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Showing posts from November, 2018

On the Death of John Allen Chau

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By Tim Challies - Posted at Challies.com : Suddenly the whole world is talking about Christian missions. In his own way, John Allen Chau has sparked a conversation that now rages within the church and outside of it. I’ve spent the past week gathering my thoughts about his situation, and would like to offer a few points I hope you find helpful. First, we don’t need to rush to judgment. One of the consequences of this digital world is that it demands immediate responses. News spreads quickly and we are expected to have strong opinions long before we have access to more than the barest facts. Sometimes it seems that the less we know, the stronger we feel and the bolder speak. With a situation like this, we can reserve judgment until the facts become clear. In fact, we should reserve judgment until the facts become clear. We’ve had 150 years to consider John Paton and his perilous mission to the cannibals of the New Hebrides. We’ve had 60 years to consider Jim Elliott and his dea

In Meeting with President, Pastors in Nigeria Say Military Complicit in Attacks on Christians

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Image Source: Wikipedia Posted at Morning Star News: JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Christian leaders meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria this month delivered a sharp rebuke, saying the military is complicit in attacks on Christians. With the governor of Plateau state in attendance, the Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), delivered a report to Buhari at the presidential villa on Nov. 6 stating that 646 Christians in Plateau state alone were killed from March through October. “The narrative has been that these people are killed by unknown gunmen, or suspected herdsmen, or that there have been farmer-herders clashes,” Datiri said in the report, obtained by Morning Star News. “All these are deceptive narratives deliberately framed to conceal the truth and continue to perpetrate the evil.” The truth, he said, is that Muslim Fulani militias heavily armed with sophisticated guns, including AK47s, machine guns, a

A Christian Response to Immigrant Groups

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Posted at The Quixotic Iconoclast : How should we as Christians living in the United States view immigration? In what way should we differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants? Are some immigrant groups acceptable and some not? On the question of how many immigrants should be allowed into the United States, it's difficult to establish a clear Biblical answer. Many of the faithful were refugees at some point in their lives -Moses, Ruth, Naomi, King David, and even our Lord Jesus himself. What if immigration policies had prevented them from fleeing persecution and famine? Yet there's not a clear distinction of how many refugees a country is obliged to receive. The question of number is ultimately a political one. But how refugees are treated, when they do come, is a different matter. The Bible is very clear on that issue. Read more here.

10 Lessons From the Death of John Chau

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By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate : Would you be willing to die for the Gospel? That’s a question every Christian needs to ask themselves. And really, it should be a part of our discussions in Sunday school with our kids and everyone we evangelize. We aren’t just calling people to new life, we are calling people to die to self and be willing to die for the sake of others. I think that’s an appropriate take away from the news of John Chau’s death. I’ve been thinking about John Chau almost non-stop since I heard about his death. Read more here.

Indian Authorities Trying to Recover Body of US Missionary

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By Jim Denison - Posted at Christian Headlines : John Allen Chau was twenty-six years old. A native of Vancouver, Washington, he led missionary trips around the world for Christ. This month, he traveled to the North Sentinel Island in India’s Bay of Bengal to share Christ with the Sentinelese tribe . Its members have been isolated for centuries, rejecting all contact with the larger world and reacting with violence when outsiders have attempted to interact with them. Their island is off-limits to visitors under Indian law. Chau hired local fishermen to transport him within half a mile of the island. He then used a canoe to reach the island’s shore, returning later in the day. On his second trip, the tribespeople broke his canoe, forcing him to swim back to the boat. On his third trip, he did not come back. The fishermen said they later saw tribespeople dragging his body around. Indian authorities have now begun the arduous work of trying to retrieve Chau’s body without

Americans find meaning in money more than friends or religion

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Posted at BBC News : Published November 22, 2018 Religious faith ranked lower, providing a "great deal" of meaning to just 36% of people, on par with reading. ... As Americans gather with their family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner, they're being fed some grim home truths from the Pew Research Centre. Asked to rate what gave their life meaning, researchers found more people mentioned career and money, than friends or religion. Two-thirds of those surveyed said family was a source of satisfaction. But close to a third also cited work, while 23% said their finances made their lives meaningful. Researchers conducted the survey late last year, asking nearly 5,000 Americans an open-ended question about what parts of their lives gave them satisfaction and fulfilment. Answers included pets, hobbies, grandchildren and travel. Read more here. HT: Faith Unlocked

An American Thanksgiving

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By Andrew Myers - Posted at Log College Press : Thanksgiving has long been a national American tradition, dating back to the first Protestant thanksgiving in America at Fort Caroline, Florida as observed by the French Huguenots on June 30, 1564, upon their arrival after a cross-Atlantic journey, and more especially, as observed by the Pilgrims at Plimoth Colony, Massachusetts in the autumn of 1621, after a difficult first winter and a promising first harvest. In William Adam’s 1873 volume titled Thanksgiving: Memories of the Day, Helps to the Habit , the author speaks not only of the nostalgia for the past, but shows us the Biblical and historical basis for setting apart times of thanksgiving for the particular mercies of God. It is good to take note when God answers prayer, or when blessings are bestowed, and not to let such mercies go without giving God the glory. In memory of the day, be sure to look over William Carlos Martyn’s The Pilgrim Fathers of New England: A History

Are We Really in Danger of Making an Idol of the Family?

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Image Source:  Wikipedia By Kevin DeYoung - Posted at The Gospel Coalition : “One of the acceptable idolatries among evangelical Christians is the idolatry of the family.” That’s what I tweeted last week. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it. I’ve said similar things in sermons for the past decade, and I’ve tweeted similar things before. But this time—I was later told by friends who track with Twitter more closely than I do—the statement took on a life of its own as this one sentence was liked 1,600 times and bandied about on social media for the next few days. Unknown to me, I was (depending on who you ask) suddenly saying something wonderfully courageous or terribly misguided. So let me clarify. As far as I can tell, I first uttered this statement (or something close to it) in a 2010 sermon on Mark 3:31-35 entitled Jesus’s Real Family . The tweet itself comes from a more recent sermon on the miracle at Cana in Galilee. My point in both cases was that a commitment to f

China: Four churches given ultimatum: join government network or face closure

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Posted at ChinaAid: (Chengdu, Sichuan—Nov. 17, 2018) Authorities in China’s southwestern Sichuan province have been conducting massive crackdowns on unregistered churches in the region, issuing final warnings and requiring that pastors decide whether or not to join the official churches. Four churches have already received this warning, including Shangxi Church in Guangyuan, Guiyi Church in Mianyang, and Xinguang Church and Joshua Church in Chengdu. “A few churches’ pastors, who I have connections with, already received the government’s final warning, requiring that they should make a decision within two weeks: either join Three-Self Churches or be disbanded,” a local Christian said. In China, in order to be considered a legal venue, churches must become state-run churches—otherwise known as Three-Self Churches—allowing officials to monitor them. As a result, many churches do not register with the government. Read more here.

The 40th Anniversary Of The Jonestown Massacre Is The Perfect Time To Brush Up On How Cults Operate

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Jonestown - Wikipedia By Stella Morabito - Posted at The Federalist : As horrifying as the Jonestown tape is, it also offers us a stark, invaluable lesson on the weakness of the human mind when it’s put into isolation and subjected to coercive persuasion. Coercive persuasion has immense power to shape and twist the human mind. We should all know this. Exhibit A is the Jonestown massacre of 40 years ago. It was the largest mass murder of American civilians until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet it’s doubtful we really understand the dangers of the cult mindset or how vulnerable all people are to cult tactics. If someone commanded you to give your child a lethal dose of poison, you’d probably protect your child and report that homicidal maniac to the authorities. But what would you do if you were trapped in an isolated place for years with hundreds of fellow cultists who complied with the order coming from your venerated leader? And after years of being isolat

Media Motives Matter

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By Jason Helopoulos - Posted at Reformation 21: In this social media age, the Christian would do well to remember Christ's warning, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven" ( Matthew 6:1 ). "Sound no trumpet," Jesus says, when you give ( Matthew 6:2 ). It is quite an illustration Jesus offers. Here is a person who gives, but before they do so they blow a horn. That will gather some attention! They desire to be seen. They want to be thought well of. They long to be honored. We don't sound trumpets (that seems a little over the top) but we have other means in our day of being recognized--especially on social media. Many master what has been called the humble brag: "I am so thankful for so and so's thankfulness for me." We are so humbled that we retweet their thankfulness! Virtue-signaling may be the greatest temptation. Of t

Scholar conducts survey of Chinese church persecution

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In China, authorities often harass Christians, as is happening in the photo above. (Photo: ChinaAid) Posted at ChinaAid : "It was originally planned to conduct a questionnaire concerning how Chinese house churches have been persecuted by the [Chinese] political power among house church members attending a training. It was planned to collect about 100 questionnaires (some trainees may have come from the same church, and the questionnaire is about churches). Nevertheless, about 90% of the people signed up for the training didn’t make it due to the Chinese government’s interference. ..."  Pastor Liu Tongsu (Beijing—Nov. 12, 2018) Pastor Liu Tongsu, the North American scholar of political and religious issues, conducted a questionnaire regarding the current situation of house churches in the late October. However, participants involved in the questionnaire couldn’t complete the questionnaire due to the Chinese government’s interference. The limited data should not affect

THE SHAMEFUL ABANDONMENT OF ASIA BIBI

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By Melanie Phillips It is hard to think of a more deserving case for asylum than Asia Bibi. A Christian in Pakistan, Asia Bibi has been freed after eight years in solitary confinement on death row for committing blasphemy, a crime of which she has now been acquitted by Pakistan’s supreme court. The accusation against her was a travesty. As she picked berries with other Punjabi farmworkers in June 2009, a quarrel developed with two Muslim women after she was asked to fetch water and they said they wouldn’t drink from a vessel touched by a Christian. The women later alleged to a village mullah that Asia Bibi had insulted Mohammed, accusations which the supreme court said were “concoction incarnate”. The acquittal prompted thousands of violent demonstrators to take to the streets calling for Asia Bibi to be hanged and threatening the supreme court judges with death. The leader of the Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan threatened that if she left the country there would be war

The Peace That Could Not Hold

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World War I Montage - Wikipedia By Collin Hansen - Posted at The Gospel Coalition : It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. After the armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (100 years ago Sunday on November 11, 1918), it would be known as the Great War. No one would have thought to call it World War I, because they could not fathom the even greater horrors to come just a few decades later in World War II. The peace of 1918 would not hold. Americans pay far closer attention to World War II, even though the country suffered more than 117,000 military deaths in two brief and bloody years from 1917 to 1918. Indeed, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that ended 100 years ago Sunday was by far the deadliest battle in American history, surpassing both the Battle of the Bulge and also the Normandy Invasion in World War II. Neither America, nor any other antagonists that suffered even greater losses, would ever be the same after this terrible and utterly avoidabl

War through the eyes of a child: Alice Kuik shares her memories of World War II

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Alice Kuik, 3yrs. old - Image Source: Reformed Perspective By Jane Deglint - Posted at Reformed Perspective : “The horror and sacrifices of those who endured a war must be recorded and remembered. If we fail to do so, we will soon take peace for granted and exaggerate small inconveniences.” – Jan Hendrik Luiten A CHILD OF WAR My birth must have been a moment of mixed emotions for my parents. To be sure, I have every reason to believe that they were delighted with the arrival of their first-born child. However, my birth took place just three months after the German army had invaded the Netherlands. I was not born in a country where we could speak freely or go outside without worry. No, I was born in a country that was tightly controlled by an enemy. Fears and secrets were a normal part of my life. I was born a child of war. Yet, the horror of war was not unbearable for me. I endured it with acceptance and resilience. This remarkable ability to take things in stride had t

Colorado Voters Elect Nation’s First Openly Homosexual Governor

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network : DENVER, Co. — Voters in Colorado have elected the nation’s first openly homosexual governor, choosing Democrat Jared Polis 52 percent over Republican challenger Walker Stapleton, who obtained 45 percent of the vote. Jared Polis, who raises two children with his partner, Marlon Reis, has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2009. He made clear during his campaign that homosexual rights are an important issue to him and noted his record of either writing or working to pass legislation protecting homosexuals and those who identify as transgender. “Jared worked across the aisle to eliminate the discriminatory ban on openly gay military service members, and he’s fighting back against Trump’s despicable ban on transgender Americans serving in the military,” Polis’ website states.  “Jared fought for years for marriage-equality legislation, and after the Obergefell victory in 2015, he and his family celebrated

It's No Accident When Children are Drawn to Satanism

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Artist's Depiction of Slender Man - Wikipedia By Linda Harvey - Posted at Mission America : You may think you don’t have time to deal with your child’s obsession with astrology, weird Internet games, horror movies or dark-themed music. Or that new book about cool teens who are witches. Don’t dismiss it as just a phase. You need to make time and make some changes. Their lives and yours could turn into a living hell if you don’t. Two middle schoolers in central Florida were just arrested after officials discovered their plot to stab and kill other students, drink their blood and then kill themselves. The girls, ages 11 and 12, brought knives and pizza cutters to school. The pair revealed they had recently watched Halloween horror movies, and were fans of “Slenderman.” It’s not the first time the online fictional character “Slenderman” was cited as the influence behind violent plots by middle school girls against classmates. In 2014, two Wisconsin 12- year -old girls st

Jesus is Coming Back

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By Jared Olivetti - Posted at Gentle Reformation : As I write, many of our American readers are at the polls, casting votes in hope of God raising up those who will lead in the fear of the Lord. And without knowing who is leading or who will win, I boldly predict that America's divisions will only grow and our Christlessness continue to show itself by our the elevation of politics and leaders into the American pantheon of minor deities. So as you read this on Wednesday morning, unable to wash the sour aftertaste of another election out of your mouth, here is a brief but Biblical word of encouragement. Jesus is coming back. We don't know the when, but we do know the who, the what and the why. We know the second person of the Trinity, the incarnate Christ, will come once again into this world. We know He will come as a conquering King, revealing what had been hidden during His first time on earth. Read more here.

As Pelosi Promises Radical LGBTQ ‘Equality Act’ if Democrats Take House, Republicans Are Mostly Silent on ‘Gay’ Agenda

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By Peter LaBarbera - Posted at AFTAH : “If Christians and conservatives are afraid to even discuss the homosexual agenda, how can we ever hope to defeat it?” Nancy Pelosi Promises Radical LGBTQ “Equality Act” if Democrats Win House, while GOP Candidates Self-Censor on Homosexual Agenda The most dangerous legislation ever to come out of the revolutionary “gay” activist movement – the federal “Equality Act,” which proposes adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes in the Civil Rights code – hangs in the balance as Americans go to the polls today. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised that if the Democrat Party wins back the House and she becomes Speaker Pelosi, a top priority will be passing the Equality Act , which now has 198 co-sponsors in the House, all but two of them Democrats. Americans For Truth About Homosexuality ( AFTAH.org ) president Peter LaBarbera has renamed the Equality Act the “Criminalizing Christianity Act” and called it a “

'A Parent's Worst Nightmare;' Son Given Illegal Sex Change Operation by School System, Claims Mother

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By Michael Gryboski - Posted at The Christian Post : A federal appeals court recently heard arguments in a lawsuit in which a Minnesota mother sued a school district and others over giving her underage son a sex change operation without her consent. Anmarie Calgaro filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services and the St. Louis County School District in 2016 for treating her son as an emancipated minor and providing gender transition treatments without notice. Calgaro was represented by the Thomas More Society, who presented arguments before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit last month. Read more here. HT: Sermon Audio

How an Old Book of Theology Changed My Life

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Crown & Covenant Publications By J.K. Wall - Posted at Gentle Reformation: “I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.” Ten years ago this fall, I lived out that famous quote from Augustine of Hippo. I started writing about a book of old theology—Messiah the Prince—which I had not yet fully read. What I learned in the process has changed my life. I did this because I had to. I had been hired, more or less, to write a modern version of the book—to give today’s readers easier access to Symington. The final product was published in 2014 as Messiah the Prince Revisited. (Shameless plug: You can order the original here or my modernized abridgment here .) As I wrote the introduction, I had to ask and answer the question, “So what? Why should anyone care about this book?” The answer, as I said, changed my life. And I think it will change yours too. Because Symington’s answer, for those with ears to hear, will tell you the

Christian Missionary Charles Wesco Killed in Cameroon

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The Charles Wesco Family - Source: Cameroon4God.com "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"  ~ 2Cor. 5: 6,7 KJV Charles Wesco's Christian Testimony: I was saved at the early age of five, when my mother led me to Christ. I was obedient in baptism as an eight-year-old boy. I clearly sensed God’s call upon my life to preach from early in my childhood. Then, when I was 15, Pastor David Miller preached a message in our church (which was very missions minded) entitled “Those Who are Sent,” and he followed up the following Sunday with a message entitled “Those Who Stay.” During that first message, God worked mightily in my heart, and in the second, brought me to the point of not just private, but public surrender to God’s call upon my life, from which, by God’s grace, I have never turned back! God also impressed upon my life at that time that my lif