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Showing posts from January, 2019

WHAT IS THE FATE OF SEXUALLY PROGRESSIVE SOCIETIES?

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By Daniel Mann - Posted at Mann's World: We need to hear the voice of history. In "Sex and Culture" (1934) the anthropologist J.D. Unwin found a universal correlation between monogamy and a civilization's "expansive energy." He wrote: "These [sexually progressive] societies lived in different geographical environments; they belonged to different racial stocks; but the history of their marriage customs is the same. In the beginning each society had the same ideas in regard to sexual regulations. Then the same struggles took place; the same sentiments were expressed; the same changes were made; the same results ensued. Each society reduced its sexual opportunity to a minimum and displaying great social energy, flourished greatly. Then it extended its sexual opportunity; its energy decreased, and faded away. The one outstanding feature of the whole story is its unrelieved monotony." Why isn’t there any present discussion of these possible cos

Human trafficking during Super Bowl week prompts ministry

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By Tim Ellsworth - Posted at Baptist Press: ATLANTA (BP) -- When Heather Havard was a freshman in high school, she heard the song "27 Million" by worship leader Matt Redman about the number of slaves in the world. Heather Havard leads a group of college students from Texas to participate in human trafficking awareness during the Super Bowl week. She was moved enough to begin doing her own research and taking measures to fight human trafficking. This weekend, she's leading a group of 10 people, most of them students at Sam Houston State University, where Havard is now a sophomore, to Atlanta to raise awareness during the Super Bowl about the problem of human trafficking. "The Super Bowl is the number one event every year where human trafficking rates skyrocket," said Havard, a member of University Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville, Texas. "Traffickers will come from all over the country, and some from places all over the world. They'll ren

Grieving Christians Baffled by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Aggression in Nigeria

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Rev. Williams Yakubu  (Morning Star News) Posted at Morning Star News: JAGINDI, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Christians in a village in Kaduna state, in north-central Nigeria, don’t understand why Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot a 70-year-old Christians and wounded two others there last month. They do know the herdsmen’s cattle destroyed several of their crops last year, that since the attack many Christians have fled, and that many of those who have stayed are afraid to go to church meetings. Christians in Ginden Dutse village, near Jagindi in in Jema’a County, reported the destruction of their crops by the Muslim Fulani’s cattle, but they have not retaliated in any way, they said. “We cannot fight back, because we as Christians are law-abiding citizens of this country,” Abel Bako, 48, secretary of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Gindin Dutse, told Morning Star News. “However, it is the responsibility of the Nigerian government to protect us from terror activities of he

Ebola outbreak spreads in DR Congo

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Electron micrograph  of an Ebola virus  virion  - Wikipedia By Beth Stolicker - Posted at Mission Network News: Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) – The second wave of an Ebola outbreak is growing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The outbreak originally began in August 2018 in North Kivu. There have been at least 680 cases and over 400 deaths since then. Ebola cases continue to increase. There is a concern the disease could reach the city of Goma. “It’s been going pretty quick and pretty fast, and it’s now the second biggest outbreak…that we know of in history at this point,” Mission Aviation Fellowship ’s pilot David Petersen says. Other factors have contributed to the challenges of diminishing this outbreak. This includes the fact there is a lot of movement in this area of DR Congo. Plus, some areas are rebel-controlled, creating challenges for health workers trying to travel to specific areas within a timely manner. Continue reading here.

Christian missionary could be tried for genocide after mistakenly entering land of remote tribe

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Image from Christian Post By Leah MarieAnn Klett - Posted at The Christian Post: A Christian missionary may be charged with “genocide” by Brazillian authorities after he illegally came in contact with a remote tribe. Steve Campbell of Greene Baptist Church in Maine is being investigated by officials from FUNAI , the Brazilian government’s Indigenous Affairs Department, after traveling deep into the southern Amazon jungle with the intention of sharing the Gospel with the ancient tribespeople. The missionary allegedly entered an area occupied by the remote and protected Hi-Merimã tribe sometime last month while attempting to evangelize a neighboring tribe. The Hi-Merimã is one of a few dozen isolated communities in Brazil that have had almost no contact with the outside world and have limited immunity to outside diseases. As a result, Campbell is accused of putting the ancient tribe in grave danger by making contact with them after being led to their area by his GPS. He reporte

The Dangers of Confirmation Bias

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By Richard Holdeman - Posted at Gentle Reformation: The Oxford Dictionary defines the concept of confirmation bias as, “The tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.” This psychological phenomenon seems to be on display constantly in our public life, but there was a particularly egregious example of it last weekend. As the annual March for Life was concluding in Washington, DC, a short video clip was posted to the internet purporting to show a group of white teenagers from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who had attended the rally, mocking and taunting a Native American man as he beat on a drum and chanted (pictured above by the Washington Post). For many people – on both sides of the political aisle – the only evidence needed to come to a conclusion that the boys were racists was the fact that the teenagers were white and that they were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats supportive of President Trump. When

SCOTUS: Trump's ban on trans military service stands

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By Grace Thornton - Posted at Baptist Press: WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday (Jan. 22) to allow the enforcement of President Trump's ban on transgender military service, a ban previously frozen by lower court injunctions. The policy immediately stops transgender persons from entering the military except "under certain limited circumstances," according to media reports. It was first announced by Trump via Twitter in July 2017 and then tweaked in March 2018 to help it pass through lower courts attempting to block it. See related Baptist Press report . In the time since, the military has continued to operate under the old policy. But in December, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to uphold the ban, and on Tuesday, justices ruled 5-4 to do that provisionally while the lower courts worked it out. Read more here.

The Karen Pence Rule

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Second Lady Karen Pence - Wikipedia By Adam Parker - Posted at Reformation 21 : Recently it was announced that Karen Pence - a private citizen who is not even occupying an elected office in the United States of America - is going to resume her teaching career at a Christian school. Part of this school's beliefs is that homosexual behavior is a sin, and they require their teachers and students to agree with this understanding in order to serve as faculty or attend as a student. As someone who attended a Christian college, I am quite familiar with the agreements that students make when they decide to attend a school that finds its roots in historic Christianity. For example, when I attended Christian college in the early 2000s I agreed not to be a drunkard, not to engage in illegal behavior, not to have sex outside of marriage, and yes, not to engage in other sexual behaviors that the Bible explicitly forbids for Christians - including homosexual behavior. Not only is this n

Open Doors: Christian persecution up 14% worldwide

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By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press : WASHINGTON (BP) -- The number of Christians suffering high to extremely high persecution is 14 percent more in 2019, Open Doors reported, counting 245 million individuals globally. Persecution driven by Islamic extremism and Communist authoritarianism in the world's two most populous countries, India and China, marked the increase, Open Doors said today (Jan. 16) in releasing its 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries with the most extreme Christian persecution. "Islamic radicalism continues to dominate and influence all spheres of life for Christians, and we are watching China and India very closely," Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry said in releasing the latest findings. "The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unraveling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked, imprisoned or killed." L

Three types of Christian schools

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By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate : This week, Immanuel Christian School (a ministry of the church I pastor) was in the news  because of our code of conduct, which requires parents to agree that their kids will be educated according to our church’s statement of faith. Our church’s doctrinal statement is long; for a Bible church it is surprisingly detailed. For that reason, the school spells out some of the practical implications of sending students to ICS. The section that has caught the most flack is obviously the one on sexual ethics. Keep in mind, this is a K-8 school (although we are starting a high school next year). The notion that students should be able to be in sexual relationships in elementary school is perverse, of course, but largely beside the point. The point, at least in some of the news stories on this, seems to be that because of our statement of faith, “not all students are welcome.” I, like Jude, considered writing a post today explaining

European homeschool ruling 'ignores' parents' rights

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Image Source: Wikipedia By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press: STRASBOURG, France (BP) -- A European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling to uphold Germany's homeschool prohibition has been called a matter of concern for "anyone who cares about freedom." The ECHR, based in Strasbourg, France, ruled Jan. 10 that Dirk and Petra Wunderlich's human rights were not violated when German officials forcibly removed their four children from the family home near Darmstadt, Germany, for three weeks in 2013. At issue was the Wunderlichs' refusal to stop homeschooling. A German court previously determined the children's level of education "was not alarming" and they did not face a risk of physical harm at home, according to the ECHR's ruling. Still, the Wunderlichs have no right to homeschool under the European Convention on Human Rights, the ECHR said. Paul Coleman, executive director of Alliance Defending Freedom International, a legal organizatio

Pilgrims, Holland, America and Religious Freedom

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By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch : Published 1.14.2019 I penned a piece yesterday on the very sad state of the Netherlands. It has really led the way in many respects with all the radical secular left agenda items, including being the first nation in the world to legalise homosexual marriage (2001) and euthanasia (2002). Once a stronghold of Christianity – especially of the Reformed variety – it is now famous for its cannabis cafes and red-light districts. Hedonism and progressivism rule, at least in the large cities – the rural Dutch are more conservative and less thrilled about all this. Much of this springs from it being a land known for its tolerance. But there is tolerance and there is tolerance. As I said in my piece yesterday: The bizarre thing is, the origins of Dutch tolerance really began in the 16th century, and was of a religious nature, with a Protestant monarch showing toleration to the country’s Catholic minority. But as the Christian faith de

LGBTQ+ Audit

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By Al Baker - Posted at Banner of Truth : ‘For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.’ — Romans 5:6 It goes without saying that we must have compassion for all who are outside of union with Christ, including the homosexual. I think you know that I have ministered extensively in the past to the homosexual community, seeking lovingly to make known to them the hope that we all have in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the transforming power of the gospel in our personal lives. We must be open to all kinds of people coming to our churches. Having said that however, the effort of the homosexual advocacy ‘ministry’ in the UK, founded by Gospel Coalition editor Sam Allberry, called Living Out and their LGBTQ+ Audit simply will not do. Under the heading, ‘How biblically inclusive is your Church?’, the website writes that at their Identity in Christ conference with Tim and Kathy Keller in June, 2018 they launched their Living Ou

Dutch backlash to Nashville Statement 'ominous'

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By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press: AMSTERDAM (BP) -- In the Netherlands, signatories of The Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality have been threatened with criminal prosecution, admonished by employers and derided by protests. The episode has been cited by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. as "an ominous warning" of religious liberty restrictions to come in the U.S. "There are many in the United States who would say, 'Well, that's the Netherlands. It can't have anything to do with Christians in the United States,'" Mohler said Jan. 9 in his podcast The Briefing. "But of course it can. "Remember that back in 2001, when in the Netherlands same-sex marriage was legalized, even many who later became avid proponents of same-sex marriage, said in 2001, 'It can't happen here,'" Mohler said. "But it did happen here.... Consider that an ominous warning as you consider this

New Revelation: Previous US Administration Facilitated Christian Genocide in Nigeria

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Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria Posted at Voice of the Persecuted : By Raymond Ibrahim for Gatestone Institute “On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote. In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes.” — Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, in his new book, My Transition Hours . “Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria.” — Bosun Emmanuel, the secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum,June 23, 2018. “Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors.” — Femi Fani-Kayode, Nigerian lawyer, author and former Minister of Aviation, Daily Post, December 6, 2017. In March 2014, after the United States I

250 Dutch Christians sign Nashville Statement; prosecutors to decide if declaration breaks law

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By Samuel Smith - Posted at the Christian Post: The Nashville Statement affirming belief in traditional Christian sexual ethics is under investigation by prosecutors in the Netherlands after over 250 Dutch Christian leaders signed the statement of faith. The manifesto was initially unveiled in August 2017 and has been signed by over 22,000 Christian leaders in the United States. The Nashville Statement stresses that marriage is the “covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman.” The statement, which is spearheaded by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, adds that “it is sinful to approve of homosexual impurity or transgenderism.” Read more here.

Court limits Jack Phillips' religious bias lawsuit

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By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press : DENVER (BP) -- Christian cake artist Jack Phillips can proceed with his latest lawsuit alleging Colorado harassed him based on his religious beliefs, but he may no longer seek damages from nine of the 10 defendants targeted. Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, has legal standing to challenge Colorado's discrimination law, the U.S. District Court for Colorado ruled Jan. 4 regarding a motion to dismiss the 2018 case. But most defendants successfully blocked Phillips' pursuit of compensatory, punitive and nominal damages against them as government officials and individual citizens. Only Colorado Atty. Gen. Cynthia H. Coffman remains an individual defendant in the case, having lost her appeal to block Phillips from pursuing equitable relief against her in her official governmental capacity. Read more here.

Why the Equal Rights Amendment could actually be damaging to women

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By Kristy Burton-Brown - Posted at LiveAction : A number of women’s groups in the nation are pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) — which says “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” — to be resurrected after 37 years, and added to the U.S. Constitution. Passed by the U.S. Senate 47 years ago in 1972, it ultimately failed in 1982 when only 35 out of a required 38 states chose to pass it at the end of an extended ten-year deadline. Equal rights are already part of our Constitution, as the 14th Amendment , enacted shortly after the Civil War, says that states may not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” So when many people hear of an “equal rights amendment,” they fail to see the serious problems that could come from enacting the ERA. Here are five things everyone needs to know about the Equal Rights Amendment: 1. The Fourteenth Amendment already p

China: 'Another branch of Early Rain Covenant Church closed'

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Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi (right) at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., in 2006. Wang and around 160 members of his church were arrested in December 2018 as Chinese officials cracked down on their church. (Photo: ChinaAid) Posted at ChinaAid: (Dazhou, Sichuan—Jan. 5, 2018) Authorities in Dazhou, a city in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, forcibly closed a branch of the continually persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church on Dec. 16. In a closure notice posted on the church’s door, the local ethnic and religious affairs bureau claimed Haotudi Evangelical Church organized illegitimate religious events, allegedly violating the nation’s Regulations on Religious Affairs. As a result, they closed the church and urged the Christians to join one of the state-run and censored churches, known as Three-Self Churches. Haotudi Evangelical Church is an offshoot of Early Rain Covenant Church, a large conglomerate of unofficial churches based in the province’s

Why Pray for the Media?

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By James Faris - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Why pray for the media? The answer is simple. Because God answers prayers offered up for the media. Consider that in 2018 two of the heralded heroes of Sports Illustrated , Time , ESPN  and other major media outlets were Rachael Denhollander and Tyler Trent . Both are Christians who have suffered immensely, and have persevered and/or continue to persevere. In various ways, they were heard in 2018 and still are being heard because of their faith. Denhollander led a host of sexual abuse victims in testifying boldly against Dr. Larry Nassar. Her gospel-infused courtroom speech proclaimed Christ. She punctuated a series of speeches from survivors with her own. She highlighted the justice and mercy of God through a mega-phone of major news outlets that no one can order as she said to Larry Nassar’s face: ... Continue reading here.

30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet

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By Stella Morabito - Posted at The Federalist : Amazon Link ‘Trans Life Survivors’ is a godsend for people struggling with trans regret, no matter what stage of transition or de-transition they are in. Walt Heyer knows firsthand what it’s like to undergo sex change surgery and then regret it. After living as a woman for nearly a decade, he decided to accept his biological sex and de-transition back to male. By then, Walt had received intensive cognitive therapy that helped him recognize early childhood trauma he had experienced. The trauma resulted in a mental condition known as dissociative identity disorder (DID). In the clarity of that realization, his gender dysphoria simply vanished. His life as a “woman” all amounted to an attempt to escape reality. Sadly, too few people consider the possibility that gender dysphoria can manifest as a byproduct or symptom of other mental conditions, and most certainly of DID. (More on that below.) Walt suffered huge waves of regret as a r

Repeal of tax on churches appears to fail in Congress

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By Tom Strode - Posted at Baptist Press: WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday (Dec. 20) to reverse a year-old law that calls for churches to file tax returns for the first time in American history, but it appears unlikely the effort will go any further in this Congress. The House voted 220-183 in a nearly party-line vote for a bill that included repeal of a 2017 tax cut's provision -– Section 512(a)(7) -- that required houses of worship and nonprofit organizations to pay a 21 percent tax on such employee benefits as parking and transportation. Only Republicans voted in favor of the proposal, and all but three of those opposing the legislation were Democrats. The House's action, however, apparently will fall short of ultimate nullification of the controversial provision. The Senate does not appear to have the votes to approve the House-passed measure, Southern Baptist policy specialists said. "We are disappointed that despi

Barna Group: 51% of Churchgoers Don’t Know of the Great Commission

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Matthew 28:18-20 is the most well-known biblical record of what is commonly referred to extra-biblically as “the Great Commission.” But despite the significance of these and other verses that call Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations,” a surprising proportion of churchgoing Christians in the U.S. are generally unaware of these famous words from Jesus. In partnership with Seed Company, Barna conducted a study of the U.S. Church’s ideas about missions, social justice, Bible translation and other aspects of spreading the gospel around the world, available now in the new report Translating the Great Commission . When asked if they had previously “heard of the Great Commission,” half of U.S. churchgoers (51%) say they do not know this term. It would be reassuring to assume that the other half who know the term are also actually familiar with the passage known by this name, but that proportion is low (17%). Meanwhile, “the Great Commission” does ring a bell for one in fo