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Showing posts from March, 2019

4th Chinese church raid could portend broad crackdown

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Police monitored and interrogated members of Beijing’s Shouwang Church March 23 at a local school. ChinaAid photo from Twitter By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press: BEIJING (BP) -- Beijing's Shouwang Church has become the fourth major underground church raided by authorities in China during the past seven months. The raids have led some to speculate the Chinese government may be preparing for a broader crackdown against Christians. "China's oppression against house churches will not be loosened," ChinaAid President Bob Fu said, according to International Christian Concern (ICC), an organization that monitors persecution of believers worldwide. "A systematic, in-the-name-of-law crackdown will continue to take place," Fu said. More than 20 police officers raided a Bible school class at one Shouwang Church location March 23, ICC reported. Attendees were taken to a nearby school, questioned and asked to sign a letter pledging not to attend the church

Planned Parenthood, LGBT Inc and comprehensive sex miseducation

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By Ryan Bomberger - Posted at The Christian Post: “Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.” This is Planned Parenthood’s “gender spectrum” sex ed pseudoscience, championed by leading LGBT organizations including the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Human Rights Campaign. It has rapidly become a religion among leftist politicians and Bible-evading churches where blasphemy can get you fined , fired and finished financially . Welcome to the cult of transgenderism, where hucksters sell their poisonous ideology, the victims are scammed, and a liberal media spotlights the #fakenews face of the movement. The Left controls so much of the discussion, because they control so many of the primary institutions that redefine the language—public schools, academia, the medical profession, legislatures, the entertainment industry and news media. Words are revolutionary. They brought the world into existence , start wars, bring healing, shape culture. They have meaning. When God spoke the words,

China Shuts Down, Changes Locks on 1,000-Member Church

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Shouwang Church - Source:  http://www.asianews.it By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines : China shut down a well-known 1,000-member Beijing church over the weekend and then changed the locks to prevent members from returning to the building. The congregation, Shouwang Church, made worldwide headlines five years ago when it stood up to Chinese leaders and refused to register with the government. Its senior pastor, Jin Tian-ming, remains under house arrest. In the latest confrontation , more than 20 Chinese police and government officials raided a children’s Bible school class Saturday and told church leaders the congregation could no longer meet, according to International Christian Concern (ICC). Chinese officials also ordered the pastor, Zhang Xiaofeng, to sign a document claiming the church “has conducted activities as a social organization without registration, which is in violation of Regulations of Religious Affairs and Regulations on the Registration and Mana

Willow Creek’s Crash Shows Why Denominations Still Matter

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Nancy Beach at Willow Creek Community Church for the WCA Leadership Summit Image Source: flickr.com By Tish Harrison Warren - Posted at Christian Headlines: "Yet because Willow Creek was an independent congregation — which endorsed and promoted Hybels as a pastor — the report ended by saying there was nothing the church could do to further discipline Hybels." (RNS) — It’s become common among some Protestants — and especially evangelicals — to call themselves “Jesus followers.” Not Christians. Not Baptists or Pentecostals. Not members of the Presbyterian Church in America or the Anglican Communion. Not Wesleyans or Methodists or Lutherans. Just people following Jesus. I appreciate the spirit behind the moniker. Christians want our first loyalty to be to Jesus, not a particular institution or tradition. But I am wary of referring to myself (or anyone else) as simply a “Jesus follower” because no one follows Jesus in some pure, individual way, free of insti

Go Big or Go Home: The Cost of Christianity

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By Clint Archer - Posted at The Cripplegate: In 1517, three ships under the command of Hernández de Córdoba sailed west and explored the Yucatán peninsula. Upon arrival, the soldiers disembarked but were attacked at night by Mayans armed with arrows and spears. Twenty soldiers died, including de Córdoba himself. The surviving crew faced a choice: stay and complete the exploration, thereby gaining historical renown and reward from their governor, or get back on their ships and hightail it out of there. They chose the ships and sailed home in a hurry. Two years later the expedition was attempted again, this time commanded by Hernán Cortés. He was so committed to the mission that he sold everything he had to finance it. He sailed with 11 ships, manned by 100 sailors and 500 soldiers. Legend has it that when he landed at Veracruz, Mexico, he told his crew to offload everything they had brought with them. He then set fire to all 11 ships. Imagine the 600 men standing on the beach watc

Keep Calm in An Age of Anger

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Reformation Scotland Posted at Reformation Scotland: We’re getting angrier, about a lot of things. It’s the dominant emotion in western societies on a daily basis. That hothouse of anger–social media–is even more ablaze with rage (according to a new study ). Frustration and moral outrage explode against a great deal we cannot control or even influence. It’s an emotional contagion where seeing people express anger drives others to display it too. And our own irritability works in the same way. Every outburst legitimises the next. How much of this is righteous anger? And how can we resist sinful anger? We need to know. One of the clearest verses of the Bible dealing with anger is actually a command telling us to be angry. But the full command is “Be…angry and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26). It goes on to forbid letting “the sun go down on your wrath”. It gives us counsel about keeping righteous anger and killing sinful anger. Later in the same chapter (verse 31) we learn about the di

Boldness and Clarity as a Light to the World

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By Rosaria Champagne Butterfield - Posted at Tabletalk: In this post-Christian world, our theology is on display in everything that we do and say. Take, for example, the attic door that was swinging from a broken hinge at the Butterfield house on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and Phil, the neighborhood handyman who came to fix it. When Phil answered my call to take a small job, I welcomed him in, pointed out the attic door, made sure that he knew the coffee in the pot was his to finish, and then returned to homeschool my children. But then I heard it. Someone was crying. Phil was in tears. He had finished the job, and was sitting in my kitchen, head buried in calloused hands, sobbing. I asked why and it all tumbled out: Christians are dangerous people, and this past election proved it. How could we move forward as friends if we don’t agree on basic values? How could I believe the things I do? Phil and I have been neighbors for years. We go to the same barbecues and funerals and

Another 10 Christians Killed in Kaduna State as Carnage Continues in Nigeria, Sources Say

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Kaduna state Nigeria. (Wikipedia) Posted at Morning Star News: JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 10 Christians in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria on Saturday (March 16), bringing the lives lost in the past five weeks to 140 with 160 houses destroyed, sources said. “We were all asleep in our various homes when at about 4 a.m. [Saturday], we heard gunshots everywhere in my village,” Amos Samuel, 40, of Nandu Gbok village in Sanga County told Morning Star News. “Everyone ran out of their homes to escape from the Fulani herdsmen. Three hours after the herdsmen left, those of us who survived the attack returned to the village to find that our houses were destroyed and 10 of our villagers killed.” About 30 houses were burned in the attack, Sanga chairman Charles Danladi told Morning Star News, who also said 10 people were killed. Continue reading here...

The Marks of the False Church (concluded)

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By Rev. David J. Engelsma - Posted at Reformed Free Publishing Association : This article was written by Rev. David J. Engelsma and published in the March 1, 1982 issue of the Standard Bearer. ____________ The identifying mark of the false church is that she lacks the marks of the true church, i.e., the pure doctrine of holy scripture, a pure administration of the sacraments; and the exercise of church discipline in the correcting of sin. Rich in the incidentals of size, ecclesiastical reputation, earthly influence, religious ritual and busyness, and pomp (which, alas, fascinate many professing Christians in every age); she is destitute of the essentials of the body of Jesus Christ in the world. Still, she makes something of preaching, sacraments, and discipline. What she makes of them gives her away. She preaches another gospel than the gospel of salvation from sin by grace alone. She corrupts the administration of the sacraments by adding to the sacraments ordained by

The Marks of the False Church

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Rev. David J. Engelsma - Posted at Reformed Free Publishing Association: This article was written by Rev. David J. Engelsma and published in the March 1, 1982 issue of the Standard Bearer. ____________  ". . .As for the false Church, she ascribes more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not submit herself to the yoke of Christ. Neither does she administer the sacraments as appointed by Christ in His Word, but adds to and takes from them, as she thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ; and persecutes those, who live holily according to the Word of God, and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry. These two Churches are easily known and distinguished from each other."—Belgic Confession, Article 29 The "problem" of the article of our Confession of Faith quoted above is its absolute distinction between the true church and the false church. It does not speak of purer and less

Should We Be Afraid?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland : Fears are all around us, especially during a time of upheaval. Fear of the future, events and the unknown. The politics of fear on left and right are often heard in relation to society or the economy. The threats feel real and we are made to believe that the world will be more dangerous unless we listen to the rhetoric of influencers. How should we respond to the climate of fear? Fear may be a natural response in some things. There would not be so many “fear nots” in Scripture if that was not the case. We are not immune to fear but we have no reason to be overcome by it since the peace of God is able to guard our hearts. Faith in God rather than the wisdom, strength or other resources of ourselves or others is what is able to settle and establish our hearts. There may be deep-seated fears in relation to our personal and family life amongst other things but faith and hope can sustain us. As David Dickson puts it: “the true remedy against torme

A CRITIQUE OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION BY TWO 19TH CENTURY PCUSA MINISTERS

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Image Source: HISTORY.com By R. Andrew Myers - Posted at Log College Press: (If the author links in this post are broken, please visit our Free PDF Library and click on the author’s page directly.) While the U.S. Constitution was largely approved of by the Presbyterian Church of the 18th and 19th centuries (it is perhaps not a coincidence that the Synod of Philadelphia and New York, meeting in Philadelphia at the same time the Constitution Convention was meeting in the same city in May 1787, proposed amendments to the Westminster Confession of Faith, including to the chapter on the Civil Magistrate, which were approved of in 1788), there were some notable Presbyterian critics of our national charter. Most famous was RPCNA pastor James Renwick Willson , who was burned in effigy in Albany, New York for the preaching and publication of his sermon “Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments; and the Disregard of His Authority by the United States, in the Federa

10 Reasons Why the Bible Regards Women Higher than All Other Systems

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By Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate: It’s no secret, nor is it unclear. The Bible teaches things about women that clash with our fallen contemporary culture. Women may not function in the role of a pastor/elder ( 1 Tim. 2:12 ). Wives are to submit to their husbands as the church does to Christ ( Eph. 5:22-24 ). Seasoned women are to shepherd younger women to, among other things, be “workers at home…[and] subject to their own husbands” ( Titus 2:5 ). Consequently, culture often reviles God’s word on the grounds that the Bible holds women as inferior to men. And the irony is, that contemporary western culture values women lower than just about any time and people in history. Yet, that same culture accuses the Bible of a low, insulting view of women. But, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, God’s inerrant word of the 66 books of the Bible regards women higher than any other ideology, religion, philosophy, or system in history. Nothing teaches a higher view of

A Reformed Demonology?

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John Livingston Nevius, Missionary to China (Wikipedia) By Bruce Baugus - Posted at Reformation 21: The rather measured and restrained work by John Livingston Nevius (1829-1893), Demon Possession and Allied Themes; Being an Inductive Study of Phenomena of Our Own Times , delivers exactly what the title promises, though what it promises is rather unusual by the author's own admission. Nevius was a Presbyterian missionary with a Dutch Reformed background. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1853 with the high regard for science but firm commitment to the supreme authority, pristine integrity, and complete trustworthiness of Scripture instilled in the students by the faculty he studied under (Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge, for starters). Upon graduating he was promptly ordained and then went straight to China with his new wife in cramped quarters on a leaky old merchant ship out of Boston. He would serve there the rest of his life--over forty years--wit

How To Circumvent BigSocMedia Censorship

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: “SocMedia” refers to Social Media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and iTunes. It also includes video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These are websites that ostensibly a wide variety of users to post content. The attraction of such sites is that they allowed consumers easily to find a a wide variety of content in one place. They allow content providers to put content in one or two places and reach a wide audience. The platforms, in turn, capitalized on this arrangement by selling to advertisers the number of users and sometimes information about those users who see themselves as consumers or providers but who, in reality, a commodity being sold to advertisers. That worked well enough until Social Media became BIG SocMedia. Billions of people across the globe use social media. Governments and their agents use SocMedia to achieve their (not always honorable) ends. Ideological interests use SocMedia to shape p

A Survey of Kingdom Activity in Indy

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Posted at Gentle Reformation: The following article chronicling God's work in the city of Indianapolis in recent decades is a guest post by Russ Pulliam. Russ is an associate editor at the Indianapolis Star , serves on the board of and contributes to WORLD magazine, and is an elder of the Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. Twenty years ago the inventor of compassionate conservatism put Indianapolis on the map, but not for basketball or the 500 Mile Race. Marvin Olasky identified the city as a model for church-state cooperation to help the poor in his book, Compassionate Conservatism . Marvin’s earlier book, The Tragedy of American Compassion , had caught the attention of leading conservative political figures, especially Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Politically Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign benefited from this new theme, allowing the Republicans to challenge the traditional Democratic Party claim of a monopoly on compassion for the needy. Olasky visited

Free Speech, Sex Recession, and Our Strange New Public Square

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By Samuel D. James - Posted at Letter & Liturgy: In our era, what’s truly Christian or conservative is not always easy to discern. A few years ago, Bill Maher appeared on the (now shuttered) Charlie Rose Show. Maher is one of the smugger, less sufferable “New atheist” types, and has more or less made a lucrative career out of representing conservatives and religious people, especially Christians, as idiots at best and theocrats at worst. So it was a bit surprising to see a clip from his interview with Charlie Rose getting passed around with enthusiasm amongst many conservative (and Christian) politicos. In the clip, Maher draws the ire of Rose by arguing that Islam is a “unique threat” to democracy and freedom. After Rose countered that many Christians are just as intolerant as Muslims, Maher blasted the equivalency, pointing out that opinion polls of Muslims in the Middle East show majority support for capital punishment of apostates and adulterers—something not true of wo

Dad cannot stop docs from giving daughter hormone treatment, Canada judge rules

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Posted at The Christian Institute: A judge in Canada has ruled that the father of a troubled 14-year-old cannot stop medics from giving her damaging hormonal treatment against his will. The teenage girl from Vancouver, identified only as A.B, became interested in ‘changing sex’ after being exposed to teaching, videos and counsellors promoting LGBT values at her school. Distressed father ‘Clark’ insisted the courts acknowledge his daughter is still vulnerable and “lacks the mental capacity and emotional maturity” to make such a decision. Continue reading here...

Transgenderism

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By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scrivener: Text. Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ Matthew 19 deals with important ethical issues and opens up a discussion on a modern ethical issue, TRANSGENDERISM. It’s an important issue to address, because nowadays some don’t seem to know the difference between men and women. 1. The Ethical Dilemma. Am I a man or a woman? Nowadays, there is a political movement, a huge pressure-group of people who are promoting ‘transgenderism.’ It is the notion that there is a difference between your biological sex and your gender. You can be born as a man, and yet believe that you are a woman, and vice versa. You can be ‘confused about your gender.’ You can be ‘gender fluid.’ Think of the implications. Men using women’s toilets because they ‘identify as women.’ Men dressed/identifying as women, competing in women’s sports. Sex-change oper

The Lies of Feminism

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By Summer Jaeger - Posted at Founders Ministries : Sometimes we think of the early feminists as though they were just sweet little ladies who wanted more legal rights. They didn’t deny the existence of God, and they pleaded for fair treatment for both women and slaves. They played an instrumental role in the ending of slavery in America, a work for which we should be grateful. This monumental work alone should be our first clue: they were not sweet little old ladies. They were not wallflowers. They were tenacious, hard-working, and knew how to land a political punch. But let’s be clear about something: what you believe about women and men is not a political issue, it’s a theological one. What you believe about people—our nature, our purpose—flows from what you believe about God. What the early feminists believed about God’s design for women and men, particularly in how we relate to each other, is still alive today. A quick perusal of the writing of women such as Susan B. Anthony

California Threatens to Boot Elderly Widow From Veterans Home Over Bible Studies

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Yountville, CA —Officials with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) are threatening to evict an 84-year-old widow from the California Veterans Home unless she halts longtime Bible studies she has been leading for fellow residents. Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) represents Artis Breau, the widow who has come under fire. Artis and her late husband moved to the Veterans Home about nine years ago. Her husband had served as a Merchant Marine in World War II, served in the famed 82nd Airborne Division overseas, and then served in the Air Force during the Korean War. Meanwhile, Artis worked as a civilian employee in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon during the Korean War. For much of the past decade, Artis has volunteered with the chaplaincy program and led Bible studies in the Home. She began encountering opposition from officials last September when it was claimed that a discussion between herself and another resident about heav

The Sexual Revolution Has Increased Sex Crimes And Indiscretions

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Robert Kraft - Source: Wikipedia Posted at The Outspoken Tulip: Here in Patriot Nation, mere weeks after riding in a Duck Boat parade through Boston celebrating a sixth Super Bowl victory, team owner Bob Kraft has been charged with soliciting sex in a Florida massage spa. Despite my dislike of the Pats (I remain a 49er Faithful), I sincerely hope he’ll be tried fairly and proven innocent. Nevertheless, this latest sex scandal makes me wonder about American sensibilities. Why do the very people who applaud the sexual revolution in all its various forms suddenly take the moral high ground when Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey and now Bob Kraft have simply acted on impulses that psychology, Oprah and Hollywood has told them not to deny? Please don’t bother me with arguments about consensual sex. All three of the men mentioned above claim that the sex indeed was consensual. Maybe they honestly believe that to be the case. Since I didn’t personally witness any of the encounters, I don’t

The unscriptural position of 'gay but celibate'

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By Andrew McDonald - Posted at The Protestant Standard: The wedge of compromise is always driven in at the thin end, something that is as true when dealing with the issue of homosexuality as it is with any other matter. Many evangelical churches today still take a faithful stand against same sex marriage, and denounce all homosexual acts as sinful. Yet where the compromise is increasingly being found is on the issue of homosexual desires, with a growing acceptance of the 'gay but celibate' argument. The concept of 'living out' as a Christian has been promoted by men such as Sam Alberry, with the term 'same sex attracted Christians' replacing homosexual, and gaining an increased acceptance. In most cases the groups advancing this view are teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, however the matter of 'same sex attraction' itself is not necessarily so. Is this approach biblical and one that we can accept, and what should our response be to this agen