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Showing posts from May, 2018

Mecklenburg Resolves, Bold Step Toward Independence

Posted at the  North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources : On May 31, 1775, a committee led by Thomas Polk met at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, in the heart of Charlotte at present-day Trade and Tryon Streets, to adopt the Mecklenburg Resolves. Unlike the widely disputed “ Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence ,” the authenticity of the resolves is not in question. This was a radical set of resolutions, denying the authority of Parliament over the colonies and investing that power in the Provincial Congress, meeting that same week in New Bern. In the absence of an operational new government, the resolves set up some basic tenets. Anyone who received or exercised a commission from the Crown was deemed an “enemy to his country” and subject to arrest. The county’s militia companies were ordered to arm themselves and maintain vigilance. The Mecklenburg Resolves were published in full in the North Carolina Gazette in June 1775 , and received wide circu

The Covenant of 1871: A Memorial

By Andrew Myers - Posted at Log College Press : Continuing a theme this week, we have recently observed the anniversary of the Covenant of 1871 , adopted by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, as well as the personal covenant taken by the man who authored the 1871 Covenant, Samuel Oliver Wylie . Today, we note the Memorial Volume: Covenant Renovation published by the RPCNA in 1872, edited by James Renwick Wilson Sloane (1823-1886) . It is a commemoration of a very significant chapter in the history of the American Covenanter Church. Included in its pages are a narrative of the events surrounding the adoption of the Covenant signed on May 27, 1871; as well as sermons and addresses by multiple ministers on the ordinance of covenanting, its importance and its duty, as well as related matters. With the Scottish National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, embraced by the Westminster Divines, as background, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of N

Transgender people encouraged to become priests in Church of England diversity drive

Source: Wikipedia By Olivia Rudgard - Posted at The Telegraph : Transgender people are being encouraged to become Church of England vicars as bishops launch a diversity drive. Bishops in the diocese of Lichfield have issued new guidance to parishioners and clergy reminding them that LGBT people "can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church". The guidance, titled "welcoming and honouring LGBT+ people", warns that the church's reputation as being unwelcoming towards gay and transgender people is stopping young people attending. Continue reading... HT: Sermon Audio  

Accusers to Willow Creek: No Reconciliation Without Repentance

By Megan Briggs - Posted at ChurchLeaders : Betty Schmidt, who served as an elder at Willow Creek Church for over 30 years, says she will not participate in efforts at reconciliation between herself and the current Willow Creek elder board. Schmidt first expressed her concern over the way the elder board was handling the allegations against Bill Hybels in April. Now she is speaking up again, raising alarm over the board’s choice in mediators to handle the conversation between Willow Creek and the women accusing Hybels of sexual misconduct . “Before reconciliation can be attempted, Willow Creek elders and leaders must focus and address their own actions and failings, which have been accruing since the unfortunate family meetings of late March and for the four years prior,” Schmidt writes on her site VeritasBeTold . The family meetings Schmidt refers to are the ones the elder board held with congregants following the Chicago Tribune’s breaking a story about Hybels and the women a

Gay Christians?

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : Introduction I have been speaking with an especially thoughtful young person recently who asked me whether it was appropriate to speak of “Gay Christians.” My first response was to ask whether it is appropriate to speak of “Murderer Christians” or “Thief Christians” or “Idolater Christians”? When the adjective “gay” refers to homosexuals, the expression “Gay Christian” is an oxymoron. Some may be almost entirely unaware of the older, original sense of “gay,” i.e., happy. Equally remarkable is the fact that it now seems widely accepted that the practice of homosexuality is quite compatible with a Christian profession. There is even a “ Gay Christian Network ” internet program. They must be right, after all famous evangelical celebrities have endorsed them. Is not that how truth and reality works? If a movement gets enough influential people to endorse its views and practices, then that makes it true, right? No, it does not. This

Texas school shooting suspect’s father Antonios Pagourtzis terrible words in defense of his son

A vigil for the victims of the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. Credit - Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times Posted at The Domain for Truth : I saw an MSNBC new article titled “ Texas school shooting suspect’s father thinks he was bullied .” The father has some serious issues himself; one can’t help but to wonder what ways this man contributed to his son’s barbaric sin of shooting up a school. This is not to say that the shooter himself is eliminated from his own responsibilities; but I imagine his upbringing by his father inability to see his son being a problem certainly has a role to play. If not at the minimum what he told reporters certainly is problematic in of itself. Already at the beginning of the news article I think the direction seem negative A 17-year-old student accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Texas high school should be seen as a “victim” because he may have recently been bullied, causing him to lash out, his father said.

Adam Ford: 'I sold the Babylon Bee and am no longer running it'

By Adam Ford - Posted at : I fully realize that a major reason the Bee (and my webcomic, for that matter) was able to blow up like it did was because of social media — Facebook in particular. This is just how it goes when you make things for the internet: you create, you post to social media, you hope people like it and it spreads. But the power that Facebook held over me as a content creator began to make me very uneasy. I sold The Babylon Bee about a month ago. I’m no longer running it, but it’s still in good hands. I thought I’d let you all know what, who, and why. A Christian entrepreneur named Seth Dillon is the new majority owner. My friend Kyle Mann, who has been with the Bee since nearly the very beginning and was head writer since September 2016, has now taken my place as full-time editor and publisher. I am still involved in a more limited capacity and will be for the foreseeable future. I also still own a small piece of the Bee, but I am no longer c

What Should We Do When the State Invades the Church?

Posted at Reformation Scotland : According to senior figures in the Church of England in recent weeks, the Church should lose its exemptions from prosecution under equalities legislation. Dr Ison the Dean of St Paul’s said: “My view is that if there is a price to be paid for what you believe in conscience then you should pay that; you should not make other people pay the price for your conscience. That applies to abortion, to issues of sexuality and gender and right across the piste. If it is legal, decent and honest but you don’t believe it is right, then you have to deal with it.” In other words, there should be legal coercion irrespective of conscience. The Bishop of Buckingham has previously appealed to Romans 13 and the requirement to be subject to the powers ordained of God. Yet Scripture says that we must obey God rather than men when they come into conflict (Acts 5:29). How do we reconcile these principles? If we end up facing such a situation we will not be the first.

A Royal Wedding: How Bishop Michael Curry's Sermon Was Not Royal Enough

By Pastor Gabriel Hughes  Published 5.20.2018 So there was a royal wedding this weekend. Did you know that? You've probably had little contact with the outside world in the last several weeks if you hadn't at least heard about it. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, an American actress, were proclaimed husband and wife yesterday during a fairy-tale wedding at Windsor Castle in the English county of Berkshire. As you might expect, it was quite lavish: the bride wore a 16-foot veil, the couple rode in a 1968 Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero converted to electric, and they had a wedding cake worth more than I've ever made in a year. An estimated 1.9 billion people tuned in to watch worldwide. Yet I was not one of them. I've always been fascinated by royalty, and Britain's is one of the oldest monarchies in the world (after Japan as the oldest, followed by Cambodia, Oman, and Morocco for your trivia pleasure). I've even watched the show Suits a few

For the Iniquity of America is Not Yet Complete

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Al Baker - Posted at Banner of Truth: ‘Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.’ — Genesis 15:16 We find in Genesis 15 that Yahweh Elohim reaffirms His covenant with Abram (Genesis 12:1-3), saying that He will be Abram’s shield and great reward. He would have a son and his descendants would be as the stars of the heavens. Yahweh proves His faithfulness by having a flaming torch and smoking oven pass between the pieces of the animals Abram had cut. Yahweh was symbolically cutting a covenant with Abram. In the midst of this transaction Yahweh promises that Abram’s offspring would be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years in a foreign land, but that in the fourth generation (four hundred years) His people would return to the land of Canaan. It would take that long because the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete. What does this mean? Who were the Amorites? The Amo

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a Year Before Thomas Jefferson’s Document

Posted at ReginaJeffer's Blog : Some of you realize, I live in North Carolina, a state draped in rich history. One of those events is the the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Charlotte, North Carolina will celebration this event on Sunday: A year before Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration,” there was Meck-Dec, as we in the area fondly call it. After the French and Indian War, King George and the British Parliament sometimes ignored the American colonies and sometimes saw them as a source of income for the numerous wars in which they engaged. The Stamp Act and the taxes on tea, however, provoke the colonists into breaking with Great Britain. When the British Army occupied Boston and close the port, word of the aggression quickly spread, even to the backwoods of Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. Not liking what they heard, those within the county authorized Colonel Thomas Polk, the commander of the county militia, to call a meeting where the “aggression” might be dis


By Silverio Gonzalez - Posted at Core Christianity : Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”—Matthew 28:16–20 Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). This prayer asks God to act. It pleads with God to enter into our circumstances and to bring about his good rule over our lives and the lives of the people we call our enemies. It seeks the will of God. It hopes for the day when God would end war, bring good news to the poor, bind the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty

Zombies & prayer at the Georgia statehouse

The Georgia Capitol was the site of both filming for the zombie-laden series "The Walking Dead" and an observance of the National Day of Prayer. - Photo by Mike Griffin (Baptist Press) By Art Toalston - Posted at Baptist Press : ATLANTA (BP) -- The zombie-laden horror series, "The Walking Dead," and the National Day of Prayer shared common ground, literally, at the Georgia Capitol on May 3. A number of people in eerie, dirty-looking black clothing were eating on the statehouse lawn when Mike Griffin, public affairs representative for the Georgia Baptist Convention, arrived early to set up for a Facebook Live airing of the noontime National Day of Prayer gathering. "I thought maybe they were feeding the homeless," Griffin said. A number of trailers had been pulled to the main doors and Griffin asked a security guard, "What's going on out here?" "They're filming The Walking Dead" came the reply. The National Day

Gentle Spirits, Shrewd Hearts

By Rachel Dinkledine - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Reckoning with personal vulnerability, human depravity, and the call to serve. ...Over the years, I’ve met a few women who adopt a mindset rooted in false-assurance. Because they are serving God, they believe He places a forcefield around them. As faith-filled as this may sound, it’s a bit naive. Evil is real. I’m petite. How was I to reckon with my own vulnerability and God’s call to serve? Growing up, I was taught to expect suffering. Head colds, flat tires, false accusations, and betrayal are all part of the Christian experience. Yet as I entered adulthood, I encountered a kind of suffering I couldn’t fully explain, that of sexual harassment. The suffering of harassment was compounded by my confusion--how should one united to Christ think about harassment anyway? I knew that if I couldn’t articulate a biblical answer to this question, I probably wasn’t living a biblical response either. For years, I searched the Scri

The Greatest Lie We Can Tell Ourselves

Posted at Reformation Scotland: Pop psychology believes that the worst thing we can do is not think positively about ourselves. Apparently we just need to have the right mindset and then we can do anything. Our negative thoughts then become “the lies we tell ourselves”. Biblical wisdom is far different. It reveals glorious truths and realities that provide us with more motivation than we could imagine. Yet it also reveals the uncomfortable truth about ourselves, leaving us with nowhere to hide. Unless we come to terms with this we will only deceive ourselves. The most glorious thing that the Bible says we can have is fellowship with God. Yet it is hindered by the greatest lie. Both of these are brought together in one verse. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). Hugh Binning opens up the most glorious privilege and the greatest lie. True Religion is in Fellowship with God True religion consists not only in

Islamic Extremist Suicide Bomber Family Attacks Three Churches in East Java, Indonesia

Surabaya, Indonesia. (Wikipedia). Posted at Morning Star News :  Islamic extremists in Indonesia, including a family of suicide bombers that targeted three churches, launched multiple attacks yesterday and today that reportedly killed at least 12 people not including the assailants. The father of the family that killed the Christians on Sunday (May 13), Dita Futrianto, was the suspected head of the local cell of an Islamic State-inspired network called Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), the BBC reported, citing police. Futrianto was reported to have dropped off his wife, Puji Kuswati, and their two daughters, ages 9 and 12, at Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church in Surabaya, East Java. With her two daughters present, Kuswati hugged a parishioner before detonating her bomb, according to the Associated Press, citing a security guard. At Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church, Futrianto then drove his car onto the church grounds and detonated explosives. Earlier in the morning hi

Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Posted at Voice of the Persecuted: ( World Watch Monitor ) At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison for another 10 weeks, until the third hearing set for 18 July. “This secret witness issue is absolutely outlandish. It is not just related to our case; the secret witness issue has a very serious problem,” his lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told a Deutsche Welle reporter after the hearing. “This case cannot proceed by just relying on secret witnesses’ testimony,” Halavurt said. “Supporting evidence must come alongside these allegations. Our Supreme Court decisions regarding this are very plain: witness testimony claims are not sufficient to prolong a jailed person’s detention. In spite of reminding th

China: 'Seven Christians stand trial on false cult charge'

Christian Li Chunyu, who stood trial April 27 on a falsified cult participation charge, sits behind bars. (Photo: ChinaAid) Posted at ChinaAid : (Chuxiong, Yunnan—April 8, 2018) A court in China’s southwestern Yunnan province tried seven Christians falsely accused of cult participation on April 27 and forced many of them to fire their lawyers. Liu Wei, Li Yunxiu, Hu Yuxin, Li Chunyu, Yao Jiaping, Zhong Yonggui, and Li Wanhong, all stood trial in Chuxiong, Yunnan, in late April, combatting charges of “organizing and using evil cults to disrupt law enforcement.” Authorities alleged that they participated in the Three Grades of Servants group, a religious organization the Chinese government regards as a cult, because they openly practiced their Christian faith. Li Guisheng, the lawyer hired to defend Li Wanhong, said officials coerced several of the defendants to fire their lawyers right before the trial and replace them with government-appointed lawyers. “Out of the seven defenda

North Korea Releases Three American Christians from Prison

Photo: JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD - MAY 10: U.S. President Donald Trump walks with the three Americans just released from North Korea, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim at Joint Base Andrews on May 9, 2018 in Maryland. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea and returned with the three men who have been detained in North Korea. Photo courtesy: Mark Wilson/Getty Images - Christian Headlines By Leah Hickman - Posted at Christian Headlines : On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought home three American citizens who had spent the last one to three years as prisoners in North Korea. All three men are Christians and ethnically Korean. Two were falsely accused of “hostile acts” and arrested in the spring of 2017. The third, according to USA Today , was imprisoned for supposedly spying on North Korea and “trying to steal military secrets for South Koreans.” Unlike some prisoners released from North Korea in recent years, these three men appear to be in go

The Patterson Pandemonium: What He Got Wrong, What He Got Right, and What We Can Learn About Handling Spousal Abuse Biblically in the Church By Michelle Lesley Unless you’re a student of late twentieth century Southern Baptist history or you’re just an old enough Southern Baptist to remember him, you probably don’t know who Paige Patterson is. (I wasn’t very familiar with him until recently, myself.) The short version: Dr. Paige Patterson has been the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) since 2003. Prior to that he spent eleven years as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was instrumental in the Conservative Resurgence , and pastored several churches. (You can read the longer version here .) So why are we talking about Dr. Patterson today? One of the ripple effects of the #MeToo movement has been #ChurchToo . Ephesians 5:11, in the context of addressing sexual immorality, says: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. The #ChurchToo movement ha

Turkey court rules to send Andrew Brunson back to prison until next hearing

NORINE AND ANDREW BRUNSON - Voice of the Persecuted Posted at Voice of the Persecuted : After the second hearing of Pastor Andrew Brunson’s trial, a Turkish court ruled to keep him behind bars until the next hearing scheduled for July 18, 2018. The ruling came after a secret witness accused Brunson of helping a terrorist organization and planning to create a Christian Kurdish state. Reports claim that secret witnesses are testifying via a video link with their faces blurred and voices altered. Andrew repeatedly denied the prosecutor’s charges that he was involved with terrorism and espionage. Brunson said in his defense, “I am helping Syrian refugees, they say that I am aiding the PKK. I am setting up a church, they say I got help from Gülen’s network.”  "There is not one photograph or tape recording praising the PKK at the (Izmir) Resurrection Church. Our church had several Turkish followers. Our doors were open to everyone. I strived to prevent politics entering the c

Social Constructionism (9): Ideas have Legs

By Rick Mingerink - Posted at Reformed Free Publishing Association : For within the framework of men’s bodies is generated the most powerful explosive force known in history—the explosive force of ideas. …Ideas change men. Ideas shape nations. So many ideas bid for the allegiance of each human heart as it takes its journey from the womb to the tomb. And when millions of ordinary men and women begin to follow the same star history is molded. Great Britain’s Peter Howard wrote this shortly after World War II in his book Ideas Have Legs . With European soil still soaking in the blood of innocent Jews, the people of the 1940s experienced in raw form the truth that there are consequences to ideas. Social constructionism is one of the great ideas which has legs. It produces an abundance of human action. If ideas are an “ explosive force ,” social constructionism and its network of corresponding theories is a nuclear bomb. I state this because social constructionism isn’t just an isol

Is the Christian Family Disappearing in a Post-Familial Age?

Noah's Sacrifice by Daniel Maclise  - Wikipedia Posted at Reformation Scotland : One phrase stood out in the comments on the sad headlines about the plight and death of little Alfie Evans last week. This heart-wrenching case moved many across a large number of countries. Ross Douthat wrote of a wider “tendency to arrogate power away from the family” to “the system” in “the coming world of post-familialism”. It is “not just an issue for extreme medical cases, it applies to many other situations in our post-modern culture as well”. Government begins to assume the roles, responsibilities and rights of parents. But they are moving into a space that modern society is vacating. Post-familialism means moving beyond the family as the most basic unit of civilisation. It is replaced by individualism and personal fulfilment. Even where families exist modern life seems to have eroded relationships. The Bible focuses on family a great deal, we need to follow its cue. Few wrote more exte

King Solomon, The False Mother, and Alfie Evans

By Devorah Goldman - Posted at The Public Discourse : Like King Solomon, the courts in England were presented with a straightforward question: To whom does this child belong? In both cases, the true parent was unquestionably the one willing to sacrifice for the child, to safeguard his life even at the expense of never seeing him again, while the 'false mother' did not care whether the child lived or died. On April 28, 2018, twenty-three-month-old Alfie Evans died while being held at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, five days after his ventilator had been removed. Alfie had first been admitted to the hospital in December 2016, where he had received treatment for an undiagnosed neurodegenerative disorder until medical staff determined it was in his “best interests” to withdraw medical care, and, for a time, even basic nutrition and hydration. The furor following this decision has been well documented. The world watched in dismay as Alfie’s parents fought the British

For Those Just Tuning In: What Is The Federal Vision?

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : In talk radio the host is supposed to “re-set” the show at regular intervals. He is to remind listeners to which show they are listening and on what network or station. One reason why the host does this is because some listeners are just tuning in. Some people are “just tuning in,” as it were, to the Federal Vision controversy, and this might be a good time to reset the show. The FV is a 33-year-old movement that originated, at least in this episode, with the Rev. Mr. Norman Shepherd who was then teaching systematic theology at WTS/P. In 1974 he defined faith, in the act of justification, to be “faith and works.” It wasn’t that, in justification, faith is “receiving and resting,” and works are evidence and thus a sort of vindicatory justification of the claim that one believes. Nothing so nuanced or Reformed. Rather, he flatly claimed that there are two parts to faith in justification. When that created a predictable uproar, h

Hollywood’s Sexual Predators

By Ray Comfort - Posted at Living Waters: There are other sexual predators that man’s law ignores. There are millions who regularly peer through a window of a television or movie screen at people who are highly paid to have sex. It has been known for years that Hollywood has sexual predators, but in 2017 the dam burst. What was once hidden in the darkness of the entertainment and media industry was suddenly dragged into the light. Sexual abuse, like STDs, is one of the negative consequences in a society that has thrown off moral restraint. If anything goes, then there are no real boundaries, and so we have to live with the consequences. Take, for example, a certain popular television network that hires foxy ladies to host its programs. They are almost always attractive blondes who wear revealing fitted dresses and have long, shapely legs that are often filmed from a low angle. This is an accepted form of sexual exploitation, but few complain because the women are highly paid, a

"Am I My Brother's Keeper?": Christians and Social Justice

By Michael Horton - Posted at Core Christianity : It is through the gospel that the Spirit creates, grows, and expands Christ’s church. Already in Acts 2, we see the Great Commission playing out on the ground. At Pentecost, the Spirit empowers Peter to proclaim Christ as the fulfillment of the Scriptures, convicting many of their sins and opening their hearts to receive the good news. Those who believe are baptized (with examples in Acts of whole households being baptized along with a believing parent). “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Any program for missional outreach that omits these elements—or even makes them subordinate to humanly crafted initiatives—is a mission different from the one Christ ordained for his church. Christians are free, however, to take up vocations that are not given to the church as a special institution but still ordained by God. The Great Commission doesn’t

Pew: 25% of survey's Christians don't buy biblical God

By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press : WASHINGTON (BP) -- A fourth of self-identified Christians don't believe fully in the biblical description of God, Pew Research Center said in its latest study. Rather, 25 percent of American Christians believe in what Pew described as "God or another higher power" who is not necessarily all-loving, omniscient and omnipotent as Scripture reveals. "In total, three-quarters of U.S. Christians believe that God possesses all three of these attributes -- that the deity is loving, omniscient and omnipotent," Pew found in the study of about 4,750 Americans released April 25. Eighty percent of Christians told Pew they believe in the biblical God, but not all of them believed in the three godly characteristics Pew identified. Other biblical characteristics of God, such as mercy and grace, were not specified in the study's questions. Continue reading...