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Showing posts from April, 2022

A Tale of Two School Boards

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 By Shane Vander Hart Johnston and Linn-Mar's school boards voted on controversial items, one board followed federal law and the other followed an extreme interpretation of state law. Two school boards met on Monday evening and voted on items that were deemed controversial. First, the Johnston Community Schools Board voted 5 to 2 to approve a student-led chapter of Turning Point USA as a sanctioned student group at Johnston High School. Katie Fiala, Alicia Clevenger, Deb Davis, Clint Evans, and Derek Tidball voted to recognize the group. Soneeta Mangra-Dutcher and Jennifer Chamberland voted against recognizing the group. I have not been a fan of Turning Point USA for several years, and I've been disappointed by the pivot made by its founder, Charlie Kirk, after President Donald Trump was elected. However, as I wrote in an editorial on behalf of The Iowa Torch, regardless of criticism leveled at the group, the law required the board to approve TPUSA since they have sanction

Christians Must Be Discerning amid an Increasingly Secular Culture

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By Jim Denison - Denison Forum on Truth and Culture - Posted at Christian Headlines: The New York Times is profiling a movement called “fictosexuals.” These are people who consider themselves married to a fictional character, whether a doll, a character in a video game, or a similar “person.” One person who “married” a doll wants us to know that as artificial intelligence and robotics allow for more profound interactions with the inanimate, the number of “fictosexuals” is likely to increase. In other news, Google has launched an “inclusive language” function that warns writers to avoid certain words and phrases that “may not be inclusive to all readers.” It will prompt you to change “mankind” to “humankind” and “policeman” to “police officer,” for example. I wonder if one day I will be prompted to change “same-sex marriage” to “marriage equality” and “sex change operation” to “gender affirmation therapy” as such euphemisms normalize a “personal truth” culture. Speaking of normalizin

Attacked Pastor in Sudan Sentenced to Month in Jail

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Al Jazirah state, Sudan. (TUBS, Creative Commons)  Posted at Morning Star News: Muslim extremists assaulted three Christians during worship. JUBA, South Sudan ( Morning Star News ) – A pastor in Sudan who was attacked during worship this month was sentenced to a month in jail on Monday (April 25) under a law against disturbing the peace, sources said. Judge Awad Ibrahim Kury, a Muslim, found Pastor Stephanou Adil Kujo of disturbing the peace under Article 69 of Sudan’s 1991 penal code and sentenced him to one month in jail beginning April 25, said the Christian’s attorney, Shanabo Awad. The assailant who attacked him, Ibrahim Kodi, was also sentenced to a month in jail on the same charge. During worship at the Evangelical Luthern Church in Al Hag Abdalla, about 85 miles southeast of Khartoum in Madani, Al Jazirah state, three Muslim extremists on April 10 disrupted worship and attacked three Christians . The assailants were led by Kodi, locally known as Banaga, who punched Pastor Kujo,

3 Ways a Church Should Consider Spending Less

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By Justin Poythress - Posted at Reformation 21: “You shall not steal” – Deut. 5:19 Back when Immanuel Church Nashville was first planted, Ray Ortlund made a case for spending money so people could have Starbucks brand coffee in the lobby. Setting aside the fact that Starbucks coffee by itself is not actually that good (it’s the blends), he made a good point. He said this while preaching on the parable of the dishonest manager ( Lk 16:1-13 ), and I don’t think I’d ever really understood that passage until then. Of course, I already understood that money was dangerous. After all, Jesus ends the parable with a warning about not being able to serve two masters. But then Jesus issues a confusing command in 16:9: “Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” Though it might surprise many of us, Jesus wants us to know the power of money. In other words, Jesus is saying, “ Don’t be naïve .” ... Read more...

Gay Is Okay at Baylor after All

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 By Denny Burk On Tuesday, an announcement appeared on Twitter about the formation of a new LGBTQ+ student group at Baylor University: IT’S OFFICIAL!!! PRISM is Baylor University’s first chartered LGBTQ student organization! Thank you to all the alumni, friends, administrators, and supporters who helped get us to this historic day. #care #community #connection – #PRISMatBaylor #Baylor #LGBTQ pic.twitter.com/RVW5kbafv2 — PRISM at Baylor (@PRISMatBaylor) April 20, 2022 This announcement was no surprise. Students had been lobbying for the University to sanction such a group for years but had been rejected time and again by the board of regents. A year ago, the board finally relented and signaled that change was coming. The Texas Tribune reported at that time, ... Read more...

Anthropology is the defining issue of the 21st Century

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 By Colin Smothers - Posted at Caffeinated Thoughts: Colin Smothers: We may not be biologists, but we do know what a woman is. “Anthropology is the defining issue of the 21st century.” – Joe Rigney Last month Joe Rigney, who is John Piper’s successor as the new president of Bethlehem College and Seminary , tweeted the quote above in the midst of the ongoing confirmation hearings of Joe Biden’s nominee to the US Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. What prompted Rigney’s tweet was a series of questions that were asked to Judge Jackson about her basic, definitional understanding of human dignity and personhood. Judge Jackson’s responses were not encouraging. She not only refused to answer when she believed equal protection under the law attaches to a human person, which obviously implicates her beliefs about abortion and the unborn, but she also obfuscated to the point of absurdity when she was asked a direct question about the definition of the word “woman.” Read more...

Christian witness to China camp horrors now in U.S.

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Ovalbek Turdakun (right) gives a press conference with the help of a translator Wednesday (April 13) in Washington, D.C.  By Tom Strode - Posted at The Pathway : WASHINGTON (BP) – A Christian who was imprisoned for 10 months in western China is now in the United States as a witness to the notorious “re-education” camps being operated by the Communist regime of the world’s most populous country. Ovalbek Turdakun, his wife and son arrived in the United States April 8 after a lengthy, successful effort to avoid deportation back to China that was aided by allies in the United States and other countries. Ovalbek is the first Christian to speak out about his detention in the camps in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to Axios, a news website that first reported on his arrival April 12. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has primarily targeted the Uyghurs, a primarily Muslim group in Xinjiang, in a genocidal campaign, but other ethnic groups also have been included in its suppressio

WHERE IS THE POST-COVID DRIFT TAKING US?

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 Posted at Reformation Scotland: How should we respond to the massive upheavals that have taken place nationally and internationally over the last couple of years? If we think about it in the abstract, perhaps it seems obvious that after a time of turmoil and distress, we would re-dedicate ourselves to the Lord and more earnestly seek his grace to put more energy into serving him. Now that restrictions on social and church life have eased, we have many opportunities to do this. But instead of being re-energised as we emerge from the pandemic, many believers feel they are struggling to shake off a kind of spiritual lethargy. They feel they are doing little more than just drifting along. Could the Lord be leaving us to cope with the aftermath more or less by ourselves? How then can we possibly cope? Why does he not intervene mightily to invigorate his weary church? In this updated extract, James Guthrie shows he was familiar with this same problem. He looks first at where God is going –

The Gender Agenda

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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,’ What is transgenderism? Just a couple of decades ago very few people would have heard the word, never mind know what it meant. Let’s with a quiz! Just one question: What is a WOMAN? Well, now that really is the big question. In the USA, Ketanji Jackson, a nominee for the US Supreme Court, the highest court in the land was asked by a Senator, Marsha Blackburn, this same question. “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?” Blackburn asked during the hearing. “No, I can’t,” Jackson said after confirming the question. The progressive judge claimed she was unable to provide a definition because “I’m not a biologist.” Well, I’m not a biologist either, but I know what a woman is. I’m married to one! On LBC Radio, on Friday 8th April 2022, the Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney Gene

Seminary Faithfulness

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 By Jonathan L. Master - Posted at First Things: The last fifty years have been marked by institutional decline, both within the church and in society more broadly. Seminaries—designed to serve Christ’s church and to raise up ministers for her—have not been immune. Often, they have been among the most notorious examples of decline. The effects of this can be devastating, resulting in generations of ministers badly taught and poorly formed. The worst could be yet to come. One friend of mine recently remarked that, when it came to the changing moral norms being pushed by the LGBTQ+ lobby and its allies, he had no confidence in any seminary that had not already publicly declared itself and taken a side. This might lead to a sense of despair about our seminaries. So many have fallen; can any be trusted? At the very least, it should lead to the question I am asked most frequently in my work: How can institutional faithfulness be maintained? How does a seminary avoid theological and moral de

Samuel Sey on Critical Race Theory

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By Jon Dykstra - Posted at Reformed Perspective: This is an edited excerpt from Lucas Holvlüwer and Tyler Vanderwoudes’ Real Talk podcast Episode 43 where they discussed Critical Race Theory with special guest Samuel Sey of SlowToWrite.com . They’ve had a lot of other great conversations with all sorts of intriguing guests like Tim Challies, Arnold Viersen, André Schutten, and Jonathon Van Maren, so be sure to check them out on YouTube , their website , or any of the places you find your podcasts! Lucas Holtvlüwer: Define Critical Race Theory (CRT) for our listeners, and maybe give a couple of examples of where it’s infiltrated our society. Samuel Sey: Critical Race Theory is very complex, intentionally. Many people call it Marxist, and some Critical Race theorists would deny that but it really is a version of Marxism, a newer version of Marxism. So, I’ll explain Marxism first in a very brief way. Marxism, basically, is the idea that there is an essential conflict between groups in

68 Percent of American Voters Less Likely to Do Business with Disney over Its Push for More LGBT Content, Poll Shows

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 By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: Nearly 70 percent of American voters say they are likely to support alternatives to Disney in light of comments by Disney filmmakers that the company wants to add more LGBT content to programs. The survey by Trafalgar Group for Convention of States Action found that 68 percent of likely American voters said they are less likely to do business with Disney following news reports revealing that "Disney is focusing on creating content to expose children to sexual ideas," according to the survey's wording. A similar percentage of American voters – 69 percent – say they are likely to "support family-friendly alternatives to Disney." Read more...

A Story of Restorative Grace

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 By Jennifer Buck - Posted at G3 Ministries : Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” But sometimes those things can be really painful. This is a story about one of the more painful things in my life, but also a story of God’s transformative grace in an unlikely pair. Over the years, my husband and I have recounted this to our church family and those whom we counsel—a testimony that continues to glorify the work the Lord has done in our marriage. In 2018, we shared our story with Rachael Denhollander at the height of the #metoo movement. This prompted us to think that our testimony should be shared on a broader scale, so more people could have a greater hope in God’s ability to bring about repentance, restoration, and reconciliation. We pray that our story might be used by God to help breathe fresh gospel hope into your life and marriage. The God who helped us is able to help you. As we have shared our story

A Personal Report from the Ukrainian Battlefront

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 Posted at The Aquila Report: Written by Ukrainian Woman | Wednesday, April 6, 2022 Today I watch photos and videos from liberated cities and villages of Kyiv region all day. My native Kyiv region. Every time you tell me about the great Russian painting, I will tell you about the peaceful Ukrainians shot in the back in the Makariv district. And before they could shoot, the orcs tied their hands. About hundreds of corpses on the streets of Bucha, Irpen, Gostomel. About mass graves in the yards of residential neighborhoods. Until recently, the mass graves of civilians were cozy and safe cities. Mass graves. In the 21st century. Here is what I will tell you in return about the great Russian painting. Dear heartbroken Europeans and other connoisseurs of great Russian culture !!! (including Ukrainians), today I watch photos and videos from liberated cities and villages of Kyiv region all day. My native Kyiv region. And here’s what I want to tell you: Every time you talk about the great Russ

Because She's Black?

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 By Samuel Sey - Posted at Slow to Write: We’ve reached a point in evangelicalism when we’ve become so desensitized by abortion and so manipulated by critical race theorists that some of us would unashamedly celebrate the confirmation of an unjust Supreme Court Justice because she’s black. Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to America’s Supreme Court a couple of days ago—making her the first black woman to receive that honour. However, she is the latest dishonourable character in the honourable role. Just as she infamously claims she doesn’t know what a woman is—she also claims she doesn’t know when life begins. In a better society, her claims would make her unfit for any consequential role. But in our depraved society, she’s a Supreme Court Justice. Her history as a judicial activist for abortion is one of the reasons why Joe Biden nominated her (with strong support from Planned Parenthood and NARAL) in keeping with his promise to select a judge who would help strengthen and expand

Boris Johnson: ‘Children can’t consent to trans drugs’

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 Posted at The Christian Institute : Boris Johnson has said teenagers should not be deemed able to consent to drugs with irreversible effects and that parents should be able to input into decision making. The Prime Minister was being quizzed about the possible exclusion of gender-confused children from the proposed ban on conversion therapy. He used the opportunity to briefly address puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, trans participation in women’s sport, and whether or not men who identify as women should be permitted to use female-only spaces. Read more...

New Chinese Law Bans the Word 'Christ' on Social Media, Says it Causes 'Incitement'

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 By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: China has banned “Christ” and other religious words from social media apps under a new policy that went into effect on March 1. According to a new report, the policy also requires licensing and training to post Christian and religious content on the internet. The Chinese Communist Party’s new law – dubbed the “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services” – prohibits individuals and organizations from posting religious information on the internet unless they have first obtained permission from a provincial government department, according to China Aid , which monitors religious freedom within the country. Early Rain Covenant Church, a Chinese congregation, recently discovered the far-reaching impact of the new law. Using the messaging app WeChat, a church member tried posting the names of eight books for members of a reading group, asking them to vote on their favorite. Among the titles: The Defense of the

Evangelical seminary dean found dead on streets of Ukraine

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Vitaly Volodymyrovich Vinogradov - far left at table. (Image Source: Baptist Press)  By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press: KYIV, Ukraine (BP) – The dean of a small evangelical seminary in Kyiv is among more than 400 civilians found dead on the streets in and around the capital city, the seminary confirmed early April 4 on Facebook. “Vitaly Volodymyrovich Vinogradov our dear brother, Christian leader, employee and a wonderful person, was found dead in Bucha,” posted Kim Bien Bum, principal of Kiev Slavic Evangelical Seminary (KSES) and pastor of Christ’s Blessing Church. “There are no words to express all the heartache. We will all miss him dearly on this earth, but we are glad that his life goes on forever. … He will be greatly missed.” After Ukraine pushed back Russian forces nearly 40 days into Russia’s invasion, news images were released showing lifeless bodies of men, women and children strewn on the streets of Kyiv and surrounding communities, including Bucha, with the late

Markers on the way-station of downgrade: Exhibit A, Aimee Byrd

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 By Elizabeth Prata - Posted at The End Time: I was saved in around January 2004. For 18 months I followed Joel Osteen, until I got a Bible that is. In mid-2006 I moved to Georgia and began attending church, and was baptized. Since then, the acceleration of false teachers populating the faith and their numerous public implosions, seem to be accelerating. Even previously solid-seeming platformed teachers and theologians are falling like dominoes. I used to listen to Reformation 21’s Mortification of Spin Podcast with Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd. I’m not a huge fan of listening to women, I prefer men, but I was pleased that the so-named “Housewife Theologian” was able to speak on theological issues in a roundtable with men. ‘Good for her’ I’d thought. ‘If she has time away from family to do that.’ Aimee wrote as to why she wrote her book Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary and joined the podcast in 2013, “Much of my blogging speaks to why it matter

BIDEN THE ONE-THIRD THEOLOGIAN

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 By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch: Biden’s pro-trans war on children and Scripture: There are at least three major components to the Christian gospel – all MUST be affirmed, and if you leave any of them out, you do not have the biblical story but a humanistic heresy. Just what are these three core and fundamental components of the gospel? Here they are in a nutshell: One. Man was created by God in his likeness and image. Two. Sin and the Fall have separated us all from God and greatly tarnished (but not erased) that image. Three. Only through faith and repentance based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can anyone get right with God, see the image properly restored, and inherit eternal life. It seems the American President has now become a theologian – but a very bad one. Indeed, he has made it clear that he is a diabolical one, because he wants to affirm only those components that he is happy with. In this case, he has run with Number One, while fully denyin

A City Set on a Hillsong: Why Light Can’t Worship with Darkness

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 By Dan Crabtree - Posted at The Cripplegate: From the beginning, Jesus told his disciples that their godliness could not be a secret. He said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” ( Matt 5:14 ). Then he instructed them, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (5:16). The light of kingdom righteousness in them could not be hidden, so they were commanded to let the world see it shine through their conduct. Christians are supposed to stand out conspicuously for their integrity, their heavenly love, and their piety. Christ’s light cannot be hidden. But the reverse, as God would have it, is also true. That is, ungodliness can no more stay hidden than godliness cannot shine. In God’s economy, there are no secret deeds, only those yet to be exposed. Or, as Jesus says it, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you