1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NASB)
About 7 years ago or so we were dealing with the Emergent or Emerging “Church” replacing Christian liberalism or at least morphing into the same role. That means that it assumed a Gospel stance of universalism. At the same time, we were hearing of a certain group of Christian leaders who called themselves “New Calvinists.” For many years, it was assumed that if one was reformed in his theology, like me, that it was a sure deal that that Christian was not going to fall into the cesspool of liberalism. However, the New Calvinists appear to lean towards mysticism and heavily toward compromise. I am one who simply cannot wrap my mind around how one who confesses to believe that God is Sovereign over all things and that man is incapable of saving Himself can seek to make the compromises in their ministry that would line themselves up with the Emergents. Universalism and Calvinism are polar opposites in my understanding of things and that means that Calvinists should have a proper understanding of what it means that Jesus Christ is Lord. It means that we do not call the shots. We do not design new and more popular ways to serve and worship Him. No, we must worship and serve as directed by Him.
Michelle Boorstein of the liberal Washington Post reports:
The global United Methodist Church begins its once-every-four-years legislative meeting Tuesday, and the focus has been on whether to change or keep the denomination’s rejection of homosexuality. But a broader question is up for a vote: What do the 13 million Methodists from Africa to Asia to America have in common?
In a globalized, polarized time, it’s a question that could be asked of many faith groups, from Catholics and Jews to Muslims and Mormons. For the next 10 days, it will be put to the United Methodists, with hundreds of delegates from around the world hashing out more than 1,000 proposals on topics from abortion and whether to digitize hymnals to potentially divesting from businesses connected with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In her 5th installment of “Brain stoppers,” Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error addresses Arch Heretic Bill Johnson’s endeavor to stop critical thinking. Pivec writes:
“Brain stoppers” is a term I came up with to refer to a variety of tactics used by leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to discourage their followers from thinking critically about NAR teachings. I’ve written a series of posts about different brain stoppers, starting with “Brain Stopper No. 1: Name Calling.”
Another brain stopper, I call the “Book Ban,” is employed by Bill Johnson–senior pastor and NAR apostle over Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson tells his readers not to read books that are critical of teachings he promotes. He does this in his popular book When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Here are his words.
The Daily Signal reports:
A state agency wants to remove a small-town judge in Wyoming from two posts because she told a reporter that her religious beliefs would prevent her from solemnizing same-sex marriages.
In her full-time responsibilities, Municipal Judge Ruth Neely isn’t authorized to preside over marriages. In part-time duties on the local Circuit Court, though, she could be asked to do so.
Now supporters across Wyoming and the nation are siding with Neely as she asks the Wyoming Supreme Court to prevent the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics from ending her 21-year career as a municipal judge in Pinedale, a town with a population of 2,030 just south of Yellowstone National Park.
According to Christian News Network:
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education released on Friday guidelines for schools nationwide that outline that the Obama administration requires schools to allow students to use the restroom and locker room corresponding with their “gender identity” under threat of losing their federal funding.
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a statement announcing the release of the guidelines. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.”
Greg Richter of NewsMax has the story:
Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns before November’s general election is a “ticking time bomb” that threatens to destroy not only Trump’s chances of being elected president, but could bring down other Republicans on the ticket, John Fund writes at National Review.
For months, Trump has said he would be willing to release his returns“at the appropriate time” but that he could not do so until an IRS audit was completed.
Tax experts, and the IRS itself, have said that being under audit does not prevent a person from releasing personal tax returns.
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2 NASB)
In these last days it is imperative that God’s people have a more complete knowledge of God. So, in light of this, let us look at one of the names of God that speaks much about His power and provision. God keeps His part of the covenants He makes and it is this name, El-Shaddai, that God used for Himself that gives us much comfort as we come to understand that He helps and blesses His people. El-Shaddai ( אל שׁדּי ) – We must never forget that in Hebrew we read from right to left and this name of God is two separate words, Ēl ( אל), meaning, “might,” and Shaddai (שׁדּי ) , meaning , “the Almighty, the Powerful One, or the Mighty One.” As a combined name of God, El Shaddai, which occurs seven times in Sacred Scripture, was the covenant name for God to the Patriarchs until the time of Moses. The Jewish rabbis believed that the term meant the “One who is self-sufficient.” God’s covenant was moral and ethical in character, not ritualistic or orgiastic.
According to Melissa Korn of the Wall Street Journal, students at GIT believed that “Jill Watson” was a human teaching assistant and interacted with her throughout the entire semester. Korn writes:
One day in January, Eric Wilson dashed off a message to the teaching assistants for an online course at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I really feel like I missed the mark in giving the correct amount of feedback,” he wrote, pleading to revise an assignment.
Thirteen minutes later, the TA responded. “Unfortunately, there is not a way to edit submitted feedback,” wrote Jill Watson, one of nine assistants for the 300-plus students.
Last week, Mr. Wilson found out he had been seeking guidance from a computer.
Far-left blog, Huffington Post, reports:
Two applications used by hundreds of colleges and universities will soon allow students more options for identifying their gender.
The Common Application, used by more than 600 schools, and the Universal College Application, used by more than 40, said this week that the next version of their applications will allow transgender and gender non-conforming applicants better choices to self-identify.
Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, the Common Application will offer an optional free response text field to give students a place to further describe their gender identity, and will update the “sex” field to read “sex assigned at birth,” its leadership said.
In a piece over at Answers in Genesis entitled “Secularists Want to Hurt Kentucky,” Ken Ham addresses irrational secularist’s all-out effort to prevent folks from enjoying the Ark Encounter, completely ignoring AIG’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Ham points out that secularists “simply don’t want Christians to have the full freedom to present their beliefs in the culture. He writes:
Secularists in our area called Tri-State Freethinkers (whose president, Jim Helton, is an avowed atheist and serves as regional director of the American Atheists) are bemoaning their failing billboard campaign to oppose the Ark Encounter.
After the proposed billboard campaign hit the press, the company that the secularists were going to use for the billboards apparently backed out. They then decided to use a mobile billboard company, which has also backed out. This is what this secularist group claims in its press release:
After initially agreeing to drive the billboard around the park on multiple weekends during the summer, he [the driver] recently backed out due to fear of his own personal safety.
9 But you are A chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, A people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not A people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NASB)
The Church is not a building. No, in the New Testament, written in Koine Greek, the English word translated as “church” is the word ἐκκλησίᾳ or ekklesia. This word literally means, “the called out ones.” It’s usage in scripture denotes the New Testament community of the redeemed in a two-fold aspect, the first referring to all those called by and to Christ in the fellowship of His salvation, which is the “Church” worldwide at all times. The second aspect, rarely used, refers to a local body of believers.
Christian News Network reports:
The attorney general of Northern Ireland testified in court on Tuesday in favor of a Christian identified bakery that was fined last year for alleged discrimination for declining to print the phrase “support gay marriage” on a cake.
“I say very clearly, if it was a case where Mr. Lee had been refused some of Ashers excellent chocolate eclairs because he was gay or perceived to be gay I would be standing on the other side of the court,” John Larkin, QC told the Court of Appeals in Belfast on the second day of appeal proceedings over the matter.
“But it’s not about that,” he said. “It’s about expression and whether it’s lawful under Northern Ireland constitutional law for Ashers to be forced … to articulate or express or say a political message which is at variance with their political views, and in particular, their religious views.”
According to The Daily Signal:
A group of students at the University of North Carolina are fighting back against the Obama administration’s civil rights lawsuit against the state this week by filing a lawsuit of their own, alleging that the federal government is forcing them to choose between their educational pursuits and personal privacy.
“Our clients, the students, are between the proverbial rock and a hard place,” Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the students in their case, told The Daily Signal. “They could lose their funding, they could have neutral restrooms and locker rooms—there’s really only two ways this could go and both of them violate their rights.”
Over at the Last Hiker we learn of the latest Calvary Chapel controversy. Guitarist of Korn, Brian “Head” Welch, will be a guest speaker at SHINE Diamond Bar May 22 to promote his new book, “With My Eyes Wide Open.” According to Last Hiker, Welch has extreme charismatic beliefs which will be included in his book. What are some of his mystical beliefs?:
He believes Jesus drops black angelic feathers on him while he worships, and puts gemstones in his hands at church. He believes that Jesus Himself, has walked into his house (video on his Facebook). He believes that it is better to roll around on the floor and be drunk in the spirit than actually sit and listen to a sermon. He has said that God loves us the way a man loves his wife’s naked body. He has a sensual, mystical, extreme charistmatic, drunk in the spirit type of spirituality. And he is being invited to a Calvary Chapel to sell his book??? Calvary distribution wouldn’t even sell the books that are written by the people that share his point of view–because it is UNBIBLICAL!!!! …
Evidence is provided to prove these claims.
H/T John Lanagan
Pastor Gabriel Hughes, who is the voice and creator of the video series When We Understand the Text, reminds us that false teaching is a deadly thing and that false teachers will be destroyed — and so will those who believe and follow false teaching. Hughes examines the teaching of some of these people and (gasp!) names names.
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, (1 Timothy 4:1-2 NASB)
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NASB)
The greatest sin of those who reject Christ is their misrepresentation of the truth and the resultant deception. This is a work of Satan. His name means “adversary.” He is also called “the Devil.” This word in Greek means “the Slanderer.” Jesus called him a liar and a murderer. When we are in the battle against those who hate our faith and attack the veracity of the Word of God, there will be a commonality in their tactics. They misrepresent the truth, they lie, and they accuse God and us of all sorts of things that are untrue.
Seems “mantles” are all the rage these days. Recently Mormon Glenn Beck was presented “a new mantle for the future” from NAR lying “prophet” Chuck Pierce. A few days ago Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, received her own mantle. Amy Spreeman of Berean Research tells us what the mantle thing is all about:
Anne Graham Lotz is now the next Chairman of the National Day Of Prayer, having received a ” Prayer Mantle of Leadership” from her predecessor, Shirley Dobson. An interesting choice of words, “Prayer Mantle.” We Christians tend to use a lot of words that can leave those who don’t share our faith scratching their heads. But “mantle” is one of those words that tend to be used by a subset of Christians, and that word can and should cause more than a head scratch.
Are there biblical mantles?
According to The Daily Signal:
North Carolina has sustained unrelenting and coordinated attacks from big business, the entertainment industry, the American Civil Liberties Union, and now the federal government over its commonsense bathroom policies.
Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Legislature have had enough of this bullying and filed separate lawsuits against the Department of Justice Monday in the reasonable expectation that a federal judge will order the ideologues at the Department of Justice to back off.
Breitbart has the report:
Britain’s largest Islamic charity says it wants to “break down barriers” and portray Islam positively by launching a new advertising campaign which will slap the phrase “glory to Allah” on the side of London buses.
The new campaign by Islamic Relief is, ostensibly, targeted at raising donations for their Ramadan aid to Syria, but is attracting attention for the “hundreds” of buses which will be decorated with the phrase “Subhan’ Allah”, or ‘Glory to Allah’.
Muslims reading the advert are told that to “gather the rewards of Ramadan”, they must donate to Islamic Relief, an organisation which had its accounts with banking giant HSBC closed after “concerns that cash for aid could end up with terrorist groups abroad”.
14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
18 “ If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. (John 15:14-19 NASB)
A thorough study of the book of Acts reveals something quite important about our faith. It is very interesting to see the spread of Christianity as the Apostles obediently made disciples wherever they went. This spread was always accompanied by persecution. The hotter the persecution the more encouraged the brethren became. While that is not logical to the fallen mind, that is exactly how God grew His church. In the early 2nd century the bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John, was brought to the Roman authorities and ordered to confess that Caesar is lord. Polycarp was eighty-six years old at this point. All he had to do was utter that statement as he offered a pinch of incense to Caesar, but he refused. He was martyred by fire.
After reading Jeff Maples’ blogpost over at Pulpit & Pen you will wonder why Kari Jobe was invited to lead worship for Women of Faith, an event that draws thousands of women. When you read the lyrics to some of Jobe’s songs, you’ll realize that the words are blasphemous….and you’ll want to repent if you ever uttered those words Three of Kari Jobe’s songs are featured on the hit CD, Women of Faith Presents Gateway Worship a Collection. So if you own the CD, consider tossing it in the trash.
But this is not about Women of Faith; it’s about contemporary “Christian” music and professing Christians who write and perform it, some of whom are at best biblically illiterate and at worst wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Read it and weep.
According to The Daily Signal:
Recently-introduced federal legislation would protect doctors, nurses, hospitals, and health care providers from being forced to provide abortion as part of their practice or insurance plans.
The Conscience Protection Act, House Resolution 4828, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of March by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., currently has 49 co-sponsors.
“As a family practice physician for over 30 years, I know for a fact that doctors and nurses are dedicated medical professionals uniquely qualified to assess the health and wellness needs of their patients,” Fleming said in a formal statement. “There is no room in the clinic for government discrimination, for Big Brother to force a health care provider to participate, in any way, in an abortion.”
According to Washington Times:
The U.S. Department of Justice is now directly pitting the University of North Carolina system against its state government.
The University of North Carolina System said it has been given until Monday to comply with a Justice order to break a state law concerning bathroom access, or risk losing more than $1 billion in federal education funding.
In a letter sent to the higher education system’s president and board of directors, which mirrored one sent to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, the Justice Department said compliance with the state law HB2 discriminates against transgender people and violates federal civil rights law.