportionally tainted by Word-Faith, charismatic, and prosperity theology that is starkly at odds with traditional Southern Baptist values and doctrine. Black churches are disproportionally rife with many of the same family and cultural plagues of out-of-wedlock births, higher abortion rates, and fatherless homes as is the black community at large. Nothing in the groveling, pleading, bleeding commie-hearts on display at MLK50 even made a tangential effort to address the reason why there seem to be so few quality black leaders in the SBC; it is not racism. It is because there is, in reality, so few quality black leaders in the SBC. To propose filling agency positions with people merely based upon the color of one’s skin is not good for the denomination and it is not good for the black community because it doesn’t address the real reasons for those deficiencies which start with character and not with color.

By the way, for the sake of the weeping and gnashing of teeth I can already hear, there are plenty of quality and qualified men of color who could run our convention entities (in the same way there are many – I presume – “good” Southern Baptist churches comprised of primarily of black people). The argument, of course, is that raising race to the preeminent qualification for appointment is as racist as it is unhelpful.

Sixth and finally, none of this conversation – that started by MLK50 or that is being finished in the blogosphere – has been stained with the blood of Jesus. None of it. Throwing in the word “gospel” once in a while doesn’t make something saturated with the Good News. The Gospel mandates that forgiveness is given upon repentance, and with forgiveness must come restoration. The “white community” has apologized – profusely – and it needs to be said in the most pastoral way possible that making forgiveness contingent upon giving denominational appointments, scholarships or reparations is sinful on the part of the black person withholding forgiveness. Repentance does not have to be “proven,” it has to be confessed, and not to give forgiveness when it is requested is as wicked as the sin of slavery.

In conclusion, when Paul told the Colossians, the Galatians and the Corinthians that there were no slaves or free men, male or female, or Jews or Greeks, he was not implying that these “classes” or categories did not exist. In fact, Paul reaffirms these classes in Colossians and Corinthians when he orders slaves to obey their masters, for masters to be kind to their slaves, for wives to submit to husbands and husbands to love their wives. It is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that one man is black and another is white, that Caitlyn Jenner is actually a man and if you have an XX chromosome you’re a woman. Neither was Paul arguing that there weren’t people born Jews or born Greeks. Paul’s point is that there is ultimate equality in the singular baptism that we receive in Christ, because Christ wasn’t an atonement for classes of people, but for the whole swath of believing humanity.

What should make us weep is that MLK50 and the Critical Race Theory imposed upon this generation of evangelicals through TGC and ERLC has set back a Biblical perspective of race to at least the days of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Following the ultimate prohibition of the Jim Crow laws and granting of equal rights in the Civil Rights Movement, there was a time and place (believe it or not) that the “races” (as terrible a term as that is) had far more harmony than today. What we must understand is that the Cultural Marxists who operate the ERLC and TGC are intentionally sowing discord and division between the races to accomplish their ultimate political purposes.

The Southern Baptist Convention should not want black leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should not want white leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should not want Eskimo leaders, Pygmy  leaders, or polka-dotted leaders. The Southern Baptist Convention should want godly leaders. And that, it seems, is in the shortest supply of all.

The post The SBC Should Not Want Black Leadership appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

TruthXchange: When Psychological “Science” Defines Biblical Cosmology

When Psychological “Science” Defines Biblical Cosmology

The great danger is that the state, in classic Marxist fashion, and in the name of psychological science, will take on the religious role of defining the “true” mystery of human life and will impose that definition on other religious views of human life, punishing by the power of the state those who disagree. A totalitarian state always claims religious authority.

Assembly member Evan Low (D-Cupertino), Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, has recently introduced Assembly Bill 2943, declaring “homosexual conversion therapy” a fraudulent and therefore unlawful practice in the state of California.

Advertising or practicing such therapy would be fraudulent practice under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and treated as consumer fraud. As a lawyer of the Alliance Defending Freedom noted, “the breadth of this censorship is staggering.” This bill not only limits personal choices at the deepest level but closes off debate regarding the nature of existence.

Speaking of fraud, the CA bill is based almost entirely on what some consider to be a fraudulent report of the American Psychological Association Task Force of 2009, entitled: “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.” (The page numbers in this text refer to the full report, which you can download here, on the right side of the webpage.)

A now deceased, highly respected clinical psychologist, Joseph Nicolosi (who saw hundreds of homosexual clients in his long career and saw many of them abandon their unwanted homosexual desires), wrote an essay on the APA report entitled “APA Task Force Report—A Mockery of Science.”

In this article he points out a series of scientific anomalies:

  • The Task Force was composed entirely of activists in gay causes.
  • In choosing members for this committee, the APA rejected the application of every practitioner of sexual-reorientation therapy.
  • Prior to any research, the committee stated as “scientific fact” that homosexual attractions and behavior are no different from those of heterosexuality.
  • The Task Force did not study individuals who reported treatment success.

This report by the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, knew what it would find before it began and thus concluded what the members had presupposed, namely that same-sex attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality. In other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders. This deeply flawed report recommended “that researchers and practitioners investigate…treatments for sexual minorities that do not aim to alter sexual orientation” (7). This conclusion is what AB 2943 now proposes as state law.

Denial of therapy for those who seek it is hardly “democratic,” especially since therapy works in a number of cases. Reparative therapist, Dr. David Pickup, a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor, recently declared in public that every week, at the end of the counseling process, he sees once-homosexual men delivered from homoerotic feelings. Dr. Pickup lectured at the Nov, 2017 MassResistance Teens4Truth Conference in Ft. Worth, TX.

If the bill is applied, such therapy as that of Dr. Pickup or Dr. Nicolosi will be punishable by law: such is the power of this ideology and its intention to silence all opposition. Based on a mockery of science, the bill will become a mockery of Constitutional law. Why? Read on.

Kevin Snider, of the Pacific Justice Institute, a lawyer and professing Christian, sees where all this is going. He cites Supreme Court Justice Jackman who wrote in 1943:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be the orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Snider concludes: “This bill will suck the state deeper into the black hole of political and religious orthodoxy.”[1] The great danger is that the state, in classic Marxist fashion, and in the name of psychological science, will take on the religious role of defining the “true” mystery of human life and will impose that definition on other religious views of human life, punishing by the power of the state those who disagree. A totalitarian state always claims religious authority. Marx claimed that “Communism begins where atheism begins.”[2] A few elements will show just how ultimately “non-scientific” and perversely religious this approach is.

  1. In its report, the APA includes a “Resolution Rejecting Intelligent Design as Scientific and Reaffirming Support for Evolutionary Theory” (19). This resolution is completely sure that there is no original divine rationality. It puts in its place chance evolutionary irrationality, and then expects one to accept this explanation on the basis of totally believable human rationality. The resolution, trying to sound objectively scientific, is in fact a religious affirmation of monumental faith, and a prodigious sign of human hubris, especially since scientists know so little about origins. How could one keep a straight face and even threaten punishment for those who refuse such a preposterously silly argumentation? As human beings, we are faced with only two logical choices: Oneism (the material cosmos miraculously, by accident, creates itself) or Twoism (an intelligent, personal Creator made the cosmos and is separate from all things created).[3]
  2. A similar religious commitment is expressed in the report’s understanding of ethics. It declares that counselors “strive to provide interventions that are consistent with current ethical standards.” By this, the committee means standards based on an evolutionary, changing view of ethics. One is forced to ask: Who decides? Who establishes what is ethical? How can the notion of ethics exist in an impersonal, evolving universe? These are massive religious questions that go unanswered by the APA report.
  3. The APA, seeking to show a certain openness, admits that “psychology can explore and understand religious beliefs and faith in an evidence-based and respectful manner.” It even says: “psychology has no legitimate function” in “arbitrating matters of faith and theology” or to “adjudicate religious or spiritual tenets.” However, the APA report seems to weigh in on one side of the religious debate about homosexuality, arguing that while some religious options see homosexuality as a sin, a “growing body of evidence” suggests that other “religious denominations’ beliefs and practices have changed over time, reflecting evolving scientific and civil rights perspectives on homosexuality and sexual orientation” (17).

Here, we find “science” adjudicating religions according to whether they agree or disagree with the evolutionary psychology, which has “proven” that homosexuality is normal. A religion is valid if it expresses “tolerance”; it is to be silenced if it expresses “prejudice.”

The APA report, on which the proposed California law is based, does recognize worldview differences and identifies two:

  1. “Some religions give priority to telic congruence (i.e., living consistently within one’s valuative goals) but that life-style “produces stigma and shame” (16).
  2. “Affirmative and multicultural models of LGBT psychology give priority to organismic congruence (i.e., living with a sense of wholeness in one’s experiential self),” giving “priority to the unfolding of developmental processes, including self-awareness and personal identity” (17).

In some odd way, the APA report is accurate. Theologically, these two religious options are the only ones on offer. One worldview, Twoism, presupposes a world with a telos—an established goal given to it by an all-wise, personal Creator, who made human identity in his own image and for his glory. The other, Oneism, is its own arbiter, needing only to have congruence with itself. Human beings are autonomous and self-defining, unhindered by the “stigma and shame” that answering to a holy God entails. In the words of the report, this second worldview represents “Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, including self-determination, [which] is the process by which a person controls or determines the course of her or his own life” (6).

The deep conflict between these two views of existence is more precisely and accurately described by the Bible: either people self-define by “worshiping and serving creation” or they conform their identity to God’s image by “worshiping and serving the Creator” (Romans 1:25). This is ground zero for the definition of life. You cannot get more religious than to define life! This same biblical text immediately states in verse 26: “For this reason…,” then describes logically how the practice of homosexuality, as an embodied expression of the worship of creation and the self, is the denial of God the Creator. AB 2943 is not as innocent or limited as it might first appear.

The question is not whether worldview is involved. Everyone puts the world together using a worldview based on a religious stance of faith. The report itself implies this by showing the two possible ways of approaching the homosexuality issue. “Non-religious” worldviews claim to be objective and scientific, but they are ultimately religious because they have to create an overarching view of existence that cannot be proven by our human minds. Can you get your mind around the fact that there are at least one hundred billion galaxies? We need an overarching, religious view of existence that can only be expressed in a cautious and humble way.

The question posed by AB2943 is whether the state has the right to impose on each citizen, under threat of punishment, a worldview of pure materialism. Christian believers will no longer have a legal right to their own worldview. If the state does this, we will find ourselves living either in a new form of oppressive totalitarian Marxism (a living hell), or in our ultimate state—the new heavens and new earth at the end of time, when God’s justice will finally reign. Before that time, some Christians, even here in the USA, may suffer under state oppression. We will need confidence, joy, commitment and courage. In Christ, we have already died, been raised and are glorified. Yet we live in a “not yet” stage. As we wait for his return, we must love him and others through the power of the Spirit, maintaining faith in his Word and praying for true repentance and revival. Are we ready?

[1] Pacific Justice Institute: Center for Public Policy, March 23, 2018.

[2] Paul Kengor, Takedown, (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2015), 21.

[3] See Peter Jones, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (Escondido, CA: Main Entry, 2010).

The post When Psychological “Science” Defines Biblical Cosmology appeared first on TruthXchange.

CultureWatch: Worshipping a God Made In My Own Image

We have only two choices: we either worship the one true and living God, or we worship one of our own devising. There are no other options. We either run with God and his self-revelation to us about who he is and what he expects of us, or we just make things up as we go along.

There are countless millions of people who have chosen the latter path. It is the easy path to follow. Following the true God means letting him call the shots, and recognising that we are not the centre of the universe. Following a god of your own devices is easy – you effectively are just worshipping yourself.

Even more tragic, many of these folks actually think they are worshipping the real God, and that they are real Christians. But when you reject God and his revealed truth as found in Scripture, and substitute a god who simply represents the spirit of the age, then you are worshipping an idol, a false god.

Examples of this are of course everywhere to be found. We see it happening all the time, and the social media provides us with endless cases of this. Consider just one example of this that I found on a friend’s post. He made a comment about the Israel Folau case.

It had to do with the star rugby player speaking biblical truth about homosexuality, and how repentance is what is needed to keep sinners out of hell. I wrote about that here: billmuehlenberg.com/2018/04/06/folau-and-unacceptable-truth/

But a person seeking to pass himself off as a Christian was not at all happy with this, and offered this comment in response:

“It’s not a question about voicing an opinion. To oppose same-sex marriage is voicing an opinion. To state that God’s plan for gay people is Hell, is stupid. My God teaches me love and forgiveness. My God does not teach hate and discrimination. My God does not tell me that loving somebody else is a sin.”

I offered a brief reply of my own to this fellow:

“It seems that the god you worship is really just yourself, and certainly not the God of the Bible who has made it clear what he thinks about these matters. There is no forgiveness without repentance; we are of course to discriminate between good and evil, just as God does; and God clearly does tell us that homosexuality is a sin.”

But it is worth expanding a bit more on what he said, since it is such a clear case of a person making a god in his own image, and that of the surrounding secular culture. First, how could any Christian say that what God has told us is stupid?

That hell is the destiny of all those who reject God and cling to their sin is fully affirmed throughout Scripture. So it is never stupid to simply share what God has said about such important matters. It is however stupid to imply that God is wrong, and that mere man knows better.

And notice that the God he projects is simply a partial God of the Bible. Is God a God of love? Of course, but never in isolation from his holiness, his justice and his righteousness. And does God forgive? Of course, but only when we come to him on his terms.

And those terms, as Jesus and the disciples made perfectly clear, is repentance and turning from our sin. There is no forgiveness without this. This is the heart of the gospel message, and no one honestly reading the gospels and epistles could miss this.

And does God really not hate or discriminate? Um, no. Anyone reading the Bible knows how foolish these claims are. They are patently false. God hates sin, he hates false religious worship, he hates evil, he hates that which turns people away from him.

Since we are talking about idolatry here, let me mention just one passage – of many dozens – that speak of the things God hates. Consider Deuteronomy 12:31: “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates.”

False gods and idolatry are at the top of the list of what God detests. And because of this, God is the most discriminating being there is. He always discriminates between right and wrong, true and false. He expects his people to discriminate as well.

And when this guy keeps talking about “my God,” as if he owns God, he is making it pretty clear that he means ‘the god of my liking and my point of view’. This is a god that fully approves of and endorses everything this guy says and does. This is a god which happens to be fully in alignment with what he and the world believes.

All up, his beliefs are fairly evident here: there is no hell; god judges no one; homosexuality is just peachy; and anyone disagreeing with me is a hater. That is the god he has created – one in his own ungodly and unbiblical image. Thus when he speaks about “my God” he is really just speaking about himself.

The bitter fruit of idolatry

Idolaters love to justify themselves. It seems this fellow was another one of those trolls who just loves to argue, but is never willing to learn. He came back with plenty of comments that I and some others tried to respond to. He even asked where the Bible condemns homosexuality.

After we supplied some passages for him, he simply changed tack, and started accusing us of being judgmental and hateful. Yep, that is how the other side argues! Forget the evidence and the truth, and just lash out when people dare to differ and offer biblical responses!

Of interest, early on in his comments he even admitted that he did not know the Bible very well. Yeah, well that much was obvious. I encouraged him to spend less time in public arguments with others, and to spend more time actually reading and studying the Bible.

But it seems his preference was to do the former. As I said, he has made God into his own image, and he alone will decide what is right and wrong, true and false. That is the epitome of idolatry, and that is exactly what will send a person to a lost eternity.

So I finished by telling him it was rather futile discussing this with him any further, and that I instead would pray for him. Sometimes that is all we can do with such folks. They refuse to listen to Scripture, and they have hardened themselves to any biblical correction, so we just pray for them.

Let me close with a few terrific quotes on idolatry and why it is so pernicious. We must avoid like the plague this strong tendency to try to remake God into our own image:

“Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.” John Calvin

“Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him… To love a holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce our hardened hearts and awaken our moribund souls.” R. C. Sproul

“Idolatry is of all sins the most hateful to God because it is in essence a defamation of the divine character.” A. W. Tozer

“The religions that man creates are actually attempts to escape having to face the true God. We invent religion — not because we are seeking God, but because we are running away from Him.” James Montgomery Boice

“If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself.” Tim Keller

“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to exist side by side on earth, and will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own creation as real as Jupiter or Moloch; as true an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple; as true an idol as was ever moulded out of brass or clay. The hands of your own notions and emotions have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and aside from the God of the Bible there is no God at all.” J. C. Ryle

[1484 words]

The post Worshipping a God Made In My Own Image appeared first on CultureWatch.

The Dividing Line Webcast: White Supremacy, MLK Jr.’s Theology, Imputed Guilt by Race, Kyle Howard, Racialism

Spent the first hour going over developments over the past few days, including discussions of the Washington Rally with the National Council of Churches, the MLK50 Conference, Martin Luther King’s own professed theology, Thabiti Anyabwile’s imputation of guilt to our grandparents, and finally Kyle J. Howard’s public statement that he would not feel “safe” meeting with me alone “as a black man.” Then we opened the phones with all sorts of calls—none of which were on the topic of the first hour!

Weekly Watchman for 04/06/2018

Finding the Right Church, and Other Great Topics!

If your church has been veering away from traditional biblical doctrines and teachings, and you feel led to consider another church, what questions should you ask those pastors before becoming a member?

This is one of the questions one of our listeners posed this week. Other questions include:

Is God capable of hatred?
How can I defend hyper-feminism and the increasing demonization of men?
Are Christians required to tithe?
Our son’s youth pastor advised the kids to abstain from sex, but if they choose not to, they should take precautions. What?!
Can a person be “trapped” or born in the wrong body?
How do we refute the arguments of those who believe gender is fluid and can be (“assigned”) chosen?
What if my pastor doesn’t teach the Old Testament or prophecy?

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

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Christian Alternatives to Public Education

It is pretty clear what Christian parents can expect if they send their children to government-run schools. Whatever basic Christian worldview their children have will be challenged and probably mocked, that is, if other kids find out they’re Christians. There’s also a very good chance that by the time they head off to college their children will want nothing to do with the Christian faith.

There are alternatives. Why send your children to reputable Christian schools or take a step of faith and homeschool? But many parents are intimidated by what they perceive to be a tremendous commitment of time or money needed for homeschooling their children.

We discuss a new Christian Home School Organization to offer assistance to parents who choose to home school their children. We talk with Andrew Pudewa, director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing, who is very involved in the advancement of quality homeschooling. He will be speaking at the Wisconsin Homeschool conference April 20-21 in Milwaukee.

In our first segment, we check in with Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council to discuss the recent election of a liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. We also address disturbing trends we see in government, as well as a dangerous ordinance in Milwaukee that will prevent Christian churches and counselors from helping young people who are confused about their sexuality or gender identification.

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

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The Cesspool of American Pop Culture

In previous generations, children could just enjoy being young and relatively carefree. They were able to actually go outside and play and put off until later the responsibilities and pressures of adulthood. But today’s children have not only become addicted to social media, but also political pawns of the left, helping advance the culture of sin and depravity. Hollywood and government schools are submerging young minds into a world view that directly opposes God and His Word.  In the coming years, as this younger generation becomes adults and leaders in society, we will see the damage that was done.

Tina Griffin, Counter Culture Mom, joins us to expose some of he darkness and look at ways parents can be educated about pop culture and protect our children from a world looking to destroy them spiritually.

And in our final segments, we address the continued censoring of Christian messages on Facebook, and a report of a child being sexually assaulted in a bathroom of a Target Department Store.  Target was one of the first department store chains to allow people to go into the bathroom or changing room of their choice, depending on what gender they “felt like” on any particular day.  Are these stories being covered up at the risk of our children being sexually manipulated and attacked?

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

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Living in Prophetic Times

Why don’t we talk about prophecy more than we do? Nearly one third of the Bible is prophecy. Today’s guest says we are living in the most prophetic times since Jesus Christ Himself lived on earth. Things seem to be falling into place as the world rushes toward a one world government and evil continues to grow, God, His Word, and His people are hated more and more each day.

What are some of the specific biblical prophesies we might be witnessing in our life times? And what does the Bible teach about Elohim and the Nephilim in the Old Testament? Pastor and best-selling author, Carl Gallups joins us to discuss his latest book, Gods and Thrones.

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

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Confronting the Destructive Lies of Transgenderism with Truth and Compassion

The times in which we live as disciples of Jesus Christ grow more and more bizarre just as the Bible told us they would. Ten years ago, which of us would have ever thought a defining issue in society and even in some churches would be whether God really made humans male or female?

But we are witnessing a growing number of people, including professing Christians wondering if gender might be fluid. How do we respond to this crisis about identity? The Bible teaches us to speak the truth with love and compassion for the lost. But how do we respond when no matter how compassionate and loving we are, some react with accusations of bigotry?

Dr. Ryan Anderson wrote a groundbreaking book on the subject titled When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement. He joins us to help us understand this groundbreaking issue and how Christians should respond.

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

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Thabiti Anyabwile Says All Whites Are Complicit in Murdering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ron Brown / Thabiti Anyabwile

Ron Brown changed his name to Thabiti Anyabwile to identify with the Black Nationalist Movement. When he converted from Christianity to Islam and then from Islam back to social-justice Christianity, Anyabwile continued to identify with the Black Nationalist Movement and kept his name. Today, Anyabwile – a protege of Mark Dever – is a favorite celebrity of the Social Justice primarily-political organization, The Gospel Coalition, and regularly posts content there. Anyabwile regularly impugned the police during the Ferguson riots, defended the violent criminal thug, Michael Brown, and engaged in race-baiting just as vile as anything committed by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or any of Anyabwile’s fellow Cultural Marxists. Anyabwile first endorsed Bernie Sanders (he claimed at the time he wouldn’t ever endorse a political candidate, and his words shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement), but then went on the explicitly endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election, and allowed his Gospel Coalition blog to promote the Democrat politician as well. During the Gospel Coalition and ERLC joint “MLK50” white-guilt conference, Anyabwile still says the pandering and patronizing of affluent whites in venerating the non-Christian and immoral Dr. King is not good enough. Anyabwile wants you to know that white people – in general – are guilty of murdering Martin Luther King and is demanding an apology.

In today’s post at The Social Gospel Coalition, Anyabwile shows no appreciation to his white brothers at the Coalition for their pandering, graveling, self-loathing and white-blaming or their honoring of the sex-trafficking, whore-mongering, bi-sexual communist, King. No, Anyabwile is using the 50th anniversary of King’s death to demand a blanket apology from all white people for King’s death. And that apology, apparently, should be made to all black people.

In Anyabwile’s view, all black people are innocent of King’s substitionary death and are victims vicariously through him, and all white people are guilty of murdering him. As we have written many times, Thabiti Anyabwile is a stone-cold racist.

Anyabwile writes at The Social Gospel Coalition…

James Earl Ray initially confessed to assassinating Dr. King. But he did not act alone. Many have long believed there was a literal conspiracy of Government actors, the mafia, and Memphis police. Whether or not you believe Ray acted as a patsy for these conspirators, he did not act alone. He acted with the tacit and sometimes explicit approval of white supremacists. He acted with the encouragement of a white society dedicated to the advantage of whites above all others and simultaneously the segregation, oppression, and exploitation of black people. Ray acted with the assistance of whites who suppressed their consciences. He acted with the assistance of anti-Civil Rights propagandists and white-collar country club segregationists. He acted with the assistance of a FBI COINTELPRO campaign charged with discrediting, maligning, and silencing voices of Black dissent. These parties acted in concert, in the same direction, against Dr. King and by extension the millions of African Americans hoping for some larger piece of freedom’s promise.

I’m saying the entire society killed Dr. King. This society had been slowly killing him all along.

Shame on all of you white people. How dare you. You killed Dr. King. Or at least your parents and grandparents did, so Ron Brown would have us think.

Until and unless there is repentance of this animus and murderous hatred, the country will remain imprisoned to a seared conscience. Until this country and the Church learns to confess its particular sins particularly, we will not overcome the Adamic hostility that infects the human soul and distorts human potential…My white neighbors and Christian brethren can start by at least saying their parents and grandparents and this country are complicit in murdering a man who only preached love and justice.

Ron Brown, or Thabiti Anyabwile, argues that our parents and grandparents killed King, and their sin still lingers in us, and so we should apologize for killing King on their behalf.

Of course, Martin Luther King didn’t “only preach love and justice,” he also had sex with both men and women who were paid to commit fornication with him, cheated on his wife, and denied the Virgin Birth, the Deity of Christ and the Resurrection (none of which deserve getting assassinated, but I would argue that God’s justice being poured out now upon King is quite greater than what James Earl Ray did to him; in fact, the last painful moment of King’s life was probably the last, best moment he would ever experience from that split-moment onward). But, I suppose it’s racist to say such thing in Brown/Anyabwile’s worldview.

So then, in Anyabwile’s anti-Gospel article at the social justice blog, he refused to acknowledge or apply the concepts of Christ’s atoning death or the imputation of sin and righteousness. Instead, Anyabwile – in a perverted sense – imputed the sins of our fathers (which is an illogical jump and unfair, if not a flatly stupid, assumption about our fathers) to us, and demands that we give him, and other of our black brothers, an apology. Of course, we have given many such vicarious apologies that never should have been offered to begin with (because that’s not how apologies work). The Southern Baptist Convention is in a nearly annual cycle of making such apologies. It’s time for Ron Brown to demonstrate the Gospel by accepting the good (and unnecessary) gestures of contrition from his white brothers and let…it…go. That’s what Christ’s worthwhile atonement (as opposed to MLK’s worthless, pointless death) accomplishes; forgiveness.

Martin Luther King is not the Savior. Heck, he wasn’t even saved if theology matters (and it does). His murderer’s sin wasn’t imputed to the white world. His death didn’t atone for black sins. Not every white person is an assassin like Ray. Not every black person is a bi-sexual adulterer and heretic like King.

That’s not how any of this works.

The post Thabiti Anyabwile Says All Whites Are Complicit in Murdering Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

The Broken Road of the Social Gospel

Sin demands justice. We live in a world of sin and to be quite honest—we’re all sinners—broken sinners who can’t impress God in our flesh. Therefore, when we hear stories of people working to build campaigns to help people build huts in the jungle, put shoes on the feet of the impoverished in Africa, and feed the hungry under the bridges in major American cities without providing them with the good news of Jesus—such stories should cause us to weep. The problem with the social gospel is that it often never gets around to sharing the gospel at all.

The Social Gospel Leads to Mission Creep in the Local Church

The mission of the Church of Jesus is to make disciples through the good news of Jesus among all peoples for their joy in Christ alone. No matter the setting of the local church (rural or urban)—their mission is a gospel mission. You could start out with good intentions in a ministry in the local church, but over time it could creep over into a social gospel that does little more than meet surface needs in your community.

How many people get excited in local churches about a homeless ministry that organizes the clothing collection, labor early Saturday morning on distribution teams, feed the hungry, and go home fulfilled in how they provided such humanitarian needs without ever sharing the good news of Jesus? The same thing is true regarding clean water ministries devoted to digging wells in rural villages in Africa without telling them of the living water that comes through Jesus Christ.

This is a danger in many areas—even sports ministries in local churches that provide a nice safe atmosphere for children to play basketball and soccer without ever sharing the gospel. It could happen with a local church’s oil change ministry for single mothers on Saturday mornings where men change oil and never get to the gospel. Local churches must avoid this dangerous mission creep that majors on humanitarian needs or cultural needs in the community without first providing people with the gospel of Jesus. People who drink clean water die and go to hell without Christ. People who are warm and comfortable with good clothing die without Jesus and perish eternally. The gospel is the answer to the problems in the world today.

The Social Gospel Opens the Door to Progressive Politics

The danger in social gospel emphasis is that it often focuses on something other than the true gospel of Jesus. While focusing on the external hurts of the people in the culture—the social gospel warriors tend to avoid the spiritually dead soul that needs the gospel of Christ. Sadly, this improper emphasis leads people down a broken road through the doors of progressive politics that often talk about redistribution of wealth, “male privilege,” “white privilege,” and now—”Christian privilege.”

Many times those who have reverend preceding their name appear on television promoting better social structures, equality for men, women, minorities, and the LBGTQ persons—yet their focus is centered on social structures rather than the gospel. Many of those same people lobby for social justice change in communities in the name of Jesus without ever getting to the true message of Jesus. Often a social gospel commitment majors on redeeming a city of social-ills rather than individuals within the city through the good news of Jesus. No matter how reformed our social structures become—people will not become better as a result of social change. Lost people need Jesus—not an improved social structure.

Did Jesus meet the physical needs of hurting people? Sure he did and we must care about the needs of people in our culture as well (Luke 10:25-37). However, Jesus’ social focus was always built upon a theological foundation of the gospel. Jesus healed people to reveal their need for spiritual healing. If we know of someone who needs food—we should not turn a blind eye to the need—and we should not serve without sharing the gospel. If we have people in our community who are hurting in various ways—it would be the right thing to investigate ways to meet those needs. However, if local churches focus on the cries of physical needs without addressing the spiritual needs—our ministry becomes a politically motivated humanitarian mission rather than a gospel mission of a local church of Jesus Christ.

People die and go to hell everyday while wearing good clothing, eating good food, and living in comfortable homes with good educational opportunities. Our communities need the gospel of Jesus not Marxism or socialism or communism or any other ideology. It’s the gospel that saves sinners. Far too often the social gospel majors on social issues, complaints, needs, and cultural trends while theology takes a backseat. That’s a tragedy. Consider the reality that Jesus never once sought to reform the social structures of his culture. Jesus majored on the gospel. Remember Jesus came to seek and to save the lost—not to run a clothing pantry or a mobile chili ministry in an urban city. Serve people, but don’t silence the gospel in the process. Preach the gospel.

 

The post The Broken Road of the Social Gospel appeared first on Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace.

Our Deadly Obsession with Celebrity Culture

I know we’ve had “famous” evangelists and televangelists in the past, and I know there’s nothing new under the sun. Celebrity pastors have been around ever since the Corinthians debated the merits of Paul, Apollos, and Peter. Nevertheless, I do think today’s cultural environment has provided conditions that are particularly toxic. The ubiquity of social media and celebrity culture in the United States has led to the rise of a new class of Christian celebrities. Millions look to these gurus for guidance, validation, talking points, and dare I say it entertainment.

Evangelicals have a deadly problem. Our obsession with celebrity culture is a cancer destroying our churches from the inside out.

You can see this obsession on display in a number of places. For one thing, every celebrity or an athlete who mentions God or stands up for conservative values becomes an instant poster child for many of us. Acceptance speeches, victory speeches, and interview sound bytes are replayed and reposted on social media to the delight of many.

Are we looking to celebrities to gives us some sort of validation for what we believe? Are we ready to embrace any pop culture icon who says “Jesus” because we’re so tired of the elites running our faith into the ground? Are we hoping to find religious street cred simply because some actor, athlete, or pundit said something with which we agree? Are we simply wanting to find someone to give us a voice in the cultural conversation?

Our eagerness to embrace celebrity can also be seen within our churches. Publishing, conferences, blogs, and podcasts have produced an entirely new class of Christian celebrity. Additionally, social media provides just about everyone with access to these celebrities who are otherwise far removed from our daily lives.

I know we’ve had “famous” evangelists and televangelists in the past, and I know there’s nothing new under the sun. Celebrity pastors have been around ever since the Corinthians debated the merits of Paul, Apollos, and Peter. Nevertheless, I do think today’s cultural environment has provided conditions that are particularly toxic. The ubiquity of social media and celebrity culture in the United States has led to the rise of a new class of Christian celebrities. Millions look to these gurus for guidance, validation, talking points, and dare I say it entertainment.

What’s the problem with a Christian class of celebrities? Well, just watch the news. On a weekly basis, you’ll find stories of another Christian leader caught in a scandal. On a weekly basis, you’ll find stories of another prominent Christian who has been accused of wrongdoing. On a weekly basis, you’ll find stories of another celebrity-of-the-month whose actions have betrayed the gullible trust we placed in them. On a weekly basis, you’ll find stories of another Christian celebrity whose faith has “evolved” away from that which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Our celebrities repeatedly let us down, and these celebrity implosions are no respecter of theological conviction. Those falling from prominence come from each and every theological tribe. There are several critical lessons to be learned from our deadly obsession with celebrity culture.

First, we don’t really know the celebrities we connect with via social media.

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The post Our Deadly Obsession with Celebrity Culture appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Scammed by a Black, a Woman, and Now a 17-Year-Old

(Lloyd Marcus – American Thinker) “My fellow Americans, leftists view you only as pawns.  Your lives are mere tools to use to further their anti-God, anti-freedom, and anti-America agendas.  Leftists are willing to sacrifice your well-being, best interests, and lives to further their extreme causes and ideas.  This is why leftists use everything that happens in life – every accident, every tragic event, even the weather, to move the ball toward their goal.”

The I.D. (Investigation Discovery) channel re-enacts real-life crime stories.  I watched two stories in which single female homeowners heard men breaking into their homes. …

 

In both incidents, the best the unarmed women could do was grab their phones, hide in their closets like scared rabbits, and dial 911.  My heart went out to the terrified, defenseless women.  If they had had guns, the playing field would have been much more level.

Tragically, both women were found by their home invaders.  While she screamed, cried, and begged for her life, the burglar pressed his pistol against one woman’s head and pulled the trigger, killing her instantly.  In the second home invasion, the burglar shot the woman over ten times.  She survived and praises God for her miraculous survival.

In both cases, these women would have had a fighting chance had they been armed.  I asked myself, why on Earth does the American left so passionately want such women disarmed, defenseless, and at the mercy of evil criminals.  With leftists claiming to be extreme advocates for women, desiring to disarm women does not make logical sense.  And yet disarming every law-abiding citizen in America is exactly what leftists are trying to do, campaigning to demonize the NRA and gun-owners.

My fellow Americans, leftists view you only as pawns.  Your lives are mere tools to use to further their anti-God, anti-freedom, and anti-America agendas.  Leftists are willing to sacrifice your well-being, best interests, and lives to further their extreme causes and ideas.  This is why leftists use everything that happens in life – every accident, every tragic event, even the weather, to move the ball toward their goal.

Exploiting the Florida school shooting, wacko leftist retired justice John Paul Stevens and other leftist nuts have called for the repeal of our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.View article →

Source: Scammed by a Black, a Woman, and Now a 17-Year-Old

Edward Snowden: Facebook Is “Most Successful Deception Since The Department Of War …

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NSA leaker Edward Snowden is calling out Mark Zuckerberg and his social media company Facebook for their surveillance activities throughout the world.

“Businesses that make money by collecting and selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as ‘surveillance companies,'” Snowden said in a tweet. “Their rebranding as ‘social media’ is the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense.”

Snowden’s words follow an echo of prominent individuals who have criticized Facebook for its data-harvesting services. Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, a Trump-supporting firm that allegedly harvested data illegally in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Snowden is not necessarily buying that it is Cambridge Analytica who is at fault for this scandal. He blames Facebook for how the organization has been operating since its inception.

“Facebook makes their money by exploiting and selling intimate details about the private lives of millions, far beyond the scant details you voluntarily post,” Snowden said in a different tweet. “They are not victims. They are accomplices.”

There have been increased calls to regulate the tech giants in recent months, as they are being accused of massive censorship in addition to being a hub for fake news and disinformation to spread. It is not only privacy advocates and concerned consumers who are targeting Facebook and other massive tech companies, but also the global elite as well.

“The owners of the platform giants consider themselves the masters of the universe, but in fact they are slaves to preserving their dominant position. It is only a matter of time before the global dominance of the US IT monopolies is broken,” progressive financier George Soros said at a meeting of prominent globalists in Davos earlier this year.

The honeymoon is clearly over for Facebook and other big tech companies, as they are getting hit from all angles in the age of Trump.

Originally Published at Populist Brief.

Source: Edward Snowden: Facebook Is “Most Successful Deception Since The Department Of War …

The “Opium Of The People” And The Opioid Crisis

The American population is aging and living longer. Perhaps pain management via opioids is quicker than sustained, more expensive treatments? The medical explanation leaves too much unexplained. I think that many Americans are turning to opioids (and other things) as a way of dulling the pain of disillusionment.

The late-modern period is a a time of disillusionment in the West and perhaps nowhere else is that disillusionment more acute than in America where, since at the least the early 20th century, the false promises of Modernity (human perfectibility, the universal fatherhood of God, the universal brotherhood of humanity) have proved hollow. The dreams of Modernity died in Europe in the opening months of World War I. In part because that war was not fought on American soil, the Modern dream persisted in the USA. Who can say when it died but it perhaps it was a long, slow death. The Modernists, those who assumed that man is the measure of all things, who assumed a critical stance (in the sense Marx meant “critical,” meaning, “Modern, enlightened, autonomous) toward all extrinsic authorities (God, the church, nature) laid siege to holy Scripture and did much great damage to its reception in the church. Those who continued to receive the historic, ecumenical view of Scripture were put on the defensive and spent about a century defending its truthfulness (infallibility, inerrancy) and authority while the seven sisters of the Protestant mainline (the UMC, ELCA, PCUSA, EPCUSA, ABC, UCC, and the Disciples of Christ) ingested the higher-critical toxins and began to die. The last time I looked each of them was losing about 70,000 members annually.

By the late 60s the disillusionment with and loss of confidence historic Christianity was fairly widespread. The first sexual revolution of the 1920s was followed by a second and more sustained sexual revolution in the 1960s and 70s in which marriage was implicitly re-defined. No fault divorce was adopted leading to a spike in divorce in the mid-late 70s and signalling a loss of confidence in the institution. Roe v Wade was the sacrament of the second sexual revolution, hence the implacable, unreasoning, unyielding, intransigent defense of abortion at any stage, for any reason by its supporters. In the third sexual revolution what was implicit became explicit and the Supreme Court recognized that reality (but in defiance of any genuine legal or historical basis) by announcing that marriage is now to be regarded as disconnected from nature. The minority on the court has predicted the outcome.

Today, unless the proportionally few Americans actually attend church weekly. Years ago George Barna argued that the actual figure is about 10%. More recently, The The Pew Research Center puts the number south of 35% and dropping. Even among “evangelical Protestants,” those with whom religious fervor is most closely associated, only 58% attend services weekly. Consider the state of the second service in the confessionally and (largely) culturally conservative NAPARC world. The anecdotal evidence suggests that the second service is, as they say in boxing, on the ropes.

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The post The “Opium Of The People” And The Opioid Crisis (2) appeared first on The Aquila Report.

CultureWatch: A Tale of Two Men – and Two Faiths

Today is Easter Sunday. Christians the world over celebrate the most important event in human history: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the heart of this event is one person giving his life for others, so that they might live. This is self-sacrificing love at its greatest.

As we read in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is why Easter is so very special. Christian worship a God who was born to die. That was his mission: to suffer a cruel death so that the enemies of God might be made the friends of God.

Another religious leader is also still recognised and celebrated centuries later. He did not lay down his life for others, but instead killed others, and ordered his followers to kill for him. The contrast could not be greater. Muhammad said kill your enemies while Jesus said love your enemies.

The founder of a religion will of course greatly impact how their followers behave. Christians will seek to emulate Jesus, while Muslims will seek to emulate Muhammad. And we have seen this played out countless times over the centuries, with Christians giving their lives for others, and Muslims taking the lives of others.

A perfect illustration of this took place in France just recently. In yet another Islamic terror attack, people were taken hostage by a terrorist, but a Christian offered to take the place of a female hostage. In doing so he paid for this with his life. More sacrificial love, because of what Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago.

There was not all that much mainstream media coverage of this tragic event, and what was covered was often conspicuous by what it omitted: the faith of the two individuals involved. Here is one sanitised version of the aftermath of the killing:

The police officer killed in last week’s supermarket attack in southern France has been honoured in a day long ceremony led by President Emmanuel Macron. Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who was killed after swapping himself with a hostage in the attack, is being posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award. In a show of unity, former French presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d’Estaing also attended the event, where Mr Beltrame’s coffin was carried from the Pantheon across Paris to the Hotel des Invalides, the final resting place of Napoleon.

Notice how the “C” word is conveniently left out concerning Beltrame. And of course the “I” word and the “M” word are deliberately omitted concerning the attacker:

Lakdim, who also killed three other people before he was shot dead by police, was a Moroccan-born French resident with dual nationality. The chief of a counter-terrorism agency, known as Morocco’s FBI, said that France never alerted his country about Lakdim’s radical behaviour – calling the absence of contact “a misunderstanding”.

It took a Christian media outlet to inform us of the faith element of Beltrame. The headline makes it clear: “France Mourns as Christian Police Officer ‘Hero’ Honored with State Funeral”. So does the article:

French Police Officer and hero Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame receives a state funeral. He died in a hostage stand-off with an Islamic extremist on March 24 after he volunteered to trade places with a female hostage.
According to reports, the suspect shot and stabbed the 44-year-old Beltrame, after the exchange at the local supermarket in Trebes, in southern France where the terrorist attacked. Beltrame has become a hero throughout France, known for his self-sacrifice, patriotism and Christian faith. He was awarded the Legion of Honor, the nation’s highest honor, at his funeral.

A Catholic news outlet said this about the hero:

The police officer who died after taking the place of a hostage in France was a practising Catholic who had “experienced a genuine conversion” around 2008. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame died on Saturday after volunteering to replace a female hostage during a terrorist attack on the Super U supermarket in Trèbes, southern France, on Friday. Beltrame left his phone on so that police could hear his conversations with the gunman.

He was shot in the neck by jihadist Radouane Lakdim before police entered the supermarket and killed the Moroccan-born French national. Beltrame served in Iraq in 2005 and received the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award, in 2012. Last year he was named deputy commander of anti-terror police in the Aude region.

Fr Dominique Arz, national chaplain of the gendarmerie, told the French Catholic magazine Famille Chrétienne: “It turns out that the lieutenant-colonel was a practising Catholic. The fact is that he did not hide his faith, and that he radiated it, he bore witness to it. We can say that his act of self-offering is consistent with what he believed. He served his country to the very end, and bore witness to his faith to the very end.”

Franklin Graham also offered words of praise for this champion:

Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame sacrificed his own life to save someone else. The French policeman volunteered to be a substitute, to trade places with a woman being held hostage by the Islamic terrorist. This policeman was an extraordinary hero. Pray for his family and friends—and the others who lost loved ones in this attack on Friday—in their great loss. I pray that they would be comforted by the One who also gave His life in our place, the One who was willing to die in our place for our sins because of His great love for us, Jesus Christ.

And even agnostic columnist Andrew Bolt was clearly moved by Beltrame, as he too offered us the clear differences between Christianity and Islam. See his five minute video here: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/on-two-men-two-faiths-one-hero/news-story/01bd6c4ed4dbbd0d93488c0a9a9ab5d4?nk=4eb9eec5ef94761caf7b0f3843fb713f-1522386587

Anyone without ideological blinkers on can see that Christianity and Islam are as different as day and night. And anyone carefully reading the four gospels and the rest of the New Testament, and the Koran and the sira, can see that there is no comparison between Jesus Christ and Muhammad.

Some 1400 years after the latter lived, his followers are still massacring infidels in the name of Allah. And 2000 years after Jesus died and rose again, his followers are still giving up their lives for others. The true and living God loves us so much that he sent his only son to die for us.

That is why we celebrate Easter. And two millennia later true Christians share the love of God with others as well, often sacrificing their very lives for the good of others. This is what real Christianity is all about. Even unbelievers like Bolt can see this clearly.

This is why Easter is so very important. We serve a risen saviour. Hallelujah!

http://www.itv.com/news/2018-03-28/france-honours-hostage-swap-police-officer-arnaud-beltrame-killed-in-supermarket-attack/
www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2018/march/france-mourns-as-christian-police-officer-hero-honored-with-state-funeral
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/03/25/police-officer-who-swapped-places-with-hostage-was-a-practising-catholic/
www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2018/march/an-extraordinary-hero-franklin-graham-honors-french-police-officer-who-gave-his-life-for-a-hostage

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The post A Tale of Two Men – and Two Faiths appeared first on CultureWatch.

Jordan Peterson, Jung, and Hope for the Faint-Hearted

Who is Jordan Peterson? If you don’t already know, you will, as he’s the West’s “hottest intellectual.”  Dr. Peterson’s website informs us that he’s a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, a public speaker, and the and author of “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos.” He’s become a regular guest on the popular  Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight and perhaps other Fox shows as well.  Because of his popularity among people of faith, Dr. Peter Jones thought it was important to put up a warning flag about this man. What you’ll learn about him may surprise you. For one thing, he’s a big fan of famous Swiss psychologist and occultist Carl Jung.  Why does this matter? You’re about to find out.

Jordan Peterson seems to be a genuine seeker after truth, with an insatiable appetite to put the world together in a coherent worldview. Much of what he says is very “Christian friendly,” but his coherence breaks down when he finds inspiration in Carl Jung, one of the most powerful creators of today’s post-Christian, neo-pagan culture. Jung has been described as “the father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement.” Jung himself stated: “The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology.” Gnosticism, as you may know, was the great apostasy opposed by the early Church Fathers. According to Jung, you could not call yourself a Jungian without being a Gnostic. According to the Fathers, you could not be a Gnostic and a call yourself a Christian.

In our angry, divided, and polemical society, young Christians, eager for measured peace, encourage us to accept the good things our society brings. Do we always have to see culture wars? This is a laudable desire. Nevertheless, Christians enamored of modern culture run the risk of ignoring its underlying anti-Christian ideology and diluting the unique truth of the Gospel.

Some have so adopted cultural norms that they are no longer even Christian. In my recent review of Brian McLaren’s The Great Spiritual Migration I quoted his statement that God must no longer be understood as the separate “omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent” (GSM 92) Creator and cosmic Ruler, and that Christianity must lose its monotheistic notions to embrace a “grander, inclusive [non-dualistic] God who demonstrates solidarity with all” (GSM 101)Once identifying as an evangelical, McLaren has followed our contemporary all-religions-are-one culture right out the door of Christianity: “Religions…will not survive if we believe that our religion is the only one true religion” (GSM 102). His version of Christianity is just an echo of a progressive social justice gospel. It defines itself as pure from anti-Semitism, rejection of women, racism and religious bigotry. The church should work to heal climate change by installing “solar panels” (GSM 172−3) or a “community garden” (GSM 173)—for “the common good” (GSM 168). I have solar panels on my house, but I don’t quite see it as mandatory for eternal salvation. With little exaggeration, McLaren’s “migration” could be called The Great Spiritual Apostasy.

John Seel’s book, The New Copernicans has a creative strategy to save the evangelical church: the Millennials’ love of the culture’s intuitive, “right brain” thinking, and its affection for pagan religious mysticism will deliver us from dead, “left-brain” theology. But we must not forget that Millennials have lived in the newly-minted version of pagan thinking that invaded the West in the Sixties. Do they now hold the key to spiritual revival? Should they be given authority to redefine genuine Christianity, as Seel believes? Not if the pagan, mystical culture serves as their norm for understanding biblical wisdom.

Young evangelicals eager for a truce in the culture wars have a new hero: Jordan Peterson, a charming, brilliant and entertaining Canadian professor with a myriad of fascinating things to say. I have listened to a good many of his lectures myself and stand in admiration of his ability to lecture for hours without notes, keeping his audiences in rapt attention. But I wish to issue a warning. Peterson’s fresh view of “faith” involves admiration of (at least) one dangerous thinker—Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist (d. 1961).

True, everyone is made in God’s image and we can learn things from unbelievers! Nevertheless, a great ideological conflict exists between biblical truth and the anti-Christian thinking of our culture. A naïve embrace of the spiritual usefulness of Carl Jung, [1] may give you a reputation of open-mindedness and sophistication. But you may also be in danger of unwitting and deep theological compromise.

Jordan Peterson seems to be a genuine seeker after truth, with an insatiable appetite to put the world together in a coherent worldview. Much of what he says is very “Christian friendly,” but his coherence breaks down when he finds inspiration in Carl Jung, one of the most powerful creators of today’s post-Christian, neo-pagan culture. Jung has been described as “the father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement.”[2] Jung himself stated: “The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology.”[3]Gnosticism, as you may know, was the great apostasy opposed by the early Church Fathers. According to Jung, you could not call yourself a Jungian without being a Gnostic. According to the Fathers, you could not be a Gnostic and a call yourself a Christian.

Peterson attracts young Christians because he boldly and publicly states (against the politically-correct orthodoxy of the academic Left) that there is objective truth, that sex is not for hooking up, that “marriage vows are sacred,” and that children are a blessing. He holds that good and evil are real, and that the fabric of your life is woven with choices for one or the other,” as one perceptive blogger notes.

Peterson is not a theologian and appreciates the Bible for its “mythological truths” in the same way he appreciates “mythological truths” from other religions and traditions. In evaluating his understanding of mythology, he lacks the biblical criterion of the fundamental Creator/creature distinction, what we call at truthXchange Oneism or Twoism. Peterson admires the brilliant Jung because he broke with the rationalist Freud and normalized the “spiritual” for therapy in the twentieth century. Churches that immediately embraced Jung have lost whatever Christian faith they may have had. The ex-Jungian, Jeffrey Satinover, dryly comments that “in the United States, the Episcopal Church has more or less become a branch of Jungian psychology, theologically and liturgically.” View article →

Source: Jordan Peterson, Jung, and Hope for the Faint-Hearted

Wretched Radio 03/29/2018

WR2018-0329

•Good Christian movies in the theaters
•The strange travels of the Biggest Question DVD
•Are there apostles today?
•How to deal with scandals
•Bill Hybels, Sovereign Grace, and Frank Page. How do we respond?
•Don’t miss the main point this EasterDownload Now (right click and save)

The post 03/29/2018 appeared first on Wretched.