According to The Daily Signal:
Last week, the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. The U.K.’s earlier decision to stay out of the euro currency (which most, but not all, EU member states use) contains an unexpected lesson about economics and humility.
In 2003, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced that Britain’s economy had not met the five criteria necessary for joining the euro and abandoning the pound.
With the political mood firmly against entry into the euro, pro-euro Prime Minister Tony Blair allowed Brown’s test to stand. Both men favored eventual accession to the euro, but were convinced that economic conditions in the U.K. were sufficiently different than those in mainland Europe that monetary union was risky.
Although the question of euro entry was debated by economists at the time, it is now widely believed that the Bank of England, which issues the pound, performed much better than the European Central Bank in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.
According to Julia Dent of Accelerated, “The harder churches try to be cool and trendy, the more Millennials are joining the mass exodus from the church.”
For years, churches have been trying to find new ways to attract Millennials, two thirds of whom believe churchgoers are “a lot or somewhat hypocritical.” Churches have tried everything from deploying hipster pastors to making their sanctuaries less church-like.
As a Millennial, I have a message for churches: Please, just stop. We don’t need outreach that looks like the latest emoji trend, which features the tagline “Scripture 4 Millennials” and translates the Bible into emoji. That’s right. On the Bible Emoji Translator website, you can enter your favorite Bible verse and out pops an emoji-version of scripture. Or as the translator puts it, “Enter ur fave Bible verse on the left emoji awesomeness appears on the right” (thankfully, there aren’t any symbols for words found in the Bible like prostitute or concubine or circumcision).
According to a piece by Mary Troyan of USA Today:
House Republicans on Tuesday concluded a two-year investigation into the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi with an 800-page report that blames politically motivated bureaucratic delays for failing to prevent or stop the deadly attacks that claimed four American lives.
The highly anticipated report adds new detail to the findings of seven previous congressional inquiries, and it is expected to be used by Republicans to question Hillary Clinton’s leadership just as the fall presidential campaign heats up.
Clinton, who was secretary of State when Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed on Sept. 11, 2012, was planning to visit Libya later that year, which pressured diplomats to stay at the poorly guarded, temporary outpost despite deteriorating security in the region, according to the report.
According to Rod Dreher of the American Conservative:
The US Supreme Court today denied to hear a case involving pharmacists in Washington state who, for religious reasons, declined to dispense
RU-486 Plan B, the “morning-after pill,” which causes abortion. Effectively this means that Christian pharmacists who refuse to sell drugs that intend to exterminate life in the womb cannot work in the new society. More:
The Supreme Court will not review Washington state’s requirement that pharmacies dispense emergency contraceptives to women, prompting a complaint from conservative justices that it was an “ominous sign” for religious liberty.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. issued a sharp dissent Tuesday to the court’s decision not to review a lower court’s ruling upholding the regulations. He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas.
Alito said the case raised important First Amendment claims by religious pharmacists but that “this court does not deem the case worthy of our time. If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.”
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research fills us in on Brian McLaren’s latest endeavor: worship music with spiritual formation value. McLaren says his music will be “theologically thoughtful.” But because Brian McLaren is a heretic, we can expect his music to be theologically twisted. A video has been provided for our listening enjoyment.
Now to Amy’s blog post:
It’s called the “Convergence Music Project,” and it is the brainchild of Emergent/Progressive guru Brian McLaren in collaboration with The Center for Progressive Renewal and the Convergence Initiative.
Side note: If you are unfamiliar with McLaren (who calls the cross “cosmic child abuse“), or his Progressive alliance, click here to understand its mission (“new ways of doing theology”), and its approach (“new kinds of faith communities, new approaches to worship and spiritual formation, new integrations and conversations and convergences and dreams.”)
According to Rebecca Cusey of The Federalist, Donald Trump thinks religion is about “temporal power” and it seems several highly regarded (by some) evangelical leaders are on board with him. Cusey writes:
On Tuesday, Donald Trump met with a few hundred evangelical leaders in New York City. I read through the transcript thinking maybe Trump might exhibit some charm, some thoughtfulness in a smaller setting that is lost on the large stage, something that would explain why people who profess to believe in Jesus would be so taken in by Trump.
Sadly, no. The transcript is shocking in its pandering: of Trump to evangelicals, yes—we expected that—but also in their pandering to Trump. Here are the most egregious takeaways. You can find the full transcript here.
Nile Gardiner of The Daily Signal has the story:
The momentous victory for the Brexit campaign signals a new era of freedom for the British people.
After more than four decades of being shackled to the European Union (previously the European Economic Community), Great Britain has declared its independence.
The vote for Brexit (52 percent of Britons cast ballots to leave the EU) is a vote for sovereignty and self-determination. Britain will no longer be subject to European legislation, with Britain’s Parliament retaking control. British judges will no longer be overruled by the European Court of Justice, and British businesses will be liberated from mountains of EU regulations, which have undermined economic liberty.
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research fills us in on what “Purpose Driven Pope,” Rick Warren, is up to these days and voices some of her concerns. She writes:
Photo courtesy Apprising Ministries
In case you thought Rick Warren was fading into the background giving the New Apostolic Reformation the spotlight, think again. While the NAR “apostles” target youth ripe for revival, Warren is back in the saddle targeting pastors around the globe for his one-world P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
For the first time in almost a decade, Saddleback pastor Rick Warren is bringing his Purpose Driven Conference for pastors and leaders back to the United States, and inviting a worldwide audience to stream it online (for a mere $199). The conference takes place at his Lake Forest, California church in just a few days: June 28 – 30.
Daily Mail has the story:
As Donald Trump flew in to Scotland today after the UK’s seismic break with the European Union, parallels have been drawn with the anti-immigration message that led to Brexit and his rise to presumptive Republican presidential candidate.
Many have pointed out the similarities between Britain’s decision to leave the EU and Trump’s campaign – and believe it is an indication of how Americans will vote on November 8, which could see Trump in the White House.
The Donald’s arrival in the UK will be seen by many as a meeting of minds – two worlds colliding with shared views including a disgruntled electorate; lost national pride; isolationism; and the issue of immigration.
Actually, Trump has surrounded himself with false teachers and Christian leaders who have zero clout with most evangelicals. Among the cloutless leaders are James Dobson and Richard Land. Not many in the Christian community hold these men in high esteem anymore. The list also includes two high-profile she-wolves: Paula White and Gloria Copeland. Emma Green of The Atlantic has the story.
James Dobson. Richard Land. Ralph Reed. The ’90s are back in Trumpland, and the old-guard religious right is making its return. After Trump spoke at a meeting of more than 1,000 evangelicals and some Catholics on Tuesday, his campaign announced his appointment of an “evangelical executive advisory board” to lead a larger “Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee” that will be announced later in June.
The list reads like a who’s who of conservative Christian leaders. Ronnie Floyd just ended his term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jerry Falwell Jr. heads Liberty University. Reed and Dobson each founded highly influential Christian lobbying groups—the Faith and Freedom Coalition and Focus on the Family, respectively. Many of these figures are household-names among Christian families in America, having either started or inherited empire-sized talk-radio networks and organizations.
After the massacre in Orlando by the lone, self-proclaimed, Islamic Terrorist, many Christians I have encountered seem confused about how to respond to it. I know of some who want to declare war on all Muslims. I know of others who say that the people who were killed at the Gay nightclub were under the judgment of God and got what they deserved. However, being one who takes responses to secular events like these and filters them through God’s truth in light of the Cross, I have struggled going beyond viewing the whole thing as tragic, murder, and further encroachment of darkness enveloping our society. However on Monday, June 20th, I received an email from Ligonier Ministries where R.C. Sproul does a fine job of addressing the Christian’s response to terrorism. Enjoy and be blessed my brethren.
NPR’s Health News has the story:
Stanford law professor and bioethicist Hank Greely predicts that in the future most people in developed countries won’t have sex to make babies. Instead they’ll choose to control their child’s genetics by making embryos in a lab.
On KQED’s Forum program, Michael Krasny spoke with Greely about his new book, The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction. Greely highlights the ethical and legal questions that might arise in the future’s reproductive paradigm.
According to former transgender Walt Heyer, “Research studies from 2013 and 2009 looking for a ‘transgender gene’ showed not a smidgeon of abnormality in the genetic make-up that causes someone to be transgender.” In a piece over at The Daily Signal Heyer lays out some of the serious problems facing those who are transgender persons:
For instance, a 2016 study comparing 20 Lebanese transgender participants to 20 control subjects reported that transgender individuals suffer from more psychiatric pathologies compared to the general population. More than 50 percent had active suicidal thoughts and 45 percent had had a major depressive episode.
While it may not be politically correct to link psychological disorders with the transgender population, the researchers see the evidence that a link exists. As a former transgender person, I wish the guy who approved me for gender surgery would have told me about the risks.
Mike Gonzalez of The Daily Signal wonders how a person born and raised in America can turn into a terrorist bent on executing his fellow countrymen. Gonzalez makes the point that Americans need to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. He writes:
Despite signs everywhere that the Orlando massacre has failed to bring the country together, there seems to be a growing consensus on at least one point—considering a return to E Pluribus Unum.
This is a national debate that conservatives have long demanded and should relish having.
Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch examines how Islam, Judaism and Christianity view homosexuality. Do all three of these monotheistic religions affirm death for homosexuals? According to Muehlenberg,
Homosexuality is condemned in all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While there are some similarities found on this issue in all three, there are also some major differences. Here I wish to focus on just one aspect of this: homosexuality and the death penalty.
In short, Judaism and Islam both call for the death penalty on this, while New Testament Christianity does not. But this needs to be much more fully explained. Part of the reason I raise this issue here is because the enemies of Christianity love to abuse and misuse all this.
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen examines what he deems are some of the problems with the Southern Baptist Convention. He believes the SBC “has set aside the sound teaching of Biblical truth. That it is “seeking the touchy-feely warm fuzzies that seem to soothe the unrepentant soul. Rather than edifying the believer, the SBC pursues ecstatic entertainment to appeal to goats.” He writes:
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president, Southern Baptist Convention. Photo courtesy Pulpit & Pen
If you web wander over to the Baptist Press today (June 15) – today being the day after Ronnie Floyd’s 2016 National Call to Prayer for Spiritual Leadership, Revived Churches Nationwide, and Global Awakening – you will find numerous stories about the Southern Baptist Convention’s second day of business.
There was, of course, the vote for a new president which, according to the Christian Post, could be a turning point for the convention as it determines “whether Millennial Reformed Theology Represents The Future” for the denomination. The vote, if you don’t know, lacked the necessary majority. It has gone to a runoff with consideration of the issue carried over to today’s business.
Lee Duigon, contributing editor with Chalcedon Foundation, shows the ways in which liberals are decimating every trace of biblical morality. He writes:
Again I say it: kill the culture, and the culture will kill you right back.
Throw off God’s laws, and man’s laws will suffer, too.
Few cities reject godliness like San Francisco, Gay by the Bay. Its leaders, its thinkers, speak of “San Francisco values” is if they actually believed in them. Those values would include the public festival of sexual lawlessness that they call a “pride parade,” defiantly taking pride in what ought to be a source of shame.
Would it surprise you to learn that property crime in San Francisco is up 60 percent since 2010? That it now has the highest per capita property crime among all of America’s top 50 cities? And the city tourist board is getting nervous about “street behavior” that sends the tourists fleeing to Des Moines. “Street behavior” is a euphemism covering many antisocial acts, from “overly aggressive panhandling”—is that another euphemism for mugging?—to shooting up with drugs right out on the sidewalk for everyone to see.
Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen continues his report on Together 2016. He writes:
Pulpit & Pen recently confirmed and reported that the Pope of Rome will be joining Southern Baptist President, along with Hillsong United, Lecrae, and many other professing evangelical Christians in Washington D.C. for an ecumenical fornication-fest. The event, dubbed Together 2016, is estimated to host over 1 million attendees.
Recently, a tweet appeared from Together2016’s official Twitter account that stated the following:
See our research paper on Roman Catholicism
From this piece we learn that there are two-tiers of Christian hierarchy. According to Elizabeth Prata of The End Time, “At the top are the super-spiritual, super-intimate believers who are blessed with God’s favor in receiving this special revelation directly. The bottom tier are the unlucky/unfaithful/less-than believers who don’t ever receive such personal ministrations from Jesus.”
Find out if you’re blessed with God’s favor, like Beth Moore is, or if you’re super-unlucky.
Paige Cunningham, executive director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, warns that “Although the prospect is remote, scientists could potentially design people on computers who would be born without biological parents.” World Magazine has the story:
On June 2, the journal Science published a paper written by 25 researchers announcing their intention to begin a 10-year project aimed at synthetically creating an entire human genome—the complete set of genes present in a cell.
Although the researchers are clear the goal of the Human Genome Project-Write (HGP-Write) is to synthesize a human genome in a lab dish—not to create a baby—many bioethicists and other experts are raising skeptical eyebrows.
Molly Roberts of the liberal Washington Post has the story:
A female presidential candidate has clinched a major-party nomination for the first time in U.S. history. No one seems to care — at least not many people in my millennial generation. Not even women, although they should.
Maybe my cohort is caught up in the moment of Donald Trump: Millennial liberals may think it’s more vital to ward off an age of authoritarianism than to usher in a new era for feminism. Certainly, we’ve been distracted by Bernie Sanders: For idealistic young voters, a rabble-rousing revolutionary feels more alluring than a political pragmatist, even one with two X chromosomes.
Pope Francis is hoping to unite Christians in the “Next Great Awakening” at Together 2016. Jeff Maples and Brandon Hines of Pulpit & Pen have the story:
Where is the discernment?
It has been thoroughly covered that the Together 2016 is hosting many questionable people liked by evangelicals, including Hillsong UNITED, Christine Caine, Kari Jobe, Kirk Franklin, the rapper “who happens to be Christian,” Lecrae, SBC President, Ronnie Floyd, Josh McDowell, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Ann Voskamp, and Matthew West. Since then, we have also learned that Matt Maher won’t be the only Roman Catholic these people are partnering with. Pope Francis has added himself to the lineup stating that he will speak to the people via video. Founder of PULSE, Nick Hall, who helped organize the event, said,
We are humbled and honored by his involvement and eager to share his message with the crowd that gathers at Together 2016…That His Holiness would choose to speak into this historic day is a testament to the urgency and the need for followers of Jesus to unite in prayer for our nation and our world.
See our research paper on Roman Catholicism
According to Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen:
The Baptist Press just released the Annual Church Profile report for 2015. The article opens with the decidedly Scripture-oblivious words, “Southern Baptists may find cause for hope in the latest Annual Profile Report. The Southern Baptist Convention added more churches in 2015, due mostly to church planting efforts.”
Over at Borrowed Light, blogger Mike Leake tackles what’s going on with what he calls the “accepting myself” movement that’s becoming so prevalent among professing Christians. Leake laments:
I’m seeing more and more young people follow the path of Knapp and Pearson. It’s becoming quite the broad road. And this broad road isn’t labeled homosexuality. This broad road is labeled “accepting myself”. That is the foundational doctrine of this American heresy. And it is swallowing up more and more of those my age and younger. It’s a doctrine which runs away from the Refiner’s fire.