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Showing posts from June, 2023

Baptist Press: 'Elevation Church withdraws from SBC cooperation'

Image Source:  Elevation Church withdraws from SBC cooperation | Baptist Press  Published June 29, 2023 NASHVILLE (BP) – After more than two decades of affiliation, Elevation Church in Matthews, N.C., says they no longer desire to cooperate with the SBC. The church informed the SBC Executive Committee of their decision by letter dated June 26. The letter shared with Baptist Press did not state a specific reason the church reached the decision. “You will find that our Statement of Beliefs on our website is very much in line with the Baptist Faith and Message – we have no intention of changing those core beliefs,” the statement said. The church said the letter posted below will be the church’s only public comments. Continue here.

Same Sex Marriage in 2023

 By John Hanna - Posted at Reformation 21: Towards the end of 2022, with passage of the federal law named, “The Respect For Marriage Act,” the subject of same-sex marriage reemerged as a prominent public issue. “How does two people getting married affect you?” supporters of same-sex marriage say. There have also been Christians effectively saying, “What’s the big deal? Why should we expect the government to pass laws requiring non-Christians to live as though they’re Christians?” While, in general, there can be truth to be heeded in these and similar statements - “mind your own business” has its rightful place after all! - the Christian’s participation in civil society, which includes the command to love our neighbor, does not limit our evaluation to what’s in our self-interest, i.e., what affects us. Furthermore, in this case, these and similar sentiments are missing the essence of the case that has been advanced in favor of same-sex marriage. Contrary to many arguments advanced in it

The Unabomber dies at 81 by suicide: Why are his ideas becoming popular?

Published June 21, 2023  By Mark Legg - Posted at the Denison Forum: Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, captured the gaze of millions through not only his murders but also his far-fetched philosophy and mad story. Serial killers often receive widespread media attention, but the written words of one can hardly be more recognized or infamous: “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.” These words make up the opening sentence of Kaczynski’s manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future.” Kaczynski maintained a niche following of environmental extremists and anarchists in prison, writing countless letters with apparent brilliance and wit to journalists and “fans” alike. He died June 10, two weeks ago, by suicide at eighty-one. Why should we care about the ideas and life of a murderous madman? The tale of Ted Kaczynski can teach Christians many things. Indeed, frighteningly, there is a surge in popularity for his ideas online. So who was t

Starkweather: Depravity, Dystopia, And The Death Penalty In The Heart Of America

Charles Starkweather 1958 - Source: Wikipedia  By Dr. R. Scott Clark -Posted at The Heidelblog: Published June 25, 2023 On this date in 1959, the state of Nebraska executed the death sentence upon Charles Starkweather, an admitted, notorious spree killer and mass murderer. Certainly, when “Charlie” (as he was known) was captured after a shootout in Douglas, Wyoming there was little doubt, and by the end of his trial, it was certain that he had committed a shocking and brutal series of murders in and around what was then a sleepy college town and state capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska. The only real question that remained through the trial, which persists to this day, is the involvement of Caril Ann Fugate, whose family Charlie murdered. It is unknown whether she accompanied him willingly during his spree, cooperated with or even committed some of the murders, or if she was simply a hostage (as she later claimed) and suffered from Stockholm Syndrome (wherein, in order to survive captivity, o

The Decline of the Mainline Continues

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch: A new study by demographer Ryan Burge got a lot of attention on the MinistryWatch website this week. Burge took a deep dive into membership numbers for nine Protestant denominations, going back 30 or so years. He included both “mainline” denominations and newer, more evangelical denominations. He found that most Protestant denominations in this country are losing members, and even those that are growing are mostly not keeping pace with the population growth of the country. One of the key findings is that the decline of the mainline churches is even worse than has been previously reported. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is down 41 percent from the early 80s. The United Church of Christ is less than half the size it was in the 1980s. The United Methodist Church (UMC) is down 31 percent. The picture for the UMC is likely to get much worse. Over 15 percent of its churches are disaffiliating just this year , and that incl

Social Welfare and the Biblical Remedy

Image Source:  FORGET NONE OF HIS BENEFITS   By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” -2 Thessalonians 3:10 During the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and 1930”s in New York City, a time where a rebirth of African American art, literature, and music occurred, many white celebrities frequented the Harlem entertainment centers, often staying there until after midnight. Invariably, without any fear for their safely, these white celebrities would walk the streets of Harlem without incident. The economist Milton Freedman, while a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City, often took his fianceé (later his wife) to dance the night away at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem without fear of being mugged or accosted. A black actress, after performing in midtown Manhattan, said that she would without fear take the subway back to Harlem and never


 By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch: Published June 21, 2023 The religious basis of transhumanism: Many of the folks pushing things like transhumanism, AI, posthumanism and so on have often made clear the religious nature of their endeavours. They see all this as a new religion offering full and final salvation – but of a radically different sort than traditional religion does. While many atheists and secularists are enthralled by the bright promises of a new technological future, others with a religious bent are also a part of all this, and are quite happy to tell us how old religions are being transcended and replaced in this world of AI and techno-futurism. A critic of all this, James Herrick, has written extensively about these matters. In one 2017 collection of essays he offered this summary statement: “Transhumanists speak confidently of achieving goals such as technological immortality, creating computer deities, and radically altering the human race through technolog

New ordinance represents a ‘minefield’ for churches, Georgia pastor says

Image Source: Baptist Press By Scott Barkley - Posted at Baptist Press: TUCKER, Ga. (BP) – The passage of a nondiscrimination ordinance (NDO) in this city outside of Atlanta should be a warning for churches and all concerned about religious liberty, says a Southern Baptist pastor active in opposing the measure. The new city ordinance takes effect July 12 and received support from many pro-LGBTQ+ groups such as Georgia Equality. It prohibits “unlawful discrimination” based on several factors including “actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation [and] gender identity,” among others. Mayor Frank Auman, who has questioned the need for the ordinance since it began to form a year ago out of an ad hoc group, was the lone dissenter in the 6-1 vote to pass. In discussions over recent months, ordinance authors assured Rehoboth Baptist Church Senior Pastor Troy Bush that religious liberty exemptions were adequate. He remains far from convinced. “This ordinance does not represent a just and fair

PCA GA 50: Summary of 20 Key Events & Highlights

 Posted at The Aquila Report: Written by Ruling Elder Kevin Miller & TE George Sayour | Tuesday, June 20, 2023 Overture 29: Passed Presbyteries 79-1. An Officer’s view of Indwelling Sin, Actual Sin, and Sanctification matter. This is the language that was approved to BCO 16.4: “Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. While office bearers will see spiritual perfection only in glory, they will continue in this life to confess and to mortify remaining sins in light of God’s work of progressive sanctification. Therefore, to be qualified for office, they must affirm the sinfulness of fallen desires, the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, and be committed to the pursuit of Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions.” The Presbyterian Church in America just completed its Jubilee Assembly in Memphis, TN! This 50th General Assembly on this 50th Anniversary year

Southern Baptists Put On A Show, But Emerge Remarkably Unified

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch : The Southern Baptist Convention had its annual meeting this week in New Orleans. More than 13,000 representatives, known as messengers, attended the meeting. The headlines have been well reported by both Christian and secular media (including MinistryWatch). On Tuesday, the messengers re-elected Texas pastor Bart Barber to a second year in office. Saddleback Church was officially kicked out of the SBC, despite a media campaign by its former pastor Rick Warren. Progress was made toward sexual abuse reform. It’s worth pausing, though, to note a couple of “behind the headlines” moments from the SBC. Here they are, in no particular order: The Vote for President Wasn’t Close Much was made of the fact that Bart Barber, the sitting SBC president, was facing a challenger for reelection. It was the first time in a decade that had happened, and only the second time in the past 35 years. But it’s important to note that Barber got 68 percent of th

When Perversion Goes Mainstream

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: “Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him.” -Isaiah 1:4. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, ten New York City policemen raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a place frequented by homosexuals. Most states at the time, including New York, had sodomy laws outlawing homosexual behavior. Since homosexuality was unlawful, the police were there to disperse the people from the bar. Things got out of hand and people resisted arrest. More and more homosexuals and others from Greenwich Village and surrounding parts of the city gathered the next several nights to protest so called discrimination against homosexuals. Thus was born the current homosexual rights movement. On June 28, 1970, one year after the Stonewall riots, gay pride marches were held in Los Ange

Baptist Press: 'Motion to amend BF&M passes, task forces approved'

Alabama pastor Jared Cornutt makes a motion to amend the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 to include the words "elder" and "overseer" as synonyms of the word "pastor."  Photo by Sonya Singh ( Baptist Press ) By Erin Roach  Published June 14, 2023 The amended article on the church now reads: “In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its two scriptural offices are that of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Messengers voted to amend the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the statement of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention, to clarify the role of pastor Wednesday, June 14, at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The convention also approved the appointment of a task force to study the impact of the Great Commission Resurgence recommendations adopted

Breakpoint: More Studies Show the Harm of Recreational Marijuana Use

 By John Stonestreet and Jared Eckert Far from being safe, studies show that recreational pot is clearly a net loss for public health. Eleven years ago, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Passed by ballot initiatives put to voters, the legalization of recreational marijuana was due in large part to promise of financial windfalls for schools. But, a shift in public opinion regarding the drug’s health risks was required. So, advocates proposed that, when compared to other legal substances like alcohol and cigarettes, marijuana use was less destructive, less addictive, and less fatal. Today, after more than a decade of legal recreational marijuana, we now have significantly more data. Far from being safe, recreational pot is clearly a net loss for public health. More and more studies, in fact, are showing that marijuana poses a number of serious health risks, in particular to pregnant moms, to men, and to people in the work

Duggar Doc “Shiny Happy People” Should Be Warning To Church

 By Warren Cole Smith - Posted at Ministry Watch: Published June 9, 2023 I found myself both frustrated and mesmerized by the new Amazon Prime documentary “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.” As the title suggests, it purports to be the behind-the-scenes story of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their children, the stars of the TLC hit television series “19 and Counting” and a number of spin-offs. The original show ran for 229 episodes over seven years, and was a ratings juggernaut for TLC, elevating it from a fringe cable television network into the mainstream. The show was TLC’s most popular, averaging 2.3 million viewers per new episode in Season 10 and scoring in the “Cable Top 25,” according to Nielsen. But all was not well in DuggarWorld. In 2015, Josh Duggar publicly apologized for having “acted inexcusably” following reports he molested five girls, including some of his sisters, by fondling them. TLC announced that the show was officially canceled and would not resume p

What the Philadelphia 11 can teach the SBC

 By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate: I recently came across TIME Magazine from the week I was born—January 7, 1976. The issue was devoted to the “Women of the Year,” and on the cover was the Rev. Alison Cheek. She broke the so-called glass ceiling by becoming the first female Episcopal priest to lead/perform the Eucharist. Cheek was part of the “The Philadelphia 11,” a group of female priests all ordained in Pennsylvania, long before that was acceptable in the Anglican church. It was immediately met with howls of protests. This was coming after the fall of Saigon, and after the zenith of the hippie movement. The “mainline denominations” were at a tipping point, one that is much more recognizable in the hindsight than I’m sure it was at the time. Many people protested such a brazen show of rebellion by the Philadelphia Episcopal church—compounded all the more because the Anglican Church had rejected calls to ordain women. While some Anglicans may have protested the Philadelph

Pat Robertson (March 22, 1930 – June 8, 2023)

 Posted at CBN News : Honoring Pat Robertson, 1930-2023: Witness to a God-Sized, World-Changing Dream Pat Robertson: March 22, 1930 – June 8, 2023 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Pat Robertson, longtime TV host, religious broadcaster, educator, humanitarian, and one-time presidential candidate died at his home in Virginia Beach early Thursday morning. He was 93. Perhaps best known for offering prayer and political commentary at the helm of The 700 Club, the flagship program of his media ministry, Robertson’s rise to prominence is rooted in what he called a vision from God to create The Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded in 1960. A prolific innovator, he also started a Christian university, a legal advocacy group, and an international NGO specializing in disaster relief. Read more here. See also: Died: Pat Robertson, Broadcast Pioneer Who Brought Christi...... | News & Reporting | Christianity Today Pat Robertson, Broadcaster Who Helped Make Religion Central to GOP Politics, Die

Pederasty and One Kingdom Theology

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: “For God is the King of all the earth. . . God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.” –Psalm 47:7,8 Perhaps there has never been a more perverse, godless, and wicked time in which Jesus’ incarnation could have occurred. Pederasty was common in the Roman Empire. Older men routinely sought young boys for sex. Gymnasiums (the Greek word means naked) abounded in Rome and older men frequented the gymnasium to watch young boys compete naked in various athletic events, mainly wrestling, and choose one or two for their own sexual pleasure. While most men waited until their late twenties to marry, they could have a prostitute or slave woman as often as they wanted from the time they reached puberty. This was not considered adultery. Pederasty was not frowned upon at all. In fact most everyone believed women were inferior to men. Therefore real companionship and love could best occur between an older man and a young boy. Women

June is for Judgment

 By Robb Brunansky - Posted at The Cripplegate: I love the month of June. It features the longest day of the year. It is hot but not the deathly hot of July and August, which means you can still enjoy some mornings and evenings outside and swimming is still refreshing. Baseball season is in full swing. Father’s Day lands on the third Sunday of the month. And my beautiful bride was born in the month of June. Yet for all the highlights of the sixth month of the year, in the United States it brings a more sinister side. Our nation celebrates June as “Pride month.” Desecrated rainbows fill store displays and social media feeds. Sexual deviancy and perversion is celebrated as a virtue. Baseball teams host “Pride nights” at their stadiums. Government buildings are lit up with the colors of the rainbow. The US Navy joins in, changing their entire Twitter avatar and bio to boast in wickedness. As Christians we might easily look at June as a month where the darkness has overtaken the light, whe

Why Target Can’t See Straight

Image Source:  Why Target Can’t See Straight | The Cripplegate  By Clint Archer - Posted at The Cripplegate: I am usually not surprised when sinners sin. Nor am I caught off guard when mud is muddy or when dogs bark. When you have not been “delivered from the domain of darkness and been transferred to the kingdom of his beloved son” ( Col 1:13 ) then you will continue to “walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” ( Eph 2:2 ). I mean, why wouldn’t you? The Bible says that you will choose according to your nature until you are given a new nature. So, when US retail giant, Target, ramped up its support of the LGBTQ+ community by adding to its longstanding Gay Pride clothing line “tuck friendly” children’s bathing suits for boys who want help hiding their boy parts to become trans girls, and books marked as appropriate for children ages 2-8 titled “Bye Bye Binary” and “I’m not a G

Dave Ramsey Sued for $150 Million by Former Fans Who Followed His Timeshare Exit Advice

 By Bob Smietana - Posted at Ministry Watch : The class-action lawsuit is the latest legal woe for Ramsey and his company (RNS) — A group of former followers of Dave Ramsey has sued the Christian finance guru and radio host, along with his company and a marketing firm, for endorsing a failed timeshare exit company that allegedly defrauded customers out of millions. Seventeen former Ramsey listeners filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington alleging Ramsey was paid as much as $30 million from 2015 to 2021 to endorse Timeshare Exit Team, a Kirkland, Washington-based firm that collected $200 million from clients — many of them Ramsey listeners — in exchange for a promise to free them from their timeshare obligations. That promise came with a money-back guarantee. But the company, which often collected more than $5,000 per customer, failed to live up to its promises. In 2021, Reed Hein & Associates LLC, which did business as Timeshare Exit Team, pai

Dear False Teacher: The Puritan Thomas Brooks Would Like a Word with You

 By Rosaria Butterfield - Posted at reformation21: Dear Mr. False Teacher, Permit me to write boldly to you. You have repeated your shallow shibboleths in sermons, blogs, and conferences, and you have tried very hard to pretend that secular society is a neutral playground, a marketplace of ideas where Christianity is welcome to flourish. You punt for nuance every time and have made every clear teaching of the law and gospel a grey area of ambiguity. You have sought the middle road on every issue: gay marriage, transgender normalization, Black Lives Matter, and abortion. You always seek the third way. But it’s getting harder for you to persuade your flock because some of them see that a raging spiritual war has washed out the middle road and the third way. I believe that you are at a crossroads. So let me put it straight: if you are a true Christian who has fallen into some bad theology, I’m throwing you a rope. Why not grab it? Your rhetorical strategy was to yield the moral language

Power and One Kingdom Theology

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: “And He said to them, ‘This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer,’”  -Mark 9:29 Over Memorial Day weekend six people in Birmingham were shot and murdered, two of them in Fairfield and one in Bessemer. In one of the murders police say ninety rounds were fired within one minute. In Chicago, over the Memorial Day weekend fifty people were shot, ten of whom died. LGBTQ+ activists have called for a new campaign to warn corporate leaders not to bow to pressure from Christian groups and others who are calling for the boycott of Target, Bud Light beer, and other companies which have been pushing homosexuality and transgenderism. And in the midst of all our troubles the church seems unable to address with power the devastating effects of a nation which has forgotten God and has been drowning for many years in secularism, which is the absence of the Christian faith from the public arena. Secularism leads to the notion that Christianity