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 – Jonathon Edwards

May 15, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

by

 Jonathan Edwards
 (1703-1758)

Preached July 8th, 1741

“In due time their foot will slip”–Deut. 32:35

Transcription update copyright © Tony Capoccia, 2007

In this verse the vengeance of God is threatened upon the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God’s chosen people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, despite all of God’s wonderful works towards them, remained without sense, having no discernment in them (Deut. 32:28). After all the cultivations of Heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as shown in verses 32 and 33. The verse that I have chosen for my text, “In due time their foot will slide,” seems to imply the following things, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Jonathon Edwards…

Genesis 6:5-8

January 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This week, we pick up with Genesis chapter six. We’ve seen that things have gone downhill, but it seems like they just keep getting worse. Man has become violent. Whether you believe that the sons of God were the descendants of Seth or fallen angels, the result was vileness and violence. Things have gotten so bad that every thought of man’s heart was evil. Many people will read that and think, “Wow, that must have been a horrible time to live. Everyone was only thinking evil in their hearts continually”. The truth is, nothing has changed! Look around today in America alone. Pornography runs rampant and rakes in billions of dollars a year from men and women. Abortion, the legal right to kill your unborn (or almost born) child has become commonplace to many people. Homosexuality is a stain on our nation. Men committing lewd acts with other men, women committing the same acts with other women, in outright rebellion to God’s order of Creation. Marriages are torn apart by infidelity and adultery. Idols are raised almost on a daily basis as people try to find a “god” that will let them live exactly how they want to live. Evolution is touted as fact, even though there is little evidence (and the story continues to change), and few stop to realize that it’s a religion just like any other. Continue Reading Genesis 6:5-8…

Newslinks 01/09/11

January 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

Passion to 22,000 Students: Be Free, Fully Alive in Jesus
People want to be here. That’s the sense you get when you come to the Passion 2011 conference that opened Saturday, New Year’s Day, with 22,000 students.

Beth Moore: Control Your Mind, Focus on ‘One Thing’

 

American Churches Begin 2011 with Prayer, Fasting

 

Atheists Declare Religions as ‘Scams’ in New Ad

 

Global Church Body Condemns ‘Vicious Attack’ in Egypt

 

Islamic Extremists Protest Efforts to Change Blasphemy Laws and Free Christian

Louie Giglio Surprises Passion Crowd with Haitian Family
Attendees of the Passion conference on Sunday heard about a family that survived the Haiti earthquake that destroyed their home and killed two family members. What the crowd did not expect was to see them walk out on stage. Continue Reading Newslinks 01/09/11…

Genesis 3:8-13

November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Continue Reading Genesis 3:8-13…

Persecution Fridays: Ethiopia

September 3, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Ethiopia: Muslims Attack Convert

On Aug. 21, Mohamed Ali Garas, a prominent Somali church leader and convert from Islam, was beaten by Muslims in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to International Christian Concern.

Mohamed was walking to his new home when two Somali Muslim men struck him on the head with a wooden club and knocked him to the ground. The men continued hitting and kicking him in the chest and stomach. Mohamed had fled to Ethiopia from Somalia in 2005 after Somali authorities attempted to arrest him. He had recently moved to a new neighborhood in Addis Ababa because Somali Muslims threatened to attack him. At last report, Mohamed was being treated at a local hospital for his injuries, which included a damaged kneecap.

In recent months, Somali Christians living in Ethiopia have come under increased attacks from Somali Muslims. A Christian man was assaulted in July for reading a book critical of the Prophet Muhammad. A Somali pastor in the Ethiopian capital described this latest attack as “an apparent attempt to scare the Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa who consider Ethiopia a safe haven from religious persecution.”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for Mohamed and all believers in Somalia, who risk their lives for their faith in Christ. Ask God to give Mohamed healing. Pray that his attackers will be brought to justice. Pray that he and other Somali believers facing persecution in Ethiopia will continue to trust in the Lord to guide and embolden them as they serve Him.

Newslinks 08/15/10

August 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Obama backs ‘gay’ group at U.N.
A homosexual activist group has side-stepped normal procedures to gain a non-government organization status at the United Nations.

GOP: Obama developing ‘backdoor amnesty plan’
The Obama administration is considering ways it could go around lawmakers to let illegal immigrants stay in the United States, according to an agency memo.

Another Democrat facing ethics charges
A second House Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, could be facing an ethics trial this fall, further complicating the midterm election outlook for the party as it battles to hold onto its majority.

Amish communities growing rapidly
A new study estimates the number of Amish in North America has doubled since 1992 and increased nearly 10 percent in the past two years alone.

Baptist World Alliance Confirms New President
Virginia native John Upton was elected Saturday to lead the Baptist World Alliance as its new president. The long-time Baptist succeeds David Coffey of the United Kingdom. Continue Reading Newslinks 08/15/10…

Newslinks 08/01/10

August 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

LCMS President Laments Churches’ Pro-Gay Directions
The outgoing president of the second largest Lutheran church body in America lamented the directions taken on matters of sexuality by some member churches of the Lutheran World Federation.

Lutheran World Federation Elects Palestinian Bishop as President

Orthodox Anglicans Urged to Hold Fast to Sound Teaching

Conservative Leaders Sound Off Against Kenya’s ‘Pro-Abortion’ Constitution

Thousands of Christian Zionists Gather to Support Israel

Government-Incited Gang in Vietnam Attacks House Church

Energy Department Official Can’t Say How Much Greenhouse Gas Is Generated on Capitol Hill
(CNSNews.com)
– At a House subcommittee hearing last week, an Energy Department official could not answer a question from a Republican lawmaker about how much pollution is emitted in the process of generating electricity for federal government operations in the nation’s capital. When CNSNews.com asked for the greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the federal government operations in Washington, D.C., a spokesperson for the Energy Department said that greenhouse gas emissions are not measured by regions, but by each agency nationwide. The spokesperson also said that in the future, greenhouse gas emissions will be collected by zip code.

Lockerbie Probe May Prove Uncomfortable for Obama Administration
(CNSNews.com)
– The four Democratic U.S. senators probing the early release of the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie bombing believe there were links to a BP oil deal, but their inquiry may have the unintended consequence of raising questions about just how strongly the Obama administration opposed the Libyan’s release. Scottish government ministers, stung by accusations that they released Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to ease a massive oil exploration contract in Libya, are pointing out that it is the U.S. government that is blocking the release of two documents relating to the decision.

U.S. Spent $314,613 Studying Increase in Family Violence After NFL Upset Losses
(CNSNews.com)
– The National Institutes of Health spent $314,613 over two years on a study that found family violence increases about three times as much on the Fourth of July as it does after the local NFL team suffers an “upset” loss. The researchers also determined that an “upset” loss by the local NFL home team was not linked to nearly as great an increase in family violence as were Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve.

Sen. Baucus Won’t Say If Obama’s Controversial Recess-Appointee to Run Medicare Will Get Confirmation Hearing
(CNSNews.com)
– Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would not say whether Dr. Donald Berwick, who received a recess appointment to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, would ever receive a Senate confirmation hearing in the committee that Baucus oversees, as the Constitution requires. On Capitol Hill last week, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Baucus, “Why didn’t you schedule a hearing for Dr. Berwick?”

Schumer’s New Campaign Finance Bill Preserves NRA Loophole
(CNSNews.com)
– An updated version of a campaign finance bill written by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) preserves a controversial loophole that would exempt the National Rifle Association from tough new disclosure and speech restrictions during election cycles. The new bill, an updated version of Schumer’s original DISCLOSE Act, was introduced on the Senate floor on July 21 without being referred to committee.

Massive US-South Korea Naval Maneuvers Held Amid North Korean Threats
(CNSNews.com)
– Despite characteristically belligerent rhetoric, there were no reports of North Korean troop movements or threatening behavior as South Korea and the United States continued large-scale naval exercises Monday aimed at deterring aggression by the isolated communist state. A statement by U.S. Army Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said the drills were “designed to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behavior must stop.”

ACLJ Asks Commission to Make N.Y. Building a Landmark to Keep 13-Story Mosque from Being Built at Ground Zero
(CNSNews.com)
– A conservative civil liberties group has formally requested landmark status for a building in lower Manhattan that an Islamic group wants to replace with a 13-story mosque and community center. The American Center for Law and Justice said it is “urging city officials to landmark the site because it stands as a symbol of America’s strength and survival in the face of brutal, sadistic terrorism.”

Rangel a liability to the party
An ethics watchdog organization believes Congressman Charles Rangel is becoming an increasing liability to the Democratic Party — thus the decision to file ethics charges against the veteran lawmaker.

AZ judge doesn’t ignore reality
Immigration reform activist Ira Mehlman is encouraged that the judge hearing challenges to Arizona’s immigration law has raised the realities of what’s happening in the state because of out-of-control illegal immigration there.

Students support prof’s conservative stand
Support is mounting for a University of Illinois professor who was fired for telling students in his Catholicism class that he agrees with the Catholic Church’s teaching against homosexuality.

Sex-ed program delayed, modified
Outrage from parents has apparently resulted in delaying the implementation of a proposed controversial sex-ed program in Montana.

Perspective: Real change is possible
As long as there are Christians willing to consecrate themselves to God in prayer for the spiritual state of America, real change is possible.

Ted Haggard Aims for Simplicity with New Church
Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard is done with the dark auditoriums, smoke machines, emotional hype and the dry professional preachers.

Megachurch Pastor Seeks 100,000 Christians to ‘Save America’

Traditional Marriage Group Goes on 23-City Campaign

German Christians Pray After Love Parade Tragedy

LWF President-Elect: Who Could Imagine the Holy Land without Christians?

Study: Few Americans Say Faith is Top Priority

Obama Won’t Speak In Person at Boy Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Celebration But Will Appear on ABC TV’s ‘The View’
(CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama, the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, will not speak in person before tens of thousands of boys gathered at the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia. However, the president is sending a videotaped message to the scouts to be played on Wednesday, the same day he will be in Manhattan to tape an appearance on ABC’s talk show “The View.”

Britain’s National Health Service, Praised by Obama’s Medicare Chief, to Undergo Cost-Cutting Overhaul
(CNSNews.com)
– Britain’s National Health Service, which rations basic health care services to control costs, will undergo major budget cuts and restructuring, ostensibly to make the government-run system less bureaucratic and more “bottom-up,” according to detailed news reports over the weekend from the United Kingdom. Dr. Donald Berwick, who recently received a recess-appointment to run the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in America, has praised Britain’s National Health Service, saying he loves the single-payer system.

U.S. Opposition to Release of Lockerbie Convict Was Clear and Consistent, State Department Says
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration has no plans to release any further correspondence with Scotland relating to the release of the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie bombing. “Nothing more needs to be released,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told CNSNews on Monday, after the department made public the text of a letter sent to Scottish ministers eight days before Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was freed and flown home to Libya. Ahead of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the matter scheduled for Thursday, CNSNews asked Crowley whether a final, still-unreleased document would now be made available.

President Obama Once Again Makes Erroneous Claim That Foreign Entities Can Spend Unlimited Amounts in U.S. Elections
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama on Monday incorrectly stated that a landmark campaign-finance ruling allows foreign entities to pour money into U.S. elections. It’s the second time he’s made such a claim, and this time it happened while he was promoting the Democrats’ DISCLOSE Act in a Rose Garden speech. The Senate on Tuesday is taking up the legislation that would put strict new requirements on campaign advertising. The House already has passed a similar version of the bill.

Homeland Security Efforts to Combat Increase in Human Trafficking-Related Violence Along Border ‘Static,’ GAO Says
(CNSNews.com)
– In recent years there has been an increase in violence associated with human trafficking along the southwest border. Despite this, the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency’s investigative resources committed to alien smuggling in that area have remained “static,” according to a government audit.

Opposition Mounts Against ObamaCare Tax Provision
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Business advocates are hoping Congress scraps a tax provision in the health care overhaul law that they say is overly burdensome to smaller companies.

New Claims of ISI Terrorist Links Overshadow Pakistan’s Decision to Extend Army Chief’s Job
(CNSNews.com)
– The decision to extend the tenure of Pakistan’s powerful army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani comes at a time of renewed scrutiny into alleged collusion between the military intelligence agency, which Kayani oversaw from 2004-2007, and terrorists in Afghanistan. The move comes amid controversy over a cache of Afghanistan battlefield reports released by the whistleblower site, WikiLeaks, some of them describing collusion between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Former Surgeon General Koop Calls Kagan’s Alteration of ACOG’s Partial Birth Abortion Statement ‘Unethical’ and ‘Disgraceful’
(CNSNews.com)
– In an open letter delivered last week, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is urging senators to vote against Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, in light of her role in the alteration of a medical statement about partial-birth abortion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). “I was deeply disturbed to learn the Elena Kagan, the nominee for Supreme Court scheduled for a Senate committee vote next week, manipulated the medical policy statement on partial-birth abortion of a major medical organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in January 1997,” Koop wrote in his letter.

Washington State to Allow Pharmacies A Choice in Stocking ‘Morning-After Pill’
(CNSNews.com)
– Pharmacists in the State of Washington may soon be free to choose the medications they want to provide in their pharmacies after a lawsuit prompted the state’s pharmacy board to reevaluate the current regulations. Pharmacists in Washington currently are required to stock the “morning-after pill,” which is marketed as Plan B, regardless of any moral or ethical concerns they may have.

Ford alive because of bailouts?
While GM and Chrysler struggle financially, the other of the “Big Three” — the one that refused government bailout money — is doing fine.

GOP faction challenges military ban
A conservative military watchdog says a “gay Republican group” is attempting to use the courts to bring irreparable harm to the military.

AZ law simply good business practice
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently called the owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team to task for his opposition to the state’s tough immigration enforcement bill.

Praying pro-lifers see positive results
Pro-lifers who prayed at a well-publicized abortion clinic in Illinois are claiming success after a number of women chose life over abortion.

Perspective: Pornography and women
Dignity is not a quality most girls value — it’s not a quality they see held in high regard, or modeled by our female cultural icons.

‘No Leverage’ in Newt Gingrich’s Ground Zero Mosque Argument
Newt Gingrich offers a “provocative” argument about the proposed Ground Zero mosque and Saudi Arabia’s church building policy, but it has “no leverage,” said a religious freedom expert.

Anglican Panel Rejects Proposal to Cut Episcopal Church

PC(USA) Pensions Board Proceeds Cautiously with Domestic Partner Benefits

Evangelicals Confront Western Europe’s Spiritual Malaise

U.S. Should Help N. Korean Orphans, Say Korean-Americans

Christian Nursing Student Nearly Dies from Assault in Pakistan

Biden Claims $600 Billion in Stimulus Funds Spent — ‘We’re Building a Government That Delivers More Bang for the Buck Than Ever Before’
(CNSNews.com)
– Vice President Joe Biden says “Americans deserve a government that actually works,” and he also assured liberals that the Obama administration is “trying to build a government that delivers much more bang for the buck than it ever has before.” In remarks on Tuesday, Biden said the government has spent $600 billion in economic stimulus funds — “and we’re seeing waste, fraud, and abuse claims at just about two-tenths of 1 percent of the entire amount of money spent.”

Hoyer Refuses to Rule Out Raising the Retirement Age to Address Social Security
(CNSNews.com)
– House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday would not rule out raising the retirement age in attempt to save Social Security. “What I have said, in a speech that was pretty specific, was that I think everything needs to be on the table,” Hoyer said.

EPA Puts ‘Environmental Justice’ Front and Center in Its Rulemaking Process
(CNSNews.com)
– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a 55-page “guidance” to help its employees “advance environmental justice” for low-income and minority communities. “Achieving environmental justice is an Agency priority and should be factored into every decision,” the document says.

Progress Towards July 2011 Troop Drawdown in Afghanistan Mixed, U.S. Envoy Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, when questioned during a Senate panel hearing, indicated that the progress towards Obama’s July 2011 drawdown date is mixed, and he added that “there is no single answer yet to this extraordinarily complicated situation.”

Rep. Pence: Medicare Chief Berwick ‘Not Entitled to That Job,’ Must Explain Praise for UK ‘Socialist Health Care System’
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) says he is concerned about the prospect of health care rationing following the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to serve as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services. “I think it was wrong for the president to bypass the confirmation process at a time when the American people are so focused on legislation where the ink is barely dry,” Pence told CNSNews.com.

Democrat Postpones Senate Hearing on Lockerbie Controversy, After Key Witnesses Rebuff His Request to ‘Clear the Air’
(CNSNews.com)
– Accusing Scottish and British officials and BP executives of “stonewalling,” the Democratic senator who was to have chaired a hearing this week on the Lockerbie controversy announced Tuesday that it would be postponed. “We are at a place where no witnesses of consequence has the courage to step forward and clear the air,” Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey told reporters. With the key witnesses declining to attend, Tuesday’s postponement announcement was not unexpected.

Afghanistan Presses U.S. to Take Firmer Line With Pakistan Over Terror Links
(CNSNews.com)
– Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s national security council chided the U.S. government Tuesday for not taking a tougher line with Pakistan over its alleged collusion with terrorists operating in Afghanistan. The unauthorized leak of U.S. military documents revealing collaboration between members of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and the Taliban and other jihadist groups may slow down Karzai’s recent policy of seeking warmer relations with Islamabad.

Key cause of AIDS ‘off the table’
Pro-family activist Peter LaBarbera says an important aspect was missing from last week’s International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, when the Obama administration pledged the support of the U.S. in the global fight against AIDS.

Perspective: Hide-and-seek hypocrites
When a piece of legislation dubbed the “DISCLOSE Act” surfaces, the voter’s instinctive reaction should be: What are the politicians trying to hide now?

Seniors’ group blasting Berwick
A conservative alternative to AARP is speaking out against President Obama’s healthcare agenda and recent appointment to oversee Medicare and Medicaid.

Choi sees ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ at work
Elaine Donnelly thinks the U.S. military was extremely lenient in its treatment of an officer who engaged in radical homosexual activism before he was discharged for his sexual orientation.

Candidate criticized for remark about Islam
A Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee is being criticized by a Muslim rights group for questioning whether Islam is more of a cult than a religion.

Gospel Music Association Moves Dove Awards to Atlanta
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) said it was taking a “bold step” Tuesday in hosting the next Dove Awards in a place outside of Nashville for the first time.

LWF 11th Assembly Concludes with ‘Message’ to Churches

Report Reveals Ineffectiveness of Methodist Structures

Fla. Church Plans ‘Burn a Quran’ Day to Mark 9/11

ELCA Presiding Bishop Calls for Immigration Reform in Letter to Obama

Spain Orders Judge to Return Salary Over Gay Adoption Trial

Fed’s argument against AZ law ‘ludicrous’
An Arizona sheriff on the front lines in the battle against illegal immigration believes the Supreme Court will ultimately have to overturn Wednesday’s ruling that blocked implementation of most of the new state measure cracking down on those who are in the country illegally.

Conscience vs. creed
Some Democratic senators say they don’t feel a need to accept all of their churches’ teachings.

Court sides with university, ADF to appeal
Alliance Defense Fund will appeal the federal court decision that allows Eastern Michigan University to expel Christian student Julea Ward from the counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.

Perspective: Shirley Sherrod, quit while you’re ahead
Andrew Breitbart erred in not viewing Shirley Sherrod’s entire NAACP speech — but she shouldn’t be given a pass for her own past racist comments.

Educator excellence – a fair expectation
A Christian educator is praising a decision by the Washington, DC, public school system to fire more than 240 teachers because of poor performance.

Free Enterprise — Not Government Oversight — Key to GM Turnaround, Say Company Officials
(CNSNews.com)
– Free enterprise and the American marketplace – not the guiding hand of government – have revitalized the beleaguered automaker General Motors, which expects to announce another profitable quarter, according to GM officials. President Barack Obama plans to visit a GM plant in Hamtramk, Michigan on July 30, and his administration is linking GM’s return to profitability with the bailout of the old GM the administration orchestrated last summer.

Republicans Say Obama’s Drilling Moratorium Could Have Taxpayers Picking Up Tab for More Unemployed Oil Workers
(CNSNews.com)
– Critics of the Obama administration’s moratorium on offshore drilling say it will put more workers on the unemployment rolls – at taxpayer expense — especially those in the Gulf region, which is struggling to recover from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil leak. Marking the 100th day after the disaster on Wednesday, House Republicans held a press conference to denounce both the moratorium and Democrat-sponsored legislation arising from the oil spill.

Reid: Democrats’ Energy Bill Will Create Jobs and Lower Energy Costs for Consumers
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday the Senate’s energy bill is necessary for the “environment and for national security.” He also said the legislation will generate jobs and lower energy costs for consumers. But Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee, indicated that the Senate’s energy bill will eliminate jobs by making Obama’s oil drilling moratorium permanent.

Michelle Obama’s Request for Birthday Wishes for Her Husband Links to Donation Page
(CNSNews.com)
– It seems like a nice gesture –- an e-mail message from a loving wife, urging thousands of people to join her in wishing her husband a happy 49th birthday by signing an electronic birthday card. But in Washington, D.C., nothing is that simple. The electronic card to Barack Obama also serves as a Democratic Party fundraiser.

Senators DeMint and Brownback Open to GOP Filibusters to Force Hearing on Medicare Chief
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) on Wednesday indicated that they are open to filibustering any and all legislation in the Senate until a confirmation hearing is held for Dr. Donald Berwick, who was recently recess-appointed by President Obama to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

GAO: Some Mexican Drug Traffickers ‘Specialize’ in Smuggling Aliens From Countries With Ties to Terrorism Into the U.S.
(CNSNews.com)
– Some Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are involved in smuggling potential terrorists across the southwestern border, according to the Government Accountability Office. “Aliens from countries of special interest to the United States such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan…illegally enter the United States” across the southwest border, the GAO’s Richard Stana said in a report issued July 22.

Dem Governors Condemn ‘Patchwork’ AZ Law; GOP Governors Hedge
(CNSNews.com)
– As a federal judge in Phoenix barred enforcement of major elements of Arizona’s immigration law Wednesday, Democratic governors continued to express their opposition to a “patchwork” of state laws, while GOP state executives were split on the issue.

Pro-Life Groups Seek Probe Into Kagan’s Clinton-Era Role in Partial Birth Abortion Debate
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– More than 30 pro-life organizations are calling on senators to investigate Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s record on partial-birth abortion while she served as a Clinton administration attorney. The pro-life groups are concerned about discrepancies between Kagan’s testimony before Congress and written documentation of her influence on medical organizations while advising President William J. Clinton on partial-birth abortion.

Tanker Incident Raises Concerns About Oil Transit Through Persian Gulf
(CNSNews.com)
– Mystery surrounds an incident in which a laden oil tanker was damaged in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday. Maritime and shipping officials are at odds over whether an intentional explosion or a freak wave hit the tanker. The incident again highlights the vulnerability of the world’s most important energy waterway, one which Iran has periodically threatened to block, in retaliation for international pressure over its nuclear program.

Japan Welcomes News That U..S Envoy Will Attend Hiroshima Commemoration for First Time
(CNSNews.com)
– The State Department announced that U.S. Ambassador John Roos would represent the U.S. at the August 6 event at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, “to express respect for all of the victims of World War II.” Asked why the gesture was being made at this time, spokesman Philip Crowley said, “At this particular point, we thought it was the right thing to do.” Japanese media attributed the decision to President Obama’s agenda of pursuing “a world without nuclear weapons.”

Faith Leaders Protest Arizona Immigration Law
Some religious leaders from Arizona and elsewhere are coordinating nationwide protests against the state’s new immigration law, which takes effect Thursday.

Mayors Urged to Resist Atheists’ Demands to Drop Invocations

Episcopal Head Talks Conflict, Diversity, Immigration

Fla. Megachurch Readies Oil Spill Kids for Back to School

Christian Relief Group: Kyrgyzstan in Turmoil

Pastor in Russian Republic of Dagestan Killed

Hoyer: Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts Equals a ‘Republican Tax Increase’ on Middle Class
(CNSNews.com)
– House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Wednesday that the expiration built into the Bush tax cuts is a “Republican tax increase” for “working Americans,” and that Democrats have “no intention” of allowing it to go into effect. “We’re going to act and make sure that the Republican phase out and increase in taxes does not end as they provided for in the laws they passed.”

Obama Administration Giving Millions to States to Build Their New Health Insurance Exchanges
(CNSNews.com)
– The Health and Human Services Department on Thursday moved ahead with its plans to establish “the health insurance marketplace of the future.” It announced “two key steps” – including $51 million in grant money — in its effort to “partner with states” in setting up the new health insurance exchanges.

Obama, Who Ended D.C.’s Voucher Program, Talks About Improving Education for Children ‘Born in the Wrong Neighborhood’
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration is phasing out a program that allows underprivileged children to get scholarships to expensive private schools in Washington, D.C., such as Sidwell Friends, the school the Obama girls attend. Nevertheless, Obama on Thursday spoke about his “obligation to lift up every child” to help them achieve a quality education.

DNC Chair Kaine Complains of Media Effort to ‘Brand’ Sherrod, but Stops Short of Calling FoxNews ‘Racist’
(CNSNews.com)
– Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine refused Wednesday to say whether he agreed with former DNC Chairman Howard Dean that FoxNews “did something that was absolutely racist” by airing the Shirley Sherrod video and story. But Kaine also didn’t rule it out. Kaine told CNSNews.com at a news conference Wednesday, “It is outrageous that there was this effort to brand her and use her to suggest that she and others were being divisive.”

Administration Stresses Pakistani Cooperation, But Haqqani Threat Persists
(CNSNews.com)
– Administration officials and senior military officers are emphasizing that Pakistan’s cooperation in routing terrorists has improved significantly in the last 18 months, but the ongoing threats posed by the Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network shows there is a long way to go. Despite tens of thousands of leaked U.S. military documents alleging collaboration between members of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and terrorists fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan, the administration insists Pakistan has changed direction.

Conservative Media Watchdog Issues Ethics Challenge to Washington Post
(CNSNews.com)
– Conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III is calling on Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli to fully divulge the involvement of several Post employees with the controversial Journolist e-mail list. The association, he said, puts the paper’s credibility and impartiality in doubt.

NY Congressman Calls for Probe of Funding for Mosque Near Ground Zero and Its Promoter
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is calling for an investigation into the funding for a proposed Islamic community center at Ground Zero, as well as the imam who is promoting the project. “I think we should investigate the imam who is going to be at that mosque,” King said. “He is portrayed as being a moderate, a bridge builder. The fact is he was on television after 9/11 saying the U.S. brought this on themselves.”

No abortion funding – ‘an empty promise’
Irrespective of a presidential executive order and rule rewriting ordered by America’s Health and Human Services secretary, healthcare reform does provide for tax-funded abortions — so says a government report.

Perspective: The enablers of Charlie Rangel
Drain the swamp? Lead the most ethical Congress in history? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the world’s worst cleaning lady.

Obama’s ‘credibility gap’
President Obama recently spoke at a town hall meeting where he told his listeners that “things could be worse,” but a dean of a major university says he doesn’t understand how.

‘Modern family’ film not all right
Focus on the Family’s Plugged In is raising a warning flag about a movie called The Kids are All Right, which is making its way into American theatres.

Perspective: Knowing your enemy
Only three Americans doubt that terrorist acts plotted against Americans have been inspired by the Muslim call for jihad — unfortunately, they’re all in the White House.

GOP: Obama developing ‘backdoor amnesty plan’
The Obama administration is considering ways it could go around lawmakers to let illegal immigrants stay in the United States, according to an agency memo.

Another Democrat facing ethics charges
A second House Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, could be facing an ethics trial this fall, further complicating the midterm election outlook for the party as it battles to hold onto its majority.

Outrage over local salaries
Residents of a California city are outraged after learning of the high salaries their city council members make by working for a town where many live in poverty.

U.S. adoption market on the rise
Bethany Christian Services, the nation’s largest adoption agency, is reporting a higher interest in adoptions.

A papal first
Church officials say Catholics will have to pay admission of up to $39 to attend two of the public events in England to be led by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit in September.

‘Vampire’ Author Anne Rice ‘Quits’ Christianity
Interview with the Vampire author Anne Rice declared Wednesday that she “quit being Christian.”

Evangelical Body: Cancel ‘Burn a Quran’ Day

Baptists from 105 Countries Unite in Honolulu

House Bill Seeks to Permanently Ban Abortion Funding

Progressive Christian Weighs In on Influence of Religious Left

Suspected Islamists Shoot 5 Christians to Death in Pakistan

Two Kingdoms

July 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Growing up, I always loved the stories of knights and dragons and damsels. It was a great thing to imagine being a warrior defending the kingdom from evil; whether that evil was an ogre, a greedy courtesan, or a marauding band of mercenaries. To go out and save a princess was always a promising quest. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that there aren’t any dragons (anymore), that ogres don’t exist (at least not the fairy tale ones), and that most “princesses” today are in the “towers” they’re in because they want to be there and really don’t want to be rescued. There is however a wisp of my childhood imaginations that still lingers. I am a citizen of a kingdom and so are you. As a matter of fact, there are only two kingdoms in existence and you are part of one or the other. Continue Reading Two Kingdoms…

Newslinks 07/18/10

July 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

PCUSA’s ‘gay’ measures reflect ‘modern paganism’
An Orthodox Church theologian who was invited to greet the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has criticized its approval of non-celibate homosexual clergy.

Zoning restrictions limit feeding homeless
Government bodies are making it difficult for volunteers to provide for the needs of the homeless at public sites or their own facilities, such as churches.

Appeal likely in ‘lunatic’ marriage rulings
Traditional marriage proponents are hopeful an appeal will be filed on federal court rulings in Massachusetts declaring part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. An attorney with a traditional values legal firm is lambasting the court’s decision.

Transgender seeks millions for ‘distress’
A Maryland man who has made a physical change to the opposite gender has filed a lawsuit against his county for reaping “emotional distress.”

World Evangelical Alliance to Hold 2014 General Assembly in S. Korea
The World Evangelical Alliance will be holding its 2014 General Assembly in South Korea, according to an announcement Saturday. Continue Reading Newslinks 07/18/10…

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