Author Archives: Billy David Dickson

Billy is a writer , Bible college student, radio show host, and youth worker. He has worked with young people for over ten years. His work includes teaching children youth in Bible studies, and Sunday School classes.
He currently does a radio show everyday at 6:19 E.T. on KCRO radio 660 A.M. in Omaha, Nebraska.

BreakPoint: China’s Pastors Take Their Stand Jesus Is Lord

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I want you to meet some brave Christian leaders pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

When thinking of the golden age of the Church, many of us hearken back to the book of Acts, when Peter and John stood up to the religious authorities, who told them to be silent about Jesus the risen Messiah. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God,” they answered, “you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Then they prayed for boldness, and the Church exploded across much of the ancient world.

But there’s a golden age for the church going on right now—with the same kind of courage, persecution, and Spirit-empowered growth. Where is it? In communist China.

World missions historians tell us that when all the foreign missionaries were kicked out of Mao’s China a few years after the Second World War, there were probably no more than 3 million believers in Jesus Christ in the whole, vast nation. But today, seven decades later, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life counts 67 million Christians of all kinds—35 million independent Protestants, 23 million Protestants in government-sanctioned churches, and 9 million Catholics. Other estimates go even higher.

Whatever the true number is, it’s almost as many as there are members of the Communist Party! Maybe that’s why the government is cracking down on Christians. According to Christianity Today and other news outlets, Under President Xi Jinping, China’s government has been tightening its grip on religious affairs.

In February, regulations aimed at religious groups have brought increased pressure on churches to be “Chinese” culturally and to submit to the authority of the Communist Party. Churches are being told to burn their crosses and replace them with Chinese flags and to display slogans praising the Communist Party. Some are being forced to join the government-sanctioned churches and permit video surveillance of their services.

Meanwhile, in Jiangxi province, authorities have forced at least 40 churches to display banners forbidding foreigners from preaching and anyone under 18 from attending. In August, they even published new rules stating, “Party members who have religious belief should have strengthened thought education.”

In the spirit of Peter and John, a group of at least 250 Chinese pastors has publicly signed a joint statement opposing the new regulations. In the statement they declare that Jesus is Lord of all, offering eternal life to anyone who will repent and believe in Him.

But they also say, in a challenge to the Chinese communists, “God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment.”

Then, like Peter and John, they pledge obedience not to the earthly authorities but to King Jesus, no matter what. “We declare that in matters of external conduct, churches are willing to accept lawful oversight by civil administration or other government departments as other social organizations do. But under no circumstances will we lead our churches to join a religious organization controlled by the government, to register with the religious administration department, or to accept any kind of affiliation.”

They close their incredible joint statement with the bracing yet sobering words, “For the sake of the gospel, we are prepared to bear all losses—even the loss of our freedom and our lives.”

Friends, is it any wonder that the church in China has grown, and continues to grow? What we’re seeing before our eyes is the golden age of the church in China. How can we not pray for these wonderful brothers and sisters? And more than that, how can we not emulate their costly faithfulness in our own little corner of God’s world?

Resources

116 Chinese Pastors Sign Joint Statement on the New Religious Regulations

China Partnership | September 2, 2018

China Bans Zion, Beijing’s Biggest House Church

World Watch Monitor | Christianity Today | September 10, 2018

China Mulls Major Restrictions on Online Ministries

Christianity Today Staff | September 11, 2018

Red Tape: China Wants to Constrict Christian Activities with 26 New Rules

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | Christianity Today | October 3, 2016

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A GOOD MAN IS BEING DESTROYED BEFORE OUR EYES AND TOO MANY REPUBLICANS WON’T STAND UP AND FIGHT, FEARING THE SO-CALLED ME-TOO MOVEMENT, PROVING THEY ARE WIMPS.

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DEMOCRATS ARE PLAYING THE STALL GAME, HOPING TO DELAY A VOTE ON KAVENAUGH UNTIL AFTER THEN MID-TERM ELECTIONS JUST SIX WEEKS AWAY. THEY THINK THEY WILL TAKE BACK THE HOUSE AND POSSIBLY THE SENATE, SINKING THE KAVENAUGH NOMINATION AND MOVING TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT, REVERSING THE 2016 ELECTION RESULTS. THEY HAVE NO POLICIES, AT LEAST NOT ONES THAT WILL GROW THE ECONOMY AS PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DONE.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THE LEFT IS DISGUSTING, BUT PLENTY OF PEOPLE ON THE LEFT ARE FINE WITH IT. A GOOD MAN IS BEING DESTROYED BEFORE OUR EYES AND TOO MANY REPUBLICANS WON’T STAND UP AND FIGHT, FEARING THE SO-CALLED ME-TOO MOVEMENT, PROVING THEY ARE WIMPS. I’M CAL THOMAS.

I agree with an Orthodox Jewish writer/radio show host Over two Evangelical Followers of Christ who host a radio show onBrett Kavanaugh

I am Evangelical Follower of Jesus. I believe all souls must go through Jesus to make it to Heaven. I believe Jesus died for sinners which apart from God’s Saving grace in the state where all of us are. Jesus has made it possible for us to have a new life in him.

So you would expect for me to agree those who share my faith. Well that is not the case. A radio program which I listen to almost every week which is part of the Prison Fellowship Ministry. I agree with almost everything else on the program. The one thing I disagree with the hosts said if this did happen even in high school it should disqualify Brett Kavanaugh for the high court. The program was Breakpoint this week.

My issue is with what the hosts said about even if it happen in high school. Look at King David who committed some horrible sins but was still used.

Dennis Prager an Orthodox Jew wrote a great column.

It is almost impossible to overstate the damage done to America’s moral compass by taking the charges leveled against Judge Brett Kavanaugh seriously.

It undermines foundational moral principles of any decent society.

Those who claim the charges against Judge Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford are important and worth investigating, and that they ultimately, if believed, invalidate his candidacy for the U.S. Supreme Court are stating that:

a) What a middle-aged adult did in high school is all we need to know to evaluate an individual’s character — even when his entire adult life has been impeccable.

b) No matter how good and moral a life one has led for 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years, it is nullified by a sin committed as teenager.

No decent — or rational — society has ever believed such nihilistic nonsense.

This is another example of the moral chaos sown by secularism and the left. In any society rooted in Judeo-Christian values, it is understood that people should be morally assessed based on how they behave over the course of their lifetime — early behavior being the least important period in making such an assessment.

These religious values taught us that all of us are sinners and, therefore, with the exception of those who have engaged in true evil, we need to be very careful in making moral evaluations of human beings.

And, of course, we were taught to extend forgiveness when people demonstrate through their actions that they have changed. As a well-known ancient Jewish adage put it: “Where the penitent stands, the most righteous cannot stand.”

(  https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2018/09/18/the-charges-against-judge-kavanaugh-should-be-ignored-n2519986.)

This time I agree with Dennis.

Pray for Planned Parenthood’s New Prez from John Stonestreet

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Planned Parenthood has a new president.

The nation’s premier abortion provider announced last week that its new president, Leana Wen, is qualified because she’s both a doctor and a mother.

As Ed Stetzer remarked on BreakPoint This Week, as a doctor, the oath that she took should give her pause about leading an organization that terminates the lives of more than 300,000 babies a year .

And as a mother, she certainly knows how precious life is. Unfortunately, according to Planned Parenthood, human value solely depends on whether the child is wanted or not.

Planned Parenthood’s last president was a political figure. Hiring a doctor to the top post shows just how much they want to claim legitimacy as a medical organization—so much so that they continue to lie about how much of an abortion business they really are.

Even so, we should pray for Dr. Wen. We should pray that Christ would transform her heart and that He would stop her work. With God nothing is impossible.

For more on faith and culture, come to BreakPoint.org.

Juanita Broaddrick: Sen. Feinstein had no interest in my rape allegation against Bill Clinton

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, has championed Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo accuser, but Juanita Broaddrick says the senator never showed any interest in her 1999 rape allegation against President Bill Clinton.

Ms. Feinstein was elected in 1992, making her one of the few remaining senators who served during independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Mr. Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“It’s absurd,” Ms. Broaddrick said Wednesday on Fox News. “Not one Democrat would look at my deposition with the independent counsel. Oh my gosh, they did not want to know about it.”

She pointed to the discrepancy between Democratic lack of interest in her case and the party’s outrage over allegations of sexual assault leveled last week against Mr. Kavanaugh.

“Oh, it makes me go back to 1999, when Dianne Feinstein, along with every other Democrat, refused to read my deposition to the independent counsel,” said Ms. Broaddrick told Fox’s Laura Ingraham on Monday.

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Death for life

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It was centuries ago, when all of North America belonged to its Native people. One nomadic Indian tribe in the Great Plains, according to the story, was blessed with a chief that was beloved and respected by everyone who knew him. He was known as a man who deeply loved his people and he showed it. And he was a man of absolute justice and fairness and he showed that. One day some braves brought a very troubling report to him; there had been several mysterious thefts from people in the tribe. The chief wanted to nip this kind of stealing in the bud so he announced a pretty severe penalty for the thief. He would be tied to a post when the sun was high, his back laid bare, and he would be beaten with a whip twenty times. Then the chief set a trap. He asked two of his trusted braves to leave some animal pelts in front of a teepee one night and to watch all night from another teepee. It was the middle of the night when one of those braves awakened the chief with the news, “We’ve caught the thief.” “Then bring him in,” the chief ordered sternly.

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I have kind changed my mind she should testify in public

I now think the woman who is saying Judge Kavanaugh attacked her in high school should have to testify in public. I don’t blame her but the people she has allowed to speak for her has done damage to Judge Kavanaugh, and this nation.

Her attorneys and the Democrats in the US Senate have put us all through a lot by making demand after demand.

This whole event has made it hard to believe women who truly are attacked and raped.

Where were these Democrats when Bill Clinton was charged with attacking with them.

Late breaking news members of the GOP Senate are thinking of delaying Monday’s hearing. If they do they will prove they have no backbone. I am done with the GOP.

Evangelicals: Nothing but a political smear campaign

Here is the story.

Christian Hoarding? Do We Own Stuff? Or Does Stuff Own Us?

Billy’s thoughts – Before you read or listen to this commentary. Before I moved to where I am living now, I used to hold on to a lot of stuff. I think I have gotten better since the move but God is still working on me on me. )

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Hoarding isn’t just a grotesque curiosity for TV voyeurs. It’s a real and present danger for Christ’s Church.

 C.S. Lewis once said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” In today’s prosperous America, we’ve made hoarding just as easy, and the danger to our souls is just as real.

A new article in The Atlantic by Alana Semuels lays out the grim details. In 2017, Americans spent $240 billion on jewelry, watches, books, luggage, telephones, and related communication equipment—twice as much in inflation-adjusted dollars as in 2002. During the same time, the population grew only 13 percent. Spending on personal care products also doubled.

To hold all this stuff, we’re supersizing our houses and storage facilities. Last year, the average size of a single family home in the U.S. was 2,426 square feet—a 23 percent increase from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, two decades ago there were 26,000 self-storage units around the country. Today there are 52,000 of them!

All this acquisitiveness, Semuels says, is because online retailers such as Amazon have made buying stuff so easy, and because the global economy has made stuff so cheap. I’m sure that’s partly true, but I think the cause is deeper.

Too many of us, and this includes Christians, have bought into the lie that the pursuit of happiness necessarily includes the pursuit of stuff. “We are all accumulating mountains of things,” says Mark A. Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. “Americans have become a society of hoarders.”

And what about the harm of all this sludge to our souls? I’m uncomfortably reminded of Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12. This man had received an abundant harvest, and what did he do? He built bigger barns to store it all and said to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But what did God say to him? “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” The man couldn’t even enjoy all his earthly treasures.

And just so we wouldn’t miss the point, Jesus administered the sobering coup de grâce: “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” The problem wasn’t that the man was rich—many of the Lord’s choicest saints have been abundantly blessed with the world’s goods. It wasn’t that he had stuff, but that his stuff had him, and that he wasn’t rich toward God.

Are we, who have been blessed far more abundantly than most of God’s servants around the world, as rich toward God as we need to be? I cannot tell you an amount that you must share if you don’t want to be a Christian hoarder—that’s between you, the Lord, and perhaps a wise Christian friend or financial adviser. What I can tell you is that, if our giving doesn’t hurt at least a little bit, if it doesn’t curb our seemingly insatiable urge to hoard, then it probably isn’t enough.

And in this time of material abundance, a lot of worthy churches and ministries face a chronic shortage of funds. Why is that? According to nonprofitsource.com, Christians today give only 2.5 percent of their income; during the Great Depression, it was 3.3 percent. The average giving by adults who attend Protestant churches in America is about $17 a week, and 37 percent of regular church attendees and evangelicals don’t give any money to church.

There are all kinds of Christians in this world, but the category “Christian hoarders” doesn’t exist in God’s economy. Let’s check our hearts, and our wallets, and set aside more treasure in heaven.

Resources

‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things’

Alana Semuels | The Atlantic | August 21, 2018

The Ultimate List of Online Giving Statistics For 2018

Nonprofitsource.com

Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure

Ken Blanchard, S. Truett Cathy | Zondervan Publishing | 2009

We certainly have more work to do, but let’s also celebrate some good news.

One axiom in the news business is the reality that good news isn’t really news. Thousands of airplanes land safely. That is not news. An airplane crashes. That’s news.

Because of this we rarely hear good news about our world. We certainly hear lots of bad news. This is especially true in an election year when challengers paint a dismal picture of our world so that you will elect them instead of the incumbents.

After Jim Geraghty wrote a column predicting trouble ahead for our nation, he was convicted that he should follow it up with some positive statistics. Here is a short list of good news that you probably don’t hear too often.

The crime rate is way down from the 1990s. Drunk driving rates hit an all-time low a few years ago. Air travel is getting safer and cheaper.

The teen pregnancy rate is steadily declining. The abortion rate is the lowest since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973. And the infant mortality rate is low and getting lower.

High school graduation rates are the highest ever. Teen drug use (if you exclude marijuana) is down dramatically. In the past, I have talked about this nation’s opioid epidemic. So far, very few teenagers are involved. And it is worth mentioning that teenage binge drinking is lower than it was in the 1990s.

Some good news you have heard (at least in my Viewpoint commentaries) concerns unemployment. As you know, unemployment figures for certain minorities are the lowest ever. Perhaps the most amazing fact is that there are currently more job openings than unemployed workers. And recently I talked about how the median family income is the highest ever.

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