Category Archives: Bible

Believe it or not, Breakpoint made a fake news list 

Strangely enough, BreakPoint made a list published by Harvard University library. Even stranger is the list itself.
Back in November, Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, published a list called, “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources.” Last week, the list went viral when Harvard University Library linked to it as a helpful guide to “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda.”
Now, there’s no question that there’s a problem with fake news online, especially when it comes to political news. In fact, we’ve talked about this before on BreakPoint and The Point, warning about passing on that news story before fact checking it, simply because it agrees with your bias. And Christians, who are called to be people of truth, have been just as guilty of this as anyone else.
That said, Zimdars’ list is strange, and in a very important way, self-contradictory. While many of the sites she identifies as “conspiracy,” “biased,” “fake,” “clickbait,” or “unreliable” certainly deserve those titles, there is a vastly greater number of conservative and right-leaning sites listed than liberal and left-leaning sites.
For example, all pro-life websites are listed as “biased,” but pro-abortion sites aren’t listed at all. Also missing are sites like Vox, Slate, and BuzzFeed – though the list flags similar sites on the other end of the political spectrum such as Drudge and National Review.
And BreakPoint.org, our website, made the list as “unreliable.”
Now to be fair, Professor Zimdars acknowledges that her analysis is limited, and that the problem of fake news and the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach that dominates journalism today is a problem too big to be solved by her attempt to keep a running tally of media offenders.
But she, like so many other media experts and academics today, seems unaware of her own bias. And she is biased. And well, so are we. It’s what a worldview does, and none of us are exempt. Not you. Not me.
Of course that doesn’t mean that all sites are equal. Some worldviews better reflect reality than others, and no matter our worldview, we do live in the same world of facts. That said, let me take this time to clarify how we at the Colson Center see our responsibility to truth and facts each and every day on BreakPoint.
First, our primary allegiance is to the One who is the Truth– Jesus Christ. So we strive to tell stories truthfully without changing, embellishing, or conveniently omitting facts that matter. In fact, each day on our website, we’ll link to additional sources, including those we may disagree with. Now do we make mistakes on occasion? You bet. And we’re grateful for our listeners who are quick to tell us when we do.
Second, because the One who is the Truth is also the Way and the Life, we will take the world and other worldviews very seriously.
Third, we will strive to be as wise as serpents. We will not allow our commentaries to be dominated by outrage or despair. Christians are to be people of hope, and getting angry is no strategy in and of itself. We also need to think: How might I respond? What is my Christian responsibility?
And of course, our worldview commits us to the inherent dignity of each and every person. Therefore, we must be, as Fr. Robert Sirico said, “brutal with ideas and gentle with people.” People, even those who call our commentaries “unreliable,” are never our enemy. They are among those made in God’s image and for whom Christ died.
Now I’ll conclude by saying that I fully agree with what Professor Zimdars wrote on how to consume the news these days. “The best thing to do,” she writes, “in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media.”
Or as St. John said, “Test everything.” But to evaluate other sources we must be grounded in truth. And so make sure that among your sources is the ultimate source more reliable than any of the others: the revealed Word of God.

The Bible welcomes you to question/test it, but not the book of Islam 

Listen to a radio commentary on faith.

Bible based faith, and Shack

Listen to sermon by Dr. Michael Youssef….

The Shack Uncovered

Was Franklin Graham Right to Call for a Disney Boycott?

Read the column.

The Power of love, and words:

My wife was just a little girl when she first met Bob Henley. He was one of those older men you look up at and look up to at church. She had a visit to her childhood church some years ago, and she asked about Mr. Henley. They said, “He’s 92 years old – and that he would be there the next week.” My wife made it a point to attend church there the following week and to reconnect with this memory from her past. As they were talking, Mr. Henley said, “You probably don’t remember this (and she didn’t), but one day after church you came up to me and you grabbed this finger. You were only about this high (about the altitude of a 4-year old). But you grabbed my finger and you said, ‘Mr. Henley, I love you.'” Now why would he remember that little¬ childlike expression into the 9th decade of his life? He said, “You don’t know this, but I was raised an orphan. That morning was the first time in my life anyone ever said ‘I love you’ to me.'” Wow!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Leaving Love Behind.”
All those years without anyone ever telling him they loved him. And the power of someone finally letting him know he was loved.
We’re surrounded by people who don’t know they’re loved…or who have not been told nearly enough. It’s a lonely world of self-focused people. Consequently, you can almost assume that some of the people you know are love-starved. And a lot of the mistakes they are making is because they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. Can you see that need behind their deeds?
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Ephesians 5:1. It becomes a summons to action for us in our love-starved world. Here’s what it says, “Be imitators· of God, therefore, as dearly loved children…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Did you get that…”live a life of love”? Here that love is illustrated with the love of Jesus for us; love that is willing to “give yourself up”…to sacrifice; to go out of your way to put someone else first.
I wonder how much of an answer you are to the deep love deficit that people around you are feeling. It isn’t enough that you love them. You have to let them know you love them. A lot of children aren’t feeling secure in their parents’ love, not because mom and dad don’t love them, but because they don’t express their love in ways that the child can feel.
Like that man at Karen’s church, people need to be told they’re loved. They need someone who makes them feel important by just patiently listening to them. You say “I love you” when you show up at the funeral, at the hospital, when you celebrate their special moments with them. You say, “I love you” when you drop what you’re doing to be with that person. You say “I love you” when you hang in there with them when they’re aggravating, frustrating, obnoxious, unlovable. When they’re the least lovable, they need your love the most.
For some of us, this expressive love doesn’t come naturally because we were raised in an undemonstrative family…we’ve been conditioned to not let our feelings show. But that emotional paralysis cripples you and it deprives the people around you of knowing how you care for them. God’s in the business of liberating people emotionally who say, “Lord please unleash Your love… Your love through me.”
It’s important to look around the circle of people in your life and ask, “Does he…does she feel loved by me?” We’re called by God to live a life of love. For, as my wife was reminded by a man in his 90s, your simple, honest expression of love may be one of the first that person has had in a long time, and it is something they will never forget.

Saint Patrick, and being a saint (a thought on the Bible )

Listen to the commentary, or read it below.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I hope you are having a great one. 

       Did you know the real Saint Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Fact Patrick was a missionary, who was transformed by God.

   I am Billy David Dickson with a thought on the Bible.

          Yes, Patrick did amazing things for God. Did you know to be a saint you don’t have to do anything special, or does a priest have to declare you a saint. There is only one who can make you a saint ,and that is the Lord Jesus himself. John 1:12 reads. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

     You and I become a child of God not by doing good works. It is not based on what we do, or don’t do.The Bible teaches we get a relationship with God, by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. 

    So the meat of the matter is a saint, or child of God is somebody..

Who has realized their own sinfulness before a Holy God.

They are willing to turn away from sin, and change their mind about sin. That is called repentance. 

They know they can not become a Saint through good works, but they need to receive Jesus as their Savior, and Lord.  

So you can become a saint, like Saint Patrick though you may not have a day named after you. You will have the only thing you truly need, which is a relationship with God. That is a thought on the Bible. 

Until next time,

I’m Billy David Dickson 

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation for Our Times( The Descendants of Dred Scott Show the Way )

( Listen to the Breakpoint commentary here, or read it below. )
On the 160th anniversary of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions, something beautiful and miraculous happened.

Last week, March 6th, marked the 160th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. Dred Scott v. Sanford, along with Plessy v. Ferguson (which enshrined the principle of “separate but equal”) and Roe v. Wade, form a kind of unholy trinity of Supreme Court rulings which legally declared entire classes of people non-persons.
Yet this infamous decision recently became the occasion for a remarkable act of grace.
First some historical background: For the decades preceding the 1857 decision, the country was torn over the issue of slavery. While actual abolitionists did form a small majority in the North (and ideas of racial equality were rare even among abolitionists), northern whites did not want to compete against slave labor in the territories west of the Mississippi river.
That brings me to Dred Scott the man. In 1830, his second master took him from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, where slavery was illegal. In 1836, both returned to Missouri. After several attempts to buy his and his family’s freedom, Scott sued his master’s estate, claiming that under what was known as the “Somerset Rule,” which could be summed up as “once free, always free,” his late master had, in effect, set him free by moving him to a free state.
And that brings me to Dred Scott the decision. Chief Justice Taney could have decided Scott’s case on narrow terms. But he had something far more ambitious in mind: He wanted to settle the slavery issue once and for all.
The least infamous part of his opinion ruled that Congress could not ban slavery in the territories, thus making the Civil War all but inevitable.
The most infamous part concerned the status of African Americans. He ruled that Blacks, enslaved or free, could not be citizens of the United States. He justified this by writing that, historically-speaking, Blacks had been “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
Like I said, infamous.
All of this makes what happened last week on the 160th anniversary of the decision so remarkable. Standing before the Maryland State House, Charlie Taney, a descendant of Roger Taney, apologized on his family’s behalf, to Scott’s descendants and African Americans in general for the “terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision.”
Then Scott’s great-great granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, accepted the apology on behalf of “all African Americans who have the love of God in their heart so that healing can begin.”
I’m guessing I know where Ms. Jackson spends her Sunday mornings.
Some people will no doubt dismiss this as a kind of theater. After all, Charlie Taney isn’t responsible for what his ancestor wrote. But that misses the point.
What’s going on here is the acknowledgment of an historical wrong followed by an act of grace which holds out the possibility of a new beginning–in other words, what the New Testament calls “reconciliation.”
Reconciliation comes from a Greek word whose principle meaning is “exchange.” In fact, it was principally used in reference to money-changing, where the parties exchanged coins of equal worth.
In this case something far more valuable than money is being exchanged: the acknowledgement of past wrongs for a restoration of relationships and the possibility of, to use another biblical term, shalom: peace, wholeness, and contentment.
Despite Justice Taney’s best efforts, Dred Scott died a free man. His first master’s family bought him back from the estate with the express purpose of freeing him. Many thanks to Mr. Scott’s and Justice Taney’s descendants for showing us the path to reconciliation in these divisive times.

“Jesus fix Kim.”

Our son was only two years old when Kim, the neighbor girl across the street, broke her leg. On a scale of world disasters, Kim’s leg wouldn’t move the needle, but on the scale of a 2-year-old, oh, that’s serious. Our 5-year-old daughter brought the bad news, so we all stopped right there and we prayed for our friend Kim. We were done, but our son wasn’t. All day over and over again he’d go, “Pray for Kim.” So, they prayed for Kim. That went on thirty or forty times. It might be the most prayed for broken leg in the history of the neighborhood. Well we got word a couple days later that Kim was doing really well, and we told our son. He pulled his Mom over to a picture of Jesus we had on our kitchen wall, and he pointed to the picture and he just said, “Jesus fix Kim.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “A Parent’s Greatest Gift.”
I’ve got to tell you, that was an exciting moment for my wife and me. Look, important enough for us to remember all these years. Why? Because we knew our son was beginning to see that what we have isn’t just a religion, that it’s a He! A real relationship with a real Person who makes a real difference!
In our word for today from the Word of God, God is coaching parents who are trying to raise their children in a culture where they are surrounded by immoral lifestyles, materialism, and a lot of temptation. This doesn’t sound familiar at all does it? Okay, what should a parent do?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
First, God says give your kids a relationship, not just a religion, a love relationship with the Lord. Maybe our children get the impression sometimes that what we’re about is keeping rules, going to meetings, believing beliefs, instead of seeing a Mom or Dad who are just deeply in love with Jesus. If your son or daughter remembers anything from your spiritual life, I hope it will be this, “It’s all about Jesus.” That’s what we wanted our little son to realize, that we have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful Savior, a Person who touches everything in our lives.
Secondly, God’s telling parents here to show them this relationship in everyday life. It’s great to have Bible study times with our family. Family devotions, done with some variety and creativity and participation, are important. But even more important is a Jesus they hear you talk about “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, (probably drive in this case), when you lie down and when you get up.”
Our God-relationship is most powerfully communicated as our kids see us involving Him in the everyday life stuff, like a neighbor’s broken leg, or a math test, or a financial need, or bringing a family conflict to the Lord, praying about trips and friends and romances and teachers and hurting people your family knows.
This is the Jesus who goes with us to McDonald’s, to ball games, to the beach, to dark places, to hospital rooms, to school buses, to work. That’s spiritual reality, not just religion! And to live in a morally dangerous world, our children need a Jesus who is so real to them they know He is with them even when no one else can see them. He goes with them where no parent can go.
I can’t imagine raising kids in a world like this without Jesus – without a Savior. Because I know that I am inadequate. I know my own needs I can’t take care of. I know the baggage, all of which Jesus has come in and helped me unpack that baggage and not pass it on to another generation, and give me His love, and His power and His wisdom.
If you don’t know Jesus personally, if you’re a Mom or Dad, would you today reach out to Him and say, “Jesus, a religion is not enough for me. I want to know you personally. I’m opening my life to you.” You want to know more about that, go to our website ANewStory.com.
We cherished that moment when our little guy recognized Jesus, not just as a picture on the wall, but a real Savior who cares about our everyday stuff. That’s when that song “Jesus loves me, this I know” becomes more than a song; it’s how we live at our house!

Do you believe in God just like the devil 

Listening to this radio program was homework for one of my Bible college classes. I hope it will bless you, and perhaps even challenge you.

Believing Like Demons )

I am troubled by getting Ashes while in your car on Ash Wednesday 


Now I am no longer part of a faith tradition which gives out Ashes on Ash Wednesday. However yesterday something I read and saw on the news troubled me. It was spiritual leaders giving Ashes to folks while they remained in their cars. Ashes in your cars might be ok for older folks, and folks who have problems walking in a church. I think when the church doors are opened for something your faith tradition takes part in, most of us should go and sit our butts in a pew.

  I am glad anytime people of faith take their spiritual views into their community. I also don’t believe the Bible teaches going to church makes one right with God. I had a pastor who said going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to Burger King makes you a whopper. 

 Too often today churches decide to do things based on what the customers want. Yes churches should do what they can to reach people in this world. At the same time we need to teach young believers, and even those who are not believers being a disciple of Jesus does cost. I wonder what believers in nations where they can be killed for being a follower of Jesus, or for worshipping the King of kings feels about just going to a drive through to get ashes,like you were ordering a whopper. 

Yes we are saved by grace, through faith.However where possible we are called to be part of a local church body for encouragement, having the word taught, and yes discipline.