The West Turns Back on Persecuted Christians, Embraces Radical Muslims

Western authorities appear committed to discriminating against Christian asylum seekers, while welcoming Muslims ones.

Most recently, Germany — which has taken in millions of refugees from the Muslim world, including many, non-vetted, from Afghanistan — denied refuge to an Iranian convert to Christianity, known by the initials “H.H.,” whose brother-in-law had been imprisoned, tortured and killed after converting in their native Iran. According to a report from August 2:

“When H.H.’s asylum application was rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, he appealed to the Administrative Court of Greifswald. But the court dismissed H.H.’s claim, declaring that it was “not particularly likely” that a Muslim would decide to become a Christian after his brother-in-law had been tortured and killed and his wife abused. It is more likely ‘to assume that the events described, if they actually took place, have a deterrent effect on third parties,’ according to the administrative court…”Recently, the European Court of Human Rights refused to hear Hassan. Now he faces deportation to a country where conversions can be punished with imprisonment.”

Discussing H.H.’s case, a legal officer at ADF International (Alliance Defending Freedom), Lidia Rieder, said: “Iran is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and converts are particularly at risk. In the last year, religious persecution has greatly worsened. So-called ‘religious deviants’ can be given prison sentences, national security charges are continuously used to target religious minorities. The courts in Germany must take this into account when processing asylum applications.”

Germany and the European Court of Human Rights are hardly the only ones to deny refuge to, or discriminate against, persecuted Christians. Over the years, many other Western entities have engaged in similar behavior.

Under the presidency of Barack Obama, particularly during the refugee crisis precipitated by the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), the White House and State Department were accused of all sorts of discriminatory measures against Christians — to the point that a federal appellate court filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in late 2016. In it, Judge Daniel Manion expressed his “concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country”: “Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian…. To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.”

The discrepancy in numbers was even more perplexing: Although the U.S. government had acknowledged that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria due solely to their religious identity, it took in only those who by definition were not in any way being targeted by ISIS — Sunni Muslims, with whom ISIS, a Sunni organization, identifies and does not attack. Despite the fact that Sunnis were about 75% of Syria’s population, and Christians about 10%, a full 99 % of those brought into America were Sunni Muslims, and less than 0.5 percent were Christian.

As CNS news noted in 2016: “Record 499 Syrian Refugees Admitted to US So Far in May Includes No Christians.” In other words, even if one were to operate under the assumption that refugee status should have been made available to all Syrians, regardless of religion, there should have been 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status under Obama.

A virtually identical situation prevailed in the United Kingdom. In 2019, The Times stated that the UK “fails to give safe haven to Christians,” and “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christians.

Once again, statistics confirm that allegation: “out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK.”

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/19010/persecuted-christians-radical-muslims via Berean Call

Why Everything Is The Way It Is

The prevailing view in today’s media, public schools, and surrounding society is that the Bible isn’t true, no educated person believes in God, and science is the key to life’s mysteries. The lie of evolution becomes so deeply implanted that deliverance is increasingly difficult.

The world rejects “God says” and accepts “science says” as the ultimate truth. Few realize that science cannot answer the important questions: why the universe and life exist, and why every child knows the difference between right and wrong and believes that God exists until taught “better.”

Few know what leading scientists admit. Max Planck, father of Quantum Theory, declared: “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.”1 We don’t know what time, space, matter, or energy are—much less the soul and spirit.

Why? cannot be addressed to the universe but only to its Creator. One cannot reason with an earthquake or a hurricane. There is no sympathy in “Nature.” Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger, one of the architects of quantum mechanics, wrote:

The scientific picture of the real world around me is…ghastly silent about all that…really matters to us….It knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity….
Whence came I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question…for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.2

Science knows nothing of truth—only physical facts. Lee Smolin, founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, has said: “When a child asks, ‘What is the world?’ we literally have nothing to tell….”3

The question why? irritates atheists because the maker decides the purpose for whatever is made. Without a Creator, neither the universe nor life has any meaning. Without God, there is no reason for a rose bud or for the dew that makes it shimmer in the morning sun —or for anything else that we hold dear and enjoy, including human existence itself.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God is the way He is. But who is this God? Is he Zeus of the Greeks, Brahman of the Hindus, Allah of Islam? Does it matter? Can’t we just acknowledge a “higher power”? Higher than what? Power? No impersonal “power” could create personal beings. Nor could any “force” conceive and write in words on DNA the directions for constructing and operating all living things.

Atheism leads to numerous absurdities promoted by otherwise intelligent people. Sir Francis Crick, Nobel laureate as co-discoverer of the DNA language, begins his book, The Astonishing Hypothesis:

You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.4

If this is the way the universe made us, why does Crick call it Astonishing? He knows it is contrary to common sense. Yet to cling to his atheism he must persist in such madness. However, most people would firmly object to Crick’s description. Any thinking person knows he weighs choices carefully, experiences joys, sorrows, hopes, ambitions, fears, remorse, and regrets that are very real. But “science says” is a holy mantra that causes every knee to bow—except those who will not worship Baal (1 Ki:19:18
). Biologist Richard Lewontin defiantly boasts:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.5

Arch atheist and outspoken enemy of God, Richard Dawkins, claims that we are merely vehicles through which “selfish genes” perpetuate themselves. Yet he says genes have no foresight. They do not plan ahead. Genes just are. He also states, “Much as we might wish to believe otherwise, universal love and the welfare of the species…are concepts that simply do not make evolutionary sense.”6 What an admission!

If evolution makes us incapable of true love, morals, or ethics, why do we admire these qualities? How can we be so unnatural, if we are the offspring of nature? Crick and Dawkins seem embarrassed that many of the human qualities that everyone possesses could not have been produced by evolution. We do not think and act like we should if we were evolved from lower creatures.

The language component in the human gene “is identical in every particular to [that in] a snail. [Only] the sequence of building blocks is…different….”7 The organizational genius behind DNA is breathtaking. Using the same four letters for plants, animals, and man, distinction is maintained not only between all kinds of living things but between individuals of each kind. This ingenious arrangement sets bounds which make it impossible for DNA of one kind of life to change into DNA of another kind.

Unquestionably, the DNA language, which is the basis of all life, did not and cannot evolve. The similarity between man’s DNA and that of all animals is no more evidence that man evolved from animals than is the similarity in human and plant DNA evidence that we evolved from plants.

Evolution did not make us. God made us. But atheists cling to evolution as an escape from accountability to God. Darwin’s theory was his revenge against the god he could no longer believe in, the “god” that had allowed his daughter, Annie, to die. Darwinism’s atheism prevents science from knowing why things are as they are. Without God there is no answer to the why for anything. Yet here we are in a vast and awesome universe and common sense cries out for a reason for its existence and ours.

Why is everything the way it is? Only because God, who created it all, is the way He is. And why is God the way He is? Because, unlike the capricious gods of non-Christian religions, God revealed Himself to Moses thus: “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex 3:14). Consistently the Bible’s God declares, “I am the LORD, I change not (Mal:3:6).” God is outside of, and untouched by, the time and change so evident in our world.

Dawkins says, “Genes just are.” No, genes are not self-existent and eternal. They had to have a Maker. God alone has no maker but is the Maker of all: self-existent, uncreated, unchanging, perfect, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. For God to be God, this is who He must be.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God, who made all, is the way He is. Of the newly created universe, we read: “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gn 1:31). Why was everything “good”? Because God who made everything is good: “There is none good but one, that is God” (Mt 19:17).

Even in its present corrupt state, much in the universe is still so beautiful that it thrills and moves us deeply because the God who made it is beautiful. David wrote: “I seek [to] dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord…” (Ps:27:4). We need greater appreciation of God’s beauty!

Why is there some apparent “good” even in a Hitler or a Stalin? Nazi extermination camp guards who had presided over the murder of Jews all day could come home at night, kiss their wives, play with their children, and enjoy listening to Wagner. This is because God, who is good, made man in His image (Gn 1:26,27). Although sin separated all mankind from a holy God, a remnant of the image of God in which we were created remains. Yet everything man touches, even love, is corrupted.

The man who persuades a woman to live with him without marriage tells her, “I love you.” But what he may mean (perhaps unknown even to him) could be, “I love myself, and I want you.” Only too late they may discover that this is what both of them mean by “love.”

Why the blight, rot, and death that taunts us everywhere? This, too, is because God is the way He is. Without God, whose character reveals and condemns it, there would be no sin; and without God’s law written in man’s conscience, there would be no knowledge of sin: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Is 45:7).

How could a good God create evil? The same way the God who is light creates darkness. A person who was born and died in a cave in total darkness would not know he was in the dark until someone shined a light. The light suddenly reveals the darkness for what it is; and God’s holy perfection reveals evil for what it is. The haunting memory of paradise lost lingers elusively in man’s heart. Why must it be this way? Because the God who is good is also holy and just—and man, made in His image, rebelled.

What about eternal torment in the Lake of Fire? That, too, is because God is love and God is just. He created man to live forever in the joy of His love—not as an “extra” but as man’s very life. Those who reject God’s love consign themselves to the eternal torment of a burning thirst for the One who made them for Himself. Heaven will be the eternal satisfaction of the living water flowing “out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rv 22:1). Hell will be eternally dying from burning thirst for God, the horror of fully knowing one’s sin and rebellion, and the realization that one is there only because of rejecting Christ.

“God is love” (1 Jn:4:8,16). Love is the essence of His being. He loves us and wants to forgive us; but He is also holy and just. For God to forgive sinners without the full penalty being paid would contradict His justice and make Him our partner in evil. Christ fully paid that penalty for our sins—but the pardon must be willingly and gladly received. God will not force anyone into heaven.

Atheists scoff, “How could a good God create this evil world? If God can’t stop suffering and death, He is too weak to be God; and if He could but doesn’t, He is a monster unworthy of our trust.” In fact, this is not the world God made but the one we made in rebellion against Him. Don’t blame God for what we have done to His once-perfect world!


Why did God allow man to rebel? That fact, too, is true because “God is love.” We can neither receive and enjoy His love nor love Him in return (or love one another) without the power of choice. Love is from the heart. The ability to say “yes” means nothing without the equal ability to say “no.” Tragically, Adam and Eve, chose to say “no” to God and to follow Satan. The entire universe suffers as a result: “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now…waiting…” (Rom:8:20-23).

Those who reject the truth reject God. Sir David Attenborough, producer of decades of TV programs promoting evolution, argued:

The God you believe in…an all-merciful God created…a parasitic worm…that can live in no other way than in an innocent child’s eyeball [in West Africa]?8

No, that is not the way the universe was at the beginning. And during the millennial reign of Christ, the world will be restored to its original condition, without animals devouring one another, without microbes and parasites preying on other living things: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…the leopard shall lie down with the kid…the calf and the young lion…together; and a little child shall lead them….The lion shall eat straw like the ox…the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD…” (Is 11:6-9).

In Christ alone, and His payment of the penalty for our sins upon the Cross, we find reconciliation to God and ultimate meaning and purpose. “All things were made by him…” (Jn:1:2). O mystery! The babe born in Bethlehem was and forever is “the mighty God, the everlasting Father” (Is 9:6). Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (Jn:10:30).

How can we understand and better know this infinite God? He made us for Himself, and we naturally thirst for Him: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Ps:42:2). Yet those in rebellion foolishly attempt to quench that thirst in earthly possessions, pleasures, and pride. It was to reveal God to man as the only One who could fulfill that inner longing that Jesus, God’s “only begotten” Son (Jn:1:14; 3:16, etc.) was born into this world.

The suffering that Christ endured at men’s hands revealed the evil in all of our hearts. That suffering, which we inflicted upon Him, could not save us. It was the punishment for our sins that Jesus suffered on the Cross under God’s wrath against sin that made it possible for all to be forgiven who believe on Him. It is because He fully paid that penalty in our place that He can say, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn:7:37).

He who was born of a virgin and fully man is also fully God: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col:2:9); who being the brightness of his [God the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…by himself purged our sins…” (Heb:1:3).

Paul declared, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tm 3:16). Though now we only dimly understand (“we see through a glass darkly [and] know in part”–1 Cor:13:12), we have the glorious promise that the more we by faith look upon, meditate upon, and understand our Lord Jesus Christ, the more clearly we see Him and become like Him: “But we all, with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor:3:18).


The revelation of Christ, for which our souls thirst, thrills us increasingly as we more clearly understand who He is in all His fullness and what He accomplished to reconcile us to Himself. Something of His glorious person is beautifully expressed in Graham Kendrick’s hymn:

Meekness and majesty, manhood and deity,
In perfect harmony—the man who is God;
Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity,
Kneels in humility, and washes our feet.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence,
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross;
Suffering to give us life,
Conquering through sacrifice—
And as they crucify, prays, “Father, forgive.”

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
Love indestructible in frailty appears;
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly
Lifts our humanity
To the heights of his throne.

Oh, what a mystery—Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship,
For this is your God,
This is your God!

Dave Hunt, The Berean Call (April 1, 2007)

Endnotes

  1. Max Planck, “The Mystery of Our Being,” in Quantum Questions, ed. Ken Wilbur (Boston: New Science Library, 1984), 153.
  2. Erwin Schrödinger, quoted in Quantum, 81.
  3. Dennis Overbye, “Physics awaits new options as Standard Model idles,” Symmetry, vol 03, issue 06, August 06.
  4. Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1994), 3.
  5. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, 31.
  6. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press, 30th anniversary edition, 2006), 2.
  7. Dawkins, Selfish, 22.
  8. M. Buchanan, “Wild, Wild Life,” Sydney Morning HeraldThe Guide, March 24, 2003, 6.

Beguiling With Enticing Words

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Colossians 2:4)

This Scripture is a perfect representation of those who would try to deceive people into accepting the false paradigm of Darwinian evolution, in which nature serves as an imposter diety magically crafting and molding creatures over millions of years.

The verse contains two very interesting Greek words that occur rarely in the New Testament. The first word of note is only used twice and is the verb paralogizomai, translated here as “beguile.” It was used by the ancient Greeks to denote persuasiveness of speech or the putting forth of a seemingly plausible argument undergirded by dangerously false information. The second time it’s used is in James 1:22 concerning self-deception: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [paralogizomai] your own selves.”

The second Greek word of note is the highly descriptive noun pithanologia, translated as “enticing words,” and is only used in this one place in the New Testament. It’s a combination of the word pithanos, meaning convincing, persuasive, or plausible, with logos, meaning word or account. The Greeks used it to describe arguments made by sophists, who were noted for affirming false scenarios, trying to make them appear true. In modern English we would say “to talk someone into something false.”
 

Paul indicated he had to make this warning concerning deception because he’d just previously declared “the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossian 2:2-3). Indeed, all evolutionary deception ultimately steals the glory of Jesus Christ the Creator, “for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (v. 9).

Source: The Berean Call

God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Free Will

God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervale the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it….. Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so…

God moves undisturbed and unhindered toward the fulfillment of those eternal purposes which He proposed in Christ Jesus before the world began… Since He is omniscient, there can be no unforeseen circumstances, no accidents …[but] within the broad field of God’s sovereign, permissive will the deadly conflict of good and evil continues with increasing fury.

There is freedom to choose which side we shall be on but no freedom to negotiate the results of the choice once it is made…Our choice is our own, but the consequences of the choice have already been determined by the sovereign will of God, and from this there is no appeal.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1961), pp. 117-119, as quoted by Dave Hunt, What Love Is This? (Bend, Oregon: The Berean Call, 2013), pp. 234-235.

Faux term ‘Christian nationalist’ used in political warfare

By Jorge Gomez, Op-ed contributor, Christian Post (November 10, 2022), originally published at First Liberty

The label “Christian nationalist” is appearing more frequently and is being used to silence people of faith, according to experts.

Dr. Mark David Hall, an author and professor at George Fox University, recently discussed the history behind the term. He argues that the political Left started using it well over a decade ago “to label Christians who bring their faith into the public square for ends they don’t like.”

National security and intelligence expert Dr. Stephen Coughlin similarly argues the label is part of a politically driven effort to suppress religious opinions that defy modern orthodoxy and Leftist ideology:

“What they did was they created a faux term ‘Christian nationalism,’ and they gave it all these negative attributes and then used that to attack Christians. It’s part of what you call an ‘intersectional line of attack’ in a political warfare model, which is the Maoist insurgency model, which we believe is the premier principal form of Marxism.”

Former congresswoman and current dean of the Regent University School of Government, Michele Bachmann, contends the surge in use is no coincidence, especially so close to a midterm election. She explains:

“It’s all about holding on to power. That’s what it’s about. There’s only one party in power now in the United States, in Washington, D.C. They don’t want to let it go … And what they have seen is the power of the Church, the epicenter of power in the United States. Opposing their agenda is the Church and the principles of the Bible. They don’t like pastors preaching on issues. They don’t like congregants being inspired from the Bible. And so that’s why we’re the target. They want to silence us.”

What exactly does “Christian nationalism” mean? There is no settled definition, but broadly speaking, radicals use “Christian nationalism” to conflate racism, white supremacy and identity, religion, and patriotism. They often add in fascism, theocracy, and authoritarianism.

An attack on religious liberty and America’s founding values

The use of the “Christian nationalist” label contradicts the principles and values of our country. Its perpetual misuse is especially harmful to religious liberty.

Among the many problems is how it demonizes public prayer and virtually any other commonplace religious activity. Whether a political leader or an everyday person, anytime there is a public expression of faith, the term is leveled against them as wanting to establish a Christian theocracy.

In other words, if a citizen exercises their constitutionally protected and inalienable right to religious freedom, that person runs the risk of being labeled a “Christian nationalist.” And once you carry that label, it essentially means you’re a pariah, someone who should be vilified and not allowed to participate in the marketplace or society.

This, of course, is nothing new. As Dr. Coughlin explained, this is a tactic straight out of the Marxist playbook. Whenever a political force wants to wield power and authority, religious people and religious liberty are the first ones on the target list.

Radicals and dictators know fully well that houses of worship and people of faith are the ultimate check on authoritarian power. Their allegiance is not to the government. A free people know their loyalty is to God above all, the true provider and source of our freedoms. If a tyrant succeeds at destroying religious freedom and religious institutions, they can remove the most effective challenge to their rule.

Vilifying the faithful is a timeless tool of authoritarians. Liberally tossing around the “Christian nationalist” label and slapping it on anyone who lives out their faith is a direct attack on religious freedom. Make no mistake. Radicals want to normalize the use of this loaded term to chip away and destroy one of the building blocks of our republic.

Loving God and country

The political Left regularly screams “Christian nationalism” when a person of faith shows patriotism and pride in their country. If you say America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you’ll quickly be accused of trying to establish a theocracy. But that’s simply not true and is based on a wildly distorted view of our nation’s history.

This use of “Christian nationalism” typically relies on a misguided understanding of the “separation of Church and State,” which radicals interpret to mean that there can be no intersection between religion and government. They claim that any religious expression or influence in the public square cannot be tolerated, because it would violate this strict wall of separation.

Understood in context, however, the “separation of Church and state” does not mean religious exercise or prayer is banned on government property. This phrase doesn’t even appear in the text of the Constitution. The original intent was never to keep religion locked inside the walls of a church or synagogue. Instead, it was to protect houses of worship and religious people from state intrusion and harassment. It’s misleading to argue that government and religion should never, under any circumstances, be mixed together.

Additionally, no matter how much secularists or the political Left deny it, the United States was, in fact, founded by people who valued biblical principles. From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other Founders, an overwhelming majority of them expressed belief in the Divine, a Creator who is the ultimate grantor of our rights and freedoms, as is clearly referenced in the Declaration of Independence. One of the foremost constitutional theorists of the founding generation, John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

America’s Founders were a prime example that faith and patriotism are not mutually exclusive. They demonstrated that it’s possible to serve God and be committed to the American constitutional experience — to the cause of liberty, human rights, representative democracy, and the rule of law.

More than two centuries later, a strong majority of Americans still believe in this truth. Pew Research recently found 60% of Americans think the Founders originally intended the U.S. to be a “Christian nation.” However, 52% said the federal government should never declare an official religion. This shows that most people believe in the core principles of the First Amendment. That is, we can freely worship God while also cherishing our system of government.

Being a religious person who also loves their nation does not make one a “Christian nationalist.” Quite the opposite. Someone who serves God and country is embodying the best of America’s traditions. We’re a nation built on religious freedom, which means Christians — and people of any faith — do not have to be forced to choose between loving our republic and loving the One True God.

The Degenerating Influence of Ritualism.

The tendency of all ecclesiastical ritualism is to produce

 a spirit of superstition to the subversion of faith,
 
of mere formality to the guidance of the Holy Spirit

and resting in our own good works

to the rejection of the finished work of Christ. 

The Word of God is practically set aside,

the Holy Spirit grieved,

and the heart laid open to the inroads of Satan. 

When faith is in lively exercise,

The Word of God strictly followed, 

and the promised guidance of the Comforter relied upon,

the soul is strong and vigorous in the divine life, 

and suggestions of the enemy are unheeded.

Satan is a keen observer 

of the different states of the believer's soul,

and of the professing Church.

He knows when he will be successful

 in his attempt 

against the individual believer or the Church:

he waits his time --

he watches for opportunity.

When he sees the mind taking a wrong direction,

he soothes, flatters, stimulates --

solemn thought for us all!  

Andrew Miller, Miller's Church History (Pickering and Inglis, LTD, London), p. 237

Christian Joy

The abiding message of Philippians concerns the nature and grounds of Christian joy. For Paul, true joy is not a surface emotion that depends on favorable circumstances of the moment. Christian joy is independent of outward conditions, and is possible even in the midst of adverse circumstances, such as suffering and persecution.

Joy ultimately arises from fellowship with the risen, glorified Christ. Throughout the letter, Paul speaks of joy in the Lord, emphasizing that through Christ alone is Christian joy realized, as are other Christian graces. Essential to this joy is the confident conviction of the lordship of Christ, based on experience of the power of His resurrection. Because of this conviction, life for Paul attained meaning. Even death became a friend, because it would bring him into a fuller experience of the presence of Christ (1:21-23).

The joy presented in Philippians involves eager expectation of the near return of the Lord. That this expectation was dominant in Paul’s thinking is seen in his five references to Christ’s return. In the context of each reference is a note of joy (1:6, 10; 2:16; 3:20; 4:5).

Paul further describes a joy that springs from fellowship in the spreading of the gospel. He begins the letter by thanking the Philippians for their partnership in spreading the gospel through their monetary gifts. The gifts, however, are only an expression of their spirit of fellowship, or as he puts it in 4:17, “the fruit that abounds to your account.” So Christian joy is an outgrowth of being in the active fellowship of the body of Christ.

This letter reveals the timeless message that true joy is to be found only in a dynamic personal relationship with Jesus Christ and in the assurance that God is able to turn adverse circumstances to our good and His glory. Because he was united to Christ by a living faith, Paul could claim contentment in all circumstances. His unadorned testimony was “I rejoice … and will rejoice” (1:18), and his unqualified command was, “Rejoice . . . again I will say, rejoice! (4:4).

Introduction to The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Spirit Filled Life Bible, General Editor Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), pp. 1800-1801

Rationalism vs Revelation: The Mind vs The Heart

“A different form of attack upon the Scriptures, which may be described as Rationalism, was developed in the 19th century. Rationalism set aside Revelation, assuming the sufficiency of the mind, or Reason, to enable man to find out truth and to attain to the highest good.

The unprecedented progress made in scientific knowledge not only gave valuable insight into the works of God in Creation, but also stirred in some minds a desire to explain creation apart from God. This made it necessary to prove that the account of the Creation given in the book of Genesis did not spring from Divine inspiration, but from the ignorance of men, who, living before us, were presumed to have known less than we do. As fresh discoveries were made in the illimitable field of Nature, theories were founded upon them which were said to be incompatible with the Genesis history and therefore to prove it incorrect. As further facts came to light new theories had to be formed, each displacing its predecessor, yet each in turn accepted on the authority of the learning of the men of science who promulgated it. The “Origin of Species” published by Charles Darwin in 1859 is an important landmark in this development of thought.

Those who accepted the view that there had been no creation, of necessity lost the knowledge of the Creator. This involved the loss of all revealed knowledge, for the revelation of God through the Scriptures begins with Creation as the work of God, without which there could have been no Fall of His creature, Man; and neither need nor possibility of man’s Redemption. Consequently, the new theories evolved from the minds of men who discarded the Scripture teaching of the Fall, replacing it by constantly changing theories of the development of man from a lower form of life. The experience of Salvation and the hope of Redemption became incredible on the basis of these teachings, and whatever vague promises might be held out to the race, the individual was left without hope.

Although in the minds of the multitude evolution has replaced God the Creator, so that many trace their ancestry from beasts rather than from God, and are ignorant of God as their Redeemer, yet not all, even among those recognized as the most eminent men of science, have followed this teaching. It would not be correct to say that increase of knowledge of the facts of Nature necessarily leads to disbelief in God or in the Scriptures. Many have found that the more they have learned of the works of God in Creation the more they have appreciated the consonance of this revelation with that contained in the Scriptures. Indeed, the assertion so often and so eagerly made that no modern, intelligent, educated man can believe the Scriptures, is without foundation. It is not a fact that the more people know the less they believe, nor yet that the more ignorant they are the more faith they possess.

Rationalism is largely due to the failure to recognize that man is not only mind, but mind and heart, and that the mind always serves the heart. The heart, which is the character, will and affections, and is the seat of experience, uses in its service the mind, with its intelligence and reasoning powers. The heart of the natural man uses his mind in order to justify his unbelief in God and in Scripture by finding countless reasons for complaint against God, and contradictions and errors in the Scriptures, but if this same man has an experience which brings him to see his sinful state, his need of salvation, and Christ is revealed to him, then his heart — that is his will and affections —are captured; they go out to Christ in faith as Saviour and Lord, and the Divine and Eternal Life is communicated to him, as it is written: “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). With that his mind, though neither more or less capable, intelligent and instructed than before, enters into the service of a changed heart, finding truth and beauty and revelation in the very Scriptures which it formerly despised, and discovering in the ways of God constant reason for thanksgiving and worship. Saul the persecutor, changed to Paul the apostle is a striking illustration of this.

Excerpt from The Pilgrim Church by E.H. Broadbent, pp. 493-495

God: Natural or Supernatural

From Creation Moments:

Genesis 1:31
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”

C.S. Lewis suggested that those who deny the supernatural can still believe in a god of sorts. He said:

The great interlocking event called Nature might be such as to produce at some stage a great cosmic consciousness, an indwelling ‘God’ arising from the whole process as human mind arises (according to the Naturalists) from human organisms…. What Naturalism cannot accept is the idea of a God who stands outside Nature and made it.

One Christian evolutionist has maintained that Christians who are scientists do not mention God in their research papers, because there is a long-standing tradition against partiality in science. It follows that his scientific research does not start from God, and does not start from the Bible.

While he maintains this as a virtue, it suggests to his readers that nature is all that there is; there is nothing outside of science that science cannot, or will not one day be able, to explain. Yet he believes in God, and is a member of a Bible-believing church. This gives the impression that faith is a bolt-on. It is not part of reality. Therefore, the god who is implied is not the supernatural God of the Bible, despite the claims of such people that this is the God in whom they believe. Instead, the impression is given that nature is all that there is, so God must be a natural god arising out of creation.

This is why the first few words of the Bible are so important. “In the beginning, God created…” gives the correct context for everything else that we read in the 66 books.

Prayer: You put everything in place, Lord God. You created it all from nothing. We praise You that only in You can everything be understood in its place. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Lewis, C.S. (1947), Miracles, (New York: Macmillan Collins), p12. Image: Adobe Stock photos, licensed to author.

© 2022 Creation Moments.  All rights reserved.

Recognizing The Change

Christians must understand the nature of the change that has occurred in our culture. No longer do the secularists just mock Christians from afar. They are now actively campaigning to indoctrinate children in an anti-God philosophy—to teach them to be secularists and atheists. 

—Ken Ham (born 20 October 1951, Australian Christian fundamentalist, young Earth creationist, and apologist)

Source: Berean Call

The Origin of Racism

Acts 17:26a
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . .”

Does God approve of inter‑racial marriage? To answer this question, we must look at the concept of race. The Bible teaches that we are all descended from the man Adam. Scripture also states, we are all of one blood; Scripture never even uses the idea of race.

The descendants of Ham, who were cursed, were the Canaanites. Yet when Rahab, a Canaanite, came to faith in the true God, she not only was welcomed to marry a believer, but God included her in the line leading to Christ.  The idea of different races, as distinct from different religions, was not much of an issue until 1859 when Charles Darwin published his famous book, On the Origin of Species.  Darwin was a product of Victorian times and extremely racist in his views, always referring to colored peoples as “savages.”  Among the book’s purported scientific claims for evolution was the claim that there are different races because some groups are more evolved than others. As this idea became accepted both in and out of the Church, racism became institutionalized. Today we know that typically the genetic differences between you and anyone else is only 0.2 percent. Scientifically, there is only one human race, as Scripture clearly teaches. The Church can only combat racism by proclaiming the truth that all people on earth are one flesh, descended from one, real Adam, whose blood we share. It can also proclaim the Gospel, that all believers are spiritual descendants of the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us and made us new creatures.

Prayer: Help me, Father, love all people as Your Son did when He died for them. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref:  Ken Ham, Inter-racial marriage: is it biblical?, Creation 21(3) June-August, 1999. Photo: Pixabay (PD)

© 2022 Creation Moments.  All rights reserved.

Anglican school chaplain fired for not caving to LGBT indoctrination warns of ‘soft totalitarianism’

WASHINGTON — An Anglican chaplain who was fired and reported to an anti-terrorism program for preaching Christian doctrine on sexual ethics during a chapel service is warning about the totalitarian ideologies actively at work in the West. 

At a breakout session at the International Religious Freedom Summit, a panel on “polite persecution” — a phrase coined by Pope Francis — assembled by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, described how secular abortion and gender activists are gutting cherished freedoms in countries that have historically championed religious liberty. Often, religious persecution is state-sanctioned.

This so-called polite kind of hostility is often experienced by practitioners of faiths that adhere to more traditional views about human life, marriage, and the material reality of biological sex.

In his remarks, the Rev. Bernard Randall recounted how just over three years ago, he, as an ordained chaplain, was reported to authorities and investigated as part of a government anti-terrorism probe for espousing Christian sexual ethics during a chapel service in a Church of England school. 

The school had invited LGBT activist Elly Barnes, founder of Educate & Celebrate, an LGBT education charity, to a staff training session to introduce a new curriculum under the guise of anti-bullying education, he said, noting that no one objects to protecting students from bullying. Yet, he soon found out that there were aspects of this training that were not about bullying but the indoctrination of LGBT ideology. It went so far that at one point the trainers had the staff chanting about the need to “smash heteronormativity.”

“That’s something well beyond not bullying people,” Randall said. 

The LGBT group further taught staff that there are nine characteristics that are protected under British law, among them “gender” and “gender identity.” But that is not true, Randall stressed, noting that the trans movement has coerced the public into believing such claims.

Since the aim of the Educate & Celebrate curriculum material is to “embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organization,” students asked Randall to address the issue at a chapel service. 

After doing so, he was summarily dismissed from school for gross misconduct and reported to the counter-terrorism program after he told students, aged 11 to 17, that they were not compelled to “accept an ideology they disagree with.” He also told the students that they could make up their own minds about gender identity and sexuality.

Randall added that students could either choose to adopt the thinking of LGBT activists or adhere to Christian sexual ethics — that marriage is only between a man and woman and that sex is confined to that context. Most importantly, he advised students to show respect for those who disagree.

“I was summoned into what I can only describe as an interrogation by the senior leadership,” he said. “I was suspended. And I was fired for gross misconduct for doing my job as per the job description.”

Randall was also reported to Child Protective Services and a British government anti-terrorism program as a potential violent extremist. 

“I’d like to think that I’m a reasonably moderate sort of chap,” he said, reiterating how he left the question of believing the claims of LGBT activists open-ended in his chapel remarks. UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

But his firing and being reported to the government anti-terrorism task force was a revealing moment showing how far the school’s administration had gone to the other extreme. 

He is now suing the school for religious discrimination but noted how astonishing it is that he has to take legal action against a Church of England institution, for proclaiming Christian beliefs in a sermon during a chapel service. The Christian Legal Centre has since been representing him.

Speaking of the relevance of the international religious freedom summit, the Anglican chaplain stressed that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. The Marxist progressive ideology at work functions much like a religion and people should be free from that if they wish to be. 

“If Western countries cannot protect their own religious groups from discrimination there is absolutely no reason that the other countries at which we might point the finger” who are violating religious freedom, and they can say to the West and say, “You’re not taking it seriously, so why should we?” he said.

When asked by The Christian Post why gender ideologues won’t even allow a disagreement, Randall pointed to its philosophical roots. 

“It seems to me that if you look at the Marxist-type origins of this sort of thing, what’s going on is that they are objecting to what they regard as religion — the opiate of the masses — this sort of false consciousness, and they just have to educate us into true consciousness,” he said.

“But anybody who says ‘Oh no, I’m quite happy with my religious ideas, I’m quite happy with this consciousness I’ve got already’ is a real threat to the whole set of concepts. They are a threat to the idea that what everybody believes is false and the Marxists will take us to this new wonderful, enlightened utopia.”

“And they cannot tolerate that kind of threat. It’s a very totalitarian system,” he added. 

What Randall experienced three years ago in England is what he and others have called “soft totalitarianism,” whereas what people endure in China is “hard totalitarianism.”  

“But the difference between them is not as much as we might like to think,” he stressed. 

Send news tips to: brandon.showalter@christianpost.com Listen to Brandon Showalter’s Life in the Kingdom podcast at The Christian Post and edifi app Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter Follow on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

“Heavy Hatred for Christian Values” In Western Society

Following is from the July 2, 2022 Christian Post (United States).

Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen, prosecuted for voicing her traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality, believes that a “heavy hatred for Christian values” in Western society will cause many Christians to censor themselves for social acceptance.

The former interior minister who has served in Finnish Parliament for nearly three decades was one of several global political figures to speak at the annual International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., this week.

The event aims to increase “the public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement. The summit is led by former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who led similar events at the State Department headquarters during the Trump administration.

In March, Räsänen was cleared of hate speech charges for repeatedly asserting her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But her legal battle continues as the prosecution has appealed the ruling to a higher court.

She spoke with The Christian Post ahead of her participation in a panel discussion at the summit focused on religious freedom in the Western Hemisphere Thursday.  

As she faced a possibility of up to six years imprisonment, the 62-year-old politician attributed her prosecution to Finland becoming a “post-Christian world” where “Christian values are, in fact, a minority.”

“The change has been so fast that it is difficult to understand what is happening,” She said. 

As the wife of a Lutheran pastor and former chair of Finnish Christian Democrats, Räsänen believes Christian values are “targeted” in criminal court as part of the “breaking of the virtue and the challenging of Christian values” that is now “very visible in our societies.”

In Räsänen’s case, she faced hate speech charges over a book she wrote 18 years ago titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity and a 2019 tweet taking issue with the Finnish Lutheran Church’s promotion of LGBT “pride month.” She faced a third charge for comments she made on a radio show about homosexuality.

Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was charged with hate speech for publishing Räsänen’s book. 

Räsänen insists that she has no ill will toward homosexuals and suggested that those accusing her of practicing hate speech are the ones dabbling in hatred.

“We all are sinners and we need Jesus. But now, I think there is a heavy hatred against Christian values in our society,” Räsänen said. “If you speak about gender issues — that there are two genders or that marriage belongs to one woman and one man — it arouses hatred against you in our society.”

Räsänen told CP that she “never thought” she would face prosecution for expressing support for “classical Christian doctrines about marriage and sexuality” as she openly discussed her “Christian values” and beliefs about “marriage and sanctity of human life” throughout her time in Parliament.

“Nothing has changed in my faith and in my conviction, but suddenly I was like a criminal because of this hate,” she said. 

“The world has changed,” she concluded. “I think that my conviction has not changed but the world has changed very [quickly] in Finland and I think that also in other Western countries, post-Christian countries.”

Describing the cultural shift as “very alarming,” Räsänen believes Christians must “wake up to see what is going on” because her experience proves that “it is more and more difficult” for Christians to express their faith publicly.

“I’m afraid that this leads to some kind of self-censorship. If you are labeled a conservative Christian, it would hinder your career or your social acceptance,” she stated. “So, these kinds of problems are very topical in Finnish society.”UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

Although she “hoped that the prosecutor would have been satisfied with the acquittal,” she sees her case moving to a higher court as an opportunity “to get a precedent and to get a more heavy guideline for possible further similar cases in Finland and also in Europe.”

She praised her acquittal of hate crime charges by a Helsinki District Court as “a victory for me.” Still, She said a “possible victory from Appeal Court and especially from Supreme Court” is an “even bigger victory for freedom of speech … and freedom of religion” because it would create “legal guidance for other cases.”

“I think that this is all in God’s hands, and I believe in His guidance that there is some meaning that this process continues,” she added.

Räsänen said the ordeal and her platform with the Finnish media provided an opportunity to “hold up the biblical values in public and also testify about Jesus” and give people “the answer to the problem of sin that Jesus has died for all people and that this is the way to salvation.”

Although Finland has a Constitution that “guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Räsänen is concerned that “the influence of LGBT ideology is very strong in Finnish society and some kind of woke culture is creating cancel culture in our society and it is narrowing those freedoms.”

Räsänen lamented, “we have now some kind of totalitarian, ideological totalitarianism.” She cited efforts to convince social media companies to censor “hate speech” in the Finnish Parliament and the European Union as examples of this ideology’s emergence.

Räsänen hopes that her remarks at the IRF Summit will “encourage people to use their rights and speak openly,”

“At first, when the trial in January started, [the] prosecutor said that this will not be about [the] Bible,” Räsänen recalled. “She started to ask questions about [the] Bible, about theological issues, she even cited some verses from the Old Testament, and she wanted to show that there is a lot of hate speech in [the] Bible.”

Räsänen maintained that the prosecutor classified the Christian doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” as “insulting and defaming” because “according to her, you cannot make a distinction between the person’s identity and his actions, so if you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and regard him inferior.”

She pushed back on this analysis, classifying the idea of “loving the sinner” and “hating the sin” as “the core of Christianity and the message of the Bible.”

“If this is denied, if this kind of speech and teaching is denied, then also the core of Christianity is dead,” she contended.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Priesthood of The Believer and A Once for All Sacrifice

“But the doctrine of the universal priesthood of believers is not merely a negative teaching abolishing an order of clergy. For along with that freedom which makes the believer responsible only to God for his faith and life, there is an added responsibility. We are members of a Christian community, “an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). As Christians, then, we are not “laymen,” not mere spectators of the Christian enterprise who may or may not engage in it as we choose, but “priests,” and therefore responsible to God for the faith and lives of others.

We are under obligation to make known this message of salvation. The word
“layman” is not found in the New Testament, nor is there any “layman’s movement” in the Bible. A priest is inevitably involved in the lives of others, and is responsible to God for others. He has the high privilege and duty of making God known to others.

This priesthood, therefore, applies to all believers, and consists of two things: (1) Immediate access to God in prayer for one’s self, and (2) the right and duty of intercession for others. Only as we grasp these ideas can we appreciate the full, rich meaning of the doctrine of the universal priesthood of believers.

Furthermore, we are a royal priesthood. That means that we have been called, chosen, by the King of Kings to be His priests before our fellow men. We are not first of all clergy and laymen. We are first of all a royal priesthood, under obligation individually to make known the message of salvation. And the strength of Protestantism lies precisely here, in the willingness of its people to accept this strange office and all that it means, and to serve in the household of God as the royal priests that we really are.

False religion has created “priest” who inserts themselves between man and God insisting that they alone are the source of God’s marvelous grace therefore you have to come to them. The New Testament says this is a lie.”

“In the Epistle to the Hebrews several chapters are devoted to showing that the Old Testament priesthood has been abolished and that there is no place in Christianity for a sacrificing priesthood, because Christ, “through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption,” and that He has offered “one sacrifice for sins forever” (9:12, 10:12). The many human priests (of OT Israel) with their innumerable animal sacrifices were effective in their work of reconciling the people to God only because they represented the true High Priest and the one true sacrifice that was to come. But after the reality appeared, there would be no more need for the shadows and types that had preceded it.

Hence we read concerning the sacrifice of Christ: “But now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”(Hebrews 9:26); and again: “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). The sacrifice of Christ was therefore a “once-for-all” sacrifice which only He could make, and which cannot be repeated. By its very nature it was final and complete.

It was a work of Deity, and so cannot be repeated by man any more than can the work of creation. By that one sacrifice the utmost demands of God’s justice were fully and forever satisfied. Final atonement has been accomplished! No further order of priests is needed to offer additional sacrifices or to perpetuate that one. His was the one sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Let all men now look to that one sacrifice on Calvary!

Any continuing priesthood and any “unbloody repetition of the mass,” which professes to offer the same sacrifice that Christ offered on Calvary, is in reality merely a sham and a recrudescence of Judaism within the Christian Church.”

Source: Roman Catholicism by Lorraine Boettner, p. 43 and 45, online version

Dear Reader, false religion will insert itself between you and Jesus Christ, and tell you they are the source of the grace God wants to freely give you. Jesus said,

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-29 NASB, emphasis added)

Do not let any Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant priest/minister stand between you and God. Jesus Christ is your High Priest if your born again and you yourself are a priest before Almighty God (I Peter 2:9). The New Testament exhorts us,

“Since then we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens , Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrew 4:14-16)

If you have not been born again, which Jesus said you must be to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3), I encourage you to put your faith and trust in Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins today. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, to save you from the wrath to come and be your Lord and Savior. He will. Then He will give you the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide you through this life and to lead you into all truth about our Himself. Then find you a Bible teaching church where you can be baptized and grow in grace and faith feeding on the Word of God only, not the commandments and teachings of men.

So be it! May God richly bless you and lead you into all Truth. Carl

Eats

“As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God—not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.” —George Müller

Source: Berean Call

Relax

Genesis 6:3
“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

Before the Flood people were living hundreds of years. As man grew more evil, God declared that man’s lifespan would be reduced to 120 years. Modern biology has learned that we do indeed have built-in timers in each of our cells that limit the number of times they can divide. When enough cells can no longer divide, we die. We can even do things to speed up the timers.

The timers are called telomeres. However, every time a cell divides, a small part of each telomere is lost. When these telomeres are worn down to nothing, the cell no longer divides and soon dies. Researchers studied 58 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 50. All the women had children, but 39 of them had a child that was seriously chronically ill. Stress levels were measured through questionnaires while blood samples provided information about their cell health. Among other things, scientists checked for levels of an enzyme that maintains the health of telomeres. The mothers who saw their stress levels as high proved to have much shorter telomeres than those who reported little stress. They reported that cells from stressed women had telomeres that were as short as unstressed women ten years older.

Scripture tells us to cast all our cares on the Lord. Among the many blessings of doing so are healthy telomeres.

Prayer: Father, I cast all my cares on You. You have loved me through Your Son, Jesus Christ. I trust Your love. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Science News, 12/4: 2004, p. 355, C. Brownlee, “Stressed to Death.” Photo: Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white). Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program. (PD)

Source: Creation Moments

The Value of Music

Genesis 4:21
“And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.”

The Bible tells us that the earliest generations of human beings were making music. By the time the eighth generation of man came along, Jubal, a member of that generation was able to make his living providing musical instruments. On the evolutionary side of things, however, musical ability would seem to provide no survival advantage. Yet, the human brain devotes considerable resources to the processing of music.

Our love of music is wired into our brain. Each of our sense organs is important to our enjoyment of music. And each of these organs is linked to its own part of the brain which is responsible for how we experience the music. Parts of the brain are reserved for memory which stores the music. Other parts of the brain are dedicated to trying to understand the entire piece of music, referencing back to parts of the music stored in the memory. Even more interesting is that one need not hear music to activate the various parts of the brain devoted to music. Positron-emission tomography reveals that a person only needs to imagine music for these portions of the brain to become active.

The ability to make or appreciate music offers us no apparent survival value, and therefore, according to evolutionary theory, should not have developed. Yet, our brains, and indeed, all our senses, are designed to make and appreciate music. The obvious message here is that evolution had nothing to do with the formation of human beings. Rather, we were created by God Who loves music, and wants us to praise Him with music.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for the gift of music and the ability to appreciate it. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Science Frontiers, No. 141, 5-6/02, “Why Music?”  Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay. (PD)

Source: Creation Moments

Dream Catchers

I recently shared a sermon titled The End Times and The Unsuspecting. The sermon is based on Romans 16: 18 which reads:

[18] For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

The “men” are people trying to deceive Christians into error.  The “unsuspecting” are those Christians who go through life unaware of the demonic snares. 

They are not aware of the spiritual fact that if we have something that belongs to or is dedicated to the devil or his kingdom, he has a legal right to be in the Christian’s home or life. We have, as Paul warns us not to do, “given place to the devil”.  The word “place” means we have given him ground to stand on in our lives.  A “beachhead” may more properly describe it. 

As I was reviewing the PowerPoint, when I reached the section stating that “unsuspecting Christians participate in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices”, the Holy Spirit impressed me that I needed to add Native American spirituality to the occult practices list.  I had created the list from Deuteronomy 18: 10-14 which contains most of the occult practices God considers an abomination. So, I added it to my notes and made a few comments during the sermon.

I found out later some church members were convicted by the Lord to dispose of their Native American “dream catchers’ hanging over their beds.  Goes to show that only the Lord knows the hearts of His lambs. 

As a follow up, I would like to share a short article on “dream catchers”.   The author is Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Native American Christian woman of Cree First Nation. Nanci’s father and grandfather were both medicine men or shamans; therefore, she has first hand knowledge concerning the occult powers behind Native American spirituality. May your spiritual eyes be opened if you are involved in this snare. God bless you! Carl

Dream Catchers—Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”

November 21, 2019 by Lighthouse Trails author

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Dream catchers—those spidery “sacred hoops” with feathers. They originated with the Ojibwa tribe during the ’60s and ’70s, supposedly to protect a sleeper by “catching” bad dreams or evil spirits. Then they caught on with other tribes and spread through the New Age movement into popular culture. Today, it is not uncommon to see dream catchers in gift and variety stores.  Dream catchers are even used in some public school settings, as the following describes:

Every classroom displayed at least one dreamcatcher—a magical spider web inside a sacred circle. The students explained that dreamcatchers protect them from evil spirits and nightmares by catching the bad dreams but permitting good dreams to pass though the center. According to fourth grade teacher Ms. Preston, the amber crystal in the center of her dreamcatcher meant proper spiritual alignment with the energy of the universe.1

But you can be sure, most of the general public has no idea of the meaning and purpose of dream catchers.

Basically, using a dream catcher in its intended purpose is nothing more than a form of practicing occultism. How can an inanimate object “catch” evil spirits, much less bad dreams? And why attempt to “catch” evil spirits or nightmares when you cannot fight them physically?

Although Native people can sometimes see into the spiritual world of darkness, dream catchers, or anything having to do with the occult, merely attract evil spirits and demonic activity and provide no means of protection from them. Using dream catchers is an open invitation for more spiritual works of darkness.

If you are a born-again Christian, you have a Protector—God Almighty—who stands between us and the evil realm. We need nothing more than Jesus Christ Himself who overcame all works and powers of darkness by His death and resurrection. If we pay attention to God’s Word and not to seducing spirits, we can walk in His freedom from fear.

Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not against “flesh and blood,” but is against “principalities,” “powers,” “the rulers of the darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” And in Hebrews, we read:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

(To understand more about Native Spirituality, read Muddy Waters, by Nanci Des Gerlaise).

Notes:
1. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Kjos Ministries, http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/1-globalvillage.html), ch. 1.

Self-Governing

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”– James Madison, Primary Author of the U.S. Constitution, Fourth President of the United States of America

If I Really Believed…

The question I asked myself today is if I really believe the Scriptures below concerning what Jesus and the New Testament say about the “second death”, what would I do differently today?

My answer was to seize the opportunities that present themselves to share the gospel with a fellow human being. And that is what I was able to do.

What would you do differently?

  1. Revelation 20:14- “And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.”
  2. Revelation 21:8 – “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murders and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
  3. Revelation 2:11 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
  4. Revelation 20:6 -“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”
  5. Matthew 10:28 – Jesus says: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
  6. John 3:16 – Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. “
  7. (“Perish” means to experience the second death.)
  8. Romans 5: 8-10 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
  9. (“the wrath of God” – the second death is the ultimate expression of His just wrath.)
  10. Ephesians 2:7-9 – “…in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…”

If you possess this “gift” of salvation, please find a way to share it with the hopeless and dying souls all around us that are unknowingly headed to a second death.

Be faithful to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

Carl

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