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Showing posts from February, 2021

Who we criticize and why: Ravi & James

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 Posted at Come Down, Lord! In the last weeks I have observed something strange and troubling. Christians across the continent have been weighing in on two figures: Ravi Zacharias and James Coates. I have been amazed at the number of Christians coming to Ravi's defence. Many of those who do are willing to admit (with sorrow that) they believe the reports are true and that Ravi was probably guilty of all kinds of sexual immorality. Still they defend him. They don't defend his actions but they are quick to say things like: he was still a great apologist; he was wonderfully used of God; he needed help as we all do; he was a sinner as we all are; he was saved by grace. At the same time I have been amazed (and sickened) by the number of Christians attacking James Coates. They know he has acted in the service of Christ, they know that he is morally above reproach, and they know that he is in prison for gathering his congregation for worship. Still, they criticize him. They say things

Public warned of Equality Act's devastating impact on children, Christian liberties

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  By Chris Woodward - Posted at One News Now: President Joe Biden and other Democrats are pushing controversial legislation known as the "Equality Act" – a measure some say has nothing to do with equality but would actually make discrimination the law of the land. Emilie Kao, an attorney with The Heritage Foundation , has defended religions freedom for more than a decade. She tells One News Now that the Equality Act, should it become law, would impose a "sexual orthodoxy" on the entire nation. "It would treat the belief that we are created male and female and that male and female are made for each other … as a sex stereotype," she warns. "And it would stigmatize religious believers and … discriminate against religious institutions." Kao points to faith-based adoption and foster care as an example. Read more here.

Our Christian Heritage: 'Augusta County Presbyterians call for independence'

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Hotchkiss, Jedediah. Map of Augusta Co., Virginia , -1770. [1886] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/99446927/ .  By David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History: It was simple and direct. The mass meeting of people from the Virginia county of Augusta in Stanton chose two delegates to represent them in Richmond, Virginia in the Virginia Convention. One was Thomas Lewis and the other one was Samuel McDowell. That these delegates would faithfully be the representatives of them, the following written instructions were given to them: “Many of us and our forefathers left our native land, and explored this once savage wilderness to enjoy the free exercise of the rights of conscience and of human nature. Those rights we are fully resolved with our lives and our fortunes inviolably to preserve; nor will we surrender such inestimable blessings, the purchase of toil and danger, to any ministry, to any Parliament, or to any body of men upon earth by whom we are not represented and in w

The Equality Act’s Threat to Religious Liberty

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 By Shane Vander Hart - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts: Last Thursday, U.S Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., re-introduced the so-called Equality Act that, if passed, would represent the greatest threat to religious liberty in American history. That is not hyperbole. The bill, if codified, sets up a clash between LGBT rights and faithful Americans’ religious conscience rights, and faithful Americans will lose. Of course, proponents of the bill sidestep that issue. “In 2021, every American should be treated with respect and dignity,” said Cicilline in a released statement. “Yet, in most states, LGBTQ people can be discriminated against because of who they are, or who they love. It is past time for that to change. I’m proud to introduce the Equality Act today, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Merkley to get this bill signed into law.” Read more here. 

CAN EVANGELICALS SAVE MARRIAGE?

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 Posted at Reformation Scotland : "The husband must not seek his own and love himself more than his wife, he must love her as himself (Ephesians 5:28-29). The wife must equally deny herself in respect and submission to her spouse (v22)." Marriage is in continued decline, falling to an all time low in many nations according to the latest statistics. And it’s not yet clear what impact the current crisis will have on the institution of matrimony. Despite studies that show marriage is good for society, its relevance is widely undermined. Marriage is vital for the future of the church as well as society as well as for the glory of God. It gives us a picture of Christ and the church. Research shows that while rates of marriage are higher amongst evangelicals, they are following the same downward trend. The Future of Christian Marriage is a book that examines the trends among young people identifying as Christians across different nations. It reveals that marriage is seen as more

Master’s Seminary Pastor Jailed

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By Pastor Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate: It was only a matter of time. The pastor of a Bible church has been imprisoned for going against covid restrictions by presiding over his church during corporate worship. Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Spruce Grove, Alberta was jailed this past Tuesday. As of February 17th, he remains imprisoned with a possible trial date to be set next week sometime. Currently, his wife and children are prohibited from visiting him. Coates is a graduate of the Master’s Seminary, was a personal classmate of mine, and has faithfully pastored Grace Life since 2010. Here is a brief summary of the situation. Read more here. See also: Why Pastor James Coates’ Imprisonment is Actual Persecution  (The Cripplegate)

Seeing Kingdom Light in Cultural Dark

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 By J.K. Wall - Posted at Gentle Reformation: U.S. Christians tend to be Eeyores about our country's culture. We focus on how bad things are now and how much worse they’re likely to get. After a year of COVID, restrictions on worship, racial protests, a contested election and high-profile scandals among Christian leaders, it’s easy to see more darkness in American culture than light. It's easy to cast ourselves and our faith as persecuted victims in an anti-Christian culture. At the base of this “ siege mentality ” is a theological error—putting more faith in the recent public standing of Christianity than in the present reality of Christ’s kingdom rule. But also at its base is a simple failure to recognize good news when we see it. So beginning today and throughout much of this year, I’m going to remind us all of positive trends that should give us hope. Some of these will be global in nature, some will focus on the U.S. Some of these will be pleasant surprises for those who l

Key Signs of an Abusive Pastor #1: A Long Track Record of Broken Relationships

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 By Michael J. Kruger - Posted at Canon Fodder : I’ve been making my way through a new blog series on spiritual abuse in the church which I am calling “Bully Pulpit” . In the prior installment , I offered a definition of spiritual abuse: Spiritual abuse, then, is when a spiritual leader—such as a pastor, elder, or head of a Christian organization—wields his position of spiritual authority in such a way that he manipulates, domineers, bullies, and intimidates those under him, as a means of accomplishing what he takes to be biblical and/or spiritual goals. But just having a definition doesn’t answer all our questions. After all, there’s a level of subjectivity in applying this definition. Some may think certain behavior is abuse, others may not. And, as we observed in the prior post, our world is often inclined to label any offensive Christian statement as “abuse.” In many ways, rightly identifying spiritual abuse is not that different than rightly identifying child abuse. Just because

THE IMPEACHMENT OF SENATOR WILLIAM BLOUNT—THE FIRST IN AMERICAN HISTORY

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By Andrew A. Zellers-Frederick - Posted at the Journal of the American Revolution: It is easy to suggest that William Blount made no significant contribution to the development of the United States. His achievements, although not negligible, were only on par at best, and far less than many of his more famous contemporaries. Blount served in the North Carolina militia during the American Revolution, but with little acclaim as a paymaster. From a prominent and influential Southern colonial-era family, he was an unremarkable member of his state’s House of Commons and later the state’s Senate. He served as a delegate to the Confederation Congress, unsuccessfully seeking its presidency, and to the Constitutional Convention where his contributions were little better than negligible. As Territorial Governor of the Southwest and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, he performed adequately. As one of Tennessee’s first federal senators, Blount finally achieved historical immortality, but for reason

Sing a Little Louder, Gaslighting 2.0

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 Posted at ThePublicProlifer: Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves . [ Medical News Today ] Gaslighting was used by Hitler when he wrote in Mein Kampf, “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” Of course he did not, but using this mental circus tactic, Hitler made his followers feel important for upholding what he wanted to do by using God as an influence. It took time and patience, but Hitler got it done and without much push-back, because dictators do not like push-back. Don’t look surprised, MANY radical left-wing and moderate Dems use this propaganda and gaslighting tactic on Christians, conservatives, and Republicans to influence them into submission, away from their firmly held beliefs and truths. And these radical Democrats do not

A Plea to the PCA

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 By Todd Pruitt - Posted at Reformation 21 : If you care to read the architects of Critical Theory—Benjamin, Horkheimer, Fromm, Adorno, Marcuse, etc.— you will find that their project was animated in large part by a desire to undermine Christianity and its moral and philosophical norms. They believed these norms inhibited the sexual and intellectual evolution of mankind. You will also find that many of these scholars coming out of the 1930s Frankfurt School considered Satan an important symbol of mankind’s empowerment and independence. How strange, then, that some in the PCA are urging us to employ Critical Race Theory (a species of Critical Theory) as an important lens through which we can better understand God, the Gospel, and humanity. They do so under the banner of common grace, which may be one of the most overused yet misunderstood doctrines in our theological toolbox. As John McWhorter, Carl Trueman, and others have noted, Critical Race Theory has all the marks of a religious sy