Posts

Showing posts from October, 2022

Why I Don’t Participate in Halloween

Image
 By Brian Cosby - Posted at Reformation21 : Halloween: It's a conscience issue, and my own conscience is pricked by the thought of participating in it. However, I also recognize that there are legitimate (even “biblical”) reasons that one might have for celebrating with the rest of their neighbors. It's important to realize that historians are divided over the origins of Halloween. Some say that it has Christian roots; others say that it has pagan roots. Either way, we are to make a decision based on what it communicates today and, therefore, if we should (or shouldn’t) participate based on that meaning. From a slightly different angle, we should not only ask if it is “wrong” to participate, but if it is “right” from a biblical perspective. Typically, I hear of one of four responses to Halloween. First, there are those who believe that any participation in any holiday is inherently sinful and all “true” believers should not participate. Second, some don’t see any big deal abou

Richard Henry Lee: Founding Revolutionary and Anti-Corruption Advocate

Image
By Isodore Johnson -  Posted at OLL (Online Library of Liberty): Richard Henry Lee was born at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland, Virginia, on January 20, 1732. At age 16, Lee moved to Yorkshire, England, for his formal education at Wakefield Academy. In 1750, when he was 18, both of Lee’s parents died; he returned to Virginia in 1752 to help his brothers divide the family’s estate. Lee’s brother Philip was appointed to the House of Burgesses in 1755, and shortly after, in 1757, Richard Henry Lee was appointed Justice of the Peace for Westmoreland County. In 1758, after Philip Lee was appointed to the governor’s Council, Richard Henry Lee was elected to take his place in the House of Burgesses. He was joined by his brothers Thomas Ludwell Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, making the Lees a formidable voting block. Originally quite shy, Richard Henry Lee waited for a topic he cared strongly about to deliver his first speech. His first speech was in support of a motion to “ lay so heavy a du

New Saddleback Pastor Labels His Wife a 'Teaching Pastor' despite SBC Resolution

Image
 By Milton Quintanilla - Posted at Christian Headlines: The California-based megachurch Saddleback Church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, has identified the new lead pastor's wife as a "teaching pastor" despite the denomination's stance on the pastoral office being limited to men. Pastor Andy Wood, the successor of former pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren, lists his wife, Stacie, as a "pastor" in his biography on the church website . "Pastors Andy and Stacie Wood started their ministry in California as church planters in the Bay Area," the biography reads, according to The Christian Post . "They began Echo Church in 2009, and it eventually became one of the fastest-growing churches in the area." Earlier this month, Stacie Wood preached at the church with a message titled "The Courage to Slow Down" and was identified as a "teaching pastor." Prior to moving to Saddleback Church, she p

Theocast: 'Is Doug Wilson REDEFINING FAITH?'

Image
Description: In this clip, Jon and Justin critique Doug Wilson's definition and understanding of faith. Is Doug conflating obedience and saving faith? Is his definition and understanding of faith alone consistent with scripture? Direct Link:  Is Doug Wilson REDEFINING FAITH? - YouTube See also: Easy-Listening Legalism | Theocast - YouTube

Fulani Terrorists Kill More than 70 Christians in Central Nigeria

Image
 Posted at Morning Star News: Benue state officials seek to arm citizens to defend themselves. Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report. ABUJA, Nigeria ( Morning Star News ) – Fulani herdsmen last week killed more than 70 Christians in a village in central Nigeria, prompting state officials to state that lack of government protection means citizens must defend themselves, sources said. In what a Benue state police official suspected was a revenge attack for the alleged killing of five Fulani herders in three different incidents in the area on Tuesday (Oct. 18), herdsmen the next day attacked Gbeji village in Ukum County, Benue state. “In just two days, over 70 Christians were killed by Fu

Memorial Presbyterian Church Session (St. Louis, MO) Recommends Withdrawal from PCA

Image
Memorial Presbyterian Church Session Calls Congregation Meeting The Memorial Session is recommending that the congregation vote to withdraw from the PCA Written by Memorial Presbyterian Church Session - Published Friday, October 21, 2022 at The Aquila Report It is with a mixture of sorrow and hope that we, the elders of Memorial Presbyterian Church, after fifteen months spent fasting, praying, waiting, consulting and listening, now write to call a meeting of the congregation for 5:30–6:30 p.m. Friday, November 18, 2022, in the Auditorium for the purpose of deciding on matters pertaining to denominational alignment. We are recommending the congregation vote to withdraw from the Presbyterian Church in America in accordance with Book of Church Order 25-11   Read more at The Aquila Report ...  UPDATE November 18, 2022: Memorial Presbyterian Church Votes to Leave PCA – byFaith (byfaithonline.com) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For additional information, please see: Memorial Presbyterian Churc

Why George Mason Matters

Image
 By Daniel L. Dreisbach - Posted at OLL (Online Library of Liberty): There is an unfortunate tendency among students of the American founding to focus on the accomplishments of a few “famous founders” while ignoring the salient contributions of an expansive fraternity of “ forgotten founders .” One almost forgotten figure is George Mason (1725-1792) of Virginia. Despite an aversion to public life, Mason played pivotal roles in important assemblies of his state and nation, including the Virginia Conventions in 1775 and 1776, the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and the Virginia ratifying convention in June 1788. He was one of the most voluble delegates at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, leaving his mark on the U.S. Constitution . In the end, however, he refused to sign the final document. Chief among his objections was its lack of a bill of rights – a criticism that so resonated with skeptics of the proposed Constitution that its proponents were compelled to add the national

The Prospect of Losing Everything You Have

Image
 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits : “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” -Habakkuk 3:17-19. I often wonder how he withstood the hardship. Cotton Mather (1663-1728) entered Harvard at the age of twelve. He married Abigail Phillips in 1686 and they had nine children, six of whom died in infancy. Abigail died in 1702 and Cotton married a widow named Elizabeth Hubbard in 1703 who gave him six more children. A measles epidemic struck Boston in 1713 killing his second wife and three of their children. He married his last wife, Mrs. Lydia George, in 1715 who also was a widow. Lydia went insane an

Southern Baptist support for Ukraine continues; Seminary forced to meet in bomb shelter

Image
  Though Russian strikes continue, students at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary continue to meet for classes in the building’s basement. By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press: LVIV, Ukraine (BP) – Russia’s increased attacks across Ukraine forced the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary to hold classes in basement bomb shelters, UBTS President Yaroslav Pyzh said in a new video . “Several days of our session, our students went in bomb shelter. We are lucky that we have basement and we are lucky that our building allows us to have sessions even when we have a raid siren,” Pyzh said in the video. “Russia is escalating conflict and bombing Ukraine all over the places.” UBTS, with a pre-war enrollment of about 1,300 students in all class levels, enrolled 450 new incoming students in fall sessions, Pyzh said, thanking supporters whose generosity has allowed UBTS to continue serving the battered nation. Continue here...

An Abuse Survivor Reacts to Doug Wilson's Guidance

Image
By Control Freak Christianity - Posted at YouTube :   Description: Posted Oct. 16, 2022 In a series of letters to a fictional girl, Doug Wilson gives advice on how to handle being a victim of terrible abuse. Joe and Rachel are joined by Bethany Tenney, a real survivor, to discuss the quality of that advice in light of her experiences and the hope she has found in God and the Scriptures. Direct Link:   Survivor Reacts to Doug Wilson's Guidance - YouTube See also: Letters to a Broken Girl Archives | Blog & Mablog (dougwils.com)

Iran Punishes Christians with Harsh Prison Sentences

Image
Posted at Morning Star News: House churches considered threat to national security. ( Morning Star News ) – When authorities in Iran summoned a Christian couple in Tehran on Aug. 13, the house-church members supposed it concerned the return of their confiscated belongings. Instead, Homayoun Zhaveh and his wife Sara Ahmadi were detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison, notorious for its harsh treatment of people deemed political enemies of the state, rights organizations say. “Friends are concerned about their well-being, especially as Homayoun suffers from advanced Parkinson’s disease,” Christian Solidarity International (CSI) said in a statement. CSI and other advocacy and aid organizations recently issued calls for prayer for Zhaveh, 63, and Ahmadi, 44. Middle East Concern (MEC) reported they were first arrested in June 2019 on suspicion of belonging to an “illegal organization,” with Zhaveh spending a month in Evin Prison and Ahmadi held there for 67 days – half the time in solitary confine

Theocast: 'Church, Discernment, and Purity Culture'

Image
Church, Discernment, and Purity Culture August 31, 2022 Description: In today’s episode, the guys have a conversation about a very sensitive but important topic: sexuality. Over recent years and decades, there have been various approaches to how to handle issues of sexuality in the church. Jon and Justin talk honestly about their concerns regarding crass and crude language that is used to talk about sex–and the abuses of pastoral authority that often occur (e.g., Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll). The guys also discuss their concerns with purity culture (Joshua Harris comes up here) and the very negative ways sex is portrayed in that kind of setting. There is a better and more biblical approach. Semper Reformanda: Jon and Justin talk more about abuses of pastoral authority that occur in the church when it comes to sex in marriage. Then, the guys talk about how we often try to use outside means to address a heart-level problem. Continue here...

What the Federal Vision Still Does to the Definition of Faith

Image
 By Pastor Chris Gordon - Posted at Abounding Grace Radio: Between the years 2001 and 2004 a group of writers within the Reformed community banded together forming a theological system and movement known as the Federal Vision or Auburn Avenue Theology.[1] Under the rubric of covenant theology, this movement has posited a false dichotomy between Biblical and Systematic theology, redefining many confessional Reformed categories and terms. For our purposes, we will briefly explore and evaluate the teachings of the Federal Vision on the nature of justifying faith and the place of good works in the believer’s salvation. In A Joint Federal Vision Statement, signed by the central proponents of the FV, a series of affirmations and denials are presented. The statement on “Justification by Faith Alone” reads, We affirm we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. Faith alone is the hand which is given to us by God so that we may receive the offered grace of God. Justification is God’s foren

Why the SBC Should Remove Saddleback

Image
 By Denny Burk Published October 10, 2022 Over the weekend, a friend sent me a post from one of Saddleback Church’s social media accounts announcing that their new female teaching pastor would be delivering her first sermon on Sunday, October 9. Her sermon streamed live yesterday on YouTube, and I took some time to watch it myself last night. If you are interested in watching it, this link is cued up to her husband’s introduction to her message, and her message follows immediately after. I don’t know either of them personally, but if you take time to watch the message, you are going to see a husband and a wife that seem as sweet as they can be. You are also going to find a topical message geared toward self-help that includes no mention of the gospel. I’m certain that she and her husband believe in the gospel and share it elsewhere, but for whatever reason it was not part of this particular message. But my focus in this post is not on the message itself but on the issue that came be

Baptist pastor and wife kidnapped in Ukraine

Image
 By Diana Chandler - Posted at Baptist Press : MARIUPOL, Ukraine (BP) — A Baptist pastor and his wife remain missing after being kidnapped Sept. 21 from their church in Russian-occupied Mariupol, Forum 18 News Service reported Oct. 6. Armed masked men in Russian military uniforms took Council of Churches Baptists Pastor Leonid Ponomaryov and his wife Tatyana from their home in the Kalmiusky District of northern Mariupol, neighbors told Forum 18. Officials reportedly searched the home for about two and a half hours. The Russian military also searched and sealed Ponomaryov’s church, identified as Kurchatov Street Baptist Church, and seized religious literature there, Forum 18 said, attributing reports to Mariupol Baptists. “The neighbors distinctly heard groans and cries” as the Ponomaryovs were taken “in an unknown direction,” Mariupol Baptists told Forum 18. Church members began seeking answers the following day. “But neither then nor on subsequent days could they get any answers,” loc

Throwing away the Gospel and thrown away lotto tickets

Image
 By Slimjim - Posted at The Domain for Truth : I saw this news article titled “$200,000 lottery ticket nearly thrown in trash by winner.” Now I don’t condone buying the lotto and I think it has impoverished many people who are desperate. Bu I think there’s a lesson here about what we value and also the Gospel. The article tells us this woman’s story: Oct. 6 (UPI) — A North Carolina woman said her scratch-off lottery ticket nearly ended up in the trash before she realized it was a $200,000 winner. Jacqueline Leigh, 60, of Roper, told North Carolina Education Lottery officials she bought a $5 Hot 5’s ticket from Roper Food Mart, but didn’t think it was a winner after scratching it off. “I really was about to throw it away,” she said. “But I went back and looked at it again and that’s when I discovered it.” Leigh said she was in shock to discover the ticket that nearly went into the trash was a $200,000 winner. “I was so excited,” she said. “I think I shouted.” Imagine how close she was

Christian, When Persecution Comes: Embrace It

Image
 By Tim Challies The Christian faith is counterintuitive in any number of ways, but perhaps none so much as in its perspective on suffering and, particularly, its perspective on suffering persecution. We may see this most clearly in the actions of the apostles who, after being imprisoned and beaten, “left the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). Of course they must not have been surprised to suffer persecution because, as I’ve pointed out in a couple of recent articles, Jesus had told them to expect it and evaluate it . But he did more than that, and he does more than that to us. Jesus tells us to embrace persecution—to embrace it as his will. I thought of softening “embrace” to “endure.” It’s certainly true that we need to face persecution with patience and perseverance. But Jesus seems to calls us to even more than this. He says we should go so far as to embrace persecution. That’s not to say we should never pr

Doug Wilson: 'The Man Who Would Be King'

Image
  By Katie Botkin, with St. Tara (special thanks to anonymous research assistants) Originally published February 17, 2016. Silencing dissent for “peace and purity” Moscow, Idaho’s Doug Wilson has spent much of his pastoral career sparking controversy and feeding off the backlash. In a recent documentary put out by congregant Darren Doane of Razzie infamy and also featuring Ted Cruz, [1] Wilson gets the dubious honor of being labeled “the most hated preacher” in America. [2] Wilson is perhaps best known — or least liked — for co-writing Southern Slavery As it Was , a partially-plagiarized pamphlet stating that southern slavery was a mutually beneficial arrangement for both of the races in question. [3] But this is hardly a solitary incident — wherever Wilson goes, controversy is sure to follow, and from that controversy Wilson milks growing web traffic and name recognition. Making the rounds on Twitter most recently is Wilson’s claim that “women who genuinely insist on ‘no masculine p

“Christian Nationalism”: Dump the Term While We Still Can

Image
By Larry Ball - Posted at The Aquila Report: I am opposed to adopting or using the term “Christian Nationalism” as a response to the present anti-Christian crusade. The term Christian Nationalist sends the wrong message to both those outside the church and those inside the church. Therefore, I simply do not use the term. I prefer the term Christendom. When I speak of Christendom, surprisingly most people in the church today have never heard of it. I find this ironic because America (with all her warts) at various times in history could be judged as an example of Christendom. We have been living off that borrowed capital for years, but it is hastily running out. America is at war—not literally as in the shedding of blood. At least, not yet. However, we have not been this divided since the advent of the Civil War. History does tend to repeat itself. It appears to me that total anarchy is on the horizon, and the 2024 presidential election could easily trigger this event. On the one

Newsom Signs Bill That Removes Children from Parents Who Oppose Transgender Treatments

Image
 By Michael Foust - Posted at Christian Headlines: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law that he says protects transgender-identifying children but that critics say will allow the state to take custody of out-of-state minors whose parents oppose transgender treatments. At issue is S.B. 107 , which Newsom and supporters say would make California a so-called “refuge” for children whose states restrict transgender treatments or whose parents oppose such treatments. At least four states have passed laws that ban puberty blockers, hormones and/or sex-change surgery involving children. Newsom signed the bill on Thursday, saying it “will ensure these kids and their families can seek and obtain the medical and mental health care they need.” Continue here...

5 Misconceptions about Spiritual Abuse: #1 “Loving the Church Means You Don’t Call Out Her Problems”

Image
 By Michael J. Kruger - Posted at Canon Fodder : Published September 26, 2022 Last week I announced the upcoming release of my new book, Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church (Zondervan, 2022) . The book releases on November 1st. As a lead up to the book release, I am launching a new blog series entitled, “5 Misconceptions about Spiritual Abuse.” In my research for the book, it became quite evident that people have a lot of misunderstandings of spiritual abuse, how it manifests itself in the church, and how it should be addressed. Some of these are rather innocent misunderstandings, and others perhaps less innocent. Either way, it is important that they be addressed for the health of the church. We begin with perhaps the biggest misconception: “Loving the church means you don’t call out her problems.” ------------------------------------ When it comes to the issue of abuse, it’s been a rough stretch for the church. The last decade has not only seen a r