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Showing posts from July, 2017

Social Constructionism (5) What is it?

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By Rick Mingerink - Posted at Reformed Free Publishing Association:

In the last four posts, I attempted to shed some light on the context of the theory known as social constructionism. It is a theory that dramatically shifts man's understanding of knowledge. It is a reaction to the modern positivist understanding of knowledge. In the positivist school of thought, knowledge is only gained through scientific methods or our senses (humans discover knowledge). Social constructionism presents the post-modern theory of knowledge. For social constructionism, knowledge no longer has a separate existence, but it is constructed through social processes (humans create or construct knowledge).

In my first post on this topic, I made it clear that Calvin College utilized social constructivists to help build the philosophy of education in the Teacher Education Department. They have based their educational philosophy on this theory of knowledge. And this is no secret, either. It was a deliberate …

You Don’t Need the Internet, You Need a Pastor

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By Michelle Lesley



Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Can Fill the Role Played by Churches,” declared recent headlines.

It should come as no surprise to us that Mark could reach such a conclusion. He sees people’s innate desire for community. He’s a decent guy (by the world’s standards) and wants to give something back. He sees his profession as a way to do that. It makes sense if you look at things from his perspective.

To Mark, church is merely a gathering of people for social interaction and encouragement. Like a coffee klatch. Or a support group. But the thing is, Mark isn’t a believer. His mind hasn’t been transformed by Christ to a biblical way of thinking, so it’s understandable that he doesn’t get it.

What should shock us is that, long before Mark’s thoughts on church popped up in our news feeds, people who identify as Christians were saying the same thing. Or at least acting like it.
Read more here.

UK Authorities Ran The Clock Out On Charlie Gard’s Life

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By Daniel Payne - Posted at The Federalist: Having denied Charlie’s parents the right to seek treatment, then wasting time through a protracted legal process, the defendants in the case effectively ran out the clock on Charlie.
A sorry and shameful saga has come to a close in London, where the parents of gravely ill infant Charlie Gard have decided not to seek a last-ditch treatment that might have saved his life. The entire ordeal —which has provided a crystalline example of the literally life-threatening dangers of overlarge government—should be the shame of the United Kingdom and a warning to the rest of the world. That it will very likely function as neither is a modern-day political and civilizational tragedy.

Charlie Gard is a dying baby with an incredibly rare disease, one which has no known cure yet. His parents, desiring as most parents do to grant their child life rather than deny him it, wished to take him to the United States for a long-shot experimental treatment. They rais…

What Is the Purpose of Government?

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By Jake MacAulay - Posted at The American View:



There is a God. Our rights come from Him. The purpose of civil government is to protect and secure God given rights.

This is the American View of Law and Government. It is also the Christian View. It is set forth very concisely and precisely in our Declaration of Independence.

Under this Christian, American view, civil government is charged with two principle functions.

First, civil government is responsible for protecting the integrity of our borders.

Secondly, civil government is duty bound to administer the justice system. However, in making and enforcing laws, civil government is required to follow God’s law as the ultimate standard to determine the validity of all earthly laws.

This ultimate standard which limits what civil government can do is referred to in the Declaration of Independence as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”.

Read more here.



Feds Seek Monetary Damages From 10 Who Blocked Doors of Kentucky Abortion Facility to Prevent Murder

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By Heather Clark - Posted at Christian News Network:


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The federal government has filed suit against 10 people who blocked the entrance to Kentucky’s last remaining abortion facility on Mother’s Day weekend to prevent mothers from murdering their unborn children.

“While the … individuals were sitting in front of the entrance to EMW, patients were not able to access the entrance to EMW,” the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, reads. “In addition, volunteer escorts, who usually assist patients as they approach EMW, were unable to facilitate access access to the entrance to EMW, and individuals within EMW could not exit through the entrance.”

The government is asking the courts to create a buffer zone outside of the abortion facility and a restraining order to keep the 10—and anyone associated with them—from obstructing any woman seeking to obtain an abortion. It is also seeking compensatory monetary damages for each person who was unable to utilize EMW W…

The Christian is a Model Citizen

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By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scrivener:
Text . Romans 13:7-10


Last study in this chapter we noticed that the Christian would be a model citizen. He would always do his best to keep the law of the land, obeying the civil magistrate and paying his taxes.
Christians will obey the law of the land. V3 do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:Christians will keep a clear conscience in respect of the law. V5 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.Christians will pay their tax bill! Acknowledging that to do so is in fact an act of obedience to God, to contribute to the overall good of society, to pay for our hospitals and our security. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom;Christians will give honour to the king! And sing the national anthem! fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
We also learned that there was one particular instance when the Christian was not ju…

Pastor in Punjab State, India Shot Dead

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Posted at Morning Star News:

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – A pastor in northern India’s Punjab state was shot dead in front of his church premises two months after Hindu extremists took offense at a gospel event celebrating his church’s 25th anniversary, sources said.

Pastor Sultan Masih of Temple of God was found shot dead at Peer Banda Mohalla in the Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana District on Saturday evening (July 15). He was 50.

Masih was talking by phone outside the church building when assailants on a motorbike shot him, CCTV footage recovered by police shows. His son Anoop Masih, discovered him.
Read more here.

ACCEPTING MORTALITY

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Posted at Tried With Fire:

There have been so many advances in public health and medicine that we live longer and healthier lives. While this is a wonderful blessing from God, have we forgotten that we are mortal? Do we believe that we will always be as healthy as we were in our prime with no diminution of mind or physical strength because conventional medicine (or alternative therapies) can provide a cure for everything? As a result of this, have we lost the ability to walk alongside loved ones who face aging and dying?

These are questions raised in Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. The author is a Harvard-trained surgeon who is on the faculty of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, so he knows of what he speaks. In his career as a physician, he has noticed the lack in the medical profession and even in society-at-large of helping people who face illness, disability, and death. These issues are treated solely as medical problems so the soul-care (my word) is absent when hard decisio…

Chinese Nobel Prize winner dies in prison, first since the Nazi regime

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Posted at China Aid:

(Shenyang, Liaoning—July 13, 2017) For the first time since the Holocaust, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate died in prison today after suffering abuse and medical neglect in China’s northeastern Liaoning province.

Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and literary critic awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his authorship of a robust piece calling for China’s political reform known as Charter 08, died of liver cancer at 6:40 p.m. China Standard Time on July 13, 2017, after Chinese authorities refused him adequate medical care while in prison.

Already weak from mistreatment, Liu’s cancer was discovered on May 24 and diagnosed as late-stage, but officials failed to release him on medical parole until June 26. Liu and his wife requested to travel abroad and consult top cancer specialists, but the Chinese government denied their cries for help and said he was too frail to travel. Instead, they brought in two doctors from the United States and Germany, who treated Liu and contradicte…

Tyrant Sheriff Forces Prayer on his County

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Description:
Published on Jul 11, 2017

By Jake MacAulay - The American View

My recent travels across America brought me to Ashe County, North Carolina. This sleepy little county tucked in the Appalachian Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway was the site of an Institute on the Constitution United States Constitution course graduation.

I have developed a tradition of visiting the Patriots of Ashe County, led by Mary Desautles and Carol Phillips, every year for these graduations. This year we had the sheriff of Ashe County take part in the ceremony and you can imagine how pleased I was to hear of a godly sheriff who realized it was his duty to protect the good citizens who had voted to give him his job as a public servant.

As I discussed the concepts of interposition and our sheriff’s course with Sheriff Terry Buchanan, I grew more and more encouraged that the work of Institute on the Constitution members was paying off and taking root in this county. Numerous graduates of past courses …

Pakistan’s Calculated Spin on Apparent Killing of Chinese Evangelists

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Posted at Morning Star News:
While Islam is the state religion of Pakistan, its constitution states that all citizens have the right to profess, practice, and propagate their religion, as well as the right to freedom of speech subject to “reasonable restrictions in the interest of the glory of Islam.”Interior ministry’s statement sends chilling message to foreign Christians.

(Morning Star News) – Islamabad’s claim that “violations” of business visas contributed to the murder of two Chinese evangelists last month served key government purposes.

Lee Zing Yang (Li Xinheng is said to be the more accurate rendering), 24, and Meng Li Si (Meng Lisi), 26, were teaching Chinese to people in Pakistan, and, like any Christian, they also intended to share the gospel with people they met. Pakistani media dutifully broadcast the Interior Ministry spin on their apparent deaths, which accused the couple of “preaching” – suggesting that it violated terms of their business visas (it was not clear how),…

Conscience is Fragile: Handle with Care

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

The human mind is fragile as well as powerful and complex. The human spirit can be resilient but may also be frail in the face of countless intricate emotions, memories, doubts and fears. Conscience is an especially delicate part of who we are. God has given it to us as a witness to His righteous requirements. Sin has disordered it but further damages it. Our moral compass is easily warped by sin’s magnetic force. The Bible tells us that conscience can be defiled, wounded and seared. Through handling conscience carelessly we can do untold damage to ourselves. Grace, however, can heal and restore.

Samuel Rutherford adores the great wisdom of God in creating the world which is best seen in creating so rare a thing as the soul. He says that the most intricate part of the soul is the conscience which he describes as “that lump of divinity” because it is “like a beam of God”. “Conscience is the gold of the man”. Conscience is placed in the soul as God’s own d…

Former Ala. Chief Justice Roy Moore Leads GOP Race for U.S. Senate Seat of Jeff Sessions

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By Dave Bohon - Posted at The New American:

Roy Moore (shown), twice suspended as Alabama's chief justice, appears to be leading all Republican candidates in the GOP primary race for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat Jeff Sessions left to become President Trump's attorney general.

Politico.com reported that, according to internal polling by one of his opponents, Moore leads all candidates with 31 percent of the projected votes, followed by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (23 percent), who currently fills the Senate seat after being selected earlier this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley as Sessions' replacement. Trailing close behind Strange is Alabama U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks with 21 percent.

While the Republican Party has come out in support of Strange, his connection to Bentley — who was forced to resign in the midst of personal scandal and ethics controversies — has hurt his candidacy.
Read more here.

Virginia KKK Rally Countered by 1,000 Protesters

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Posted at Christian News Network:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A KKK rally in Virginia was met with a swelling protest on Saturday.

An estimated 50 Klan members gathered in Charlottesville to express objection to the city council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Lee Park, which has now been renamed Emancipation Park.

The statue has stood since 1924, but has recently become the subject of debate as some consider the display to be racist and “an emblem of white supremacy.” An injunction has currently stalled the removal until a court hearing in November.

“The liberals are taking away our heritage,” James Moore of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan told the Washington Post prior to the event. “By taking these monuments away, that’s what they’re working on. They’re trying to erase the white culture right out of the history books.”

Read more here.

Editor's NoteChristian Heritage News denounces all forms of racism and hatred. - AW

Unequally Yoked

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By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate:

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.”
– 2 Corinthians 6:14, ESV –
Over the past two weeks, we’ve been considering who the faithful Christian minister may properly partner with in ministry. Two weeks ago we briefly surveyed the history of the ecumenical movement in order to vividly illustrate the terrible consequence of disobedience to Scripture on this matter. Last week we oriented ourselves to the key text I’m focusing on, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, considering the context in which it comes. I won’t rehash all of that here, so if you’ve missed it please click over to read those two introductory posts [http://thecripplegate.com/author/mike-riccardi/].

But today we come to consider the actual prohibition that Paul gives. It comes in 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” Now, this term “to be unequally yoked with,” is a translation of the compound word heterozugeo, which is made up of the familiar term heteros—…

Federal Vision

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By Ben Wilkerson - Posted at The Evangelical Times:



Justification by faith, where vile sinners are counted as righteous before God for the sake of Christ, is often polluted by the waters of moralism. Martin Luther is said to have described this justification as ‘the article by which the church stands or falls’. It was this that brought him to faith in Christ, as he read through Paul’s epistle to the Romans, while still a monk.

Since the Reformation, countless sermons and books have been preached and written in defence of this pivotal doctrine, and Reformed and evangelical churches throughout the West continue to do battle for it.

Auburn Avenue

One fairly recent theological fad that has caused discord and confusion is a teaching called Federal Vision (FV). This had its beginnings in the 1970s, when Dr Norman Shepherd, a former professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, began to teach to his students that we are saved by a combination of faith and works.

In 2002 he spok…

Have We Become Tourists Rather than Pilgrims?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

Not all journeys are the same. Tourists are focussed on their surroundings; pilgrims are fixed on their destination. Tourists want to capture as much as possible of what they see; pilgrims mark their progress towards an unseen destination. How do we respond to this world? Are we so comfortable and satisfied in it that we could better be described as tourists than pilgrims in relation to this world? Or half pilgrim, half tourist? Not all pilgrims are the same. Some are simply pleasing themselves under cover of religion. What is it to live as true pilgrims in this world?

Scripture must of course be our guide. 1 Peter 1:17 speaks about pilgrims who have a careful walk that is afraid of offending God. 1 Peter 2:11-12 speaks of keeping ourselves apart from the prevailing sins of the world we pass through so that we have a testimony that speaks to others. Is your life a pilgrim’s protest against the course of this world? Hebrews 11 outlines brief biographies o…

Reformation and the 4th of July

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By Shawn Mathis - Posted at Pastor Mathis:

“The practice of true and undefiled religion . . . is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.” — John Witherspoon, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1782
America’s collective ignorance about her religious past is cause for lament. It means that even as we knowingly celebrate our Fourth of July as a day of political freedom we ignorantly omit the religious roots of that freedom.

It is true that many conservatives and Christians wish to bring our nation back to the old paths, for “righteousness exalts a nation”. Yet too many think that path of righteousness as a path of political effort and good-will divorced from serious religious effort. In contrast, the founders contended that America’s freedoms were rooted in virtue. And for the colonial Christian that virtue was defined by the Word of God and promulgated in the churches. But today too many wish to recreate the fruits of our American heritage without its roots.

Such c…

The Declaration of Independence (as read by Max McLean)

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IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

https://youtu.be/4uE-tqe0xsQ

(Approximately 10 minutes)

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

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By Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas

"Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are dinged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him (Isaiah 51:1, 2)."
When it comes to celebrating this most American of holidays, it is interesting to note that our Founding Fathers didn't consider the 4th of July a holiday. No, to them this day represented far more than just another festival to acknowledge in the myriad of special days Americans honor. According to John Adams, the second President of the USA, the 4th of July, "Ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty." Surprisingly, John Adams believed Independence Day was to be a Holy Day to be spent in Thanksgiving to the Almighty for His mighty deliverance that He wrought on the behalf of our fledgli…

Do We Love Jesus But Not the Church?

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Posted at Reformation Scotland:

The slogan “I love Jesus but not the Church” has been repeated so often it’s now a category in major surveys. It’s now supposed to cover about 10% of people in the USA. This individualistic consumerist mindset may have eroded the thinking of more than this category alone. It’s easy to be a fickle consumer of the Church, taking what we like and leaving the rest. Without recognising it, we often complain when Church doesn’t fulfil our needs and expectations. There are of course genuine hurts and struggles as in any human relationship. Yet it seems as though our view of the Church has become too small. Slogans about not loving the Church may seem absurd at the same time that our love to her has grown cold. Do those who say they do love Christ and the Church give practical expression to that love?

Loving the Church is not to be in word or in tongue only but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18). David Dickson draws out some of these lessons in commenting on the…