NAR “apostles” are as phony as a three-dollar bill

From Berean Research:

In their blogpost “The Apostles Who Don’t Do Anything,” Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson of Grace to You team up to answer the question many folks have been asking: Does the Church have modern-day apostles as NAR top dogs purport?  And if what they say is true, who determines when God has commissioned someone as an apostle?

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“Spying Billboards” Under Fire for Tapping Into People’s Cellphones

ABC News has a piece by Michael Balsamo of Associated Press on a new way to collect data that lacks business ethics:

A U.S. senator is calling for a federal investigation into an outdoor advertising company’s latest effort to target billboard ads to specific consumers.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer has dubbed Clear Channel Outdoor Americas’ so-called RADAR program “spying billboards,” warning the service may violate privacy rights by tracking people’s cell phone data via the ad space.

“A person’s cellphone should not become a James Bond-like personal tracking device for a corporation to gather information about consumers without their consent,” Schumer, a Democrat, said in a statement ahead of a planned news conference Sunday in Times Square, where the company operates billboards.

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Department of Education Releases List of Colleges Seeking Exemption From “Transgender” Law

Christian News Network reports:

While it is not known if the move was done due to the request of homosexual and transgender advocacy groups, the U.S. Department of Education has released a list of Christian identifying colleges and universities who have requested exemptions from a federal law that has recently been interpreted to pertain to homosexuality and transgenderism.

As previously reported, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) had released a statement earlier this year calling for the government to post the names of Christian colleges and universities nationwide that have requested an exemption from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against a person based on their gender.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance,” it reads.

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The rebellious ways of an unbelieving mind-set

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; (Ephesians 4:17-18 NASB)

Genuine Christianity is that which is within the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christians are commanded to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) within that Lordship obeying our Lord as branches abiding in the True Vine (John 15). How do we practically do this? We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling presuppositionally, that is, with every thought, intent, and action taken captive to the will of God. We do this by approaching and living life with God at the center of all things instead of ourselves. In the passage above, (Ephesians 4:17-18) we see the opposite way to walk and the outcome of that. Unfortunately, that is how most professing believers approach this life, that is, in functional unbelief. View article →

Cold Hard Facts On Cults

 Marsha West, General Editor CRN

Marsha West, General Editor CRN

Six years ago I penned a piece entitled “Caught up in a cult?”  My concern at the time was that a growing number of people were being drawn into cults and cult-like groups that call themselves Christian.  They had no clue that they’d strayed off The Safe Path into The Deep Weeds.  So I laid out what a cult is and listed several groups to beware of.  Six years later the numbers of people in cults has increased.  The main reason is that there’s a famine of spiritual discernment in the land.

Many so-called evangelical Christians do not know the Truth.  Why?  Largely because they have little or no interest in reading and studying their bibles. Moreover, a growing number of Christians have abandoned the essential doctrines of the faith altogether.  You know things are bad when a believer’s theology is “experience based” rather than based on God’s written Word.  Doctrine, after all, is divisive.  Several years ago, our late brother Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries lamented: “People are drifting into a highly subjective murky mysticism where one decides truth about God by what they ‘feel.’”

One troubling fact is that our younger generation—especially Millennials–have bowed down to the idols of moral relativism, political correctness and tolerance.  Wanting to be seen as “loving” and “tolerant,” Christian Millennials have adopted liberalism’s social justice gospel to avoid offending their neighbor.  They haven’t a clue that the social justice gospel (social action and involvement in issues of justice) saves no one.  Even worse, they completely miss the fact that the true Gospel of Christ has always been, and will continue to be, an offense to the unredeemed mind!

So a word of warning.  Christians who wander away from the safety of the sheep pen to explore The Deep Weeds may find themselves in a den of wolves.  Once inside the wolf den, there’s no easy escape.

Before I move on, I’d like readers to know that those of us involved in a counter-cult ministry oppose anyone, including Christian luminaries, who besmirches the Name of Jesus Christ.  Likewise, we’re concerned for our brethren who’ve been drawn into apostasy and our desire is to lead them out of The Deep Weeds onto The Safe Path.  To that end, the research material at the bottom of the page will help Bereans determine if a group is biblically sound.

“Caught up in a cult?”  (2010)

Countless people are caught up in cults and cult-like groups.  To avoid being one of them you must become familiar with the nature of a cult and their schemes. Granted, there are no easy answers to the question, “What exactly is a cult?” But there are some cold hard facts that most people are unaware of.

One thing you can count on is that some of your relatives, friends, neighbors and even the friendly face who checks your groceries at the local market may be caught up in a cult or a cult-like group.

Cult typically refers to “A system of intense religious veneration of a particular person, idea, or object, especially one considered spurious or irrational by traditional religious bodies; as, the Moonie cult.” Add to that: “A strong devotion or interest in a particular person, idea or thing without religious associations, or the people holding such an interest; as, the cult of James Dean; the cult of personality in totalitarian societies.” [1]

Probably the most well-known pseudo-Christian cults are Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) and Christian Science, but there are a whole host of other pseudo-Christian cults.  Some members of these cults may find my assertion humorous.  Others may even become angry.  Sorry about that, however, as a Christian I’m not called to be nice; I’m called to speak the truth in love and to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).

Here’s the truth.  JWs, Mormons and Christian Scientists claim to be Christians yet they deny fundamental Christian doctrine and manipulate the Scriptures to fit in with their own beliefs.  From the Church’s perspective, which is what really matters, these groups have deviated from the historic, orthodox teachings that are derived from the Holy Scriptures and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.  Thus, people in these cults aren’t true Christians.  This should come as no surprise. After all, they’ve had to defend their spurious beliefs for decades.

Christians are not the only ones caught up in cults.  Pagans, agnostics and atheists may very well be involved in a destructive cult or cult-like group and not even realize it.  For example, devotees of any of the following groups/movements/theories/celebrities, can be exposed to mind control techniques and even open themselves up to the world of the occult!  Here’s a short list to ponder: (Warning! This is not for the easily offended.)

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Weather Channel Founder Slams Bill Nye: Calls him “a pretend scientist in a bow tie”

Marc Morano of Climate Depot reports on the storm brewing between John Coleman and Bill Nye. Recently, Nye actually suggested that climate change skeptics should face jail time for their dissenting views.  So it was no surprise when he announced his skepticism over the soon to be released global warming film “Climate Hustle.”  Morano has the story:

Storm cloudWeather Channel Founder John Coleman, a meteorologist for over six decades, slammed Bill Nye, ‘the science guy’ for saying that the new skeptical global warming film ‘Climate Hustle’ is “very much not in our national interest and the world’s interest.

Coleman is featured introducing ‘Climate Hustle’ in theatres on May 2 for the one-night only showing.  www.ClimateHustle.com Nye is also featured in the panel discussion that follows the skeptical film in theatres on May 2.

“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie,” Coleman said today.

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Target’s Stock Down 5 Percent, Brand Damaged, by Public Rebuke to Pro-Transgender Bathroom Rules

According to Breitbart:

Target’s stock price and its favorability among shoppers are crashing as the public rebukes the retail giant for ignoring their vigorous protest against mixed-sex changing rooms and bathrooms.

The company’s stock was two cents shy of $84 on August 19, when it revealed it would not allow shoppers to use single-sex bathrooms or changing rooms. Instead, all rooms were opened up to anyone claiming to be of either sex. As of 4.00 p.m. Friday, the stock had dropped almost $4.50, down to $79.50.

That’s a huge loss of 5 percent in stock value, costing shareholders roughly $2.5 billion in company value.

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Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Hudson’s Bay stores have same bathroom policy as Target

Thus far more than 700,000 people have pledged to boycott Target over their bathroom policy that permits men who say they identify as women to use the store’s ladies room and changing rooms.  Now we discover that Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Hudson Bay has the same transgender policy as Target.  But what’s going on with Sears, Walmart, Macy’s, Whole Foods and shopping malls across the country? USA Today has the story:

Transgender bathroom policy

Many women feel unsafe when a man occupies a stall or changing room next to them.

Retailers are weighing in on the question of transgender rights as momentum builds against Target, whose stance on which bathroom transgender customers and employees can use in stores has sparked major backlash from customers who say they’re going to stop shopping there.

Starbucks, Hudson’s Bay Co. — parent company to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue — and Barnes & Noble all told USA TODAY that employees and customers in their stores are welcome to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

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We all lie, scientists say, but politicians even more so

Deception starts early.  One researcher says that children learn to lie around 3 years old, “often when they realize that other people don’t know what they are thinking.”  Not surprisingly lying comes naturally to youngsters.  According to Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press, it takes more energy to lie than to tell the truth. He writes:

Pinocchio We watch with fascination as candidates for the world’s most powerful job trade falsehoods and allegations of dishonesty.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump routinely calls rival Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz retorts: “Falsely accusing someone of lying is itself a lie and something Donald does daily.”

News organizations such as The Associated Press and PolitiFact dedicate enormous resources to separating candidates’ truthful wheat from their dishonest chaff.

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The deception and heresy of Christian Universalism

8 Therefore it says, “When HE ascended on high, HE led captive A host of captives, And HE gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) (Ephesians 4:8-10 NASB)

I have always taught here that the Bible very clearly refutes universalism, which denies the existence or permanence of the Lake of Fire or Hell. What prompted this study was two separate encounters with professing Christians who disagreed with our understanding of the Gospel, God, Man, and Eternity claiming that they had a better more correct ‘vision’ that was given to them by God Himself.  These visions stated that our teaching of the Gospel was wrong and contaminated by churchianity and was , therefore, not the genuine Gospel as taught by Christ and the Apostles. View article →

Denmark ethics council calls for tax on red meat to fight “ethical problem” of climate change

The Independent reports:

Denmark is considering proposals to introduce a tax on red meat, after a government think tank came to the conclusion that “climate change is an ethical problem”.

The Danish Council of Ethics recommended an initial tax on beef, with a view to extending the regulation to all red meats in future. It said that in the long term, the tax should apply to all foods at varying levels depending on climate impact.

The council voted in favour of the measures by an overwhelming majority, and the proposal will now be put forward for consideration by the government.

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Emotional manipulators: The truth must die

Heads up, brethren!  Amy Spreeman of Berean Research has some disturbing news to report.  She writes:

I’m about to share complete blasphemy with you, wrapped and bound snugly in the heartstrings of emotionalism and self esteem. Before you see this in your youth group, in your women’s Bible study, on your timeline, or even from the Jumbotron at your church, I hope you see it here first.

I post this story as a preemptive strike against those who will perpetuate the lies of the enemy of our souls. Thy do it beautifully, with skilled manipulation cloaked in tears. If a wolf cries real tears, then what they are saying must be true, right? After all, God judges the heart, and this wolf’s heart is humble.

If that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to be. You see, the battle for truth is very real, and very wicked. The enemy’s tactics are as old as “Hath God really said?”

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Congratulations, Target: You’re The First Company I’ve Ever Boycotted

After thinking about Target’s new policy for a few days, Christine Pack of Sola Sisters has decided to boycott Target.  “What can I say?” states Christine.  “There is a first time for everything. I’m boycotting not because I hate homosexuals or those who identify as transgender. I don’t hate them. In fact, God’s love and mercy and forgiveness is extended to them, and I am deeply burdened that they have been encouraged by this perverse culture to embrace their sexually immoral desires.”  Pack is boycotting for safety reasons. “I don’t want to be in a dressing room or bathroom where a 200 pound man built like a linebacker might decide that he is going to take advantage of Target’s liberal new policy, and say ‘Today, I identify as a woman,’ after which he would be able to walk into the bathroom with me, and attack me.”

Christine’s piece includes Target’s public bathroom statement.

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Christian character in light of God’s Sovereignty and the pressure to comply to Political Correctness

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner. 20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:18-21 NASB)

Is the term ‘honor’ as a descriptive term for a human being out of place in our day and time? If we look up ‘honor’ in our dictionaries we will find that its chief synonym is ‘integrity.’ Before we begin to determine the lack of this characteristic in the current body of Christian believers, especially among its leadership, let us define what we mean. Integrity describes one who has an uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles. It describes one who possesses soundness of character. There are many more definitions, but this is enough for now. A honorable person is a man or woman of principle. He or she puts principle ahead of personal gain. Also, they do not compromise their principles. That would mean that once they grasp the truth they would never let go, no matter the cost. View article →

Cruz announces Fiorina as choice for running mate

Fox News reports:

 Ted Cruz, looking for a shake-up in the 2016 race as Donald Trump moves steadily closer to the Republican nomination, on Wednesday announced former GOP primary rival Carly Fiorina as his choice for running mate should he win the party nod.

The move was immediately dismissed as an act of “desperation” by the Trump team, but Cruz – while acknowledging it is “unusual” to announce a running mate so early – defended the decision. He claimed “nobody is getting to 1,237 delegates,” the number needed to clinch the nomination, and voters should “know what [they] will get.”

“After a great deal of time and thought, after a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee, Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said.

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China on course to become “world’s most Christian nation” within 15 years

The Telegraph reports that by 2030 the number of churchgoers in China could surpass those who worship in America, which shows the powerful of the Gospel. According to Tom Phillips:

It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.

The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a “miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church”.

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Missouri Grad Student Thrown Out Of Counseling Program For Religious Beliefs

Daily Wire reports:

The veil is lifted yet again on the intolerance of the Left.

A student in a counseling masters program at Missouri State University allegedly got the boot for expressing his religious views. Andrew Cash said that he would not counsel a gay couple, citing his religious faith, but would have no problem counseling a gay man or woman. His sin against the Left, making a personal choice based on deeply religious beliefs, was met with his expulsion from the program by the oh-so-tolerant administration, claims Cash.

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Rutgers Removes Depiction of Jesus Crucified on Dartboard From Art Display Following Complaints

According to Christian News Network:

Photo from:  jihadwatch.com

Photo from:  jihadwatch.com

Officials at Rutgers University have removed a depiction of Jesus crucified on a dartboard following complaints from those who found the display to be blasphemous and disrespectful.

The display at issue was called “Vitruvian Man” and was part of an exhibition at the three-story university art library on Voorhees Mall. It featured a sculpture of Jesus affixed to a dartboard with darts on his hands and feet, as well as one in his side.

Last Wednesday, Rutgers student Natalie Caruso posted on on the Rutgers University Class of 2016 Facebook page that she had asked the university to remove the display.

“It is surprising that a state university would allow this,” she wrote. “I asked them to take it down because I found it disrespectful and they refused.”

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What is Penal Substitution and why is it so important in Justification?

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11 NASB)

As I researched the doctrine of Penal Substitution for this article I was amazed at the lengths some people go to in order to obscure God’s truth through man-centered verbiage slanted away from Sacred Scripture towards human reasoning. Not one piece I read that decried Penal Substitution could attack it exegetically. In every case I read, the focus was on the barbarity of such a doctrine and how this shed a very negative light on the character of God. Before we go any further let us define what Penal Substitution is.

Penal Substitution is a theory of the atonement within Christian theology, especially associated with the Reformed tradition. It argues that Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was punished in the place of sinners, thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive their sins. Penal Substitution is, therefore, a specific understanding of substitutionary atonement, where the substitutionary nature of Jesus’ death is understood in the sense of a substitutionary punishment. View article →

Colorado Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case of Baker Ordered to Make Cake for “Gay” Celebration

Christian News Network reports:

The Colorado Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a baker who was ordered to make a cake for an event celebrating the union of two homosexual men, allowing the lower court’s order to stand.

“Upon consideration of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals and after review of the record, briefs, and the judgment of said Court of Appeals, it is ordered that said Petition for Writ of Certiorari shall be, and the same hereby is denied,” it wrote in a brief order.

Two of the court’s seven judges said they would have accepted the case on religious freedom grounds.

 

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16 “Pro-LGBT” Businesses That Operate in Countries With Poor Human Rights Records

According to The Daily Signal:

Big corporations have come out to criticize state religious liberty measures in Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina as discriminating against those who aren’t heterosexual, some going as far as to propose boycotting states that enact such laws.

However, several of the most vocal companies that say they stand with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans also operate in countries with troubling human rights records, including places where homosexuality can result in a death sentence, a review by The Daily Signal shows.

Details on the fate of the measures in Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina are below. The following is a list of 16 corporations that publicly attacked religious liberty measures in one or more of the three states, yet do business in countries that blatantly and sometimes brutally discriminate against LGBT citizens or otherwise have a poor record of defending human rights:

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Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…

17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (Revelation 3:17-18 NASB)

Self-Righteousness: the attempt to meet God’s standards based upon one’s own merits.

A thorough study of our Lord’s earthly ministry reveals with certainty the following truth. Our Lord was merciful in every instance to those who were broken, humbled, and spiritually helpless before Him. On the other hand, the proud, the self-righteous, and the self-sufficient He rebuked and shunned, which is thematically summarized for us by James our Lord’s brother in his epistle. View article →

Jen Hatmaker: “Christians should open wide their churches to LGBT community”

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research reports that “Christian” celebrity Jen Hatmaker has announced her decision to reject the authority of Scripture and join the LGBT community in their rebellion against God. Worse, she is encouraging her many fans to pick up a rainbow flag and follow her down the path that leads to destruction.  Amy writes:

So many Christian women who love the Lord are very upset with me for warning them about Jen Hatmaker. Yes, I know, Jen is the lovable mom, writer and speaker who is known for being “Raw and Real.” Apparently she says what women think, or wish they could say, and she tells a lot of great, emotional stories.

But if we judge her fruit (that’s her doctrine, ladies; not her social works) against the truth of Scripture, we find that underneath that sweet funny rawness of hers is a wolf who is luring women by the hundreds of thousands into the maw of deception. Is that unloving of me? No! I am trying to help women see Christ and warn them against counterfeits.  I got a lot of hate mail after posting “4 Concerns about Jen Hatmaker’s Teachings, and another slew after reviewing her “bible study” book that dips into sorcery: “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” (Why aren’t we having women study the actual Bible?)

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Calvary Chapel, Bill Hybels, and Jesuit Mysticism

From Berean Research:

Roger Oakland of Understand the Times International says that Calvary Chapel has a new found connection with Bill Hybels, one of the architects of the seeker-sensitive movement.  Oakland wonders how big of an impact this union will have.  There’s a program Willow Creek implemented by Bill Hybels’ son-in-law Aaron Niequist called The Practice that Oakland sees as “the epitome of all that is emergent.”

What about Calvary Chapel’s connection to The Practice and contemplative prayer? Will this connect Calvary Chapel to the spiritual formation practices promoted by the Jesuits?  So many questions…

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