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Showing posts from May, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Prtizker Lifts All Restrictions on Churches After Christians Take Him to Supreme Court

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By Steven Ertelt - Posted at Life News: Less than four hours before the deadline for Gov. J.B. Prtizker to file his response to the U.S. Supreme Court to the emergency injunction request brought by two Romanian churches, the governor unilaterally removed all restrictions on churches and houses of worship. Within a few hours yesterday after two Romanian churches filed an emergency injunction pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh ordered Gov. Pritzker to respond by 8:00 p.m. Thursday night. Just before the deadline, Gov. Prtizker issued “ guidelines ” for houses of worship, none of which are mandatory. Liberty Counsel represents Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries. The guidelines are only suggestions and contain no legally enforceable requirements whatsoever. The governor is no longer imposing his draconian 10-person limit on church services. Continue reading... See also: Ill. Releases Replaces Mandatory Restrictions With Voluntary Guidel

China Bulldozes, Shuts Down Churches amid Pandemic: 'The Government Has Gone Insane'

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By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: The coronavirus that devastated China’s population hasn’t stopped the communist government from shutting down and even razing churches across the country. The persecution has impacted state-run churches and underground house churches alike, according to the watchdog Bitter Winter, which monitors religious freedom in China. “The Communist Party’s persecution of house churches is increasingly severe,” a member of a house church in the province of Jiangxi told Bitter Winter . “This is mainly because more and more people believe in Christianity.” Continue reading... 

Another Famous Evangelical Apostastizes: What Does It Mean?

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Jon Steingard is lead singer of the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) band, Hawk Nelson. My CCM days are mostly behind me so I confess that I am not familiar with his music but I do recognize that he is a significant figure to a generation. He has 27,000 “followers” on Instagram, which is symbol of a certain degree of influence. Recently on Instagram, he posted a letter (in a series of images) explaining why he feels compelled to declare his apostasy from the Christian faith. Just as he used to give his testimony as an part of the evangelical liturgy, so now he gives his testimony as an new atheist, with the same sort of sweaty, overwrought, enthusiasm one associates with evangelical revival meetings. In view of his influence it is worth asking about the significance of yet another evangelical “deconversion.” According to his letter he grew up as a pastor’s kid doing what a lot of PKs do, singing in a Christian band, leading worship,

Democrat Governors Start To Reopen Bars And Casinos While Limiting Church Services

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By Tristan Justice - Posted at The Federalist: Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz announced plans for a “phased” reopening Wednesday that allows restaurants, bars, salons, and tattoo parlors to reopen, plus a wide array of other businesses. Of the few institutions that must remain closed however, are churches. According to the governor’s order, places that reopen must operate with mandatory social distancing measures, with restaurants capped at 50 patrons spaced at least six feet apart. Churches, on the other hand, are still prohibited from holding congregations of more than 10. Nearly identical guidelines were issued by North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper before a federal judge struck down the executive order as discriminatory. “The record, at this admittedly early stage of the case, reveals that the Governor appears to trust citizens to perform non-religious activities indoors (such as shopping or walking or selling merchandise) but does not trust them to do the same

Judge Rules in Favor of NC Churches Seeking to Hold Indoor Services: ‘There Is No Pandemic Exception to Constitution’

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network: RALEIGH, N.C. — A U.S. district judge in North Carolina has ruled in favor of two churches and a ministry that want to hold indoor services but feel prevented from doing so as executive orders from Gov. Roy Cooper have limited “mass gatherings” to 10 people and a later directive said that larger meetings should “take place outdoors unless impossible.” The judge stated that there is no good reason why churches can’t have indoor services — with social distancing and other protective measures in place — when funeral homes and other locations are allowed to accommodate dozens of people. “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” wrote Judge James Dever III, nominated to the bench by then-President George W. Bush. “Plaintiffs have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their Free Exercise claim concerning the assembly for re

Churches may reopen, but many services won’t have singing

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Image Source:  https://woodfieldsbaptist.org/ Written by RNS - Posted at Lake County News: (RNS) — They are words the Rev. John Witvliet, an expert on Christian worship, never thought he would hear himself say. “Based on the science that we are learning about this week, we are urging and I am personally urging extreme caution,” said Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a Wednesday (May 13) interview. “Singing together in congregations is a practice that we dearly love and are eager to promote, but loving our neighbor is job one here and so the time for fasting from this wonderful practice may be longer than any of us would like.” His unprecedented words of warning come as religious leaders have received jarring predictions from scientists well-versed in virology as well as vocal practices. Webinars, videos and texts are circulating across the globe as scientists reveal their studies, and clergy must consider what to do

40 Percent of Parents Are 'More Likely' to Homeschool after Lockdown Ends

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By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: Around four in 10 families say they are “more likely” to homeschool their children after the lockdown ends, according to a new survey that also found widespread support for school choice. The Real Clear Opinion Research poll was conducted April 18-21 and asked 626 parents if they are “more or less likely to enroll your son or daughter in a homeschool, neighborhood homeschool co-op, or virtual school once the lockdowns are over?” A total of 40.8 percent of parents said they are more likely, while 31.1 percent said they are less likely. A majority of Asians (53.8 percent) and blacks (50.4 percent) said they are more likely to homeschool, while more than a third of Hispanic parents (38.2 percent) and whites (36.3 percent) also answered “more likely.” Read more here... HT: Sermon Audio

THIS Is the “New School Normal.” Better Buckle Up.

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By Shelly Sangrey - Posted at There's No Place Like Home : THIS Is the “New School Normal.” Better Buckle Up. And so it begins. As schools begin to prepare to reopen during this “pandemic,” we are getting an inside look into the psychologically damaging environment kids will be exposed to if and when sent back. Visit my channel today to watch my critique of a video made by a school district to help their students and parents get ready for the “new normal.” This school district’s video is so disturbing that many people actually thought it was satire. It’s not. Better buckle up. Link:  https://youtu.be/BeuzJzRwk-Y

Doing Righteously with Indignation

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By Rut Etheridge III - Posted at Gentle Reformation : The following is an adaptation of copyrighted material, used with permission, from my book, “God Breathed: Connecting Through Scripture to God, Others, the Natural World, and Yourself” (Crown and Covenant, 2019). For a much fuller engagement of the topic, please see chapter 10. This post is dedicated with respect and sorrow to the memory of Ahmaud Arbery. There isn’t profanity strong enough to cuss it all out when we experience life’s most cursed realities. God knows this. So, as Dr. Michael Lefebvre puts it, “…there are psalms that lead us in our speech to God in times of violent desecration.” - from Dr. Michael Lefebvre’s unpublished March, 2003 paper, “Psalm 137,”p.13. See also Dr. Lefebvre’s outstanding book, Singing the Songs of Jesus: Revisiting the Psalms (Fearn, Ross-shire 2010) especially chapter 6. Some of God’s songs are “imprecatory” – they call God’s judgment down upon those who relentlessly and unrep

The First Chaplain to the House of Representatives

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Rev. William Linn (1752 - 1809) By Rev. David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History: In a day when everyone is decrying our young people’s lack of knowledge of our American republic, try this question on yourself. Who was the nation’s first chaplain elected to the United States House of Representatives? If you answered the Rev. William Linn, of Pennsylvania, a member minister of the Presbyterian Church, give yourself ten bonus points. His years were February 27, 1752 to January 8, 1809. We don’t know much about his background, but early on, this ardent and most impassioned minister, as he was called by his contemporaries, graduated from the College of New Jersey (later on Princeton Theological Seminary) in 1772. Ordained by the Donegal Presbytery three years later, he found himself in the perilous days leading up to the American Revolution. He became the chaplain of the Continental Army, and as far as we know, proclaimed the Scriptures faithfully to men of that