Posts

Showing posts from April, 2016

“Noncognitive” Factors: Are they Fair Game for Data Collection and Instruction?

Image
Posted at Truth in American Education:



In February 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology released a draft of Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century. To many who were aware of this report, it was alarming and controversial. In the summary of this report it says. “There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors—attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability—that high-achieving individuals draw upon to accomplish success.” It seems typical that when the U.S. Department of Education releases a report like this the groundwork has already been laid for implementation of the ideas, if they have not already been embedded into existing and newly proposed practice. (this report does not seem to be available on the ed.gov website anymore)

The Strengthening Research Through Education Act (SETRA S227) would…

Did Jesus Never Address Homosexuality?

Image
By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Master's Seminary:


Today I want to address a popular argument made by those who try to reconcile homosexuality with Christianity. The argument is that Jesus Himself never said a word about homosexuality.

Those who make this argument grant that Paul condemned it as sinful (Rom 1:26–27; 1 Cor 6:9–10; 1 Tim 1:9–10). But the sentiment behind this objection is that Paul had corrupted the way of life and the ideology that Jesus came to propagate, and that Jesus would have been “loving” and “accepting” of homosexuals, just as they are.

But is it true that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality?

Actually, like the other similar objections, there are several reasons why this argument does not hold up to biblical and logical scrutiny. Today I’d like to address five of them.

Read more...

Facebook Filtering Users' Timelines Stokes Concerns of Censorship and Data-Mining

Image
By C. Mitchell Shaw - Posted at The New American:


Facebook has a long and checkered past concerning the way the company decides what a user sees in his or her timeline. Now, the social media giant is changing the formula again, and this time it will impact whether or not users will see articles shared by their friends. The method by which Facebook will do it involves another controversial issue that has dogged the company: data-mining.

Facebook has built a multi-billion dollar empire by both providing a service its users want and mining the data of those users for the purpose of advertising sales. The method by which Zuckerberg's company provides the content that keeps its users coming back is a proprietary algorithm which Slate's senior technology writer, Will Oremus, described in an article in January 2016:
Every time you open Facebook, one of the world’s most influential, controversial, and misunderstood algorithms springs into action. It scans and collects everything posted…

Judge Rules Plaintiffs Suing Adultery Site Over Hack May Not Remain Anonymous

Image
By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that over 40 plaintiffs suing the adultery site Ashley Madison for failing to protect users from hackers will have to reveal their identities in order for the case to move forward.

The 42 plaintiffs currently listed in the case have heretofore gone by the anonymous pseudonym “John Doe” so as “to reduce the risk of potentially catastrophic personal and professional consequences that could befall them and their families.”

Attorneys for the men had asked the court to make the anonymity permanent, but U.S. District Court Judge John Ross said the plaintiffs will have to provide their names in order to sue. He said that while rape and molestation victims have been permitted to remain anonymous by the courts, the Ashley Madison matter was different.
Read more...

Target transgender policy: Protests escalate

Image
By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:

NASHVILLE (BP) -- With nearly three-quarters of a million people signing on to boycott Target over the retailer's transgender restroom policy, evangelical leaders are discussing whether consumer boycotts are an effective means of cultural engagement.

Many conservative evangelicals apparently disagree with Target's policy of allowing customers to use whichever restroom or fitting room corresponds to their perceived "gender identity." Yet some -- like the American Family Association and the watchdog group Faith Driven Consumer -- have urged a boycott while others -- including Southern Baptist Convention entity heads R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore -- have discussed the limitations of boycotts and asked whether one is appropriate in this instance.

The discussion stems from an April 19 news release from Target stating, "We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corre…

Some Thoughts on Sproul Jr.’s Public Confession

Image
By Pastor Shawn Mathis

Typically, Presbyterians keep their opinion of pastors to themselves, unless the matter is serious enough to warrant public attention. Often that means something chargeable, which would mean bringing the charge to the governing body over the pastor, his Presbytery.

Which is to say that I am not attempting a trial of R. C. Sproul Jr. His Presbytery did that. And Ligonier as well.

At least, that was what I recently discovered at a Christian news site.

But he is a public figure and I can evaluate his public statement and his public actions.

Back in early October, I noted some concerns. There were questions I had about what happened and the confession offered by Sproul Jr.

Read more...

Cold Hard Facts On Cults

Image
By Marsha West - Posted at Berean Research:


Six years ago I penned a piece entitled “Caught up in a cult?” My concern at the time was that a growing number of people were being drawn into cults and cult-like groups that call themselves Christian. They had no clue that they’d strayed off The Safe Path into The Deep Weeds. So I laid out what a cult is and listed several groups to beware of. Six years later the numbers of people in cults has increased. The main reason is that there’s a famine of spiritual discernment in the land.

Many so-called evangelical Christians do not know the Truth. Why? Largely because they have little or no interest in reading and studying their bibles. Moreover, a growing number of Christians have abandoned the essential doctrines of the faith altogether. You know things are bad when a believer’s theology is “experience based” rather than based on God’s written Word. Doctrine, after all, is divisive. Several years ago, our late brother Ken Silva of Appr…

INTO THE PURPLE HAZE: POP STAR PRINCE DEAD AT 57

Image
By Eric Holmberg - Posted at The Apologetics Group:


Excerpt:
First, credit where credit is due: Prince’s talent was immense. Because of the spirit and the themes of his music and persona, I was never a fan­. Quite the opposite—I produced a number of documentaries dusting pop music for the fingerprints of evil spiritual influences and always found Prince to be a fertile source of evidence. Nevertheless, as a writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, performer, innovator, cross-musical-style virtuoso, impresario and champion for the artist and the art in an often corrupt industry, Prince may have no living peer.  From an eternal perspective, however, his life and talent are also are also a cautionary tale as to where genius can lead when untethered from the “ancient paths” (Jer. 6:15-16) and left to pursue a combination of eroticism, a “follow-your-heart” brand of spirituality and a fascination with speculative, apocalyptic, “Biblical” (so-called) prophecy.  Raised a Seventh Day Adventis…

Calvary Chapel, Bill Hybels, and Jesuit Mysticism

Image
Posted at Berean Research:


Roger Oakland of Understand the Times International says that Calvary Chapel has a new found connection with Bill Hybels, one of the architects of the seeker-sensitive movement. Oakland wonders how big of an impact this union will have. There’s a program Willow Creek implemented by Bill Hybels’ son-in-law Aaron Niequist called The Practice that Oakland sees as “the epitome of all that is emergent.” (please see, Willow Creek’s “The Practice” blends New Age & Catholic Mysticism)

What about Calvary Chapel’s connection with The Practice and contemplative prayer? Will this connect Calvary Chapel to the spiritual formation practices promoted by the Jesuits? So many questions…

Read more...

How Islam Erased Christianity from History

Image
By Raymond Ibrahim:

While Christianity continues to be physically erased from the Middle East, lesser known is that its historical role and presence is also being expunged from memory.

Last month a video emerged showing Islamic State members tossing hundreds of Christian textbooks, many of them emblazoned with crosses, into a large bonfire. As one report put it, ISIS was “burning Christian textbooks in an attempt to erase all traces of” Christianity from the ancient region of Mosul, where Christianity once thrived for centuries before the rise of Islam.

As usual, ISIS is ultimately an extreme example of Islam’s normative approach. This was confirmed during a recent conference in Amman, Jordan hosted by the Jerusalem Center for Political Studies. While presenting, Dr. Hena al-Kaldani, a Christian, said that “there is a complete cancelation of Arab Christian history in the pre-Islamic era,” “many historical mistakes,” and “unjustifiable historic leaps in our Jordanian curriculum.” “Te…

Harriet Tubman - The "Moses" of Her People

Image
Posted at Christian History/ Christianity Today: 

"I always tole God, 'I'm gwine [going] to hole stiddy on you, an' you've got to see me through.'" In 1831 a Kentucky slave named Tice Davids made a break for the free state of Ohio by swimming across the Ohio River. His master trailed close behind and watched Davids wade ashore. When he looked again, Davids was nowhere to be found. Davids's master returned to Kentucky in a rage, exclaiming to his friends that Davids "must have gone off on an underground road." The name stuck, and the legend of the underground railroad was born.

It was another two decades before the underground railroad became a part of the national consciousness, mostly because of the heroic exploits of the underground railroad's most celebrated "conductor."

Black Moses Harriet Tubman was raised in slavery in eastern Maryland but escaped in 1849. When she first reached the North, she said later, "I looked at…

Evangelicals and Toxic Masculinity

Image
By Samuel D. James

One of the worst trends in our culture today is the dominance of identity politics. Now by “identity politics” I am not trying to signal an oncoming conservative diatribe about social progressivism and liberal politicians. The identity politics I have in mind are everywhere–on the right, on the left, down the middle, and even in the margins. American discourse, whether political, religious, or otherwise, is riddled with tribalism and virtue signaling on the one hand, and cynicism and paranoia on the other. The result is that it’s becoming rare to see two opposite sides of an ideological spectrum actually learn something from one another.

The example I have in mind is something of a confession. When I began reading a few years ago complaints from a leftward branch in American evangelicalism about a “toxic masculinity” in our culture, I instinctively dismissed them. I knew that many of these voices abhorred ideas I cherish, such as the complementary roles of men and wom…

Evangelical Christians Facing Persecution in Mexico for Refusing to Convert to Catholicism

Image
By Stoyan Zaimov - Posted at Christian Post:
"Thousands have been displaced and left homeless, simply because they belonged to a religious minority and refused to make financial contributions to religious festivals they did not believe in," ICC Advocacy Director Isaac Six said back in November 2015. Evangelical Christians in Mexico are being targeted by local groups that represent a blend of Catholicism and other faith traditions, say advocates, who are calling on officials to protect the country's religious minority.

International Christian Concern's Advocacy Manager, Nate Lance, told Fox News that evangelicals, who are a minority group in Mexico, continue to be targeted for their beliefs and for refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism.

"They will try to force them to convert, and if they refuse, they are banned from their villages, unable to live with or see their families," Lance said. "When they refuse to recant their faith, they are expelled from…

Gender-Neutral Restrooms

Image
By EvangelZ - Posted at The Domain for Truth:



Social media has been trending heavily upon Target’s decision to have gender-neutral restrooms and fitting rooms. On April 19, Target released its stance for inclusivity, specifically for the likes of the transgender community. This is definitely a LGBT driven goal. Here is an excerpt from Corporate (Official Statement).

In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Folks, that is troubling. Target is being fed a spoonful of lies and is under the influence of this progressive psychosis. Target made a dangerous move by sacrificing safety, decency, and moral sanity for people who wish not to identify with their actual gender.

Sad to say, but Target is set-up to be a paradise for sexual predators. Sooner or l…

What causes deception?

Image
By Mike Ratliff - Posted at Possessing the Treasure:



10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NASB)
What causes deception? We like to believe that people lying to those they deceive causes deception. However, if we think critically about that (yes, I know that post-modernists have lost that ability, but humor me) deception is not the direct result of the lie, but is only takes effect when the one being deceived desires something from the deceiver such as a relationship or something else that is offered. The deceived believe the lie in order to receive something else that they want. What has this to do with compromise in ministry? When theologians, preachers, or Christian leaders who once were not compromised suddenly appear to make these strange decisions, if we take the effort to dig into what is going on, invariably we will find that they are doing…

Nature, Gender, Rage, The Emperor’s Clothes, And Evangelical Docetism

Image
By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

One of the first rules we learned in kindergarten was that the girls’ bathrooms were for girls and that the boys’ bathrooms were for boys. Fifty years later, apparently, everything has changed. Now, anyone who insists that what we knew to be true 50 years ago, what we knew to be true for thousands of years, what we knew from common (shared) human experience, from nature, is to be considered a bigot. Insisting on this difference is considered by some to be so heinous that they are threatening economic boycotts of the state of North Carolina, who recently re-asserted the traditional policy. Aging rockers Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, to name two, have cancelled an upcoming tours to North Carolina in protest of the law. A recent video interview of some representative university students highlights the problem. Political correctness tells them (and thus they told us) that we must regard a person as belonging to whatever gender he or s…

Say no to liberal ecumenism

Image
Posted at Daniel's Place - (Reformata et semper reformanda):

"In recent years, we have discovered that the activities of some churches and organisations are harmful to us because these groups violate the laws and regulations of the Chinese government which is neither beneficial to themselves nor to churches in China. These activities range from sending missionaries, conducting training programs in clandestine fashion, setting up denominational churches and tempting Chinese Christians financially to join these churches. These practices destroy the unity of churches in China and generate misunderstandings, as their reports on churches in China can be misleading." [Gao Feng, "Co-operation and Partnership in the Mission of the Church in China," in Michael Nai-Chiu Poon, Church Partnerships in Asia: A Singapore Conversation (CSCA Christianity in Southeast Series; Singapore, Trinity Theological College, 2011), 63]  "The emergence of many new denominations, parac…

Bulldozer death in China draws Tiananmen comparison

Image
By Art Toalston - Posted at Baptist Press:

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The bulldozer death of a Chinese house church member is being likened to the Tiananmen Square protester, still unidentified, who stood in front of a row of tanks during the 1989 uprising.

Ding Cuimei was killed April 14 when she and her husband Li Jiangong stood in front of a bulldozer poised to destroy their home, where they had been hosting a house church in China's Henan Province.

"Bulldozing and burying alive Ding Cuimei, a peaceful and devout Christian woman, was a cruel, murderous act," said Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a key advocate for religious rights in China. Cuimei was killed by a two-man government-backed demolition crew, China Aid reported April 18.
Read more...

Are We Pastors or Platform Builders?

Image
By Todd Pruitt - Posted at Mortification of Spin / 1517:

I was deeply saddened to learn the news of Darrin Patrick of Journey Church in St. Louis. Let us not act as though talking about this man's fall is somehow inappropriate. It is no private matter. Far from it. Indeed we must talk about this not to slander Darrin but to warn each other lest we too fall. I am grateful that Darrin seems to be following a decidedly different path than Mark Driscoll who rejected the efforts of his church to shepherd him toward proper repentance. But we must also acknowledge the real damage done to the reputation of Christ and his church through Darrin's sin.

In the letter written and posted by the elders of Journey Church there were three things that stood out to me as if surrounded by neon lights. Among the list of sins that led to Darrin's removal as pastor were "abandonment of genuine Biblical community," "domineering over those in his charge," and "a history of…

Spiritual Abuse: It’s Not Just Celebrity Pastors

Image
By Kyle Borg - Posted at Gentle Reformation:
When I was in seminary there were two sins—all too common among pastors—that frightened me so much I nearly gave up my pursuit of the ministry. One of those was the sin of spiritual abuse. After all: “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed by lambs.’” Twice more he brought Peter’s love to the test, and each time bid him to have a careful regard for his sheep. Our love to Jesus is, to a certain extent, shown by the way in which we treat the sheep. If he is a liar who says he loves God but hates his brother, I suspect it cannot be good for that one who says he loves the Great Shepherd but hates the Shepherd’s sheep.

Yesterday Christianity Todayreported that celebrity pastor Darrin Patrick, had been fired from the mega-church he pastored in St. Louis. They reported: “[The church] cited a range of ongoing sinful behaviors over t…

Doug Wilson: Sting like a Bee, Twice as Hard.

Image
By Cicero Kirk:

In a recent radio interview, Donald Trump revealed that his favorite Bible verse is this:
I mean, when we get into the Bible, I think many, so many. And some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that,” He was ignorant, of course, of how Jesus appended that with the following:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:38-44 ESV)
Doug Wilson h…

Survivors: ‘Listen to me’

Image
Posted at The Truth About Moscow:


Former Moscow resident speaks on her abuse, shaming that followedBy Samantha Malott, Daily News staff writer

Natalie Greenfield, at the age of 13, met the man who would become her abuser while she was at a Christ Church function in Moscow.

For the seven months following that first meeting, the 23-year-old pastor-in-training was grooming her, building trust and friendship, she said.

“Then he moved in with us along with several other boarders,” she said. “Within weeks of moving in he started sexually abusing me.”

Greenfield spoke Thursday night at the University of Idaho as the keynote speaker for sexual assault awareness month. She also sat down prior to her presentation for a one-on-one talk with the Daily News.

Read more...

A Reformed “Spotlight”: Fighting Spiritual Abuse in the Reformed Church

Image
By David Murray - Posted at HeadHeartHand:

I am so angry — and, I fear, not all of it is holy anger.

Earlier this week, I sat with a young man who, six years later, is still recovering from spiritual abuse at the hands of a “respected” Reformed pastor. He’s one of a number of this pastor’s victims, all of them gifted and godly men, but all of whom have had their confidence shredded and their faith devastated by this man’s abuse of his spiritual position and authority.

Within 24 hours I was sitting with another young man, whose details I cannot reveal, but let’s just say he had also suffered from another Reformed church’s failure to follow basic biblical, and even just humane, process.

I wasn’t looking for these men. They just “happened” to be in my life this week.

Read more...

See also:
Let the spotlight fall on us(1517 - Todd Pruitt)

Pastor in alleged sex abuse cover-up returns to preaching conference roster

Image
By Bob Allen - Posted at Baptist News Global:

Organizers of a major preaching conference this week in Louisville, Ky., ignored calls to disinvite a founder of the conference accused of participating in a cover-up of child sexual abuse.

C.J. Mahaney, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, took the stage April 12 at the Together for the Gospel conference at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, while leaders with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests staged a protest outside.

SNAP, an advocacy and support group formed in response to the pedophile priest scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, previously called on the other three conference founders to disinvite Mahaney. Allegations were made against Mahaney, former pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., and other leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries in a 2012 lawsuit dismissed on a legal technicality.

One of the protestors, Pam Palmer of Hagerstown, Md., told local media that after her 3-year-old d…

Criticizing the Church with a Right Heart.

Image
By Zach Dotson - Posted at PurelyPresbyterian: 

The sermon “The Signs of the Times- in the Church” was one of two sermons delivered by the well known Southern Presbyterian Dr. John L. Girardeau on February 7th 1892 (the other sermon in this series being called- “The Signs of the Times- In the World”). In the sermon a wonderful rendition of Protestant History is given along with a depressing outlook on what is to come based upon the massive backsliding and apostasy that so consumed the Visible Church in the day of Girardeau. Girardeau had fought more against the rising tide of backsliding in his day than most, he was the main party who fought against evolution being taught in the Southern Presbyterian Church and he was known for staunch opposition to musical instruments being used in the worship of God. The text used for the sermon was:
Mathew 16:3b- “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Girardeau’s sermon was no doubt mea…

An open letter to the church from an abused Christian wife

Image
By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at The Cross Is All We Need:

Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is with a heavy heart, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His grace that I sit down to write you. I’m writing for myself and for my sisters in Christ who suffer under the heavy hand of domestic abuse. You might hear that term and immediately think that you don’t know anyone living in an abusive situation so what I’m about to say really doesn’t apply to you. Please don’t think that. You probably do know someone who is being abused; you just don’t know it yet. Domestic abuse, domestic violence or, as it is often referred to today, DV, isn’t just about whether or not a man is physically beating his wife: He may or may not be but still be abusive. Abuse comes in many forms. Sometimes it manifests as physical abuse but not always. When a woman is regularly torn down by an abuser’s words, when she is afraid to speak up, afraid to make decisions for fear of displeasing him,…

ADF asks federal court to tell IRS to come clean on secret rules for investigating churches

Image
Posted at Voice of the Persecuted:

WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom asked a federal district court Friday to order the Internal Revenue Service to identify records it has withheld for nearly two years that are related to secret procedures for investigating churches. The existence of the secret procedures became known through the agency’s settlement of an atheist group’s lawsuit, but the IRS has stonewalled the release of details.

In 2014, ADF filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the records. The IRS refused to produce any records for a full year. When it finally started producing documents in July 2015, months after ADF filed suit through its attorneys with Judicial Watch, the agency withheld more than 10,000 out of 16,000 pages requested, and of the pages it did produce, more than 2,000 are almost entirely blacked out. Now ADF is asking the court to order the IRS to comply with its legal duty to justify the thousands of records withheld or else produce them.

“…

Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian

Image
By Aimee Byrd - Posted at Housewife Theologian:

My spellcheck has never recognized complementarian as a real word. But in the circles I run in, I am considered extremely suspect if I don’t identify myself as one. It’s a fairly new term, coined less than thirty years ago. As I have been digging deeper into the movement behind this word, I am finding that it carries different implications depending on who is using it. I have been called a thin complementarian for questioning some teaching from the leaders of the movement that as a woman I am to be constantly looking for and nurturing men to lead me. (To which I responded here.)

Within the culture in the church today, many questions are still being asked about the equality of men and women and where and how women can serve. As I have been participating in this conversation, I feel like I need to continue to begin with my convictions that Scripture places the responsibility of the ordained office on particular, qualified men, so that I am…

Dort: When Believers Fall Into Sin

Image
By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Breaking news: Christians, believers, sin. Sometimes they fall into grievous sin. David, the man after God’s own heart, not only lusted after another man’s wife, he abused his office, committed adultery, planned and executed a murder conspiracy. Peter, as a disciple, denied our Lord three times. As an Apostle, one upon whom the Holy Spirit had fallen at Pentecost, who had boldly preached the gospel also, as an apostle, denied the gospel. These are two of the episodes mentioned explicitly by the Synod of Dort (Canons of Dort 5.4) in 1618–19. They remind us of these and other “lamentable” lapses explicitly as part of the Synod’s explanation of how great is the remaining sin within believers. The problem and reality of the Christian life is that “the converted” (conversi) are not always (semper) are not always so “led and moved by God” (Deo aguntur et moventur), so led of grace (ductu gratiae) that we are not “in particular actions” (actio…

AS CHRISTIANITY DECLINES IN EUROPE, CHURCHES ARE PUT UP FOR SALE

Image
Posted at Wintery Knight:
"I have many friends in the UK who classify themselves as evangelical Christians. They almost all embrace moderate to leftist economics, and they complain to me about why the church is in decline, why there is no interest in apologetics, why they can’t find Christian girlfriends, why they can’t get speaking engagements. The answer is, of course, that by majoring only in theology and apologetics, they have crafted the rope that their secular allies in government are using to hang them. ..." This sad story is from the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:
Two dozen scruffy skateboarders launched perilous jumps in a soaring old church building here on a recent night, watched over by a mosaic likeness of Jesus and a solemn array of stone saints.  This is the Arnhem Skate Hall, an uneasy reincarnation of the Church of St. Joseph, which once rang with the prayers of nearly 1,000 worshipers.  It is one of hundreds of churches, closed or threatened by plunging memb…

An Appeal to the Organizers of Together for the Gospel

Image
By Todd Pruitt - Posted at Mortification of Spin/1517:

In 2006 I was delighted to attend the very first Together for the Gospel conference held at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. Who remembers that large banquet room stuffed to the brim with over 2,000 men? I still think about Ligon Duncan’s excellent address on preaching the Old Testament. At the time I was a Southern Baptist pastor who had come to embrace the Doctrines of Grace as being clearly taught in the Scriptures. Together for the Gospel was like a breath of fresh air not least of all because it reminded me that there were many like-minded SBC pastors. I was not alone. It was exciting to be, however peripherally, part of a wonderful new movement. It was exciting to see the attendance of T4G balloon to around 10,000 by 2012. With only two exceptions that I can recall the messages were edifying and God-glorifying.

The year of that first gathering in 2006 was before everyone and their uncle was “reformed.” It was before …

Ligonier Ministries Covers-up the Truth about R.C. Sproul Jr.’s “Visit” to Ashley Madison Despite Many Appeals

Image
Posted at BrentDetwiler.com:

This is a lengthy story but important story. It begins with this introduction.
On August 31, 2015, R.C. Jr. posted a confession on his website titled “Judgement and Grace” because he feared being exposed by hackers for having an account with Ashley Madison – a perverse website used to arrange illicit relationships for the purpose of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and lesbianism. He needed to get ahead of the information being made public. His statement was brilliant but bogus. It misled the public and was full of deceit.

Here is my initial 11-page letter to R.C. Jr. from October 19, 2105 appealing for his repentance. The story ends with this exhortation to Chris Larson, president and CEO of Ligonier Ministries.
I [Brent] immediately noticed that “suspended” was added and linked in both listings. I felt some elation thinking you [Chris Larson] were finally giving a truthful explanation for R.C. Jr.’s suspension. I clicked and to my utter dismay…

Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit Over Indiana Law Banning Abortion of Down Syndrome Children

Image
By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The abortion giant Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Indiana law that bans the murder of unborn children based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis or any other disability, but stops short of ending all abortion in the state.

As previously reported, H.B. 1337 was signed into law last month to protect babies that would otherwise be killed because of an adverse diagnosis.

“Indiana does not allow a fetus to be aborted solely because of the fetus’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability,” the bill, introduced by Rep. Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, reads.
Read more...

“Snitch” Culture and the Child Protective Services

Image
Posted at Delight in Truth:


Interesting memories from medical school came to mind as I was pondering the idea that Scandinavian societies developed a culture of calling the Child Protective Services for nearly any trivial matter.

I had the opportunity to work with many children during my medical education at UC San Francisco and my residency at UCLA. Some of my most difficult and rewarding cases involved children.

One of my first experiences in my surgery rotation was emotionally riveting. Somehow a parent got inside the trauma room at the San Francisco General Hospital ER while their 7-year-old daughter was being resuscitated after a major motor vehicle accident. Imagine the desperation from seeing your child hooked up to life support and the people around you thinking you have gone insane. Thankfully, the girl survived and made a full recovery.

Did we call CPS because the parents went crazy? No.

Read more...

See also:
Norwegian Couple Whose Children Were Seized Over Christian Upbring…

12 Techniques for Raising Bible-Saturated Kids

Image
By Michelle Lesley

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Phew. That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it? God may have said this through Moses to Old Testament Israel, but His words are just as relevant for 21st century Christian parents. God wants our children immersed in His word as they go about their daily lives. Ephesians 6:4 reminds fathers that they are to bring their children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” and as moms, we have the joy of supporting our husbands in that venture by bringing Scripture and prayer to bear on all those little daily “walk by the way” moments. But how? Here are some practical ways I’ve discovered for capturing those teachable moments and pouring God’s word into them.
1. Set an example.

Be faithful to your own Bible study and p…

Mississippi Gov. Signs Religious Freedom Law Protecting Right to Decline Part in Same-Sex Ceremonies

Image
By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:

JACKSON, Miss. — The governor of Mississippi has signed into law a bill that provides protections to pastors, faith-based organizations and business owners who object to being complicit in another’s same-sex ceremony.

“I am signing HB 1523 into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations, and private associations from discriminatory action by state government or its political subdivisions, which would include counties, cities and institutions of higher learning,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” he said.

Read more...

ATROCIOUS PARALLELS

Image
Posted at The Darling Princess:

In spite of Godwin’s Law, I find an astonishing amount of parallels in recent days to that of 1930s Germany.

The people had come out of wartime in Germany with tremendous national debt and high unemployment, especially among young people. They were ravaged and hungry, much worse off than most of the US. We have areas of poverty and despair. Our national debt is in the tens of trillions. That is a number I cannot fathom. Personal debt is widespread as well.

The schools in the 30s Germany were in shambles. Our schools have not been properly educating for a long time. Long held, well-established teaching methods have given way to new complex difficult mathematics and sight word reading. For two decades we’ve been asking why Johny can’t read.

Our city streets, airports, trade ports and municipal buildings are in disrepair, as were seen in Germany. Of course, they had dealt with war in their country, we are merely dealing with mismanagement and squandering corr…

Illinois Issues: Campaign Shenanigans In The State Have Been Known To Turn Deadly

By Thomas J. Gradel - Posted at NPR Illinois Public Radio:

The country seems especially divided over the 2016 race for president. But there was a time in Illinois history when division led to bloodshed over political campaigns.

Essay — Exercising your right to vote on Election Day and campaigning for your preferred candidates are usually safe, low-risk endeavors. But in the first half of the 20th Century it wasn’t always peaceful. Politicians were threatened, bombs were thrown and gunshots fired. In Chicago and in other rough towns, some candidates and their supporters fought with their fists, and then with guns and bombs. In some elections, even before the votes were tallied, the political combatants were counted among the wounded and the dead.

Read more and listen here...

Kinism: The Great Commission Denied

Image
Posted at Cicero Kirk:
"Kinism is virulent racism dressed up in supposed equality. Their cry is 'Africa for Africans, Europe for Europeans and Asia for Asians' (Somehow, America for Native Americans didn’t make the cut) claiming that while they believe in the equality of all races, that they need to be kept separate, segregated in order to protect their respective cultures and distinctions. A byproduct of keeping the cultures separate is, of course, being anti-interracial marriage, or as they prefer to call it, miscegenation..." One of the problems with Christendom and the divisions within is that we want to circle the wagons when someone speaks against our brand instead of listening to our critics to see if there is value in what they have to say. We want to defend our own, and if sometimes our own is indefensible, we prefer to ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, aren’t a problem. This is foolishness, you can’t ignore a cancer in your body. We must be our own gre…