12 ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν παρρησίαν καὶ προσαγωγὴν ἐν πεποιθήσει διὰ τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ. 13 διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐγκακεῖν ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν δόξα ὑμῶν. (Ephesians 3:12-13 NA28)
12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through faith in him . 13 Therefore, I ask you not to despair concerning my afflictions for you, which is for your glory. (Ephesians 3:12-13 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The words “not to despair” above translate μὴ ἐγκακεῖν. Μὴ or mē expresses absolute denial. Paul is expressing his desire to the Ephesians that they DO NOT do something. That something is ἐγκακεῖν that is the Present tense, Infinitive mood, Active voice form of ἐκκακέω or ekkakeō, which literally means, “to turn out to be a coward, to lose one’s courage, to faint or despond in view of trial or to be utterly spiritless.” So perhaps my translation of “not to despair” seems insufficient in light of this, but what we must see is that the verb structure Paul used here is speaking of a way of life not a one-time action.
Mike Garcia, columnist for NewsMax, has compiled a list of past statements by the pope that allegedly shows that he’s a leftist:
Pope Francis upset many conservatives when he released his encyclical on climate change this summer, but it’s certainly not the first time he’s raised eyebrows. The pontiff’s past comments on homosexuality, capitalism, and international geopolitics have also ruffled those on the right.
As the pope gears up for his trip to the U.S. next month, many will be waiting to see what message he delivers directly to the American people. Many conservatives aren’t holding their breath, however.
Gathered below are 22 past statements by the pope that prove he’s a consistent leftist.
1. He has called for centralized redistribution of wealth. In May of last year, the pope addressed the U.N., calling for what sounded like a socialist “redistribution of economic benefits by the state.”
2. He has contradicted the teachings of past popes. Pope Francis’ comments contrast starkly with John Paul II’s writings. In Centensimus Annus (1991), John Paul acknowledged that Marxism clearly failed with the fall of the Soviet Union, and praised any economic system “which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production as well as free human creativity in the economic sector.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
The Christian Examiner reports:
The Little Sisters of the Poor received an unexpected visitor Sept. 23 when Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at their community in Washington, D.C.
The move, according to Vatican officials, was a show of support for the nuns who are entangled in a lawsuit with the federal government over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, known to the public – sometimes derisively – as “Obamacare.”
13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 1 John 3:13 NASB
There are many ministries in our time that are run by people who have either forgotten that friendship with the world is a sin or they are deliberately overlooking it. If a ministry operates in such a way that the world loves it then there is at least one missing component in it. That of course is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture is clear that Christians cannot be friends of the world. Why? Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system, which is in rebellion against God (John 14:30). Therefore, the world not only hates Jesus, but also those who follow Him. This hatred is also focused toward the Father because He sent Jesus to testify against it. Now, since this is true and clearly taught in Sacred Scripture, what does this say about those ministries who work overtime to accommodate the secular and to appeal to temporal ways and means?
Berean Research has the report:
It was lung cancer. Sadly, the emergent-New Ager clung to her teachings that Christendom must evolve. She frequently appeared with Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and those of other faiths to ring in a new era in the modern Church. (See “Emerging Towards Convergence”)
Tickle believed that throughout history, the Christian Church evolves every 500 years or so, and we are ripe for another paradigm shift. She wrote a book, Embracing Emergence Christianity: Phyllis Tickle on the Church’s Next Rummage Sale. Here is the publisher’s description of this latest apostasy:
13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over.
15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 2 Kings 2:13-15 NASB
As we stand in the thick of the battle, not falling or retreating, it is because we are wearing and using the armor of God. Our God is not a product of man-made religion. He is not created by man in the form of the creature. No, He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and just. The great object to be desired is God, YHWH, Elijah’s God. With YHWH all things flourish. His absence is our decline and death.
Before genuine believers can enter into any good work they should seek for the God who was with their predecessors. What a mercy that the God of Elijah is also the God of Elisha! He will also be with us. He will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)
The Spirit-filled believer does not need antiquities from the past, nor novelties of the present, nor marvels for the future; he or she only wants the Triune God, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and they shall then see with them wonders equal to those of Elijah’s age. “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” The old mantle, used with faith in the same God, parted the waters to the one side and to the other. The power is where it used to be.
Bloomberg has this report:
U.S. companies are swiftly adding health insurance benefits for employees who want to transition to another gender, a fairly inexpensive way to show they’re serious about a diverse workforce because so few people actually use them.
More than 415 of about 780 firms surveyed for their friendliness toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers now cover related procedures, including hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgeries, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That’s more than double the number in 2012, and up from just 49 in 2009.
Christian News Network reports:
In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NASB
I remember a preacher who filled in for ours once for some reason. I was about 15 or so at the time. He was an older gentleman with a big booming voice and a head full of white hair. He was so different from our preacher that I actually listened to what he said. I believe that the person from the Bible he was talking about was Isaac. I remember him commenting on the fact that he was timid or shy or fearful. In my mind I thought of that person as shy or bashful by the way he described him. Then he said something I will never forget. He said, “Folks, timidity is not of God.” He then preached a sermon on how God calls His people to be bold and to fear not. Those who are fearful are those of little faith who make decisions that reflect their fear instead of reflecting a trust of God through their faith. He said that those who walk in fear and timidity are actually not in obedience to God and are therefore operating from pride. Their fear was the product of their pride as it did all it could do to protect self. However, those who walk in boldness are the truly humble believers because they lay aside self-protection while obeying God for His glory.
According to Christian Examiner:
GLADD-handing is a common political occurrence in Washington, D.C., but the official guest list for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House is causing the Vatican serious concern.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Vatican officials are concerned that photos featuring the pope greeting several prominent gay rights advocates and Roman Catholics who support same-sex marriage during his White House visit could be misinterpreted as the pontiff endorsing non-traditional views on the family and human sexuality.
According to the White House, retired (and now divorced) homosexual Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson will be a guest, as will Nicholas Coppola, a former Roman Catholic who started a Change.org petition calling for the church to be more inclusive of gays and lesbians after he was put out of his church parish in New York.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” Revelation 17:1-2 NASB
John the Baptist was the one who was sent to make the way straight, to prepare the way for the one who was to come. Of course the one who was to come is our Lord Jesus Christ the long awaited Messiah of the Jews. Gabriel told Zechariah, the father of John, “he would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb, and will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Of course he did that very thing and our Lord was born of a virgin soon after John.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:10-13 NASB
When I see or hear so-called Christians speak of God prospering them because of their faith or see Pastors or “Evangelists” with their own private jets, huge homes and limousines there is a bad taste that forms in my mouth. From the birth of the Church until now there have been those professing to be Christians who are anything but. They major in minors while ignoring the major points of our faith. They take passages of scripture out of context to make it say that it supports their aberrant forms of Christian theology. The huge tragedy of this, of course, is how many blindly follow them thinking they are Christian, when they are nothing but False Teachers who love money. Money is their idol and idolatry always leads to spiritual blindness.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 “When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 “For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not know My ways.
11 “Therefore I swore in My anger,
Truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalms 95:7-11 NASB
Preaching or teaching from God’s Word is nothing to trifle with. The responsibility that goes with each is eternal. Those who minister through the Word will be held accountable. We must ask each time we preach or teach, “Did I treat what is Holy as it deserved? Have I fallen into doing my ministry perfunctorily?” Those of us who teach must never do so that is in any way motivated by anything other than our love and devotion for our Lord. Yes, there will be circumstances that we respond to and use as inspiration or input in a spontaneous way, but, even in that, we do a tremendous disservice to our Lord if we don’t go to Him in prayer first before we respond, write, preach, or teach. While the leader has a huge responsibility to minister by the Spirit, those who hear the truth from God’s Word will also be held accountable.
John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire has written another installment of his War Room series. His concern is that Priscilla Shirer’s movie fans will purchase her pre-War Room products and be exposed to her contemplative leanings.
For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. (Isaiah 2:6)
“…I knew the Lord was calling me to experience Him in prayer in a brand new way.”  — Priscilla Shirer
Contemplative prayer, which Priscilla Shirer referred to as her “brand new way” some years ago, is in reality an ancient way. It is essentially the same as New Age or Eastern meditation, but disguised with “Christianese” terminology. Those who participate and enter the silence, as it is called, open themselves to great deception.
Now, because of the success of the War Room movie, Shirer is going to have many fans flocking to her website, and purchasing her products. Those who buy Shirer’s book, Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks, will discover Shirer’s affinity for contemplative prayer.
According to The Washington Post:
President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services.
Fanning, 47, has been a specialist on national security issues for more than two decades and has played a key role overseeing some of the Pentagon’s biggest shipbuilding and fighter jet programs. Now he will oversee an Army that has been battered by the longest stretch of continuous combat in U.S. history and is facing potentially severe budget cuts. It’s also an Army that after a long stretch of patrolling Iraqi and Afghan villages is searching for its postwar role in protecting the nation.
According to Christian Headlines:
The issue of child vaccines was brought up in Wednesday’s second Republican debate and has many doctors worried.
Two of the Republican presidential candidates are doctors, Dr. Ben Carson and Dr. Rand Paul. While both candidates affirmed that vaccines were beneficial for children and that there is no link between childhood vaccines and autism, both acknowledged that some doctors are rethinking how many vaccines are given to children in such short periods of time.
“We have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccination, but it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time,” said Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. “I think a lot of pediatricians now recognize that and are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done.”
USA Today has a story that’s guaranteed to leave folks outraged — but probably not surprised. According to Global Post columnist Will Carless: “Victim advocates say that relocating priests to poorer parishes overseas is the church’s latest strategy for protecting its reputation.”
Now to Carless’ report:
The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found.
Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to a poor parish in Peru admitted on camera to molesting a 13-year-old boy while working in the Jackson, Miss., diocese. Another is currently under investigation in Brazil after allegations arose that he abused disadvantaged children living in an orphanage he founded there.
According to Christian Examiner:
Republican president candidate Carly Fiorina stood out during Wednesday’s GOP debate for her answers to a host of questions, but it was her response to a question about federal funding of Planned Parenthood that had social media and pro-life leaders buzzing.
CNN’s Dana Bash had asked several candidates whether they supported shutting down the federal government during budget talks over the issue of Planned Parenthood, when Fiorina got her turn.
“I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes,” Fiorina said, referencing undercover videos made by the Center for Medical Progress. “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15 NASB
With the ever increasing move away from Orthodox Christianity into various forms of Experiential religion that we are witnesses of here and now, it seems that the bottom is falling out of Christianity. It’s bad enough that we have all of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” drawing the unaware into false religions while pretending to be Christian, but there are seemingly endless numbers of our “Christian” leaders falling all over themselves embracing these heretics. No one seems to mind either. It’s not that we have heretics among us, we always have them, but there are now many of our leaders either falling in bed with these people or revealing their fleshly side in some of the grossest sins imaginable. What is going on?
Christian Examiner reports:
Al Qaeda’s leader has emerged from the shadows after a nearly two-year absence to call for greater unity among jihadists and to encourage “lone wolf” attacks in the American heartland, Reuters has reported.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who helped found Islamic Jihad and later al Qaeda with Osama bin Laden, urged a cease-fire among the “mujahideen” and called “on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hestitate.”
“We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America,” Zawahiri said, according to the translation provided by Reuters.