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Showing posts from October, 2017

‘Reformation Day’? Nope. ‘Reformations Days’? Yup.

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By Dr. Jim West - Posted at Zwinglius Redivivus : ‘Reformation Day’ Nope!’ ‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517. Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise. ‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and

Why We Need a New Reformation

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By Michael Horton - Posted at CCC Discover : Why do we need a new Reformation? What was so special about the Reformation in the first place that makes a second one so worthwhile? Through the middle ages, Christianity became entangled with the vines of superstition, ignorance and spiritual lethargy that same thing we see all around us today. When Luther uncovered the theological scandal, the fragile Roman scaffolding began to creak. The essentials of the Reformation were doctrinal. It was part of the Renaissance to call for a return to the original sources, so it made sense that Christian scholars returned not only to the great classics of Western civilization and to the early fathers, but to the biblical text itself. So, the Reformation was the greatest back to the Bible movement in the history of the church since the death of the apostles. But they went back to the Bible not simply as an end in itself, but in order to recover the essential truths that the Bible proclaimed a

Reformation Confessions and Evangelism

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By Wes Bredenhof - Posted at YINKAHDINAY: We’re continuing to celebrate what God did in the Reformation starting 500 years ago. For today, I’m sharing the notes from a talk I did in Brazil back in August. ************************* Introduction One of the most important contributions of the Reformation was its production of confessions and catechisms. Only a few of them are still well-known today. For example, Reformed churches continue to use the Heidelberg Catechism written in 1563. They also continue to use the Belgic Confession written in 1561. What many people do not know is that there were numerous confessions and catechisms produced during the time of the Reformation. If we only look at the Netherlands, there were at least 18 Reformed confessions and catechism produced between 1530 and 1580. [1] James Dennison has produced a four volume set of Reformed confessions from the 16th and 17th centuries. [2] Volume One covers 1523 to 1552. It contains 33 confessions and c

Salvation Sola Gratia, Sola Fide: On Distinguishing Is, With, And Through

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Reformed-ish wing of evangelicalism is having a controversy over salvation. It has been proposed by a leading evangelical pastor that we are initially justified by grace alone, through faith alone but saved finally only through “that fruit and that faith.” At least one of his apologists, when asked directly whether he was affirming salvation through works answered unequivocally: “yes.” Of course, by now you have seen the headline from the Desiring God Twitter feed declaring, “You are not saved through faith alone. Be killing sin.” Some apologists for this doctrine and rhetoric are appealing to the Epistle of James, as if the Protestants never wrote any commentaries on it, as if the 16th-century Romanist interpretation of James is obviously the only interpretation. Still others are alleging that anyone who denies this formulation is antinomian. When

What is Reformation Day?

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Painting of Luther nailing 95 theses by Julius Hübner - Wikipedia By Stephen Nichols - Posted at Ligonier Ministries : A single event on a single day changed the world. It was October 31, 1517. Brother Martin, a monk and a scholar, had struggled for years with his church, the church in Rome. He had been greatly disturbed by an unprecedented indulgence sale. The story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s meet the cast. First, there is the young bishop—too young by church laws—Albert of Mainz. Not only was he bishop over two bishoprics, he desired an additional archbishopric over Mainz. This too was against church laws. So Albert appealed to the Pope in Rome, Leo X. From the De Medici family, Leo X greedily allowed his tastes to exceed his financial resources. Enter the artists and sculptors, Raphael and Michelangelo. When Albert of Mainz appealed for a papal dispensation, Leo X was ready to deal. Albert, with the papal blessing, would sell indulgences for past,

Making sense of the senseless

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Greg Zanis drove from Illinois to Nevada to install a memorial under the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. (iB2News) By Eric Reed - Posted at iB2 News : When President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, a Fresno pastor climbed the bell tower of the church and began pulling the rope. When he descended much later exhausted from sounding the alarm, he found the sanctuary filled with mourners, looking up to him for a hopeful word. That was on a Friday afternoon. The following Sunday churches everywhere were packed with people who needed help understanding the tragedy. It was called “the Sunday with God.” On October 8, 2017, we had another Sunday with God. We’ve had a lot of them, especially in the past two decades. Their names become shorthand for inexplicable tragedy: Columbine, New Town, Wedgwood, Emanuel AME, Boston Marathon, Pulse Nightclub. And the signal event in this category is clearly the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Churches were full the next Sunday and for

Loving Christ Means Hating Sin

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Posted at Reformation Scotland : It’s no difficult thing to say or type the words “I love Jesus”. Many do this in their social media profiles or posts. They inform us that they love Jesus, and many other things too. The claim seems to have no context other than this person’s idea of Christ and the terms on which they wish to love Him. It may mean respect and strong interest or even follow, worship and obey. These are words, however, that can never be casually used by those that have come to understand the full measure and wonder of being savingly united to Christ. There is in fact no greater claim. We may prove the sincerity of such assertions to Christ Himself, ourselves and others in various ways. One of the clearest is in our attitude to sin. The extent of our love to Christ may be measured by the extent of our hatred of sin. It has often been said that the believer should no more love sin than the wife should love her husband’s murderer or the murder weapon. The sting of de

Causes of Spiritual Decline (Newton)

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Amazon Link Posted at The Reformed Reader : Sadly, there is such a thing as backsliding in the Christian life. It’s also called wandering from the path of following Jesus. Indeed, we are prone to wander! There are various reasons why Christians do sometimes wander or backslide. We could put it in the form of a question: What are some of the causes of spiritual decline in the Christian life? John Newton gave a few helpful answers. I’ll summarize them below: One of the chief causes of spiritual decline is error. There are some errors that may be compared to poison. Thus the Galatians, by listening to false teachers, were seduced from the simplicity of the gospel. The consequence was that they quickly lost the blessedness they had once spoken of. Poison is seldom taken alone, but if it is mixed with food, it is not suspected until it is discovered by the effect. Whoever is prevailed upon to believe what is false, though it is mixed with the truth, is already infected wit

The American Priest who Proved the Reformation is Not Over

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By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate : There we were at the Holy Steps in Rome. The famous steps that were supposedly transported from Jerusalem to Rome, where Jesus walked up to Pilate right before His crucifixion. The steps that would play a monumental role in leading Luther to question Roman Catholicism. Hundreds of people go up these steps each day, going through the motions in order to be able to remove some time from purgatory for themselves or a loved one. As we stood there, we grieved in watching people, one by one, begin their ascension up the steps, praying to Mary to honor the promise that the Pope and Cardinals gave–that they who go up the steps will receive pardon for sin. Last year, it was here that a woman in a wheelchair cried in agony over her inability to go up the steps and partake in this essential Roman Catholic practice. I love taking groups to this spot because they get to see with their own eyes the works-based system that is Roman Catholicism.

Resources On The Controversy Over “Final Salvation Through Works”

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : For the last several years several writers identified with the broader Reformed movement have proposed that Christians are saved initially by grace alone, through faith alone but finally through faith and works. There are two claims here: 1) salvation is in two stages and 2) the instruments in each stage differ. Second, some have alleged that these doctrines are the doctrines of the Reformed tradition. So we have exegetical, theological, historical, and practical questions: If one’s present salvation is merely provisional, which is logically necessary if there are two stages, what is the basis of one’s assurance? Of course assurance of faith or assurance of salvation is vitiated, and should these proposals stand, every Christian is, with Martin Luther, in a monastic cell in Eurfurt wondering if he will perform works of sufficient number and quality finally to enter heaven. Here are some resources to help you work through these

Sola Fide and Assault

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By Pastor Sam Powell - Posted at My Only Comfort : In the past few weeks there have been two streams of stories that have dominated Christian circles. The first is the debate concerning Sola Fide and the second is the #metoo campaign in light of the fall of serial rapist, Harvey Weinstein. As women around the world told their stories of assault, we saw that sexual assault and rape are not just something happening “out there” but right in the middle of our churches. More often than not, church leadership purposefully and ignorantly looks the other way. You can read a small sampling here , remembering that these are only the tip of the iceberg. As I read these stories from Christian women, I see a connection. The connection is subtle and hard to glimpse at first, but it is there. If you are unfamiliar with the debate concerning Sola Fide, you might want to take a few minutes to get up to speed. The historic doctrine of the reformation is summarized simply and beautifully in the Heid

China: 'Pastor, missionary faces persecution before National Party Congress'

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Yan Xiaojie -  ChinaAid Posted at ChinaAid : (Wenzhou, Zhejiang—Oct. 20, 2017) As Chinese officials cracked down on religion and dissent ahead of the 19th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, a missionary and pastor issued a prayer letter on Oct. 13, crying out against the constant harassment he and his family have experienced. Even though missionary and pastor Yan Xiaojie has maintained a low profile since being released in February 2016, he wrote a letter on Oct. 13 asking for prayer due to continuous government persecution. In the letter, he writes, “What kind of crime did I commit? In this period, Wenzhou authorities keep harassing me, asking me to report to the police station every day and coming to my home daily. They seriously disturb my family’s life—especially that of my two elderly [parents]—my life, and my work.” He also wrote, “In the end, I don’t know why [they harass me]? … [In 2015], they captured me for no reason, and I was shut for half

A PROPOSED OCTOBER, 2017 MEETING: DEAR MARK JONES, WILL YOU PLEASE MEET JOHN LEWIS?

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By Chris Gordon - Posted at The Gordian Knot : What a great online fight over salvation and good works at the moment, isn’t it? And it’s really not that difficult. It all should be so clear for everyone. We all should know better. There are a plethora of conditions for final salvation. Where have you been? A pastor as eminent as John Piper has said it. When you stand at the last judgment, you should know by now, there are conditions you need to meet. There had better be fruit, there had better be good works, or else, for you cannot be saved without them, and these are causes of your salvation. Mark Jones has made this all the more clear for us; good works are necessary for your salvation. As Dr. Jones says, Zanchius said it, Mastricht said it, Goodwin said it, Owen said it, Twisse said it, and Ursinus said it. This is not difficult, if you are going to take issue with John Piper, you “need to spend some time getting theological training and then, after that, publish via peer-re

Calif. OKs third gender, protects religious liberty

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Gov. Jerry Brown - Wikipedia By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press : SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- Pro-family advocates are lamenting California Gov. Jerry Brown's approval Oct. 15 of a bill expanding rights for individuals identifying as transgender but celebrating his veto the same day of a measure that threatened religious liberty. Brown, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 179, which adds a third gender option on official state identification documents for those who reject the designation of male or female and opt instead to be considered "nonbinary." Among his vetoes, meanwhile, was Assembly Bill 569, which would have made it illegal for religious organizations to prohibit their employees from having abortions or engaging in sex outside marriage. SB 179 will make California the first U.S. state allowing residents to identify their gender as "nonbinary" on birth certificates and state identification documents. The bill also will ease requirements for Ca

Random thoughts on Sola Fide

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1861 painting of Luther discovering the Sola fide doctrine at Erfurt Source: Wikipedia By Sam Powell - Posted at My Only Comfort : In no particular order – just wanted to get these down somewhere. From my conception to my last breath I will never do one work that can stand before the judgment throne of God. If I was given a glass of water that only had a little poison in it, I would still refuse it. There is no such thing as “sort of pure”. If there is even one drop of sin in what I do, it isn’t holy. Holy is clean, pure, with no admixture of uncleanness. All that I do, though, is mixed with sin. If I reject that, then my works are also mixed with pride. God hates pride. Think about this (not directions on how to live, but what it says about Christ: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himsel

Why the Reformation Still Matters

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TabletalkMagazine.com By Michael Reeves - Posted at Tabletalk Magazine : None of the goodness or relevance of the Reformation’s insights have faded over the last five hundred years. Last year, on October 31, Pope Francis announced that after five hundred years, Protestants and Catholics now “have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.” From that, it sounds as if the Reformation was an unfortunate and unnecessary squabble over trifles, a childish outburst that we can all put behind us now that we have grown up. But tell that to Martin Luther, who felt such liberation and joy at his rediscovery of justification by faith alone that he wrote, “I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.” Tell that to William Tyndale, who found it such “merry, glad and joyful tidings” that it made him “sing, dance, an

Is The Lid About To Come Off?

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By Andrew Kerr - Posted at Gentle Reformation : The last thing I want to do is let ‘the devil have all the good music!’ I certainly have no wish ‘to throw the baby out with the bathwater’! Nor do I desire to parade these comments in Pharisaic self-righteousness. Yet if, at last, the lid comes off the rock music industry, maybe it will shock us and rebuke us, into being a little more discerning and ever-increasingly disgusted. The last week has seen a progressively deepening crisis in Hollywood on both sides of the Atlantic. Celebrities, stars and Oscar Nominations Committees have disowned Harvey Weinstein with an air of disbelief and disgust. Prosecutions may follow for this most successful producer. Now, today, on the BBC’s ‘Victoria Derbyshire’ program, new allegations, concerning the UK music industry have emerged. Sarah Bowden, a music manager, has spoken about a scale of endemic sexual harassment, abuse and rape which is “as bad if not worse” as anything Hollywood has to o

Air Force punishes colonel over marriage views

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Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon and his family. First Liberty photo; Source: Baptist Press By Bonnie Pritchett - Posted at Baptist Press : ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) -- U.S. Air Force officials have suspended a decorated officer and revoked his recommendation for promotion to brigadier general because he would not sign an unofficial document affirming a retiring subordinate's same-sex marriage. Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon, Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., signed all the requisite documents for a senior noncommissioned service member's May retirement ceremony except for one: a letter of "spousal appreciation" for the gay serviceman's partner. Read more here.

Would We Actually Want Reformation Today?

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Westminster Divines - Wikipedia Posted at Reformation Scotland : We have now entered Reformation month, the climax of the 500th anniversary. In the midst of the commemoration it is possible to take such a long look back that we then forget to look forward. In other words, we may be inclined to think of Reformation as an event in the past rather than a present imperative. This milestone is a point to reflect on where we are in relation to Reformation and what still remains to be achieved as individuals, Churches and communities. How do our lives, families and congregations match up to God’s requirements in His Word? Reformation is a difficult and unsettling activity. It challenges our complacency and expectations. Would we have the appetite for it we think we would? The Word of God is the only rule for reformation. Yet what do we mean by that? Anthony Burgess (1600-1663) explains how the Word of God has a supreme role in the work of reformation. Burgess lived during a time of refo

In By Grace, Stay In By Faithfulness?

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : We’re coming up on Reformation Day again this seems like a good time to cover the basics again. The medieval church came to teach that we enter a state of grace through baptism. According to the medieval church, we remain in a state of grace by the exercise of our free will, which we were said to have retained after the fall, in cooperation with grace. This consensus was confirmed at the Council of Trent and became Roman Catholic dogma. It remains Roman dogma: §1989The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man (Catechism of the Catholic Church) For Ro

Christians and Halloween

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Image Source: The Gospel Video Blog By Travis Allen - Posted at Grace to You : Halloween. It's a time of year when the air gets crisper, the days get shorter, and for many young Americans the excitement grows in anticipation of the darkest, spookiest holiday of the year. Retailers also rejoice as they warm up their cash registers to receive an average of $79.82 per household in decorations, costumes, candy, and greeting cards. Halloween will bring in approximately $8 billion this year. It's a good bet retailers won't entertain high expectations of getting $79.82 per household from the Christian market. Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children. But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church. T

Sexual Morality in a Christless World

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By Tim Challies - Posted at Challies.com : The times are changing. Sexual morality is undergoing nothing less than a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something radically different. The former morality, based on the Christian scriptures, is being shoved aside by a new one that not only departs from the Bible, but outright rejects it. Meanwhile, Christians who abide by those traditional sexual morals are increasingly seen as outcasts, backward people dangerously hung up on ancient, oppressive principles. It is all very disconcerting. Into the fray steps Matthew Rueger with his book Sexual Morality in a Christless World . Though the last few years have brought us no shortage of books on how to live on this side of the sexual revolution, Rueger offers something unique in examining and explaining the historical and cultural backdrop to the New Testament’s teaching on sexual morality. In this way he shows that Christian sexual morality has not always been traditional but

Jellyfish Christianity

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( J.C. Ryle , " The Importance of Dogma " 1900) Eighteen centuries ago the apostle Paul forewarned us, "The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear!" 2 Timothy 4:3 The natural man hates the Gospel and all its distinctive doctrines--and delights in any vain excuse for refusing it. The plain truth is, that the root of the whole evil lies in the fallen nature of man, and his deeply-seated unbelief in God's infallible Word. I suspect we have no idea how little saving faith there is on earth, and how few people entirely believe Bible truths. One man is proud--he dislikes the distinctive doctrines of Christianity, because they leave him no room to boast. Another is lazy and indolent--he dislikes distinctive doctrine, because it summons him to troublesome thought, and self-inquiry, and mental self-exert

October 1779: Congress Proclaims Thanksgiving Day

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Christian Heritage Fellowship Posted at Christian Heritage Fellowship : Most Americans are unaware of the rich Christian origin of their nation that is contained in original documents. One of the ways America’s Founding Fathers expressed their Christian faith was through a series of sixteen spiritual proclamations issued by Congress over a period of nearly a decade. Congress developed a pattern of issuing humiliation, fasting, and prayer proclamations in the spring, and in the fall, it issued thanksgiving proclamations from 1775 to 1784. The original proclamation of Congress for October 20, 1779 had been presented below, accompanied by brief anecdotes to illuminate the historical setting. What candid reader of this and other original documents of America’s Founding Fathers can believe that they intended to dismiss the influence of Christianity from the government of the nation. Learn more here.

SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE

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By Rachel Miller - Posted at A Daughter of the Reformation : As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, some may wonder if the Reformation still matters today. We don’t face the same problems today in the church that they did back then, right? No one is selling indulgences. No one in in the evangelical world is teaching salvation by works and certainly not in the Reformed world! Right? Last week, Desiring God ran an article by John Piper on sola fide , Does God Really Save Us by Faith Alone? The article is a rerun of older material by Piper. It makes the rounds every couple of years and receives a wide range of responses. The point of the article seems to be to encourage believers to have an active faith as described in James 2. This is a worthy aim. There are many today, even in Reformed circles, who speak and act as though believers should not be expected to live godly lives and to struggle against their sins. The problem in many responses to such

Lust - It's a matter of the heart

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Scripture Text: Matthew 5:27-30 (KJV) 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Sermon Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=108171118589

Trump Administration Takes Steps to Protect Religious Liberty

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By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts : The Trump Administration through the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor announced today two companion interim final rules that provide conscience protections to Americans who have a religious or moral objection to paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive/abortifacient services. Under the existing Obamacare regulatory requirements, employers, unless they qualify for an exemption, must offer health insurance that covers all FDA-approved contraception, which includes medications and devices that may act as abortifacients as well sterilization procedures. Under the first of two companion rules released, entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services would no longer be required to do so. The second rule  applies the same protections to organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based on any p

U.S. Department of Justice Memo: Sex Discrimination Law ‘Does Not Refer to Gender Identity’

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network : WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo revoking a previous determination by Obama Attorney General Eric Holder that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes gender identity. “Title VII expressly prohibits discrimination ‘because of … sex’ and several other protected traits, but it does not refer to gender identity. ‘Sex’ is ordinarily defined to mean biologically male or female,” the memo , issued on Wednesday to federal prosecutors, read. It noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has similarly concluded in legal precedent that “[t]he critical issue, Title VII indicates, is whether members of one sex are exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment [or other employment actions] to which members of the other sex are not exposed.” Read more here. 

Southern Baptists and reformed theology

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Nailing his 95 theses to it on October 31, 1517, disgruntled monk Martin Luther made the church door at Wittenberg a famous 16th-century landmark, and a modern-day tourist attraction.   Source: iB2 News By Meredith Flynn - Posted at iB2 News : Our differences are theological and generational—and growing. Five hundred years after Martin Luther sparked the Protestant Reformation with his publicly posted list of grievances against Catholic church leaders and practices, to say the movement made a lasting impact on Christians of all stripes is a gross understatement. Southern Baptists have certainly been shaped by the doctrines of the Reformation, but the question of just how Reformed we are has created a growing divide in the denomination. As Christians worldwide celebrate the anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, Southern Baptists continue to wrestle with how deeply we will be people of the Reformation in the next hundred years or two. In his 2017 book on the Re

Violence in Vegas: When false gods let us down

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By Andrew Kerr - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Stunned, saddened, sickened & silenced – that captures something of my reaction to the news of the terrifying, tragic, carnage in Las Vegas last night. Perhaps some who read this post will have relatives caught up – brothers, sisters, friends, may you know, in abundance, the grace, peace & comfort of the Good Shepherd of the Sheep, in dark days that lie ahead. How horrifying for survivors to watch loved ones mowed down in cold blood or expiring in their arms! How terrifying for those who, at a moment’s notice, were snatched away from earth by this barbarous act! I’ve been reflecting a little today on how to make some sense of what frankly beggars belief: we are wise to admit, there are elements in all this that our finite minds cannot fathom – in the end we know God will overrule gratuitous violence for good; yet there are other elements here, which should give us cause to pause and help lawmakers learn lessons. Re

DeVos’ Staff Picks Would Make Jeb Bush Proud

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Photo credit:  Gage Skidmore  ( CC-By-SA 2.0 ) By Jane Robbins - Posted at Truth In American Education : If Jeb Bush can’t be president, he would probably settle for the consolation prize of control over the Department of Education (USED). Bush was happy with President Trump’s “outstanding” appointment of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education, and with her most recent appointments, DeVos has indicated Bush can still be proud of her. Through organizations she founded and led and through serving on the board of his foundation, DeVos has demonstrated her affinity with Bush on almost all important education issues: supporting the Common Core national standards (although she backtracked , sort of, when she was nominated for secretary), school choice, digital training rather than genuine education, sweeping collection and use of student data by government and corporations, and increased preschool programs to get toddlers into government schooling. If Trump intended to keep the edu

Your Best Life Later

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By Pastor Geoff Ingrum - Posted at Sermon Audio Scripture Text: 2 Peter 3:11-13 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. King James Version (KJV) Details: A powerful message demonstrating two things about which we can be sure: (1) God will judge sin; (2) God will save the righteous. This message demonstrates how sure and certain is coming judgement and how great is our need for the Gospel of Christ. (50:22 Minutes) Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1021715593310

Hatred in Las Vegas: What if...

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Image Source: NBC News (David Becker / Getty Images) By Kyle Borg - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Published 10.02.2017 Many of us woke up this morning to the absolutely tragic news of a mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Videos show the fear and horror as gunshots can be heard breaking through the noise of the crowd. So far, reports indicate a lone gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel into a crowd. The initial numbers are nothing short of devastating. Fifty-eight dead and more than five hundred injured. Fifty-eight people. Fathers. Mothers. Sons. Daughters. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Almost sixty people who will not walk past the threshold of their homes today because their lives have been snuffed out by an act of violence. Events like these trigger our collective memory—Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and the list goes on. My heart is broken and so is the heart of this nation. Hatred. Yes, that’s what it is. Hatred. There’s no