Teaching the Truth in our Hymns

Joe Willmann of Concordia Publishing House demonstrates the power that music has on our memory, and the way it helps us to internalize words:

For a minute, let me engage in a little thought experiment with you. Complete the following phrases from some popular songs from yesteryear:

Don’t go chasing __________________.

I heard it through the __________________.

Bye, bye Miss _____________________.

And I would walk __________________, and I would walk ____________________.

I’ll give you a moment . . .

Are you done yet?

Now the point of this experiment wasn’t to see if you would know the words waterfalls, grapevine, American Pie, 500 miles, or 500 more. No, the point of the experiment was to show you the power that music has on our memory, and they way it helps us to internalize words. You know those phrases by heart, and if you didn’t immediately remember them, now that you see the words, you can immediately hear the song in your head as you read the phrase. And how long have these songs stuck with you? Here is when they first came out…

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Senate Judiciary Chairman Confirms Trump Is Not Under FBI Investigation

Breitbart reports:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Thursday vouched for President Trump’s assertion in a letter to former FBI Director James Comey that he was not under investigation by the FBI. Grassley told committee members at an executive meeting that he and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had met with Comey last week, and that he had briefed them on who the targets of the various investigations are.

“Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the President’s statement,” he said.

Feinstein then said after Grassley’s statement, “I very much appreciate what you’ve said and it’s very accurate, and we were briefed.”

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The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 (NASB) 

When we look at the Moon in its phases what we are actually seeing is part of that created body orbiting the Earth facing the Sun and so reflecting its light back to us while the part not facing it being in shadow, appears dark. The dividing line between the two is called the Terminator. On one side is day and on the other is night. One side is light, one side is dark. However, we must remember that the Moon simply reflects light back to us, it has no light of its own, no brightness or luminosity generated that makes up its nature unlike the Sun. Also, if we look at our Lord’s Transfiguration, we see that the glory in which Moses and Elijah saw was actually the glory being manifested from our Lord. It was His glory or δόξα which awakened Peter, James, and John to their astonishment. As the passage above, from John 1, states, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” What is this light and what is this darkness? What is this life? What has this to do with the dividing line between God Centeredness and Man Centeredness? View article →

The President’s Pastor: Paula White Has Connections and Power. But Where Does She Get Her Money?

Jillian Kay Melchior has written an exposé on prosperity preacher Paula White for Heatstreet. Pastrix Paula is known for many things, but most recently she is known as President Donald Trump’s friend, close confidant and his “pastor.” Melchoir gives us a glimpse into this wolf in sheep’s clothing’s early life and her rags to riches story. One thing we learn is how the girl who grew up in a trailer park managed to become a multi-millionaire….and chair of the president’s Evangelical Advisory Council. Melchior writes:

Donald Trump & Paula White. Photo credit: Christian Today

The most politically influential Christian in America is a controversial Florida preacher many evangelical Republicans may never have heard of: Paula White, a Florida televangelist.

“Inside this little blond Barbie package is a pit bull!” White recently said of herself. And that pit bull, who has known Donald Trump for about 15 years, is now chair of the president’s Evangelical Advisory Council—a powerful board of Christian leaders advising the administration on everything from political appointments and judiciary nominees to legislative priorities.

White has led prayers at both the Republican National Convention and the inauguration. When Trump met in February with prominent conservatives to discuss appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, White sat at the president’s immediate right. She also opened a Rose Garden ceremony last week and stood behind the president as he signed an executive order on religious liberty.

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Oregon may allow drivers to choose nonbinary, rather than male or female, for licenses

The Oregonian reports:

Oregon may soon become the first U.S. state to allow residents to identify as “nonbinary,” neither male nor female, on their driver licenses and identification cards.

Transgender Oregonians say the change would validate their identities and make them safer as they hand over their licenses at restaurants, health clinics and airports. Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles officials say they have had no opposition to the change, which they first announced plans to carry out last summer.

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UK Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal of Bakers Punished for Declining ‘Support Gay Marriage’ Cake

According to Christian News:

The U.K. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Christian family that was ordered to pay damages to a homosexual rights activist for declining to write the words “support gay marriage” on a cake.

“The fact that the Supreme Court is willing to hear arguments is very encouraging and reflects the importance of the issues and the high-profile nature of the case,” Ashers Baking Company Manager Daniel McArthur said in a statement following word of the development.

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The Spirit is who makes alive the flesh does not profit anything

63 The Spirit is who makes alive. The flesh does not profit anything The Spirit is who makes alive. The flesh does not profit anything. The words which I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life. John 6:63 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Things are either right or wrong. We see this very clearly in the non-compromising adherence to the truth with the Apostle John. However, let us not forget that what he wrote for us in God’s Word is that very thing. We are reading the inspired Word of God and in John 6, the very words of our Lord are, for the most part, in response to His critics who were in the darkness of unbelief. View article →

Benny Hinn’s claims to being an Apostle

Churchwatch Central presents the evidence that Word of Faith prosperity preaching icon Benny Hinn claims he is a modern day “Apostolic Leader” and an “Apostle.” They start by showing us what is on Hinn’s website:

“One of Benny Hinn’s greatest ministries has been as mentor and apostle for a growing army of Christian leaders.”

This is why back in the 80s and 90s, Benny Hinn was claiming that God would strike people dead if people questioned him and other “men of God” like Paul Crouch.

According to NAR Leader, C. Peter Wagner, greater amounts of spiritual authority are delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals, that is, Apostles:

“In my judgment, views of leadership and leadership authority constitute the most radical of the nine changes from traditional Christianity.  Here is the main difference: The amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals.  I have attempted to use each word in that statement advisedly.” [Source]

You can see Benny Hinn wielding this delegated ‘spiritual authority’ and his so-called ‘apostolic authority’ in this statement…

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Largest church in the world losing members after pastor embezzled 12 million

People who are barely making a living are no longer giving their hard earned money to fund a lavish lifestyle for shyster pastors, claims Cheryl Preston in a report over at blasting news. “Christians are walking away from mega-churches because of the false doctrine of the prosperity gospel — they are not however walking away from Christ.” Preston writes:

For decades, the Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea has been considered the biggest mega-church in the world. In 2014 however, the pastor Yong Gi Cho was convicted of embezzling 12 million dollars from the church. He was given a suspended sentence and has since retired. According to an MSN article by Matthew Bell, PRI’s The world, church membership has been declining ever since. This is not an isolated example because Christians all over the world, are leaving churches, but not their faith in #Christ. The false doctrine of the prosperity gospel is one major reason…

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Democrats Wanted Comey Fired — Until Tuesday

Jim Stinson of LifeZette reminds us that it wasn’t all that long ago that liberals were demanding James Comey’s resignation — before turning it against Trump. He writes:

Few Democrats suffered such severe political whiplash over the firing of FBI Director James Comey as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Over the course of just a few months, Schumer has shifted wildly on the FBI director. The Democratic leader heaped praise on Comey for decisions that benefitted Democrats and tried to damn Comey for decisions that hurt Democrats. On Tuesday, Schumer suggested the decision to fire Comey was indicative of a “cover-up.”

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Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:1-8 (NASB) 

Any attempt to please God by rule keeping or law keeping in order to “earn” right standing with Him is fruitless effort. Not only is it impossible, failure is inevitable. Also, for Christians to “evangelize” through legalism is a total waste of time. These well-meaning people tell unbelievers to stop sinning instead of preaching Jesus to them. I find this a ludicrous mind-set since no one who still lives in the temporal can be sinless. On the other hand, as we see in the passage above (Romans 8:1-8), those in Christ are in right standing before God because the law of the Spirit of life has set them free in their Saviour from the law of sin and death. However, this does not mean they are free to live this life as antinomians, that is, taking the grace of God for granted and living any way they choose. How can we live this life as we should my brethren? As we see in Romans 8:1-8 (above) those who walk correctly before the face of God do so according to the Spirit. View article →

It is not ‘character assassination’ for the church to be the church

Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, contends “for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” In this piece, he takes on “Progressive Christians” and deals with their propensity to erase 2,000-years of Church history in an effort to see that the Church becomes more inclusive, more relevant, more open-minded.  In other words, PC’s are “re-imagining” Christianity to look less like historic orthodox Christianity and more like the world. Burk writes:

Photo credit: RightNow Media

Last night, Jonathan Merritt penned an article for Religion News Service excoriating Christians who have distanced themselves from Jen Hatmaker. He writes:

Hatmaker’s original sin is that she broke ranks with the evangelical powers-that-be on same-sex relationships. In an interview with me last October, Hatmaker stated that if she found out one of her children were gay, she would love that child just the same. If an LGBT friend of Hatmaker’s got married, she said she would attend the wedding. And Hatmaker said she believed LGBT relationships could be holy.

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Hank Hanegraaff Talks ‘Turbulent’ Weeks; Reveals Health Issues, Looking Forward ‘to Another World’

Christian Post (a site we do not recommend) has the story:

Christian radio personality Hank Hanegraaff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man,” has opened up about the “turbulent” past few weeks in his life, and revealed that he has been diagnosed with unexpected health issues.

Hanegraaff posted a video blog on his Facebook page on Wednesday, where he addressed all his listeners and supporters to inform them of some of the changes in his life.

“The last couple of weeks have been turbulent, to say the least. But somehow, by God’s grace, I have never been in a more peaceful place in the entirety of my Christian life. I just feel surrounded by the love and goodness and grace of God,” Hanegraaff said.

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See also:

Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy

Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy and Patterns in the Cults

Why We Can’t Assume Hank Hanegraaff Is Saved and Why We Should Evangelize Him

‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted from Bott Radio Network

The Heart of the Hanegraaff Hubbub: Dethroning the God of Your Personal Experience

Michael Brown Can’t Defend ‘Sneaky Squid Spirit’–Repeatedly Changes the Subject

From Museum of Idolatry:

As he always does, Michael Brown says he wants to hear the thoughts of callers so he can “have a conversation,” but he interrupts Chris Rosebrough and totally changes the topic and turns this into a domineering diatribe to prop up his favorite hyper-charismatic doctrines. Brown fully supports crazy false teachers like Jennifer LeClaire, but becomes very ambiguous whenever he’s confronted with the facts. He will not look into a single idiotic false prophecy from LeClaire or anybody else. He never does any actual research on the people he supports; people like Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson and Jennifer LeClaire. He’s a hyper-charismatic cheerleader with a big microphone and a very gullible audience.

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The True Vine and bearing fruit in the Father’s Kingdom

1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In John 15:1, we have our Lord’s last of His seven “I am” sayings signifying His claim of deity. The word “true” in v1 translates the adjective ἀληθινὴ, which is nominative, singular of ἀληθινός or alēthinos, “unfeigned, trustworthy, true.” The nominative case form, ἀληθινὴ of ἀληθινός means that the metaphor our Lord is making of Him being the “true vine” is subject to the main verb in the sentence with is εἰμι, which, of course, means, in this context, “am.” Therefore, our Lord is saying that the fact that He is deity means that He is the “true vine.” What this means, of course, is that there are “other vines,” but He is the only one who is “true” and God the Father is the γεωργός or vinedresser.  The noun γεωργός or geōrgos, “can refer to the owner of a farm or to those who work the farm.” Here our Lord is using this term metamorphically to refer to God the Father as the owner of a vineyard, the “vinedresser.”  View article →

Kris Vallotton: Prosperity Preacher Exchanging Love for Wealth

NAR heretic Kris Vallotton actually teaches that God wants His people to be wealthy in spite of all the scriptures that say just the opposite.  Here’s an example of how wealth corrupts people:

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. — James 5: 1-5

Steven Kozar of Messed Up Church presents the details of Kris Vallotton’s highly unbiblical agenda which includes Vallotton’s list of 8 things that he believes will determine if a person has a poverty mindset or a wealthy mindset.  Kozar writes:

If you want to tickle itching ears with a prosperity/Word of Faith message it helps if you can talk out of both sides of your mouth. Vallotton is an expert. He begins his article by saying:

“Do you know that God wants you to be wealthy? It may be contrary to what we’re usually taught in the church, but I believe that wealth is a sign of God’s blessing in your life, and it’s how we are made to live as children of the living King! Think about it, if your Dad rules the world, then you are royalty on this earth and have access to everything He has access to.”

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Humanism Recognized as a Religion by US Government

It is no secret that humanists are aggressively pushing their secular humanist religion on children. Supposedly humanists are “fighting for kids not to be taught religious beliefs,” says Ken Ham. “In reality, they have brainwashed the nation’s leaders into passing legislation to protect the teaching of the secular humanist religion to America’s children.” Ham reports what atheists are up to in a piece over at Answers in Genesis. He writes:

The Department of Defense recently updated its list of recognized religions from just over 100 to 221—including a formal recognition of humanism as religion. This move reportedly

means servicemen and women who are adherents of small faith groups are now guaranteed the same rights, privileges and protections granted to their peers who are members of larger faith groups.

Apparently the new designation “was lauded by humanist organizations, which have been pushing for full recognition, including their own chaplains, for 10 years.” The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is “ready with ‘chaplain outreach’ to help train military chaplains in humanist beliefs and needs.” Of course, a humanist cannot offer any real hope to anyone. They really have no message except that this life is all there is and that the only hope is in humanity (which the Bible describes as desperately wicked and full of sin [Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23], a fact that is easily seen now and throughout history).

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Smithsonian Channel Spotlights Stone Tablet Believed to Confirm Biblical Tower of Babel

Christian News reports:

The first episode of the new season of the Smithsonian Channel’s “Secrets” series spotlights a stone tablet discovered in Babylon more than 100 years ago that is believed to confirm the existence of the biblical Tower of Babel as outlined in the Book of Genesis.

“Ancient texts have allowed experts to imagine what the building might have looked like,” a promotional video for the episode outlines, pointing to the Scriptures. “But now, astounding new evidence has emerged. Inscribed on the surface of a privately owned tablet, is an image that sensationally reveals what the Tower of Babel looked like.”

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The Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints / Persevering Grace

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 ESV)

Probably the number one thing that I have learned while presenting the doctrines of grace is that there are people who simply will not believe nor back away from their own conception of Soteriology. For instance, I have friends, acquaintances, and relatives who smirk and roll their eyes back when the topic of Persevering Grace comes up. I heard one fellow say once that God writes those who are saved in the Lamb’s Book of Life in pencil and that pencil has an eraser. Where in the Bible is that one?    View article →

Irresistible Grace / Efficacious Grace

As we have seen, Unconditional Election is the work of God the Father. Particular Redemption is the work of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is also at work in the salvation of the elect. It is His efficaciously gracious work to apply the benefits of Christ’s works to those elect whom Jesus has redeemed. 

The Doctrine of Irresistible Grace refers to the way God calls us to Jesus Christ. However, to some, these words imply that God drags people kicking and screaming into His Kingdom. They also seem to imply that grace is never resisted by us. Obviously it is. However, this doctrine does tell us that no one called can resist effectively. When God calls us to faith in Jesus Christ he calls effectively, always succeeding. The grace of God’s calling is overwhelmingly efficacious, therefore, I prefer to call it “Efficacious Grace.”   View article →

Christian college demands staff sign statement opposing gay marriage, faculty threaten to leave

According to Christian Today:

Photo credit Montreat College website

Faculty members of a Christian college once attended by Franklin Graham are threatening to resign after they were asked to sign a statement affirming their opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.

Montreat College, a private Christian arts college in North Carolina, is insisting its staff affirm and live according to the school’s ‘Community Life Covenant’, recently added to staff handbooks.

The covenant affirms ‘the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman’ and the ‘worth of every human being from conception to death’, according to the Citizen-Times.

Montreat’s director of communications, Adam Caress, explained the covenant, which comes out of two years of listening to concerns of students, staff and alumni.

He said in an email: ‘The Community Life Covenant is rooted in core biblical values that have been central to Christianity for 2000 years and central to the college throughout its 101-year history.

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How much should ‘associations’ factor into my assessment of whether a teacher is false or not?

What do Billy Graham, Ravi Zacharais, Beth Moore and David Jeremiah have in common? They’ve associated with wolves who lead the sheep astray and they’re unrepentant about their associations.  Elizabeth Prata lays out why Christian leaders must not be careless when it comes to their associations.  As a Berean it’s up to you to check out the people evangelical celebs choose to associate with.  For example, when it comes to any sort of gathering, who’s name will appear on the marque with a person you admire? Prata advises

when we look at a leader or teacher’s associations, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We have to take a prayerful & measured look when we’re looking at secondary circumstances like who is hanging around our author or preacher or teacher.

Elizabeth Prata has a lot more to say on this subject over at The End Time blog:

A woman asked me recently whether she should read a certain book because the preface to the book was written by a false teacher, though the book itself was written by a solid teacher.

I’m glad that people are aware that associations can harm a reputation and can also be an indicator of future doctrinal problems in a leader or teacher. Associations do matter.

The pure and the polluted share nothing in common ultimately. And the people of God cannot form intimate relationships with those who don’t belong to God. All relationships like that are superficial. You cannot make a meaningful relationship with an enemy of the gospel. They live in a different world with a different and completely hostile and antagonistic leader. Separating from Unbelievers part 1

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Encouraging or Empty? Faith-Based Groups Divided Over Impact of Trump’s Religious Freedom Executive Order

Christian News reports:

Faith-based groups across the nation are divided in their opinions over how much of an impact that President Trump’s newly-signed executive order will actually have on the protection of religious liberty in the nation.

“Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the federal government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections,” the order reads in part.

“In reality, what Trump issued today is rather weak,” Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation wrote in a commentary for the Daily Signal following Thursday’s signing. “All it includes is general language about the importance of religious liberty, saying the executive branch ‘will honor and enforce’ existing laws and instructing the Department of Justice to ‘issue guidance’ on existing law.”

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Limited Atonement / Particular Redemption

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath. (Leviticus 23:26-32 ESV)

Yom Kipper, also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. It takes place on the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri) on the Jewish calendar. Please carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. Do you see the serious emphasis God places on the need for His people’s atonement? What is this atonement? Biblical atonement is the act of God canceling the debt of His people’s sin. Without it God’s wrath against their sin could not be appeased.    View article →

Firestorm brewing as scientists work to create synthetic human DNA

“The fouled ethics of creating synthetic human DNA will not deter them from going ahead with it. Technocrats invent because they can. However, Transhumanists are vitally interested in creating super-men who can conquer immortality.” — Technocracy News

According to CNBC:

As synthetic DNA is being researched, ethical questions are coming to surface  

Last May a seemingly commonplace meeting kicked off a firestorm of controversy. More than 100 experts in genetics and bioengineering convened at Harvard Medical School for a meeting that was closed to the public — attendees were asked not to contact news media or to post about the meeting on social media.

The same group is getting back together in New York City next week.

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