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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Burning of the Wooden Shoes

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By Christopher J. Gordon - Posted at Reformation 21 : It was a painful decision for my father to leave the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRC). He was pulled apart over it. He expressed all of his concerns to the new minister. "The direction you're taking," my father said, "is undermining the Great Commission of Jesus." Immediately, the pastor yelled back, "this is what's wrong with you Reformed people." My father retorted, "But aren't you Reformed?" That is a great question. By being raised in the CRC I learned a lot about what can happen to a church. I have been a pastor in a confessional Reformed church for almost 15 years now. As I watch the shifts and listen to the discussions, this all seems like déjà vu. What took the CRC thirty to forty years to accomplish, in jettisoning her Reformed heritage, seems to be taking some NAPARC churches about a decade. I am particularly concerned for the PCA, but they are not

The “Opium Of The People” And The Opioid Crisis

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Karl Marx  (1818–1883) By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : I have been thinking some lately about Karl Marx (1818–83). Now, it has been a few decades since I have read Marx but I did read him a fair bit in University as an undergraduate. I think my various Political Science professors assigned The Communist Manifest about 5 times in various courses. Beyond the reading he featured prominently in lectures. This was all before President Reagan’s 1987 “Tear Down This Wall” speech and the visible collapse of the Soviet Union, in which those who had been held hostage by Marxist-inspired communism did finally tear down the Berlin Wall in 1989. As I watched Germans and others sitting atop the wall, an act that would have had them shot only a few years earlier, I thought that the manifest evidence of the failure of the Marxist-Leninist (Communist) project would be obvious to all but I was wrong. I was wrong because I did not understand yet that Marxism is not a mere social

What Counts as a “Gospel Issue?”

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By Tim Challies - Posted at Challies.com : My guess is you’ve probably heard someone use the phrase “gospel issue.” You may well have used it yourself a few times. But what is a gospel issue? What does this phrase mean? I did some searching around to see what counts as a gospel issue and found quite an extensive list. According to at least someone, each of these is a gospel issue: The doctrine of election, the treatment of animals, creation care and conservation, racial reconciliation, racial diversity, abortion, social justice, gender roles, love, transgenderism, marriage, religious liberty, the historicity of Adam, global debt, forgiveness, anxiety, church health, and vocation. This is quite a list and perhaps makes the question even more interesting: What constitutes a gospel issue? Is there anything that doesn’t count as a gospel issue? Is there any agreement among Christians as to what does and does not constitute one? Continue reading...

The Tragedy Of The Entertaining Church

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Posted at The Outspoken Tulip : “Show people that Christians are just like everyone else.” “If we have non-threatening activities like movie nights, people will get comfortable enough with us that they’ll want to come to church.” “Unless we have games and refreshments, kids won’t come to youth group.” I heard all these comments, and more, from a church I used to attend, usually in connection with evangelism and church growth strategies. We want to attract people to the Lord, not scare them away from Him, the leadership of the church reasoned. For a while, they even made sense. Why not make visitors comfortable before hitting them with the Bible? Sometimes the promoters of such ideas supported them with 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 . Never mind that this passage, in context, refers to restricting one’s Christian liberties to avoid offending people with anything but the Gospel. But in his next epistle to that same church, Paul made it clear that presenting the Gospel would, in fact, off

Two Lessons from Two Radically Different Funerals

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By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate : Funerals are a gift from God. I know that sounds crazy, but they are a God-given tool to force us to reflect on the brevity of life, and how finite we are as human beings. I truly do believe that humans should attend as many funerals as possible during their lives, it is that good for your soul. I have the privilege of attending two last Friday, and they could not have been more different from each other. The first was of a believer. One of the sons (who is an elder at our church) gave the eulogy, and the other son, who is a Presbyterian pastor, gave the message. At least 100 people were there. The second was of a non-believer. I had the privilege of giving the message at this one to a crowd of 10 people at the local funeral home. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the incredible difference between the two funerals. Both individuals were in their 80s, both had lived long lives full of experiences, and yet, the outcome of

The Seeker-Friendly, Purpose-Driven Cornucopia of False Doctrine

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By Steve Kozar - Posted at Pirate Christian Media : The "attractional" church model is so common that it's practically the norm; most Christians have assumed that it is the only valid way to "do church" nowadays, or they don't even know that other legitimate options exist. What is it? Simply put, this model of church starts with the idea that "normal" church is unattractive and can't bring in new people, so exciting new ideas must be implemented in order to get people in the door. Once people show up for the attractive and entertaining aspects, they'll eventually hear a gospel message and they'll "accept Jesus in their hearts" (or something to that effect). This philosophy makes a number of assertions and assumptions right from the start: The needs and sensibilities of the unbeliever should determine the strategy of the church.  All of the churches in history (up till now) were doing it wrong: too old-fashioned, too

Facebook - The Gig Is Up

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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 co

Infrequent cannabis use strongly linked to psychosis

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Posted at The Christian Institute : Smoking cannabis as little as five times as a teenager can lead to psychosis in later life, new research has shown. The study from Finland, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, adds to the evidence that indicates the drug can lead to poor mental health, and in some cases, suicide. The findings come amid reports that up to 94 per cent of cannabis in parts of England is highly potent ‘skunk’. Continue reading...

Daily Mail Smears Christians

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Posted at Christian in Canada: Read the entire article, which is posted here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5526159/Austin-bomber-shot-dead-police-try-arrest-him.html . Lest you think I’m overreacting, here is a sampling of the headlines that came up on a Google search of the same incident today. You’ll notice that even in the most left-leaning media, there is no mention of “devout” Christianity: There is no mention in the Daily Mail article of the bomber actually being a “Christian.” There is no mention of a church or Bible studies he attended or anything of the sort. All there is is a mention that in 2012, when he was 18, he appeared to be against gay marriage and abortion and for the death penalty. Sorry, but being “conservative” on some issues does not automatically make someone a “Christian.” Continue reading...

ARMED SUPPORT OFFICER ENDS ATTEMPTED SCHOOL SHOOTING IN MARYLAND

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Gun ownership up, gun violence down - Wintery Knight Posted at Wintery Knight: The mainstream media is using naive students like sock puppets to push an anti-self-defense agenda. I saw a clip where one of the children was explaining that armed teachers or security guards would not prevent school shootings. Instead, the solution being suggested by those on the left is to ban all semi-automatic weapons – which would mean confiscating nearly every firearm used for self-defense against criminals by law-abiding citizens. So, does having an armed security guard on staff work? Here’s a story from the Daily Caller : The Great Mills High School student who injured two others Tuesday morning was stopped by the school’s armed resource officer.  According to St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron, the school resource officer (SRO) fired a round at the shooter, who fired a round in return. The shooter is now dead, Cameron confirmed Tuesday morning, and an investigation will determine whet

Calif. bill threatens Bible-based therapy

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By Kiley Crossland/WORLD News Service - Posted at Baptist Press: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- A proposed law in California could outlaw helping people with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender-identity confusion. If passed, the bill, introduced last month by Assemblyman Evan Low, would be the most expansive ban on therapy related to sexual orientation and gender in the country. Other bans across the country restrict the practice of licensed therapists, but this law would label as fraudulent any message that aligns with the Biblical view of sexuality and gender. The bill would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act to add "sexual orientation change efforts" to the list of unfair or deceptive practices. Sexual orientation change efforts are defined broadly as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual romantic attractions or fe

The rules of engagement for Christians

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By Dana Hall McCain - Posted at AL.com : Today I'm going to preach a little to my brethren in the Christian faith. If that's not you, feel free to go watch Netflix or walk the dog. You're off the hook. I feel like all of us--myself included--could use a refresher course on how to communicate and act in the political realm in a distinctly Christian way. Christ calls us to be in this world, but not of it. I've never seen anything more efficient at making Christians of the world than politics. It's a dirty business, known for its corruption, its double-speak, and its worship of power. It unashamedly insists that the ends justify the means. If you demand better, they scoff and call you naive. We lie down with dogs, we get up with fleas. How do we glean from political and civic engagement the positive impact it may yield, without sinking into the mire? Unless we're disciplined, intentional and aware of the risks, we don't. But there are some guardrails

Why Lies Spread Faster Than Truth

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Posted at Reformation Scotland : False news travels six times faster than the truth according to a new scientific study . It’s 70% more likely to be retweeted. The study analyses 126,000 false stories tweeted by roughly three million people more than 4.5 million times. We’re aware of fake news and robots that generate it online. It seems that the robots are not responsible for the speed at which fake news travels – we are. What is it in human nature that is drawn to sharing falsehood? It should be of great concern to us. The author of the study, Professor Aral makes a striking comment. “Some notion of truth is central to the proper functioning of nearly every realm of human endeavor. If we allow the world to be consumed by falsity, we are inviting catastrophe”. Of course the trend of post-modern thought has been to claim that truth is relative, not absolute. This undermines a concern for truth, even the facts because it is claimed that such truth claims are an exercise of power

Come Out From Them and Be Separate

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By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate: In our series on 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1 , I’ve been considering what implications that text has for us as we consider whom the faithful Christian minister may legitimately partner with in ministry (parts one , two , three , and four ). Last time , we considered that the church is the temple of the living God in this age, and that all false religion is idolatrous. To partner in ministry with those who are enemies of the Gospel is to bring idols into the temple of God, and to court His judgment. The consequence of that reality for our lives—the responsibility it creates for us as God’s temple—is stated in 2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1 : “Therefore, ‘come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean.’ And I will welcome you. ‘And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defi

Sexual Harassment

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By Dan Doriani - Posted at The Place for Truth : In 2017-8, the long-simmering, long-suppressed scandal of sexual harassment of women in the workplace broke containment. It began when a handful of strong, brave entertainers credibly accused entertainment's worst offenders of sexual harassment. Men had objectified, harassed, demeaned, and groped them. Bosses had pressed for sexual favors, even forced them, and threatened reprisals if a woman refused to comply or spoke up after the fact. They decided they weren't going to take it anymore. Once a few stood up, dozens, then hundreds of others came forward. The tide began with entertainers, but women with standing in business and the media soon followed. Next came women with less power, such as hotel workers. The charges were sober and credible and many embraced the cause of reform. Titans of entertainment, media, business, and politics resigned in disgrace or were fired. Will that change the life of women? Reform won&#

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

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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

CREATING AMERICAN NATIONALISTS: PRESBYTERIANS AND THE WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

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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 primar

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

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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

What Do We Forget in Forgetting the Church’s History?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland: It doesn’t seem like a high priority to many. What pressing relevance can previous centuries have when our world is so different? Isn’t it just for those who like that sort of thing? No, because God requires us to recall His works done in the past (Psalm 105:5). And do we think that God has stopped working since the apostles? Church history glorifies God. We are to learn for our own benefit from what has happened to God’s people in the past (1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4). How will we understand our own times unless we know the influences that have shaped our generation (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)? How can we build the Church if we take no time to understand what it is, has been and where it is going? Looking back and understanding what God has done in the Church gives us a sense of perspective. We see how little we are and how short lived some of the ideas that seem so powerful today. The idea that new and now are always better is proud and short-si

Federal Influence on State and Local School-Discipline Policies

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By Jane Robbins and Erin Tuttle - Posted at  Truth in American Education: Much discussion of the Parkland, Florida school shooting has centered on how the discipline policies of the Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) may have been designed not to make the schools safer, but to make the schools’ statistics on suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to law enforcement look better. Better to whom? To a great extent, to the federal government during the Obama administration. This tragic case illustrates what tends to happen when the federal government meddles with local or state policies. In a book Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty that we co-authored with Emmett McGroarty, we detail how the federal government influences or even dictates local policies by various means, including 1) issuing “guidance” that localities are encouraged to implement as if it were legally binding; 2) creating multi-agency initiatives that leverage federal power to force loc

Four Reasons Why It Matters Who We Share, Pin, and Re-Tweet

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By Michelle Lesley Originally Published May 22, 2014 Scroll…scroll…wince… Scroll…scroll…wince… I find myself wincing a bit when I see people –who I know genuinely love Jesus—sharing, pinning, and re-tweeting quotes from false teachers such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and Christine Caine, just to name a few. Why? What’s wrong with the encouraging, even biblical, at times, things these people say? First of all, let me back up a little. What is a “false teacher”? A false teacher is someone who is billed as a Christian pastor or Bible teacher who habitually and unrepentantly writes, teaches, or preaches things that conflict with the clear teaching of Scripture. For example, all four of the people I listed above teach some version of the prosperity gospel, the false teaching that is most rampant in the Western church today. Additionally, T.D. Jakes adheres to the false doctrine of modalism, and Joyce Meyer and Christine Caine blatantly disobey the Bible’s teaching that

How abandoning Sola Scriptura shipwrecks your faith

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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? - GTY John MacArthur on Spiritual Formation a

The abusers behind the idea that children have a 'gender identity'

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Posted at Christian Concern: The idea that children have an innate “gender identity” that may differ from their sex has been promoted globally by influential child abusers who worked with children. In this article Carys Moseley traces the influence of Peter Newell, the prominent British children’s rights campaigner jailed last month for raping a boy. Newell introduced the idea that children’s “gender identity” should be protected in law in the UNICEF Implementation Handbook for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a document closely linked to the Yogyakarta Principles drawn up by LGBT activists to spread LGBT privileges worldwide. Last month Peter Newell, the most prominent campaigner in the UK for a ban on parental smacking, was jailed for six years for historic rape of a 13-year old boy . Newell was a major international ‘children’s rights campaigner’ with one goal – to make smacking illegal worldwide, and thus to create a situation where parents could be criminal

Judgement: The Doctrine Lost to the Modern Pulpit

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Burdened Christian flees from home - Wikipedia 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

The Trail of Liberty & Independence

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Battle of Moore's Creek Re-enactment - Piedmont Trails Posted at Piedmont Trails: The normal teachings of this period discusses the forefathers and their actions that proclaimed separation from England, but in truth, it was widely known to many settlers and pioneers of North Carolina that religious beliefs would not allow a king to overpower their livelihood and progress. Families would worship one king and that was Jesus Christ. This was the ultimate division between the colony of North Carolina and England. This allowed Christians to stand up and fight the first battle of the Revolution in Alamance, NC in 1771. ... If we visited the homes of our ancestor’s in the wake of the American Revolutionary War, we would hear the words, liberty and independence quite often. The settlers living in North Carolina were all seeking one important common denominator, and that was prosperity. In order to achieve this, one must be free of obstacles that would hamper his progress. The tax

The Powerlessness of Prayer-Shaming

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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',