Monthly Archives: February 2019

“Life priorities”

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Marijuana and Mental Illness

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Kerby Anderson Alex Berenson is a journalist who tended to be a libertarian when it came to drugs. But a conversation with his wife changed his perspective. She worked as a senior psychiatrist at the institution housing people diagnosed with psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia. She mentioned in passing that “of course” a patient had been smoking pot all his life. He asked why she said “of course,” only to find out that all of them smoke marijuana and that he…

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BreakPoint: Divided Methodists Will Sexual Colonialism Split the UMC?

For generations, U.S. churches sent missionaries around the world, preaching the Gospel and planting churches in places such as Africa, South America, and Asia. Today, many of the millions of Christians and churches that resulted from those missionary efforts are more biblically faithful than their American forebears. This is especially true of certain denominations and certain issues.

These daughter-churches overseas, traditional as they are, remain in communion with their now-liberal mother-churches. Which poses a serious challenge. Actually, it would be accurate to say that the central concern of many in these mother churches today is advancing sexual heresy—especially LGBT theology. And it would be accurate to say that the churches they helped to plant, praise God, aren’t budging.

Many mainline denominations stateside have exerted tremendous pressure on churches overseas to give up the 2,000-year-old understanding of the Bible and morality for the new sexual heresy. In doing so, they’ve been guilty co-conspirators with progressive governmental activists of a kind of ideological colonialism. And then, they act surprised when their actions create serious tensions and even splits in their denominations.

The tensions in one of the largest Protestant communions in the world, the United Methodist Church, has taken center stage this past week. So far, over 12 million Methodists—almost half of whom live outside the U.S.—have managed to hold together through years of often heated deliberation over sexuality and other issues. That may now change.

This week, over 800 delegates of the UMC General Conference convened in St. Louis to decide—among other things—whether to reaffirm the denomination’s historical stance on sexuality or to split over the issue. In the end, the Conference rejected two plans that would have accommodated sexual heresy at various levels and instead approved what is called “The Traditional Plan.” By doing so, the UMC chose to uphold marriage as between one man and one woman, and to strengthen disciplinary measures against churches that have departed from historic, biblical teaching on sexuality. Before the convention, many liberal churches threatened to leave the denomination if it took this path. We shall now see whether the Methodists are facing an Atlantic-sized split.

Thanks mostly to African Methodists, the UMC’s Book of Discipline already defines homosexual behavior as “incompatible with Christian teaching” and forbids openly gay clergy and same-sex “marriages.” That hasn’t stopped many American Methodists from pursuing and blessing LGBT relationships and activity, anyway.

Despite what you might hear, there is no question about who left who in this situation. Methodism’s biblically-minded founder, John Wesley, called Christians to holiness, but his liberal heirs fly rainbow flags, elect openly lesbian bishops, and  bless abortion clinics.

And, despite what you might hear, there is no question about where the future of Methodism lies. As NPR reports, membership in U.S. Methodist churches fell by 300,000 between 2014 and 2016. By contrast, the denomination is growing globally. Whether or not Methodism stays united, the future clearly belongs to the traditionalists.

Still, if liberal churches leave the denomination, it will cost the faithful churches abroad a great deal of financial support. Even so, don’t expect the international churches to cave to the promise of money.

Speaking at a breakfast on Saturday, Dr. Jerry Kulah, Dean of theology at the United Methodist University in Liberia, responded to this sort of threat in no uncertain terms:

“Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics,” he said. “We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to ‘grow up.’”

He concluded: “…the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money.”

We need to pray for Christians like Dr. Kulah and the faithful members in all denominations who are feeling the pressure of sexual colonialism. Because as important as church unity is, the truth matters far more.

Resources


African United Methodists Won’t Trade Bible for Dollars Mark Tooley | Juicyecumenism.com | February 23, 2019

  • African United Methodists Won’t Trade Bible for Dollars Mark Tooley | Juicyecumenism.com | February 23, 2019
United Methodists’ LGBT Vote Will Reshape the Denomination

  • Jeremy Steele | Christianity Today | February 21, 2019

These Senators voted to not care for babies who were born alive

BreakPoint: Navratilova, Identity Politics, and Intersectionality Ideology over Reality

Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest woman tennis players of all time. During her career, she won an astounding 59 Grand Slam titles. She’s in the Hall of Fame, but if there were a tennis Mt. Rushmore, she’d be on it.

And if there were a gay Mount Rushmore, she’d be on that one too. She was one of the first world-class athletes to come out as gay, all the way back in 1981, long before it was common, much less fashionable, to do so.

Despite that resume, Athlete Ally, an LGBT athletic group, removed her from their advisory board and have publicly disassociated from her.

Why? Because though she has long represented the “L” in the LGBT acronym, she offended the “T.”

In a recent column in the Times of London, Navratilova wrote that allowing male athletes who identify as transgender to compete against biological women is “insane.”

This was not the first time she had expressed such an opinion. Last December, she found herself in hot water when she tweeted that “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women . . . There must be some standards and having [male genitalia] and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

The backlash was swift and harsh. In response, Navratilova said that she would take some time to research and rethink the issue. Her views were, in her words, “only strengthened.”

As she wrote, “To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.”

Obviously, that wasn’t the sort of “rethinking” her critics expected. But then again, they weren’t really hoping she’d think. They were demanding ideological conformity.

At a deeper level, this story reveals our society’s embrace of a particularly unworkable variety of identity politics. There are many definitions of “identity politics,” but they all boil down to the idea that the only thing that matters, especially in politics, is the experience of oppression shared by all those who share some identifying marker—like race, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity, etc.

In the identity politics way of keeping score of cultural grievances, everyone’s experience of “oppression” is deemed equally valid and horrific, even if it isn’t.

Now, add to identity politics the idea of “intersectionality.” Intersectionality attempts to pile identities and their oppressive experiences on top of one another. Someone with multiple identity markers can claim degrees of intersectionality and therefore their own special kinds of oppression: For instance, a person might be an Afro-Latina lesbian female. Or a Filipino trans.

The fuzzy math at work here makes the possibility of conflict almost unlimited, an especially acute possibility in the growing acronym of LGBT. The only thing members of this coalition have in common is that they are not heterosexual.

A core tactic of transgender ideology has been to blur and deny any differences between the various letters in that acronym, all while hijacking the narrative of oppression. In the process, they deny all differences between women and men—from strength to traits to the very existence of sex and gender altogether.

Well, Martina Navratilova knows better. She understands the difference between the female body and the male body. She knows that there’s more to being a woman than simply identifying as one. But, saying it out loud makes her persona non grata.

To be precise, she’s now known as a TERF, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” a name that is every bit as insane and unfair as allowing men to compete in women’s sports.

 

But this is where a hyper post-modern, feelings-and identity-driven worldview leads us: not to fairness. Not to overcoming oppression. Only to insanity.

Resources

 
God and the Transgender Debate

  • Andrew Walker | Good Book Company | 2017

Keys for Kids says goodbye to Uncle Charlie

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  Listen to the full interview to hear more about Uncle Charlie, or visit this page on Keys for Kids’ website for the latest details on Charlie VanderMeer’s memorial service.]

 

USA (KFK) — It is with deep sadness, but great hopefulness, that Keys for Kids Ministries (formerly Children’s Bible Hour) announces the passing of Charlie VanderMeer (a.k.a. Uncle Charlie). He passed away quietly at his home on Friday, February 22, 2019, following a recent fall.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” were the final words Charlie uttered to Keys for Kids President Greg Yoder, who spent time with him just before he was promoted to Glory. Though it was hard for Charlie to breathe, in his final moments he wanted everyone to know the “who” he was talking about was Jesus Christ. He said, “I trust Him today just like I did when I was six years old. Knowing Jesus as your personal Savior is the most important thing.”

Charlie not only believed that message, he shared it with millions of kids and families around the world through his 69 years of ministry on Christian radio at Children’s Bible Hour, now known as Keys for Kids Ministries. Whether it was on the radio as a child or while he hosted the program as Uncle Charlie, he wanted kids and families to know Jesus.

“I listened to Uncle Charlie when I was a kid,” said Yoder. “He loved kids. And he loved Jesus.” Which is why he spent most of his adult life sharing Christ with kids on the radio, at radio rallies, and at churches around the world through magic tricks, ventriloquism, balloon animals, and stories.

https://www.mnnonline.org/news/keys-for-kids-says-goodbye-to-uncle-charlie/ )

Lies Christians and others Believe

Kerby Anderson You have heard most of them before. They are little phrases and one-liners that Christians (and even non-Christians) say in order to encourage you. You might be going through some tough struggles, and they remind you, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” At a funeral for a child, someone will likely explain, “God gained another angel.” And of course, there are the millions of people who believe that “God just wants you to be happy”…

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( Listen to the commentary https://pointofview.net/podcast-download/20050/lies-christians-believe.mp3?ref=download )

too-close-to-the-edge chose life

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No matter how big you expect the Grand Canyon to be, it’s bigger. And when our family has had the privilege to visit there, we’ve all been impressed with this awesome, divine masterpiece. One big problem there though has been our boys, because they think they’re part mountain goat. Of course, mountain goats cannot read the signs that tell you to stay behind the fences. Apparently, our boys couldn’t read them either. They always had this irresistible urge to venture out as far as possible on those rocks that overlook the canyon. Of course, one false step, and it’s over – actually, you’re all over. All our lectures about going too far for safety’s sake made a lot more sense the morning after we had stopped at one particular overlook. The morning paper reported that on the same afternoon we had been there, two young men went to that same overlook and one never came back. He ended up dead at the bottom of the canyon. The reason? Yeah, you know. He got too close to the edge.

(( https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-hard-times/too-close-to-the-edge-8382 )

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Sistine Chapel in your Life

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada. Years ago, my art coach said, “Joni, to others, it may appear that your drawing looks effortless. But it’s not like that. Good art requires hours of research, experimenting with materials, color testing, and trial and errorNothing of real worth or lasting value comes easy. The Sistine Chapel, for instance, took four years to create.” Wow, that’s not only a great lesson in art, it’s a lesson for life.

Friend, we don’t become great saints overnight; it’s a lifetime of starts and stops, failures and victories.

( Read the full post. )

Homework for school age children thoughts from Dr. James Dobson

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