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Friday, August 31, 2012

Passion 4 Him: How the Tower of Babel & Future Global Leader's Ki...

Passion 4 Him: How the Tower of Babel & Future Global Leader's Ki...: In Genesis 10:8-10 we read:  "Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. 9  He was a mighty hunter before the Lord ; ...

How Compromise Is Paving the Road to Apostasy

          Throughout history Satan has used two lines of attack in his continuing war against God: Eliminate God’s people physically and nullify God’s ministries through apostasy.
          Apostasy is defined as “an abandonment of what one has voluntarily professed; a total desertion or departure from one’s faith, principles, or party.”1
(Woman and so-called progression of man: (at right) Jaroslaw Wojcik. Background: oriontrail. Zodiac: helgy716. Digital composition and enhancement, Thomas E. Williams.)

          An effective method Satan uses to induce biblically sound ministries to go apostate is syncretism.Syncretism is a “compromise in religion” or “uncritical acceptance of conflicting or divergent beliefs or practices.”2
          Today syncretism abounds as churches professing to be evangelical compromise their values by embracing doctrines and practices that are contrary to Scripture. The problem has been around for centuries and defiles the holy nature of the church by conforming it to the world’s concept of relevancy.
Recognizing Syncretism 
          When the Roman Empire established Christianity as the only legal religion in the late fourth century, many pagans became associated with Christian churches. They practiced the pagan religion the Babylonians had adopted in the 22nd century B.C.,which involved the worship of a goddess addressed as “The Holy Virgin,” “The Virgin Mother,” and “Queen of Heaven and Earth.” 4 The Roman pagans Christianized those titles by ascribing them to the virgin Mary, and the Roman Church eventually adopted them through syncretism.
          In Brazil, spiritism has amassed a widespread influence. A significant number of devout Roman Catholics use the services of spiritist mediums. On at least one occasion, the archbishop of a large Roman Catholic cathedral in a major city of Brazil invited a spiritist leader to help him serve the Mass to his congregation at Easter.
          Darwinian evolution has had a powerful syncretistic impact on organized Christendom. Beginning in the late 19th century, it played a key role in the development of liberal theology within some church groups that originally were biblically sound. Since then it has radically changed society’s moral compass. In his bookDarwin’s Dangerous Idea, Daniel Dennett of Tufts University in Massachusetts said Darwinian evolution is like a “universal acid; it eats through just about every traditional concept and leaves in its wake a revolutionized worldview.”5
          Darwinian evolution has impacted some pastors and teachers who are primarily biblically sound except in their interpretation of Genesis 1. Instead of taking the position that the six days of creation are to be interpreted literally as six successive 24-hour days with no gaps of time in between, they capitulate to the dogmatic claims of scientists who say it took millions or billions of years for the universe and everything in it to come into existence.
          A very significant study has revealed that approach has had a tragic, negative impact on youth who have grown up in Christian homes and attended churches that were otherwise biblically sound. Consequently, a large percentage were “already gone” in their attitude toward the church before they left for college. 6 They felt if they could not trust the Genesis creation account to be literally true, then how could they trust the rest of the Bible?
Market-Driven Churches 
          Another form of syncretism impacting churches today is the market-driven approach to being relevant to the unsaved (people who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior). Just as manufacturers ask people what types of products they want, many churches are asking unsaved people what the church should be like in order for them to attend. Just as manufacturers retool to produce popular products, “market-driven” churches retool to attract the unsaved. They think the church must conform to the world’s concept of relevancy in order to reach unsaved people with the gospel.
          Although the motivation of these churches is commendable, the result has negative consequences. There is conflict between two different world-views: the biblical and the secular-humanistic. God holds the church responsible to cleave to, propagate, and conform to the biblical worldview.
          The word translated “church” in the New Testament means “called out.” God has called out the church from Satan’s godless world system with its secular-humanistic worldview and expects it to be different from that system. Christ “loved the church and gave Himself for her” so the church “should be holy” by nature (Eph. 5:25–27). The word translated “holy” means “divided, different, distinct,” as opposed to the word translated “profane,” which means “secular, common, ordinary.”
          The church is to be “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). A pillar is responsible for upholding another object. God established the church to uphold His biblical truth and be steadfast against all opposing forces in the war between these two worldviews.
          The word translated “ground” means “foundation” and refers to what is “firm, steadfast, immovable.”A foundation’s purpose is to prevent a building from shifting or moving from its original location.
          God intends the church to prevent His revealed truth from being shifted or moved around to something that is no longer true. Christ commanded believers, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to creature” (Mk. 16:15). He ordained that evangelism take place primarily in the world, where the unsaved are. Making the church relevant to the unsaved to draw them into its services for salvation reverses the order of evangelism ordained by Christ and defiles the church’s holy nature by conforming it to the world’s concept of relevancy, rather than to God’s.
          The market-driven approach uses the world’s wisdom instead of the weapons God has provided: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4–5).
Pc0250300          The emergent church movement is another example of syncretism. It places a mystical emphasis on the inner self through some forms of worship borrowed from other religions and opposes other things contained in God’s Word, such as the Bible as the ultimate source of authority, doctrine, Christ’s death as God’s judgment for mankind’s sin, capital punishment, eternal judgment, and the existence of absolute truth. Instead, it focuses on establishing God’s Kingdom on Earth through social welfare.
          Unfortunately, there are no signs syncretism will disappear. Rather, it appears it may play a key role in the ultimate apostasy before the revelation of the Antichrist (2 Th. 2:3). foi.org

Renald E. Showers is an author and international conference speaker for The Friends of Israel. This article first appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Israel My Glory magazine, published by The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.  Copyright 2012 by The Friends of Israel.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd ed., unabridged (Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1939), 127, s.v. “apostasy.”
2 Ibid., 2558, s.v. “syncretism.”
3 Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954), 219.
4 Ibid., 236.
5 Thomas E. Woodward, “Answering Darwin,” Kindred Spirit 33, no. 1 (2009): 4, 6.
6 Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, Already Gone (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2009), 27, 31, 39.
7 William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, eds./trans., “edraioma, edraios,” A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (1952: translation and adaptation of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-Deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur, 4th ed.; Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 217.

Answers From God's Word
Question: What should we do when we’re in trouble?
Answer: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”—Psalm 50:15

Parenting in an Anti-Spanking Culture

by John MacArthur - gty.org - Article Link
Parenting in an Anti-Spanking Culture
The subject of spanking is baffling to many parents. Part of the problem is the confusion of the times in which we live. It has been popular for more than half a century to decry corporal punishment as inherently inappropriate, counterproductive, and detrimental to the child. Psychologist, mother, and well-known anti-spanking activist Penelope Leach distills the typical humanist perspective on corporal punishment: "I believe that spanking--or tapping, or slapping, or cuffing, or shaking, or beating, or whipping--children is actually wrong. I also believe . . . that far from producing better disciplined people, spanking makes it much more difficult to teach children how to behave" (Online Source). Notice how she equates spanking with slapping, cuffing, shaking, beating, whipping, and "tapping." But those are not all the same thing, and they should not be likened to the rod of discipline administered in love.
Opponents of corporal punishment will often cite surveys and statistics that seem to support their findings, but precisely because they begin by equating brutal acts of violence against children with properly administered corporal discipline, their results are skewed. Of course cruel punishment and brute violence against children is wrong, counterproductive, and unbiblical.
But, Scripture does nonetheless prescribe the rod of discipline as a necessary aspect of parenting. In fact, Scripture flatly contradicts modern opponents of corporal punishment: "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly" (Proverbs 13:24). "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him" (22:15). "You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell" (23:14; see also 10:13; 19:18).
Moreover, according to a 1998 article in U.S. News and World Report, "parenting experts" have based all their findings against corporal punishment "on a body of research that is at best inconclusive and at worst badly flawed" ( Online Source ). According to the article, some recent studies indicate that spanking, when used appropriately, does indeed make children "less likely to fight with others and more likely to obey their parents." In fact, in one very thorough study, Psychologist Robert E. Larzelere, director of residential research at Boys Town in Nebraska, found that no other discipline technique, including timeout and withdrawal of privileges, had more beneficial results for children under thirteen than non-abusive spanking, in terms of getting children to comply with their parents' wishes.
Many who oppose corporal punishment simply are not willing to look at the facts and statistics rationally. One critic of spanking bluntly states that as far as he is concerned, "Hitting children is not a subject to which rational debate applies. It is another manifestation of American's unique exploitation of children as models for absolutist behavior standards and austere punishments that grown adults would not impose on themselves" (Mike A. Males, The Scapegoat Generation, 116).
In the end, the facts will be found to agree with the Word of God.Christian parents should not be duped by such "experts." Scripture itself prescribescorporal discipline and cautions parents not to abandon the use of the rod. In the end, the facts will be found to agree with the Word of God. And in that vein, the U.S. News article actually offers some tidbits of very sound advice: "One lesson of the spanking controversy is that whether parents spank or not matters less than howthey spank. . . . A single disapproving word can bring a sensitive child to tears, while a more spirited youngster might need stronger measures. Finally, spankings should be done in private to spare children humiliation and without anger" (Online Source).
It might be worthwhile to reiterate the fact that parental discipline should never injure the child. It is never necessary to bruise your children in order to spank them hard enough to make your point. Spanking should always be administered with love and never when the parent is in a fit of rage. That sort of discipline is indeed abusive, wrong, and detrimental to the child, because it shatters the environment of loving nurture and instruction Ephesians 6:4 describes.
Furthermore, spanking is by no means the only kind of discipline parents should administer. There are many other viable forms of punishing children that, on occasion, can be used in addition to the rod. If the child responds immediately to a verbal rebuke in a given situation, a spanking is probably not necessary. Other punishments, such as withdrawing privileges, can also be used as occasional alternatives to spanking if the situation warrants it.
Much of our parental discipline should be totally positive. Parents can and should provide guidance for their children by rewarding them for positive behavior, as well as by punishing them for wrong behavior. Both sides of the equation are important. Positive motivation is entirely legitimate and can often be an effective means of getting children to obey. Notice, in fact, that the promise God Himself attached to the Fifth Commandment is a positive motivation. The commandment was reinforced with a promise, not a threat. It is often appropriate to say to your child, "If you do this, I will reward you in this way."
Balanced discipline involves both negative and positive reinforcements. In fact, we might sum up all discipline by saying it means giving the appropriate reward for the conduct. When the conduct (including both attitudes and actions) is good, a positive reward is warranted. When the conduct is bad, a negative reward is in order. It's really that simple.
Yet parents seem incurably confused about these issues. Even many Christian parents I know are practically paralyzed with fear about whether, when, how, and how much to discipline their children. But what Scripture says is straightforward: You have a depraved and foolish child, and if you want him not to be so foolish, spank him (Prov. 22:15). You have a solemn responsibility before God to provide an environment of nurture and instruction where your child will constantly be exposed to God's truth (Deut. 6:6-7). In short, you need to be careful not to provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). gty.org
Today's article was adapted from John's book, Successful Christian Parenting , (Thomas Nelson, 1998).

8 Economic Threats That We Were Not Even Talking About At The Beginning Of The Summer

Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/
Article Link at Worldview Weekend

Related Article: 24 Stats That Show How Much Obama Royally Messed Up Our Economy

In the crazy times in which we live, it helps to expect the unexpected. Sometimes you can think that you have it all figured out and then this world can throw a real curveball at you. Very few people anticipated that we would see a massive outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Texas this year or that the Mississippi River would be in danger of drying up after experiencing historic flooding last year. Who would have thought that we would see the worst drought in more than 50 years or that horrific wildfires would burn nearly 7 million acres of land? This is why economic conditions are always so hard to predict. A single "black swan event" can come along and change everything almost overnight. Our world has become incredibly unstable, and so who really knows what the rest of 2012 will bring? Will we see a stock market crash? Will the hurricane season be unusually bad? Will war erupt in the Middle East? Will we see a major earthquake on the west coast or even a volcanic eruption? Will the upcoming election cause an eruption of anger and frustration in America? We don't know the answers to those questions yet, and the truth is that we will probably see some things happen that very few of us are anticipating at this point.
This is an exciting time to be a "news junkie", but unfortunately the vast majority of the news these days is bad.
It is almost as if a "perfect storm" is developing. Our weather is going crazy, our financial system is on the verge of collapse, our politicians seem more insane than ever, there is evidence of social decay all around us and the drumbeats of war in the Middle East grow louder with each passing day.
As strange as 2012 has been so far, I fear that things are about to get a whole lot stranger.
Not that we haven't had some very unanticipated events happen this year up to this point.
The following are 8 economic threats that we were not even talking about at the beginning of the summer....
#1 West Nile Virus
What is up with all of the strange disease outbreaks that we have seen so far this year?
Flesh eating disease and the bird flu have both been making global headlines this summer, but in the U.S. right now it is the West Nile Virus that is getting the most attention.
So far more than 1,100 cases of the West Nile Virus have been diagnosed in the United States and more than 41 people have died from it.
More than half of the cases so far have been in Texas, but we have also seen people come down with West Nile Virus in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.
If you live in any of those areas, you might want to do your best to avoid mosquitos for the rest of the summer.
#2 Historic Drought
This summer, the United States has experienced the worst drought that it has seen in more than 50 years.
This weather has been absolutely crippling for farmers and ranchers all over the nation. As I wrote about the other day, about half of all corn being grown in the U.S. is currently either in "poor" or "very poor" condition.
As the drought has dragged on, many farmers and ranchers have become increasingly desperate. In fact, one farmer has even been feeding his cows candy in an attempt to deal with rising feed prices.
Needless to say, this drought has been causing commodity prices to soar.
On Tuesday, the price of corn closed at a record $8.38 a bushel, and the price of soybeans closed at $17.30 a bushel.
#3 The Mississippi River Is Drying Up
Thanks to this drought, rivers and lakes all over the United States are drying up. In fact, there have been reports that millions of fish have been dying because water levels have gotten so low in many areas.
Even the mighty Mississippi River has dropped to dangerously low levels.
At this point, the Mississippi is lower than most people living along the river can ever remember. If it drops much lower, it could potentially have an absolutely devastating impact on the U.S. economy.
A recent NBC News report described what is at stake....
About $180 billion worth of goods move up and down the river on barges, 500 million tons of the basic ingredients for much of the U.S. economy, according to the American Waterways Operators, a trade group. It carries 60 percent of the nation's grain, 22 percent of the oil and gas and 20 percent of the coal, according to American Waterways Operators. It would take 60 trailer trucks to carry the cargo in just one barge, 144 18-wheeler tankers to carry the oil and gas in one petroleum barge.
If all traffic along the Mississippi was forced to stop, it is estimated that it would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.
And already there have been stoppages along one 11 mile stretch of the river....
Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed because of low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said. New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.
So what happens if the Mississippi gets even lower?
#4 Wildfires
The extreme heat has also been responsible for the horrific outbreak of wildfires that we have seen in the western United States this year.
So far in 2012, nearly 7 million acres have been burned up.
That is an area about as big as the states of Maryland and Delaware combined.
#5 The Global Elite Hoarding Gold
In the past, the global elite and the mainstream media would mock those who are hoarding gold in anticipation of a major financial collapse.
But now it is the global elite who are hoarding gold.
In a previous article, I discussed how men such as George Soros and John Paulson are investing mind-boggling amounts of money in gold right now. The amount of money that these two individuals are investing in gold is difficult to comprehend....
There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).
Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.
At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros' cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson's funds. These are significant positions.
Combined, Soros and Paulson dumped more than three quarters of a billion dollars into gold during the second quarter of 2012 alone.
So what are they anticipating?
The central banks of the world have been very busy hoarding gold as well. According to the World Gold Council, global central banks were net buyers of 157.5 metric tons of gold during the second quarter of 2012.
Over the past 20 years there has never been a time when global central banks have accumulated that much gold during a single quarter.
So just what in the world is going on?
#6 Recession In The UK
Everyone knew that Greece was in deep trouble.
And everyone knew that Italy and Spain were in deep trouble.
But it was a surprise to see the UK economy plunge deep into recession. During the second quarter of 2012 alone, the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 percent.
At this point the British economy has contracted for three quarters in a row.
Hopefully things will not get even worse over there.
#7 Major Economic Slowdown In The United States
Considering the fact that the U.S. economy never even came close to recovering from the last recession, it is a bit disheartening to see that it looks like we are headed for another major downturn.
According to Michael Panzer of Financial Armageddon, measurements of economic activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicate that the U.S. economy is rapidly heading into another recession. If you doubt this, just check out this chart.
And for a lot more reasons why the U.S. economy is entering another recession, check outthis article.
#8 Hauled Off To A Mental Institution For What You Believe
Do you ever worry that what you post on Facebook could get you involuntarily committed to a mental institution?
Well, that is exactly what happened to one military vet recently.
A former Marine named Brandon Raub was hauled off to a mental institution because of what he posted on his Facebook page.
This is how the Economic Policy Journal summarized what happened to Raub....
The muscle used to grab Brandon Raub was local Chesterfield County, VA police. Also present during the grab were agents of the FBI and of the Secret Service.
Both the FBI and the Secret Service claim that they were only observing and not participating in the grab. The Chesterfield County police initially stated that they were only carrying out a request from the federal agencies.
The police also claim Raub is not under arrest, even though he was led away in handcuffs and is not permitted to leave the psychiatric ward of a hospital---even though it appears that Raub is not in any way in need of psychological care.
I note this happened in the United States of America, with local police, FBI agents and Secret Service taking part.
The claim that Raub is "not under arrest" is completely and totally ridiculous. The authorities came to his door, slapped handcuffs on him and are holding him in a mental institution against his will.
And now he has been transferred to a facility that is 3 hours away from his family, his supporters and his legal team.
What in the world is America turning into?
The Rutherford Institute is defending Raub, and the following is an excerpt from a statement about this case on their website....
"This is not how justice in America is supposed to work-with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history," said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. "Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders."
This is the kind of thing that we have seen under brutal totalitarian regimes in the past. Dissidents are grabbed by authorities and taken to mental institutions where they are conveniently "disappeared".
This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in America.
But it is happening.
And you know what? Before the authorities start attacking people for exercising free speech on Facebook perhaps they should clean up their own house.
It turns out that thousands of DHS employees have been convicted of crimes in recent years. The following is from a recent CNS News article....
There have been 2,527 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and co-conspirators convicted of corruption and other criminal misconduct since 2004, according to a federal auditor.
Our world is becoming a very crazy place.
One thing that most people did see coming this summer was the continuing economic decline in Greece.
At this point Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression and it gets worse by the day.
If you can believe it, 1,250 companies have shut down in the second largest city in Greece in 2012 alone.
And many in the financial world believe the the situation in Greece is going to go beyond the breaking point fairly soon.
In fact, analysts at Citibank believe that there is a 90 percent chance that Greece will leave the euro over the next 12 to 18 months.
90 percent?
They sound pretty sure of themselves.
Not that the rest of Europe is in such great shape either.
According to Bloomberg, it looks like Europe will soon be losing about half a million auto industry jobs....
Efforts by PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Fiat SpA (F) to end losses in Europe could cost more than 500,000 people their jobs as automakers and parts suppliers grapple with the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis.
We live in very unusual times.
Things are falling apart all around us and we seem to be rapidly approaching another major economic crisis.
Central banks, governments and Wall Street insiders all seem to be preparing for the worst.
Are you?
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com 

Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button. 

This Article Will Put You to Sleep

by Ray Comfort (livingwaters.com)
        Some time ago, I received an unusual question from an Atheist. Often their questions are rooted in anger, or they are asking, looking for something they can grab for a future argument as to why God doesn't exist. But this one was different. He said, "Hey Ray, I have a weird question for you. Do you suffer from insomnia? I hope not; I find it insufferable when I can't sleep."

        The inability to sleep is extremely common, and it can be devastating, so stay awake as I share a few thoughts with you about what I found out about sleep. I suffered badly from insomnia for many years, and I actually brought it on myself. I have been getting up most nights around midnight (since 1982) each week to pray and to write. I would be up for three hours, and so stirred my mind I could never get back to sleep. I would lay awake exhausted, desperately wanted to get to sleep, for hours. But then I found a wonderful cure, and ended up writing a book about it called, Overcoming Insomnia. I will try and summarize the book so that you won't have to buy it. 

        It is the mind not the body that's the problem. You can go to bed physically exhausted and lie awake all night, thinking about the day's problems. What you have to do is learn how to exhaust the brain. It is full of energy and doesn't want to rest. You have to tire it out so that it wants to shut down, and there is an effective way to do this.

        You have to read, and you have to do it with a concerted discipline. I read the Bible in bed on an IPod, so that I don't wake Sue by turning on the light. It is through reading that I discovered the secret to inducing sleep. You have to learn to read until a "wave" takes over your mind and causes your eyes to lose focus and your mind the ability to concentrate. This process works like the "wave" of a reoccurring birth contraction or the reoccurring "wave" of our daily bodily functions. It comes and then it goes. Perhaps you have felt this at times in the past, just before you go to sleep.

        This familiar "wave" may take ten minutes to induce, or it may take a whole hour of concerted reading, but after a while you will recognize it when it comes. It will try and stop you from reading, and it's very powerful. The key is to fight it. Don't yield to it. Keep reading until it passes. The wave will only last for 15-20 seconds, and then you will be able to concentrate on reading again without any problem.

        The second wave will come five perhaps ten minutes or even 20 minutes later. When it comes, fight it for a moment, and then stop reading. Shut your eyes, and count backwards from 100. This will take discipline. You are doing it to further exhaust your mind and to keep busy the voice of your over-active subconscious. The next thing it will be morning and you will be thanking God for a good night's sleep.

        If this process doesn't work, you could try reading any of my books. I'm confident; they will put you to sleep. livingwaters.com

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com 

By Ray Comfort
Email: email@livingwaters.com
Click here for bio and archived articles

Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button. 

Nothing Safe about Secret Sin

by John MacArthur (gty.org) Article Link
Jesus' exposition of the law is a devastating blow against the lie that image isSecret Sins everything.
Our Lord taught repeatedly that sin bottled up on the inside, concealed from everyone else's view, carries the very same guilt as sin that manifests itself in the worst forms of ungodly behavior. Those who hate others are as guilty as those who act out their hatred; and those who indulge in private lusts are as culpable as wanton adulterers (Matt. 5:21-30).
So Christians are not to think of secret sins as somehow less serious and more respectable than the sins everyone sees. Here are three reasons secret sin is especially abhorrent:
1. Because God sees the heart.
Scripture tells us "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). No sin--not even a whispered curse or a fleeting evil thought--is hidden from the view of God. In fact, if we realized that God himself is the only audience for such secret sins, we might be less inclined to write them off so lightly.
The Bible declares that God will one day judge the secrets of every heart (Rom. 2:16). He "will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil" (Eccl. 12:14).
Not only that, secret sins will not remain secret. "The Lord [will] bring to light the things hidden in the darkness" (1 Cor. 4:5). Jesus said, "There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Luke 12:2-3). Those who think they can evade shame by sinning in secret will discover one day that open disclosure of their secrets before the very throne of God is the worst shame of all.
It is folly to think we can mitigate our sin by keeping it secret. It is double folly to tell ourselves that we are better than others because we sin in private rather than in public. And it is the very height of folly to convince ourselves that we can get away with sin by covering it up. "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper" (Prov. 28:13).
All sin is an assault against our holy God, whether it is done in public or in secret. And God, who beholds even the innermost secrets of the heart, sees our sin clearly, no matter how well we think we have covered it.

2. Because sin in the mind is a fruit of the same moral defect that produces deeds of sin.
When Jesus said hatred carries the same kind of guilt as murder, and lust is the very essence of adultery, He was not suggesting that there is no difference in degree between sin that takes place in the mind and sin that is acted out. Scripture does not teach that all sins are of equal enormity.
That some sins are worse than others is both patently obvious and thoroughly biblical. Scripture plainly teaches this, for example, when it tells us the sin of Judas was greater than the sin of Pilate (John 19:11).
But in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus was pointing out that anger arises from the same moral defect as murder; and the one who lusts suffers from the same character flaw as the adulterer. Furthermore, those who engage in thought-sins are guilty of violating the same moral precepts as those who commit acts of murder and adultery.
In other words, secret sins of the heart are morally tantamount to the worst kind of evil deeds--even if they are sins of a lesser degree. The lustful person has no right to feel morally superior to a wanton fornicator. The fact that she indulges in lust is proof she is capable of immoral acts as well. The fact that he hates his brother shows that he has murder lurking in his heart.
Christ was teaching us to view our own secret sins with the same moral revulsion we feel for wanton acts of public sin.

3. Because hidden sin involves the compounding sin of hypocrisy.
Those who sin secretly actually intensify their guilt, because they add the sin of hypocrisy to their offense. Hypocrisy is a grave sin in its own right. It also produces an especially debilitating kind of guilt, because by definition hypocrisy entails the concealing of sin. And the only remedy for any kind of sin involves uncovering our guilt through sincere confession.
Hypocrisy therefore permeates the soul with a predisposition against genuine repentance. That is why Jesus referred to hypocrisy as "the leaven of the Pharisees" (Luke 12:1).
Hypocrisy also works directly against the conscience. There's no way to be hypocritical without searing the conscience. So hypocrisy inevitably makes way for the most vile, soul-coloring, character-damaging secret sins. Thus hypocrisy compounds itself, just like leaven.
Beware that sort of leaven.
No matter who suggests to you that appearances are everything, don't buy that lie.
As a matter of fact, your secret life is the real litmus test of your character: "As he thinks within himself, so he is" (Prov. 23:7). Do you want to know who you really are? Take a hard look at your private life--especially your innermost thoughts. Gaze into the mirror of God's Word, and allow it to disclose and correct the real thoughts and motives of your heart. gty.org

Nothing But the Truth

by John MacArthur (gty.org) Article Link
Nothing But the Truth
Biblical Christianity is all about truth. God’s objective revelation (the Bible) interpreted rationally yields divine truth in perfectly sufficient measure. Everything we need to know for life and godliness is there for us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3). God wrote only one book — the Bible. It contains all the truth God intended us to order our spiritual lives by. We don’t need to consult any other source for spiritual or moral principles to govern our lives. Scripture is not only wholly truth; it is also the highest standard of all truth – the rule by which all truth claims must be measured.
Such a conviction is the very antithesis of the post modern notion that no one should ever claim to know objective truth. And that is another major reason why Christianity has been targeted by the proponents of post modern inclusivism.
Authentic Christianity is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Christian truth is not subject to change or amendment. It isn’t nullified by changes in worldly opinion or standards of political correctness. It doesn’t need to be adapted and redefined for every new generation.
Certainly, an individual’s understanding of the truth can be refined and sharpened by study of the Scripture. But the truth itself does not need to be reinvented or retooled in order to make it suitable for the times in which we live. The same truth Abraham, Moses, David, and the apostles believed is still truth for us. Changing times do not change the truth. Scripture is as unchanging as God Himself: “But the word of the LORD endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25). In other words, we need to adapt our understanding to the truth of God’s Word, not try to manipulate Scripture in a vain effort to harmonize it with the changing opinions of this world.
The truth of Scripture is something precious that must be carefully handled and closely guarded (1 Timothy 6:20). Once again, a proper understanding of Scripture involves conscientious and diligent study. Second Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” By implication we see that all who do not divide the Scriptures right are sloppy workers who ought to be ashamed. In other words, no one has the right to be a theologian who is not first a careful exegete.
The truth is everything to a Christian. That is why we are called to refute error, defend the truth, and proclaim Scripture as the supreme truth against every lie propagated by the world.
I fear that the church in this post-modern era has lost focus on that fact. It is no longer deemed necessary to fight for the truth. In fact, many evangelicals now consider it ill-mannered and uncharitable to argue about any point of doctrine. Even gross error is now tolerable in some quarters for the sake of peace. Rather than rightly dividing the word and proclaiming it as truth, many churches now feature motivational lectures, drama, comedy, and other forms of entertainment — while utterly ignoring the great doctrines of the faith. Even people who attack the truth in pseudo-scholarly ways are finding publishers in the evangelical realm and being honored as if they had deep insight.
We must recover our love for biblical truth, as well as our conviction that it is unassailable truth. We have the truth in a world where most people are simply wandering around in hopeless ignorance. We need to proclaim it from the housetops, and quit playing along with those who suggest we are being arrogant if we claim to know anything for certain. We do have the truth, not because we are smarter or better than anyone else, but because God has revealed it in the Scriptures and has been gracious to open our eyes to see it. We would be sinning if we tried to keep the truth to ourselves. gty.org

Jacob Rothschild, John Paulson And George Soros Are All Betting That Financial Disaster Is Coming


Article Link at Worldview Weekend

Are you willing to bet against three of the wealthiest men in the entire world? Jacob Rothschild recently bet approximately 200 million dollars that the euro will go down. Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson made somewhere around 20 billion dollarsbetting against the U.S. housing market during the last financial crisis, and now he has made huge bets that the euro will go down and that the price of gold will go up. And as I wrote about in my last article, George Soros put approximately 130 million more dollars into gold last quarter. So will the euro plummet like a rock? Will the price of gold absolutely soar? Well, if a massive financial disaster does occur both of those two things are likely to happen. The European economy is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and investors all over the globe are looking for safe places to put their money. The mainstream media keeps telling us that everything is going to be okay, but the global elite are sending us a much, much different message by their actions. Certainly Rothschild, Paulson and Soros know about things happening in the financial world that the rest of us don't. The fact that they are all behaving in a consistent manner right now should be alarming for all of us.
Let's start with Jacob Rothschild. Apparently he believes that the euro is headed for quite a tumble. The following is from a recent CNBC article....
You know the euro is in deep water when a doyen of the banking industry, Lord Jacob Rothschild takes a £130 million ($200 million) bet against it.
Okay, but the euro has already been falling dramatically. In mid-2011, the EUR/USD was above the 1.40 mark, and right now it is at about 1.23.
Does it really have that much more that it can fall?
If the eurozone ends up breaking apart it sure does.
If there is a Greek default, or if Germany leaves the euro, or if a new currency comes along to replace the euro those currently betting against it will end up looking like geniuses.
Another big name in the financial world that is betting against the euro right now is John Paulson. The following is from a recent Der Spiegel article....
One of these warriors is John Paulson. The hedge fund manager once made billions by betting on a collapse of the American real estate market. Not surprisingly, the financial world sat up and took notice when Paulson, who is now widely despised in America as a crisis profiteer, announced in the spring that he would bet on a collapse of the euro.
And as I noted in my last article, Paulson has also been putting billions of dollars into gold.
So just what are Rothschild and Paulson anticipating?
Could we be on the verge of a massive financial collapse in Europe?
According to the Der Spiegel article mentioned above, a lot of investors seem to be preparing for such a possibility right now....
Banks, companies and investors are preparing themselves for a collapse of the euro. Cross-border bank lending is falling, asset managers are shunning Europe and money is flowing into German real estate and bonds. The euro remains stable against the dollar because America has debt problems too. But unlike the euro, the dollar's structure isn't in doubt.
The financial world is starting to wake up to the fact that the globe is absolutely drowning in debt and it is not really good to be holding fiat currencies when a debt crisis erupts.
When men like John Paulson and George Soros start pouring huge amounts of money into gold, it is time to start becoming alarmed about the state of the global financial system.
The amount of money that these men are investing in gold is staggering....
There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).
Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.
At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros' cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson's funds. These are significant positions.
And the central banks of the world are certainly buying gold at an unprecedented rate as well. According to the World Gold Council, the central banks of the world added 157.5 metric tons of gold last quarter. That was the biggest move into gold by the central banks of the globe that we have seen in modern financial history.
But that might just be the beginning.
According to a recent Marketwatch article, there are persistent rumors that China has plans to buy thousands of metric tons of gold....
Within the gold market, there is unconfirmed speculation that China plans to buy up to at least 5,000 to 6,000 metric tons of gold and that it will start to buy during this year, according to Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International.
If China buys this much gold, that would exceed annual, global production of gold, he said. "We do not have enough gold for China to buy that much, and it will take China time to purchase this amount of gold."
So what comes next?
Nobody is quite sure.
Another major financial crisis could erupt in Europe at any moment.
A major war in the Middle East could start literally at any time.
Renowned investor Jim Rogers believes that things are really going to get "bad after the next election".
Others believe that the action could start even sooner than that.
The truth is that even though we have not seen a "Lehman Brothers moment" yet, things in Europe just continue to get progressively worse. The following is from a recent article by Mark E. Grant....
Whether you turn your attention to Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal or even Ireland; it is getting worse. Nowhere on the Continent are things improving and even in France and Germany the financial strains are beginning to show. It is not a question of Euro-bear or Euro-bull; it is just the numbers as they come rolling out month after month.
There is a growing realization in Europe that the euro simply does not work. Italy is absolutely drowning in debt, the Spanish economy has basically descended into a depression, and Greece has been experiencing depression-like conditions for years at this point.
The euro is doomed. The only question is who is going to blink first.
Nobody wants to be the first to leave the euro. There are rumblings that it could actuallybe Finland that leaves the euro first, and that would please Germany just fine because they don't want to look like the bad guys in all of this.
But that doesn't mean that Germany won't eventually pull the trigger if nobody else does. The German public is sick and tired of bailing out the weak sisters of southern Europe, and at this point it looks like it would take perpetual bailouts just to keep the euro together.
And recently there have been lots of little signs that Germany is starting to move slowly toward the exit doors.
In fact, I found it quite interesting that a giant euro sculpture was recently removed from the Frankfurt International Airport....
A massive € sculpture (identical to the one in front of the European Central Bank) was dismantled and removed from the Frankfurt International Airport in Germany Thursday.
The official explanation is 'the plastic parts are getting weak after 11 years and the terminal needed the space'.
Does € sculpture's removal from the Frankfurt Airport indicate Germany is preparing for a surprise return to the Deutsche Mark?
Sure that might just be a coincidence, but it also could be a harbinger of things to come.
Sadly, most average people living in North America and Europe have absolutely no idea what is coming. Most of them just want to be able to get up in the morning and go to work and pay the bills and take care of their families.
Unfortunately, millions upon millions of those hard working individuals are in for a very rude awakening.
A lot of people are about to have their current lifestyles totally turned upside down.
But it doesn't have to be all bad.
In fact, I found it very interesting to read about how some young people are responding to the depression in Greece....
In the spring of 2010, just as the Greek government was embarking on some of its harshest austerity measures, 29-year-old Apostolos Sianos packed in his well-paid job as a website designer, gave up his Athens apartment and walked away from modern civilisation.
In the foothills of Mount Telaithrion on the Greek island of Evia, Mr Sianos and three other like-minded Athenians set up an eco-community.
The idea was to live in an entirely sustainable way, free from the ties of money and cut off from the national electricity grid.
The group sleeps communally in yurts they have built themselves, they grow their own food and exchange the surplus in the nearest village for any necessities they cannot produce.
I think there is a lesson to be learned there.
When the system fails, it is going to be important to be able to live independently of the system.
Governments and big banks all over the world have been rapidly preparing for the coming financial collapse.
Perhaps the rest of us should be too.
If you can believe it, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.
If another major economic crisis comes along, many of those people are going to be totally wiped out.
And there are already signs that the U.S. economy is basically on life support at this point.
Just look at the velocity of money.
In an economy that is growing and healthy, money tends to circulate very, very quickly.
But when an economy is sick, money tends to circulate very slowly.
And that is exactly what is happening right now. In fact, the velocity of money is currently at the lowest level in modern U.S. history....

For much more discussion on this, please check out this article.
This is exactly what happened back in the 1930s. The velocity of money absolutely plummeted. When people are scared, credit is tight and times are hard, money does not exchange hands as rapidly.
But this is just the beginning.
What we are experiencing right now is rip-roaring prosperity compared to what is coming.
Jacob Rothschild, John Paulson and George Soros are preparing themselves for the tremendous chaos that is coming.
Are you getting prepared?
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com 

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Male and Female - Incomprehensible?

By Dr. Peter Jones
by Dr. Peter Jones on August 13, 2012
           Hakuna Matata, "don't worry": same-sex marriage will not harm ordinary marriage. But way back in 1970, the Gay Revolution Party Manifesto declared: "The gay revolution will produce a world in which all social and sensual relationships will be gay and in which homo- and heterosexuality will be incomprehensible terms."
          In other words, the biblical terms for the sexual binary (male/female) will have become "incomprehensible." Impossible, you may say, but forty-two years later:
  • a gender-neutral pronoun has been proposed for use in Sweden's public schools;
  • "M" and "F" are disappearing from birth certificates and passport applications in Western countries, and;
  • "parent A" and "parent B" are replacing mother and father.
          While some Christians downplay the discussion of sexuality in order to survive more comfortably in today's context, pagans, on the contrary, see its immense importance. In the twentieth century, Carl Jung stated: "Sexuality is the sine qua non of spirituality-one only exists through the other."
          But not to worry, right? We will all be a one big happy spiritual family, whatever family means.
          The sharp contours of our future are coming into focus-a future inhospitable to Christian truth. The literature and language of the two-thousand-year-old "Christian" civilization, which assumed the normative male/female distinctions, will become homophobically unspeakable, culturally silenced and legally prohibited.
          Cultural leaders, in spite of all they have achieved, are even now being demeaned as worthless homophobes. Billy Graham (93), who filled Madison Square Garden with 20 thousand people every night for six weeks and preached in Yankee Stadium in 1957 to a crowd of 100,000 and who was a respected counselor to many of the world's political leaders in the second half of the 20th century, is now vilified by same sex activist Wayne Besen, who calls Graham a "one-time anti-Semite," a "fraud," a "totalitarian preacher…trying to jam his own church's rules and doctrine down my throat." Graham's crime? In an ad supporting heterosexual marriage in North Carolina, Graham merely said: "God's definition of marriage is between a man and a woman." Graham is now considered a dangerous homophobe to be insulted and silenced.
          But this sort of treatment is not limited to nonagenarians-Dan Cathy, 69, and COO of Chic-fil-A, was foolhardy enough to state his support for the biblical view of marriage, which sent homosexual activists into a frenzy and caused government officials in three major US cities to vow battles against Chic-fil-A's right to open restaurants in their town. For the sake of a radical ideology, healthy successful businesses (and the much-needed jobs they create) must be sacrificed.
          Gays invited to the White House this summer (2012) by President Obama, took pictures of themselves as they sashayed down the hallowed halls, giving the finger to the portrait of one of the most revered presidents in history, Ronald Reagan. The past was trashed with hardly a thought while their futurist dreams of dancing with their same-sex partners at the White House were realized during President Obama's Gay Pride reception.
          Hakuna Matata. Don't worry, nothing will change-except the very Two-ist creational and ethical foundations of a culture, once drenched in the principles of the Bible-except normal social relationships, which will be drastically altered to make room for people like Robert Lopez who grew up in a "genderless" gay household learning "few recognizable social cues…[for] how to act, how to speak, how to behave" in the outside world.
          The normal heterosexual world will be demeaned, sidelined and then condemned to silence. In California, SB 48 requires all public schools to include positive discussions of transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality. For California school children, all other viewpoints are now silenced, so gender distinctions will indeed become "incomprehensible." The same goes for the college campus. The Director of Religious Life at venerable Vanderbilt University declared, in the name of diversity, that traditional Christian views "are now forbidden."
          Are we ready for Christian witness in a culture so hostile that it may cost us our livelihood and our freedom? Are we training our children to uncompromising boldness in the face of the intimidating lions of an all-is-one, gender-less pagan civilization? For Christians, this future will not be business as usual, but it will, by God's grace, be a time of unusual spiritual revival, since we will have to learn to depend entirely upon Him. As Scripture says,Let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good (1 Peter 4:19).
          But we need not suffer in silence. We put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:13ff), which includes wearing with honor and humility the badge of divinely created heterosexuality and its particular expression in marriage (Ephesians 5:32), because we know that Two-ism is the key to the cosmos and the essence of the Gospel of grace.
Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com 

By Peter Jones
Email: peter@cwipp.org
Click here for bio and archived articles

Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button.