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Philadelphia’s Third Presbyterian Church, often simply referred to as the “Pine Street” church.
(ProfReader/Wikimedia Commons)

By William Taylor - Posted at the Journal of the American Revolution:

“Can it be supposed,” he asked, “that God who made man free … should forbid freedom, already exiled from Asia and Africa, and under sentence of banishment from Europe—that he should FORBID her to erect her banners HERE, and constrain her to abandon the earth?”[8]No, he said, America was to be the new standard-bearer for liberty and would continue as such “until herself shall play the tyrant, forget her destiny, disgrace her freedom, and provoke her God.” - Rev. George Duffield—future chaplain to the Continental Congress, March, 1776
There was no turning back after the morning of April nineteenth.[1] When the militiamen under Captain John Parker defended themselves against the British regulars at Lexington, they signaled a transition in the imperial crisis. What was still primarily a war of words before the sun broke the horizon that morning in 1775 had intensified into an armed conflict by the falling of that evening’s shadows. Meeting in Philadelphia shortly after this bellwether moment, the ruling body of the Presbyterian church, the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, wrestled alongside their fellow colonists with the repercussions. In the course of their annual meeting the synod decided to write a pastoral letter to the congregations under their care and throughout the colonies.[2]

This letter set out four things very clearly. First, God was still sovereign in all things, and that “affliction springeth not out of the dust,” meaning, in other words, it was time to examine themselves and repent. Second, the synod insisted that they were still, and should be, loyal British subjects who hoped for reconciliation and peace. “Let it appear,” they wrote, “that you only desire the preservation and security of those rights which belong to you as freemen and Britons, and that reconciliation upon these terms is your most ardent desire.” Third, they affirmed that the elusive theory of justifiable rebellion was well within reach. If “the British ministry shall continue to enforce their claims by violence,” then Presbyterians should fight, alongside the rest of the colonists.[3] Fourth, the synod noted that while the conflict lasted its members needed to maintain colonial unity by both supporting the Continental Congress and promoting “a spirit of candour, charity, and mutual esteem … towards those of different religious denominations.”[4] Wearing their orthodoxy and loyalty on their sleeves, the Presbyterians demonstrated that they saw no separation of the spiritual and the secular and that they would strive in this time of crisis to build and preserve unions within and for these blended realms.

It would be a mistake, however, to see these union efforts by the Presbyterians in May 1775 as occurring in a vacuum. Seventeen years earlier the Presbyterians had embarked on a mission that made union building a priority for the church. This effort of 1758 was prompted by the schism that had rent the church since 1741. The reunion of 1758 was not intended to be a private affair. The Presbyterians had very publicly split and so they decided to very publicly reunite. In this spirit, they published an account that combined their reunion efforts as well as four promises for the colonial reading world. They first promised to “study the Things that make for Peace;” second, to lead exemplary lives, both in word and deed; third, to ensure that their doctrines were orthodox and evangelical; and fourth, to commend “ourselves to every Man’s Conscience in the Sight of God.” There is no doubt that these efforts were first intended to heal the divisions within the church but this should not obscure the Presbyterians’ intentions towards their fellow colonists in other churches. The synod made this point clearly when it wrote that the ultimate “Design of our Union is the Advancement of the Mediator’s Kingdom.”[5]


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How abandoning Sola Scriptura shipwrecks your faith

By Amy Spreeman - Posted at Berean Research:

What is the difference between the spiritual transformation that happens through the Holy Spirit, and the Spiritual Formation movement that swept through our churches a few years ago?

The difference is night and day. I remember talking about this with the late Ken Silva in 2012. He helped me understand that the Spiritual Formation movement provided the platform and a channel through which mystical practices began entering many different evangelical and traditional denominations.

Unfortunately, this type of experience has moved many believers into an unbiblical, mystical form of Christianity. It’s based on the premise that if we do certain meditative practices and ancient rituals, we can be more like Jesus and find God within ourselves.
Continue reading...

See also:
What is the spiritual formation movement? - Got Questions?What Is Spiritual Formation and Why Does It Matter? - GTYJohn MacArthur on Spiritual Formation and Biblical Sanctification - …

Ontario, Canada: 'Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Couple Who Lost Foster Children for Refusing to Lie About Easter Bunny'

By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

ONTARIO — A Superior Court judge in Canada has ruled in favor of a Christian couple who lost their foster children, and were prevented from caring for other children, after refusing to lie by claiming that the Easter Bunny was delivering candy to their home.

Derek and Frances Baars are Reformed Presbyterians and began fostering two girls, ages three and five, in December 2015. However, shortly after the girls were placed in their home, concerns were raised by the Children’s Aid Society that the couple was not going to play Santa Claus and Easter Bunny with the children.

The Baars, who according to legal documents, do not celebrate Christmas or Easter at all, said that they were willing to buy the girls gifts and give them candy if the biological parents expected them to do so, but would not tell the children that the goodies were from Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Notes had been written in the home study in regard to the couple’s religiou…

Big Brother Is Coming for Your Kids, and He’s Wearing a Dress

By Laurie Higgins - Posted at Americans For Truth About Homosexuality:

You want to know where the “trans” insanity is taking us—I mean, besides co-ed private spaces everywhere, which means no private spaces anywhere?

Look no further than Regulation 225, a proposed amendment to the Delaware school code, which, if passed, will allow students of any age to “self-identify” their “gender or race” at school without their parents’ knowledge if students say their parents would not be “supportive.” Don’t believe me? Read it yourself in Section 7.4 and Sec. 7.4.1:

All students enrolled in a Delaware public school may self-identify gender or race…. A school may request permission from the parent or legal guardian of a minor student before a self-identified gender or race is accepted; provided, however, that prior to requesting the permission from a parent or legal guardian, the school should consult and work closely with the student to assess the degree to which, if any, the parent or legal guardia…

Judgement: The Doctrine Lost to the Modern Pulpit

By Howard Davies - Posted at The Banner of Truth:

In John Bunyan’s book The Pilgrim’s Progress, the story begins with Christian discovering news which causes him great alarm. Clothed in rags and with a burden upon his back, he is distressed to learn from a book he has been reading that the city he lives in is soon to be destroyed by fire from heaven. He tells his wife and children of their terrible danger. They must immediately try to escape.

But the response of his family is to think he has gone mad! As night is coming on they hasten to put him to bed in the hope that he might recover his senses by morning. However, the next day find him even more troubled. He wanders alone in the fields, sighing and reading from the book in his hands. Occasionally he is heard to cry out: ‘What must I do to be saved?’

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Facebook - The Gig Is Up

Posted at Angela Wittman's Blog:

This issue is at the center of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that the social media company is facing right now. The political research firm was able to access data on more than 50 million Facebook users through a third-party personality quiz application, without the knowledge or consent of users. The quiz maker wasn't supposed to pass the information along, but Facebook at the time had no technical measures in place to prevent it. Cambridge Analytica later used this and other information to create detailed psychological profiles of Facebook users and to micro-target political ads at some of them, ... -  Excerpt from Here's how to see which apps have access to your Facebook data — and cut them off - CNBC
Dear Friends,

I have always had a disdain for Facebook and remember deleting an account several years ago, only to find myself creating a new one due to missing friends and family who have Facebook accounts. My greatest concern years …