According to the Christian News Network:
North Carolina’s ‘Choose Life’ license plate is unconstitutional because the state doesn’t provide the same forum for motorists on the other side of the contentious issue, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a federal judge’s ruling that the ‘Choose Life’ license plate is unconstitutional.
Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, expresses his dismay over a Kentucky judge’s decision to grant full recognition to same-sex marriages legally performed in other states:
As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” Those are the words of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, drawn from his dissent in the case United States v. Windsor, handed down last year. In that case, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that the United States government could not refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. The Court struck down a law passed by massive majorities in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. While the Court did not rule that all fifty states must immediately legalize same-sex marriage, it set the stage for this eventual result. Justice Scalia made that point clear in his dissent.
Now, Justice Scalia’s prophecy has come to pass in Kentucky. Today, U. S. District Judge John G. Heyburn declared that Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states violates the equal protection clause of the U. S. Constitution. Judge Heyburn did not rule that Kentucky must now marry same-sex couples, but that the state must grant full recognition to same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. Nevertheless, Judge Heyburn recognized that his decision points to that eventual result, stating that “there is no doubt that Windsor and this Court’s analysis suggest a possible result to that question.” If anything, that is an understatement. As with Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion in Windsor, Judge Heyburn now clearly points to the striking down of any state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. As Justice Scalia predicted, we did not have to wait long for the other shoe.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13, ESV
God is Holy. God is Righteous. God is Just. God is Sovereign. Yehōwāh (יהוה) our Adhōnāy (אדן אדון), God our sovereign one, our Lord, our Kύριος or Kyrios, is also Love, Mercy, and Grace. We must not have a view of God that emphasizes His love, mercy, or grace over His Holiness. We are commanded to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We are commaded to delight in God and come boldly to His throne of Grace, yet we must never take His Holiness for granted. This is why we have so much exhortation in Bible to put to death the deeds of the flesh and then become Spirit-filled thereby walking in repentance.
It truly was only a matter of time before he’d join his Word Faith heroes on TBN. Apprising Ministries fils you in.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4, ESV
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17, ESV
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11, ESV
For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:37–38, ESV
The real author of Sacred Scripture is the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of God frequently repeats Himself, He thereby appeals for special attention. Look closely at Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:37–38. Since the right doctrine comes from the Holy Spirit and He has declared that the righteous shall live by faith so often we must discern that this is doctrine and it is of highest importance. Also, these truths, this doctrine, must be preached and taught to believers as much as possible. Since all genuine believers have the Holy Spirit they should unhesitatingly receive this doctrine by their regenerated faith.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:12–16, ESV
Humility is a not easy to get our minds around. The problem is that pride sometimes masquerades as humility. We naturally act humble from a motivation of pride. It is insidious. Also, most of us have a wrong idea what genuine humility is. Is a person who is self-deprecating humble? What about the person who boldly shares his or her faith with confidence? Our fleshly minds see the former as humble and the latter as prideful, when that is more than likely not the case. If the person full of boldness and confidence is emboldened by the Holy Spirit and their confidence is in our Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit in and through them, then they are actually exhibiting Christlike humility. On the other hand, the one who is constantly tearing themselves down before others could be doing so from a motivation of false humility that is actually pride. The ones who are ready to serve the Lord and do so with enthusiasm and boldness are genuinely humble if their confidence is in God, not their own abilities. On the other hand, those who are always telling others that they can’t serve because they aren’t able are actually responding from their pride. They don’t want to look bad if they fail. They have no faith in God working through them. Do you see how insidious this is?
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes:
The debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham attracted a huge international audience and no shortage of controversy—even before it began. Bill Nye, whose main media presence is as “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, co-founder of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, squared off in a true debate over one of the most important questions that the human mind can contemplate. That is no small achievement.
I enjoyed a front row seat at the debate, which took place even as a major winter storm raged outside, dumping considerable amounts of snow and ice and causing what the local police announced as a “Class Two” weather emergency. Inside the Creation Museum there was quite enough heat, and the debate took place without a hitch. Thankfully, it also took place without acrimony.
The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.
Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg writes:
In my book, Heidi Mund is a Christian superstar, a champion, and a hero. We so desperately need more like her. Instead we have millions of gutless, spineless effeminate churchians who will never open their mouth about anything. Indeed, our churches are filled with craven cowards and spineless wonders.
So who is Heidi Mund? She is a small, frail, quiet German woman, but one who allows the Holy Ghost to empower her greatly, speaking out forcefully and fearlessly against syncretism, idolatry and the lies of the enemy. Her story has been captured in a video which has gone viral, and rightly so. You can see the 6-minute video here.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:12–17, ESV
The Great Down Grade Controversy in the late 19th century was between Charles Spurgeon and a few orthodox ministers who stood against the trend towards modernism that was sweeping through England in the last years of his ministry. That conflict had many similarities with the battle we are in the midst of right now with the movement into “relevance” and “the new evangelism.” Just as in Spurgeon’s day, there seems to be only a remnant that is standing against this onslaught against the truth for the sake of being man pleasers.
Apprising Ministries shares an encouraging message from Martin Luther.
In order to please men when it comes to the apostate Church of Rome, charismatic evangelical leaders like Rick Warren continue turning their back on biblical Reformation theology.
Ahead of some important information about Rome’s papacy, in this piece Apprising Ministries offers some background for charismatics who’re compromising doctrine to try and place the Roman Catholic Church into the Body of Christ.
In this new piece, Apprising Ministries uses the history of contemplative spirituality and charismania within the dead mainline denominations to show you why its infiltration into mainstream evangelicalism will have dire consequences.
According to thestar.com:
The Vatican “systematically” adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a UN human rights committee said Wednesday, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.
In a devastating report hailed by abuse victims, the UN committee severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.
Christian News Network reports:
A Christian legal organization has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it reinstate an injunction against a California law that bars licensed therapists from helping homosexual youth to overcome temptation.
As previously reported, in 2012, as the ban was being contemplated in the legislature, Governor Jerry Brown remarked that he hoped reparative therapy would be forever heaved into “the dustbin of quackery.” The bill’s author, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, claimed that counseling and therapy aimed at helping youth turn from the homosexual lifestyle is the equivalent of “psychological child abuse.”
The Discernment Research Group writes:
I went to a John Wimber workshop… He said he sees the next 20 to 30 years as the time when more signs and wonders will be done than ever in history and when the secular media will be overwhelmed and have to report it every day as great revival spreads. John Piper
Now we come full circle to Francis Chan’s appearance along with the aforementioned Jesus Culture at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) Young Adult Conference 2013 One Thing, which just wrapped up Tuesday, December 31st… In my opinion IHOP is using Francis Chan’s comments at One Thing as propaganda in order to borrow Chan’s credibility within the wider evangelical community and promote their leader Mike Bickle. How foolish of Francis Chan to just gush enthusiastically:
“I go, man, there’s a lot of great things going on [at IHOP].
And today was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle.
And, I love that guy. I do.
…there’s people who told me not to hang out with him.
“Like, you know, words like “creepy” came up.
And yet, I get to know this guy and I’m going,
“Man, I love his heart.
And I just want to publicly say I love Mike Bickle.
The children are the best of all the generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth…. those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever been in the Bible – They’ll move in it consistently… they themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet… a church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!
Mike Bickle & Bob Jones
IHOP In An Era of Celebrity-Driven Christianity
Evangelical leaders are currently rushing to associate themselves with major youth events that are becoming increasingly popular in the Christian world. These mass youth rallies were developed over the course of several decades by Mike Bickle’s IHOP (International House of Prayer) movement, which is interconnected to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). IHOP and the NAR share both personnel and doctrine, with roots that go back into the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult. Previously we have extensively documented the history of the camaraderie of IHOP and NAR.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:22–27, ESV
We are exhorted throughout God’s Word to persevere even in the most rugged of circumstances. We are given a promise of what awaits those who do persevere, the adoption as “sons” and redemption of our bodies, which is positional for all truly in Christ. Yet, we look forward to these and other promises with eyes of faith. This temporal part of our life as Christians can be quite a battle with the flesh to the point of crying out like the Apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:7-25). Weakness in this battle is directly attributable to a lack of praying as we should, while, conversely, victory in this battle is directly attributable to proper praying in the spirit, that is, in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than according to one’s own agenda. There are many “church” things out there that are not good for us. These “church” things are the product of those scoffers who have entered the Church to divide it.
ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα, ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω καὶ εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ, μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ, τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ, εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶ. Philippians 3:8–11, NA28
But even more so I consider all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom all things I suffered loss and I consider them dung, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness that is of the law, but the righteousness through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based upon faith, to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death, that if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8–11, translated from the NA28 Greek text
The Visible Church in our time has continued with what Charles Spurgeon referred to as The Great Downgrade. That was, of course, the move to liberalize the doctrines of the Church so as to make the individual churches become more “user friendly” to people, that is, to not be so offensive by being so forceful with moral stands against “certain sins” while, at the same time, giving up adherence to long held statements of faith such as the Five Solas of the Reformation: “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone); “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone); “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone); “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone); and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be Glory).
Apprising Ministries outlines reasons to be concerned about Willow Creek’s embrace of the Alpha Course and why it should be rejected.
Jason Helopoulos, guest blogging for The Gospel Coalition writes:
Even before the Grammy Awards showcased Macklemore singing “Same Love” and Queen Latifah presiding over a “same sex couple’s wedding” ceremony, I had most of this blog written as the topic has been on my mind for quite some time.
I am not a Kuyperian or a Neo-Kuyperian, but there are certain watershed cultural issues for every generation of Christians; issues in which they cannot be silent. For our generation, abortion and homosexuality are key watershed issues. They are watershed issues, because abortion snatches away life and homosexuality reaches out and grabs hold of death.
The average Evangelical Christian continues to believe we should speak out against the acceptance of abortion in our culture. And the pro-abortion forces have been losing ground over the past five years. No doubt, much of that is due to the church’s resolve to stand against this agenda. However, it seems to me that in the past few years, Evangelical Christians in the United States have increasingly and passively grown in their acceptance of homosexuality. This should concern all of us.
Ταῦτά σοι γράφω ἐλπίζων ἐλθεῖν πρὸς σὲ ἐν τάχει· ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω, ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία θεοῦ ζῶντος, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας. 1 Timothy 3:14–15, NA28
These things I write to you hoping to come to you quickly, but if I delay, you may know how one ought to conduct oneself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and buttress of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14–15, a personal translation from the NA28 Greek text
As we have discussed countless times on this blog, the visible church in our time has taken on a “mission” that is different than the one assigned to it by God. Parts of it have the mission of being “user-friendly” while other parts are “purpose-driven,” and others are “seeker-sensitive.” None of that is what the Church is to be about. I had a discussion not long ago with a professing Christian who used to live in Orange County in California and while there attended Rick Warren’s church. He told me that he had read my objections to how Rick Warren and his followers handle the Gospel, but his objection to how we came to that conclusion that we had overlooked the very obvious fact that Rick Warren and all those who follow him and what he does “do not believe that what they are doing is mishandling the Gospel.” I was somewhat taken aback by that statement. How could that be in any way shape or form a valid apologia to simply stated Biblical Truth? The answer, “They are sincere in what they were doing so it has to be okay.”
In the light of the Strange Fire conference of his friend John MacArthur, and if you’ve ever wondered what Piper’s position is, Apprising Ministries has the video.
There’s a major misunderstanding within the evangelical community that talks between Roman Catholics and Protestants now reveal the Church of Rome is part of the Body of Christ.
In this new piece, Apprising Ministries presents you with materials which remind you that the Roman Catholic Church is not even a biblical church at all.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights Proverbs 3:11–12, ESV
A huge part of the Lord’s discipline is designed to eradicate within His people a love for this world and/or the things of this world. How can it be pleasing to God for His people to love the system that despised His Son and killed Him? Yes believers must live the lives God has given them here amidst people who are not His. God uses this to discipline and reprove His people. Unlike the message of many false teachers in our day, sickness, conflict, and trouble are not outward signs of God’s displeasure with a believer, but are, in fact, His work of sanctifying those in whom He delights. Most perplexing of all for the genuine Christian is that at times is when the ugly pressure comes from people whom most people consider to be Christians and possibly even Christian leaders.
Apprising Ministries offers some quick background and then gives you the audio clip from Todd Friel’s radio program.
BetterThanSacrifice.org presents a treatment of the parable of the Two Slaves from Matthew 24:42–51, and the parable of the Talents from Matthew 25:14–30. We are crushed by the Law and comforted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Audio and a transcript of the message are provided.