Todd Starnes, host of of Fox News & Commentary reports:
Last week, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was invited to be on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” What was supposed to be a cordial conversation about the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage turned out to be a professional ambush.
Host Bob Schieffer pounced on the Family Research Council, calling them an anti-gay hate group. He was using discredited intelligence from the Southern Poverty Law Center to bolster his arguments. It was an ugly interview.
Those who argued that permitting gay marriage would eventually lead to polygamous marriages may be proved right. According to a piece posted over at Berean Research, UK Green Party leader Natalie Bennett stated that her party would consider allowing polygamous marriages and civil partnerships. Opponents of gay marriage argue that changing the definition of marriage to accommodate homosexuals will create a “slippery slope” and that there will be dire consequences.
Berean Research posted a piece on Hebrew Roots founder Jim Staley, who recently stood in a federal courtroom and pleaded guilty of four counts of wire fraud as his supporters looked on. Rather than to face trial, Staley admitted that he had cheated 16 investors out of $3.3 million while making $570,000 for himself.
Christian News Network reports:
An atheist group has requested an investigation into the presence of a recognized biblical creation leader and debater at a Georgia high school, where he recently spoke to students about critical thinking.
In late March, Eric Hovind, the president of the Florida-based ministry Creation Today, addressed a debate class at Troup County Comprehensive High School in LaGrange. Hovind says that his talk did not include mention of his faith or creation, but was rather a general discussion on critical thinking.
But as Hovind had engaged in a debate with a local humanist two days prior and had posted a photo of the event on social media, and since he is a born-again Christian who is known to speak against evolution, atheists became upset with school officials for allowing Hovind to address students.
Ryan T. Anderson, who writes primarily about marriage and religious liberty for the conservative Heritage Foundation, fills us in on some of the best portions of the oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court:
Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court were excellent. There were so many good points made about what marriage is and why redefining marriage would cause harms.
This litany of harms stands in stark contrast to the outrageous lower court rulings that had declared no rational basis to state marriage laws defining marriage as it always had been in America: a union of husband and wife.
Most importantly, it was clear that the nine Supreme Court justices do not have any greater insight on ideal marriage policy than do ordinary American citizens. And the Constitution itself is silent about it.
So the justices should uphold the authority of citizens and their elected representatives to make marriage policy in the states.
Jeff Maples of Psalm 12 expresses his concern over the direction the Southern Baptist Convention is moving in, as its current president encourages Baptists to participate in occult practices:
As anyone who’s been following my blog knows I’ve been highly critical of Ronnie Floyd and the SBC’s 2015 Annual Meeting theme, “Great Awakening.” I believe the Southern Baptist Convention has spun out of control under current president Floyd, and is heading downhill faster than ever. Ronnie Floyd is no stranger to questionable practices and teachings, and has been exposed for his mishandling of Scripture to teach Robert Morris’ first fruits tithing heresy, as well as ties to a New Age ministry that practices a borderline form of witchcraft, known as prayer circles. He also endorses New Ager Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, which also promotes an unbiblical form mystical prayer.
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 NASB
The Lord’s Day approaches. While many will go to church in a few days and hear expository preaching and worship God in spirit and truth, many more will hear sermons that the preacher bought from Sermons.com or some other source. While I understand the pressures these men are under trying to be “successful” in growing their churches, I contend that those doing this are serving an idol rather than the Living God.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, does not mince words when he states that same-sex marriage “sets the stage for what may well be, in the United States, the greatest threat to religious liberty of our lifetime.” He writes:
“It is going to be an issue.” With those words, spoken yesterday before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Solicitor General of the United States announced that religious liberty is directly threatened by the legalization of same-sex marriage. Donald Verrili, representing the Obama Administration as the nation’s highest court considered again the issue of same-sex marriage, was responding to a question from Justice Samuel Alito. His answer confirms with candor the threat we have long seen coming.
According to the Business Insider:
An extensive study done by the Pew Research Center has yielded some fascinating information regarding the trajectory of world religions over the next four decades.
As of 2010, Christianity was the dominant world religion with roughly 2.2 billion adherents and Muslims were second with about 1.6 billion adherents. If current demographic trends continue however, Islam is expected to catch up to Christianity midway through the 21st century.
According to Christian News Network:
The U.S. Supreme Court was divided on Tuesday as it heard oral argument over states’ rights surrounding the definition of marriage, with some justices expressing a hesitancy to change the definition for one particular type of relationship.
As previously reported, the court was set to hear argument in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as several other cases that were on appeal after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that states had a right to decline to recognize arrangements outside of the male-female marital union.
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
1 Timothy 1:2–11, NASB
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. What is the aim of the charge of a true disciple? It is to produce the good fruit of of love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. That is the good fruit of genuine prophet of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, our Lord Himself told us in His Sermon on the Mount how to discern whether a prophet was false or not.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15–20, NASB
According to Elizabeth Harrington, staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon, the EPA is “developing workshops to teach pastors and other religious leaders how to change the behaviors of their congregants” to help combat so-called global warming. The fact cannot be ignored that many men and women in the scientific community believe that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever imposed on modern man.”
The Christian News Network reports:
A Christian legal organization in Alabama has filed a motion urging the recusal of two U.S. Supreme Court justices who have officiated same-sex “weddings” as the high court hears oral argument today surrounding states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.
As previously reported, liberal Justice Elena Kagan, nominated to the bench by Barack Obama, officiated her first same-sex “wedding” last September, participating in a ceremony for her former law clerk Mitchell Reich and his partner Patrick Pearsall. The event was held in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb just outside of the nation’s capital.
Will, who blogs at Entreating Favor, expresses his concern over comments made by Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point megachurch, at a recent conference. The popular pastor declared that local congregations should be the “safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction.” Will wonders what he meant by “safe.” “Safe from what?” queries Will, as he believes that it’s unlikely that Christian churches are causing physical harm to their homosexual youth. He does, however, believe that Pastor Stanley “is at risk of causing them the worst possible spiritual harm.”
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:31-38 NASB
One of the major weapons of our enemy is attacks centered on provoking our pride, to incite us to be deeply concerned about what others think of us in relation to our profession of faith and how we walk the narrow path set before us by God. Our Lord warned us that this sort of attack would be coming our way and it causes professing Christians to lose their boldness as they actually seek to preserve “their life” for their own sake. When we are more concerned with our image and standing before men rather than for Christ and His gospel then we compromise because we have set our minds on the things of man rather than then things of God.
Christian News Network reports:
In the first decision of its kind upholding the rights of a Christian business, an appeals court has ruled that a Christian t-shirt company did not violate the law when it declined to print t-shirts for a local “gay pride” event.
As previously reported, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington (GLSO) had wanted the company Hand On Originals–a company that identifies as “Christian outfitters” on the home page of its website–to print t-shirts for the 2012 Lexington Gay Pride Festival. When manager Blaine Adamson declined the order due to the company’s biblical convictions, GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission.
Nathan Busenitz of The Cripplegate paints a picture of heaven as a place of vibrant color, good food, loud music, close friendships, as well as physical activity. But what will be missing from heaven? Busenitz puts forward a list of 17 items that the Apostle John reveals in the book of Revelation that will be missing in heaven. It’s reassuring to know that “Each of these represents some aspect of fallenness, rebellion, or divine judgment connected to this present world. And there will be no sign of corruption or judgment in the world to come.”
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 NASB
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)
If we listen to some today it is as if the Incarnation of Christ was to show Man how to live in such a way that there would be no war, no hunger, no sickness and that the Earth be recovered back to the pristine state of Creation. Was this His mission? If you go to any secular book store either such as Barnes and Noble or even Amazon.com and browse the religious/theology section you will find a large number of books that attempt to blend Jesus Christ into all religions or even non-religious causes. I found one recently that was a supposed list of the parallel sayings of Buddha with those of Christ.
12 οἶδα καὶ ταπεινοῦσθαι, οἶδα καὶ περισσεύειν· ἐν παντὶ καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν μεμύημαι, καὶ χορτάζεσθαι καὶ πεινᾶν καὶ περισσεύειν καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι· 13 πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με. (Philippians 4:12-13 NA28)
12 I know both how to be humbled and how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to have lack. 13 I can do all things in the one empowering me. (Philippians 4:12,13 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The enemy of our souls, Satan, does not attack believers in such a way that we should recognize him as being who he is. Instead, he comes disguised as the voice behind the theologian from the best seminary who may be the leader with a huge church empire and also be the author of many best-selling books. How does he attack what we call the Orthodox Christian faith? You know, the preaching of the gospel, the weekly opening of the Word of God, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper, et cetera. He attacks that by putting people in place that both insist on and those who promise to deliver “more.” You know, taking emphasis away from all that stuff above and giving people “what they really want!” Sometimes the leaders doing this think this is what the people really want, but it is not. That is when the sheep go to their pastors and ask to be fed rather than be entertained. What happens most of the time nowadays when that takes place?
Nathan Busenitz of The Cripplegate paints a picture of heaven as a place of: “vibrant color, good food, loud music, close friendships, as well as physical activity.”
But what will be missing from heaven? Busenitz puts forward a list of 17 items that the Apostle John reveals in the book of Revelation that will be missing in heaven. It’s reassuring to know that “Each of these represents some aspect of fallenness, rebellion, or divine judgment connected to this present world. And there will be no sign of corruption or judgment in the world to come.”
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians 2:8-15 NASB
The more I deal with professing Christians, no matter how conservative they may be, it can be somewhat trying at times to encounter the growing nature of Christ in some of them. There are some who are so ruled by their flesh that the only fruit that I ever witness in them is of this world, full of bitterness, anger, resentment, and a complete disregard for the commands from own Savior to deny self, forgive, turn the other cheek, et cetera. I know that in my own case that my flesh must be continually kept reigned in and controlled or it will cause me to slide right back into those habitual sins it loves so much. However, the mark of one who has been truly made alive together with Christ is not sinless perfection, but rather one who is actually fighting this fight. That being said, let’s look at two passages in which is found the only New Testament occurrences of the Greek Word συζωοποιέω or suzōopoieō, “to make alive together with another; to make a sharer of the quickening of another.”
According to Christian News Network:
Televangelist Creflo Dollar defied opponents of his global effort to purchase a $65 million dollar jet in a recent message delivered to his congregation.
“Let me tell you something about believing God. I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to,” he states in a video posted to YouTube by a group not affiliated with Dollar. “If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming.”
16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 NASB
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:1-6 NASB
19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19 NASB
The doctrine of original sin is a vital part of genuine Christian orthodoxy. For a long time I didn’t really appreciate how important it is in our concept of the depths of our guilt before our sovereign and thrice Holy God. However, as I have become involved in ‘discussions’ with those who reject this doctrine, God has revealed to me, through my studying his Word in order to answer certain ‘arguments,’ that when this doctrine is not part of one’s theology then their concept of their salvation is more self-centered and, in some cases, is understood that one is a Christian based solely on religious acts they have done. Let’s look again at the Apostle Paul’s thesis on our salvation, which none of us deserve.