Leaving the NAR Church: Dina’s Story

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research presents Dina’s compelling story of how she left the New Apostolic Reformation cult.:

“I was so addicted to the experience that I was always on the hunt for more.”

Dina’s story is one of many from people I’ve met who desire as I do to see the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) movement exposed for what it is: An anti-biblical counterfeit that sounds almost like biblical Christianity.

In this series, I want to take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth.

Eight years ago, Dina left the church she was a member of.  This is her story in her own words.

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Jennifer LeClaire Claims ‘New Age Angels of Transition’ Will Save America?

Charismatics dabble in all sorts of strange practices these days.  In this case, an occult practice known as telepathic communication….with angels, supposedly. If Jennifer LeClaire knew anything at all about the Bible, she’d be aware that God’s people are to have nothing whatsoever to do with sorcery.  In fact, He forbids it:

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD… (Deut 18:10-12)  

The Lord is not kidding around!  So why would any professing Christian dabble in sorcery? Two words: Zero discernment.  Lack of discernment is epidemic in the visible Church.

Ms LeClaire needs to go to the Bible to find out what it teaches about angles because what she’s been teaching people is not from Scripture. If she took the time to study God’s Word, she’d know that He has made it crystal clear that spirits, including angels, are not to be evoked, called on, invited in, or channeled. Believers must never attempt to connect with spirits and we certainly shouldn’t try to glean information from them.  Our Lord Jesus would tell demons to keep quiet! 

Jennifer LeClaire is leading people astray as you will see in Chris Rice’s blog post over at Museum of Idolatry:

We are witnessing the merging of New Age channeling and false prophetic pronouncements from Charismaniacs, who have once again reached deep into their Charismania Adjective Grab Bag to give their latest vain imagination an air of credibility.

The Charismania Adjective Grab Bag has a simple formula. First, come up with a vain imagination and claim it’s from God. Second, pin a legitimate Bible word to it. Third, reach deep into your bag of adjectives, and feel around for a correct sounding adjective. If you need a little help with ideas, the demons are more than happy to plant words in your head; or if you are a New Age channeler, you would say that you have “telepathic communication from Guardian Angels and Spirit Guides.”

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No Middle Ground: Evangelical Leaders Reject Compromise on LGBT and Religious Rights

Christianity Today’s Kate Shellnutt reveals who the leaders are and tells us why they refuse to compromise. Albert Mohler addresses Shellnutt’s piece in The Briefing under the heading “Religious liberty in the balance: Why the Fairness for All campaign is a threat to religious liberty.” Dr. Mohler warns that the LGBT revolutionaries won’t settle for any sort of compromise. Evangelicals know this all too well.

Now to Shellnutt’s piece:

Compromises designed to safeguard both religious freedoms and LGBT rights won’t fly among many of America’s most influential conservative Christians.

Leaders from nearly 90 evangelical seminaries, publications, ministries, and churches—as well as Catholic and Orthodox clergy—signed a statement last month rejecting any legal efforts to protect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

“[We] believe that proposed SOGI laws, including those narrowly crafted, threaten fundamental freedoms,” they wrote as part of the “Preserve Freedom, Reject Coercion” campaign, hosted by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

The declaration follows months of conversations among Christian college leaders around the Fairness for All strategy, which would bring religious leaders and LGBT advocates together to try to secure satisfactory legal protections for both. Parties from each side of the conversation are convening this weekend for a conference at Yale University.

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Regulators Get Cozy with Cannabis

Lifezette reports:

Public health experts have been questioning the lax regulations on the marijuana industry ever since the legalization tide began sweeping across this country. Edibles, for example, pose a substantial risk to children because they often come in a form and packaging that is very appealing to kids — gummy bears, cotton candy, lollipops, even “Pot Tarts.”

Now, it appears there’s a very questionable coziness with private industry.

A number of regulators recently left their jobs to make big money as consultants for marijuana companies. It began with Bob Morgan in 2013, whom the Illinois governor appointed as director for medical marijuana oversight. Morgan stayed in his post for two years, then left to work for the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association. His successor, 32-year-old Joseph Wright, had an even shorter term. Wright left the director post — where he made just over $50,000 a year — to become a private sector consultant for the marijuana industry. Consultants are known to charge clients more than $100,000 for various services.

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Roman Catholicism: Idolatry and Bondage

What happens if a person wishes to break communion with the Roman Catholic Church?  Glenn E. Chatfield of The Watchman’s Bagpipes explains:

Indulgences, those things made up by the Roman Catholic Church to fill their coffers and/or for continuing to scare their followers with the invented place called “Purgatory,” are being offered by the Pope to those who celebrate the anniversary of the demonic apparition pretending to be Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

Here are the three ways you can get rewarded by the Pope:

You an make a pilgrimage to the shrine at Fatima and participate in the occultic celebration and rituals.

You can pray before any statue of “Our Lady of Fatima” — bow before and pray to an idol, as well as doing the same rituals.

RZIM Speaker, Editor at The Gospel Coalition Compares Jesus to a Transgender

Brandon Hines of Pulpit & Pen has the story:

Sam Allberry, an editor for The Gospel Coalition and a global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), recently wrote an article at The Gospel Coalition entitled, What Christianity Alone Offers Transgender Persons. The only acceptable answer that could have been provided in the article would be, “forgiveness for the sin of transgenderism as well as all other sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ.”

That, sadly, was not what was included in the article. As Pastor Justin Pierce remarked,

Not once did the author mention repentance, a broken heart over the sin that destroys us and breaks our fellowship with God. Not once did he say placing one’s faith in Christ and learning to mortify the flesh and identify with Christ and we fight the wicked sin that He overcame.

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Fasten Your Seat Belt for the Health Care Ride

According to Lifezette:

At the top of Donald Trump’s White House priority list is a better and stronger health care system at a more affordable price for Americans. There are many questions as to what will change, how it will change, and how American households of all sizes and shapes will be affected.

As the Trump transition team and others work on a viable plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, how might the average health care consumer prepare for the years ahead?

Many experts take the long view. “Nothing is really going to happen until as early as 2019 as far as changes to the [health care] system,” according to Paul Moyer, author of SavingFreak.com and licensed insurance agent in Anderson, South Carolina. Moyer explains it takes a lot of legislation, which is often then delayed, to turn the tide of one of the country’s biggest industries.

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The Hopelessness of ‘Contending For Miracles’

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen examines what the Bible says about miracles. We all know that God can, has and does perform miracles.  But what’s the purpose of His miracles?

Often times we find ourselves in a dire situation that we can’t manage on our own. It may be a frantic financial situation. It may be a devastating blow to our health. It could be any number of things, but time and again we seek a divine intervention into whatever circumstances we face–a quick fix. A miracle.

A popular worship song by Chris Tomlin summarizes the miracle seeker’s sentiments thus:

Water You turned into wine Opened the eyes of the blind There’s no one like you None like you

. . . .

Our God is greater, our God is stronger God You are higher than any other Our God is Healer, awesome in power Our God, Our God

These lyrics, while true, actually embellish the work of the Holy Spirit by distorting the purpose of miracles. There is a serious error penetrating the walls of Christ’s church that is leading people away from the true gospel into a false gospel of hopelessness. There are preachers and teachers who suggest that divine miracles are the primary purpose of the Christian faith and that contending for them should be our mission. This view is prevalent in the Word of Faith (WoF) and Prosperity Gospel camps. The carrot of hope in temporal miracles sells–it sells books, music, and speaking engagements. Notable proponents of this theology include Steven Furtick, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and many others. Biblical passages that are descriptive of a historical event are regularly twisted into a prescription for all people who will “activate” their faith in some way. Miracles, as opposed to Christ, then become the quintessential element of faith.

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‘I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.’

Homosexuals accomplished what they set out to do — legalize same-sex marriage. It was a hard-fought battle.  Yet for many gay people the victory is bitter sweet.  According to Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boice College, “Legal marriage has not transformed gay unions.” However, “Gay unions have fundamentally redefined marriage.”  What are some of the casualties of the battle? Burk reveals what they are:

Meredith Maran had an interesting essay in The New York Times over the weekend: “I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.” In it, she describes her “marriage” to her lesbian partner in 2008 and the subsequent dissolution of their relationship in 2013. She regrets her gay marriage and divorce, but it is not because she is against gay marriage in principle. Rather she says this:

In many cities over many years, my wife and I had marched for marriage equality. We’d argued with the haters and we’d argued with the gay people who said that legal marriage would co-opt us, diminish us, turn us into a caricature of “normal” married people. We swore we could enjoy the rights only marriage conferred and still have our gender-fluid commitment ceremonies, our chosen-family configurations, our dexterity at turning friends into lovers and vice versa.

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The futility of gender-neutral parenting

In an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, Debra W. Sou, sex writer and sexual neuroscientist at York University in Toronto, admits that when it comes to male and female, biology matters.  She writes:

In steadfast pursuit of gender equality and to promote nonconformity, it’s become popular in some social circles to start early, very early, by raising young children in a gender-neutral way: not revealing the baby’s sex at birth, dressing them and their bedroom in various shades of oatmeal, encouraging them to play with gender-neutral toys. There’s also pressure on corporations to help; parental complaints led Target to stop sex-segregating its toys, for instance.

Offering kids the opportunity to pursue what they’d like, freed from societal expectations, is an undeniably positive thing — whether it has to do with toys, clothing, or their future aspirations. But the scientific reality is that it’s futile to treat children as blank slates with no predetermined characteristics. Biology matters.

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Pastrix Paula White to Wax Eloquent Against Critics Avoiding Fundamentals of Scripture

Amidst claims that she’s a heretic, “Pastor” Paula White, who’s a word-faith/health & wealth/name it and claim it teacher, appeared on CNN to let the world know that her critics are mistaken and that the views she holds are orthodox. Richard Haas of Pulpit & Pen sets aside White’s heretical teaching and instead tackles her credentials to pastor a church.  According to Haas, Pastrix Paula should not be Trump’s spiritual adviser because a woman is unqualified to hold the position of pastor. He writes:

Speaking on CNN, this past Thursday, January 5th, 2016, Paula White, spiritual adviser to Trump and Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida defended herself against accusations of being a Trinity-denying false teacher and preaching the false gospel known as the “Prosperity Gospel.”  Over the past years, much criticism has been rightly raised by those in Orthodox Evangelical circles about Pastrix Paula White’s validity due to her heretical theological stance on core essentials of the Christian faith. In the past at Pulpit & Pen, our authors and contributors have raised much concern over Paula White and her false teachings.

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Evangelicals should be deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy

 

Donald Trump & Paula White. Photo credit: Christian Today

The liberal Washington Post has an excellent piece by Michael Horton who is an author, speaker and J. Gresham Machen professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary.  Dr. Horton expresses his concern that Donald Trump’s inauguration will help to mainstream the heretical Word of Faith (WOF) movement. He points out that “Trump has surrounded himself with cadre of prosperity evangelists who cheerfully attack basic Christian doctrines. The focus of this unity is a gospel that is about as diametrically opposed to the biblical one as you can imagine.” According to Dr. Horton, WOF is “another religion.” Clearly, WOF is not historic, orthodox biblical Christianity for the reason that in the Faith system man is glorified and the God of the Bible is humiliated.

Now listen as a Christian theologian examines WOF teaching and reveals the reasons evangelicals should be alarmed by the people President-elect Trump chose to pray during his inauguration.  Dr. Horton writes:

Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration will include Paula White and possibly other members of his inner circle, Darrell Scott, “Apostle” Wayne T. Jackson and Mark Burns. They’re all televangelists who hail from the “prosperity gospel” camp. They advocate a brand of Pentecostal Christianity known as Word of Faith.

Inaugurations are always curious rituals of American civil religion. It would not be surprising to see a non-Christian religious leader participating. But what’s problematic for me as an evangelical is how Trump’s ceremony is helping to mainstream this heretical movement.

The prosperity gospel — the idea that God dispenses material wealth and health based on what we “decree” — is not just fluff. It’s also not just another branch of Pentecostalism, a tradition that emphasizes the continuation of the gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues. It’s another religion.

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How NOT to follow the Holy Spirit

Jeff Hagan of Pulpit & Pen has listed the ways the Holy Spirit does not lead the believer. For example, the Holy Spirit does not direct a person to sin. To “hear men in charismatic circles say that ‘God told’ them to divorce their wives and marry the woman they’ve been having an affair with” isn’t all that unusual for him. He admonishes: “That’s nothing but foolishness and selfishness. According to Scripture that is clearly sinful, it is wrong.”

So now to Hagan’s tips on how not to follow the Holy Spirit.  He writes:

Do you ever wonder if maybe you made a mistake and missed out on a blessing because you resisted it thinking perhaps it was some kind of temptation from the enemy? At times, when we let our emotions get too involved in something, it makes it more difficult to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit — especially when we, in our flesh, don’t like the way He seems to be heading. Sometimes our flesh battles against God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:7). But when we surrender ourselves to God’s will, when we look to His Word and live accordingly, recognizing the Spirit’s lead becomes easier as we grow in Christ.

Now, with that being said, there are definitely some ways in which the Holy Spirit does not lead. False teaching, being ignorant of His ways, being spiritually lazy, and over-emphasizing the so-called “miraculous” have deceived many into being led to follow the world, or the flesh, or even the enemy while thinking it was the Holy Spirit. And, as one can imagine, this has brought about an incredible amount of pain and heartache into people’s lives. I have listed a few things to be cautious of, some ways the Holy Spirit does not lead us.

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John MacArthur’s Ten Crucial Lessons We Must Teach our Children

Jordan Standridge of The Cripplegate has posted Dr. MacArthur’s list. Number one on the list: Parents must teach their children to fear God so that they will fear sinning against Him.  What many children don’t realize is that all sins committed against men are first and foremost done against a holy God. And because God is holy and just, sin must be punished.

According to Dr. MacArthur, there are nine more lessons we must teach our children that are found in Proverbs 1-10.  Standridge writes:

Recently as I was reading John MacArthur’s book Brave Dad, I found a section in which He gives “Ten Crucial Lessons Every Father Should Teach”. Obviously, MacArthur is known for his expository, verse by verse teaching. But sitting under his preaching for almost ten years I always loved his “lists” many he came up with while sitting at a restaurant writing on napkins. Obviously, it wasn’t the bread and butter of his ministry, neither should it have been, but when you’ve preached through the whole New Testament and know the entire Bible so well, you are bound to see patterns in Scripture and are able to come up with lists like these.

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Not recommended teachers/authors/speakers

Early in 2016, Michelle Lesley compiled a list of women teachers, speakers and authors that should be avoided like the plague. In October she added several women to the list (here). There’s no guessing necessary as to why Michelle doesn’t recommend certain high profile Christians because she includes examples of their flawed teaching; likewise, she names some of the wolves those on the list choose to partner with. Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Victoria Osteen and Christine Caine, to name a few.  The Bible urges believers to do their homework (Acts 17:11) for the reason that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1).

Now take a look at Michelle’s list…

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Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle’s mutual admiration society

In this blog post over at Spirit of Error, Holly Pivec exposes the love fest between two NAR leaders. It’s clear that the duo hold each other in high regard by their on stage behavior at IHOP’s recent OneThing conference.  Pivec writes:

Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle, OneThing conference. Photo credit: Spirit of Error

Anyone who has studied the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) knows how difficult it is to pin down. One reason it’s so hard to pin down the NAR is because it’s a movement. It’s not a formal organization or denomination–with an official list of beliefs, leaders or organizations. So you can’t simply go to a website and find an exhaustive list of NAR churches and teachers.

So how can you tell if a teacher is part of the NAR?

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Check out Berean Research’s White Paper on the New Apostolic Reformation

Skeptical Climate Scientists Coming In From the Cold

James Varney of Real Clear Investigations addresses how attitudes are changing about global warming and all those scientists who dare question its validity.  He writes:

In the world of climate science, the skeptics are coming in from the cold.

Researchers who see global warming as something less than a planet-ending calamity believe the incoming Trump administration may allow their views to be developed and heard. This didn’t happen under the Obama administration, which denied that a debate even existed. Now, some scientists say, a more inclusive approach – and the billions of federal dollars that might support it – could be in the offing.

“Here’s to hoping the Age of Trump will herald the demise of climate change dogma, and acceptance of a broader range of perspectives in climate science and our policy options,” Georgia Tech scientist Judith Curry wrote this month at her popular Climate Etc. blog.

William Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is similarly optimistic. “I think we’re making progress,” Happer said. “I see reassuring signs.”

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Go-go Silhouette Dancers for Christmas Eve at Northpoint Community Church

Museum of Idolatry’s blog features a few GIFS of silhouette go-go dancing that was performed on Christmas Eve at Pastor Andy Stanley’s church. Are these people attempting to mimic a red-light district, as MOI suggests? Clearly, people behind screens shaking their booties to a catchy tune about Santa Claus and Christmas cheer is not the proper theme for a Christmas Eve church service — and the stage act was not glorifying to God. MOI has the video.

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Just Announced: SBC Endorses NAR-Charismatic False Teaching

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen, who often reports on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has some troubling news for Southern Baptists. In this must-read-to-the-end post, he charges the SBC with not caring what its “pew-sitters are being taught so long as what they’re being taught retains them as pew-sitters.”  What most people don’t realize is that the SBC has had a million member loss in the last decade. So SBC’s leadership is desperate to retain its members and bring the sheep who have wandered off back into the fold.  Ahlheim informs us of some of the ways they’re going about accomplishing this task, which includes introducing New Apostolic Reformation teaching to its members. This is a terrible idea for the reason that the NAR movement has its roots in the Latter Rain cult and it is steeped in mysticism.

Ahlheim begins with a quote by Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen:

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Here’s Who Will Pray at Trump’s Inauguration

According to Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Astray Today, three New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) wolves are going to play a significant role in Donald Trump’s Inauguration.  Who are the trio that masquerade as evangelicals? Pastrix Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez and Wayne T. Jackson. Shellnutt fills us in on the details:

Donald Trump has enlisted a larger, more diverse lineup of clergy than usual to pray him into office at his upcoming inauguration ceremony.

The group—bigger than any president’s since Ronald Reagan—reflects his politics, pragmatism, and personality. It includes evangelical leaders Franklin Graham and Samuel Rodriguez, as well as spiritual advisor Paula White, the Florida televangelist credited with his rumored recent Christian conversion, and a Detroit prosperity preacher, Wayne T. Jackson.

“Taken together, [Graham and White] have embodied Trump’s embrace of the twinned ideologies of Christian nationalism and capitalist Christianity,” Kevin Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University and author of One Nation Under God, told CT.

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Carrie Fisher’s Death: ‘Wake-Up Call’ for Heart Screen Tests

According to Lynn Allison of NewsMax “heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. today.”  Here’s Allison’s advice:

“Star Wars” Actress Carrie Fisher’s death from a heart attack at age 60 should be a “wake-up call” about the threat of cardiovascular disease — particularly in women — and should prompt every American 55 and older to be screened for common factors that can flag risks.

That’s the view of Dr. Kevin Campbell, a leading cardiologist from North Carolina, who says many Americans miss the signs of heart disease that often precede a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

“One thing for sure — Carrie Fisher’s death should be a call to action for all women,” says Campbell, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Division of Cardiology.

“Know your risk factors, assess and modify your risk. This can be a way for all to increase awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. today. A yearly physical with doctors to assess her risk factors couple with a stress test or echocardiogram may have prevented her demise.”

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Sex On the Silver Screen – Outsourcing Depravity

Many professing Christians sit through sex scenes in movies, on TV and elsewhere. But by doing so, are we asking unbelievers–those who act in those scenes–to behave in ways we would never tolerate among ourselves? Do we view sex scenes so we can enjoy entertainment we otherwise couldn’t enjoy?  Author, blogger and pastor, Tim Challies, addresses an important topic that those who say they’re followers of Jesus Christ may not have thought through.  He writes:

I once read a memoir by a man who, as a teen, had been a Shabbos goy. A Shabbos goy is a non-Jew who performs some of the Sabbath-day functions that that are forbidden to the devout. Traditionally, a Shabbos goy would extinguish candles and lights, or he would stoke up a fire on a cold Sabbath morning, all actions considered work by strict interpretations of Jewish law. But since those regulations pertain only to Jews, some would hire Gentiles as a means of circumventing the law. The primary task of this young man was to sit in an elevator and push the buttons. Pushing buttons involves closing an electrical circuit and this was considered a violation of the Sabbath within that community. They outsourced the work to him.

Christians quickly identify this as hypocrisy, an adherence to the letter of the law that violates the spirit of the law. It’s hard to find an ethical difference between actually pushing a button and hiring someone else to do it. And, in fact, many Jews see it this way as well and most communities have dropped the very notion of the Shabbos goy. However, I think some Christians may have picked it up, or something like it at least. Our concern is not Sabbath-day functions, though. Our concern is enjoying entertainment, and to enjoy entertainment we need to hire people who disregard the law. We let them violate the law so we can enjoy the benefits.

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Andy Stanley: Please Relent or Step Down from Pastoral Ministry

Seems Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Church, is once again in hot water over another “foolish statement” he made.  In this piece over at Patheos, Grayson Gilbert takes Pastor Andy to task:

If anyone has not heard by this point, Andy Stanley, being infamous for making some foolish statements about the nature of the church and the scriptures, has done it yet again. Yet the interesting thing here for those paying close attention, is that the recent debacle over him making the claim that Christianity doesn’t hinge off of the biblical account of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, is really just the outworking of his previous statements. Incidentally, it also mirrors the decent into liberalism and unbelief – more clearly, it is the preamble to that notable thundering of ol’ Harry Emerson Fosdick who asked, “Shall the Fundamentalists win?”

Fosdick stood on the mount of liberals, decrying the virgin birth, making exceptions to the inerrancy of the scriptures, and eventually came to deny the literal resurrection of Christ. His reason: fundamentalists were intolerant for making claims that such things could not be denied while one remains a Christian. Ultimately, he divided the secular and the sacred in expressing that science, reason, and modernism could not be harmonious with such historic doctrines. I’ll concede on the point that modernism and Christianity are not compatible; interestingly, one of these things has already faded away.

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Obama Quietly Signs The ‘Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act’ Into Law

Over at Zero Hedge,Tyler Durden reveals what was buried deep inside the provisions of the Defense Authorization Act. He writes:

 

Late on Friday, with the US population embracing the upcoming holidays and oblivious of most news emerging from the administration, Obama quietly signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes $611 billion for the military in 2017.

In a statement, Obama said that:

Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Much of the balance of Obama’s statement blamed the GOP for Guantanamo’s continued operation and warned that “unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history,” Obama said. Obama also said Congress failed to use the bill to reduce wasteful overhead (like perhaps massive F-35 cost overruns?) or modernize military health care, which he said would exacerbate budget pressures facing the military in the years ahead.

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Top 10 Best Christmas Songs of All Time

A few days ago we posted “Top 10 Worst Christmas Songs of All Time” and wrote:

The songs were picked by author and speaker Michelle Lesley.  Michelle includes videos so that visitors to her blog will know just how appalling some popular “Christmas” songs are.

So now Michelle presents her opinion of the 10 best Christmas songs and once again she includes videos:

Christmas songs. Everybody’s got a favorite or two, or ten! I’ve given you my list of the ten worst. Now, in no particular order (mostly), and according to nothing other than my own preferences, here are my nominations for the ten best Christmas songs ever.

(Note: I do not necessarily endorse all of the songwriters or performers listed below, the churches/organizations they represent, any other songs they may have written or performed, or their theology. If you decide to follow any of these people or groups, check out their theology first to make sure it’s biblical.)

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