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Showing posts from February, 2020

Barna: 5 things you want to know about the Church in America

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By Michael F. Haverluck - Posted at OneNewsNow: “Declining church loyalty – or what is sometimes referred to as ‘church hopping’ – is becoming a common feature of churchgoing,” Barna researchers revealed. To better understand Americans’ relationship with their churches, the latest research by the Barna Group revealed a number of key trends among practicing Christians and churched adults. It was discovered that "practicing Christians" – those who attend church at least once a month – constitute a quarter (25%) of Americans adults (63.5 million), whereas "churched adults" – who attended church at least once in the last six months – represent nearly half (49%) of American adults (124 million). Barna Group president David Kinnaman stressed the significance of each group of Americans. “In the first case, we’re talking about those who are the most church savvy adults, [while] in the second, we’re looking at all of those adults who are reasonably familiar w

Who Are the True Revolutionaries?

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Source: This Day in Presbyterian History Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History: As the Schaeffers were preparing to move to Europe, the following article was published in BIBLICAL MISSIONS, the newsletter of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, under whose auspices the Schaeffers initially moved onto the European field, with the intent of planting theologically sound churches. The picture shown here is from the January 1949 issue of that same newsletter. Some will remember that this same title “Revolutionary Christianity” appears as the title of the last chapter of Schaeffer’s book, THE CHURCH AT THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. The content of the 1948 article is entirely different, though it would be an interesting exercise to compare the two messages. Great minds are always building on prior accomplishments and advances, and I have to think that Schaeffer hadn’t forgotten this 1948 article when he so titled that last chapter of his book in 1970. Fo

America's First Book: Bay Psalm Book

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By Barry York - Posted at Gentle Reformation: The first book published in colonial America was the Bay Psalm Book . According to the website of the Cambridge Reformed Presbyterian Church : The book was published in 1640 in what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts in a print shop now long gone, located in what is today Harvard Square...The preface to the Bay Psalm Book was written by John Cotton...(and is) an explanation and defense of the American Puritan understanding that the Book of Psalms is God's hymnbook for the Church. This is a belief that was shared by all Presbyterian churches until the 19th Century." One of the eleven existing copies of this work is on display as " America's First Book " in the Library of Congress. The Bay Psalm Book was used extensively throughout the colonies and went through many revisions and improvements. One copy of the Bay Psalm Book was sold for $14,165,000 in 2013. That emphasizes the truth found in Psalm 19:10, where t

February 27, 2020: National Keep Your Kids Home From Government School Day

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Image Source: Arlington Parent Coalition Posted at Arlington Parent Coalition: The HRC & the public schools are at it again. Who are we kidding? They never stop. On Thursday, February 27, the Human Rights Campaign (the lobbying, fundraising, and activism organization that pushes LGB & TQ policies and interests into every aspect of national life) is holding its annual readings of I Am Jazz in public schools across the nation. If this sounds familiar, it may be that you remember last year’s debacle at Arlington’s Ashlawn Elementary School , as well as hundreds of other elementary schools across the country, where kindergarteners were treated to a reading (by a transgender person no less) of the transgender community’s holy book. I Am Jazz relates, in four-year-old language, the story of a boy who was hormonally and surgically castrated so he could impersonate a girl. The book fails to mention a number of important things, including the multiple surgeries “Ja

What you can actually do to help the persecuted church

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By Christopher David - Posted at DISRN : In the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed some distressing news about persecution of our brothers and sisters all around the world. Reports of terrorists killing people during a church service in Burkina Faso, churches in Sudan being burned down , a seminarian in Nigeria being kidnapped and murdered , an ISIS child soldier executing a Nigerian Christian student, a young Christian human rights activist arrested and beaten up in an Iranian prison — the stories flood our screens every day. What is merely news for us is a reality of life for many of our brothers and sisters around the world. Persecution, though vile and evil, is not something that is abnormal for the church. Persecution and attacks have always been the reality throughout the church's history. God, in his infinite, and sovereign wisdom allows such sinful atrocities to be perpetrated against his children whom he loves dearly. Why? I cannot give an answer that ful

Confessing Our Hope: Faith & Practice with Dr. Joseph Pipa

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Details: In this episode, Dr. Pipa addresses listener questions regarding ontological differences between men and women, the encroachment of feminism in Reformed denominations, heresy and error regarding the doctrine of the Trinity, demonology, best/biblical practices in worship, the second commandment, adult coloring books, and appropriate levels of political engagement for pastors. Link: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?m=t&s=2142015184229 Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. 

Talking With Unbelievers: Conversation Not Conversion

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By Alan Giles - Posted at The Heidelblog: Evangelistic Judo “Reformed evangelism.” I used to think this was an oxymoron, that Arminians ask people to choose, and that Calvinists let the Arminians do the work of the evangelists. I thought that the Calvinists would teach converts the doctrines of the faith once they have read their bible, left their Arminian church, and come to us for the real meat and potatoes of scripture. I am not saying those were correct assumptions, but these were the foundational assumptions from which I started for many years. Then something happened. I began to question this set of assumptions. I began to ask God to give me a heart for those who have never tasted and seen the Kingdom of God. I began to intentionally build relationships with non-Christians, not for the sake of evangelizing them, but solely for the sake of getting to know them so that I could better pray for them and, perhaps, even someday, even minister to them. What if our view of ev

Don’t Believe Your Own Press

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By David Qaoud - Posted at Gospel Relevance: Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with a widely recognized theologian at a conference. He left an impression on me with his words. After his lecture, me and some friends approached him to strike up a conversation. Our conversation was mostly surface level, mixed with a few jokes. I was happy to be in the circle. When you’re standing next to an influential person, you don’t care what’s going on. You’re just glad you’re there. But I grew discontent. And time was ticking; I didn’t know how much more time I would have with him or if I would ever see him again. I’m not one to miss out on learning opportunities. So I decided to ask a question. Before he left our circle I put my hand on his shoulder and asked, “How do you cultivate a spirit of humility in light of all the success God has entrusted you with?” Continue reading...

Boy Scouts File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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Source: Wikipedia By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch: The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection early today. The long-anticipated move is the latest in a long series of legal and financial troubles for the youth organization. The Chapter 11 filing took place in Delaware Bankruptcy Court overnight. In 2010, the Boy Scouts lost a $20-million child sexual abuse case, and that case revealed the existence of a so-called “perversion file,” a list of who were barred from being Scout leaders. However, critics of the Boy Scouts say that list was not made available to local councils. That failure resulted in the sexual abuse of yet more boys. Today, the BSA faces dozens of lawsuits, with many more likely on the way. These cases could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages against the BSA. Tim Kosnoff, an attorney who has tried thousands of child abuse cases, including many against the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, told USA Today : “Th

Open letter from an abused Christian wife

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Posted at  Femina Sola Gratia: Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, It is with a heavy heart, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His grace that I sit down to write you. I’m writing for myself and for my sisters in Christ who suffer under the heavy hand of domestic abuse. You might think that you don’t know anyone who is married to an abuser and so what I’m about to say doesn’t really apply to you. Please don’t think that. You probably do know someone who is being abused; you just don’t know it yet. There are many of us. It’s probably hard to understand where I’m coming from. If you haven’t lived through it, it’s difficult to relate. Maybe you wonder is there such a thing as an abusive Christian marriage–how could such a thing be? There can be and are abused Christian wives, yes; but a Christian man who abuses his wife? No. A man might have many issues and still be a Christian, but he will be working on those issues, repenting of his sin, always longing to p

Conservative Baptist Network launched amid 'woke' trend in SBC, emphasizing Scripture, evangelism

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http://conservativebaptistnetwork.com/ By Brandon Showalter - Posted at the Christian Post: Amid growing concern that the nation's largest Protestant denomination is increasingly "woke" and drifting from biblical orthodoxy, a new network has formed to emphasize evangelism and the sufficiency of Scripture within the Southern Baptist Convention. The Conservative Baptist Network , which is being launched Friday [February 14, 2020], describes itself as a grassroots effort to maintain the proclamation of the Gospel at the center of SBC life, in addition to prioritizing fidelity to Scripture and all of its implications, including presenting a vibrant, biblically-informed witness when engaging culture. The network fully affirms the longstanding beliefs of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Those involved in the network's formation, many of whom spoke with The Christian Post, say their efforts are needed given the direction and perceived future of the Convention

The Sovereign Lord of History

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History: So frequently throughout Scripture that we tend to overlook it by its very frequency, our Lord God does time and time again instruct us–charge us–command us–to remember His works. It is one of His appointed means by which we can keep our hearts tender and fresh in the love of our Lord and Savior. John Flavel’s excellent treatise, THE MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE is a wonderful exposition of this same truth. Here in the article below, William Stanford Reid adds his own insight on the importance of history for the Christian. NEEDED: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE by William Stanford Reid Reformation Today (Montreal, Canada), 2.4 (February 1953): 11, 17.] History is God’s possession. This is the repeated assertion of the Scriptures. Whether dealing with individuals such as Pharaoh, Cyrus and Judas, or with nations such as the Jews or with kingdoms such as Babylon, Egypt or Rome, this is always the point of view. Every item, every event of history

Heroes of the Faith in Indiana History

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By Russell Pulliam - Posted at Gentle Reformation: The historian without the Spirit has a hard time grasping the impact of Christian faith in history. Faith seems silly or irrelevant. Missing faith in Christ, he has a hard time understanding Christ’s impact in others. That very loose paraphrase of I Corinthians 2:14 helps explain some missing chapters of Indiana history. Digging a little deeper beyond the traditional state history textbooks, it turns out that Christian faith played a significant part in the lives of several key leaders who are known more for their accomplishments than their faith in Christ. They were great leaders in many respects, yet the greatness was rooted in Christ. James Faris and I have been teaching a church school class, Second RP, Indianapolis, on the advancement of Christ’s kingdom in Indiana history, with James majoring in the growth of denominations and me assigned to heroes of the faith in state history. The research for the class has helped me see

Coronavirus – Prayer Requests From the Church in Wuhan, China

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A real photo of a family at Guangzhou Airport, showing the fear prevalent in much of China today. ( Asia Harvest ) Posted at Asia Harvest: "Please pray for the peace of Christ to rule and reign in our hearts, so that we may be a witness to those who are without hope." In this special e-bulletin we ask you to please pray for the people of Hubei Province, China, especially the many followers of Jesus who live in Wuhan and surrounding districts. Although it's not one of the strongest Christian provinces in China, we estimate that among the 11 million inhabitants of the whole Wuhan Prefecture, approximately 470,000 (or 4 percent) are professing believers, including 240,000 house church members and 160,000 members of government-approved Three-Self churches. There are more than three million Christians in all of Hubei Province. Over the years, Asia Harvest has printed and delivered more than 380,000 Bibles to believers in Hubei. While that work will need to be pu

Mandated LGBT Indoctrination at School Begins in NJ

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The Newman Report - Freedom Project Media By Alex Newman - Posted at Freedom Project Media: The state of New Jersey has joined California and Illinois in mandating homosexual and gender-confusion indoctrination at all government schools embedded into virtually every subject, sparking a growing outcry among parents and faith leaders. Now, some leaders are calling for an exodus from public schools. In at least a dozen districts across the state, government schools began testing a “pilot” curriculum this month. It infuses LGBT propaganda into literally everything. In addition to normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism, many of the programs are aimed at peddling the idea of homosexual heroes to children under the guise of LGBT “history.” According to news reports, schools in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Asbury Park and beyond are supposed to serve as “proving grounds” for “new lessons in history, economics and even grammar designed to improve awareness of lesbian, gay, bisex

Thou Shalt Not Disclose: How Churches and Ministries Use Legal Agreements to Silence Victims and Conceal Sin

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Source: Wikimedia By Steve Rabey - Posted at Ministry Watch: If you’re famous, powerful, and wealthy, NDAs can cover up your dirty deeds. Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, The Catholic Church, and Donald Trump have used nondisclosure agreements to hide sexual abuse, helping them abuse again. The goal is to shut people up. Because former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of her $20 million settlement of sexual abuse claims against Roger Ailes, she was prohibited from consulting on Bombshell, the recent movie about her ordeal, or talking to journalists about her experience. So why are Christian churches and nonprofit organizations increasingly relying on this legal maneuver? That’s the question World magazine’s Mindy Belz asked in her 1,900-word article , “Silence of the sheep.” The October 2019 article’s subhead spells out an answer: “Christian nonprofits and churches have adopted practices from the for-profit world of avo

Sad

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By Pastor Sam Powell - Posted at My Only Comfort : Published February 5, 2020 I am sad today. Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t sleep. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t speak what is on my mind. I know the fallout that will happen as soon as I post this. But I can’t be silent. God gave us Ten Commandments. They define for mankind what is right and what is wrong. Moses said, “And he added no more”. He also wrote these commandments on the hearts of men and women whether they are God’s people or not. The conscience bears witness to that. When God’s people sinned, God sent prophets to them. Isaiah begins his book like this: The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.  2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. (Isa 1:1-2) Here’s the rundown. Uzziah, not a bad king. He was

A Call to Modesty Among Christian Women

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By Melissa Holmquist - Posted at Gospel Relevance: The word “modesty” has almost become a politically incorrect word. If the word even passes your lips, immediate visions of ankle-length dresses with no shape or color appear in a thought bubble above your head repulsing everyone around you. Why is modesty given such a bad reputation? As Christians, we should not be repulsed by the idea of modesty. It is in the Bible ( 1 Tim. 2:9 ) right along with God’s thoughts on premarital sex, obeying your parents, murder, and so on. Perhaps it is because there is no verse that explicitly says, “you shall not wear spandex or sheer clothing!” So instead, we adopt the verses about our liberty in Christ to cover the indecent clothing we wear. There is a crisis among Christian women and girls today concerning modesty, or rather, the lack of it. The culture, our culture, has deceived and blinded women into thinking that they have to wear what the majority of the clothing stores sell. I have o

What I Want My Teenage Daughter to Know After Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Stripper-Like Super Bowl Halftime Show

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By Dan Andros - Posted at FaithWire: The halftime show at Super Bowl LIV featured Shakira, 43, and Jennifer Lopez, 50, performing what can only be described as something usually reserved for a strip club. No, they weren’t naked, but they didn’t leave much to the imagination. There was also a stripper pole featured prominently in the performance. I had to endure this with my teen daughter watching alongside me. Gee, thanks, guys! For a group of people who always trumpet the value of “safe spaces,” they certainly don’t seem to care about the consequences of jamming sexually provocative “performances” into programming that families will be watching. And I wonder about Shakira and J-Lo. Like, are you seriously at this stage in life and still think it’s honorable or somehow “empowering” to writhe around on stage as if you’re trying to gain the attention of a bunch of frat boys? Sadly, this is nothing new. Culture’s misguided idea that sexuality = empowerment has been around for o

The Apostle Paul Apologises For Insensitive Remarks On Sexuality

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By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch : Yet more church leaders telling God to drop dead: Press Release, Rome, 30 January 62 AD, from the Apostle Paul and his colleagues We as the disciples of Christ, alongside the apostles in Jerusalem, apologise and take responsibility for releasing statements recently which we acknowledge have jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.  Specifically, we apologise for all the damage that was caused when we said things such as: the sexually immoral, adulterers, and homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11); sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality are works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19); and, abstaining from sexual immorality is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3).  With hindsight we now see that we were being intolerant and judgmental in those and similar remarks, and we apologise for them. We were wrong to make such hurtful remarks about human sex