Saturday’s News – 07/26/08

July 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

I know that it’s two days late, but I wasn’t able to get it up until now. I hope to have my regular Monday message up tomorrow! Thanks for understanding!

 

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080719/more-methodists-support-clergy-performing-gay-weddings.htm

More Methodists Support Clergy Performing Gay Weddings

 

The number of United Methodists that support “gay marriage” is growing. The Northeastern Jurisdiction Conference of the United Methodist Church have approved a resolution that expresses respect for Methodist clergy in California who perform “same-sex” marriage ceremonies calling it “a matter of Christian conscience, spiritual discernment and prophetic witnessing”. In April, the UMC struck down a measure that would have removed the ban on non-celibate gay pastors as well as the statement that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching”. In response to the legalization of “gay marriage” in California last month, many of the regional conferences have promoted measures that support “gay marriage”, encouraging pastors to support these “families”. The UMC Book of Discipline – the laws of the UMC – expressly forbids its churches or clergy from performing “same-sex” marriages. Those who disagree with the recent changes have called Methodists to be faithful to biblical teaching and have expressed concern at the continuing decline of membership in the UMC.

 

That whirring sound that you hear is, in fact, John Wesley spinning in his grave. Once again, another denomination has begun to dismantle the authority of God and to create a God in their own image. Those who support the pro-homosexual “Christians” in the UMC call it “a matter of Christian conscience, spiritual discernment and prophetic witnessing”. I disagree. It has nothing to do with Christian conscience. If it did, it wouldn’t be an issue to begin with. It is a matter of conscience, but it’s a poor one and more of an example of ignoring the conscience. As far as “spiritual discernment”, I again have to disagree, unless they mean a lack thereof. Spiritual discernment can only come from a right understanding of scripture and the application of that understanding. Spiritual discernment is about seeing what is happening around us and using the Word of God to determine if it’s right or wrong. As far as “prophetic witnessing”, while I’m not sure what they mean by the phrase, I think that this will be a witness to others. For something to be prophetic in relation to God, it has to spring from the truth of God. The growing support for homosexuality in the Church is a witness to those outside the church. It is not the witness that God is fallible like many would have people believe. If anything, it’s a witness to God’s patience. I also believe that it will be a witness of God’s judgment. The scriptures say that judgment will start in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). I can help but fear for those who have deceived themselves and others into thinking that homosexuality isn’t a sin and that it’s ok. There will be a time when God will judge sin and that will include the church. This is just another instance of the tragedy of the modern message and the fault of the church in not holding true to the gospel…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080719/anglican-head-god-doesn-t-need-violent-protection.htm

Anglican Head: God Doesn’t Need Violent Protection

 

The Archbishop of Cantebury has decided that God doesn’t need to be protected by human violence. Last fall, a group of 138 Muslims wrote a letter called “A Common Word Between Us and You” as a call for interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians. In his response to the letter, Rowan Williams cited John 19:36 where Jesus tells Pontius Pilate that His kingdom “is not of this world” and “if it were, my servants would fight”. He also said that the “eternal God cannot need ‘protection’ by the tactics of human tactics”. He then went to the Quran (Al-Baqarah) 2:256 and stated that it shows that there is no compulsion in religion. He said that using violence to “compel religious allegiance” is really a way to “replace divine power with human power”. He called for renewing Christian-Muslim relations that would break the “current cycles of violence, to show the world that faith and faith alone can truly ground a commitment to peace”. The original letter was sent last October. In response to the letter, 300 “Christian leaders” responded positively and signed a return letter. Some of the signers of the response letter have since removed their signatures because they feel that the Muslim letter compromises the Christian faith. In October, on the anniversary of the release of the original letter, the Anglican Communion will hold a conference for Muslims and Christians to talk about practical ways to deepen mutual understanding.

 

Without wanting to sound mean, it seems that every time Rowan Williams opens his mouth, he sticks his foot in it. I’ve already written a blog on the original letter so I won’t go into that much here. What it seems that Mr. Williams is trying to say is that Christians should just lie down and let the adherents of other religions walk all over them. Williams also talks about using violence to compel religious allegiance. Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t recall if I’ve ever heard any instance of Christians using violence to compel others to become Christians. I do recall having recently heard many stories about Muslims using violence to compel others to become Muslim. I have heard of Muslims killing Christian missionaries. I’ve heard of Christians being jailed for no good reason other than the fact they were Christians. The Christian-Muslim dialogue will not happen in the way that many people desire it for one simple reason. Muslims deny Christ as God. Without this foundational truth being equal, it will be impossible to have some kind of lasting dialogue. What I think that we need is for Christians to have a deeper understanding of the God that they claim to follow, the Word that He spoke (and the way that He spoke it), and the truth of what it mean to be a Christian.

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=186256

California court drops charges against home schoolers

 

According to lawyers for the homeschooling families in California, there has at least been a cease-fire. They have said that the case against those who homeschool in the state has been dismissed. The judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action says that the family court has decided to dismiss the case because the state either didn’t want to pursue the families or understood that they couldn’t pursue the families. He says that there is still some concern that this isn’t a complete win because the uncertainties that brought the case about in the first place still exist. He says that the best thing would be for the state to enact a law that protects the parents’ rights to educate their children as they see fit.

 

I think that it’s sad that the rights of parents that homeschool their kids (most of whom are Christian) are being neglected. I think that this is a great step for homeschooling, but I would still be leery of the future. Just because it didn’t happen now doesn’t mean that this won’t come back up in the future. If our nation’s public schools would put the emphasis where it needs to be and actually teach our kids what they need to know, our children would be doing much better and so would our schools. Most of the time spent in schools now is devoted to passing standardized tests, which help determine how much money the school will get. That’s ridiculous. Our kids need to be educated so that they will help to restore our nation and continue to move it forward. I am glad that there are many who have realized the failure in our public schools (which is not a reflection on the teachers in the schools!) and have decided to homeschool their kids. It is a wonderful thing and I would recommend it to anyone who can do it!

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jul/08072207.html

South Dakota Law Goes Into Effect: Women Must be Told They Are “Terminating the Life of a Whole Separate, Unique Living Human Being”

 

A law passed in 2005 has now gone into effect in South Dakota. The law requires that all doctors performing abortions must inform the mothers that they are “terminating the life of a whole separate, unique living human being”. The mothers must also acknowledge in writing that they understand what they are doing. Planned Parenthood challenged the law and an injunction was set. That injunction has since expired. Aside from informing the mothers-to-be that they are taking the life of their child, the doctors must also tell the women that they are putting themselves at high risk for suicide and depression. On July 1st, another law took effect, which required doctors to ask if the woman wanted to see a sonogram of the baby. About 700 abortions are performed each year in South Dakota and while there are many other states that have informed consent laws, the one in SD is the only one that recognizes the child as another human life.

 

I applaud SD for their decision to stand by the truth and not allow the monstrosity that is Planned Parenthood try to bully them into backing down. Since this article was posted, I have heard that the last abortion clinic in SD has shut down because the doctors flying in to the clinic did not want to comply with the law. Shouldn’t that say something? Shouldn’t that tell you something about the doctors? Shouldn’t that say something for the truth of abortion? I hope that other states begin to update their laws to reflect the ones in SD and that our nation is purged of the sin and death that it has been privy to for so long!

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080723/grants-to-boost-recruitment-of-young-christians-to-ministry.htm

Grants to Boost Recruitment of Young Christians to Ministry

 

A recent announcement from the Fund for Theological Education (FTE) has said that it will be giving away grants to congregations that encourage young people to enter into the ministry. According to the announcement, the grants will range from $5,000 to $12,000 for 18 month long grass roots programs that foster a sense of Christian vocation and a call to the ministry. This is in response to the numbers that show that young people entering the ministry are on the decline. Those interested in the grants have up until Sept. 8th to apply for them.

 

Is anyone else saddened by this? I have to say that I’m not surprised though. Before the modern gospel took hold, pastors/preachers were actually men of God who took their calling seriously and understood that they were not dealing with ethereal ideas from a “doting daddy”. They understood the Word of God for what it was, the absolute truth given by a holy, just, and righteous God that will punish sin and send those who deny Christ to hell. The number of pastors/preachers actually continuing in that calling is falling as those who respect the Word are replaced by those who desire to play church and coddle sinners. They entertain their congregations with witty stories and comedy, preaching on the hottest topics of the day, all the while ignoring the fact that many of the people sitting in their pews (including many professing “Christians”) may die and go to hell before the day is over. They dance, sing, shout, holler, whoop, and carry on like idiots. They ride motorcycles in the church, show movie clips from films that have an “R” rating, and participate in antics that would make P.T. Barnum proud. They know very little about what it means to preach the gospel and even less about how to go about it. They have large congregations full of people who have tickled ears and stony hearts. They feel a sense of accomplishment because they’ve stood on a stage and played their part, not realizing that they are performing for a group of people who are just as accomplished at acting their own roles. It’s disgusting and it does not bode well for the future of our nation or of the church in America. Those who speak out for reform and repentance are seen as “stuffy”, “old-fashioned”, and “fundamental”. If pastors/preachers were doing what they were supposed to be doing, there would be no shortage of people entering into ministry. They would be raising up entire congregations of youth that are ready to proclaim the truth of the gospel to the world that needs it both by word and by deed. Instead, our churches are filled with thespians and “scholars” who spend more of their time receiving accolades and promoting false doctrine than they do investing in the youth in their sphere of influence. Is it any wonder why our kids are leaving the church in droves? They have no role models!

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080724/gay-bishop-dismisses-call-to-resign.htm

Gay Bishop Dismisses Call to Resign

 

The Archbishop of Sudan recently made a call for V. Gene Robinson to step down from his position and called for those who supported his consecration to repent. The Sudanese Archbishop said that Robinson’s actions violated the “norms of the Anglican Communion”. Because of Robinson’s ordination, 300 bishops have boycotted the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference. Robinson was not invited to attend Lambeth but has been at the University of Kent while the Conference is going on. Robinson said in his blog, “Those calling for my resignation seem to be under the impression that if Gene Robinson went away, that all would go back to being ‘like it was,’ whatever that was! Does ANYONE think that if I resigned, this issue would go away?! We are not going away, as much as some would like us to.” Robinson also said that many people “seem to forget” that he is not there representing himself alone, but that he “represents the diocese of New Hampshire”. He said that it is a privilege to “minister in Christ’s name with them”. He also said that calls for his resignation ignore the vows he made to his “flock”. Robinson will be attending “fringe” events where he will give his testimony. He said that it is an opportunity to “talk about my own life and journey in Christ in such a way that those who are listening will perceive that the God I know in my own life is the same God they know in THEIR lives”.

 

Mr. Robinson seems to be extremely confused on a lot of things. First and foremost is the identity of God. He says that his testimony as a gay bishop will help others see that the God he knows is the same God that they know. To do this, it would definitely have to be a “sell job”. All it takes is a cursory glance at scripture to see that homosexuality is a sin. To say that the “God” that he knows (who allows and approves of homosexuality) is the same God that I know (who condemns homosexuality as sin both in the Old and New Testaments) is a lie. They are not the same God. One is an idol created by someone who wants to live their life their way and still have all the “benefits” associated with being a Christian. He is compromising the truth of the Word and making himself an example of the same to others. He also seems to misunderstand the intentions of those calling for his resignation. They are not trying to get him or others practicing homosexuality to “go away”. They are trying to get them to understand that homosexuality is a sin and you cannot live in sin and be a Christian. There is no gray area there. If you are living a lifestyle that God says is a sin and knowing this continue to do so, then you are living in open defiance to God. Because of this, there is no possible way that Robinson could be ministering in Christ’s name. In Matthew 12:30, Jesus said that “whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me, scatters”. Gene Robinson is scattering his “flock” under the guise of a false image of Christ. He asked if the issue would change if he went away. No, it wouldn’t. But, if he resigned, it would allow communion to be restored with hundreds of bishops who have separated themselves because of the Anglican Church’s condoning of sin. He says that he represents the NH diocese. Is it unanimous? Does every single person in that diocese support his lifestyle and his actions? I doubt it. Gene Robinson has become a prideful man who has put his faith in a false image of the God of the Bible and has allowed that pride and faith to fester and grow, leading many people (either undiscerning or willingly) away from the only hope they have for salvation…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080724/brian-mclaren-challenges-anglicans-on-emerging-culture.htm

Brian McLaren Challenges Anglicans on Emerging Culture

 

Brian McLaren made a visit to the Anglican Lambeth Conference in order to speak “on behalf of the people who never show up in your church, … who are never part of your community, the multitude of people who have been created in the image of God, but who have never known the redeeming of the Spirit of God through the Good News of Jesus Christ”. He said that religion has orphaned “emerging” culture like materialism and technology and has failed to answer the multitude of questions raised by the “hurricane of change” in the modern world. McLaren also offered his view of evangelism in what he sees as three different worlds, pre-modern, modern, and emerging. He told those at Kent, “You might say that evangelism is almost non-existent because the Christian faith is, to be very frank, almost non-existent”. He also told the gathered bishops that they needed to get rid of “internal institutional maintenance” and focus on the “outward mission” of making disciples of all men. According to McLaren, this is the only hope for “saving the church from division, diversion, implosion, irrelevance and triviality”. He applauded the Anglican Church and said that they could be a great asset to the church if they would realize that they are “in a different place, different contexts and we have different challenges”. He also said that because of this, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. He encouraged Anglicans to become part of the post-modern, emerging world and change history. He said that the church needs to “re-discover” and “re-prioritize” our “outward mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus”, to “turn that mission into the good news of hope”, and to “stir up new and unimagined capacity”. He also challenged them by asking them whether newcomers would hear the “gospel of evacuation” or “Jesus’ Gospel the Gospel of the kingdom of God, the message that brings reconciliation, hope, transformation and engagement”. McLaren said that dealing with things like homosexuality should be done with a conscious effort to consider the challenges of the person in one place by a person in another place. The approach taken by those attending Lambeth is one of more conversation and less legislation so that they can “better understand” one another. The discussions will center on biblical authority, human sexuality, and Anglican identity.

 

I am fully convinced that Brian McLaren has absolutely no idea what it means to be a Christian and may not even understand what he is saying most of the time. First, I find it amusing that McLaren nominated himself to speak for the people that never show up in the church, those who need to know the “redeeming of the Spirit of God through the Good News of Jesus Christ”. I would personally say that if anyone has a right to speak for those who are at enmity with God it would be McLaren. He talks about the Good News of Jesus Christ and spends his entire “ministry” trying to water that Good News down and nullify everything that God has established through His Word. Can you have both? To say that religion has “orphaned” materialism is a lie. Look at the “prosperity preachers”. They haven’t orphaned materialism. Look at those who try to make evolution fit into Christianity. They don’t orphan materialism. Not only that, but he seems to completely miss the fact that throughout scripture God calls us to “orphan” materialism! We are to be separate from the world and its ways. So the very thing that McLaren rebukes the church for is the thing that it is supposed to be doing in obedience to God’s Word. He says that evangelism is almost non-existent (probably because saying that it is non-existent would be an absolute and we can’t know anything absolutely…) because “the Christian faith is almost non-existent”. Really? The Christian faith is almost non-existent? If this is true, then he should probably tell the millions of professing Christians that their faith is in vain. Why is he telling this to a group of Anglican Christians anyway? I will agree that there could be a lot more biblical evangelism going on, but to say that it’s non-existent is ridiculous. He said that the church should “ditch” “internal institutional maintenance” and focus on the “outward mission” of making disciples. Huh? Could it get any more wishy-washy or downright confusing? To tell the church, “don’t worry about doctrine or obedience to scripture, and definitely disregard any matters of church discipline” is just dumb. Saying that keeping the church in line with scripture and maintaining that consistent relationship with God’s Word is not important is to steal the identity of the church right out from under her! How well will the “outward mission” go if the church is not maintained? What would we be bringing the “newcomers” that McLaren represents into if we didn’t maintain the church? It would be chaos! The “only hope of saving the church from division, diversion, implosion, irrelevance, and triviality” is to get people like McLaren to stop spewing their atrocious anti-Christian diatribe and to get back to putting things right. He says that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the problems facing the church but then offers his own! Which is it? To be honest, there is a solution to all of the problems facing the church right now and it doesn’t matter what the “setting” is, where the problem is happening, or what condition the people are in. That is to repent of the sins of the church and to return to full scriptural authority in every aspect of our individual and corporate lives. If the body of Christ were to do this, many of the “problems” that we have would disappear almost immediately. There would be no issues concerning abortion, homosexuality, or identity. They would all be taken care of. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same as it’s always been and there is no other. Paul said that if anyone else preaches a gospel other than what he preached, they are an anathema. McLaren is doing just that and the church is soaking it up. McLaren needs to be tossed out on his ear and the church needs to get back to its biblical foundation…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080725/ukraine-celebrates-its-1-020th-anniversary-of-christianity.htm

Ukraine Celebrates Its 1,020th Anniversary of Christianity

 

In 988 A.D., Prince Vladmir the Great was baptized and instated Christianity as the state religion of what is now the Ukraine. He then had his family and the people baptized and tore down the Slavic pagan gods. Today, Patriarch Bartholomew I, Patriarch Alexy II of Russia, and other Orthodox leaders from other countries will hold a service near a statue of Prince Vladmir.

 

I think that this is great! I would love to see something like this happen in America. I would love to see the pagan gods that most Americans worship torn down and God restored to His rightful place. We have put everything that we can think of before God and it shows. To have our nation return to its Christian Heritage would be wonderful and it would be the beginning of lasting change in our country…

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Newslinks – 07/20/08

July 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by

 

At Ease Tees

 

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=177322

NC ‘anti-bullying’ bill masks homosexual agendaNorth Carolina residents are being encouraged to lift their voices against a bill that has recently passed in the House. The bill, School Violence Prevention Act (HB 1366), would require NC public schools to adopt policies in regards to bullying. The problem with the bill is that it creates special protections for students based on sexual orientation and gender expression. The NC Senate stripped all of the pro-homosexual language from the bill and sent it back to the House. The House has not agreed with the bill in this form and will send it back to the Senate in original form for vote. Those against the bill say that it elevates homosexuality and gender identity to the same level as race, color, ancestry, physical appearance, etc., all of which are unchangeable characteristics.

If this were a bill that was pro-Christian and promoted the ideas found in scripture, there would be numerous groups that would decry it. Many pro-homosexual groups try to say that homosexuality is not a choice but that people are born homosexual. There is nothing in scripture that says that this is true. In scripture, God created a man and a woman to be husband and wife. He ordained marriage from the beginning in this way as well as declaring the “orientation” of men towards women (specifically their wives) and women towards men (specifically their husbands). Homosexuality from a biblical perspective is not an unchangeable characteristic and is shown as a choice. The truth is, whether or not you agree that homosexuality is a choice, the bible makes something else a higher priority. The choice argument is second place because the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. Because of this, there is no reason for laws like these. They are just an effort to try and silence the voices of those who disagree with sin.

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=171690

Denomination to ordain ‘non-celibate’ homosexualsThe highest governing body of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has decided to allow the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals. The General Assembly of the PCUSA has also decided to remove the prohibition concerning homosexuality from the Heidelberg Catechism. Charles Burge, the executive director of Presbyterian Lay committee, says that the PCUSA has lost its biblical moorings and that there are many actions that congregations can take. Some churches have decided to withhold monies from the Church to give the money to missions and organizations that they can trust.

 

The PCUSA has continued to move themselves away from the biblical laws that God has set down and decided to make a “God” in their own image who agrees and likes the things that they do, and doesn’t like or agree with the things that they don’t. They talk about removing the prohibition against homosexuality from the Catechism, but talk about how scripture doesn’t condemn homosexuality. If that’s true, then why does it have to be removed from the Catechism? Are they implying that somehow the men and women who founded the PCUSA/Anglican Church were unable to understand scripture to the point that they just “misunderstood” the Bible? This is ridiculous! To say that Christians from the beginning (not to mention the Jews before them) have been wrong for so long by saying that homosexuality is wrong is absolutely ludicrous. To say that Paul (who was given the gospel by Christ Himself – Gal. 1:12) had no understanding of the scripture has no foundation. The PCUSA needs to go back to a biblical understanding of the world and make God’s Word their first and final authority.

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080714/show-more-love-to-end-youth-violence-says-former-gang-leader.htm

Show More Love to End Youth Violence, Says Former Gang Leader

The founder of the Street Pastors says that the police, the church, and the community need to work together to “stamp out” youth violence. Les Isaac says that the “get rich quick” mentality and family breakdown has contributed to the growing violence. He says that the solution to the issue is that young people need to be loved and feel valued. He says that there are large numbers of youth in our country who don’t feel loved and no one cares. He also says that we (the church and community) need to do what Jesus said to do – love your neighbor as yourself – in a practical way. He is making an effort to call the church “out of the church”, to be “relevant to the needs of young people”, and to be prepared to reach young people that have no church experience so that we can “empower” them.

While I understand the desires of the Mr. Isaac, I have to disagree with his way. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t having an effect, but that there is something else that our youth need. Looking at the youth in most churches, I don’t see most of them as any better than those in the world, whether they are on the streets or not! Our kids don’t need to be “loved” and “empowered” in the way that Mr. Isaac is talking about. What they need is to be told the truth. They need to know that if they die without Christ they will find themselves in hell and that there is nothing but the death and resurrection of Christ that will save them. They need parents who care about them enough to actually act like their parents and discipline them. They need adults who will keep them in line with scriptural teachings. They don’t need “love” in the form of coddling or empowerment. No one else has the ability to see our youth changed. The police can’t do it. The community can’t do it. They can help discipline to some degree, but they can’t give them the truth that will change their lives and get them in the place where they can repent!

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=179014

Biblical discipline — or child abuse?

Melissa Farrell was at a 4th of July parade in Couer d’Alene with her children. While they were watching the floats go by, Melissa spent a lot of the time restraining her toddler so that she wouldn’t run into the street. After trying a number of other things to calm her down, she finally swatted her on the bottom a couple of times. Almost immediately, she was surrounded by four police officers that accused her of child abuse and threatened her with the loss of her children. Bryan Fischer, of the Idaho Values Alliance, says that the police officers were out of line and didn’t operate under normal procedures. They never checked the child for injuries or wounds. Instead, they just handed Miss Farrell a citation. The toddler was taken to a hospital where there was no indication of injury to the child at all. The police captain also says that the officer who cited her said that he didn’t see any indication of injury. Other bystanders say that they saw Farrell “slam the toddler to the ground and try to smother her” but that would surely leave marks, which weren’t found. The prosecutor is taking the Farrells to court over the child abuse charges even though the hospital records are available to him. The court case would cost the family $5,000 dollars in legal expenses that they don’t have.

This is exactly what happens when governments decide too much in the lives of the people they govern. I fully understand that people can and do hurt their children but, I also know that discipline is something that a majority of American kids are lacking. If I were to see someone beating their child, I would call the police. I would expect them to get involved. If, on the other hand, I were to see someone spanking his or her kids for being rebellious or naughty, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Sadly, I don’t think that it happens enough. Our kids need discipline or they will grow up with a poor understanding of right and wrong and justice. They will also lack respect for authority and be defiant and selfish. Unfortunately, I think I just described many of our nation’s kids… 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=182934

Extending the ‘Call’

Lou Engle says that the time is right to return to Washington D.C. and call the nation to a “united, massive” movement of fasting and prayer. On August 16th he is hopeful that over a million people will converge on the National Mall in DC in order to pray and fast for our nation. He says, “When there’s no hope for a nation, when there is no remedy, God still has a holy prescription: blow the trumpet in Zion, call a fast, gather all the inhabitants of the land”. He says that many of the leaders that he’s talked to have realized that there is no hope for America apart from prayer.

I agree that prayer is a necessary ingredient for our nation to see change. I agree that there is a decline in our country. I disagree that our country needs a revival. What our country needs is repentance. We don’t need to gather in a large area with outstanding numbers in order to see our nation change. The scripture says that “where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). When most Christians talk about fasting, it’s all about withholding the body from food, entertainment, or something that they enjoy doing. In the book of Isaiah, God gives a different description of fasting:

Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

A fast is not necessarily what many believe it to consist of today. Look at the things that Isaiah describes; to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to let the oppressed go free, to divide your bread with the hungry, to cover the naked. These are the things that God sees in a fast. You can withhold food or other things from yourself in a fast, but that’s not all there is to a fast. If we were to actually fast like God calls us to:

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

This is what those who organize the Call talk about wanting. They often use 2 Chronicles 7:14 as their foundational scripture. They talk about humbling ourselves and seeking God’s face. But there is something more that we have to do:

If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.

I was at the Call in Nashville, Tenn. I was there before it started and helped with the setup. I was there witnessing to people. I was there on that Saturday when thousands of people filled Titans Stadium and spent the entire day “crying out” to God for our nation. From what the scripture says, you can cry out all you want, but until you repent, until you remove the yoke from your midst, until you stop the ungodly living; God will not hear you. In the passage I quoted from Isaiah, God is talking to His people and not the heathens. Not only that, this admonition was for the Jews. While it does hold some significance for us, it doesn’t specifically apply to us. Jesus told us all what we need to do in His time here on earth. We are never going to see change in our country until that happens. All the weeping, the crying, the praying, will only go so far. Until the Christians in the US repent of their sins and turn from their ways will God actually begin to change our nation.

I honestly don’t see any lasting effects from the Call. I don’t see anything of any lasting value that came from the Call. It was an interesting time and something that I won’t forget, but as for “impacting the nation”, I don’t think so. I think that the church needs to start focusing on the things that will actually change the lives of people around them. Songs of worship and praise are nice. People praying for our nation is a good thing. But, until we start to live our lives in accordance with the truth of the Word of God, we are just making noise and banging gongs…

Revelation

July 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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I hear it pretty often nowadays. The church is filled with people talking about it. You’ve gotta have it to move forward in your “Christian walk”. You can’t go on without it. You have to cry out for it. You have to do everything you can to get it because without it, your life will just be a shadow of what it could be. What am I talking about? 

Revelation.

I personally know a number of people that talk about it. They talk about how “God showed them” something in a vision or a dream. I hear church after church across the US talk about “walking in” revelation. They weep for it. They cry out for it. They clamor for it. They chase it with all that they have. So many people today seem to be “walking in it” that it a wonder that the nation has been turned up on its ear. I’ve heard of everything from visions and dreams about what’s to come to “face-to-face” encounters with God. Without wanting to be pessimistic or sound like a naysayer, I can’t help but wonder how much of this “revelation” is from God?

To be honest, I think that much of this talk is an offense to God. The desire for “revelation” seems to have become an idol for many Christians. I have been blessed with an understanding of a small part of God’s Word. I also have learned that God’s Word is the filter for everything in my life. On occasion I’ve been asked to visit a church. When they describe a normal service and I express some concern, they tell me that I could probably “pick apart the pastor’s sermon” but that I should “come to get some of the Spirit”. If I can pick apart a pastor’s sermon based on what little I know, then something’s wrong. That’s not to say that pastors don’t make mistakes because they do. The problem that I have with all these “revelation seekers” is that they seem to neglect one very important thing.

What about the revelation that God’s already given us? What about all of the wonderful things that He’s put into His Word and made readily available for those who are willing to spend the time to read and understand it? Scripture says that we are to “study to show ourselves approved so that we might not be ashamed” (2 Tim 2:15). It tells us that “all scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”, so that we may “be equipped for every good work”. If that is the purpose of scripture, then why do so many continually ask God for more revelation? I’ve been studying the book of Genesis in-depth since the beginning of the year and I’ve just now made it to chapters 16-18. I’ve learned so much in just that little bit of scripture that I’m upset with myself for not starting sooner. I’m mad because I wasted so much time asking God for “new” revelation. We will never be able to learn all of the revelation that God has given us! And, by the looks of it, the church could stand to go back and read the scriptures they so casually say they obey. How can we not think that God finds this extremely offensive? God has written down for us everything that we need for “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3), and we turn our backs on it. Instead, we demand from God a “now word”. We expect that through whatever pattern or method we’ve been taught, God will just plunk down a “fresh revelation” that has never been seen or heard before (even though scripture says that there is nothing new under the sun – Eccl. 1:9). The more that I think about this, the more offended I get!

Who are we to ask our holy and just God to give us something else? Why should we want anything else when He’s given us everything? He has revealed Himself to us in scripture! How can we ask for more? How dare we demand of God like He’s some kind of Magic 8-ball and all we have to do is make our demands and then shake Him until it gives us the answer that we want to hear? I’m tired of hearing all of these people and there so-called visions. I’m tired of hearing about how they saw this or God “revealed” that. We need to get back into scripture and try to understand what God has already shown us. Until we have consumed all of what God’s given us, can we really handle any more?

Some will say that we need revelation for our lives. I agree, and I believe that God’s already made that revelation through His Word. We don’t need something “new” and “now” and “fresh”. What we need is something that will open our eyes to how far we’ve fallen, give us a spiritual whoopin’ like we’ve never had before, and then begin to guide us in how to truly be a Christian. We need to start and end with the Word of God. If the church would stop chasing after revelation and start reading the one that God’s already made, then we might see a lot of the things that we love to gripe about disappear. If you were to actually apply the revelation in scripture to your life, maybe your kids wouldn’t be so rebellious. Maybe your marriage wouldn’t be falling apart. Maybe your finances wouldn’t be messed up because you are living above your means. Maybe you would actually understand that you’re a sinner who needs salvation from hell and you would understand that it isn’t how many times you show up for church or how many nice things you do that will get you to heaven. Maybe, we’ll have people who profess Christ and have the lives to back it up…

Newslinks – 07/12/08

July 12, 2008 at 8:33 am | Posted in Newslinks | 1 Comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080706/nat-l-a-m-e-meeting-caps-obama-s-faith-filled-week.htm

Nat’l A.M.E. Meeting Caps Obama’s Faith-Filled Week

 

Barack Obama spoke to a room of churchgoers and celebrated “active faith”. He also said that “active faith” is an obligation of religious Americans and a chief agent of societal change. Obama also urged the national meeting of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to help fix national and local ills. He encouraged parents to help with homework and to turn off the TV. He called on them to pass on a healthy self-image to their daughters and to teach their boys to boys to respect women. He also said that boys need to be taught, “responsibility does not end at conception”. The main focus of his speech was the government’s duty to address “moral” problems and that they should use religious institutions to do this. He said that we should do everything in our “individual and collective power” to solve these problems and that until we do everything our “the conscience of our nation cannot rest”.

 

It seems that Obama’s focus is to try and gain Christian voters. Many of the things that he is speaking of now seem to contradict the things that he says he stands for. He is one of the most pro-abortion people in America today. Oddly, he encouraged people to teach their sons that responsibility doesn’t end at conception. If a man’s responsibility as a father doesn’t end at conception, then doesn’t that mean that life would have to begin at conception? If that’s the case, then how can Obama support abortion? If Obama is really a Christian, then that’s contradictory. The “moral” problems that Obama says should be fixed are actually social issues. Things like war, poverty, joblessness, homelessness, violent streets and crumbling schools are things that Christians should be concerned about. They are things that we should be making every effort to battle. It seems to confuse biblically moral issues (like adultery, homosexuality, etc) from things that are not moral issues. There is a much greater reason that the conscience of our nation should not be able to rest. This reason is called sin. The sin of our nation should be our number one concern. The battle against sin will be the one that changes all of the other “ills” that we are facing.

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=168956

German home schoolers flee to Canada

 

A German family that fled their country because of pressure by their government to put their kids in public school has moved to Canada in hopes that they will be able to homeschool their children. The family fled the country when the German government threatened the parents with jail and took their children into custody. The children were returned and the family fled the country and went to Austria. The German government still tried to chase the family and that caused them to flee to Canada. According to Mike Donnelly, a lawyer with the Homeschool Defense League (HDSL), says that this is an increasingly common occurrence in German. He even cited a case where a family fled from Germany to Iran in order to homeschool their kids. The Plett family is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights because of their situation while the HSDL is trying to get the US to show Germany that homeschooling is an asset.

 

It’s sad that homeschooling is not seen for the wonderful thing that it is. As our public schools continue to crumble and the education system seems to be unable to actually teach our kids what they need to know, homeschooling continues to grow. As our schools introduce anti-Christian ideas like homosexuality and evolution, homeschooling offers our children the truth of the scriptures to build their lives on. Is it any wonder that people are willing to flee to a place where they can do this (even Iran)? I look for the Plett family to be free to raise their kids the way that they desire.

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=165572

ACLU given ‘veto power’ over free-speech rights

 

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry has decided that the Gideons will not be allowed to pass out bibles to South Iron school children. The Missouri school district allows outside organizations to pass out literature to the children before and after school as well as during non-school breaks like lunchtime. The ACLU sued the Gideons, saying that because the nature of the material is religious, it should not be allowed. The judge not only agreed with that but also said that the ACLU “must have the say-so over whether religious materials can be distributed”. Matt Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, disagrees recognizing that if the ACLU has the say-so, there will be no religious literature handed out. Staver says that the First Amendment says that no “heckler” has the right to prohibit free speech and that the Constitution requires equal treatment, even if the ACLU doesn’t like it.

 

It would be nice if revisionists would actually look at the Constitution. There is nothing in the writing that says anything about “separation of church and state”. If I remember right, this was a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists. The idea of giving an organization that is obviously anti-Christian the “say-so” to determine whether or not religious literature can be handed out is ridiculous and should be an indication of the fact that many judges are not as concerned about judging rightly as they are judging according to their own agendas…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080707/fmr-science-director-sues-over-neutral-policy-on-intelligent-design.htm

Fmr. Science Director Sues Over ‘Neutral’ Policy on Intelligent Design

 

Christina Comer is suing the Texas Education Administration (TEA) saying that she was forced to resign last year after sending an email promoting a speaker who is opposed to intelligent design. The forced resignation was due to a policy that requires TEA employees to remain neutral on the idea of creationism. The suit asks that the policy be determined unconstitutional and that she be reinstated to her old job. The court papers say that the idea of requiring employees to remain neutral on creationism validates it as a scientific theory and endorses religion. The email is cited as one of the many reasons why Comer was going to be terminated, but she handed in her resignation before that could happen.

 

If she felt forced into resignation, then why didn’t she say something? Why did she resign and then sue? What is she looking for from this? She is obviously not neutral, which was what the policy required. As an employee, it should have been followed. If she had an issue with the policy and thought that it was unconstitutional, then why didn’t she speak up about it and try to see it changed? There’s more to this I’ll wager and, if I had to guess, I would say that the majority of it has to do with anti-Christian, anti-creationist stuff…

 

I got a job!

July 11, 2008 at 9:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For those of you who may not know, I’ve been unemployed for the past 11 1/2 months. During that time, I’ve seen God provide for me in ways that I never would have expected.

This past week, I got a call from and accepted a new job! This job is scheduled only until the end of September, but it’s possible that it will get extended or made permanent. Regardless, God is the reason that I got this job and I give Him the praise for it.

Because of my job, I may not get my posts out on time. I am planning on moving the Newslinks post to Saturday (beginning with this week). I will try to keep the other posts on the same schedule. Thanks to everyone for their support and for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I pray that God blesses you as you read and that if you don’t know Christ and haven’t received His free gift of salvation that you would take the time to do so.

When God gives you what you ask for

July 7, 2008 at 9:35 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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I was listening to a Christian talk radio show talking about the “revival” in Lakeland, Florida. They briefly touched on this subject, but it got me to thinking about some things…

 

As humans, it is our nature to desire things. We want our way and will push to differing degrees to get it. This is something that comes with our fleshly nature. If you don’t believe me, get a group of little kids together and give one a popsicle. In seconds you’ll have them all clamoring for a popsicle. If you were to leave them alone, there might even be a fight or two that breaks out. It may seem humorous at first, but this is how all of us act. The newscasts are full of stories where people have manipulated their way into what they wanted. There are stories of marriages destroyed because men and women wanted something (or someone) and did whatever they needed to do to get it. There are stories of huge corporations that have been ruined because a few people did whatever they could to get what they wanted.

 

While I’m sure that anyone who has been around long enough has seen examples of this in the lives of those around them, I’m sure that they’ve seen it in their own lives too. But what happens when it involves God? What happens when we clamor and cry and moan to God for something that we think that we need but probably don’t? While it may be hard to find people to admit this, it happens all the time! We beg and plead for things from God, believing them to be exactly what we need, and sometimes He gives them to us. Oftentimes, this does not bring us the result we expect and actually makes our lives more difficult.

 

In scripture, this happened a number of times. One of the most glaring times occurs is in 1 Samuel 8. In this chapter, the people have come out of Israel and have been through the time of the judges. These were men and women who were raised up as deliverers of God’s people. Samuel was the last judge of Israel. During Samuel’s time as judge, the people of Israel cried out for a king to judge them like all the nations. This thing displeases Samuel and he prays to the Lord. The Lord responds to Samuel and tells him to do as the people wish for they have not rejected Samuel but have rejected the Lord Himself! The Lord was their king and it was He who was their Judge as well. God makes it clear to Samuel that this is the same thing that they have done since they were brought out of Egypt. They have forsaken the Lord and His Word for their own desires. They have turned their back on the One who would rule over them with a just and fair hand in favor of a human king. God then proceeds, through Samuel, to tell His people what will happen to them because of this human king. Samuel ends with a chilling phrase (1 Sam. 8:18):

 

“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

 

The response of the people echoes the response of so many “Christians” today. The very next verse says that they refused to listen to the voice Samuel. They told him that they wanted a king over them so they could be like all the other nations.

 

Just like the people of Israel, I think that many of those who name the Name of Christ have refused to listen. While they profess to follow Jesus, and they can sing the hymns and speak the lingo; in their hearts, many of them desire to be just like everyone else. We see this in stories where members of a church are prosecuted for stealing money from the church. We also see this in the direction that many of the churches are going these days. We hear much about social issues and very little about the gospel. We see events, concerts, and conferences that bring in a lot of money, but they do very little in the way of changing the people attending. It seems that the people of God are once again trying to be just like those around them, and just like before, God will give them what they want.

 

This brings me to things like the Lakeland “revival”. I’ve heard the reports and seen many of the videos and I can’t help but wonder if this is basically God saying, “Ok, you’ve clamored for this for a while and you wouldn’t listen to my Word so, here you go!” I can’t see anything going on in Lakeland as being of the Lord. To hear the way the “revival” is going is bad enough. The stories about visions of heaven and “face to face” encounters with Jesus should make all of us at least skeptical. The videos, on the other hand, make me sick and angry at the same time. To see a “pastor” who weighs over 200 pounds run across the stage and kick a man who has stage-four colon cancer in the gut is appalling. To then hear that same “pastor” tell the man that he was being “obedient to the Lord”, and that sometimes you have to “drive the demons out” by kicking the man in the gut, is horrible. Is this the “revival” that America needs? Is this revival at all? Or is this God finally giving us what we’ve clamored for?

 

In 2 Timothy 4, Paul gives Timothy a solemn charge (verses 1 and 2):

 

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

 

This is what Paul expects Timothy to spend his life doing. He is to be preaching the Word. Not his own version of the gospel, but that which Paul preached, which is the same thing that the other Apostles and Jesus Himself preached. This is what Christians are to be doing. This is what pastors are to be doing. The interesting thing about this charge is that there is a reason for it:

 

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

 

While I believe that these things have always happened, I believe that it is happening with a greater frequency and with more damage than ever before. People today, including many “Christians”, are looking for preachers and teachers that will preach to them what they want to hear. They are in agreement with the pastor when his “word from the Lord” agrees with their own desires. Sadly, they are having no trouble finding these types of “Christian” “leaders”.

 

Before he gives Timothy his solemn charge, Paul spends all of chapter three preparing Timothy for these people.

 

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 – emphasis mine)

 

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also. (2 Timothy 3:8-9)

 

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  (2 Timothy 3:13)

 

The remedy that Paul gave Timothy for this is the same one that we need to be using today:

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

What we need in the church today is to get back to the scriptures. They are what we have been given to be equipped for every good work. We don’t need “revivals” where the “pastors” are beating the congregation. We don’t need heavenly visions or “face to face encounters”. What we need is to get back to the truth of the Word and to allow it to be the authority in our lives. We need to start studying it and applying it rightly so that we may turn around and teach others. We need to start pointing out the false and avoiding these men and women like we’re told.

 

Paul’s warning for Timothy should be something that the church today takes seriously. It should be something that we are ever on the alert for. For those who see this “revival”, or any other “ministry” that goes against scripture, as something good and “holy”, take another look through the eyes of scripture. If you still see these things as “moves of God”, then you and I will have to disagree…

 

Your thoughts?

Newslinks 07/05/08

July 5, 2008 at 8:27 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=156932

Public schools condemned for wrong emphasis

 

A number of Americans feel that the schools are not focusing on the right things. According to a survey by the Associated Press, many think that they should be focusing on math. About a third of those surveyed said that math should be a major focus. Twenty-one percent said English should be the main focus. Smaller numbers picked things like arts, biology, and chemistry. The overall sense of the survey was that American schools are not focusing on the things that our kids need to help continue moving our country forward. While many think that we are just keeping up with the rest of the world, studies have shown that our kids rank in the middle to the bottom of the pack. The survey was split on the value of standardized tests. Half think that they are worth having while the rest say that they are wasting time that should be spent on teaching. Unfortunately, many schools are using student performance to determine what they pay their teachers.

 

I am of the view that standardized testing is wasting time. America already has standardized tests that they should be using to determine where the kids are. To spend much of the school year studying and preparing for tests that will determine how much money the schools get and how much the teachers get paid is ridiculous. Our kids need teachers and those teachers need to get paid for their time and effort. They spend as much as 8 hours a day, five days a week with our kids (something that some parents would have a hard time with) and they get paid a pittance. If you paid a babysitter or daycare service for that amount of time with that many kids you’d be paying a fortune! Not only that, many of them spend time during the summer break preparing lessons for the next year. If our schools are to get back to preparing the children for the future, then the teachers need the support of the parents and multiple levels of government. We need to get back to basics. If our nation wants to excel, we need to get our kids taught right. I would love to see the Bible back in schools as well to help our kids get a sound moral grounding. That’s what our nation really needs.

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08062706.html

Bobby Jindal Signs Law Allowing Intelligent Design in Louisiana Schools

 

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows teachers to provide additional materials in their science classrooms. These materials include criticisms of global warming, evolution, the origins of life, and human cloning. The state’s Senate passed the bill with a unanimous vote while the House had a vote of 93-4. Under the new law, teachers will follow the curriculum but will be allowed to offer supplementary material to help students “analyze, critic, and objectively study” the issues. Supporters of the law say that this is a major step forward for the state while opponents say that this law will basically opens a backdoor for religious views. Intelligent Design proponents say that their position has nothing to do with religion and that they only present a “rationalistic philosophical” idea that is older than Christianity.

 

First, let me congratulate Louisiana and their governor. This is truly a hopeful day for the students of their schools. I hope that this sets a precedent for the remaining states in our country to not be afraid to pass laws like this. Those who are against this law say that this opens the door for religion. I disagree. The schools are full of religion. Through biological, cosmological, and social evolution, our schools are promoting a humanistic religion that has very little foundation in the “facts” that are often presented as “dispassionate science”. Our schools have become churches for atheism and secular humanism and most of us don’t even realize this. We send our kids to school where they learn that life came from non-living matter (supposedly), that they are nothing but evolved apes and therefore animals, and that the strong survive and the weak don’t. Is it any wonder we’re having the problems we are? As for ID, it has just as many problems as evolution. The idea that ID somehow presents a “rationalistic philosophical” view that is older than Christianity is ludicrous. They say that their belief is based on Ancient Greek philosophers. Last time I checked, those Ancient Greek philosophers lived long after people like David and Moses, not to mention Adam who was there at the beginning. Christianity holds the view that God created everything in the universe in 6 solar (24 hour) days. It also holds that mankind is created in the image of God. I know that the law says that religion will not be discussed. The consolation for that is the fact that even without “religion”, evolution has many criticisms. If we want “real science” in our classrooms and colleges, then why do many evolutionists oppose allowing criticisms of their belief system? Is it because they know that it’s based on a lot of faith and very little evidence?

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08062703.html

Court Order Permits Christian Handouts at Homosexual “PrideFest”

 

Recently, a court order against the city of St. Louis was allowed for Apple of His Eye. The Christian ministry sought to hand out Christian literature at the city’s annual PrideFest, a celebration of homosexual behavior. A lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund requested the injunction and got it approved just days before the festival took place. The ministry expressed their happiness at being able to exercise their First Amendment rights.

 

I’m glad to hear that AHE got the injunction and were able to share the truth with those who need it. It never ceases to amaze me that people who are against Christianity always clamor about “equal rights” and “free speech” unless it’s for Christians. If Christians try to exercise the same rights, we get threatened with arrest. I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I guess it’s just an indication of where our country is headed…

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Business/Default.aspx?id=158556

Presbyterian Assembly votes to drop homosexual clergy ban

 

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) has decided to remove the ban that requires ministers to live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness”. The ban is still required to pass a majority of the 173 US presbyteries before it’s truly dropped. The PCUSA did choose to keep the definition of marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. The PCUSA allows ministers to bless same-sex unions but the ceremonies cannot mimic marriage ceremonies. Some have expressed concern about how the church will move forward in a time of large diversity of opinion. Those who support the decision said that they’ve been waiting a long time for this and hope that the church members can move forward together. Another advocate of the decision said that the vote came from “faith and not fear” and that it was a vote for “a vibrant future”.

 

This is just sad. It is a wonderful example of people wanting to live their own way and still deceive themselves that they are going to heaven. They want the promises that the Bible offers, but without obedience. Many of the supporters talk about serving Christ, but it’s not the Christ of the Bible. Just because you say that you’re serving Christ doesn’t mean that you really are, especially if you’re disobeying His commandments! As I’ve said a number of times, homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to the Lord. If you are living in direct disobedience to God, how can you be serving Him? And how can a denomination talk about being a part of the body of Christ when it disregards much of what He says? Are we truly that deluded that we think that God is not going to judge our sins because we’ve given Him some sort of weak lip service? Do we think that He will just let us in because He’s loving? That’s not what scripture says! The PCUSA needs to stop messing around and actually stand up for what the scripture says, regardless of how many may not like it. They are too worried about the “diverse opinion” of man and not about the opinion of God, which is the only one that really matters…

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http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200806/POL20080630a.html

Obama’s for Equal Pay, Yet Pays Female Staffers Less Than Males

 

Barack Obama spent a lot of time praising himself as a supporter of equal pay for women. He also recently talked about his support of the Fair Pay Restoration Act. All of this was to a large crowd of voters in New Mexico. He also criticized John McCain for not putting more emphasis on the working woman saying, “when you look at our records and our plans on issues that matter to working women, the choice could not be clearer”. When a study was done of the pay of those women working for him, it showed that the women were outnumbered and out-paid by men. The average pay for the non-intern male employees on his staff was $59,207. The average pay for the non-intern female employees was $48,729.91. For John McCain, the women made an average of $59,104.51 while the men made $56,628.83 on average.

 

I don’t like writing too much about political stuff, but I couldn’t pass this up. It seems that Barack Obama thinks that Americans are stupid. It seems like he thinks that we won’t do any research on what he says or does. To some degree I’m sure that he’s right. I’m sure that there is a group of people who take what he says at face value and don’t look at anything else. That’s sad. What’s worse though is that people will look at what he says and vote based on that without seeing that his actions don’t line up with his words. To talk about fair pay for women and criticize your opponent for a lack of concern only to have the media report that you pay the women who work for you an average of $11,000 less is shameful.

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080701/obama-to-expand-bush-s-faith-based-programs.htm

Obama to Expand Bush’s Faith Based Programs

 

Barack Obama said recently that he plans to expand President Bush’s current faith based programs and supports some ability to hire and fire based on faith. The announcement came as Obama unveiled his plans to get religious charities more involved in government programs. According to an anonymous senior staff member for Obama, he does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet. He also only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxypayer funded portions of their activities. Obama also planned on talking about how he became a Christian and its current importance to him.

 

Did I mention how I don’t talk much about political stuff? This is another instance of Barack Obama talking out of both sides of his mouth. He talks about expanding faith-based programs, but it’s all social stuff. He also talks about supporting limited hire/fire ability for religious organizations but what will happen if that person is a homosexual? Obama is strongly supportive of the homosexual agenda. Sadly, it seems as if Obama is just pandering to conservatives in hopes to get their vote. In all honesty, I don’t see Obama doing any of this. For him to talk of his “Christian faith” and his “commitment” to Christ while standing for what he does is hypocrisy of the highest level. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe that Barack Obama is a Christian. I just hope that this latest attempt to engage Christians on issues of faith isn’t taken seriously…

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Design of the Week 07/02/08 – Shine

July 2, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The design we’re featuring this week is another one of our Motee collection. With it being summertime, we thought it would be a great fit. The shine design comes from the passage in Matthew 5. Matthew 5-7 is what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. In it, Jesus gives many encouragements and admonitions. In the beginning of the sermon, Jesus says that His followers are the light of the world:

 

  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  (Matt. 5:14-16)

 

As Christians, we are to be different than everyone else. We are to be different to the point that people notice that difference. I’m not talking about some kind of feeling they get when they are around us, like they sense something different in us. I’m not saying that this can’t happen, but Jesus was talking about being different in the way we live. We are to act, talk, and think differently than the world. We are to have something about us that speaks of integrity, honor, justice, love, mercy, grace, and righteousness. We are to be like Jesus.

 

Sadly, not only are people that claim to be Christians not letting their light shine they are snuffing it out. They are living, thinking, and acting like the world. All the while, they fool themselves into thinking that no one notices. They think that the sins that they allow to continue are things that are just part of life. They deceive themselves into thinking that God will just overlook their sins, even though they are supposed to know what God has said about sin through scripture. Understand that I’m not talking about people falling into sin. I’m talking about the “Christians” who jump headfirst into sin, completely ignoring and abandoning the Lord who has died to save them. I can’t count how many people talk about wanting our country to change, and yet, most of them are the very people who need to change! If the body of Christ were to start being obedient to God’s Word, then much of what is going on in our country would stop. The Israelites were the same way. They weren’t punished because of the sins of the heathen nations around them. They were punished because of their own disobedience to God. As long as there are people preaching the truth of the gospel, there is hope for our nation.

 

If you are a Christian, I am going to challenge you. If your life isn’t being lived the way that it needs to be, then repent of your sin and start living right. Then, help others to do the same. It’s summertime and there are thousands of people outside all the time. They all need to hear the truth of the gospel. Those who don’t believe need to hear it so that they will be saved from eternal hell. Those who do believe need to hear it to be encouraged and uplifted. We don’t know how much time they have left, so we need to reach them now. This can be done if we let our light shine!


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