The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed sweeping anti-abortion legislation Friday, giving his state a new law to block tax breaks for abortion providers, ban sex-selection abortions and declare that life begins “at fertilization.”
In his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, J.C. Ryle opens up the Scriptures that record the life and ministry of our Lord. Reflecting upon John 15:1–5, Ryle draws an important distinction between the true and the false Christian.
1 Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus says the LORD, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.” Isa. 52:1–3, NASB
Many look at salvation as if they believe that it is a work of some kind. The cry to put on strength and beautiful garments is seen as a new believer putting on something they already have. However, in Isaiah 52:1–3 we see that those being saved were in bonds. They were in a captivity into which they were not sold, but they were redeemed without money. From where does their strength and beautiful garments come?
Two suspects have been identified as being responsible for Monday’s tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon. One of the suspects was killed last evening in a shootout with police. The other, 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, is on the run and being hunted by police. Tsarnaev’s father even has called on his son to give himself up and surrender. The Boston area currently is on lockdown as authorities search for the fugitive bomber.
The two suspects are Chechen brothers and originally are “possibly from Dagestan, a province in Russia that borders Chechnya.” It also has been discovered they are practicing Muslims. Fox News unearths some additional details:
Four months ago, the Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed yesterday in a shootout with police, uploaded to his YouTube Channel an eight-minute lecture by the radical Australian Muslim preacher Sheikh Feiz Mohammed denouncing the Harry Potter movies for glorifying and promoting paganism.
Pastor Conrad Mbewe of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa, compares the ministry methods of the Apostle Paul with those of today, especially those practices that prevail in his own home of Africa.
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!Rom. 6:14–15, NASB
Most of the early years of my Christian walk were spent in one church from February 1987 through February 2000. During that time we had three pastors. I was in some form of teaching for most of that time. One of the things that always came up when we studied the Old Testament was Romans 6:14–15. It was as if someone always had to make sure that we were not being legalistic. They cast the law as far from them and our church as the East is from the West. Is that how we are to treat God’s Law?
Scripture records that Abraham’s loins were dead and that Sarah had reached menopause. This tells us much concerning justification by grace through faith. Preaching Christ Crucified continues its series of studies in Romans.
Christian News Network reports:
A bill in California that would mandate schools to allow boys to use girls’ restrooms and vice versa if they identified with the opposite gender has been approved by the state’s Assembly Education Committee.
Fox News reports on the devastating explosion that occurred last evening at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas:
Police say between five to fifteen people were killed and more than 160 were injured in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas, late Wednesday.
The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West — a community of roughly 2,600 residents about 20 miles north of Waco — happened around 8 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, a town located 45 miles north. It sent flames spiraling high into the evening sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on frightened residents.
Christian rapper Shai Linne’s recently released album, Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology, has drawn the attention of many, and not just for its catchy beats. While each track appears to be filled with theologically rich lyrics, it was Linne’s bold willingness to “name names” in the song “Fal$e Teacher$” that led to many headlines. Calling out twelve prominent preachers, each known for his or her aberrant teaching, Linne was not afraid to denounce the erroneous and dangerous doctrines of these men and women. As previously reported, the ministry of at least one of those ‘false teachers,’ Paula White, responded to Shai Linne’s claims.
Though he currently is traveling on Clear Sight Music’s Black Out Circuit Tour, Shai Linne took the time to graciously address the open letter that was addressed to him and was penned by Paula White’s son, Bradley Knight. In his response, Linne looks biblically at three of the false teachings that permeate the ministry and preaching of Paula White. Concluding his letter, Linne writes:
This is getting long, so I’ll bring it to a close. I know you love your mother, Brad. I love mine as well. I made Fal$e Teacher$ because there are many other sons out there whose mothers have had their lives greatly damaged by the false teachings of Paula White and the others mentioned in the song. I would love to hear that Paula White has repented and renounced the many false things that she has taught. I am praying to that end. But until she does that, I must soberly maintain that the Biblical category of “False Teacher” does, in fact, apply her. And those who follow her must be warned.
This response of Shai Linne to Paula White Ministries is a letter not to be missed. Christians can learn and grow from the gracious and godly example that Linne has modeled in these few paragraphs.
George Beverly Shea, who served for years as the booming baritone soloist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, died yesterday following a brief illness. He was 104.
Circumcision was a sign and a seal of imputed righteousness by faith, which foreshadowed the sign and seal of the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation by grace through faith. Preaching Christ Crucified continues its series of studies in Romans.
Marsha West tackles Christian mysticism and makes the case that Bible-believing Christians must not involve themselves in Contemplative Prayer and so-called Christian yoga, as both of these practices are not only unbiblical but they can be spiritually harmful. She begins:
For a couple of decades there has been a big push by numerous evangelical leaders to incorporate pagan practices into the visible Church. These unbiblical practices have their origins in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, likewise the New Age movement. Roman Catholic Trappist Monks fully embraced Eastern religion’s pagan practices. Through the writings of Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating these practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches as well as independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
μηδὲν φοβοῦ ἃ μέλλεις πάσχειν. ἰδοὺ μέλλει βάλλειν ὁ διάβολος ἐξ ὑμῶν εἰς φυλακὴν ἵνα πειρασθῆτε καὶ ἕξετε θλῖψιν ἡμερῶν δέκα. γίνου πιστὸς ἄχρι θανάτου, καὶ δώσω σοι τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς. Rev. 2:10, NA28
Do not fear the things you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the Crown of Life. Rev. 2:10, translated from the NA28 Greek text
Πιστὸς (pistos) is the Greek adjective translated in Revelation 2:10 as “faithful.” Πιστὸς is defined as “faithful, trustworthy, reliable, dependable.” In the context of Revelation 2:10, 13, which are our Lord’s own words, to be “faithful” is to refuse to compromise the Christian faith, even in the face of persecution and martyrdom. In this day of superstar or what some call “Rock Star” Christian leaders whose popularity is based upon their willingness to dilute the Christian faith with the world and its ways or even by blending in the cultic ways of other religions, we need to have a clearer understanding of the faithfulness that is expected of the genuine Christian by our Lord.
Fox News reports the latest findings from the investigation into yesterday’s bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon:
Pressure cookers – possibly activated remotely by a cellphone – are believed to have been used to make the crude bombs that sent deadly shrapnel hurling into a crowd of onlookers and competitors at Monday’s Boston Marathon, experts told Fox News.
Doctors treating some of the 176 injured victims believe the explosives were packed with deadly shrapnel, including pellets, nails and sharp metallic objects – with some patients having “40 or more” such fragments embedded in their bodies.
The third installment of ‘A Pilgrim’s Ponderings’ has been posted at Preaching Christ Crucified. This series is a doctrinal and devotional commentary on John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.
The Illinois Family Institute notes that advocates of traditional marriage have long maintained that the “true agenda” behind those fighting for so-called homosexual marriage is not marriage equality, but rather the complete “unraveling” and eradication of marriage and traditional values from society. Finally, a homosexual activist has bluntly stated this reality:
Even knowing that there are radicals in all movements, doesn’t lessen the startling admission recently by lesbian journalist Masha Gessen. On a radio show she actually admits that homosexual activists are lying about their radical political agenda. She says that they don’t want to access the institution of marriage; they want to radically redefine and eventually eliminate it.
Abraham’s faith was in Jesus Christ—the Son of God and the second Person of the Trinity—because his faith and trust was in the Word of God, who is the living Word (John 1:1, 14). Preaching Christ Crucified continues its series of studies in Romans.
1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 2 Pet. 1:1–2, NASB
God is good to those who belong to him. Within that he imparts knowledge of himself to us and that includes knowledge of our own fallenness. He uses this knowledge to make sure that those of us in Christ fully understand that we are in him despite our sinfulness and unworthiness to be so. When we walk in light of this knowledge we also, in the power of the Holy Spirit, walk in repentance according to God’s marvelous grace. We also come to know how awesome it is that we have obtained faith in righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ even though all we really deserve is God’s wrath.
According to the Christian Post:
Executive Producer of the History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries Scott Sassa was booted from his $6 million job by conservative heads at media giant Hearst Corporation last month after they got wind of his racy text exchange negotiating a drug-filled $1,000 sexual encounter with a teenage escort last Christmas.
Sources speaking with the Business Insider have since suggested that Sassa, 54, could also have been the victim of a “catfish” scam of Manti Te’o proportions.
Los Angeles Times reports:
In a statement issued Monday, the Vatican said Francis had “reaffirmed” the doctrinal evaluation and criticism of U.S. nuns carried out last year by the Vatican under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The assessment accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella organization that represents most U.S. female Catholic orders, of promoting “radical feminism” and of ignoring the Vatican’s hard line on same-sex marriage and abortion.