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The Powerlessness of Prayer-Shaming

By Justin Poythress - Posted at Reformation 21:

"What if you and your family were starving, and someone with an abundance of food responded by letting you know that they were 'offering thoughts and prayers'?" You're immediate inner thought would be, "Stop praying. Do something!" A preponderance of these and similar reactions fire around social media in the wake of national tragedies, and have dug trenches of familiar battle lines over the past decade. One 'side' reaches out with general condolences, which the other 'side' interprets as dismissive, patronizing, or at best, lazy. Thus the battle is taken to the field whose terrain is most conducive for facilitating thoughtful dialogue and spawning effective solutions--that of social media, of course. Prayer-shaming ensues, adeptly rebuffed by shaming the prayer-shamer.

For the moment, let us put aside the issue of the rhetorical triteness of the phrase 'thoughts and prayers', and examine three underlying assumptions of a prayer-shaming statement:

Assumption 1: Prayer and action are mutually exclusive.

If we block out the noise of some assumed political track which responsive action must surely take--which is often suggested in contrast to prayers--we can nevertheless join in rejecting passivity. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you." (Phil 2:12) We work because God works in us. James 2 assaults the man of empty faith, who sends well-wishes, while neglecting the resources at his disposal to do real help.


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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.
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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?’

In days of great spiritual darkness those called by God to preach the gospel have a sobering task. Our present world is still as Bunyan saw it. It is the City of Destruction. Mankind li…

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 …