Category Archives: faith

Charles Manson is dead, or is he

The summer of 1969, a scruffy ex-convict with a magnetic hold on young women sent some of his disciples into the night to carry out a series of gruesome killings in Los Angeles. In so doing, Charles Manson became the leering face of evil on front pages across America and rewrote the history of an era.

Manson, the hippie cult leader who died of natural causes Sunday at age 83 after nearly half a century behind bars, orchestrated the slayings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people, butchered at two homes on successive August nights by intruders who scrawled “Pigs” and “Healter Skelter” (sic) in the victims’ blood.

The slaughter horrified the world. To many, the collateral damage included the era of peace, love and flower power.

The Manson Family killings, along with the bloodshed later that year during a Rolling Stones concert at California’s Altamont Speedway, seemed to expose the violent and drug-riddled underside of the counterculture and sent a shiver of fear through America.

“Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,” author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book “The White Album.”

Manson was every parent’s worst nightmare. The short, shaggy-haired man with hypnotic eyes was a charismatic figure with a talent for turning middle-class youngsters into mass murderers.

At a former movie ranch outside Los Angeles, he and his devotees — many of them young runaways who likened him to Jesus Christ.

( Billy’s thoughts –  Lets all hope Charles Manson find the true Jesus before he died, and repented of his sins. Read the rest of the above story.)

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Praying to bless abortion

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BreakPoint: Costly Views on “The View” Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

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You’re in the spotlight and you’ve just been asked about a controversial issue. What do you do?

Martin Luther, the Christian reformer who challenged the sale of indulgences five hundred years ago, is often credited with this stirring quotation:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.”

Okay, well maybe Martin Luther didn’t actually say that. Nor did Abraham Lincoln say, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” But just because a quotation is mis-attributed doesn’t mean it’s an inaccurate summary of what the purported author believed. As a matter of fact, this passage not only closely mirrors something Luther wrote in a personal letter, but it’s consistent with the life he lived.

More importantly, this quote is true. The temptation is strong to faithfully proclaim every aspect of God’s Word except the one most controversial in our time.

We saw that recently when well-known pastor Carl Lentz appeared on ABC’s “The View.” Lentz spoke boldly and in no uncertain moral terms about the issue of racism. As well he should. Christians should condemn racism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.

But when asked directly about abortion, and whether or not he considers it a sin, Lentz couldn’t give a straight answer. Instead, he spoke of having a “conversation,” of finding out a person’s “story,” where they’re from and what they believe. “I mean, God’s the judge,” he concluded. “People have to live by their own convictions.”

Predictably, the progressive studio audience heard this as an affirmation of the so-called “right to choose,” and rewarded Lentz with thunderous applause.

This upset a lot of pro-lifers who felt that this highly visible pastor had squandered a chance to speak up for the unborn. Lentz quickly took to social media to defend his word, but the damage was done. A watching world had heard a famous Christian pastor buckle on a crucial issue of our time, right after taking principled stands on other issues—issues, and this is key, that wouldn’t cost him anything with the ladies or audience of “The View.”

Now Lentz is not unique. He’s just the latest victim of what my friend Michael Miller calls “cocktail party pressure,” the urge to tone down or disavow Christian beliefs found to be distasteful in our culture. Typically, these are the so-called “culture war” issues like life, marriage, or religious liberty.

Watching Lentz on “The View” reminded me of the doctor-assisted suicide vote in Colorado last year. I was heartbroken when pastors of Colorado churches told me they didn’t want to take up the issue from the pulpit, because it was “too political.” But many of these same pastors have no hesitation whatsoever when addressing issues that are also so-called political ones, like racism or refugees.

Contrast this with someone like Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation. Although not a pastor, Ryan is among the most articulate defenders of natural marriage even in the face of blistering ridicule. I’ll never forget the image of him on Piers Morgan’s show, banned from the stage, seated in a hostile crowd, graciously explaining the Christian view while the liberal hosts hurled abuse at him.

Folks, it’s so very easy to be courageous on issues where our Christian convictions are in agreement with talk show hosts and the larger cultural ethos. But we’re not just called to proclaim the truth when it’s easy. Faithfulness means standing up for what’s right precisely and especially when it’s unpopular—even when it will cost us, socially, financially, maybe even mortally.

And it’s all of us, including those of us not on television, who face this kind of pressure ourselves—the pressure to tone down or abandon what we believe. That’s why it’s crucial to decide ahead of time—before the talk show or the cocktail party—where we stand, and to always be ready to give an answer when we’re asked.

 

Costly Views on “The View”: Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

Check out the links in our Resources section for great materials that will help you be equipped to stand for truth, remembering the Apostle Peter’s words: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. . . 1 Peter 3: 14-15 NASB

 

Resources

The Faith: Given Once for All

  • Charles Colson, Harold Fickett | Zondervan Publishing Company
How Now Shall We Live?

  • Charles Colson, Nancy Pearcey | Tyndale House Publishers | September 1999
 

Grace is more than a doctrine

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Life is short but only

One of the greatest friends that I’ve had in my life was named Dan Owens. I met him when he was in his early twenties, and he died very young – in my book anyway. He got ill at age 54 and at 58 he had gone to be with the Lord. His wife Debbie cried for him, loved him very much. He served God beautifully. He traveled to Africa, to India, to Europe, to Romania. He traveled to many countries and the greatest joy of his life was to lead man and women and especially teenagers and boys and girls to Jesus Christ. 

I thought about an old saying that used to be said often in the old days: “Only one life ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” And you know, that’s absolutely the truth. Life is so fast! Listen, I’ve been around for seven decades consciously and life seems to have gone so fast. But when you do it for Christ, and in the power of Christ you can look back and say, “Lord, I made many mistakes. You’ve been very patient, but I lived for you, I served you, and I’m ready to go.”

Are you ready to go? Is your life dedicated to Jesus Christ? Remember, only one life it will soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last. So do it!

 

This is Luis Palau.

A message to NFL players and all of us

Iran: shock, trauma and crisis

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ABOUT IRAN

  • Primary Language: Persian, Iranian
  • Primary Religion: Islam

BreakPoint: A Museum Fit for the Bible Telling the Story of the World’s Greatest Book

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The Bible is the greatest book ever written—and now, there’s a museum fit to tell its story!

At the end of his Gospel, the Apostle John said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” You could probably say much the same thing about the Bible—that no single place could adequately convey its impact, history, and unforgettable narratives. But that isn’t stopping an ambitious and expert team from trying.

I’m excited to tell you about the grand opening on this November 17 of the massive, 430,000-square foot, state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible in our nation’s capital. A project of an interfaith, international team of scholars, the museum is an innovative, global, educational institution with the aim of inviting all people, of whatever faith or no faith at all, to engage with the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.

The museum cost $500 million to build, and when you visit, you’ll see why. Museum of the Bible has breath-taking exhibits, hi-tech LED screens, and tons of ancient artifacts and precious manuscripts. You’ll be amazed. But why so much, and why now?

“It was surprising to us that a book this influential didn’t yet have a major museum focused on it,” Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and Museum of the Bible founder, told Christianity Today. “The Bible has influenced nearly every aspect of our world, from the arts and culture to business and entertainment to health care, education, and government. We hope to create the kind of museum that would share this book we love with as many people as possible.”

And Museum of the Bible—situated just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from the National Mall—comes not a moment too soon. As we’ve been telling you a lot recently here on BreakPoint, biblical illiteracy is running rampant in the culture. New Testament scholar David Nienhuis states, “Christian leaders have been lamenting the loss of general biblical literacy in America. … Much to our embarrassment, however, it has become increasingly clear that the situation is really no better among confessing Christians, even those who claim to hold the Bible in high regard.”

Indeed. Gallup and Castelli call us “a nation of biblical illiterates.”

But is biblical literacy really important? I’ll let a couple of American Founders answer. John Adams, our second president, noted, “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth.”

And here’s what physician, social reformer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush said: “The Bible contains more truths than any other book in the world.”

Of course, many in our postmodern world don’t believe that and dismiss the Bible out of hand—but maybe that’s partly because they’ve never had the opportunity to engage with it. Museum of the Bible gives them that opportunity, not by cramming “religion” down someone’s throat, but by presenting the Bible as the best-selling, most debated, most influential book of all time. Back in the day, you weren’t considered educated if you didn’t know the Bible. It’s still true today, and Museum of the Bible will step in to fill that knowledge gap for Christians and non-Christians alike.

So kudos to Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and for the thousands of people of many faiths who helped make it a reality. The Bible is the most influential, beloved, and profound book in the world, and I’m grateful for a gleaming new museum fit to tell its world-changing story today. I invite you to visit it, starting November 17, with your family and friends.

 

 

A Museum Fit for the Bible: Telling the Story of the World’s Greatest Book

Take the opportunity to invite family and friends to accompany you on a visit to Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. For information on admission and exhibits, go to the Museum of the Bible website, linked here.

Resources

Inside the Museum of the Bible

  • Martyn Wendell Jones| Christianity Today | October 20, 2017
Sneak peek: D.C.’s huge new Museum of the Bible includes lots of tech — but not a lot of Jesus

  • Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Washington Post | October 16, 2017

A messianic Jewish leader calls it an outrage that a group of Christian leaders are defending the right to boycott Israel.

According to the Christian Post, a coalition of 17 liberal Christian groups sent a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to reject a bill that would make it official U.S. policy to oppose boycotts of Israel.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to prohibit support of international state-sponsored boycotts of Israel by U.S. citizens engaged in interstate or international commerce.

 

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says the BDS movement, active now for several years, is attempting to hurt Israel economically.
“It’s an effort,” she says, “to hurt her image around the world.”

( Read the full story here. )

God does love to use Teenager boys, and girls

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God loves to use teenagers. He’s done it throughout history. When you think about it, the blessed virgin Mary was undoubtedly a teenager. David was a teenager when he was anointed king of Israel. Abraham was a young man when God called him. Daniel was only 12 years old. Oh yes, God loves to use teenagers. 

I remember reading how in 1904 in Wales there was a great national spiritual awakening. In nine months over 100,000 people came to Christ and filled the churches. It was a great national revival, and you know one of the triggers that made it happen was a teenage girl singing in a quartet. And she said one night as she was starting to sing, just before the song, she said, “I love the Lord Jesus with all of my heart.” And when she said that there was a touch of God; the congregation started to weep. They fell on their knees. They began to pray and a great revival spread in that part of Wales in 1904. 

How about today? Are you a teenager? Are you allowing God to use you? As a parent, encourage your teenage boys and girls to really walk with God and be used by God. God loves to use teenagers. 

 

This is Luis Palau