Trials

“Trials rightly faced are harmless, but wrongly met become temptations to sin.” (A.T. Robertson)

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

The apostle Peter exhorts those in the dispersion along the same line:

“ In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:6-7)

James says that though we may be surrounded by trials, let our joy be whole or unmixed, not just “some joy” mixed with grief. I must realize that the very foundation of my religion, my faith in what God has done through His Son Jesus, will be tested by the devil using circumstances, accusations, condemnation, people of other faiths or no faith (communism) and people, some close to me and some unknown.

We are all are in need of “endurance” or “patience” that James says these trials will produce in our lives IF we allow it. Robertson says the original Greek word means “remaining under, staying power”, that under the pressure of trials you will have the ability to stay faithful to Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus, in Revelation 2:10 tells the believers in Smyrna (modern day Turkey),

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We in North America or Europe, read this and go ho hum, but this is a daily reality for many of our brothers and sisters in communist Red China, Vietnam, North Korea and other countries ruled by communism. It is also a daily reality in countries ruled by Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other false religions.

Religious persecution is coming to the United States, Europe, Canada and other currently free countries. Are you ready? Have you made up your mind? Are your children and grandchildren ready?

May no trial, person or set of circumstances cause us to deny our Savior today or ever. May our faith in Jesus and God the Father be the most precious thing in our life… so much so it is worth dying for. Tens of millions died for their faith during the Inquisition, under the Romans, and under communism in the 20th century and today.

May you walk in “hupomonen”….staying power. Holy Ghost empowered staying power!

Carl

Saul of Tarsus, Martin Luther and Three Catholic Priest

What do Saul of Tarsus, Martin Luther, and three former Roman Catholic priests all have in common? These devout religious leaders all came to discover God’s righteousness.

There is a huge chasm between God’s righteousness and man’s righteousness. So which of those two things makes a person a child of God and an heir of eternal life in Heaven? (Romans 8:17).

God’s righteousness is always perfect, whereas man’s righteousness is always imperfect. God’s righteousness can cover your sins and make you right with God. Man’s righteousness leaves a person separated from God forever. 

Saul of Tarsus “was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of his own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers” (Galatians 1:14). After his conversion, Saul became the Apostle Paul who no longer relied upon his own righteousness to be right with God. Zeal for religious traditions is very different than zeal for the Gospel. 

Prior to his conversion, Saul was “a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless” (Philippians 3:5,6). He came to learn the massive difference between legalistic righteousness and God’s righteousness.

Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk who discovered the same thing 500 years ago. Luther was constantly striving to save his soul. He endured many self-inflicted punishments in his efforts to atone for his sins and be accepted by God. Luther felt he had to work his way to Heaven by his own righteousness.

Thankfully, God spoke to Luther through the Gospel, and particularly this passage: “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). In other words, the righteousness of God is applied to your soul when you trust Jesus as your Savior. The Apostle Paul wrote, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22).

Joseph Tremblay was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1924. He was ordained a priest in Rome, Italy, and was sent to Bolivia, Chile, where he served for 13 years. He said, “My theology has taught me that salvation is by works and sacrifices. My theology gives me no assurance of salvation; the Bible offers me that assurance. I had been trying to save myself on my works. I was pushed to do good works to merit my salvation.”

While serving as a Catholic priest, Tremblay was relying upon human righteousness. But when he placed his faith in the Gospel promises found in Scripture, he discovered God’s righteousness. The righteousness of man cannot save a single soul. Even if you combined the good works of one million religious people, it would not provide enough righteousness to prevent one lost soul from going to Hell.

Bartholomew F. Brewer was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in Washington, D.C. He eventually served as a priest in San Diego, California, and entered the Navy as a Roman Catholic chaplain. He left the Catholic Church, got married, and discovered God’s righteousness through conversations with his wife and other Christians.

Brewer said, “I finally understood that I had been relying on my own righteousness and religious efforts and not upon the completed and sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic religion had never taught me that our own righteousness is fleshly and not acceptable to God, nor that we need to trust in Christ’s righteousness alone … during all those years of monastic life I had relied on the sacraments of Rome to give me grace to save me.”

“The completed and sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” What a wonderful historical fact and beautiful spiritual absolute! When you place your faith in what Jesus completed on the cross, you are justified, redeemed, born again, saved and forgiven. When Martin Luther finally placed his faith in Christ alone, he said, “I felt that I had been born again and that the gates of Heaven had been opened. The whole of Scripture gained a new meaning.”

The Gospel is the key that unlocks the Bible and ushers a person into the kingdom of God. The Law tells us what we must do. The Gospel tells us what Christ did on the cross to save us. “The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Alexander Carson was ordained in 1955 and was a priest in Alexandria, Louisiana. Carson said, “… the Holy Spirit led me to judge Roman Catholic theology by the standard of the Bible. Previously, I had always judged the Bible by Roman Catholic doctrine and theology.” In order to learn the truth about God’s righteousness, it was necessary for this priest to rely completely upon Scripture as the basis of true theology.

Do you rely completely upon Scripture, or is your religious organization more important to you than the Gospel? Whether your religious affiliation is Protestant, Catholic, or something else, the Gospel (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-8) stands head and shoulders above your particular religious organization.

Religious traditions do not cover a sinner with the righteousness of Christ. This covering for sin only takes place when a person places their faith in the sacrifice Christ made on the cross 2,000 years ago. It was a one-time sacrifice. Paul wrote, “We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the Law” (Romans 3:28). “All who rely on observing the Law are under a curse” (Galatians 3:10). That is, those who rely upon their own righteousness in order to enter Heaven are under a curse and on the road to Hell. 

The “righteousness from God” (Romans 3:21) is the only righteousness that can justify a sinner. Christians are saved on the front end of their relationship with Christ, before they have done even one good work. Christ’s righteousness is what produces good works in the life of a believer. God only accepts the good works of those who are already righteous in His eyes through faith in Jesus Christ.

Am I doing good works in a vain attempt to earn forgiveness and be saved, or am I doing good works because I have already been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone? I hope you recognize the vast difference between man’s righteousness and God’s righteousness, and why only Christ’s righteousness can save your soul. 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

(Check out my CP op-ed, “A Proposal for Catholics and Protestants.”)

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Source: Christian Post

Check please!

“Any doctrine claiming to be based on the Bible must be carefully checked against the Bible — an option open to anyone who knows God’s Word. Relying upon one supposed biblical expert for an evaluation of the opinions of another would be going in circles. No matter whose opinion one accepted, the end result would be the same; one would still be held hostage to human opinion. Each individual must personally check out all opinions directly from the Bible.” Dave Hunt – What Love Is This? p.25

If Anyone…

If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. Jesus, The Lord – John 7:17

Note that Jesus said, ‘If anyone…”. Not some special elect group as some Calvinist would have us believe but ‘anyone’. He was speaking to the multitude of lost Jews, rabbis and Pharisees in the Temple on that day. The offer was to ‘anyone’ in that group. Some of them would be involved in his murder later.

Today, the same principle applies to all people who wish to know the teaching of the true God.

Anyone!

J. C. Ryle, the first evangelical Anglican Bishop in Liverpool England in 1880, commented as follows concerning John 7:17:

The English language here fails to give the full force of the Greek. It is literally, “If any man is willing to do –has a mind and desire and an inclination to do God’s will….” It should never be forgotten that God deals with us as moral beings, and not as beasts or stones.

Do you need some “knowing” concerning God’s teaching about Himself and His Son Jesus? His purpose for and desire to redeem lost mankind.

God has made lost mankind competent to act for himself. He is the only one who can. Give mental attention to divine truth expressed in the Bible and express your desire to God to do His will once it is revealed to you. It is okay to seek Him from motives of self-interest.

For it is in your present and eternal best interest to know the living God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Tell Him you are “willing to do His will.”

God Bless – Carl

Say Yes to Jesus’ Commands

When asked by Pew research to define what Jesus’ teachings were, people answered:

  • Take care of the environment 
  • Buy from companies that pay fair wages 
  • Live healthy and exercise 

Not bad things at all, but Jesus actually didn’t say any of that. What did Jesus actually say? We can find his commands in the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And his commands, his directives, were on his mind when he stood in front of his disciples before going back to heaven. He told them to “Go. Make Disciples. Baptize them. And teach them to obey EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

What if we focused on obey everything Jesus commanded? If you look at and seek to obey his commands, you’ll find everything you need for a dynamic spiritual life that will make an eternal impact. There are commands for situations, like “What happens when someone attacks me?” Jesus says, Love them, Bless them, Pray for them. “What happens if I’m running out of food?” Jesus says, don’t worry. The father knows your need and will provide. 

You also find commands that give meaning and purpose for all of life and that you can literally build life on. Like, “Seek first the kingdom of God” and “Love God and Love Others” and “Go and make disciples.” Jesus commands give us more than enough to build life on and to know how to live in difficult times.

And the best news of all. We’re not alone when it comes to obeying Jesus. This is not a checklist that we have to struggle with. That’s religion. And its powerless. These commands are given in the context of relationship that Jesus paved the way for with his own life. Jesus, as part of this relationship, has promised to put these commands in the hearts of those who follow Him (Ezekiel 36:27). And he has promised power to obey in the person of his Holy Spirit to live within us. To struggle with obedience to Jesus may reveal something amiss about your relationship with him. Obedience is a product of an abiding relationship with Jesus. Saying no to Jesus’ commands is saying “I am the Lord of my life. Jesus, no thanks.”

Saying Yes to Jesus is a way of life. For the person who has made Jesus the leader of their lives, we find joy and strength in obedience to him. It’s the best yes of every life and should be the first yes of every day for those who follow him. Have you said yes to Jesus today?

Source: Lane Corley at http://lanecorley.com/2022/01/17/say-yes-to-the-jesus-commands/

Free Audio Book Recommendation

I am currently listening to several FREE audio books from The Berean Call and would like to recommend them for your consideration. They are also available as podcast, and I believe they are available on YouTube.

The Berean Call is a Christian biblical discernment ministry out of Bend, Oregon, USA founded by Dave Hunt. Brother Hunt, along with Ed Decker, authored The God Makers (1997) which is a shocking expose of what the Mormon church really believes. After Mr. Hunt went to be with the Lord, T.A. Mahon assumed the leadership. He and Mr. Hunt authored several books together such as The Seduction of Christianity (2013). Mr. Mahon is a former Roman Catholic.

I listen to the following books using The Berean Call’s free app. They also have a free newsletter for those that may be interested.

The audio books are

  1. A Woman Rides the Beast by Dave Hunt – the following description from Apple Podcast:

“In Revelation 17, the Apostle John describes in great detail the characteristics of a false church that will be the partner of the Antichrist. Was he describing the Roman Catholic Church? To answer that question, Dave Hunt spent years gathering research and indisputable historical documentation (primarily Catholic sources) providing information not generally available.

Are you missing half the story about the last days? Virtually all attention these days is focused on the coming Antichrist—but he is only half the story. Many are amazed to discover in Revelation 17 that there is also another mysterious character at the heart of prophecy—a woman who rides the beast.

Who is this woman? Tradition says she is connected with the church of Rome. But isn’t such a view outdated? After all, today’s Vatican is eager to join hands with Protestants worldwide. “The Catholic church has changed,” is what we hear.

Or has it? In A Woman Rides the Beast, prophecy expert Dave Hunt sifts through biblical truth and global events to present a well-defined portrait of the woman and her powerful place in the Antichrist’s future empire. Eight remarkable clues in Revelation 17 and 18 prove the woman’s identity beyond any reasonable doubt.”

  1. What Love Is This? by Dave Hunt – the following description is taken from Apple podcast:

“Many sincere, Bible-believing Christians are “Calvinists” only by default. Thinking that the only choice is between Calvinism (with its presumed doctrine of eternal security) and Arminianism (with its teaching that salvation can be lost), and confident of Christ’s promise to keep eternally those who believe in Him, they therefore consider themselves to be Calvinists.

It takes only a few simple questions to discover that most Christians are largely unaware of what John Calvin and his early followers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries actually believed and practiced. Nor do they fully understand what most of today’s leading Calvinists believe.

Although there are disputed variations of the Calvinist doctrine, among its chief proponents (whom we quote extensively in context) there is general agreement on certain core beliefs. Many evangelicals who think they are Calvinists will be surprised to learn of Calvin’s belief in salvation through infant baptism, and of his grossly un-Christian behavior, at times, as the “Protestant Pope” of Geneva, Switzerland.

Most shocking of all, however is Calvinism’s misrepresentation of God who “is love.” It is our prayer that this volume will enable readers to examine more carefully the vital issues involved and to follow God’s Holy Word — not man.”

  1. East Wind by Ruth Hunt – the true story of Maria Zeitner Linke, a German Christian, who was born in Russia prior to the Russian Revolution and, after her family escapes Siberia and returns to Germany, they endure World War II and she spends nine years in Stalin’s Gulags.

These are only three of the many free audio books offered. If you are looking for a book to listen to, I hope you can find something in their offerings.

Thank you for stopping by the blog! I hope you are enjoying sweet, daily fellowship with Jesus Christ and God the Father and your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Carl

Dark matter and spiritual light captivate astrophysicists

By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor

The Center for Astrophysics / Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) is an astrophysics research institute founded in 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One thing they do is study dark matter and dark energy. “All the atoms and light in the Universe together make up less than 5% of the total contents of the cosmos. The rest is composed of dark matter and dark energy.”

In the natural realm, dark energy is an invisible mysterious force that “is counteracting gravity to make the universe expand at a greater rate.” In the spiritual realm, man’s sinful nature is an invisible wicked force that corrupts the heart and mind at an expanding rate. The effects of dark energy can be measured in the Universe. For example, “cosmic microwave background measurements show dark energy contributes about 68% of the total energy content of the universe.” 

Likewise, the effects of the sinful nature can be measured as well. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealously, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).

God communicates with us through two books: the book of nature and Scripture. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1,2). “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). 

Astrophysicists, regardless of their spiritual convictions, are constantly immersed in God’s book of nature. And the cosmological discoveries over the past 25 years have convinced many astrophysicists and other scientists that our universe had a highly intelligent causal agent.

In his 2006 book, Many Worlds in One, Alexander Vilenkin wrote, “With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”

Robert Jastrow is an astronomer who founded NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. In his book, God and the Astronomers, Gastric writes, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the Earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover … That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

Paul Wallace wrote a book titled, Love and Quasars: An Astrophysicist Reconciles Faith and Science. One reviewer stated, “Wallace interweaves his own story through seasons of faith and doubt. With candor, he leads us to his own liberating vantage point as a Christian and scientist: the necessity of wonder.”

Werner Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics. He said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

In order to know God personally, one must know the Messiah. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well” (John 14:6,7). 

While physical laws govern the universe, God established the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21) in the Old Testament to govern His people. And “the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin … because men do not believe in me” (John 16:8,9). Read the 10 Commandments every day for a month and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins against God’s perfect Law. You will begin to understand that your sins are by far your biggest problem. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

George Ellis is a South African astrophysicist who was a collaborator on the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems. Ellis stated, “God’s nature is revealed most perfectly in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, who was sent by God to reveal the divine nature, summarized in ‘God is love.’”

In order to receive the love of God into your heart, you will need to bow your knee at the foot of the cross as you confess your sins to God. Trust Jesus to forgive you. And then begin to live for the One who created all things, including “things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16). This includes dark matter and spiritual light.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). There is still time for you to “come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). But this window of opportunity will not stay open forever. While the Universe continues expanding at a greater rate, the number of minutes you have left to get right with God is shrinking. 

Dark matter and dark energy cannot remove even one of your sins. Jesus, however, can wash away all of your sins and bring you into a beautiful eternal relationship with your Father in Heaven. You see, the path to Paradise was revealed in Christ’s first sermon: “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

Only One Book Left

When David Livingston started his trek across Africa, he had 73 books in three packs, weighing 180 pounds. After the party had gone 300 miles, Livingston was obliged to throw away some of the books because of the fatigue of those carrying his baggage. As he continued on his journey his library grew less and less, until he had but one book left— his Bible.

Today in the Word, April, 1989. p.28

What Is Conversion?

Jesus said: Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 KJV) Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet and philosopher, said this passage was the most beautiful passage in the Bible.

But what is conversion? Converted comes from “con”, with, and “vertare”, to turn – “to turn with.” The big question in life is, is my face or my back toward Christ? The first step in the new life is to turn your back on the old life and face toward Christ. You do not do that alone – there is the “with”. The moment you throw your will in His direction, He is there with you. He helps you to do what you can’t do – to break with the old life – but that decision to turn around is your decision. There you stand alone and as a free moral being you make the decision alone, severely alone. The moment you make it, however, He is “with” you. 

E. Stanley Smith, Conversion

The Christian Church

“The Christian church with all its faults is the greatest serving institution on earth. It has many critics, but no rivals in the work of human redemption… No other institution has done anything like it—none whatever. The fact that the church has been able to survive the dead weight of a large proportion of its membership unconverted is a proof of its essential soundness and vitality. A minority of converted people keep its soul alive.”

E. Stanley Jones, Conversion: From Lane Corley blog – Church Planting, Mission Strategy and Life in SE Louisiana

Beneath the Surface: Going to Church vs. Getting Involved in the Life of a Church

“every individual Christian will find in the communion of a local church the most perfect atmosphere for the fullest development of his spiritual life.” ~ A.W. Tozer

My observation is that most people never experience “the fullest development of his spiritual life” through the church or see the great value, because they may GO TO CHURCH, but they don’t get involved in the LIFE OF A CHURCH. There’s a big difference. Going to church makes you a CONSUMER of its services. Getting involved in the life of a church puts you in “COMMUNION” with a life source fed by God himself. The Apostle Paul said it like this

“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” ~ Ephesians 4:16

It’s consuming vs. serving, sharing life, supporting, being supported, building up, being built up, etc.

Forest

The enduring image of church for me is that of a forest. A forest stays strong, even in dry seasons, because BENEATH THE SURFACE, the roots of the trees are feeding off of one another for growth & strength. Roots can’t share their life with a tree that just lays itself upon the surface. It has to take root & do life with the others.

“I tried church, but it didn’t help.” Probably not, if you just showed up every now & then with little commitment, little humbling of yourself, little sharing of your life, little getting involved in relationships, little investment in ministries, little digging deep to support & be supported.

I love the Tozer quote, because I’ve experience it. Now, don’t read it wrong. The church is NOT a “perfect atmosphere.” Far from it. It is the perfect atmosphere for spiritual development BECAUSE of its imperfections. Relationships with people that are struggling through life together, growing as individuals, utilizing unique gifts no matter how imperfectly. And seeing God in Christ feed & nourish & heal & empower each other. It’s a beautiful thing! But you won’t see it on the surface by just GOING TO CHURCH.

Source: Pastor Lane Corley @ lanecorley.com (his blog)

The Impact of Evidence

A man walked into a Christian bookstore in an Arabic-speaking country. “I want your best book on the defense of Christianity.” The bookstore manager handed him Evidence That Demands A Verdict in Arabic.

As the man left he exclaimed, “I’m doing my dissertation on destroying Christianity.” Six months later the storeowner baptized the student who had become a believer.

Source: Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell, PhD – Evidence That Demands A Verdict – Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN:

The opening quote is Josh McDowell’s response to a question concerning his favorite story about the impact of Evidence That Demands A Verdict on unbelievers. If you do not have this book, I recommend that you consider purchasing a copy or obtain a copy through your local library. Whether you have questions yourself concerning Jesus Christ or you know someone who does, this book, written by a former atheist and his son, would lead you to the Truth.

If you are a Bible teacher or just a disciple of Christ, the book is a great reference for Church history and help in understanding the Scriptures.

May God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son, richly bless you daily with love, joy and peace.

Carl

Progressive Christianity: Trading Sola Scriptura for Prima Scriptura

TBC: “Prima Christianity” “has other sources of divine revelation” such as “the ‘Holy Spirit,’ created order, traditions, charismatic gifts, mystical insight, angelic visitations, conscience, common sense, the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else.” For the full article, please click the link below.]

During the sixteenth century battle between the reformers and the Roman Catholic church, the reformers developed the Five Solas which demonstrated their core beliefs in contrast to the Catholic Church from whom they were separating. The first of the five was Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone. Over the preceding centuries, Rome had developed a tradition that placed the teaching magisterium (College of Cardinals) in union with the Pope, as the final authority for faith and practice. As we point out in “Thus Saith Rome,” the view of the Roman Catholic Church was and continues to be that Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, which we also believe. However, in addition, the Roman Catholic Church held that their church tradition is likewise inspired by the Holy Spirit, and both sources are on an equal par with one another. Additionally, the Roman Catholic Church held that the College of Cardinals in conjunction with the Pope is the only authentic, infallible interpreter of Scripture and tradition. This allowed Rome to have continually evolving doctrines, far removed from what the scriptures actually teach. We have a short sampling of the effects of Prima Scriptura – the Roman Catholic position – showing some of the changing doctrines of Rome since the 4th Century
.
Interestingly, this position of evolving doctrine also tends to be the view of today’s Progressives. One of the major areas this impacts for Progressives is morality and human sexuality. We touched on this a bit in “Is Progressive Christianity Christian?” Progressives want to be viewed as Christian and see the need to include the Bible and a modified Jesus in their faith in some way for credibility and validation. Prima Scriptura provides the vehicle through which “mystical insight,” “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else” is given a heavy hand in assessing “truth,” apart from –and overriding – the clear teachings of scripture on a given subject.

For the last 8-10 years, The Reformation Project, founded by Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, has been making a concerted effort to replace the clear teaching of the word of God with an experience, “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else” as inspired truth equal or even superior to Scripture. Jennifer Hatmaker, who shocked much of the evangelical church in 2016 when she called for full inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the church, is a speaker at the 2021 Reconcile and Reform National Conference put on by The Reformation Project. The title of both the conference and the organization is clear. However, unlike The Reformation of the 16th century, this reformation is not to bring the church back to the Word of God as the final authority for faith and practice, but to “reform” the church in the opposite direction, embracing Prima Scriptura in order to reconcile and embrace LGBTQ+ as acceptable and pleasing to God. They do claim to be a “Bible-based, Christian organization,” but the Bible is definitely not the final authority for faith and practice, for them or Jen Hatmaker.

The Progressive leaders at The Reformation Project assert, “The Christian tradition doesn’t address sexual orientation.” Notice they do not claim or even hint that sexual activity isn’t discussed in Scripture or the writings of the early church. Instead, they sanction LGBTQ+ based upon “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else.” They implicitly admit additional revelation “for what a believer should believe and how they should live” when they write: “Affirming Christians are not overturning the Christian tradition on LGBTQ people. Until recent decades, there has been no Christian tradition on LGBTQ people.”

This is misleading at best. Indeed, we don’t find LGBTQ, with or without the +, in either scripture or church dogma. The term had not yet been invented. So, although the words in current usage are not found, the teaching on these behaviors most definitely is. The Scriptures and church tradition are very clear – sex outside of the marriage of a male and female is sin. That includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, bestiality, and more.

The LGBTQ+ issue is rather a prominent flashpoint in our time. But there are many ways that people of our age are attempting to justify their behavior, to turn right and wrong upside down. Self-justification is a deadly pursuit in the end, and so useless. It’s not a matter of good people vs bad people, because everyone has transgressed God’s standards. There are no “good people” in their own right. (Romans 3:10) Jesus Christ is the only One who never transgressed God’s perfect standard. Christians are people who believe (about themselves) what God says is true and gladly accept His gift of a pardon. Without God’s loving provision on our behalf, no one would be considered by God as “righteous.” God justifies those who believe that He has saved them, through absolutely no goodness of their own.

The scripture teaches there is a Day when God will judge mankind based upon His Holy standards. It’s rather appropriately called “Judgement Day.” Any person whose name is not written in the Lamb’s (Jesus’s) Book of Life shall stand before God in that Judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15)

A person’s only hope for eternity lies not in challenging God’s clear position of right and wrong, but in reconciling him or herself to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How will one come to God and accept His full pardon if he refuses to acknowledge his or her sin? We beg of you today to give up the fight of prideful self-justification and accept God’s gracious pardon.
https://midwestoutreach.org/2021/10/28/progressive-christianity-trading-sola-scriptura-for-prima-scriptura/

Source: The Berean Call

What I’ve Learned Rescuing My Daughter from Transgender Fantasy

gender, trans

My daughter’s story is no longer novel. Stories like it are occurring in your state, your town, and perhaps even on your street. Gender dysphoria — the incongruence between the mind and the body — moves stealthily and quickly to invade girls and boys alike.

But this isn’t a cautionary tale. It’s a warning.

My daughter was an ultrafeminine girl since birth. She insisted that her room be painted pink, and she refused to wear anything but dresses until third grade. She avoided her older brother’s toys and sports, choosing tea sets and Shopkins, a series of tiny, collectible toys.

Her favorite activity was to slip into my closet and don my few sparkly clothes and shiniest of heels. She rejected sports in favor of art and sewing.

That all abruptly changed when she turned 12. As her body matured into young womanhood, she stopped begging for a bikini and avoided any clothing that accentuated her figure. She hid her breasts under men’s extra-large sweatshirts.

I remembered doing similar things as my body changed, so I didn’t worry at first.

Then, my daughter immersed herself into anime art and cosplaying, the hobby of dressing like fantastical characters. I supported her creative side.

I didn’t know that anime and cosplaying can overwhelm a young mind. I didn’t know that anime and cosplaying involved gender-bending themes and that the community crosses into pedophilic and sexual themes.

I also didn’t know that the older cosplay community groomed the younger cohorts. 

During that same time period, my daughter went through Teen Talk — a Manitoba, Canada-based program that says it provides “youth with accurate, [nonjudgmental] information” on “sexuality, reproductive health, body image, substance use awareness, mental health, issues of diversity, and anti-violence issues” — at her public school.

She came home with a whole new language. She and all her girlfriends discussed their labels — polyamorous, lesbian, pansexual. None of the five girls chose “basic,” their term for a straight girl. 

Now, I was worried.

She distanced herself from her old friends and spent more time online. I checked her phone, but I was not astute enough to know that she had set up “appropriate” fake social media accounts for my viewing.

An older girl showed romantic interest in her. I barred that girl from our home.  I learned later that she had molested my daughter.

When my daughter was in the eighth grade, as a Christmas gift, I took her to SacAnime, an anime convention in Sacramento, California. There, she met a girl three years her senior, but light years more mature. That girl mesmerized my daughter with her edginess or magnanimous personality. 

The older girl went by “they.” After their meeting, my daughter got a boy’s haircut, stopped shaving, and asked for boys’ underwear. My daughter parroted everything about the older teen.

She started making gross TikTok videos, her language became vulgar and she redecorated her room to look like a cave. She self-pierced her nose with one of those bull rings. She broke every family rule. She was morphing into an emo-Goth-vampirelike creature.  She was unrecognizable. Her personality descended into anger and rudeness. 

The summer before ninth grade, she announced that she was transgender. Post-announcement, she began to threaten suicide. She sunk into deep depression.

I managed to get all of her passwords to all of her social media accounts. What I saw was jaw-dropping.  

Almost everyone that she was conversing with was a stranger, except for the SacAnime friend, who sent her a self-made masturbation video. The discussions on the Discord platform online involved fetishistic sexual conversations. Kids were sending each other erotica, including involving incest and pedophilia.

Older girls were instructing younger girls how to sell nude photos of themselves to men for money.

Girls bragged about their different mental illnesses. They talked about which drugs do what. They talked about how they are really boys, not girls. They discussed “top surgery” (that is, having their breasts removed) and “packers” that create a bulge in one’s pants to imply the presence of a penis.

My daughter’s electronic devices were filled with TikTok videos and YouTubers talking about how great they feel now that they had “transitioned.”

There were messages in which strangers told her to kick my head in because I was a “transphobe” for refusing to call her a male name.

I went nuclear. I took the phone and stripped it of all social media — YouTube, Instagram, Discord, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter. I even blocked her ability to get to the internet. I deleted all of her contacts and changed her phone number.

I sat next to her while she “attended” school online via Zoom. I deleted YouTube from the smart TVs and locked up the remotes. I took every anime book from her room. I threw away all of her costumes. I banned any friend who was even the slightest bit unsavory.

I involved the police about the porn. I printed out the law and informed her that if anyone sent her porn, I would not hesitate to prosecute.

She hated me like an addict hates the person preventing her drug fix. I held my ground, despite the constant verbal abuse.

After going through seven mental health professionals, I found an out-of-state psychiatrist who was willing to examine the causality for my daughter’s sudden trans identity.

I immersed myself in reading everything on the issue, talking to other parents and other professionals. I worked unceasingly to re-create the bond she and I used to share. 

After a year and half of utter hell, my daughter is finally returning to her authentic self — a beautiful, artsy, kind and loving daughter.

I am not sure what the actual ingredients for the magic potion were for alleviating gender dysphoria in my daughter. The formula will vary, but what I did was, after a very brief misstep of using a male name, our family and all of the adults in my child’s life only used her birth name and corresponding pronouns.

We did not permit social transition, although we could not control the school setting. Unbelievably, our local Catholic high school refused to follow our edict. 

As I mentioned previously, we pulled the plug on all social media and her access to anyone other than those persons we vetted. I forced my daughter to listen to specific podcasts on the subject while driving her to school. I printed out stories about female de-transitioners (women who had medicalized, but then regretted their actions and returned to living as a woman) and left them throughout the house. 

I left all of my research out in plain view, including Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail ShrierGender Dysphoria: A Therapeutic Model for Working With Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults by Susan Evans, and other books.

I followed the advice of Parents for Ethical Care’s podcasts and the book “Desist, Detrans & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Gender Cult” by Maria Keffler.

I worked hard to take back the close relationship my daughter and I had once had. I bit my tongue until it bled. I took her anger and only responded with love or walked away when I knew I would respond poorly.

I caught her in vulnerable moments and hugged her or climbed into her bed. I stopped looking at her as though she were the victim of a scheme or a monster.

I let her know that I would never stop fighting for her. I let her see my posters from the protests I attended. I peppered her with questions that demonstrated the illogic of the gender ideology. I happened to have funny gender-critical memes on my computer when she walked into my office. Most importantly, I held my ground. I refused to accept her delusion with compassion.

I know that I have to continue to be tenacious as the gender ideology has crept into every facet of life. But for now, I can breathe a sigh of relief. 


Originally published at The Daily Signal.   

Charlie Jacobs is the pen name of a California wife and mother of two teenagers. Until recently, she worked part time in a professional capacity, but is now dedicated to educating other parents about how gender ideology can overtake a child.

From Christian Post – December 16, 2021

View From India Church Leader

You feel sorry for us in India because of our great poverty in material things. We who know the Lord in India feel sorry for you in America because of your spiritual poverty. We are praying that you also might come to church with a hunger for God and not merely a hunger to see some form of amusement.

Bakht Singh, Indian Church Leader Quoted in An Asian Harvest – Paul Hattaway – Asia Harvest – Monarch Books, Oxford, England

9 negative consequences of living unthankful lives

As Christians we are mandated to live lives of praise and thanksgiving. This is the most countercultural thing to strip the devil of his power over our families and us.
— Read on www.christianpost.com/voices/9-negative-consequences-of-living-unthankful-lives.html

The Blessing of the Bible in Your Mother Tongue

“The Bible in another language is like a leaf floating on a river; it takes a very long time before it absorbs enough water to sink to the bottom. …The Bible in my own language is like a stone that is thrown into the river; it plunges in and sinks straight to the bottom — it falls right into my heart!    Bible Translator in Asia

“To have the Word of God in our language is the greatest richness we could have.”  Rafael Ahuanari, director of the Federation of Evangelical Churches of the Peruvian Amazon

“Reading the Scripture in another language is like eating a banana with the skin on. Now the Scripture in my language is satisfying —like a sweet banana. I can’t get enough of it!”  woman from Asia

“I never understood the Word to this level, nor been as moved by it. It penetrated me right to my bones and touched my inner being.”    Pastor in Benin

“Many families have been waiting for the Quechua Bible as if it was very delicious bread.”          A Quechua pastor

“The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It never needs a furlough and is never considered a foreigner.”  William Cameron Townsend, Wycliffe Bible Translators

“It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom. “     Horace Greeley –

Source: wycliffe.org

Going The Extra Mile

“Throughout the years of brutal suppression, the Christians in Henan often asked the Lord to give them an attitude that would enable them to embrace suffering as a gift from God. With that outlook, they were willing to go the extra mile, and there was little that evil human beings or the world could do to destroy them.”

Henan – Inside the Greatest Christian Revival in History – Paul Hattaway – describing the Chinese Church during the 1960s and 70s

There is much the Christian Church can learn from the suffering Chinese Church. They have endured much and not only survived but multiplied. So much so, that the Communist Chinese consider them a great threat to their goals and aspirations. But the truth is that righteous people are a blessing to any nation and the truths of Christianity should be encouraged, not hindered.

We need to be listening and learning and praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters.

Why don’t you say a prayer for them right now. Thanks and God bless you.

Carl

Remedy For Immorality

“The remedies for this sin are fasting, prayer, and keeping at a distance from it. For other vices may be subdued by fighting, but in this we conqueror by flight, and by not coming near it; of which we have an example in Joseph. We must pray to the Lord daily, that He would remove far from us the sin of lasciviousness, and grant us the gift of understanding and chastity.”

Source: An excerpt from a Waldenses barb’s (pastor) defense of Waldenses’ teaching and character from accusations by Roman Catholic Pope, Bishops and Priests seeking to justify their extermination by labeling them heretics – From History of Ancient Christians Inhabiting the Valley of the Alps: Part I. The Waldenses, Part II. The Albigenses, Part III. The Vaudois by Jean Paul Perrin (1843): P. Miller, New York

The Word of God says:

“Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Paul to Timothy — II Timothy 2:22

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God…” Paul to the Thessalonian Church — I Thessalonians 4:3-5

May sanctifying grace and tranquil peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ be upon each of you.

Carl

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