Sermon Sunday – Jonathan Edwards – The Way of Holiness

June 26, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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The Way of Holiness

by

 Jonathan Edwards
 (1703-1758)

“And an highway shall be and a way, way, it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.” —  Isaiah 35:8

This Book of Isaiah speaks so much of Christ, gives such a particular account of the birth, life, miracles and passion, and of the gospel state, that it has been called a fifth Gospel. In this chapter is contained a glorious prophecy of the evangelical state:

 

  1. We have a description of the flourishing state of Christ’s kingdom in the two first verses, in the conversion and enlightening of the heathen, here compared to a wilderness, and a desert, solitary place:

    The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

     

  2. The great privileges and precious advantages of the gospel, in the five following verses wherein the strength, the courage, the reward, the salvation, the light and understanding, comforts and joys, that are conferred thereby, are very aptly described and set forth:Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert , And the parched ground Shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

     

  3. The nature of the gospel, and way of salvation therein brought to light. First, the holy nature of it, in the eighth and ninth verses:

     

    1. And an highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. 
    2. The joyful nature of it, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” [v.10].

Observations

 

  1. Observe in our text the subject spoken, that is, the way to salvation: “An highway shall be there, and a way.” This highway is the common and only way to heaven, for the way to heaven is but one. There is none ever get to heaven except they walk in this way some men don’t get to heaven one way and others another, but it i. one highway that is always traveled by those that obtain heaven.It is the same narrow way that Christ tells us of. Some don’t go to heaven in a broad way, and others in a narrow; some in an easy and others in a difficult way; some in a way of self­denial and mortification, and others in a way of enjoyment of their lusts and sinful pleasures; some up hill and others down: but the way to heaven is the same, and it is the highway here spoken of. There is only one highway or common road, and no by-paths that some few go to heaven in, a’ exceptions from the rest.

    If we seek never so diligently, we shall never find out an easier we, to heaven than that which Christ has revealed to us. We cannot find a broader way, but if we go to heaven, the way is so narrow that we must rub hard to get along and press forward. The kingdom of heaven must suffer violence; it must be taken by force, or else it never will be taken at all. If we don’t go by the footsteps of the flock, we shall never find the place where Christ feeds, and where he makes his flock to rest at noon.

    It appears that the way here spoken of is the way of salvation, by the last verse of the chapter. When speaking of this way, it is said, “the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion,” etc. “Zion” is the common appellation by which, in the Old Testament, the church both militant and triumphant is signified.

     

  2. In the words observe the holy nature of this way described: first, by the name by which it is called, “the way of holiness”; “and it shall be called the way of holiness.” Secondly, the holiness of those that travel in it, and its purity from those that are unclean, or unholy; “the unclean shall not pass over it.” No wicked person shall ever travel in this way of holiness. To the same purpose is the next verse, “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there.” That is, none of the wicked men of this world, which are like lions or ravenous beasts more than like men: in their eager raging and lustful appetites and evil affections, or by their insatiable covetousness, are like hungry wolves, are violently set upon the world and will have it, whether by right or by wrong. Or make themselves like ravenous beasts by their proud, invidious, malicious dispositions, which is directly contrary to a Christian spirit and temper. They are more like wild beasts than Christians, that are wrongful and injurious, are all for themselves and the satisfying their own appetites, and care nothing for the welfare of others, their fellowmen that are of the same blood, make a god of their bellies, and therein resemble tigers and wolves.”Now,” says the Prophet, “none such shall go upon this highway to Zion; such unclean and ravenous beasts shall not be found there. No, but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion.” This way is a way of holiness and not to be defiled by wicked persons. That in Rev. 21:27 will serve well for an explication of these words: “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

     


    DOCTRINE

    Those only that are holy are in the way to heaven.

    Many are not sensible enough of the necessity of holiness in order to salvation. Everyone hopes for heaven, but if everyone that hoped for heaven ever got there, heaven by this time would have been full of murderers, adulterers, common swearers, drunkards, thieves, robbers,, and licentious debauchers. It would have been full of all manner of wickedness and wicked men, such as the earth abounds with at this day. There would have been those there that are no better than wild beasts, howling wolves, and poisonous serpents; yea, devils incarnate, as Judas was.

    What a wretched place would the highest heavens have been by this time if it were so: that pure, undefiled, light and glorious place, the heavenly temple, would be as the temple of Jerusalem was in Christ’s time, a den of thieves; and the royal palace of the Most High the holy metropolis of the creation, would be turned into a mere hell. There would be no happiness there for those that are holy. What a horrible, dreadful confusion would there be if the glorious presence of God the Father; the glorified Lamb of God; and the Heavenly Dove, spirit of all grace and original of all holiness; the spotless, glorified saints; the holy angels; and wicked men, beasts and devils were all mixed up together!

    Therefore, it behooves us all to be sensible of the necessity of holiness in order to salvation; of the necessity of real, hearty and sincere inward and spiritual holiness, such as will stand by us forever and will not leave us at death, that sinners may not be so foolish as to entertain hopes of heaven, except they intend forthwith to set about repentance and reformation of heart and life. Wherefore, this is what we are now upon: to show the necessity of holiness, and this we shall do in these three things.

     


 

  1. Show what holiness is. 
  2. That those that have it not are not in the way to heaven. 
  3. The reasons why it must needs be so.

 


 

  1. What is holiness? I shall answer to this question in three things which fully comprehend the nature of holiness, which are not in themselves distinct as so many parts of holiness, but the same thing in three different lights, to give us the fuller understanding of it. 
    1. Holiness is a conformity of the heart and the life unto God. Whatever outward appearance men may make by their external actions, as if they were holy, yet if it proceeds not from a most inward hearty and sincere holiness within, it is nothing. Amaziah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart all that he did was not acceptable to God, who searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of men, and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.And whatever holiness they may pretend to have in their hearts, whatever hypocritical pangs of affection they may have had, it is all to no purpose except it manifest itself in the holiness of their lives and conversations: Jas. 1: 26­27, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” And in the second chapter, eighteenth verse: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” And in the nineteenth and twentieth verses, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” So that there must be a conformity of both heart and life to God, in order to true holiness.

      Holiness is the image of God, his likeness, in him that is holy. By being conformed unto God is not meant a conformity to him in his eternity, or infinity, or infinite power. These are God’s inimitable and incommunicable attributes; but a conformity to his will, whereby he wills things that are just, right, and truly excellent and lovely; whereby he wills real perfection, and goodness; and perfectly abhors everything that is really evil, unjust, and unreasonable. And it is not only a willing as God wills, but also a doing as he cloth: in acting holily and justly and wisely and mercifully, like him. It must become natural thus to be, and thus to act; it must be the constant inclination and new nature of the soul, and then the man is holy, and not before.

       

    2. It is a conformity to Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus is perfectly conformed unto God, for he is God. He is his express image. Now Christ is nearer to us in some respects than God the Father, for he is our Mediator and is more immediately conversant with us; John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Jesus Christ, he has been with us in the flesh and as one of us he appeared in the form of a servant, and we have seen his holiness brightly shining forth in all his actions. We have seen his holy life; we have a copy drawn, and an example set for us.Now holiness is a conformity unto this copy: he that copies after Jesus Christ, after that copy which he has set us and which is delivered to us by the evangelists, is holy. He that diligently observes the life of Christ in the New Testament need not be at a loss to know what holiness is. Christ commands us to follow his example: Matt. 11 l :29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

      Have you ever read the four Gospels, and did you not observe in the life of Christ wonderful instances of humility, love to God, love to religion; wonderful instances of zeal for God’s glory, steadfastness in resisting temptations, entire trust and reliance on God, strict adherence to all his commands; astonishing instances of condescension, humility, meekness, lowliness, love to men, love to his enemies, charity and patience? Why, this is holiness. When we imitate Christ in these things, then are we holy, and not till then.

       

    3. Holiness is a conformity to God’s laws and commands. When all God’s laws without exception are written in our hearts, then are we holy. If you can go along with David in Psalm 119, where he speaks of his love and delight in God’s law, in your own experience; when a man feels in some good measure what David declares concerning himself towards the law of God, then may God’s law be said to be written in his heart. By God’s law I mean all his precepts and commands, especially as they are delivered to us in the gospel, which is the fulfillment of the law of God. If you feel Christ’s Sermon upon the Mount engraver on the fleshly tables of your hearts, you are truly sanctified.The new covenant is written in the hearts of those that are sanctified, of which the prophet Jeremiah speaks, 31:31,33, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. This shall be my covenant, that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

      The commands and precepts which God has given us are all pure, perfect, and holy. They are the holiness of God in writing, and, when the soul is conformed to them, they have holiness of God upon their hearts; 11 Cor. 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” When the soul is molded and fashioned according to the image of God, the example of Christ and the rules . gospel, then it is holy, and not else.

     

  2. Those that have not this holiness are not in the way to heaven. Those that are not thus conformed to God, to Christ, and God’s commands, are not in the way to heaven and happiness; they are not traveling that road; the road they are in will never bring them there. Whatever hopes and expectations they may have, they will never reach heaven to eternity except they alter their course, turn about, and steer [towards] another point; for the way is a way of holiness, and the unclean shall not pass over it. Christ said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into heaven, but yet he left it absolutely possible with God that it might be; but he said positively and without exception that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. None but those that are holy are in the way to heaven, whatever profession they may make, whatever church they may be in: for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.Whatever external acts of religion they may perform, however they may be constant attendants on the public or family worship, and live outwardly moral lives; yea, what is more, if they speak with the tongues of men and angels, though they could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though they have faith that they can remove mountains; though they bestow all their goods to feed the poor, and though they give their very bodies to be burnt: yet if they have not charity or holiness ­ which is the same thing, for by charity is intended love to God as well as man ­ though they have and do all those things, yet they are nothing; they are as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal (see I Cor. 13). It is good that we should be thoroughly convinced of the most absolute and indispensable necessity of a real, spiritual, active and vital yea, immortal ­ holiness.

     

  3. We shall now, in the third place, give the reasons why none that are not holy can be in the way to heaven, and why those who never are so can never obtain the happiness thereof. 
  4. ‘Tis contrary to God’s justice, to make a wicked man eternally happy. God is a God of infinite justice, and his justice (to speak after the manner of men) “obliges” him to punish sin eternally; sin must be punished, the sins of all men must be punished. If the sinner retains his sin, and it is not washed off by the blood of Christ, and he purified and sanctified and made holy, it must be punished upon him. If he is sanctified, his sin has been already punished in the passion of Christ, but if not, it still remains to be punished in his eternal ruin and misery; for God has said that he is a holy and jealous God, and will by no means clear the guilty. It is reckoned amongst the rest of God’s attributes which he proclaims in Ex. 34:7 and Num. 14 18. 
  5. ‘Tis impossible by reason of God’s holiness, that anything should be united to God and brought to the enjoyment of him which is not holy. Now is it possible that a God of infinite holiness, that is perfect and hates sin with perfect hatred, that is infinitely lovely and excellent, should embrace in his arms a filthy, abominable creature, a hideous, detestable monster, more hateful than a toad and more poisonous than a viper? But so hateful, base, and abominable is every unsanctified man, even the best hypocrite and most painted sepulchers of them all.How impossible is it that this should be, that such loathsome beings, the picture of the devil, should be united to God: should be a member of Christ, a child of God, be made happy in the enjoyment of his love and the smiles of his countenance, should be in God and God in them? It is therefore as impossible for an unholy thing to be admitted unto the happiness of heaven as it is for God not to be, or be turned to nothing. For it is as impossible that God should love sin as it is for him to cease to be, and it is as impossible for him to love a wicked man that has not his sin purified, and it is as impossible for him to enjoy the happiness of heaven except God love him, for the happiness of heaven consists in the enjoyment of God’s love.

     

  6. It would defile heaven and interrupt the happiness of the saints and angels. It would defile that holy place, the Holy of Holies, and would fright and terrify the sanctified spirits, and obstruct them in their delightful ecstasies of devotion, and his praise would quite confound the heavenly society. How would one unsanctified person interrupt their happiness, and fill those regions all over with the loathsome stench of his sin and filthiness! 
  7. The nature of sin necessarily implies, misery. That soul that remains sinful must of a necessity of nature remain miserable, for it is impossible there should be any happiness where such a hateful thing as sin reigns and bears rule. Sin is the most cruel tyrant that ever ruled, seeks nothing but the misery of his subjects; as in the very keeping of God’s commands there is great reward, so in the very breaking of them there is great punishment.Sin is a woeful confusion and dreadful disorder in the soul, whereby everything is put out of place, reason trampled under foot and passion advanced in the room of it, conscience dethroned and abominable lusts reigning. As long as it is so, there will unavoidably be a dreadful confusion and perturbation in the mind; the soul will be full of worry, perplexities, uneasinesses, storms and frights, and thus it must necessarily be to all eternity, except the Spirit of God puts all to rights. So that if it were possible that God should desire to make a wicked man happy while he is wicked, the nature of the thing would not allow of it, but it would be simply and absolutely impossible.

    Thus I have given some reasons of the doctrine, why it must needs be that those that are not holy cannot be in the way to heaven. Many more reasons might be offered, which the time will not allow to take notice of at this time; but these alone would have been enough to certify us that none but those who are holy ever attain to a crown of glory, if God had not expressly said that without holiness no man should see the Lord.

 


APPLICATION

We shall apply this doctrine in three uses:

 

  1. of inference; 
  2. of trial or self­examination; 
  3. of exhortation.

 


 

  1. Use of Inf. If it be so that none but those that are holy are in the way to heaven, how many poor creatures are there that think they are in the way to heaven who are not? There are many that think that they are undoubtedly in the way to heaven, and without question shall enter there at last, that have not the least grain of true holiness, that manifest none in their lives and conversations, of whom we may be certain that either they have no holiness at all, or that which they have is a dormant, inactive sort which is in effect to be certain that there is none. There are a great many others that are not so distinctly and plainly perceived, that have nothing but what is external, the shell without the kernel. Vast multitudes are of these two kinds.What a pitiable, miserable condition are they in: to step out of this world into an uncertain eternity, with an expectation of finding themselves exceeding happy and blessed in the highest heaven, and all at once find themselves deceived, and are undeceived, finding themselves sinking in the bottomless pit!

     

  2. Use of Trial. If none are in the way to heaven but those that are holy, let us try and examine ourselves by this doctrine to see whereabouts we are, and see whether or no we are in the way to heaven. To know which way we are going, whether towards Canaan or Egypt, whether towards heaven or hell; for if we think ourselves in the road to heaven, and are going to the place of torment all the while, and continue deceived, without doubt fire and brimstone will undeceive us. If we find ourselves in the broad way to destruction, how dare we stir a step further? If we would know whether we are holy or no, let us try ourselves by these five following things: 
    1. Meditate on the holiness of God, and see if you cannot see a conformity, a likeness in your mind. There is no likeness or comparison in degree-we speak not of that-but yet there is a likeness in nature between Cod and the soul of the believer. The holy soul, when it thinks and meditates upon God’s nature, finds a pleasure and delight, because there is an agreeableness in his new nature to the divine perfections. If those that think themselves in the way to heaven, that are unholy in the meantime in their hearts, would compare themselves and their nature to the holy nature of God, such a glorious light as the holiness of God would quickly discover their rottenness and unsoundness. 
    2. See if you can see any resemblance in your life to the life of Christ. It is not supposed that ever any copy comes near to this original, nor ever will; but yet they may perceive whether the same spirit, the same temper and disposition, in a lesser degree be in them, that was manifested by the life and conversation of Jesus Christ. 
    3. Is there an agreeableness between your souls and the Word of God? The Bible is the epistle of Christ that he has written to us now, if the same epistle is also written in our hearts that is written in the Scriptures, it may be found out by comparing. Have you love to all God’s commands and a respect to them in your actions? Is it your delight to obey and hearken to the will of God? Do you obey them of choice? Is it what you would choose to do if God had not threatened to punish the breach of them? 
    4. Do you find by a comparison a likeness and agreeableness between your hearts and lives, and the hearts and lives of those holy men that we are assured were such by the Word of God? Do you walk with God as Enoch did, or distinguish yourselves by your piety in the midst of wicked examples as Noah did? And when you read the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets, wherein holiness is drawn to the life, you may viewing so exact a picture discover whether you have not the root of the matter in you, though it be much obscurer in you than in them. When we read the Psalms of David, we may clearly see what David’s holiness was by that spirit that is breathed there; when we read the Epistles of the apostles, we may know what is a truly evangelical spirit, and whether such a spirit reigns in our souls. 
    5. Do you in a measure imitate the saints and angels in heaven? They spend their duration to the glory of God; they love him above all things, are delighted with the beauties of Jesus Christ, entirely love one another, and hate sin. And those that are holy on earth have also a resemblance and imitation of them: they are of an heavenly temper, of heavenly lives and conversations.

     

  3. Use of l Exhortation. Exhort all to holiness. You have heard what holiness is and of the necessity of it, the absolute necessity in order to escaping hell; what we must have or die forever, must be forever forsaken Now, nothing is so necessary to us as holiness; other things may be necessary to discover this life, and things that are necessary men will strive for with all their might, if there is a probability of obtaining of them. How much more is that to be sought after, without which we shall fare infinitely worse than die ten thousand deaths!This is motive enough without any other; for what can be a greater motive than necessity? But besides that, if it were not necessary, the amiable and excellent nature of it is enough to make it worthy the most earnest seeking after.

Holiness is a most beautiful, lovely thing. Men are apt to drink in strange notions of holiness from their childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely. ‘Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties; ’tis a divine beauty, makes the soul heavenly and far purer than anything here on earth-this world is like mire and filth and defilement [compared] to that soul which is sanctified-’tis of a sweet, lovely, delightful, serene, calm, and still nature. ‘Tis almost too high a beauty for any creature to be adorned with; it makes the soul a little, amiable, and delightful image of the blessed Jehovah. How may angels stand with pleased, delighted, and charmed eyes, and look and look with smiles of pleasure upon that soul that is holy!

Christian holiness is above all the heathen virtue, of a more bright and pure nature, more serene, calm, peaceful, and delightsome. What a sweet calmness, what a calm ecstasy, cloth it bring to the soul! Of what a meek and humble nature is true holiness; how peaceful and quiet. How cloth it change the soul, and make it more pure, more bright, and more excellent than other beings.

The Way of Holiness

by

 Jonathan Edwards
 (1703-1758)

“And an highway shall be and a way, way, it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.” —  Isaiah 35:8

This Book of Isaiah speaks so much of Christ, gives such a particular account of the birth, life, miracles and passion, and of the gospel state, that it has been called a fifth Gospel. In this chapter is contained a glorious prophecy of the evangelical state:

  1. We have a description of the flourishing state of Christ’s kingdom in the two first verses, in the conversion and enlightening of the heathen, here compared to a wilderness, and a desert, solitary place:

    The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

  2. The great privileges and precious advantages of the gospel, in the five following verses wherein the strength, the courage, the reward, the salvation, the light and understanding, comforts and joys, that are conferred thereby, are very aptly described and set forth:Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert , And the parched ground Shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
  3. The nature of the gospel, and way of salvation therein brought to light. First, the holy nature of it, in the eighth and ninth verses:
    1. And an highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way o holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.
    2. The joyful nature of it, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” [v.10].

Observations

  1. Observe in our text the subject spoken, that is, the way to salvation: “An highway shall be there, and a way.” This highway is the common and only way to heaven, for the way to heaven is but one. There is none ever get to heaven except they walk in this way some men don’t get to heaven one way and others another, but it i. one highway that is always traveled by those that obtain heaven.It is the same narrow way that Christ tells us of. Some don’t go to heaven in a broad way, and others in a narrow; some in an easy and others in a difficult way; some in a way of self­denial and mortification, and others in a way of enjoyment of their lusts and sinful plea sures; some up hill and others down: but the way to heaven is the same, and it is the highway here spoken of. There is only one highway or common road, and no by-paths that some few go to heaven in, a’ exceptions from the rest.

    If we seek never so diligently, we shall never find out an easier we, to heaven than that which Christ has revealed to us. We cannot find a broader way, but if we go to heaven, the way is so narrow that we must rub hard to get along and press forward. The kingdom of heaven must suffer violence; it must be taken by force, or else it never will be taken at all. If we don’t go by the footsteps of the flock, we shall never find the place where Christ feeds, and where he makes his flock to rest at noon.

    It appears that the way here spoken of is the way of salvation, by the last verse of the chapter. When speaking of this way, it is said, “the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion,” etc. “Zion” is the common appellation by which, in the Old Testament, the church both militant and triumphant is signified.

  2. In the words observe the holy nature of this way described: first, by the name by which it is called, “the way of holiness”; “and it shall be called the way of holiness.” Secondly, the holiness of those that travel in it, and its purity from those that are unclean, or unholy; “the unclean shall not pass over it.” No wicked person shall ever travel in this way of holiness. To the same purpose is the next verse, “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there.” That is, none of the wicked men of this world, which are like lions or ravenous beasts more than like men: in their eager raging and lustful appetites and evil affections, or by their insatiable covetousness, are like hungry wolves, are violently set upon the world and will have it, whether by right or by wrong. Or make themselves like ravenous beasts by their proud, invidious, malicious dispositions, which is directly contrary to a Christian spirit and temper. They are more like wild beasts than Christians, that are wrongful and injurious, are all for themselves and the satisfying their own appetites, and care nothing for the welfare of others, their fellowmen that are of the same blood, make a god of their bellies, and therein resemble tigers and wolves.”Now,” says the Prophet, “none such shall go upon this highway to Zion; such unclean and ravenous beasts shall not be found there. No, but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion.” This way is a way of holiness and not to be defiled by wicked persons. That in Rev. 21:27 will serve well for an explication of these words: “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

    DOCTRINE

    Those only that are holy are in the way to heaven.

    Many are not sensible enough of the necessity of holiness in order to salvation. Everyone hopes for heaven, but if everyone that hoped for heaven ever got there, heaven by this time would have been full of murderers, adulterers, common swearers, drunkards, thieves, robbers,, and licentious debauchers. It would have been full of all manner of wickedness and wicked men, such as the earth abounds with at this day. There would have been those there that are no better than wild beasts, howling wolves, and poisonous serpents; yea, devils incarnate, as Judas was.

    What a wretched place would the highest heavens have been by this time if it were so: that pure, undefiled, light and glorious place, the heavenly temple, would be as the temple of Jerusalem was in Christ’s time, a den of thieves; and the royal palace of the Most High the holy metropolis of the creation, would be turned into a mere hell. There would be no happiness there for those that are holy. What a horrible, dreadful confusion would there be if the glorious presence of God the Father; the glorified Lamb of God; and the Heavenly Dove, spirit of all grace and original of all holiness; the spotless, glorified saints; the holy angels; and wicked men, beasts and devils were all mixed up together!

    Therefore, it behooves us all to be sensible of the necessity of holiness in order to salvation; of the necessity of real, hearty and sincere inward and spiritual holiness, such as will stand by us forever and will not leave us at death, that sinners may not be so foolish as to entertain hopes of heaven, except they intend forthwith to set about repentance and reformation of heart and life. Wherefore, this is what we are now upon: to show the necessity of holiness, and this we shall do in these three things.


  1. Show what holiness is.
  2. That those that have it not are not in the way to heaven.
  3. The reasons why it must needs be so.

  1. What is holiness? I shall answer to this question in three things which fully comprehend the nature of holiness, which are not in themselves distinct as so many parts of holiness, but the same thing in three different lights, to give us the fuller understanding of it.
    1. Holiness is a conformity of the heart and the life unto God. Whatever outward appearance men may make by their external actions, as if they were holy, yet if it proceeds not from a most inward hearty and sincere holiness within, it is nothing. Amaziah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart all that he did was not acceptable to God, who searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of men, and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.And whatever holiness they may pretend to have in their hearts, whatever hypocritical pangs of affection they may have had, it is all to no purpose except it manifest itself in the holiness of their lives and conversations: Jas. 1: 26­27, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” And in the second chapter, eighteenth verse: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” And in the nineteenth and twentieth verses, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” So that there must be a conformity of both heart and life to God, in order to true holiness.

      Holiness is the image of God, his likeness, in him that is holy. By being conformed unto God is not meant a conformity to him in his eternity, or infinity, or infinite power. These are God’s inimitable and incommunicable attributes; but a conformity to his will, whereby he wills things that are just, right, and truly excellent and lovely; whereby he wills real perfection, and goodness; and perfectly abhors everything that is really evil, unjust, and unreasonable. And it is not only a willing as God wills, but also a doing as he cloth: in acting holily and justly and wisely and mercifully, like him. It must become natural thus to be, and thus to act; it must be the constant inclination and new nature of the soul, and then the man is holy, and not before.

    2. It is a conformity to Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus is perfectly conformed unto God, for he is God. He is his express image. Now Christ is nearer to us in some respects than God the Father, for he is our Mediator and is more immediately conversant with us; John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Jesus Christ, he has been with us in the flesh and as one of us he appeared in the form of a servant, and we have seen his holiness brightly shining forth in all his actions. We have seen his holy life; we have a copy drawn, and an example set for us.Now holiness is a conformity unto this copy: he that copies after Jesus Christ, after that copy which he has set us and which is delivered to us by the evangelists, is holy. He that diligently observes the life of Christ in the New Testament need not be at a loss to know what holiness is. Christ commands us to follow his example: Matt. 11 l :29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

      Have you ever read the four Gospels, and did you not observe in the life of Christ wonderful instances of humility, love to God, love to religion; wonderful instances of zeal for God’s glory, steadfastness in resisting temptations, entire trust and reliance on God, strict adherence to all his commands; astonishing instances of condescension, humility, meekness, lowliness, love to men, love to his enemies, charity and patience? Why, this is holiness. When we imitate Christ in these things, then are we holy, and not till then.

    3. Holiness is a conformity to God’s laws and commands. When all God’s laws without exception are written in our hearts, then are we holy. If you can go along with David in Psalm 119, where he speaks of his love and delight in God’s law, in your own experience; when a man feels in some good measure what David declares concerning himself towards the law of God, then may God’s law be said to be written in his heart. By God’s law I mean all his precepts and commands, especially as they are delivered to us in the gospel, which is the fulfillment of the law of God. If you feel Christ’s Sermon upon the Mount engraver on the fleshly tables of your hearts, you are truly sanctified.The new covenant is written in the hearts of those that are sanctified, of which the prophet Jeremiah speaks, 31:31,33, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. This shall be my covenant, that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

      The commands and precepts which God has given us are all pure, perfect, and holy. They are the holiness of God in writing, and, when the soul is conformed to them, they have holiness of God upon their hearts; 11 Cor. 3:3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” When the soul is molded and fashioned according to the image of God, the example of Christ and the rules . gospel, then it is holy, and not else.

  2. Those that have not this holiness are not in the way to heaven. Those that are not thus conformed to God, to Christ, and God’s commands, are not in the way to heaven and happiness; they are not traveling that road; the road they are in will never bring them there. Whatever hopes and expectations they may have, they will never reach heaven to eternity except they alter their course, turn about, and steer [towards] another point; for the way is a way of holiness, and the unclean shall not pass over it. Christ said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into heaven, but yet he left it absolutely possible with God that it might be; but he said positively and without exception that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. None but those that are holy are in the way to heaven, whatever profession they may make, whatever church they may be in: for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.Whatever external acts of religion they may perform, however they may be constant attendants on the public or family worship, and live outwardly moral lives; yea, what is more, if they speak with the tongues of men and angels, though they could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though they have faith that they can remove mountains; though they bestow all their goods to feed the poor, and though they give their very bodies to be burnt: yet if they have not charity or holiness ­ which is the same thing, for by charity is intended love to God as well as man ­ though they have and do all those things, yet they are nothing; they are as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal (see I Cor. 13). It is good that we should be thoroughly convinced of the most absolute and indispensable necessity of a real, spiritual, active and vital yea, immortal ­ holiness.
  3. We shall now, in the third place, give the reasons why none that are not holy can be in the way to heaven, and why those who never are so can never obtain the happiness thereof.
  4. ‘Tis contrary to God’s justice, to make a wicked man eternally happy. God is a God of infinite justice, and his justice (to speak after the manner of men) “obliges” him to punish sin eternally; sin must be punished, the sins of all men must be punished. If the sinner retains his sin, and it is not washed off by the blood of Christ, and he purified and sanctified and made holy, it must be punished upon him. If he is sanctified, his sin has been already punished in the passion of Christ, but if not, it still remains to be punished in his eternal ruin and misery; for God has said that he is a holy and jealous God, and will by no means clear the guilty. It is reckoned amongst the rest of God’s attributes which he proclaims in Ex. 34:7 and Num. 14 18.
  5. ‘Tis impossible by reason of God’s holiness, that anything should be united to God and brought to the enjoyment of him which is not holy. Now is it possible that a God of infinite holiness, that is perfect and hates sin with perfect hatred, that is infinitely lovely and excellent, should embrace in his arms a filthy, abominable creature, a hideous, detestable monster, more hateful than a toad and more poisonous than a viper? But so hateful, base, and abominable is every unsanctified man, even the best hypocrite and most painted sepulchers of them all.How impossible is it that this should be, that such loathsome beings, the picture of the devil, should be united to God: should be a member of Christ, a child of God, be made happy in the enjoyment of his love and the smiles of his countenance, should be in God and God in them? It is therefore as impossible for an unholy thing to be admitted unto the happiness of heaven as it is for God not to be, or be turned to nothing. For it is as impossible that God should love sin as it is for him to cease to be, and it is as impossible for him to love a wicked man that has not his sin purified, and it is as impossible for him to enjoy the happiness of heaven except God love him, for the happiness of heaven consists in the enjoyment of God’s love.
  6. It would defile heaven and interrupt the happiness of the saints and angels. It would defile that holy place, the Holy of Holies, and would fright and terrify the sanctified spirits, and obstruct them in their delightful ecstasies of devotion, and his praise would quite confound the heavenly society. How would one unsanctified person interrupt their happiness, and fill those regions all over with the loathsome stench of his sin and filthiness!
  7. The nature of sin necessarily implies, misery. That soul that remains sinful must of a necessity of nature remain miserable, for it is impossible there should be any happiness where such a hateful thing as sin reigns and bears rule. Sin is the most cruel tyrant that ever ruled, seeks nothing but the misery of his subjects; as in the very keeping of God’s commands there is great reward, so in the very breaking of them there is great punishment.Sin is a woeful confusion and dreadful disorder in the soul, whereby everything is put out of place, reason trampled under foot and passion advanced in the room of it, conscience dethroned and abominable lusts reigning. As long as it is so, there will unavoidably be a dreadful confusion and perturbation in the mind; the soul will be full of worry, perplexities, uneasinesses, storms and frights, and thus it must necessarily be to all eternity, except the Spirit of God puts all to rights. So that if it were possible that God should desire to make a wicked man happy while he is wicked, the nature of the thing would not allow of it, but it would be simply and absolutely impossible.

    Thus I have given some reasons of the doctrine, why it must needs be that those that are not holy cannot be in the way to heaven. Many more reasons might be offered, which the time will not allow to take notice of at this time; but these alone would have been enough to certify us that none but those who are holy ever attain to a crown of glory, if God had not expressly said that without holiness no man should see the Lord.


APPLICATION

We shall apply this doctrine in three uses:

  1. of inference;
  2. of trial or self­examination;
  3. of exhortation.

  1. Use of Inf. If it be so that none but those that are holy are in the way to heaven, how many poor creatures are there that think they are in the way to heaven who are not? There are many that think that they are undoubtedly in the way to heaven, and without question shall enter there at last, that have not the least grain of true holiness, that manifest none in their lives and conversations, of whom we may be certain that either they have no holiness at all, or that which they have is a dormant, inactive sort which is in effect to be certain that there is none. There are a great many others that are not so distinctly and plainly perceived, that have nothing but what is external, the shell without the kernel. Vast multitudes are of these two kinds.What a pitiable, miserable condition are they in: to step out of this world into an uncertain eternity, with an expectation of finding themselves exceeding happy and blessed in the highest heaven, and all at once find themselves deceived, and are undeceived, finding themselves sinking in the bottomless pit!
  2. Use of Trial. If none are in the way to heaven but those that are holy, let us try and examine ourselves by this doctrine to see whereabouts we are, and see whether or no we are in the way to heaven. To know which way we are going, whether towards Canaan or Egypt, whether towards heaven or hell; for if we think ourselves in the road to heaven, and are going to the place of torment all the while, and continue deceived, without doubt fire and brimstone will undeceive us. If we find ourselves in the broad way to destruction, how dare we stir a step further? If we would know whether we are holy or no, let us try ourselves by these five following things:
    1. Meditate on the holiness of God, and see if you cannot see a conformity, a likeness in your mind. There is no likeness or comparison in degree-we speak not of that-but yet there is a likeness in nature between Cod and the soul of the believer. The holy soul, when it thinks and meditates upon God’s nature, finds a pleasure and delight, because there is an agreeableness in his new nature to the divine perfections. If those that think themselves in the way to heaven, that are unholy in the meantime in their hearts, would compare themselves and their nature to the holy nature of God, such a glorious light as the holiness of God would quickly discover their rottenness and unsoundness.
    2. See if you can see any resemblance in your life to the life of Christ. It is not supposed that ever any copy comes near to this original, nor ever will; but yet they may perceive whether the same spirit, the same temper and disposition, in a lesser degree be in them, that was manifested by the life and conversation of Jesus Christ.
    3. Is there an agreeableness between your souls and the Word of God? The Bible is the epistle of Christ that he has written to us now, if the same epistle is also written in our hearts that is written in the Scriptures, it may be found out by comparing. Have you love to all God’s commands and a respect to them in your actions? Is it your delight to obey and hearken to the will of God? Do you obey them of choice? Is it what you would choose to do if God had not threatened to punish the breach of them?
    4. Do you find by a comparison a likeness and agreeableness between your hearts and lives, and the hearts and lives of those holy men that we are assured were such by the Word of God? Do you walk with God as Enoch did, or distinguish yourselves by your piety in the midst of wicked examples as Noah did? And when you read the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets, wherein holiness is drawn to the life, you may viewing so exact a picture discover whether you have not the root of the matter in you, though it be much obscurer in you than in them. When we read the Psalms of David, we may clearly see what David’s holiness was by that spirit that is breathed there; when we read the Epistles of the apostles, we may know what is a truly evangelical spirit, and whether such a spirit reigns in our souls.
    5. Do you in a measure imitate the saints and angels in heaven? They spend their duration to the glory of God; they love him above all things, are delighted with the beauties of Jesus Christ, entirely love one another, and hate sin. And those that are holy on earth have also a resemblance and imitation of them: they are of an heavenly temper, of heavenly lives and conversations.
  3. Use of l Exhortation. Exhort all to holiness. You have heard what holiness is and of the necessity of it, the absolute necessity in order to escaping hell; what we must have or die forever, must be forever forsaken Now, nothing is so necessary to us as holiness; other things may be necessary to discover this life, and things that are necessary men will strive for with all their might, if there is a probability of obtaining of them. How much more is that to be sought after, without which we shall fare infinitely worse than die ten thousand deaths!This is motive enough without any other; for what can be a greater motive than necessity? But besides that, if it were not necessary, the amiable and excellent nature of it is enough to make it worthy the most earnest seeking after.

Holiness is a most beautiful, lovely thing. Men are apt to drink in strange notions of holiness from their childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely. ‘Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties; ’tis a divine beauty, makes the soul heavenly and far purer than anything here on earth-this world is like mire and filth and defilement [compared] to that soul which is sanctified-’tis of a sweet, lovely, delightful, serene, calm, and still nature. ‘Tis almost too high a beauty for any creature to be adorned with; it makes the soul a little, amiable, and delightful image of the blessed Jehovah. How may angels stand with pleased, delighted, and charmed eyes, and look and look with smiles of pleasure upon that soul that is holy!

Christian holiness is above all the heathen virtue, of a more bright and pure nature, more serene, calm, peaceful, and delightsome. What a sweet calmness, what a calm ecstasy, cloth it bring to the soul! Of what a meek and humble nature is true holiness; how peaceful and quiet. How cloth it change the soul, and make it more pure, more bright, and more excellent than other beings.

Sermon Sunday – Jonathan Edwards – Christian Cautions

June 12, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Christian Cautions

or

The Necessity of Self-Examination

by

 Jonathan Edwards
 (1703-1758)

Dated September 1733.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalm 139:23, 24


INTRODUCTION

Subject: Persons should be much concerned to know whether they do not live in some way of sin.

This psalm is a meditation on the omniscience of God, or upon his perfect view and knowledge of everything, which the psalmist represents by that perfect knowledge which God had of all his actions, his downsitting and his uprising; and of his thoughts, so that he knew his thoughts afar off; and of his words, “There is not a word in my tongue,” says the psalmist, “but thou knowest it altogether.” Then he represents it by the impossibility of fleeing from the divine presence, or of hiding from him. So that if he should go into heaven, or hide himself in hell, or fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, yet he would not be hid from God. Or if he should endeavor to hide himself in darkness, yet that would not cover him. But the darkness and light are both alike to him. Then he represents it by the knowledge which God had of him while in his mother’s womb, Psa. 139:15, 16, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret; thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written.” Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Jonathan Edwards – Christian Cautions…

Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon Remembrance of Christ

May 29, 2011 at 7:51 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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A Sermon

Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 7th, 1855, by the

REV. C. H. Spurgeon

At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

“This do in remembrance of me.”—1 Corinthians 11:24.

It seems, then, that Christians may forget Christ. The text implies the possibility of forgetfulness concerning him whom gratitude and affection should constrain them to remember. There could be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a fearful supposition that our memories might prove treacherous, and our remembrance superficial in its character, or changing in its nature. Nor is this a bare supposition: it is, alas, too well confirmed in our experience, not as a possibility, but as a lamentable fact. It seems at first sight too gross a crime to lay at the door of converted men. It appears almost impossible that those who have been redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb should ever forget their Ransomer; that those who have been loved with an everlasting love by the eternal Son of God, should ever forget that Son; but if startling to the ear, it is alas, too apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the fact. Forget him who ne’er forgot us! Forget him who poured his blood forth for our sins! Forget him who loved us even to the death! Can it be possible? Yes it is not only possible, but conscience confesses that it is too sadly a fault of all of us, that we can remember anything except Christ. The object which we should make the monarch of our hearts, is the very thing we are most inclined to forget. Where one would think that memory would linger, and unmindfulness would be an unknown intruder, that is the spot which is desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness, and that the place where memory too seldom looks. I appeal to the conscience of every Christian here: Can you deny the truth of what I utter? Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should have your eye steadily fixed upon the cross. It is the incessant round of world, world, world; the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ. Oh! my friends, is it not too sadly true that we can recollect anything but Christ, and forget nothing so easy as him whom we ought to remember? While memory will preserve a poisoned weed, it suffereth the Rose of Sharon to wither. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon Remembrance of Christ…

Genesis 9:18-29

April 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.” Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died. Continue Reading Genesis 9:18-29…

Sermon Sunday: Charles Spurgeon

April 3, 2011 at 7:48 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | 2 Comments
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Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 7th, 1855, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”—Malachi 3:6

It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel— Continue Reading Sermon Sunday: Charles Spurgeon…

Genesis 7:1-10

February 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Then the LORD said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him. Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. Continue Reading Genesis 7:1-10…

Newslinks 03/07/10

March 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Military leaders face grilling on gay ban lift
Lawmakers this week will press the military’s top uniformed officers for the first time on whether they think repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” makes sense or would be too disruptive.

Atheist sign = hate speech
A candidate for Illinois comptroller has sued the state over a decision related to the State Capitol building’s holiday display.

Oregon opens state’s largest abortuary
A sizable Planned Parenthood abortion facility is now open in Portland, Oregon.

Panel approves Bible classes for public schools
Kentucky may follow the lead of Texas and other states in allowing Bible classes to be taught in public schools.

Obama’s Envoy to Islamic Bloc Admits Controversial Statements About Supporter of Terror Group
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama’s envoy to the Islamic bloc acknowledged Friday that he was accurately quoted in 2004 as calling the treatment of activist Sami al-Arian, then facing trial for supporting a Palestinian terrorist group, an example of “politically motivated persecutions.” “I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated,” he said.

‘It’s About Jobs, Stupid!’ Says GOP Whip Cantor at CPAC
(CNSNews.com)
– House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told a gathering of conservatives on Friday that government jobs overshadow the private sector and that to grow the economy the private sector must be allowed to flourish. Cantor made his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

‘President Obama Has Lost His Mojo,’ Rep. Steve King Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Steve King (R-Ind.) told attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday that President Barack Obama has lost the political capital he hoped to cash in when he took the oath of office a little over a year ago. King said that between federal spending and government bailouts, the American people have lost faith in Washington.

Rep. Pence: Stop Using Taxpayer Money to Fund Planned Parenthood
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) earned a standing ovation at CPAc Friday when he said the United States has a moral obligation to the unborn, and that the time has come to stop funding Planned Parenthood with money from pro-life American taxpayers.

Disagree with the admiral on ‘gays’? No way!
Conservative military watchdog Elaine Donnelly says the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was “way out of line” when he recently asked troops if they supported repealing the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Perspective: Time for new generation of black Americans
To the misfortune of blacks who put great hope in the redemptive powers of the Civil Rights movement, their leaders prematurely closed their Bibles.

Public option – a labor union payback – lives on
Just days before President Obama’s heavily touted healthcare summit, Senate Democrats are continuing their push for a government takeover of healthcare.

Via ‘accounting trick,’ taxpayers foot abortion bills
The number of abortion clinics in America continues to drop, but a mega-abortuary still receives government funding.

Survey: Obama Support Down among Christians
President Obama’s support among born-again Christians has decreased after a year in office, a new survey shows.

Investigators Arrest Two in Texas Church Arsons

Iran Arrests Evangelical Leader; Shuts Down Church

Wis. Presbytery Approves Ordination of Openly Gay Man

Calif. Pastor Weighs in on Abortion, Homosexuality, Woods’ Buddhism

FOTF President Pens Book on Real Strength

Breaking His Pledge? Obama Calls for Increasing Payroll Taxes on ‘Households’ Earning Less Than $250,000 A Year
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama new health care plan calls for raising the Medicare payroll tax on some households earning less than $250,000, an apparent breach of his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than that amount. The president’s plan also calls for increasing taxes on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents.

Obama’s Proposal Includes Individual Health Insurance Mandate
(CNSNews.com)
– The health care plan proposed by President Barack Obama on Monday includes an individual mandate requiring every American to have health insurance, despite concerns from Republican lawmakers and legal experts that the provision is not constitutional. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNSNews.com that he is not aware of any legal review of this question by the White House.

Obama Administration Sinking Millions Into Government-Run Health Care for Children
(CNSNews.com)
– While Democrats and Republicans disagree on establishing a government-run health insurance plan as part of health care reform, such programs already exist – and are thriving. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 10 states will share $100 million in federal grants to improve health care quality and delivery systems for children enrolled in Medicaid and in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Obama’s ‘New’ Health Care Plan Would Use Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortions
(CNSNews.com) –
Pro-life legislators and advocates said President Obama’s “new” health-care proposal, unveiled Monday on the White House Web site, would allow tax dollars to fund health plans that cover abortion.

Majority of Americans: Business Leaders Make Better Decisions to Grow Economy Than Government
(CNSNews.com)
– A majority of Americans say business leaders make better economic decisions than the government can, according to a new poll. Respondents were asked: “Which will do more to help the U.S. economy — decisions made by government officials to help the economy grow or decisions made by U.S. business leaders to help their own businesses grow?”

College Professors Are More Likely to Believe ‘Ten Commandments are Irrelevant Today,’ New Study Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Those who teach on American college campuses are more likely to agree with the statements “America corrupts otherwise good people” and “The Ten Commandments are irrelevant today,” according to a new study released Monday.

Pakistan Pressing U.S. to Turn Over Woman Convicted of Trying to Kill American Soldiers
(CNSNews.com)
– More than two weeks after a federal jury in New York convicted a Pakistani neuroscientist of attempting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, the case continues to infuriate Muslims in her native country who view Aafia Siddiqui as the victim of U.S. injustice and anti-Muslim discrimination. Pakistan’s president has raised the matter with U.S. officials, saying the early repatriation of Siddiqui in line with a prisoners’ exchange treaty could help to improve the U.S. image in Pakistan.

Iranians’ Support for Nuclear Program Cuts Across Political Lines
(CNSNews.com)
– As the U.S. and it European allies step up efforts to impose new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Tehran, the drive could play into the hands of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by providing an issue for conservatives and reformists to rally around. Even Iran’s opposition leaders support the Islamic regime’s right to pursue a nuclear program

Obama’s healthcare plan – ‘more of the same’
The nation’s largest faith-based association of physicians is weighing in on President Obama’s nearly $1-trillion healthcare proposal.

Perspective: Planned Parenthood and children’s sexual rights
Planned Parenthood evidently doesn’t hold religion in very high regard, calling it an “obstacle” to starting sexual health programs around the world.

In cahoots against abstinence
The ACLU has filed suit against USAID to obtain information about taxpayer-funded abstinence-only programs overseas and their connection with religion.

Obama’s budget – contempt for the wealthy?
Rick Dunham, an expert on charitable giving, has some sharp criticisms for President Barack Obama’s proposed budget.

Creation News: Design flaws in humans
Read the latest from Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum examining news from the biblical viewpoint.

Pro-Life Groups Reject Obama’s Compromise Health Care Plan
President Obama’s new compromise health care plan changes little and would still allow for federal funding of abortion, pro-life groups warned on Monday after the White House unveiled the proposal.

So. Baptists Called to Repent, Grip Reality of ‘Lostness’

Anglicans Propel Vision to Plant 1,000 Churches

Jewish Group: PC(USA)’s Israel Proposals Will Damage Relations

Top Protestant Bishop in Germany Caught Driving Drunk

Judge Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-Lesbian Va. Mother

A Third of All U.S. Casualties in Eight-Year Afghan War Have Occurred Since Obama Ordered Escalation
(CNSNews.com)
– More than 300 U.S. soldiers have died in the war in Afghanistan since May 15, 2009, the day when the first major wave of new troops ordered by President Barack Obama arrived in the country. The 308 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan since then account for about a third of the total of 920 U.S. casualties in the eight-year war.

White House Spokesman ‘Not Sure’ If Obama’s Health Proposal Increases Taxes on Those Earning Less Than $250,000
(CNSNews.com)
– White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he was “not sure” if the new health care proposal President Barack Obama released on Monday calls for increasing the Medicare payroll tax on households earning less than $250,000 a year, which would be an apparent breach of the president’s pledge not to raise taxes on people earning less than that amount. “I’d have to look through the proposal,” said Gibbs. “I’m not sure that’s correct.”

House Republicans Gave Obama Their Health Care Proposals Weeks Ahead of Thursday’s Summit
(CNSNews.com)
– Weeks ahead of Thursday’s “bipartisan” meeting on health care reform, House Republicans offered their ideas to President Barack Obama in a booklet presented to the president during his visit to the Republican Party retreat in Baltimore on Jan. 29. The 27-page booklet includes proposals on health care as well as six other issues Republicans consider vital to America’s continued prosperity: jobs, fiscal responsibility, open government and transparency, energy, savings, national security and fiscal reform.

Fifteen Years With No Global Warming Doesn’t Mean There’s No Global Warming, Says EPA Chief
(CNSNews.com)
– Fifteen years with no statistically significant increase in global temperatures does not mean that the human race is not causing the climate to change, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told CNSNews.com on Tuesday.

White House Fails to Respond to Boehner’s Call for Resignation of Catholic-Bashing Obama Adviser
(CNSNews.com)
– The White House is not responding to questions about House Republican Leader John Boehner’s renewed call for the resignation of Harry Knox, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, who recently stood by his assertion that Pope Benedict XVI is “hurting people in the name of Jesus.” Boehner said at a Feb. 3 press briefing that he believes Knox is an “anti-Catholic bigot” who should not be a presidential adviser.

Sen. Udall Sees China As Impetus for U.S. Cap-and-Trade Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) urged his fellow lawmakers to push ahead with “cap-and-trade” energy legislation and the creation of “green jobs,” saying that China is competition for the United States and does not “have to go through the democratic processes that we do.”

Criticism of Obama’s OIC Envoy Raises Questions About the Need for Such an Envoy
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama’s decision to appoint an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has focused renewed attention on the Saudi-based body, and what role a U.S. envoy should play.

Small business odd man out in Reid’s bill
Senator Chuck Grassley says small businesses are the “job-creating machine” of the U.S. economy, yet the Senate majority leader’s jobs bill does not adequately help small businesses.

Grisly discovery at Penn. abortuary
State investigators have shut down a West Philadelphia abortion clinic for the second time in two days.

‘Virtual community’ for home schooling
The American Family Association has launched an online, virtual community for homeschool families.

PTC hopes to keep Stern off ‘Idol’
The PTC is asking the Fox Television Network to publicly state that shock-jock Howard Stern is not going to have a role on American Idol.

Feature: The cost of global-warming hysteria
Despite continuing Chicken Little-style cries of fear, the moral of the global-warming story remains the same: don’t believe everything you hear.

Judge Expected to Free Last 2 Baptist Volunteers from Jail
A Haiti judge is expected to free the last two American volunteers suspected of child kidnapping. Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said he would make his decision this week.

Ecumenical Head: Our Call Is to Carry the Cross

Multi-Site Churches Spreading in Post-Christian Europe

Report: U.S. Foreign Officers Need Religious Education

High Court Declines to Hear Ex-Lesbian Mother’s Appeal

Stephen Baldwin Fan Tries to ‘Restore’ Bankrupt Star

Healthcare summit in a ‘toxic’ setting
A healthcare reform expert says the White House and Democrats have created a “toxic” atmosphere in Washington for today’s healthcare summit by expressing their willingness to pursue the “nuclear option” to pass their healthcare legislation.

Complaint: Liberty U. engaged in ‘partisan politicking’
The IRS has been asked to investigate Liberty University for allegedly violating its tax-exempt status.

Muslim home schooling on the rise
A messianic Jewish leader sees pros and cons to Muslim children being home schooled.

From cyber-scared to cyber-savvy
A non-profit organization dedicated to keeping children safe online has launched a major initiative to get parents involved.

Faith, family films garner awards
The movies The Blind Side and Up have been recognized for their excellence by the Christian Film & Television Commission.

Obama Administration Did Not Consult Its Own Homeland Security Secretary Before Deciding to Try KSM in NYC
(CNSNews.com)
– Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was not consulted before the decision was made to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terror suspects in U.S. federal court in New York City. At a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday, she also said she has not taken part in discussions since that decision was made, including any on whether the trials should be moved to another location.

Obama Administration Using Accounting Gimmicks That Would Make Enron ‘Blush,’ Republican Lawmaker Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) says the Obama administration is using an accounting “gimmick” in its budget by not including the debt owed by mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Hensarling has co-sponsored a bill that would require President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget to include the liabilities of Fannie and Freddie in the national debt calculation.

Rep. Hoyer No Comment On Tax Hikes in Obama Health Plan, Calls Idea ‘A Suggestion’
(CNSNews.com)
– House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) would not say whether he supports a proposal from President Barack Obama to use certain tax increases to pay for health care reform. He described the idea as “a suggestion” at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday.

Rep. Hoyer Says No Set Deadline on Health Care Reform
(CNSNews.com)
– While Congress is scheduled to be in session for a month following Thursday’s bipartisan summit meeting on health care, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he can’t promise there will be any congressional action during that time. He described the Thursday’s summit as a conference.

Poll: 51 Percent of Americans More Afraid of Government Making Health-Care Decisions than Private Insurance Companies
(CNSNews.com)
– In a national telephone survey conducted last week, 1,000 likely voters were asked: “When it comes to health care decisions, who do you fear the most: the federal government or private insurance companies?” Fifty-one percent said the federal government, 39 percent said private insurance companies and 10 percent said they were not sure.

House Passes Bill That Would Create More Uncertainty for Insurance Industry
(CNSNews.com)
– By an overwhelming vote of 406-19, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would remove the longstanding federal anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill will provide more competition for the insurance industry. But one insurance industry trade group warned that the bill will have no practical effect, except to increase uncertainty – and litigation — for the insurance industry.

Sen. Specter and Sec. Clinton: Congressional Debate ‘Weakening’ America Abroad
(CNSNews.com)
– Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both said that partisan debate in Congress has hamstrung President Barack Obama’s foreign policy efforts, and weakened America abroad. Specter also said that Congress should “be backing up” Obama, rather than fighting over his policies and appointments.

Specter Suggests Oval Office Meeting between Obama, Syrians, and Israelis
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) on Wednesday suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be invited to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama and the Israeli leadership. Specter also suggested that such a “nudge” might entice the Syrian dictator to return to peace negotiations with Israel.

Syria Seems to Ignore U.S. Calls to End Its ‘Troubling’ Relationship With Iran
(CNSNews.com)
– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Damascus on Thursday, one day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told U.S. lawmakers that the Obama administration is urging Syria to move away from its “deeply troubling” relationship with Tehran. Meanwhile, press reports from Syria on Thursday quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that Arab nations will establish a Middle East “without Zionists and without colonialists.”

Killing Terrorists Should Not Be Condemned, Israeli Opposition Leader Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni wants the international community to stop criticizing the targeting of terrorists. ‘The fact that a terrorist was killed, and it doesn’t matter if it was in Dubai or Gaza, is good news to those fighting terrorism,’ she was quoted as saying.

SEIU Boss Open to Serving on Obama Deficit Reduction Commission, Supports More Deficit Spending
(CNSNews.com)
– Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern said he would be “honored” to serve on President Barack Obama’s proposed deficit reduction commission, after it was reported that the White House was considering him for the post. He went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to push for additional deficit spending to stimulate job creation.

Germany’s First Female Protestant Head Resigns
Just months after becoming the first woman to lead the largest Protestant church body in Germany, Bishop Margot Kaessmann has resigned.

Campaign Gives Christians Megaphone to Support Gays

NCAA Removes Focus on the Family Ad from Site

Study: Belief in ‘Caring’ God Helps Relieve Depression

Pastor Breaks Islam Code for Christians

Christian Video Game Companies Left Behind Games, Digital Praise Announce Merger

Air Force Admits Conservative Leader was ‘Disinvited’ to Speak at Prayer Luncheon Because of His Views on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
(CNSNews.com)
– The U.S. Air Force admits that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was “disinvited” from speaking at a national prayer luncheon held Thursday at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland because of the conservative leader’s views opposing President Obama’s efforts to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – the military policy on homosexuality. “The Chaplain’s Office retracted Mr. Perkins’ invitation after his recent public comments made many who planned to attend the event uncomfortable,” the Andrews base public affairs office said in a statement issued late Thursday.

First U.S. Envoy to the OIC Says the Position Does Have Value
(CNSNews.com)
– The first U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, appointed during the last year of President Bush’s second term, believes the post is a valuable one and that his successor, named by President Obama this month, will do a good job. Cumber defended the position, saying “the OIC is the only forum where the U.S. can simultaneously interact with 57 Muslim-majority nations on the host of issues involving the Muslim world and the U.S.”

Muslims Furious Over Israeli Decision to Highlight Ancient Link
(CNSNews.com)
– A decision by the Israeli government to include a location with an almost 4,000 year-old link to the origins of Judaism in a list of 150 national heritage sites has sparked an uproar among Muslims – and drawn the disapproval of the Obama administration. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insisted Thursday that the decision to include the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on the list would not in any way change the status quo at the site, which has long been shared by Jews and Muslims.

Swine Flu Casualties Far Below White House Projections, Latest Mortality Data Show
(CNSNews.com)
– New statistics on fatalities from the H1N1 flu strain show that it is no longer a “pandemic” in the United States, and that fatalities in America never came close to the levels projected by the White House last fall. Outbreaks in North and South America are now at a low-level, the World Health Organization said.

Polls: Americans More Concerned With Arrogant Politicians and Bad Bills Rather Than Bickering and Gridlock
(CNSNews.com)
– According to a new Zogby poll, Americans are more concerned about seeing bad bills passed than getting nothing done, and more annoyed by politicians who think they are smarter than Americans than partisan bickering.

McCain rips Obama for ‘unsavory dealmaking’
A tense exchange during Thursday’s healthcare summit in Washington had the feel of a presidential campaign.

Perspective – Oba-Kabuki: A box-office bomb
The Oba-Kabuki healthcare show at Blair House kicked off with a big lie on Thursday morning — and it all went downhill from there.

Submarine ban on females may take a dive
Military readiness watchdog Elaine Donnelly disagrees with the recent decision by the Department of the Navy to lift a decades-old policy that prohibits women from serving aboard Navy submarines.

Veteran sees invitation to prayer luncheon yanked
Tony Perkins, a pro-family leader and military veteran, has been “dis-invited” to speak at a luncheon at Andrews AFB after he criticized President Obama’s call for lifting the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Teachers appeal mass firings
The entire staff of teachers fired in a radical attempt to improve one of the worst performing high schools in Rhode Island plans to appeal their dismissals to school authorities.
Barring Critic of Obama’s Gays-in-Military Policy From Prayer Meeting Is Attack on Free Speech, Conservatives Say
(CNSNews.com)
– Conservative leaders and members of Congress expressed outrage Friday that the Air Force had blacklisted Family Research Council President Tony Perkins from speaking at Andrews Air Force Base because of his position on the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com that he’s “disappointed” the Air Force would “un-invite” Perkins because of his positions.

Napolitano: People From Countries Tied to Terrorism Could ‘Potentially’ Enter USA;  Reports Show Thousands Already Have
(CNSNews.com)
– Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators on Thursday it was a national security concern that people from countries with ties to terror could “potentially” gain entry into America by crossing the country’s southern border. Her remarks on “special interest” persons came after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked her about the ongoing violence in Mexico and the possibility of that violence spilling over into the United States.

Pence Says Obama Needs to Fire Catholic-Bashing Adviser
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) says the time is “long overdue” for President Barack Obama to fire Harry Knox from the White House Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships because of the “vehement anti-Catholic statements” Knox has made.

Pelosi Says She’s Running ‘Most Ethical’ Congress Ever, But Won’t Ask Rangel to Resign Chairmanship—For Now
(CNSNews.com)
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who pledged to run the most ethical Congress in history — noted that the ethics committee is looking into other issues involving Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and she made it clear that she will wait for the outcome of those investigations before taking action against her colleague.

U.K. Conservatives See Lead Erode As Election Approaches
(CNSNews.com)
– The Conservative Party’s hopes of returning to power for the first time in 13 years took a blow Sunday with a poll giving it the narrowest lead over the ruling Labor Party in two years. The British election will feature live, televised U.S.-style leader debates, and it was reported last week that former White House communications director Anita Dunn has been hired to help Tory leader David Cameron prepare for the three 90-minute encounters.

In Continuing Defiance of U.S., Syrian President Meets With Leaders of Iran and Hezbollah
(CNSNews.com)
– After scorning the Obama administration’s appeals to move away from Iran, Syrian President Bashir Assad late last week disregarded another appeal from Washington by holding talks with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. As the administration prepares to send an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in five years, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Senate hearing last week that Assad’s close relationship with Iran and his support for Hezbollah in Lebanon were among the issues on which it was pressuring Assad.

Obama plan favors unionism
A union watchdog group believes an Obama administration plan for government contracting would be harmful to small businesses and lead to further compulsory unionism.

Perspective: We need green money, not green jobs
The beauty of the left is that facts will never get in the way of ideology. Take the “green jobs” movement, for example — one of Barack Obama’s babies.

Dissident Lutherans forming new denomination
A new Lutheran denomination is being formed for congregations opposed to the homosexual-friendly policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

NCAA nixes family ad, Focus ‘befuddled’
The NCAA has withdrawn Focus on the Family’s banner ad on its website, apparently because of the organization’s stance on homosexual relationships.

Perspective: Race-baiting the Super Bowl
The old adage says that religion and politics don’t mix. Someone needs to tell FOX Sports writer Jason Whitlock that sports and politics don’t either

Iraqi Christians Protest Killings
Hundreds of Iraqi Christians on Sunday protested against the recent flare up of violence against them in northern Iraq.

EU Moves to Protect Rights of Persecuted Christians

Lawsuit Settled; 77-Foot Cross to Go Up

Utah Bill Criminalizing Illegal Abortions Sparks Debate

Deceased Man Leaves $1.2M to Salvation Army

Shane Claiborne: Faith Not Excuse to Get into Heaven

ACORN workers cleared in NYC pimp video
ACORN employees caught on video advising a couple posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend to lie about her profession and launder her earnings did not commit a crime, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

HUD study – a ‘classic attempt’ to create a crisis
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing a first-ever study of alleged housing discrimination against homosexuals.

Medicaid – the ‘ghetto of our healthcare system’
Healthcare reform expert Grace-Marie Turner warns that the healthcare legislation Democrats are pushing will be a major expansion of a welfare program that is already being administered poorly.

Perspective: Alice in healthcare
Nothing would lower costs medical costs more than having each patient pay those costs — and nothing is less likely to happen.

Fox anchor anchored in Jesus
Kelly Wright, an anchor with the Fox News Network, believes Jesus Christ is the only true hope for America.

White House Not Ready to Deny Democrat’s Claim That Administration Offered Him Taxpayer-Funded Job If He Wouldn’t Run Against Sen. Specter
(CNSNews.com)
– White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday he would have to “check on it” before he could deny Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D-Pa.) claim that the administration had offered him a high-ranking job in the administration in exchange for not mounting a primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who switched parties last year, briefly giving the Democrats a 60-vote majority in the Senate. “So, at this point, the White House is not ready to deny what Sestak said?” CNSNews.com asked Gibbs. “No. I think I said I would check on it, on the situation,” said Gibbs.

Mexican Drug Cartels Active Nationwide, Obama Administration Officials Say
(CNSNews.com)
– A senior Obama administration official said on Monday that Mexican drug cartels are being targeted inside the United States more than along the border with Mexico, echoing remarks last week by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that cartels are operating throughout the country. Assistant Secretary of State David Johnson made the remarks at a State Department press briefing when CNSNews.com asked if the plan to combat drug trafficking and money laundering around the world included dealing with Mexican drug cartels in the United States.

First Lady Credits School Cafeteria Programs for Bolstering National Security
(CNSNews.com)
– First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday told a school nutrition conference that individuals who work in school cafeterias across the country not only educate and feed children, but help to strengthen national security.

Inhofe Ranked Most Conservative Senator, Sherrod Brown Most Liberal
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is the “most conservative” member of the Senate, and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is the “most liberal,” according to National Journal magazine. The National Journal reached its conclusions by analyzing the votes of all the U.S. senators on economic, social and foreign policy issues in 2009.

Individual Mandate in President’s Health Care Plan Apparently Violates Obama’s Tax Pledge
(CNSNews.com)
– The Senate health care bill included a financial penalty for anyone who goes without health insurance coverage for any month of the year, and if President Obama’s bill does the same thing, it could violate his pledge not to raise taxes on any American making less than $250,000 per year.

Only 34 Percent Support More Financial Regulations, Survey Shows
(CNSNews.com)
– Only 34 percent of Americans say the government should impose further regulations on the country’s financial industry, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey published on Feb. 26. The survey also revealed that a plurality – 47 percent – oppose more government regulation of banks and investment houses, a figure that has declined slightly from the 52 percent opposition observed in December 2009.

‘Descendants of Mohammed’ Confront Newspapers Over Cartoons, Demanding Apologies and Eyeing Lawsuits
(CNSNews.com)
– After securing an apology from one Danish newspaper for publishing a cartoon satirizing Mohammed, a Saudi lawyer now plans to confront another 15 newspapers, filing lawsuits against them if necessary. Faisal Yamani says he is acting on behalf of eight Muslim organizations representing “descendants of Mohammed.”

New Website to Give Citizens Cash Incentive to Hold Public Officials Accountable
(CNSNews.com)
– The new Web site, “ArroganceInOffice.com,” aims to generate tips from the public on displays of arrogance by elected public officials at all levels of government, with cash prizes to the best submitted examples.

Abortion Ban Does Not Mean More Maternal Deaths, Chilean Study Finds

(CNSNews.com)
– Initial findings by a biomedical researcher examining the drop in maternal deaths in the last 50 years in Chile challenges the claim made by global abortion lobbyists that broad abortion laws are necessary to guard women’s health. “This study provides evidence that the legal status of the therapeutic abortion is not related with maternal mortality reduction.

Stupak Rejects Hoyer’s New Claim That Senate Health Bill Bars Funding of Abortion
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), sponsor of the successful amendment to the House health care bill that prohibits federal funds from going to any health care plan that covers abortions, rejected the assertion made Tuesday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) that the Senate health care bill prohibits federal funding of abortion. This is important because President Obama’s current plan to enact health-care reform requires the House to pass the Senate bill, a bill that Stupak has said he will not support.

Justice Department Won’t Name the Attorneys Who Worked on Terror Cases Despite Request From GOP Senators
(CNSNews.com)
– After a conservative group posted a video on Tuesday calling for the Justice Department to release the names of department lawyers who previously worked on cases involving terror suspects, a DOJ spokesman responded with a statement that still does not name the attorneys. Republican lawmakers have raised conflict-of-interest concerns about lawyers who represented or advocated on behalf of Guantanamo Bay detainees before joining the Justice Department.

Sebelius Accuses GOP of Using ‘Politics of Obstruction’ on Health Care
(CNSNews.com)
– Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told physicians and others at the American Medical Association conference in Washington that President Barack Obama will not start from scratch on health care legislation and will “move forward” to get a bill passed. She said there was “overlap” of what Republicans and Democrats want in health care legislation, including the elimination of waste and fraud in the government-run Medicare and Medicaid programs, but Sebelius said Obama and Democrats are still dedicated to universal health care.

New Calls for Obama Administration to Add Venezuela to Terror-Sponsor List
(CNSNews.com)
– Accusations about links between the Venezuelan government and terrorists in Colombia and Spain add weight to calls to designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism, a Latin American specialist said Tuesday. Heritage Foundation scholar Ray Walser was commenting on claims by a Spanish prosecuting judge that President Hugo Chavez’s government had assisted two terror groups that plotted to assassinate Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Obama Administration’s Stance on Falkland Islands Dispute Seen As Betrayal by Some in U.K.
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration’s decision to not to back Britain in its dispute with Argentina over the Falkland Islands has left British commentators pondering the state of the “special relationship.” Standing alongside Hillary Clinton in Buenos Aires on Monday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner expressed the desire to negotiate with Britain over the islands. Clinton agreed with her host that the two countries should “sit down” and negotiate. She also did not rule out a U.S. role.

Global-Warming Scientists ‘Need to Go Back to Square One,’ Rep. Barton Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Global warming has not met scientific criteria, and scientists need to find a theory that matches the facts, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said Tuesday at the U.S. “This whole theory of global warming is just that: It’s a theory. It’s based on models.”

Rep. Boehner Defends Sen. Bunning’s Reason for Blocking Benefits Extension As ‘Legitimate’
(CNSNews.com)
– House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) defended Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) hold on a $10-billion extension in unemployment and other benefits, saying the senator has “a legitimate argument.” Democrats just passed pay-go legislation, and not even a week after the president signed it into law, they want to exempt the first bill that comes across the Senate floor,” Boehner said.

Judge rules against religious expression
A judge in Montana has ruled against a high school valedictorian who was not allowed to speak at her graduation ceremony because she wanted to give God credit for her success.

Mail delivery – time for open competition?
The U.S. Postal Service is making bleak predictions about its financial future, leaving many observers to wonder if a taxpayer bailout is in the offing since Congress sets many of the rules the agency operates under.

Rifqa’s immigration status tenuous
A former Muslim, now a Christian pastor, is concerned that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary could be deported back to Sri Lanka when she turns 18 if she is unable to get approved for permanent U.S. residency.

Chaplain Corps threatened by policy change
A pro-family leader and former military officer is very concerned about the future of the U.S. military Chaplain Corps if President Obama is successful in ending the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Parenting: Breaking the cycle of teen drug abuse
Don’t ever think that a treatment program or rehab is a “cure.” It’s just a fresh start down the road to recovery.

Luis Palau to Preach to 20,000 at Chinese Megachurch
American evangelist Luis Palau will preach to an overflow crowd of up to 20,000 people at a megachurch in mainland China this month.

High Court Denies Request to Block D.C. Gay Marriage

Shirley Dobson Dismissed from Lawsuit against National Prayer

Prominent Conservative Unseated in Texas Ed Board

Judge Urges Teen Convert, Muslim Parents to Reconcile

Human Rights Group Seeks Freedom for Converts to Worship in Muslim World

God of Islam is ‘biggest terrorist’
The son of a Hamas leader who helped Israel’s security forces kill and arrest members of the Islamic terrorist group says he’s not afraid to die. Mosab Yousef is now a convert to Christianity.

Wildmon steps down
Rev. Don Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association, has resigned as chairman following a lengthy illness — but he’s not setting aside his passion for families and the pro-family movement.

Bible Belt school policy under attack
A battle is brewing in a North Mississippi community over the upcoming high school prom.

Perspective: ‘Paygo means paygo’
In February, President Obama told Congress it must “pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.” All Sen. Jim Bunning did was hold fast to that.

Pastor predicts Obama’s first term will be his last
A conservative black pastor and activist believes President Barack Obama is on course to be a one-term president.

Dems Advance Obama’s Nominee for Justice Department Post, Despite GOP Opposition to Her Pro-Abortion, Anti-War Views
(CNSNews.com)
– The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted 12-7 along party lines for the full Senate to cast an up-or-down vote on Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Republicans say Johnsen’s past activism with liberal groups and her pro-abortion stance disqualify her for the post.

Geneva Summit Will Focus on Countries Mostly Ignored by UN Human Rights Body
(CNSNews.com)
– When the U.N. Human Rights Council continues its month-long session in Geneva on Monday, a coalition of human rights groups will hold a parallel event focusing on some of the items kept off the HRC agenda by its powerful members. The human rights of Iranians, Cubans, Tibetans, Uighurs and Burmese will be the focus of the two-day Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy.

Congressmen Rally Public’s Support to Stop Prosecution of Navy SEALs
(CNSNews.com)
– Members of Congress – this time armed with more than 100,000 signatures – renewed their call for top Pentagon officials to drop charges against three Navy SEALs for allegedly mistreating an al Qaeda terrorist suspected of killing four Americans in Iraq. “They should not be court martialed but hailed as heroes for doing their job,” said Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) at an event outside the Capitol.

Rep. Boehner Rebuts House Speaker Pelosi’s Claim That Health Care Bill Doesn’t Fund Abortion
(CNSNews.com)
– “Under the Senate bill, everyone who buys a health policy at one of the so-called exchanges will pay a monthly abortion fee,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said on Thursday. “That goes into a fund to pay for elective abortions. Now, you can argue that this $1-per-month fee that everyone’s going to be charged isn’t a tax, but you try to explain that to the American people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at her weekly briefing on Thursday, repeated her position that the Senate bill does not fund abortion.

Hatch: Biden Will ‘Go Down in History as a Real Dolt’ If He Overrules Senate Parliamentarian
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Vice President Joe Biden should not use his power as president of the Senate to overrule the Senate parliamentarian on the legitimacy of Democrats using a 51-vote majority to pass their health-care reform bill. Senate bills normally require at least 60 bills to pass.

Senate Republican Leader Won’t Say Whether Bunning Was Right or Wrong in Blocking Unemployment Extension Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wouldn’t say whether his fellow Republican colleague from Kentucky — Sen. Jim Bunning — was right or wrong in arguing that the $10 billion unemployment extension bill should not be passed unless it is paid for without adding to the national debt. “Well, we moved on to a new bill,” Sen. McConnell told CNSNews.com on Wednesday.

Hatch: Media ‘Suckered’ Into Believing Democrats’ ‘Whining and Moaning’ About GOP
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Democrats had “no reason to gripe” over Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) delaying a vote on a benefits extension bill earlier this week because they have “59 votes on their side” and can basically do what they want in the Senate.

Churches Unveil Plan to Ease Plight of Black Men
Three historic black denominations on Wednesday unveiled a new national plan aimed at keeping their young males out of prison and in school and church.

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Introduced amid Opposition

Don Wildmon Resigns as AFA Chairman

Anglican Head Defends Uniqueness of Christ

Pastors Reveal ‘Aha!’ Moments in Ministry

Iranian Pastor Has Visible Marks of Torture, Says Wife

Is Obama buying votes?
A conservative congresswoman is calling for an independent investigation to determine whether President Obama is attempting to trade a federal judgeship for a vote in favor of his healthcare reform plan.

Perspective – The Obama way: Bluster, bully, bribe
Wherever did we get the impression that pay-for-play is the Obama way? Hmmm…let me count the ways.

Soldiers left out of policy change debate
A pro-family leader and former Marine says it will be up to people outside the military to voice concerns about the negative consequences of repealing the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Perspective – Don’t ask, don’t bleed
What’s changed in the debate over the homosexualization of the U.S. military? In truth, the only thing that has changed — thank you, Mr. Obama — is politics.

Hobby Lobby – a heart for health
A Christian-owned national retailer has just opened a health clinic for its full-time employees.

MacArthur Tells Christians: Don’t Fornicate with the World
“The church, if it is to be anything, it is to be absolutely distinct from the culture, absolutely distinct from the world, absolutely distinct from unbelievers,” said prominent author and evangelical pastor John MacArthur.

Christian Youths ‘Cry Out’ for Persecuted Believers

Episcopal Clergy Permitted to Wed Gay Couples in D.C.

Okla. Schools Closer to Offering Bible Course

Washington Bishop: Religion Is Fault Line in Many Conflicts

UK Churches Campaign for Nuclear-Free World

Son says Billy Graham still writing, counseling
Rev. Billy Graham has retired from preaching, but the 91-year-old evangelist is still writing books and offering spiritual counsel to callers and visitors.

Homeless congregation serves others
Rescue Atlanta is a church that focuses on inner city residents and the homeless, and their approach is unique and effective.

Church services halted at public housing unit
A Dallas church that has held Sunday worship service at a public housing apartment complex for the elderly for 14 years has been ordered to stop.

Men filing more sexual harassment complaints
The number of sexual harassment claims filed by men doubled over the last decade.

Soros manipulates euro – is U.S. dollar next?
Jerome Corsi suspects left-wing billionaire George Soros is trying to manipulate the euro as part of his goal of establishing a one-world currency and a one-world government.


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