Breaking: LifeWay to Close All of Its Stores This Year — Reformation Charlotte

LifeWay Christian Stores is the retail chain of the Southern Baptist Convention under the direction of Thom Rainer who has been under fire for many years for peddling heresy to Christians for cash. Previously, LifeWay announced that they would be closing “a number of stores” in a letter sent out to employees in January due to “accelerated rate of erosion.” Today, LifeWay announced that they would be closing all stores.

Christianity Today reports,

“The decision to close our local stores is a difficult one,” said acting president and CEO Brad Waggoner, who is succeeding longtime LifeWay president Thom Rainer.

“LifeWay has developed close connections with the communities where our stores are located, and we have been honored to serve those communities. We will continue serving local congregations as they meet the spiritual needs of their neighbors.”

LifeWay produces a number of curriculum and training products for Southern Baptist churches including The Gospel Project, a curriculum for Sunday School classes. However, LifeWay also sold books by nefarious authors and outright heretics. Some of the highly problematic materials the chain carried in stores over the years were T.D. Jakes, a non-Trinitarian heretic, Sara Young’s Jesus Calling, and various “heaven tourism” books — one of which the story was recanted.

In the book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, Alex Malarkey, the “star” of the story wound up recanting completely and asking LifeWay to remove the book from their inventory. At the time, there was much evidence including email exchanges to suggest that Thom Rainer, the then president of LifeWay, knew the book was false and had ignored requests to remove it. It wasn’t until the story made national news that LifeWay decided to pull the book.

LifeWay has continued to battle critics over the years who have vehemently opposed the rank heresy the store has peddled.

It comes as no surprise, however, that LifeWay is unable to maintain a stable business model in its niche. The vast majority of Christian retail stores have shuttered their brick and mortar locations over the years. Inventory for sound, biblical Christian books is low in comparison to its counterfeit competition and to maintain a competitive position in the market, a store has no choice but to compromise.

Hopefully, now that LifeWay is out of the brick and mortar market, it can begin to focus its efforts on producing sound biblical materials instead of selling spiritual poison to Southern Baptists and other Christians.

Breaking: LifeWay to Close All of Its Stores This Year — Reformation Charlotte

Are Your Loved Ones Suffering in Hell? — Reformation Charlotte

So many of us have family and friends who are suffering in some way. Perhaps a chronic illness such as cancer, or some other ailment has taken over the lives of people who were once vibrant, happy and well. Some may very well be suffering when we don’t know about it–struggling with internal depression or substance abuse. Whatever be the case, whether we live to a ripe old age relatively healthy, or pass away young due to unexpected circumstances, there is generally some level of suffering before death. And we all want to believe that when our loved ones pass away, their suffering has ceased. We want to believe they are in a better place now. This desire to believe this, however, has unfortunately set the stage for many false beliefs to become mainstream in our lives and is rather poisonous to our souls.

One of the toughest pills to swallow for a “religious,” or “spiritual” person is the notion that a loved one may be in Hell. Even the strongest of believers have a hard time with this. It’s not always necessarily because one doesn’t believe the Scriptures, but as human beings, we all have moments of weakness. Even the great Apostle Peter had extreme moments of doubt and unbelief. During tough times, it’s natural for us to fall back on our own human reasoning and desires, rather than trust fully in God. We don’t want to believe that a loving God might send our son, or our brother, or our mother to Hell, because they were such a “good” person. I know people who have even taken to such extremes as contacting a psychic medium to try to confirm that their loved one is okay, and more often than not they are deceived into believing they have made contact, further validating their conclusions.

Much of what sets the foundations for this thinking is our own hearts. We choose to invalidate the Word of God by elevating our own worldly desires and our will above the authority of Scripture. Scripture, however, tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) The word translated here as “wicked” primarily means “sick” and “incurable.” Our hearts, our desires have an incurably sick concept of what is right, good, and just. While the Scriptures teach us that God alone is good (Mark 10:18, Romans 3:10), natural man has no perception of his own wickedness and is unable to see himself as fallen. Our hearts are so sick we can’t even know it ourselves. While sin is any transgression against the law or nature of God, in our modern culture sin has been redefined as anything that causes perceived or unwanted pain in one’s life. In other words, if it’s not hurting anyone else, there’s nothing wrong with it.

If a loved one commits suicide we may question, “why would God punish him for one mistake? After all, he was such a good person.” But is this true? The Bible says that we are all sinful, and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are lawbreakers–that is we break God’s laws, and just like everyone else, the suicide victim is unrighteous (Romans 3:10). Anything that he has done that may be perceived as being good is still tainted by our sinful nature, and unacceptable in the eyes of God (Isaiah 64:6).

Jesus says in John 8:34 that anyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. A slave must be set free in order to have freedom, but without being set free from our sin, our wages are death (Romans 6:23). We are dead in our sins (Col 2:13, Eph 2:5). The Bible says we are all murderers, idolaters, immoral and faithless, and that our end is eternal fire (Revelations 21:8). Likewise, this is what our loved ones deserve as a transgressor of the law of our creator. They deserve to go to Hell, just like you and I deserve to go to Hell. We must understand that whatever standard of evaluation is used to determine the goodness of the passed loved one is infinitely short of our perfect, holy and righteous God’s standard. God’s standard is absolute perfection, and sadly, our loved ones, whether they are suicide victims, brothers, friends who were struggling with depression and substance abuse, do not meet that standard.

But all is not lost, there is good news. There was one who does meet that standard. There was one who walked the earth 2000 years ago, who committed no sin, yet took the punishment for our sin (2 Cor 5:21). He bore God’s wrath by fulfilling God’s infinite and perfect standard, yet still taking the punishment our transgressions. He has totally satisfied God. His name is Jesus. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We are able to partake in Jesus’ sacrifice through faith in him. But don’t breathe that sigh of relief just yet, because the Bible says that there are very few who enter into this life, and most reject this sacrifice while clinging to themselves (Matthew 7:13-14). Most people will choose the wide gate that leads to destruction. Jesus says unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). You must die to yourself, and be reborn in Christ, you must be given a new spirit (Gal 2:20).

And this new spirit we receive through this new birth will show evidence of our changednature (James 2:14, Eph 2:10, etc). As a believer, who is born again, there are no exceptions that we will begin to show evidence of our salvation through obedience to God, and to his Scriptures. Our desires change, we no longer have human worldly desires, but we begin to desire the things of God. This isn’t to say that it’s these good things we do that save us, it’s not. We are saved by grace, through faith (Eph 2:8-9). It’s a free gift. But, this free gift produces, with no exceptions, a change of heart, a repentance of sin toward God. And the fact is, if you don’t desire the things of God, you are not a Christian, you are not born again, and you will not see the Kingdom of God.

So, while it’s possible that our loved ones, who rebel against God, could have come to a saving faith shortly before passing away, it’s unlikely. So before we assume that our beloved grandmother, who was always there for us, or that loving dad who would do anything for his family, is now at peace in the glory of God, we must understand that as hard as it is to accept in God’s glory, and righteousness, eternity in Hell is the only option for those who reject Him. God is love, but God is also just.

Hell is an expression of God’s love and mercy. Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly. We must understand that Hell is glorifying to God, because of God’s mercy to those who hate him. God gives us a free will, and we can choose to freely love him, and fellowship with him through his Son Jesus Christ or we can freely choose to reject him. God is not going to force you to love him, or fellowship with him for eternity if you have chosen to reject him. This is why Hell is merciful. While Hell is a place of eternal torment, totally cut off from all of God’s love, fellowship and blessing, it would be even worse on someone who hated God to be forced to partake in his Kingdom for eternity against his will. God will turn you over to your sin if you so desire. Hell also gives the believer a glimpse of the darkness and despair that he deserves, providing a contrast to the glory of God. Jonathan Edwards made this case, saying,

When the saints in glory, therefore, shall see the doleful state of the damned, how will this heighten their sense of the blessedness of their own state, so exceedingly different from it…They shall see the dreadful miseries of the damned, and consider that they deserved the same misery, and that it was sovereign grace, and nothing else, which made them so much to differ from the damned.

If you’ve softened your view on Hell simply because you can’t stand to bear the notion that your loved one may be there, please, let go of that belief. Understand that God is right, and just, and that they got not only what they deserved, but what they wanted. It would be unjust, and against his nature, for God to make exceptions. If your loved one was not born again, reconciled to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then your loved one is spending eternity in Hell.

For a presentation of the Gospel, and how to be saved, please see this article.

Are Your Loved Ones Suffering in Hell? — Reformation Charlotte

March 20, 2019 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Parable

Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. (12:33)

Jesus initiates the warning with a short parable to illustrate an obvious maxim: a tree and its fruit correspond. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit (cf. 7:17, 20; Luke 6:43–44).

Poieō (to make) is used here in a figurative sense. As in English, the term can refer physically to creating or constructing—as in making a clay pot or a chair. Also as in English, it can refer metaphorically to considering, evaluating, or judging—as in making up one’s mind about something.

Jesus’ general point was: “You must make up your minds about Me and My work. Either I am evil and do evil work, or else I am good and do good work. I cannot be evil and do good work or be good and do evil work. If I do good works, it is by God’s power; and if I do evil works, it is by Satan’s. God empowers nothing evil, and Satan empowers nothing good.”

His specific point was: “Sickness and death are the result of sin, as you yourselves recognize. Demon possession is obviously Satan’s doing and an evil thing. Therefore, healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons could not be other than good things—the deliverance of men from the destructive work of sin. Consequently, My casting out demons must be by God’s power, not Satan’s. Because you accuse Me of doing good by Satan’s power, you attribute to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit, and that is the supreme and unforgivable blasphemy.”

Jesus again trapped the self-righteous Pharisees in their perverted thinking, publicly exposing their hard-heartedness and absurd illogic. As He pointed out to them on other occasions, no matter what they thought of Him personally, His works indisputably testified to His goodness and to His divine power (John 5:36; 10:25, 37–38; 14:11; cf. Matt. 11:4–5).[1]


33. Either make the tree good. It might look like absurdity, that men should be allowed a choice of being either good or bad; but if we consider what sort of persons Christ is addressing, the difficulty will be speedily resolved. We know what opinion was generally entertained about the Pharisees; for their pretended sanctity had so blinded the minds of the common people, that no one ventured to pass sentence on their vices. Wishing to remove this mask, Christ desires them to be either good or bad; or, in other words, declares that nothing is more inconsistent with honesty than hypocrisy, and that it is in vain for men to boast of pretensions to righteousness who are not sincere and upright. So then he puts nothing at their disposal, and withdraws no restraint from them, but only reminds them that their empty professions will avail them nothing so long as they are double, because they must be either good or bad.

From the expression, make the tree, some foolishly infer, that it is in every man’s power to regulate his own life and conduct. It is a rhetorical mode of speaking, by which Christ points out the scribes, dispels—so to speak—the smoke of their hypocrisy, and recalls them to pure and genuine uprightness. He afterwards explains the way and manner in which they may show that they are good or bad trees; which is by yielding good or bad fruit: so that there is no ambiguity in the meaning. The life of the scribes was not rendered infamous among men by gross vices. Pride, ambition, and envy, displayed their venom in the slanders which they uttered; but as that venom was not perceived by ignorant people, Christ brings the concealed evil from its lurking-place, and drags it forth to light.

But perhaps it will be objected that, in consequence of the corruption of our nature, it is impossible to find any man who is altogether upright, and free from every vice. The answer is ready. Christ does not demand absolute and entire perfection, but only a sincere and unfeigned disposition, which the Pharisees whom he addresses were far from possessing. As Scripture applies the terms, bad and wicked, to those who are completely given up to Satan, so the sincere worshippers of God, though they are encompassed by the infirmity of their flesh and by many sins, and groan under the burden, are called good. This arises from the undeserved kindness of God, who bestows so honourable a designation on those who aim at goodness.[2]


33 It is possible to construe the expression “make a tree good … bad” to mean “suppose a tree is good … bad.” But in that case, the word “and” fits badly, and the final “for” clause relates poorly to what precedes. Jesus is rather telling his hearers to make the tree good or bad, knowing that its fruit will be correspondingly good or bad, because a tree is recognized by its fruit (cf. Sir 27:6). To speculate on the means—pruning, grafting, watering, fertilizing—is to go beyond the metaphor.[3]


33. Either consider the tree to be good and its fruit good, or consider the tree to be sickly and its fruit sickly, for by the fruit the tree is known. Fruit and tree belong together. They must not be separated. Therefore to say that while the deeds of Jesus, such as demon-expulsion, healing the sick, etc., may be beneficial, yet he himself is bad, being a tool of Beelzebul, makes no sense. Who Jesus is must be determined by what he does: a tree is judged by its fruit. Literally, the original says, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree sickly and its fruit sickly,” where “make” means “consider to be.” See also John 5:18; 8:53; 10:33. English usage is similar, for example, “He is not the genius some make him,” that is, “… some consider him to be.” For the rest see on 7:16–20.[4]


33 The parallelism ἢ ποιήσατε … ἢ ποιήσατε, “either make … or make,” is a way of stating two principles and could be translated “if you make … or if you make.” ποιήσατε may also be understood here as meaning “suppose” (see BAGD, 682 [e.β]), i.e., “suppose a tree is good: its fruit will also be good.” The point being made here is the same as in 7:17. That is, a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit. If you have a good tree, its fruit will be good. There is no need to make both the tree and the fruit good; the one will automatically produce the other. Thus probably the verb “to be,” i.e., “will be,” is to be supplied in the second part of each of the clauses (thus too niv and jb). The conclusion is obvious (and stated also in 7:16, 20): a tree is known by the kind of fruit it produces (cf. Sir 27:6). For σαπρόν, see Comment on 7:17. Whereas in 7:16–20 the metaphor applies to conduct generally, here it is to be understood in light of the following verses as referring specifically to good and bad speaking.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 316–317). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 2, pp. 78–79). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 338). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, p. 530). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Hagner, D. A. (1998). Matthew 1–13 (Vol. 33A, pp. 349–350). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

March 20 Our Greatest Victories

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55:1–9

Key Verses: Isaiah 55:8–9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

How do you normally respond when the world seems to turn against you? The wrong way to respond, sadly, is what we most often experience. This is marked by bitterness, doubt, depression, and hopelessness. These feelings mount up, causing the pressure of adversity to increase. This pressure is usually released in one of several common ways: we look for someone to blame, develop a deep desire to escape, deny the problem, or fall into depression. These are certainly not the results God wants to see in our lives!

In contrast to these wrong responses, there are a few things we can do to make the best of hardships in our lives:

  • First, we must strive to view everything from God’s perspective. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), and He wants us to examine the issue from beyond our normal human point of view.
  • Second, we must pray, “Father, what is Your goal for my life in this adversity?” God can turn any time into a teaching moment.
  • Third, we must surrender to the will of God and then rest in His faithfulness to see us through the ordeal.

Sometimes, our lives require a major disruption in order to realign our thoughts with the Lord’s. Though sometimes painful, these times can become our most life-altering moments and lead to our greatest victories, depending on how we respond.

Lord, in difficult times, help me to turn from bitterness, blame, and depression and seek to discover and surrender to Your perspective.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 83). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Unconditional Election: A Catalyst for Worship, Humility, and Evangelism | The Master’s Seminary

Although election is a challenging doctrine for many, it is a glorious catalyst for worship, humility, and unwavering evangelism. If you want to grow in godliness and strengthen your effectiveness for the Great Commission, the doctrine of unconditional election is worth your meditation.

Whether you are reading or preaching through the Bible, the outcome is inevitable.

Eventually you will encounter the unshakeable truth of unconditional election. This is not an obscure doctrine; it is not tucked away in the ambiguous passages of the minor prophets; it is not a confusing compilation of questionable inferences.

As Charles Spurgeon aptly wrote, “[The doctrine of election] is written in the Word of God as with an iron pen, and there is no getting rid of it.”

Election is everywhere in the Bible.

Unconditional Election, Defined

What is the doctrine of unconditional election? It is the Biblical teaching that in eternity past, God appointed a number from every tribe, tongue, and people to be saved by Jesus Christ. Before time, the Father hand-selected specific souls and entrusted them to His Son. Jesus then willingly went to the cross to purchase the elect with His own blood.

The Gospels make it abundantly clear that Jesus had the elect engraved upon His mind during His earthly ministry. In the Gospel of John, Christ regularly speaks of the souls given to Him in the dawns of time by the Father (cf. John 6:37; 10:29; 17:2, 6, 9). When questioned about coming times, Jesus’ mind went to the purity and preservation of His elect (Matthew 24:22, 24, 31; Mark 13:20, 27).

The doctrine of election should lead to an overpowering realization that life is not your own

The doctrine also fills the preaching and letters of the apostles, as seen in Acts, when Paul preached to the Gentiles and “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). The author diligently explains that the Gentiles did not believe and then were appointed to eternal life. Rather, they had already been appointed to eternal life, and then they believed.

Paul also taught this beautiful doctrine in his letter to the Ephesians, explaining that God “chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (1:4). Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, “God chose you from the beginning for salvation and faith in the truth.” And, finally, in the book of Revelation, John writes that before the foundation of the world, the names of all those who would ever be saved were written in “the Lamb’s book of life” (13:8).

While many in the church can articulate the tenets of this doctrine, few understand its far-reaching implications. Sadly, many believe if election was in fact true, it would empty prayer, preaching, and evangelism of purpose.

For this reason, I have compiled nine implications of unconditional election that prove this to be one of the most profoundly practical doctrines of the Bible.

9 Implications of Unconditional Election

1. A Reminder of Ownership

The doctrine of election should lead to an overpowering realization that life is not your own. You exist for the glory of Another—for the majesty of Jesus Christ and His coming kingdom. Election is the most blatant reminder of this.

2. Evidence of God’s Love

The doctrine of election is one of the greatest evidences of God’s love. God did not forfeit salvation to random selection. Salvation is eternally intentional. Election means that He chose you. Not someone like you, but you. He called you by name and gave you to His Son Jesus Christ, who would die to purchase you with His blood. Your salvation has always been deeply personal to God.

3. The Richest Security

The doctrine of election is the richest security that the elect will not only be saved, but will stay saved. The phrase “once saved, always saved” is true, but it halts short of completion. It is not too strong, but too imprecise. It neglects the beautiful in between – the reality that between election and glorification, God secures all the means for the believer to persevere in the faith.

4. The Deepest Root of Humility

The doctrine of election is the deepest root of humility. The believer must humbly confess that he made not the least contribution to his salvation. Salvation then pivots from being man-centered to God-centered.

5. Enjoyment of God Himself

The doctrine of election reminds us that salvation is not a reward for faith in Christ. Salvation is not a commodity to be enjoyed independently of God. Rather, salvation is the everlasting enjoyment of God Himself. Salvation is the Triune God allowing believers to share in the mutual affection that each Person of the Trinity has for the other.

6. A Cataylst for Worship

The doctrine of election is one of the greatest catalysts for heart-felt worship because, had God not initiated redemption, you would reject Him still.

7. A Refuge for Hope

The doctrine of election is one of the safest refuges of hope for despairing sinners who feel that they have fallen too far from grace. God’s eternal choice is not determined by one’s sinfulness or lack thereof. It is not based on man’s actions, thoughts, feelings, or choices.

God alone decides the elect. No man has the right to declare himself beyond God’s election. None of an unbeliever’s filth or stains prove the absence of his election. Rather, the unbeliever must drink deeply from the bidding of Jesus: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

8. A Signature of Guarantee

The doctrine of election has profound implications for global missions. The missionary can have confidence that even in the darkest corners of the earth, God is calling His elect to Himself to build His church. God’s plan will be accomplished, the nations will be reached, the darkness will be penetrated, and the church will be built – the doctrine of election is God’s signature of guarantee.

9. Assurance of Gospel Effectiveness

Rather than diminish the need to pray, preach, and plead with sinners to repent, election assures the effectiveness of the proclamation of the gospel. Mysterious and contradictory as it may seem, election removes not an ounce of the believer’s responsibility to plead with sinners to repent. Instead, it provides the confidence that Gospel-proclamation will not return void. In other words, election doesn’t make evangelism meaningless, rather, election guarantees that our evangelism cannot fail.

Unconditional Election: Worth Your Meditation

Although election is a challenging doctrine for many, it is a glorious catalyst for worship, humility, and unwavering evangelism. If you want to grow in godliness and strengthen your effectiveness for the Great Commission, the doctrine of unconditional election is well worth your meditation.

All too often we have the habit of thinking that the “deep things” of the Bible are beyond our grasp and have no practical value for everyday life. The truth is, it’s just the opposite. The secret to a thriving soul is not to avoid thinking deeply about God, but to push deeper than ever into God and His ways. Because the more we see the sovereign majesty of God over our lives and the world, the more stable, secure, and satisfied our lives become. And when our lives become like that, they become lethal instruments in the hand of the King.

Jerod Gilcher is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary (M.Div. ’09) and the lead pastor at Christ Community Bible Church in Arlington, Texas.

Source: Unconditional Election: A Catalyst for Worship, Humility, and Evangelism

March 20 Chosen by God

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:3–12

Key Verse: 1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Can you remember the rejection you felt when you were not chosen for one of these?

• The basketball team

• The promotion at work

 

• The cheerleading squad

• The college of your choice

 

Now, think of the thrill when you

• made the basketball team.

• received the promotion.

 

• were selected for the cheerleading squad.

• were accepted by the college you desired to attend.

 

You experienced great joy and gladness in being chosen.

Did you know that God chose you for salvation before the foundation of the world? Did you know that He was working out the miracle of your new birth in His mind before there was yet one evidence of creation?

Such undeserved love should stagger you, humble you, and drive you to profound adoration for the goodness, mercy, and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God chose you. Think of the value that places on your life. It does not matter where you live, what you look like, what kind of car you drive, or your level of income.

Rejoice. You have been chosen by God and are forever His.

Dear heavenly Father, I often feel rejected by others. Thank You that You selected me for salvation before the foundation of the world. I am accepted. I am chosen. Thank You![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 83). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A Response to Some Concerns by Francis Chan — We Are Church

From what I hear from friends and critics (I stay away from social media, etc), there have been a lot of conclusions drawn from my decision to speak at The Send conference as well as other venues. Some people have questioned my willingness to take pictures with anyone who asks for a picture with me. So I thought it might be helpful to explain some of my theological beliefs which have come under scrutiny as of late, as well as some of my practices/decisions. I realize there are many questions, but let me at least clarify a few things.

What do you believe regarding the “Prosperity Gospel”?

My understanding of that term is that it refers to teachings which imply that if you follow Jesus, He will make you healthy and wealthy. It is often used to attract people to make a decision to follow Jesus so that they can spend the rest of their lives in health and prosperity.

I believe this is a dangerous teaching for several reasons. First and foremost (in my opinion) is that it contradicts the teachings and example of Christ and the apostles. Jesus taught His disciples “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24). It was not a call to come and prosper but rather the opposite- a call to come and suffer. The New Testament is full of passages explaining the suffering that comes with a decision to follow Christ. I once gave a sermon where I went through every book of the New Testament and showed how suffering was in every book but one. Jesus was clear that following Him meant forsaking things of this earth to find a treasure far greater (Luke 9:58, Matthew 19:21, Matthew 13:44-46). This was exemplified by the martyred apostles who spent their lives joyfully suffering. Paul speaks about this when he compares his lifestyle of suffering in comparison to false teachers living in luxury (1 Corinthians 4:8-13, 2 Corinthians 4, 11). It is dangerous because it is not the gospel.

Jesus is the greatest prize. He is the bread of life. In John 6, as people were coming to Him looking for another miraculous meal, He refused to give it to them. Instead, He asked them if they wanted Him alone. He refused to be their genie, granting every wish they might have. Jesus let great numbers of people walk away in that moment because they wanted Jesus only if He would provide for them materially (prosperity gospel). He was then left with the disciples who treasured Him regardless of if they were homeless and poor because of it. For the Christian, Jesus is the focus of our affections and aspirations. The prosperity gospel distorts this by putting the focus on what Jesus can do for you rather than the beauty and value of who He is. This results in many people coming to Jesus (or so they think), not because they have fallen in love with Him, hate their sin, and would die for Him, but because they believe He will give them the desires of their heart in health, wealth, and prosperity. This is not Christianity, and if this is the motivation of people “coming to Jesus”, they are not truly Christian.

Another reason this teaching is dangerous is that it gives false hope to listeners that can result in confusion and discouragement. Prosperity preachers often promise greater wealth if their listeners will give more to their ministries. This is never promised in Scriptures. We can never hold God to something that He has not promised. In many impoverished nations, this has resulted in listeners giving their resources without anyone becoming rich besides the preacher. This can lead them into questioning the faithfulness of God. People need to be warned against this kind of teaching so that their faith is not damaged.

The New Testament does not teach that everyone should expect riches on earth. Instead, it teaches that we shouldn’t really care about earthly possessions. We have been given something far greater, so we can be content with basic necessities (1 Timothy 6:8). Jesus taught his disciples to pray “give us this day our daily bread”. We are promised provision, but not riches on earth (Matthew 6:31-33). If we are given more, it just means that we’ve been entrusted to use those resources for His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 8:1-15, Luke 16:1-15). Beware of teachers who spend a lot of time talking about becoming wealthy (1 Timothy 6:10).

God is supremely valuable. In an age of exaggeration, there are no words left to describe His worth. Any teaching that places focus on earthly riches gives a diminished picture of His glory.
There is much more I could write, but I think you get the gist.

Why do you sometimes accept speaking engagements in places that tolerate theology that is different from yours?

I speak at events almost every week of the year. Often times, it’s more than one event a week. I don’t really enjoy it—I hate the travel, but try not to complain about it. Despite the toll it can take on myself and the family, it is always an honor to preach the Word. I believe it is my calling. Some question my choice to speak so often, but my best discernment and the discernment of the elders of our church is that it is still a part of my calling in this season.

I am asked to speak at approximately 500 events a year. I decline approximately 90% of the requests. It’s a difficult thing to do. Often times, I decline because other speakers will be at the event who believe almost exactly what I believe. My reasoning is that it may be a waste of Kingdom resources for all of us to be there, speaking largely to people who already agree with us. It seems more effective to speak where there is less Bible teaching. It has not been my practice to ask who will share the platform with me and to research the other speakers. While some may be dear friends, there are many that I know little about. This current experience has caused me to consider exercising more caution and to develop a team to help me research. That being said, I speak in many places where I am not in alignment theologically. I actually believe that is where I can be most effective, as long as they give me freedom to address anything I believe the Lord wants me to address.

I recognize, now more than ever, that sometimes my participation can give the impression that I align with every other speaker at the event. I’m not sure what to do about that other than to tell you that I don’t. Unless the elders of my church direct me differently, I will continue to be found preaching in venues with those I disagree. I will preach in just about any kind of setting if I’m given freedom to preach from any passage of scripture. The elders and I are trying to come up with more safeguards for future events to hopefully prevent misunderstandings. Pray for us.

I realize that many will not agree with my decision to speak at certain events. I hope you will at least consider the burden of trying to weigh potential outcomes good and bad. Over the past few years, I have seen many people come to truly follow Jesus, have a deeper love for the scriptures, and a deeper commitment to the great commission. There are millions of souls that sit under weak or unorthodox teachings. It thrills me to think about what the Spirit might do through His Word in those situations. My personal belief is that there are 2-3 million orthodox American Christians who consume all of the same books, blogs, and podcasts. Meanwhile, there are millions who will never hear strong biblical teaching unless teachers are willing to go. I might be fooling myself, but I feel like the Spirit enables me to lovingly confront difficult issues. And I have seen repentance result from it. 

Why have you not publicly denounced certain preachers?

I believe it is absolutely biblical to call out certain false teachers and beg people to run from their teachings. We see Paul do this in the scriptures. As I was growing in my faith, I was grateful for radio shows where false teachings were exposed. I have always wanted to be a person who did not shy away from controversy, boldly willing to call out false teachers. In my zeal, I often denounced teachers and denominations without having my facts in order. I was sometimes motivated by pride rather than love. I have had to repent before true brothers in the Lord that I one time slandered. As a dad, it’s a terrifying thought to know that I inappropriately slandered one of God’s sons or daughters.

I still strive to boldly call out false teachers, but I have found it hard to collect accurate data. I am willing to do it, but I want to do it with caution. I will be judged for every careless word spoken (Matthew 12:36). Whether it is due to carelessness or a desire for fame, many Christians have fallen into the worldly practice of creating fake news. Exaggerations are made because it makes things interesting, driving more traffic to their sites, leading to greater revenue and attention. Over the years, many things have been said about me that simply are not true. I can’t know the motives, but I am sure it is untrue. In the same way, friends of mine have been misrepresented and their reputations unfairly tarnished. I want to make sure that I am not guilty of the same thing.

We live in a time when it is hard to discover the truth about any one person because there are a slew of voices quick to state their opinions as fact. So I now have a team of people researching to try and differentiate between rumors and truth. As I gather that information, I will seek out the teachers and address the issues in a biblical manner (Matthew 18). I will pray for and seek their repentance in love. If there is not repentance, I believe it is right to warn against false teachers and separate from them.

Having said all of that, I refuse to slow down in my preaching to the lost, caring for the local church, sending missionaries to unreached people groups, collecting and distributing aid to the needy, in order to research false teachers. It is important. I admit that I have not done enough research and will do more without neglecting the other responsibilities I have before the Lord.

Why did it take so long for you to write a response?

Early in my ministry, I had a professor warn “don’t spend your time defending yourself. Let God defend you and those closest to you defend you. You can spend your whole life dispelling rumors.” I have followed that advice for the past 30 years. I hope this response doesn’t sound like a person who is trying to save his reputation just for the sake of saving his reputation. My hope was to bring clarity to those who might trust my life and preaching and assume that my being in a picture or on a stage with someone means that I align with them. In regards to pictures…I live a very strange life. Most people take pictures with their friends and family. I end up taking thousands of pictures with complete strangers who ask to take pictures with me. I have struggled over the years with whether it is wrong to sign books or take pictures with people. I would be perfectly happy to never take another picture or sign another book. It just feels rude and discouraging to say no. My intention was never to show allegiance with those who request selfies.

Another reason I took so long to write this response is because I read Paul’s defense of his ministry. He was able to do it out of love for people and the furtherance of the gospel. I needed a little extra time to make sure I wasn’t responding out of anger, pride, hurt, or cynicism- things that I have been guilty of. I think my heart is in a good place now, and I am writing because I believe I have a calling to proclaim the gospel and preach unpopular truths in a crooked generation. Though some are trying to deter people from my ministry altogether, I believe God has given me a calling to teach His Word. I plan on teaching faithfully until I die. I hope you take this in the spirit in which it was written.

One final thought- We should all be careful to guard against false teaching of any kind. In the process of refuting false teachers, however, we can unintentionally falsely accuse good teachers. That might be equally harmful to His Kingdom.  God desires unity in His body, so it is no small crime to bring division into the church.

“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.”  Titus 3:10

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”  

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Jesus deeply longed for unity amongst His children. This should not come at the expense of truth. There are times when the truth will divide. Let’s all humbly beg for wisdom from the Holy Spirit to know how to love our brothers without compromising truth. As we diligently confront false teaching, let’s show equal fervency in defending those who are truly our brothers and equal zeal in confronting those who unnecessarily divide the body.
— Read on wearechurch.com/blog/2019/3/16/a-response-to-some-concerns-by-francis-chan

March 20 A Matter of the Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 105:1–4

Key verse: James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

The Lord tells us in His Word that when we seek Him, we will find Him (1 Chron. 28:9; Jer. 29:13). But have you ever thought about what is actually involved in seeking God? It is not a matter of just attending church or following a certain religious tradition.

Seeking God is a matter of the heart. This one activity leads you to cross over being a “churchgoer” to becoming a follower of “the way of Christ.” You seek Him, not in a mysterious mythical sense, but through intimate devotion. In your seeking, you thirst after God much like the psalmist who wrote: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Ps. 42:1). A longing to your seeking ushers you into the presence of God where you experience the fullness of His love and undivided care for your soul.

Jesus was quick to ask those who followed Him, “Why do you seek Me?” Was it the miracles He performed, or was it the closeness of His presence that drew them? Why do you seek the Lord? Is He an emergency switch you push in times of crisis, or do you truly long to experience His presence on an intimate level?

God desires your love and devotion. By itself, memorizing amounts of Scripture will not draw you closer to Him. What grabs God’s heart is the humble, abiding love of someone who seeks Him above everything else.

Give me a heart to seek You above all else, Lord. I want to experience Your presence on an intimate level.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 83). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

United Nations: The Embodiment of the Spirit of Antichrist

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The typical person views the United Nations as a coming together of the world to bring aid to war-torn, poverty stricken countries.  The U.N. pretends to be a beacon of light upon a hill for this world, when it is actually a hellish vortex of evil,  being used by Satan to ready the world for his man –  Antichrist.

The judgements set forth by the U.N. since Israel became the final homeland for the Jewish people in 1948, have been blatantly antisemitic. They invariably turn a blind eye to rockets raining down upon Israel from Hamas and Hezbollah; but when Israel answers those attacks with retaliation – they are condemned by the U.N.

The Reign of Barack Hussein Obama

Only by God’s Grace did we make it through the eight years of destruction and terror from Obama. Groomed for his job by the powers that be, including George Soros, we…

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Meadows exposes Obama holdovers’ plot against Trump. Will heads finally begin to roll? | Conservative News Today

A State Department official’s nomination for an ambassadorship was withdrawn recently by President Trump in light of reports she communicated with those allegedly plotting against him.

Recently surfaced emails revealed that former State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Ann Kavalec had communicated with the former British spy Christopher Steele and she had passed on information to top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr before and after the 2016 presidential election, a senior White House official told investigative reporter Sara Carter.

(File Photo: screenshot)

Kavalec, a supporter of former President Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, was awaiting confirmation to be a US Ambassador to Albania but the nomination was withdrawn, Carter reported.

“She is a career foreign service officer who was nominated through the career process -the President withdrew her nomination,” the White House official told the reporter, adding that Kavalec “is not pending in the Senate and was never confirmed to the post.”

Carter noted that State Department officials could not discuss Kavalec and the State Department website still shows she is a nominee.

Rep. Mark Meadows had revealed in a bombshell Monday that U.S. ambassadors conspired with the FBI and the Justice Department in an effort to politically damage Trump.

“It’s additional information that is coming out that will show not only was there no collusion, but there was a coordinated effort to take this president down,” the North Carolina Republican said on “Hannity” Monday. “We talk about the ‘Deep State.’ There are players now, even ambassadors, that are sitting ambassadors that were involved in part of this with the FBI-DOJ.”

The coup was a lot bigger than it even appeared. It wasn’t just bureaucrat lawyers at the FBI thinking they got elected. This is a disgrace to everything America stood for since its inception.

Meadows: US ambassadors conspired with DOJ to take down Trump https://t.co/jdDiZCqO5L

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 19, 2019

Meadows reportedly told Carter on Tuesday that “it’s amazing Obama Administration holdovers with strong ties to Hillary Clinton have been undermining the Trump Administration and continue to work covertly to thwart his agenda.”

According to Carter:

Kavalec, as well as her colleague Jonathan Winer, a former assistant to former Secretary of State John Kerry, supplied information they had collected from Steele to Bruce Ohr, said sources familiar with the congressional investigations. Ohr is a senior Department of Justice official who was used as a backchannel for the FBI after Steele was removed from the bureau for shopping his dossier to the media in 2016. His wife, Nellie Ohr, was working in 2016 as a contractor for Fusion GPS, who was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to compile the anti-trump dossier.

Carter revealed she had obtained emails from November 2016 reportedly exchanged between Ohr and Kavalec. The Senate confirmation hearing for Kavalec was cancelled in January by the Senate Foreign Relation Committee pending a review of her involvement with Steele and Ohr, Carter reported.

Former DOJ Attorney J. Christian Adams told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade that many of the ambassadors Meadows alluded to are either “Obama leftovers” or are part of the “foreign service,” which he described as the “swampiest part of the swamp.”

#DeepState @StateDept #ForeignService Ambassadors worked to attack @realDonaldTrump.https://t.co/n8KH09EkcS @FoxNews @foxandfriends @RepMarkMeadows @QuinHillyer

— J. Christian Adams (@ElectionLawCtr) March 20, 2019

“It’s career people who almost think they’re some sort of hereditary elite whose role in the world is to preserve the world order, not to serve the United States,” Adams said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. “And these people despise President Trump.

“All of these people used their petty power they have to undermine the presidency,” Adams said on the “Deep State” operatives who went to work against Trump as he took office. “And that’s been the story of the last two years.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity sounded the alarm earlier this week on the coordinated effort to remove Trump from office, promising that indictments are coming “very soon.”

‘Buckle up’: Hannity panel talks bombshell revelations to come with end of Mueller probe & Steele testimony https://t.co/oHV3pDHY9H

— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 19, 2019

“What we now have is the beginning of a cascade of information of materials that will be corroborating everything we have been telling you over the last two years,” he said Monday on “Hannity,” telling viewers to “expect more damning revelations” in the abuse of power by high-ranking federal officials to help win the election for Hillary Clinton and to take down Trump.

Source: Meadows exposes Obama holdovers’ plot against Trump. Will heads finally begin to roll?

Alexander’s Column · Meet Beto-Bernie 2020 – Mar. 20, 2019

Beto-Bernie — The 2020 Version of Obama-Biden

A Beto-Bernie ticket would create a formidable socialist tag team to oppose Trump.

Mark Alexander

“If a nation expects to be ignorant — and free — in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

At this point, 10 months from the Iowa caucuses, when a mainstream-media story mentions the 2020 presidential campaign, I ignore it. The now-perpetual presidential election campaign cycle, featuring somewhere between 15 and 50 Democrat Party contenders, may be good fodder for media advertising sales, but most of it is just meaningless talkinghead blather.

The current Demo presidential primary strategy is to field a lot of candidates with the objective of rallying each candidate’s constituency into a frenzy, and then folding all those constituencies into one massive voter “amalgamation of dunces,” as I fondly refer to it, amassed behind one nominee in order to defeat Donald Trump. It’s a good strategy, despite the fact that some conservative commentators brush off the number of Demo candidates as humorous political folly.

But take note (if for no other reason than the fact that The Patriot Post takes no advertising) — something noteworthy is happening within this Demo amalgamation. While most Democrat bets are on the mainstream “socialism-lite” 2020 candidates, the interest meters measuring leftist grassroots support for Bernie Sanders and Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke are in the red zone.

A month ago, when Sanders officially announced his presidential campaign, he collected $5.9 million from 223,000 donors in the first 24 hours. Of course, he still has a network of donors from his 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, which was going well until she and her DNC hacks sandbagged Sanders and his Millennial supporters. But both his donation total and donor total are compelling barometers of his national support.

Enter the latest Demo presidential wannabe, Beto O’Rourke, who in a 9,000-word puff piece, fittingly published in Vanity Fair, declared, “I want to run. … I want to be in it. Man, I’m just born to be in it.”

O’Rourke, after three terms in the U.S. House, raised a record-breaking $80 million from his national network of donors to fund his 2018 Senate campaign — in which he was narrowly defeated by Ted Cruz in Texas, a conservative state. In the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign, O’Rourke used that network to raise $6.1 million, topping Sanders’s initial intake, though his haul came from just 128,000 donors.

As for other Demo candidate returns in their first 24 hours, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised just over $1.5  million from 38,000 donors, and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) raised just $300,000 from 8,000 donors (perhaps most from her Cherokee cousins). The early fundraising records of other Demos goes downhill from there.

So what do the first 24 hours tell us? Well, I would argue it’s indicative of enthusiasm, and in the case of both Sanders and O’Rourke, that enthusiasm is considerable.

According to ActBlue, the Democrat Party’s dominant donation-processing platform, a review of their past campaign fundraising indicates that Sanders and O’Rourke have strong small-donor support, which means broad support. This led The New York Times to declare that they are “poised to be a fund-raising phenom.” And indeed, they are.

Of course, as investment disclaimers note, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” And there is the question of whether Sanders and O’Rourke can continue to raise enough money to be competitive.

But I believe the big-money paradigm is changing for Democrats, who tend to do a much better job than Republicans of rallying grassroots voters.

A major reason for this shift is that Democrats are increasingly building entire constituencies on identity politics, though there are some fissures in those identities. And they’re now as adept at creating identity constituencies as they are at promising free stuff in return for your vote.

I would argue, given Trump’s very narrow margin of victory in 2016, that had Clinton not alienated Sanders’s voters, she most assuredly would have defeated Trump.

After Sanders announced, I warned that Republicans had better take him “seriously and literally,” and I would issue the same warning in regard to O’Rourke.

So what’s the connection between O’Rourke and Sanders?

Remember back in 2008, when a charismatic young candidate named Barack Obama came out of nowhere to win his party’s nomination and, after putting a much older, much more seasoned Democrat, Joe Biden, on his ticket, won the presidency?

Yes, Obama was a lot “smarter” than O’Rourke, although as Ronald Reagan once observed about leftists, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

A Beto-Bernie ticket would create a formidable socialist 2020 tag team to oppose Trump.

We would likely have never heard of O’Rourke if not for the financial backing of his wealthy wife. Like John Kerry, with whom O’Rourke is compared, Beto married into big bucks. However, Kerry is more a stoic tree Ent while O’Rourke is more a flailing tube-man ad prop.

Beto has lived a “white privilege” life. His family is well connected to the political Left — his father was state chairman of Jesse Jackson’s presidential bids and held elected positions as an El Paso County commissioner and judge. He graduated from exclusive Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and Columbia University, where he apparently majored in skateboarding and shredding covers on the electric guitar.

A quick background check of the 47-year-old candidate uncovers a few notable issues.

When he was 16, he was writing sordid stories about killing children. At 23, he was arrested for burglary, but O’Rourke dismissively says, “That happened while I was in college.”

Ah, he was “in college.” Recall that O’Rourke’s Democrat colleagues attempted to destroy the reputation of a conservative Supreme Court nominee by fabricating lies about things he did in high school.

Regarding his 1998 DWI arrest in El Paso, according to the police report, he hit another vehicle at a high rate of speed and attempted to flee the scene. He was sentenced to attend “DWI school.” He now insists, “I’ve been open about that since the very beginning. … I did not flee. The police report on this count is wrong.”

O’Rourke, the son of a then-El Paso County judge, also blew 0.136 and 0.134 on police breathalyzers but told police that he’d “had two beers and had been on cold medication.” We suppose the police report on those counts is also wrong.

And then there’s that troublesome conviction of his mother in 2010 for “structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements, a felony.” In effect, the O’Rourkes were attempting to conceal more than $1 million dollars in cash transactions through a family furniture store — $630,000 of it from one “particular customer” in one year. A U.S. district judge fined Mrs. O’Rourke $250,000 for what Mrs. O’Rourke called a “clerical error,” but curiously did not require that she provide the name of the person who gave her the $630,000.

Most worrisome, though, is O’Rourke’s unmitigated disregard for our Constitution and Rule of Law, and his contemptuous view of the viability of that essential document: “I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work?”

That question should cause every American grave concern.

All that being said, some esteemed political observers like Conrad Black, who just penned “Stick a Fork in O’Rourke,” believe his probability of a nomination is zero. But where there is smoke, there is fire. Given the Left’s populist voter initiatives to ensure Democrat dominance — allowing illegal aliens, violent felons, and 16-year olds to vote, and then discarding the Electoral College — Caveat Emptor!

The Leftmedia propagandists are in love with Beto and Bernie, and they’ll do everything within their considerable sphere of influence to galvanize his constituents into one massive “amalgamation of dunces” who hate Trump enough to show up at the polls.

If they’re successful, the 2020 version of the Obama-Biden ticket could be the Beto-Bernie ticket.

Source

Costi Hinn is Giving Royalties From Upcoming ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Book to Advance Theological Education and Help Those ‘Exploited’ by ‘Deceptive’ Preachers

OPINION (FaithWire) – Costi Hinn, the nephew of world-renowned televangelist and ‘prosperity gospel’ preacher Benny Hinn, is releasing a book this summer denouncing and critiquing the message he once believed in.

Benny Hinn’s Nephew Rips Prosperity Gospel and Explains Why He Left Lavish Lifestyle Behind

God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies will be released by Zondervan in July, and promises to preach a message of hope in real truth, not the doctrine preached by prosperity pastors.

Hinn, who was once a next-generation prosperity preacher, announced his upcoming book in a blog post, in which he explained that he would be giving away all proceeds.

“I am eager to see this book used as a tool for God’s glory — not for sordid gain,” Hinn said. “Here is a sobering thought: In a rat-race effort to sell books, it’s easy to become the very dragon that we’re attempting to slay.”

“A prosperity gospel book should give more than it takes,” Hinn wrote, stating that he plans to “give away thousands of dollars in books and resources to those who pre-order in the coming months as well as pastors around the world.”

Hinn, the pastor of Mission Bible Church in California, said that the book “seeks to charge the prosperity gospel with the grit of a bull while displaying the grace becoming of servants of Christ.”

In an interview with Faithwire, Hinn explained that breaking free from the prosperity gospel transformed his life, and he wants everyone to know the real gospel that he found because of it.

Joyce Meyer Takes a Jab at the Prosperity Gospel, Denounces Her Past Beliefs In It

“After my life was transformed by the true Gospel I began to study and seek out discipleship from mature Christians the Lord had put in my life,” he explained. “Having seen their example, I knew what I was supposed to do as I grew stronger in my proper understanding of faith.”

“We are not transformed by a loving God and helped along by others just to sit around feeling good about our state in life!” he added.

Hinn explained that he left the prosperity gospel after he realized how detrimental it was to his faith, and how that fueled him to warn others of the dangers as well.

“It was never enough for me to be saved from the deceptive lies of the prosperity gospel. I wanted to proclaim the truth and do what I could to rescue others with the power of the true Gospel. I think many Christians think this way.”

Hinn pointed out to Faithwire that he has been asked to write God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel for years, but didn’t until now.

“Many people have been asking about life in the prosperity gospel, and what they can do to help others either avoid it or be rescued from it,” he said. “Of course, only God can change hearts, but we are all called to live on mission by sharing the truth.”

Bill Gates Names Top 5 Summer Books Including a Christian Memoir That Debunks the Prosperity Gospel

God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel will detail the lifestyle Hinn lived when following his uncle around the country, give “behind-the-scenes details about some of the shady behaviors, and plenty of teaching about the gospel, healing, money, and reaching people caught up in false gospels like the one I was propagating.”

He hopes that by reading his book, people will realize the dangers of the prosperity gospel and how twisted it makes scripture. The subtitle to the book is “how truth overwhelms a life built on lies,” which Hinn explained is exactly what the Word of God did to reveal to him what was intricately wrong about the prosperity gospel.

“Looking back, it was the truth of God’s word that exploded in my heart and I couldn’t resist it,” he explained. “My mind literally changed in a moment.”

“That’s the power of God through the Gospel,” Hinn added. “Jesus transformed my life and I went from darkness to light. When God wants to change someone, He comes in like a tidal wave. Nothing can stop Him. I experienced that.”

In a blog post where Hinn announced his new book, he explained that in light of the book’s topic, he and his wife would be giving away all royalties from the book to theological education and providing resources to pastors and people who have been exploited by the prosperity gospel.

American Evangelicals See Widespread Acceptance of ‘Prosperity Gospel’

When Faithwire asked him what lead him to that decision, he pointed out that he “learned a good lesson about this decision in the publishing world already.”

“I can’t technically say 100% of royalties because there are taxes and fees associated with royalties that I am not in control of,” he explained.

But he pointed out: “we are putting royalties towards theological education and providing resources to pastors and people who have been exploited by the prosperity gospel.”

“Technically, and legally, I can’t say ‘all,’” he said regarding donating his book royalties.

“Either way, our goal is the same,” he emphasized.

Hinn explained that one afternoon, he and his wife were talking about the book when they both reached the same conclusion about the royalties.

“A prosperity gospel book should be used as a tool for the kingdom of God. This book isn’t about getting, it’s about giving. We want to make sure that we are practicing what we’re preaching and one of the best ways we can do that is by putting money towards the root of the disease the book addresses.”

Last year, Hinn released: Defining Deception: Freeing the Church from the Mystical-Miracle Movement, a book also about the prosperity gospel. Hinn encourages readers to read both, in whatever order they please.

He pointed out that it might be better to read God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel first, and then Defining Deception, because “it dives deeper into the history of some of today’s most dangerous movements and addresses teachings that are hurting many younger people in the church.”

Be on the lookout for the release of God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel, which will be released in July.

You can pre-order the book here.

Source

Tectonic plates are moving underneath Fox News | American Thinker Blog

Under capitalism, ownership brings control, and Fox News has a new corporate parent that began trading yesterday on NASDAQ.  There are reasons for conservatives to be deeply concerned.

Sarah Ellison and Paul Farhi write at the Washington Post:

Fox’s parent company is undergoing a generational change — one that produced another, perhaps more subtle sign of independence from the president.

On Tuesday, Fox Corp. began public trading as the new parent of Fox News, Fox Entertainment and Fox Sports; the company is the result of 21st Century Fox’s sale of its film and television assets to Disney Corp.  The new company is headed by Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, who co-founded Fox News with Roger Ailes and remains a controlling shareholder in Fox.

Among Fox Corp.’s first acts in business: appointing former House speaker Paul D. Ryan to its board of directors.  Ryan is, of course, an establishment conservative disliked by both Democrats and those who most strongly supported Trump.  Although he advanced some of Trump’s agenda, particularly tax reform, as speaker, Ryan declined to defend Trump or campaign with him in the latter stages of the 2016 campaign.

Ryan is also increasingly blamed for not passing funding for border wall construction while Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

The acquisition of the film and television entertainment assets to Disney closed at midnight last night, so the restructuring of Murdoch’s assets now is complete, with Fox Corporation’s market cap more directly linked to the perceived television fortune of Fox News, along with Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting.

The trading debut of Fox Corporation was not exactly auspicious, though not a disaster, either.  The early dip would seem to indicate a rush of sales orders, but this failed to set off a sustained decline.


Source: Yahoo Finance.

Coincidentally or not, this change in ownership coincides with the reported two-week suspension of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Saturday-night ratings champion show, following her questioning of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s adherence to sharia, because she donned a hijab post-9/11.

President Trump’s tweeted support for her and expressed worries about his supporters at Fox being silenced.

Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well. Fox …..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019

The rise of Fox News as the sole mass media counterpoint to the progressive media establishment changed American politics, and it has been a long held goal of the Left, particularly Soros-funded attack dog Media Matters, to either destroy it or politically neuter it, thereby monopolizing all media with a large national reach.  So the question naturally arises: does this new ownership under the control of a new generation of Murdochs signal a chance for the Left to accomplish this critical goal?

A gossipy post full of anonymous sources on Vanity Fair’s politics blog, written by a commentator at rival MSNBC, certainly raises that hope for wannabe cable news ideological monopolists.  Gabriel Sherman writes:

Though Lachlan hired West Wing stalwart Hope Hicks, staffers believe he is likely to nudge the network away from its close marriage to Trump.  Sources close to Lachlan pointed out that Lachlan is a libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard, who in private has expressed annoyance at Trump.  “He doesn’t like Trump,” one person who has spoken with Lachlan told me.  “There’s a lot of talk of the direction of the network changing under Lachlan,” the senior Fox staffer told me.

Sources pointed out the hiring of Donna Brazile and the appointment of Trump critic Paul Ryan to Fox Corp’s board as signs of Lachlan’s view on Trump.  “Donna is a shot in that direction.  Management knows they have an image problem.”  Indeed, at an advertiser sales event in recent days, brands complained to Fox News executives about the network’s association with Trump, a source briefed on the meeting told me.  (A spokesman for Lachlan declined to comment.)

Two sources close to Lachlan told me that he has likely waited to implement any editorial changes at Fox News until the Disney deal closes on March 20, for fear of antagonizing Trump into opposing it.

Well, today’s the day.  It’s a brand-new era at Fox News — and that has me just a little worried.  From a strictly business perspective, Fox has a strategic niche all to itself: half of the country that is conservative, while its competitors on broadcast and cable news scramble to divide the other half.  But if advertisers pressure Fox News and hit its bottom line with boycotts, management may decide that its fiduciary duty to shareholders requires a leftward shift.

At an earlier stage of his career, Thomas Lifson taught at Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA and was a Baker Scholar.

Source: Tectonic plates are moving underneath Fox News

China Tells Christianity To Be More Chinese

How to understand sinicization and where it falls between sinister oversight and needed contextualization for Chinese churches. The headlines out of China last week sounded ominous. In strident language not heard in a long time, the head of China’s Protestant church gave a speech supporting the government’s policy of reducing Western influence on religion and making it “more Chinese,” a process dubbed sinicization in English.

The headlines out of China last week sounded ominous. In strident language not heard in a long time, the head of China’s Protestant church gave a speech supporting the government’s policy of reducing Western influence on religion and making it “more Chinese,” a process dubbed sinicization in English.

Is the move a step toward tighter government control, an opportunity to further indigenize and contextualize the faith, or perhaps both? As with most things in China, the answer is complicated.

This sinicization campaign has been going on for a few years. While outsiders have observed it with growing alarm, many believers in China understand that though the government may have a political agenda, it might also provide opportunities for outreach.

The Chinese National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, convened at the beginning of the month in Beijing, and Premier Li Keqiang delivered his annual work report speech. According to the National Catholic Reporter, he reiterated the government’s commitment to “fully implement the [Communist] Party’s fundamental policy on religious affairs and uphold the sinicization of religion in China.”

The following week, Xu Xiaohong, chairman of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which oversees Protestant Christianity in China, spoke on his support for the policy and vowed to press on with its own five-year sinicization plan. Xu claimed that anti-China forces were using Christianity to subvert state power.

“[We] must recognize that Chinese churches are surnamed ‘China’, not ‘the West,’” he told delegates to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. “The actions by anti-China forces that attempt to affect our social stability or even subvert the regime of our country are doomed to fail.”

With the conclusion of the government meetings in Beijing, it’s a good time to take a closer look at this issue of sinicization and the surrounding context, or in this case, contexts: political, rhetorical, and historical.

Political Context: Sinicization Across Sectors

The current campaign to sinicize religion originated in a speech by Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the National Religious Work Conference in April 2016. According to The Diplomat, Xi stated that in order to “actively guide the adaptation of religions to socialist society, an important task is supporting China’s religions’ persistence in the direction of sinicization.”

This task is part of a broader Communist Party campaign to reassert control over all aspects of Chinese society. One area of particular concern for the party-state has been what it sees as the growing influence of Western culture and ideas. Since Xi came to power in 2012, similar crackdowns have been directed against other sectors, such as media and education.

While religious activities are seen as a normal part of civil society in the West, they are increasingly viewed in China as a threat to national stability, particularly if there is any foreign involvement. The push to sinicize religion is not confined to Protestant Christianity. All five government-sanctioned religious bodies—Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism—have been required to work out sinicization plans.

Last April, the China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the associations that oversee Protestant Christianity in China, released a document titled, “Outline of the Five-Year Working Plan for Promoting the Sinicization of Christianity in our Country (2018–2022).”

The stated aim of the document is to “deepen the establishment of theological thought in the new era, promote the harmonious and healthy development of the church, exert a positive role for Christianity and practice core values of socialism. Further, to continuously improve the width and depth of adaptation to the socialist society,” according to a helpful translation from UCA News. The release of this plan, it states, is “an important basis for advancing the work on the sinicization of Christianity in the next five years.”

Rhetorical Context: Actions Over Words

Political scientist Carsten Vala, in The Politics of Protestant Churches and the Party-State in China, writes about the importance of what he calls the public transcript—public displays of conformity to the official agenda. Once an official agenda has been announced (in this case, sinicization), all sectors within society must publicly display that they are “following the line,” and their public transcripts must conform. This is helpful for us to understand the rhetorical context for the documents and remarks coming from Chinese Protestants.

Those who have lived in China for a time already recognize this. Within days of the party-state laying out its vision, the language from the directive makes its way into public discourse and is eventually adopted by all segments of society. When former President Hu Jintao announced the goal of building a harmonious society, everyone rushed to issue plans on how they were going to achieve it; so much so that it didn’t take long for people to tire of hearing the word harmony.

Even the rhetoric around religion is not all that new. In 2001, President Jiang Zemin spoke about the need to adapt religion to a socialist society. “This requires that religious professionals engage in religious practices in accordance with and in service to the highest interests of the state and the overall interests of the nation,” he said, “that they interpret religious doctrines for social development.”

In China, there is often a gap between rhetoric and reality, something its citizens are also keenly aware of. As Westerners, we tend to take official pronouncements at face value, assuming that implementation will immediately follow. Those engaged in “China-watching” need to pay more attention to what actually happens more than what is said.

Still, the trends are worrying, and there’s evidence that some local officials are translating the rhetoric into reality. This accounts for recent reports of directives to remove crosses from churches, hang pictures of Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong in sanctuaries, and replace posters of the Ten Commandments with lists of socialist values. Some instances may be the result of a local official trying to make a name for himself, but these moves could also represent the central government’s efforts to “test” measures before implementing them more widely.

Historical Context: Church Under Party Control

The sinicization of religion is not merely a Communist goal; the desire to free religious practice from foreign influence has been a theme in Chinese society since its earliest encounters with the West. Throughout its history, every Christian or religious advance into China was supported, tolerated, or prohibited depending on how it aligned with imperial objectives. Religions that did not fit were proscribed and persecuted.

From the beginning, Chinese intellectuals worried about preserving indigenous religions (Taoism and Confucianism). The 1920s brought an anti-Christian movement that coincided with the peak of Protestant missions. There were also officially tolerated initiatives directed at foreign religions, such as the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. Following the Communist victory and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, foreign Christians were expelled and Chinese churches were brought under party control through the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee. The name of this committee itself reflects a sinicization attempt: Churches in the new China were to rid themselves of foreign influence and be self-funding, self-propagating, and self-governing. Registered churches are still today referred to as “Three-Self” churches.

Since then, grassroots efforts have emerged to develop and promote Chinese theology—an indigenization effort that most in the West would see as necessary. But, according to Mary Ma, a mainland Chinese scholar and author of the book Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China, “in the political realm, whenever the regime decides to tight up authoritarian control, it resorts to the need for sinicization, and in the political realm, anti-foreign sentiments fluctuate with popular suspicion against the invasion of western ideologies.”

In other words, conforming religion to party values (socialism) has never not been a goal. Enforcement and implementation wax and wane depending on the needs of the party-state. The needs are higher now, so it has been trotted back out.

In some ways, the talk about conforming to Chinese cultural values might be seen as a positive. We might even attach the labels of indigenization or contextualization, which are highly valued in Western missiology. But we also see the need for the issue to be debated and formed within the church, and there is evidence of that happening. What makes this different, and so off-putting, at least to Westerners who start with the assumption of the separation of church and state, is that it is being led by an atheistic party-state that starts with the assumption that it has the right to control every aspect of society and culture, including religion.

The Chinese Response

A variety of responses have emerged among registered and unregistered churches in China. In many ways, the sinicization of religion campaign has little impact on the unregistered house churches, since they are not under government supervision (from the government’s perspective, that’s the crux of the problem). In the wake of the harassment and persecution faced by high-profile house churches and leaders, some have chosen to speak out. A September 2018 letter to the government has now been signed by over 400 pastors from over 20 provinces across China. Other Christians disagree with this pushback and instead find creative ways to continue to worship and practice their faith despite increasing government pressure.

Pastors in registered churches are more directly affected, as they are required to spend inordinate amounts of time attending meetings and interfacing with local government and party officials. But there’s a disconnect between how the government views sinicization and how the pastors view it. The government aim is control and alignment with socialism, while pastors see it as a positive opportunity for the church.

“To them, it means putting a Chinese face on Christianity. It means much the same as contextualization, something missionaries have advocated for a long time,” said Wayne Ten Harmsel, a former Calvin College professor who spent 12 years in China and interviewed pastors for a book about registered churches. “It has to do with such basics as singing indigenous songs, using Chinese examples and stories as sermon illustrations, tailoring the church’s teaching and preaching to address the problems and culture of contemporary society.”

Our Response

Because of the government’s efforts at controlling religion, the church in China has faced decades of opposition and restrictions; yet it has grown and flourished in creative ways. Things have begun to change, though, and opposition and restrictions are increasingly ideological and focused on the realm of beliefs and values. At the same time, due to technological advances (big data, artificial intelligence, facial recognition), the power and opportunity of the party-state to control religious activities down to the individual level have vastly increased.

The coming years will be an important time to see how these stated policies will be implemented and to stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters in China as they write a new chapter of Chinese church history. We see the need for believers to pray:

  • That Chinese theologians and thought leaders would have wisdom in considering biblical responses.
  • For unity among churches and church leaders who may be called by God to take radically different approaches in their response to government pressures.
  • That Chinese Christians would know where they can be flexible and where there are bottom lines that cannot be crossed.
  • That God will continue to build his church in China, as some look to new models of outreach.

For those of us in the West who are alarmed about recent developments in China, a reminder from a Christian brother is in order: “Some people view this time to be a winter for Chinese Christians. In fact, it has been winter since Pentecost, but we are always looking forward to spring.”

Kerry Schottelkorb is the president of ChinaSource. Joann Pittman is senior vice president. The ministry’s ZGBriefs newsletter offers updates on the church in China.

Source: China Tells Christianity To Be More Chinese

Nolte: CNN’s Trump Hatred Results in Double Digit Rating Collapse | Breitbart News

Last place CNN’s already humiliating ratings nosedived by double digits last week.

Even more than usual, some ten days ago the far-left CNN launched a 24/7 jihad against President Trump, going so far as to question his mental health, his patriotism, blaming him for a mass murder in New Zealand, and serial lying about his response to Charlottesville. But this unhinged hate campaign obviously turned off a considerable number of Americans.

When compared to this same week last year, CNN lost -16 percent of its primetime viewers and -17 of total day viewers; young people ran away screaming: In the advertiser-coveted 25-54 age demo, CNN shed an incredible -31 percent of those viewers during primetime and -29 percent in total day.

CNN’s numbers look especially bad when compared to its direct competition during this same time period.

Fox News, which nearly triples CNN in primetime viewers and more than doubles CNN in total day viewers, held almost perfectly steady with a one percent increase in primetime viewers and one percent decrease in total day viewers.

In the 35-54 age demo, Fox dipped -13 and -12 percent in primetime and total day, respectively.

MSNBC, which doubles CNN in primetime viewers and nearly doubles CNN in total day viewers, held its losses to single digits: eight percent in primetime and six percent in total day. MSNBC’s demo losses mirrored those of CNN.

Here are the stark numbers:

Primetime Total Viewers/Demo Viewers

FNC: 2,387,000 / 401,000

MSNBC: 1,868,000 / 309,000

CNN: 939,000 / 253,000

Total Day Total Viewers/Demo Viewers

FNC: 1,374,000 / 243,000

MSNBC:  1,041,000 / 169,000

CNN: 640,000 / 170,000

To put things in more perspective, in all of cable TV during primetime, Fox News hit number one, MSNBC number three (ESPN was number two), and CNN bottomed out at eleven.

During primetime, as you can see above, CNN cannot even average a million voters in a country of 330 million during a never-ending news cycle that is always turned up to 11.

For all of MSNBC’s flaws, and there are many, at least Democrats are not played for fools by that far-left outlet. Unlike CNN, which insults its audience with its laughable pose as objective, MSNBC makes no secret of its left-wing biases.

And for all of Fox’s flaws, and there are many, the fair and balanced network draws a sharp line between its opinion and news programs.

CNN, however, is a total shit show of shrill neuroses, fake news, full-blown lies, violence, and unbridled hate. Watching CNN is like watching an ex-husband seethe about his ex-wife all day and all night. There’s no insight from CNN, nothing interesting is ever passed along, and it certainly isn’t informative. CNN has not broken a consequential story in over a year — at least not one that didn’t turn out to be fake news.

Also, CNN is horribly produced. Politics aside, when compared to MSNBC and Fox News, the overall production of CNN is just terrible. The last place outlet’s look and presentation is both dull and repetitive.

Another massive problem at CNN is its lack of stars. There is no one to build an audience around, no anchor anchoring its primetime. MSNBC has Rachel Maddow, who single-handedly saved the network. Fox News has Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson in the opinion column and the great Brett Baier’s Special Report, which remains the best straight news show in all of TV.

CNN has no one.

My guess is that CNN put Jake Tapper at 4 p.m. in the hopes he would draw people in that would remain throughout the night, which was a great idea in theory. The problem, though, is that this once widely-respected newsman has been snake bit by CNN chief Jeff Zucker, which turned Tapper himself into poison, most especially ratings poison. Tapper is now just another lying, deceitful CNN virtue signaler — a real shame that has come at a real loss.

Chris Cuomo’s move to CNN primetime, at the expense of one of Anderson Cooper’s hours, was always a terrible idea. Cuomo is not terribly bright, is way too enamored with violence, holds some troubling views about child sexuality, and just doesn’t wear well. After a couple of viewings, Fredo’s debate style is exposes him as a one-trick pony. There’s no depth there, just his memorized, left-wing talking points.

Cuomo’s done nothing to lift CNN’s primetime woes, which remain insurmountable at this point. The network is a national laughingstock and only a total housecleaning could begin to repair the damage.

Source: Nolte: CNN’s Trump Hatred Results in Double Digit Rating Collapse

Democratic Frontrunners: Pros And Cons — The Babylon Bee

It’s a crowded field of Democratic candidates out there, with nearly every living human being throwing their hat into the ring this year, and a few dead ones.

If you’re having trouble keeping track of the various pros and cons of just a few of the seven billion Democratic candidates for president, just reference our handy list:

Joe Biden
Pro: Came out strong against pineapple pizza
Con: Has only hazy memories of his tenure as vice president

Kamala Harris
Pro: Tough on violent crimes like truancy
Con: Also tough on unborn babies

Bernie Sanders
Pro: Kids will finally learn about communism
Con: Kids will finally learn about communism

Elizabeth Warren
Pro: Would be the first Native American president
Con: Would replace the White House with a seedy roadside casino

Thanos the Mad Titan
Pro: Relatively moderate position on population control
Con: Can get a little moody/dramatic

Kirsten Gillibrand
Pro: Can balance on a chair during a campaign stop
Con: Sided with Sega in the 16-bit era

Beto O’Rourke
Pro: Has a pretty decent pop shove-it
Con: Actually controlled by a tiny, robotic Barack Obama inside his hollowed-out husk of a skull

GLaDOS
Pros: Has more human-like emotions than most other candidates
Cons: Will run deadly tests on American citizens

John Hickenlooper
Pro: Fun name
Con: Has vowed genocide against the Eskimos

Amy Klobuchar
Pro: Makes great Netflix recommendations
Con: Is actually Vladimir Putin in a wig

Jim Smith
Pro: Sane moderate
Con: We just made him up. He’s not real

Cory Booker
Pro: Can inflate to three times his size when threatened
Con: Just trying to get the job offer of US President as leverage to get the Office Depot he works at to pay him more

via Democratic Frontrunners: Pros And Cons — The Babylon Bee

March 20, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

To Reveal

But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (13:16–17)

When men choose to believe God’s Word and trust in His grace, He gives them salvation and more and more truth by which to walk and to worship. Blessed are your eyes, Jesus said to His disciples, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

Christians can understand even the deep things of God’s Word, because they have them written in the New Testament and illumined by the indwelling Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9–10). When Jesus finished explaining the parables to His disciples and asked, “Have you understood all these things?” they could honestly answer, “Yes” (Matt. 13:51). It was not that they were smarter than the unbelieving Jews. The scribes and Pharisees were highly educated and had studied the Scriptures diligently since their youth. But their eyes were blinded to the truth of Jesus’ teaching because of their unbelief. The eyes of the disciples, on the other hand, were able to see and their ears were able to hear, because they did believe.

Part of the Lord’s ministry was to give understanding of His Word to those who trusted in Him. In his account of this occasion, Mark says Jesus “was explaining everything privately to His own disciples” (4:34). During perhaps His last appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, Jesus “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). The psalmist knew he could not comprehend God’s Word in his own intellect, and he prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law” (Ps. 119:18).

Not even the most faithful and enlightened saints of the Old Testament were given the insights that the apostles and every believer since have been given the privilege of having. For truly I say to you, Jesus continued, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person and time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look” (1 Pet. 1:10–12).

Even for believers there must be divine illumination, and that is promised to every Christian who searches God’s Word and relies on the Holy Spirit within him (see 1 Cor. 2:9–16; 1 John 2:20, 27). As Christians, we not only have God’s completed revelation in Scripture but the very author of that Scripture living within us—to explain, interpret, and apply its truths.[1]


Matthew 13:16. But blessed are your eyes. Luke appears to represent this statement as having been spoken at another time; but this is easily explained, for in that passage he throws together a variety of our Lord’s sayings, without attending to the order of dates. We shall, therefore, follow the text of Matthew, who explains more clearly the circumstances from which Christ took occasion to utter these words. Having formerly reminded them of the extraordinary favour which they had received, in being separated by our Lord from the common people, and familiarly admitted to the mysteries of his kingdom, he now magnifies that grace by another comparison, which is, that they excel ancient Prophets and holy Kings. This is a far loftier distinction than to be preferred to an unbelieving multitude. Christ does not mean any kind of hearing, or the mere beholding of the flesh, but pronounces their eyes to be blessed, because they perceive in him a glory which is worthy of the only-begotten Son of God, so as to acknowledge him as the Redeemer; because they perceive shining in him the lively image of God, by which they obtain salvation and perfect happiness; and because in them is fulfilled what had been spoken by the Prophets, that those who have been truly and perfectly taught by the Lord (Isa. 54:13) do not need to learn every man from his neighbour, (Jer. 31:34.)[2]


16–17 The disciples were blessed by God (see comments at 5:3; cf. Lk 10:23–24) and privileged above the crowd because they saw and heard (v. 16) what “many prophets and righteous men” (v. 17; see comments at 10:40–42) longed to see but did not. The reference is to OT prophets and others who were just before God—people who looked forward to the coming of the kingdom. Here one cannot help but include Simeon and Anna (Lk 2:25–38). Implicitly there is in Jesus’ saying a rich christological and eschatological claim: no mere prophet could say as much as he did.

Those who think Matthew idealizes the disciples (see comments at v. 10) observe that the parallel in Luke 10:23–24 contrasts Jesus’ generation with earlier generations but argue that Matthew contrasts the disciples (“your” is emphatic) with the hard people of that same generation (cf. Barth, “Matthew’s Understanding of the Law,” 107). In fact Matthew does something of both. Verse 16, in connection with the preceding verses, contrasts the disciples with the calloused crowd, but v. 17 contrasts them with prophets and righteous men of past generations. So the crowd in Jesus’ day stands in the line of the willfully blind in the OT (vv. 14–15), and Jesus’ disciples stand in the line of the prophets (as in 5:11–12). The fulfillment motif is operating, showing that the division taking place in Jesus’ time with the coming of the kingdom stands in succession to the divisions already spelled out in the Scriptures. The disciples are not idealized; they will later have to ask for an explanation (v. 36). But by contrast with the crowds, they really did follow Jesus and gradually grasped the critical turning point in redemption history Jesus was even then introducing.[3]


13:16–17. In contrast with calloused Israel (the emphatic placement of your heightens the contrast), the disciples’ eyes and ears were open, accepting God’s message and his messenger. They were therefore blessed (makarios, “happy”; cf. 5:3–12). The disciples’ eyes and ears were also blessed because of the privilege they enjoyed, which many prophets and righteous men of past ages longed for. Those past heroes remained faithful, even though they never saw the ultimate fulfillment of the promises they claimed. The disciples claimed these promises and were eyewitnesses to their fulfillment in Jesus. I tell you the truth adds emphasis to the greatness of the disciples’ privilege (13:17).[4]


With respect to Christ’s true disciples the very opposite holds: 16. But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. In close conjunction with 11a and 12a those who are receptive to Christ’s message are pronounced blessed, the word being used in the same sense as in the beatitudes; see above, pp. 264, 265. The word is not limited in meaning to “how they feel,” whether in high spirits or not. In the present connection it means that both in their seeing and in their hearing God’s favor is resting upon them. They see and they hear with the organs of faith, hence the great contrast between them and Christ’s critics. Not that the disciples are by nature any better than the others. Whatever they have they owe to sovereign grace.

So to them the parables are a great blessing. Being Christ’s followers these disciples attach top value to these stories. They meditate upon them. The very fact that they present to the mind vivid images, moving pictures, as it were, makes it easier to store them away in the memory. Also, since the disciples accompany the Master from place to place, they have the golden opportunity to ask him for an explanation of whatever it may be that they do not understand. They also made use of this opportunity. Thus, they asked him to explain to them the parable of The Sower (Luke 8:9) and the one of The Tares (Matt. 13:36). Neither did Jesus always wait until they asked: privately he explained all things to them (13:51, cf. Mark 4:34).

What a wealth of material was that which these men saw, heard, and believed! Says Jesus, 17. For I solemnly declare to you, many prophets and righteous persons longed to see what you are seeing, yet did not see it, and to hear what you are hearing, yet did not hear it. See also on 11:11b. For “I solemnly declare” see on 5:18. As to these Old Testament prophets—for example, Samuel, Isaiah—and (other) righteous persons—Noah, Abraham, etc.—they looked forward with longing to the coming Redeemer (Heb. 11:13, 39, 40; 1 Peter 1:10, 11). They yearned, searched, but got no farther than, “O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down!” (Isa. 64:1).

To be sure, even to the saints of the old dispensation glimpses of the coming glory were given at times, even while these men were still living on earth. Thus, for example, in the birth of Isaac, Abraham by faith saw a guarantee of the fulfilment of the Messianic promise (see N.T.C. on John 8:56), and what a great blessing this was! Similarly, with the eye of faith, a faith greatly strengthened by revelation, Isaiah in a vision saw Messiah’s glory and spoke of him (John 12:41). Such were indeed inestimable privileges. “Many” longingly looked forward. But none of them, while still on earth, saw the incarnate Christ. None witnessed his miracles. None heard his words. They all “died in faith, not having received the fulfilment of the promises” (Heb. 11:13; cf. 39). That “better thing” (cf. Heb. 11:40), the fulness of Messianic blessing, had been reserved for believers of the new day.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 353–354). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 2, p. 110). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 357–358). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 195). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 556–557). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

March 20, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

Google was fined $1.7 billion for blocking rival online search advertisers, the third large European Union antitrust penalty for the Alphabet business in two only years.

Vice President Mike Pence in Nebraska on Tuesday took stock of the devastation unleashed across the U.S. Midwest by floods that have killed four people, left one missing and caused more than a billion dollars in damage to crops, livestock and roads.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met with U.S. White House adviser Jared Kushner on Tuesday, the Mexican government said, discussing trade and migration.

At least two tankers have ferried Iranian fuel oil to Asia in recent months despite U.S. sanctions against such shipments. The shipments were loaded onto tankers with documents showing the fuel oil was Iraqi. But three Iraqi oil industry sources said the papers were forged.

The U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that Venezuelan security forces, backed by pro-government militias, have cracked down on peaceful dissent, with excessive use of force, killings and torture documented by her office. Bachelet, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, also voiced concern that the latest U.S. sanctions on financial transfers linked to the sale of Venezuelan oil “may contribute to aggravating the economic crisis”.

Next-day natural gas prices for Wednesday at the Waha hub in West Texas plunged to a record low due to an equipment failure in New Mexico that stranded gas in the Permian basin. Spot prices at the Waha hub collapsed to an average of just 12 cents per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for Wednesday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday is expected to hold interest rates steady, shave the number of hikes projected for the rest of the year, and release long-awaited details of a plan to end the monthly reduction of its massive balance sheet.

U.S. mortgage applications for buying or refinancing a home climbed to a two-month high last week, as home borrowing costs fell to their lowest in over a year, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed on Wednesday.

AP Top Stories

For the second year in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report. What’s more, the Nordic nation has pulled “significantly ahead” of the other top 10 countries in the report, which ranks the happiness levels of 156 countries using data from Gallup World Poll surveys. The U.S., by contrast, has continued its downward trend. This year it’s in 19th place for overall happiness. Last year it was 18, down from 14 the year before.

Bloomberg tracks the fortunes of some 2,800 billionaires. Of those, 145 are worth at least $10 billion, making them decabillionaires. Now, the world contains two centibillionaires simultaneously. Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, once the world’s richest person, has again eclipsed the $100 billion threshold, joining Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos in the exclusive club.

A senior U.S. arms control official said on Tuesday that Iran’s missile program is destabilizing the Middle East and raising the risk of a “regional arms race” through the provision of such weapons to armed groups in Lebanon and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday announced recreational projects in the capital Riyadh worth $23 billion, officials said, in a new drive to transform the congested city.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of favoring his Democratic opponents over him and his fellow Republicans. “But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA,” he said in a tweet.

The United Nations has allocated $20 million from its emergency response fund for the humanitarian response to Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

U.S.-backed Syrian forces on Tuesday seized control of an encampment held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, after hundreds of militants surrendered overnight, a spokesman said, signaling the group’s collapse after months of stiff resistance. A group of suspects involved in a January bombing that killed four Americans in northern Syria were among militants captured by the Kurdish-led forces.

Kansas’ solicitor general on Monday called on a federal appeals court to reinstate the state’s law requiring people to provide proof of citizenship before they can register to vote, saying problems with how it was enforced during the three years it was in place are fixable.

Marriott International is planning to open more than 1,700 new hotels around the world over the next three years, translating to between 275,000 and 295,000 new rooms.

BBC

Officials in San Francisco have proposed a new law to ban e-cigarette sales until their health effects are evaluated by the US government.

An unvaccinated Kentucky teenager is suing after his Catholic school excluded him amid a chickenpox outbreak that has sickened at least 32 pupils. Jerome Kunkel, 18, has not contracted the virus.

Gunmen have attacked a convoy of trucks carrying uranium fuel to a nuclear power plant near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, police said.

The bestselling author Alaa Al Aswany has said he is being sued by military prosecutors in Egypt for insulting the president, armed forces and judiciary.

WND

The Defense Department has identified $12.8 billion in possible funding that it could use to fulfill President Trump’s call for a border wall. The Pentagon’s list said it has found possible funding sources that are “in excess of the amount needed.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others charged as part of a prostitution solicitation sting in Florida last month have been offered deferred prosecution deals that would ultimately lead to the dismissal of solicitation charges.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Mar. 20, 2019

The Foundation

“In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” —John Adams (1797)

The Democrat Plan to Ensure Electoral Dominance

They rue America’s electoral system because it is an obstacle to their authoritarian objectives.


As World Mourns Mosque Killings, Christian Genocide Continues

Hundreds of Christians have been murdered for their faith just in the last few weeks.


Democrats’ Orwellian ‘Equality’ Act

Dems seek to both quell and compel the speech of others in the name of “equality.”


Drag Queen Sex Offender Reads to Kids

The ultimate danger to kids isn’t this one guy, however; it’s an entire curriculum.


Build That Wall

Democrats object to border security for a simple reason: They want more voters.


Video: Left Hypes Mosque Massacre, Ignores Christians Killed by Muslims

In one incident, 49 were killed. In others last week, 69 were slaughtered.



Today’s Opinion

Walter E. Williams
College Cheating Scandal
Byron York
Truth Comes to Light in Bezos Spectacle
Gary Bauer
America First
Ben Shapiro
How to Silence Debate, New Zealand Edition
Star Parker
Liberal Fascists Ambush Chelsea Clinton
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Immigration update, drug cartels, NATO defense spending, judicial nominees, college affordability, and more.


Wednesday Short Cuts

The BIG Lie: “Immigration is not a security issue. It is an economic and a humanitarian and a family issue.” —Kirsten Gillibrand



Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 3/20/2019

Are the Temple Vessels Ready for Purim?
As Jews celebrate Purim on Wednesday evening (Thursday, in Jerusalem) it may be significant to consider the recent reappearance of many, if not all, of the Temple vessels that played a subtle yet significant role in the Purim story. Although the story of Purim takes place entirely in Persia and was not connected to any Temple rituals, the holiday is connected to the Temple and geulah (redemption) in several less obvious points. According to Jewish tradition, Persian King Ahasuerus served the feast described in the beginning of the Book of Esther on the sacred vessels of the Jewish Temple. Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute told Breaking Israel News that if the Jews today were given the opportunity to jumpstart the Temple service, it would require a mere four hours to do so.

Purim Supermoon: Countdown to Messiah
After reading the Book of Esther for the holiday of Purim on Wednesday evening, Jews leaving the synagogue will be greeted by the sight of a supermoon overhead, a phenomenon to which some rabbinic experts ascribe great import. The Purim supermoon will be the final in a series of three consecutive full-moon/ supermoons. The next appearance of supermoons will also be a triad, culminating on the night before Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). Purim also coincides with the vernal (spring) equinox when the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. On the equinox, the day and night are each about 12 hours in length everywhere on Earth.

Trump in 2020, Jesus in 2024
You’ve probably heard the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” I don’t think it’s the Trump style that brings on the shivers of TDS. Rather, what invokes the fear, hatred, loathing and the human distemper symptoms among his opponents is his substance, his tenacity and his worldview. Look at the Trump positions that drive his opponents to TDS: His skepticism of the climate-change hysteria; His full-throated opposition to socialism; His genuine love of America; His commitment to the need for national sovereignty; His genuine support of Israel.

Gandhi’s grandson has a message for Israel
Dr. Arun Gandhi followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by advocating the concept of “non-violence,” sometimes perhaps crossing the line of what is seemingly acceptable, by suggesting that Israelis talk too much about the Holocaust. He believes that focusing on the Holocaust prevents the Jewish people from moving forward and there are no cultures in the world worth sharing.

Jewish Author: Christians Face Danger in America
A New York Times bestselling author is warning that Christians are in real danger of persecution — in America. And this warning comes from a surprising source, a prominent secular Jew. David Horowitz argues in his new book “Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America,” that secularists and leftists want to turn the nation into a godless, heathen society where religion has absolutely no role.

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano suffers largest eruption in years
Mexico’s active Popocatepetl volcano has exploded late Monday evening, sending ash and debris high into the air and several kilometers away from the crater. The 9:38 pm explosion of the active crater sent a 1.2km-high column of ash and fragments into the air,…

Intel’s next-gen supercomputer to usher in exascale era in 2021
The next generation of supercomputers has an official start date. Intel and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are teaming up to deliver the world’s first exascale supercomputer in 2021, giving a huge boost to many different fields of research. Named Aurora, the new system will be a thousand times more powerful than the petascale generation that began in 2008 and is still in wide use today. Aurora will boast a performance of one exaflop, which is equal to one quintillion floating point operations per second. That will make it the first exascale supercomputer in the United States, and unless another competitor emerges from the shadows in the next two years, it’s on track to be the first in the world.

Islamic State fighters pinned on Syrian riverbank, warplanes fly above
Warplanes flew near Baghouz in eastern Syria early on Wednesday..as the final remnants of the Islamic State group held a narrow strip of land along the Euphrates in a last-ditch defense of its dwindling territory. Defeat there would signal the end of the ultra-hardline Islamist movement’s control in eastern Syria, having held more than a third of Syria and Iraq at one point in 2014 as it sought to carve out a huge caliphate in the region.

Kuwait says U.S. Mideast peace plan should weigh regional considerations
Kuwait’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that a long-awaited US peace proposal for the Middle East should factor in regional considerations and all stakeholders. “We hope the plan will take into account the situation in the region and all the relevant parties,” Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah told a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a regional tour that will also take him to Israel and Lebanon.

EU delegation discusses intensification of antisemitism in Europe
Antisemitism is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in Europe. In the wake of a rise in the number of antisemitic incidents, especially in Europe, the problem was discussed by Ambassador Danny Danon and UN ambassadors from the European Union at a special meeting at the headquarters of the EU delegation to the UN.

Brazil gunmen shoot at convoy carrying nuclear fuel in Angra dos Reis
Gunmen have attacked a convoy of trucks carrying uranium fuel to a nuclear power plant near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, police say. The convoy came under attack as it drove past a community controlled by drug traffickers in Angra dos Reis, a tourist city 145km (90 miles) from Rio. Police escorting the convoy responded and a shootout followed. No-one was injured or detained.

Weedkiller glyphosate a ‘substantial’ cancer factor
A US jury has found that one of the world’s most widely-used weedkillers was a “substantial factor” in causing a man’s cancer. Pharmaceutical group Bayer had strongly rejected claims that its glyphosate-based Roundup product was carcinogenic. But the jury in San Francisco ruled unanimously that it contributed to causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in California resident Edwin Hardeman.

Tracking tools found on EU government and health websites
Online tools which track user behaviour for advertisers have been found on a swathe of EU public health websites, including NHS and Gov.uk pages. These trackers could compromise sensitive data about people, according to researchers at data protection compliance service Cookiebot. The researchers also discovered trackers on 89% of EU government websites.

See the first supermoon on the spring equinox in 19 years
Assuming spring showers stay at bay, sky-watchers in the Northern Hemisphere will get to see a cosmic triple play on March 20, as a “super worm moon” lights up the vernal equinox. According to astronomy website EarthSky.org, a full moon has not landed this close to the first day of spring since the year 2000, and the two celestial events won’t happen less than a day apart again until 2030.

Physicist Marcelo Gleiser: ‘Science does not kill God’
The annual Templeton Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to “affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” was awarded Tuesday to Brazilian Marcelo Gleiser — a theoretical physicist dedicated to demonstrating science and religion are not enemies… An agnostic, he doesn’t believe in God — but refuses to write off the possibility of God’s existence completely.

Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks
Egypt’s top media regulator…put into effect tighter restrictions that allow the state to block websites and even social media accounts with over 5,000 followers if they are deemed a threat to national security. The move is the latest step by the government…to suppress dissent. In recent years, Egypt has launched an unprecedented crackdown on reporters and the media, imprisoning dozens and occasionally expelling some foreign journalists.

Rare protests erupt against Hamas’ 12-year rule over Gaza
Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory. With little tolerance for dissent, the Islamic militant group has responded with heavy-handed tactics. It has arrested dozens of protesters, beaten activists and violently suppressed attempts by local media to cover the unrest.

40 children sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ as tornado ripped roof off church, all survived
Members of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in McCracken County, Kentucky, are thanking God after 40 preschoolers and 10 staff members escaped from their building unharmed after a tornado ripped the roof off their church.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor makes 1st of 2 landfalls as a dangerous cyclone in Australia
Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor made landfall on the Cape York Peninsula on Tuesday and is expected to plow westward into the Gulf of Carpentaria, threatening parts of the Northern Territory later this week.

Cyclone hit millions across Africa in record disaster
Full cost of last Thursday’s disaster still to emerge, death count could top 1,000; Red Cross: at least 400,000 people had been made homeless in central Mozambique alone; cyclone could rank as one of the worst weather-related disasters recorded in the southern hemisphere

Pro-Israel voices silenced at the UN in disturbing video
UN Human Rights Council interrupts,cuts audio of speaker rebutting anti-Israel lies during debate on alleged Israeli ‘war crimes.’

Ontario Passes Law Allowing Gov’t to Seize Children From Parents Who Oppose Gender Transition
Canada’s Ontario province has passed legislation that allows the government to seize children from families that refuse to accept their child’s chosen “gender identity” or “gender expression.”

Forensic Science Has Finally Identified ‘Jack the Ripper’
Jack the Ripper, one of the most legendary serial killers in recorded history, has been identified — 131 years after he stalked the streets of London.

‘Muslim terrorists’ in New Mexico tied to Democrats
A federal grand jury in New Mexico has indicted five Muslims who allegedly trained children to carry out school massacres on terrorism-related offenses, conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping.

30 gravestones desecrated at Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts
Swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets were drawn on at least 30 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in southern Massachusetts. The vandalism at the Hebrew Cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts occurred over the weekend, police told local media.

State Dep’t: 800K to 2 Million Muslims Forced Into ‘Internment Camps’ in Communist China
The U.S. State Department, echoing reports by human rights groups and some news media, reported that between 800,000 and 2 million Muslims have been forced into “internment camps” in Communist China where they are reeducated “to erase religious and ethnic identities.” Many of the Muslims’ children are shipped off to orphanages by the authorities.

EXCLUSIVE: Google VP Stepped In After Employees Offended By Christian Video On Marriage
Google banned a video explaining Christian teaching on same-sex marriage from advertising on YouTube after backlash from upset employees, according to internal Google communications reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

FAIRLY UNBALANCED: As $71 Billion Dollar Disney Merger Deal Prepares To Finalize, Fox News Is Being Transformed Into A Progressive Liberal Platform
Over the past week, two key events took place that will tell you everything you  need to know about what type of news outlet the new Fox station will be. First, Fox ordered that Conservative opinion show ‘Judge Jeanine‘ be dropped because she told the truth about Muslim congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar. The second thing that happened was the announcement that ultra-Liberal and former Democratic National Committee chief Donna Brazile would be getting her own show. Welcome to the “new” Fox News. Ugh…

The Globalist’s Doomsday Weapon Designed to Bring Down America
There is an insidious plot to bring down America. Over the next several days, a series of articles and interviews are going to be released which will leave no doubt that there is a plot to bring down America and the main thrust of that plot is being financed in places like Humboldt County and it will be manifested through the CALEXIT movement in which major parts of California will become its own country and function as a protectorate under the United Nations.

Raging Pro-Abortion Activists Behind the Pulpits
How many church goers filling Sunday pews at the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, Christian Church (Disciple of Christ) and Unity Church realize that their pastors publicly stated their support of the abortion chain Planned Parenthood twice in the past two years?

ICE Deports 256,000 Illegal Aliens, Including 6,000 Gang Members From US
Sweeping raids across the United States has seen violent gang members apprehended by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, with more 256,000 illegal aliens deported in 2018 alone, according to reports.


Headlines – 3/20/2019

As Pompeo heads to Israel, peace won’t be on the table

Kushner peace plan once urged huge Palestinian-Jordanian-Saudi land swap – book

Netanyahu: I’ll oppose settlements evacuation if Trump’s peace plan entails it

Netanyahu to slain rabbi’s family: We’ll seek to enact death penalty for terror

Israeli army kills Palestinian suspected of West Bank attack

Palestinians: IDF soldiers raid village near Ramallah, blow up building

Israeli planes shoot at Gazans launching incendiary balloons into Israel

Hamas: PA is behind Gaza protests

Fatah accuses Hamas of ‘assassination attempt’ on its official in Gaza

Israel to impose full closure on West Bank, Gaza crossings for Purim

Gantz: No partner on Palestinian side

Gantz: I won’t quit prime minister race over Iranian phone hack

Gantz: Ignore phone hack, Netanyahu guilty of ‘worst scandal in Israeli history’

Hitting campaign trail, Lithuanian PM says he may move embassy to Jerusalem

In first for EU state, Hungary opens diplomatic trade office in Jerusalem

Why Israel is quietly cosying up to Gulf monarchies

Israel, U.S. Successfully Test Advanced Missile Defense System

Lebanon arrests man accused of spying for Israel

Egypt Can Now Block Websites, Social Media Accounts Deemed a ‘Threat’

US-backed Syrian fighters ‘overrun IS encampment’

US-backed SDF says it captured 157 militants, mostly foreigners

Iraq-Syria-Iran hold ‘tripartite’ meeting against U.S. in Syria

Trump grants Iraq a new 90-day sanctions waiver to buy Iranian energy: Source

U.S. says Iran missile program destabilizing Middle East

Italian charity ship defies Rome to rescue 50 off Libyan coast

Thousands rally in Algiers as protest leaders tell army to stay away

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

Kazakhstan president steps down after almost 30 years in power

U.S.-Russia talks on Venezuela stall over role of Maduro

Why Does The Mainstream Media Purposely Ignore Mass Killings Of Christians Across The Globe?

The difference between killing 148 Christians in Kenya and 50 Muslims in New Zealand

Facebook Says No One Flagged NZ Mosque Shooting Livestream

After Blocking Zero Hedge And Others, NZ Telcos Demand Big-Tech Censorship Surge To “Protect Consumers”

Elizabeth Warren calls for scrapping US electoral college in 2020 town hall

Democrats’ calls to revamp Electoral College, Supreme Court reveal panic: Lara Trump

Obama WH counsel faces possible prosecution in Mueller-initiated probe

Nancy Pelosi pushes back on Democratic critics of her impeachment stance

May seeks Brexit delay after third vote on her deal is derailed

France ready to veto any meaningless Brexit delay: Elysee official

A Meteor as Powerful as 10 Nuclear Bombs Exploded in The Sky, And We All Missed It

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Luganville, Vanuatu

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 28,000ft

Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Manam volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 14,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Cyclone Idai hit millions across Africa in record disaster

Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor makes 1st of 2 landfalls as a dangerous cyclone in Australia

Indonesia flood death toll rises to 89, dozens missing

40 children sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ as tornado ripped roof off church, all survived

God, country and chickenpox: How an outbreak entangled one school in a vaccine showdown

Robert Kennedy Jr.: The Trump White House Has Shut Me Out on Vaccines

Politician who branded previous government ‘Stalinist’ over mandatory chickenpox immunisation contracts chickenpox

Human embryo smuggling: Malaysian arrested at India airport

Cat cannibalism: Report discloses ‘questionable’ gov’t animal experiments


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Kevin Kleint – Prophet Paul Cain – The Cover-Up

Gary DeMar – Has the Gospel Been Preached in ‘All The World’?

Liberation Theology Infused in Western Thinking

ECFA Finally Suspends Harvest Bible Chapel’s Accreditation

Elizabeth Warren says words of Jesus, judgement of ‘sheep and goats,’ is driving force in her life


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

Border Patrol Apprehends 400 Illegals in 5 Minutes in Beto O’Rourke’s District — Beto Wants to Tear Down the Wall There — The Gateway Pundit

The US Customs and Border Patrol Agency apprehended 400 illegal aliens in 5 minutes in El Paso, Texas this week.

El Paso is in Texas’s 16th Congressional District.

This is Beto O’Rourke’s district before he quit to run for US Senate.
Via Jack Posobiec:

In February Beto O’Rourke told NBC he wants to tear down the wall there.
Evidently 400 illegals in 5 minutes is not enough!

via Border Patrol Apprehends 400 Illegals in 5 Minutes in Beto O’Rourke’s District — Beto Wants to Tear Down the Wall There — The Gateway Pundit