VIDEO A.G. Bill Barr: ‘In the Framers’ View, Free Government Was Only Suitable and Sustainable for a Religious People’

By CNSNews.com Staff | October 14, 2019

Attorney General Bill Barr at University of Notre Dame Law School, Oct. 11, 2019. (Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) – Attorney General Bill Barr spoke at the University of Notre Dame Law School on Friday, saying that the Framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that a “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people.”

“In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings,” Barr said. “Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves, freely obeying the dictates of inwardly possessed and commonly shared moral values.

“And to control willful human beings with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s wills,” he said. “They must flow from the transcendent Supreme Being.

Watch video here

“In short,” he said, “in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people, a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and to manmade laws and had discipline to control themselves according to those controlling principles.”

Here is the transcript from the part of Barr’s speech where he said that the Framers believed that “free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people:”

“So, the founders decided to take a gamble, and they called it a great experiment. They would leave the people broad liberty, they would limit the coercive power of the government, and they would place their trust in self-discipline and virtue of the American people. In the words of Madison: ‘We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves.’

“And this is really what they meant by self-government. It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislature. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

“But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings. Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves, freely obeying the dictates of inwardly possessed and commonly shared moral values. And to control willful human beings with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s wills. They must flow from the transcendent Supreme Being.

“In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people, a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and to manmade laws and had discipline to control themselves according to those controlling principles

“As John Adams put it: ‘We have no government armed with a power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.’

“And as Father John Courtney Murray observed: The American tenet was not ‘that free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.’”

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/bill-barr-framers-view-free-government-was-only-suitable-and


Bill Barr Flames ‘Unremitting Assault’ On Religion, Traditional Values During Notre Dame Visit

Kevin Daley | The Daily Caller October 13,, 2019

Concerted attacks on religious liberty have triggered a moral upheaval that contributes to deadly social pathologies, Attorney General William Barr said Friday at the University of Notre Dame.

“The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety,” Barr said. “It reflects the framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.”

The attorney general said numerous measures of social decline are rising as religion recedes from public life, citing higher instances of drug addiction, mental illness, and suicide. Those outcomes are not random, but the fruit of a dedicated campaign against orthodox religious belief, Barr added.

“This is not decay,” Barr said. “This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

Barr said state governments and municipal agencies have been at the vanguard of that effort, noting the board of education in Orange County, California, recently decided religious dissenters may not excuse their children from portions of the school curriculum broaching LGBT issues. Schools are the usual forum for attacks on religious liberty, Barr said.

In that connection, the attorney general noted the Department of Justice recently intervened in a dispute between a gay teacher and a Catholic high school near Notre Dame. The case arose when the Archdiocese of Indianapolis directed Cathedral High School to dismiss a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage or forfeit its Catholic affiliation. The high school did so. The teacher, Joshua Payne-Elliott, sued the school in turn.

The Justice Department filed a statement of interest in the case Sept. 27, arguing that the lawsuit suppresses the archdiocese’s First Amendment right to expressive association, and impermissibly asks the court to interfere with internal church matters.

“The First Amendment precludes this court, a state actor, from cooperating in plaintiff’s attempt to stifle the archdiocese’s First Amendment right to expressive association,” the filing reads. “The First Amendment also precludes the court from entangling itself in a quintessentially ecclesiastical question: whether the archdiocese properly interpreted and applied Catholic doctrine. The First Amendment commits that question exclusively to the ecclesiastical tribunals of the church.”

Anti-Barr demonstrators picketed near the Notre Dame campus during the attorney general’s visit, according to the South Bend Tribune. Some protesters blew whistles in reference to a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community concerning President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business interests in Ukraine, and suggested Barr could support that effort. Hunter, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings.

The attending controversy prompted Notre Dame Law School Dean G. Marcus Cole to issue a statement defending academic freedom.

“Notre Dame Law School will neither endorse nor condemn invited speakers,” Cole said. “An institution of higher education must be a place where controversial ideas and points of view are expressed, heard, and discussed. This is such a place.”

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Kevin Daley of The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Original here



 

 

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Gaslighting: Warning Signs and How to Escape It

Sarah Mae

Gaslighting: Warning Signs and How to Escape It

The official definition for gaslighting is to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity (Oxford dictionary). I’m going to offer it to you another way, in the way that experienced it with my alcoholic mother:

What Is Gaslighting?

The first thing you should know is that her verbal genius consisted in masterful sarcasm and an ability to convince you that you are the dumbest, most incompetent person she’s ever been around (skillfully slipped between the times she tells you how much she loves you). After she cuts you down over and over again, you get angry and the fire inside you rises. Once this happens and you tell her to stop or try to explain how she is hurting you, she gets self-righteously calm—so, so calm—and as you reel from her smugly spoken passive-aggressive comments, she slides into the role of victim. Why are you yelling? Why are you so angry? You have a problem. You are now in an alternate reality where you can no longer tell what is up and what is down. You feel the pain from the wounds she inflicts, but you’re becoming convinced that maybe it’s your fault, maybe there really isn’t any wound at all and you’re just crazy.

You blame yourself, believing that you really are dumb; you are the problem; you are being too sensitive. What is wrong with you, anyway?! You hate yourself for being this way and you begin to verbally berate yourself. You add to the wounds. This is the rhythm of your relationship, and it always ends with you punching or scratching yourself and screaming with a clenched jaw, so no one hears the cry.

With Gaslighting You Usually Have No Idea It’s Happening to You

To make things worse, not only are you confused and angry, replaying conversations over and over in your mind, wondering if you really are making a big deal out of nothing, you lack confidence in your own feelings, thoughts, observations, and opinions. How can you have confidence in any of those things when you can’t trust yourself to know what is true? You try to explain yourself and you say you’re sorry, but the person you’re tangled-up with never seems to apologize, not really. All you know for sure is that there is a fire under your skin that won’t go away and the only person it’s consuming is you.

Any of this sound familiar? If so, then it’s possible you’ve been gaslit.

Why Is it Called Gaslighting?

In 1940 a British film called Gaslight (based on a play) was released about a man who convinces his wife that she is going insane so she doesn’t suspect him of being the murderer and thief that he is (he needs to get her institutionalized so he can have power of attorney over her – it’s a whole twisty plot). The title refers to the lights in the house the wife says keep flickering even though she is told it’s her imagination. A poignant line from the movie comes after the wife is finally convinced that she’s out of her mind and her childhood friend says to her, “You’re not going out of your mind! You’re slowly and systematically being driven out of your mind.”

How Do I Know if I’ve Been or Am Being Gaslit?

One of the most insidious things about gaslighting,” says author and journalist Ariel S. Leve, “is the denial of reality. Being denied what you have seen with your own eyes and you know to be true. Being denied an experience that you have had, and you know is real.”

I would add that the gut-punch to this denial is that you aren’t sure that what you’ve seen is real, or that your experience is real, or rather, that it’s valid. When you’re being gaslit, you aren’t sure what is true and what isn’t, and when you think you know, you are then convinced that you don’t know—that you have it all wrong—that being punched in the face (as it were) is just a misunderstanding of you running into someone’s fist; how silly of you.

Being Gaslit Is Disorienting and Infuriating

If you want to know if you’ve been gaslit, start by asking yourself these questions in the context of a relationship you’re in or have been in (this can be a parent, sibling, romantic, work, or any relationship you feel tangled-up in):

  • Do you feel like I could see inside your brain when you read the above descriptions of being gaslit?
  • Do you find yourself thinking you might be crazy or that you can’t trust yourself or your perceptions? Do you constantly second-guess yourself?
  • Do you/did you feel like everything is/was your fault?
  • Do/did you find yourself questioning what is true and not true? Do you/did you often feel confused about what happened?
  • Do you/did you blame yourself and beat yourself up after not being taken seriously?
  • Do you struggle with lacking confidence in how you feel, in what you perceive to be valid?

Your answers to these questions are just a starting point as you begin (or continue) to unravel the trauma of abuse, whether that involves gaslighting or not.

How Should I Respond to Gaslighting?

1. Get Help + Ask God for the Truth

If you’ve been gaslit, you’ve likely been angry and sad and confused for a long time. I’m so sorry. As someone who gets it, I encourage you to two things right away: get help and ask God for the truth. Find a good therapist (ask for recommendations). If you can’t afford one, a safe, wise friend who can help you see clearly. Ask God to help you discern what is true and what isn’t true in the tangled-up threads of the gaslighting relationship.

2. Be Gentle with Yourself

You’ve likely spent years beating yourself up, blaming yourself for “being so stupid,” and feeling so confused over your mess of emotions. You can’t heal if you’re condemning or judging yourself. God is kind, gracious, merciful, humble, gentle, and truthful; He sits on a throne of grace. The accuser, the enemy, is the one who will speak lies and condemnation and sarcasm and twisted words over you. Don’t align with the darkness, with the lies. Ask God to help you believe the truth and walk in the light. You are not dumb or naïve or making a big deal over nothing. You’ve been harmed, and it’s valid to be hurt. Give yourself grace as you work through untangling the emotional abuse you’ve had to contend with.

3. Call it What it Is

If you are being gaslit, or you have been, call it what it is: manipulation and abuse. I know that can be hard, but it doesn’t mean you’re condemning the person who has abused you, it means you are telling the truth. And what is the truth? It’s reality. We cannot heal from a thing if we are not willing to identify it.

4. Grieve What You Lost

Grief is the process of accepting reality and letting go of our expectations. If you have been emotionally abused through gaslighting, you have something to grieve. Maybe it’s the loss of a relationship, the loss of what you were hoping from the relationship, or and/or the loss of a sense of your sanity. Some of you have spent years not trusting your own judgement or gut or being fearful of your own perceptions. I’m not talking here about following our own hearts and being deceived by our own sinful desires, which does happen when we don’t surrender to and trust God, but rather the suppression of our God-given instinct and ability to think clearly because of emotional abuse. It takes time to trust our instincts again, but as God heals and frees, you will as He guides you.

5. Practice Confidence

Remember the scene in Runaway Bride where Julia Robert’s character finally decides to figure out what kind of eggs she likes? For so long she just liked whatever her partner liked, so she goes to a diner and orders different kinds of eggs and takes the time to figure out which kind she actually enjoys. Figure out your eggs.

When I discovered I had been gaslighted for years by my mother, I carried my lack of confidence into my marriage. This didn’t mean I didn’t have opinions or that I was a pushover (just ask my husband). It did mean, however, that when we argued and he would ask me to explain myself, I couldn’t. I would suddenly just say, “forget it, I’ll be fine” or “I don’t know—you’re right.” I bowed out because I didn’t trust that what I felt might be true. After learning about gaslighting, I took the time to think through some of the things in my marriage that I struggled with, and I was able to finally stand up for myself and communicate with a sense of confidence I never had before. This wasn’t, I don’t think, a source of pride, but rather telling the truth as I understood it so that we could get help and move forward in true, healthy ways.

As you work through counseling, deal with lies you’ve believed, and stay humble and surrendered to the Lord, your ability to discern truth will sharpen. Continue to lean on the Lord for understanding and He will help you to speak the truth and have the humble confidence to do it.

6. Forgive the Person Who Hurt You for Not Being What They Should Have Been

Whether it’s a spouse, parent, sibling, or someone you should be able to trust, when you’ve been gaslit by them and you realize it, you might be pretty ticked off. And that’s okay, because that would be a normal response to someone hurting you. But when you’re ready, I would encourage you to forgive them for what they should have been. I had to learn to forgive my mom for not being a mom. With God’s guidance and the help of several counselors and wise friends throughout the years, I learned how to face the reality and the pain of it, mourn what I lost, acknowledge and deal with my own sin and lies and wounds, set boundaries, and eventually love and forgive my mom.

My mother was an alcoholic and she was verbally and emotionally abusive, but I learned to love her and forgive her. She was wounded too, and while that is not an excuse, it is an explanation.

Being gaslit is confusing and can feel like fire under your skin, an anger that burns up your sanity. But you aren’t the only one who has faced this, and you can get through it; the fire will eventually die down and the confusion that covers like a veil will be lifted.

And the truth really will set you free.


the complicated heart book cover, gaslightingSarah Mae is a nationally known speaker, the host of “The Complicated Heart Podcast” and co-author of the bestselling book, “Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.” She loves traveling all over the country, speaking at conferences and events and encouraging women to walk in freedom. She makes her home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her woodworker husband, three spunky kiddos and a naughty yellow lab named Memphis. Learn more at sarahmae.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram at @sarahmaewrites.

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-is-gaslighting.html

Pro-Lifers: Remember This Phrase from Pope Francis

Whatever our differences with Catholic social teaching, we should echo his opposition to “throwaway culture.”

DANIEL DARLING SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

Pro-Lifers: Remember This Phrase from Pope Francis

Not long ago I was speaking at a conference on the sanctity of human life. My specific topic was the way evangelicals are often tempted to neglect the most vulnerable among us, much like the priest and Levite on the road to Jericho (Luke 10:25–37). The event was in Washington, D.C., and I brought along my teenage daughter for a special trip as a birthday gift. Once the conference was over, I figured we would spend some time walking around the capitol.

In my hurry to keep us to our itinerary, I walked past a homeless veteran near the Washington Monument. But my daughter wouldn’t let me keep going. “Dad,” she said, “this man is made in the image of God. We have to help him.” After hearing my typical excuses (“I don’t have any cash on me,” “We’ll come back to find him later,” and so on), she pulled a 20-dollar bill out of her wallet and approached the homeless man. “Here you go,” she told him. “I want you to know that God loves you.” Her words broke my heart and exposed my own temptation to ignore the vulnerable.

It’s attitudes like this that Catholic theologian and ethicist Charles Camosy most wants to expose and critique with his book, Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People(He borrows the term “throwaway culture” from a speech by Pope Francis.)

Camosy champions the idea of a “consistent life ethic.” By this, he means that an authentically pro-life witness involves more than opposing abortion. The same values that commit us to protecting the unborn, he argues, should govern our thinking on a range of issues that weigh upon the lives of the most vulnerable—issues like capital punishment, assisted suicide, war and peace, and economic and social inequality. Proponents of this approach sometimes describe it as a “seamless garment,” a term coined by Catholic peace activist Eileen Egan and popularized in the 1980s by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago.

Camosy’s book begins with a useful recounting of the development of seamless-garment thinking and a careful reading of its antecedents in church history. In the first chapter, he describes the core philosophy behind a consistent life ethic as “resisting throwaway culture and promoting a culture of encounter.”

Though evangelicals will undoubtedly differ with this framework at certain points, Catholic social teaching has been a useful guide for understanding how the gospel compels us to love our neighbor. In many cases (early opposition to Roe v. Wade, for instance), Catholics have been way out ahead of evangelicals in speaking up for the most vulnerable.

The Courage to Be Consistent

Today, when people claim to be consistently pro-life, it’s often used as cudgel against those who advocate for the dignity of the unborn. But this is not what Camosy (who identifies as a Democrat) is doing. Instead, he is urging us to resist the pull of our political tribes and care for the vulnerable, wherever they may be found. He writes:

We risk applying our concern to one person or group when it suits our interests and ignoring another person or group when it does not. But when we follow our moral principles wherever they lead (even, perhaps, to places we don’t want to go) we resist the ways in which bias and self-interest can hurt our ability to protect and support those on the margins of our culture.

Nowhere is Camosy’s courage more evident than in his treatment of the issues that most divide Americans: the sexual revolution and the sanctity of human life. He is unflinching in calling out the ways in which sexuality is commoditized and human bodies are treated as objects for pleasure. He is also persuasive when he questions the benefits of the sexual revolution, arguing that sexuality without commitment only leads to disappointment (and often violence).

In perhaps the book’s most important section, Camosy raises important questions about reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and practices such as surrogacy. He is rightly concerned about the use of pre-natal screening to identify and weed out fetal abnormalities, a practice that “instrumentalizes children.” Furthermore, he writes, using these technologies to “discard and kill the unwanted sends a clear message to older people with disabilities: it would have been better had you never existed.”

If you have followed Camosy’s career, you won’t be surprised that he provides a forceful and articulate chapter condemning abortion. But you might be surprised by some of the parallels he draws between consumerism and autonomy, both in applying a consistent life ethic to abortion and busting some long-held shibboleths of its defenders. He points to research, for instance, showing that the widespread use of contraceptives—long championed by abortion rights advocates and even some progressive evangelicals as a way of reducing abortion rates—has actually increased the prevalence of abortion. He also debunks arguments for population control, often championed by pro-choice advocates and some extreme anti-immigration restrictionists. Yet Camosy looks at declining abortion rates in the United States and offers a nuanced explanation that involves legislation targeting abortion, safety-net programs like Medicaid and children’s insurance, and social stigma.

Resisting Throwaway Culture takes this approach with a variety of issues, thinking beyond the pro-life movement in ways that will rightly cause conservatives and liberals to reconsider some of their pet notions. From immigration policy to poverty to war to environmental stewardship, Camosy continually invites the reader to ask: Do these policies treat the vulnerable as human beings or as commodities to be discarded? And is our politics the kind that sees humanity in those with whom we disagree?

Begging to Differ

Though this book is extremely helpful, evangelicals will have some differences with the author. Perhaps the most stark is the way Camosy grounds his arguments mainly in Catholic teaching, especially that of Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and Francis. This is unsurprising, of course, but those looking for standard biblical exegesis to guide them will be disappointed. As a reformed Baptist, I probably would have weaved in a bit more of the gospel storyline, showing how Jesus both affirms our humanity in the Incarnation and rescues our humanity in the Resurrection.

In addition, some evangelicals might quibble with some of Camosy’s applications of a consistent life ethic to public policy, particularly in his chapter on care for the animal kingdom. I was unconvinced by his use of Acts 15 as an apologetic for veganism, especially when Acts 10 seems to give faithful Christians freedom to eat meat and 1 Timothy 6:17 seems to allow for enjoying God’s creation in moderation. Nevertheless, we should be sobered by the examples Camosy cites of exploitation and unnecessarily harsh treatment of animals.

And yet, despite these not-so-minor differences, Resisting Throwaway Culture is an important book for our time—a ringing mission statement for a growing movement to allow human dignity, rather than party or tribe, to determine our ethics. Those who welcome this revolution will consider Camosy a helpful companion.

Daniel Darling works for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission as vice president for communications. He is the author of The Dignity Revolution: Reclaiming God’s Rich Vision for Humanity (The Good Book Company).

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/september-web-only/charles-camosy-resisting-throwaway-culture-pope-francis.html

History Is Important in Times of Despair

God has already revealed himself in Christ, and Christ promises to be with us.

History Is Important in Times of Despair
CARRIE BOREN HEADINGTON

 

“I just don’t believe anymore.” These were the last words I would have thought would come out of my long-time prayer partner’s mouth. Yes, she has had some challenges recently, but nothing compared to past trials. This phone call was different. The exhaustion and unbelief was palpable.

If we are honest, we have all been there—moments or even seasons of doubt and utter disbelief in God. I felt a wave of doubt this summer when ministering to children at an inner-city summer camp. I listened to children share about their horrific abuse, hunger, and absence of safety in the home.

To see a young person break down in tears and say “I feel forgotten” is heartrending. Then to come home to the nightly news of mass shootings in multiple cities and hurricanes ripping through communities…even the person with the strongest of faith can cry out, “God, where are you?”

Most people would agree that our world is groaning. During these times, one can wonder Is God real? Or perhaps, If God is real, is God good? I often hear people say, “I wish God would reveal himself to me. I wish He would speak to me and show me the way.”

With confidence, followers of Jesus can answer, “He has and he will.”

The challenges of our world reaffirm that our one and only hope is Jesus.

In our pluralistic climate, Jesus is often relegated to one of the many options of gurus or religious leaders one can follow to get a sense of peace and fulfillment. The Christian faith at best is touted as one of the many paths to God – “if one is into God at all.”

Oftentimes, followers of Jesus are deemed wishful thinkers, delusional, and those in need of a crutch. “You follow Jesus, I do yoga. It is all the same.”

This is not to mention our consumeristic, materialistic secular world that is making its case for our attention on a moment-by-moment basis, bombarding us with advertisements ringing in our pockets and alerting our wrists.

According to Forbes, “Digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000-10,000 ads each day.”[1]

In the midst of this swirl of confusion, Jesus says, “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

The New Testament understanding of faith was never a blind leap into the dark abyss of unknowing; quite the opposite. The New Testament Greek words for faith (pistis) and believe (pisteuo) means “to trust, to commit to, to put your weight down on.”

Since the resurrection of Jesus, notions of faith and belief are and always have been a step into the ultimate reality. The first apostles believed so much in the reality of Jesus of Nazareth’s life, death, and resurrection that they staked their very lives on it—and we can too.

So How Do We Live in Hope?

We must, first and foremost, recall history. Renown church historian and current President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr. Scott Sunquist, is known to say “history is very important.”

The Israelites were well versed at recalling their history. God commissioned Joshua to make remembrance stones and called Israelites to celebrate feasts which recall God’s action in human history.

Every Passover Seder reminds the Jewish people of the faithfulness of Jehovah God over the centuries. Many Psalms begin with lament but end with praise as the psalmist recalls God’s faithfulness throughout history.

Psalm 22 begins “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”Then the psalmist begins to recall God’s goodness and deliverance, “In you, Lord, our ancestors trusted;and you delivered them.”

After remembering, the psalmist breaks into praise, “I shall live for him. Posterity will serve him;future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,saying that he has done it.”

Especially in our pluralistic, relativistic, and often despondent culture, Jesus followers need to take time to remember and recall God acting in human history. We must affirm our faith that:

1 – God is real.

And

2 – God revealed himself fully in the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. In Jesus, we see the full goodness, justice, power, and lavish love of God.

Here are some pointers to remind us:

  1. The fact of the world. As Gottfried Leibniz posed, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” The mere fact that the world exists points to a creator God. Renown Cambridge Mathematical Physicist John Polkinghorn argues that in order for the world as we know it to come into being, billions of constants had to be finely tuned. If any had been off a fraction, the world would not exist.
  2. The design of the world. It is difficult to observe the intricate design of the world and throw it all up to random chance. Think of the complex intricate focusing equipment of the human eye and the uniqueness of each human thumbprint. Picture the beauty of nature: a sunset and the intricacies of a leaf. It is highly unconvincing to say it has no designer and that it is all random.
  1. Personhood. What about human reason? Human creativity? Personality? Can the impersonal create the personal? Could our human intelligence have come from cold matter? Our ability to reason, imagine, create, and make decisions points to the existence of an ultimate intelligence.
  2. Values. Where do values we cherish such as truth, beauty, goodness, creativity, and love come from? If they just come from within ourselves, why do we all value them (granted in different ways in different cultures, but there does seem to be much common ground)?
  3. Conscience. Every human being has a sense of right and wrong. Most humans have this instinctive sense of the “ought.” But where does the “ought” within us come from?
  4. Religion. Wherever you go, in every culture, there is belief in God. Why is there this concept of God in the first place? Why is it that humans have this instinct to worship something beyond ourselves.
  5. History. Over and again, archeological findings corroborate the biblical narrative of a creator God who is faithful, compassionate, just, merciful, and actively involved in human history. This is not a made-up fairy tale. It is an account of events that occurred in real time and real space.
  6. Jesus Christ. The BEST evidence for the existence of God is the person of Jesus Christ who revealed God to the world. Jesus is God with skin—fully human and fully divine. (Philippians 2) The Gospels proclaim that God actually came to earth and walked among us.

What do we see in this Jesus? It is important to remember his miraculous birth,first and foremost.

Second, his unparalleled teachings turned concepts of power on its head and have been at the center of many social reform movements in human history, including our own civil rights movement. His call to love God, neighbor, and self. There has been no rival to the teaching of Jesus.

Third, his perfect life of LOVE is unmatchable. No human being has lived a perfect life of love like Jesus. John, his closest companion said about us, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). And later, he says of Jesus, “In him was no sin” (1 John 3:5). He loved so radically that although he was God, he washed his disciple’s feet. He treated all with dignity in a highly fractionalized culture. Even while being crucified, Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Fourth, his miracles and power healed many. There is not one person Jesus turned away who asked for healing. We see the profound compassion of God in Jesus. He drove out demons, opened blind eyes, transformed lives, calmed storms, and fed thousands.

Fifth, he was the fulfillment of prophecy. Scholars highlight that over 322 prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Sixth,Jesus’ claims and actions were reserved for God alone.Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus forgave sins, received worship, and said he would be the final judge—all actions reserved for God.

Finally, he was raised from the dead. Jesus broke the death barrier. He died on the cross, suffering the most brutal death, and rose again so we could live. Jesus freed us from sin and death. It is the historical reality of the resurrection that affirms the divinity of Jesus. We have:

  • eye witness accounts of the resurrected Jesus;
  • apostles who were all martyred except one for proclaiming this truth;
  • the day of worship that had been the same for thousands of years changed from Saturday to Sunday;
  • a movement that sparked the greatest shift in human history when the exponential growth of the apostolic church came into being.

The best news of all is that this historical Jesus is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father and is still revealing himself to human hearts to this very day.

So when we have moments of doubt, let us remember: that (1) God is real; (2) God is good and we see him fully in the person of Jesus; and (3) God is alive. We can know him and his love and power every day of our lives into eternity.

History is important. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Let us REJOICE and spread the good news!

Carrie Boren Headington is the founder of The Good News Initiative, which provides resources in evangelism. She works with all Christian denominations and serves as Canon for Evangelism in the Episcopal Diocese of Diocese of Dallas and Consulting Evangelist for Revivals for The Episcopal Church engaging in evangelistic speaking, apologetics, and equipping congregations to be the hands, feet, and mouthpieces for God in their communities.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/september/history-is-important-in-times-of-despair.html

5 Lies the Enemy Wants You to Believe When Infidelity Attacks Your Marriage

Janet Perez Eckles
Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

5 Lies the Enemy Wants You to Believe When Infidelity Attacks Your Marriage

“We have to talk,” my husband said as he opened the car door for me to get in.

He had no red roses or sweet chocolates for me. Instead, I tasted the bitterness of infidelity in that car ride.

Our marriage had been happy, strong and filled with exciting plans. But like shattering glass on concrete, his unexpected announcement crushed me. “I’m not happy and…” he took a long breath. “I have someone else in my life.”

Nausea attacked my stomach. This had to be a joke, a temporary thing for him. There was no way this could mean the end of our eight years of happiness. My security and sense of fulfillment as his wife were about to be yanked from me.

Yet, his announcement was firm.  All seemed to be ending so abruptly, so painfully. And even worse, that nightmare was compounded by the physical blindness that barged into my life only months prior.

How can this be happening to me? To our three small sons? Why is God punishing me this way?

Those questions vanished in the air of pain. At 30 years of age, neither my husband nor I had been prepared to face my loss of sight. The hereditary retinal disease moved slowly at first, then with rapid advances until it left me completely blind. With no cure, the prognosis sentenced me to a lifetime of physical darkness.

That darkness extended into our relationship. My attempts to care for our sons and deal with my lack of sight robbed the desire to offer affection or warmth to him.

Of course he found solace in someone else. Of course he didn’t want to be married to a blind woman. And certainly I was unworthy of his love.

These lies taunted me at night and drained me during the day.

I dragged my feet through the house. And feeling my way with my fingertips, I did my best to prepare lunches for our sons, pick up toys from the floor and wash dishes. But inside me lived a gloomy sense of hopelessness. The rejection from my husband and the devastation of my blindness threatened to destroy me.

But one day, when about to give up, a beautiful thing happened. I accepted a friend’s offer to visit her Christian church. Hope filled me. If should I regain my sight my husband would come back to me. He would love me again. And life would go on as before.

But that didn’t happen. My sight never changed. But my heart did.

I received Christ as my Lord. And I made Him lord of my blindness, of my marriage, of my mothering and of my destiny.

And He responded with his Words that whispered to my soul. With headset on, while sweeping the kitchen floor and folding laundry, I heard the Bible on audio. Day after day, I soaked in His promises and His reassurance that He would be with me, near me. Close enough to hear my sobs and dab my tears.

Weeks passed by. And the emotional distance between my husband and me grew quickly. But what also grew was my understanding of who God is. What He provides. What He offers and what He instructs.

All saturated my soul. And I changed. I wasn’t that pitiful, discarded gal I was before. I was the daughter of the King, loved, strengthened, and empowered by His grace.

I sipped tea at the kitchen counter one evening and my husband walked in. “We need to talk,” I said, “I didn’t force you to marry me and I won’t force you to stay with me either. You’re free to go.” I said in a calm voice that surprised even me. “I have someone else in my life too,” I continued, “His name is Jesus.”

He was silent. But days later, he gave me his decision. “I decided to leave everything behind and be totally devoted to you and our sons.”

My reaction reflected the new person I had become—secure in Christ. “Not yet,” I said. “You and I will never make it together. We need Jesus in our marriage. And we need to pray together.”  He agreed.

Praying together was awkward, but we persevered. We drew closer. He became my best friend. We fell in love all over again. Forgiveness filled my heart and renewed commitment filled his.

We embraced our new life. Reassigned tasks, and adjusted to a different way of parenting.

The adjustments became routine. Even the hardships that followed years later made us stronger. And that strength was mentioned as he read the card he handed me for our 40th anniversary celebration. I grin with gratitude for a man, wonderfully restored by God.

That restoration was not unique to our marriage.  Whether your spouse stays or leaves, you’ll find triumph when you silence these five lies of the enemy:

Lie #1: Our spouse makes us whole, brings security, provision, or fulfills our every desire. Wrong. That role belongs to God and God alone. He says he fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 145:19-20 and 37:4)

When we exchange bitterness for a sense of delight in God, the veil of confusion lifts and reveals a new horizon.

Lie #2: In the midst of heartache, we must try to figure out what happened, how and what to do. But this misconception results in anger, leading us down the crooked path of destruction. Instead, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Rather than try to understand our spouse’s behavior, we rely on God’s power to right the wrong and heal the pain.

Lie #3: We can give up when no change is in sight, no hope seems to appear, and we declare we’re too weak to go on. But we discard this notion when we cling on to this truth: “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8)

When we’re weak, His strength is enough.

Lie #4: Resort to action with slander, vengeance, or manipulation. And pulling out these weapons, we hope to win the emotional battle. But God says: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

In the stillness of His presence His path is revealed. In the quiet of the moment, His comfort soothes the soul.

Lie #5: We cannot forgive such violation of our trust. We cannot overcome the searing betrayal. That’s true, we cannot on our own.  But Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

With God’s help, forgiveness sets us free from the prison of suspicion. And releases us from the cage of resentment.

Free from the trap of these lies, we can receive the red roses of God’s love. They carry the fragrance of His truth and we can savor the sweetness of a new tomorrow.

 

Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and author of four books. Her best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta invites you to experience the simplicity of finding joy even in the midst of hardship, With engaging stories, Simply Salsa gives practical steps to overcome heartache and celebrate life once again.

Publication date: February 5, 2016

https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/divorce-and-remarriage/5-lies-the-enemy-wants-you-to-believe-when-infidelity-attacks-your-marriage.html

VIDEO You shall call His Name, Jesus

Matthew 1.21

50 Names and Titles of Jesus:

1.  Almighty One  “…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8

2.  Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev. 22:13

3.  Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1

4.  Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2

5.  Authority – “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matt. 28:18

6.  Bread of Life – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35

7.  Beloved Son of God – “And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17

8.  Bridegroom – “And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matt. 9:15

9.  Chief Cornerstone – “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Ps. 118:22

10. Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thess.1:10

11. Faithful and True – “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Rev.19:11

12. Good Shepherd  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

13. Great High Priest – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Heb. 4:14

14. Head of the Church – “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.” Eph. 1:22

15. Holy Servant – “…and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30

16. I Am – “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58

17. Immanuel – “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” Is. 7:14

18. Indescribable Gift – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Cor. 9:15

19. Judge – “…he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:42

20. King of Kings – “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14

21. Lamb of God – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

22. Light of the World – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

23. Lion of the Tribe of Judah – “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Rev. 5:5

24. Lord of All – “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11

25. Mediator – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 2:5

26. Messiah – “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41

27. Mighty One  “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Is. 60:16

28. One Who Sets Free – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36

29. Our Hope – “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Tim. 1:1

30. Peace – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Eph. 2:14

31. Prophet – “And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4

32. Redeemer – “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25

33. Risen Lord – “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:3-4

34. Rock – “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:4

35. Sacrifice for Our Sins  “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

36. Savior – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

37. Son of Man – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

38. Son of the Most High – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32

39. Supreme Creator Over All – “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…” Colossians 1:16-17

40. Resurrection and the Life – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

41. The Door – “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9

42. The Way – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

43. The Word – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

44. True Vine – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1

45. Truth – “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

46. Victorious One – “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev. 3:21

47. – 50. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6

All this…and so much more.

He alone is worthy.

Jesus.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel

John 14.1

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

https://beholdinghimministries.org/2019/09/01/you-shall-call-his-name-jesus/

Fix Your Marriage – There’s Nothing Better Out There

 

MARITAL PROBLEMS THAT LEAD TO DIVORCE

People with the greener grass syndrome think there’s something better out there than what they have. Individuals in difficult marriages often contemplate on divorce. But no matter how someone evaluates the choice divorce is not a tidy pathway to happiness. I don’t judge anyone who has experienced divorce, but l believe that divorce-minded couples should take things slow and consider the consequences.

Although l encourage couples to try and fix the existing problems. I’m not advocating that anyone in a difficult marriage suck it up and suffer indefinitely in silence. Any form of abuse requires immediate separation to ensure safety of the family. Relationships dealing with addiction or unrepentant infidelity require prolonged intrusive work to bring about restoration.

Let’s take a closer look at three of the simplest marital hurdles, that if ignored send couples searching elsewhere, and how you can overcome them:

Photo by Stephanie Liverani on unsplash

Trying to Change your Spouse:

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to see your spouse change and grow. We are like trees and growing is important and inevitable, unless we’re dead. But you can only change you!

You must be as concerned about responding to your spouse’s interests as you are with how your interests can be served. Instead of trying to make your spouse see things your way, try holding different perspectives. If you both view situations from different angles, you can combine your views for accuracy.

Always account for the difference between both of you. There’s family back ground to consider, gender, temperament, and cultural variations. There’s a reason God did not clone couples. His intention was that you and your unique qualities can work with your spouses unique characteristics.

Arrogance:

People who are guilty of possessing this trait often have no awareness of it. If confronted by feedback that suggests that they may be grabbing more ground than they are entitled to, they become defensive.

When dealing with such a spouse, you must cultivate in you the complete opposite of arrogance in order to influence him/her. You must have a humble spirit. Humility is one of the most important things a good relationship should posses. Afterall, since humility  is contagious, you might influence him/her.

Lack of Satisfaction:

Couples who ignore each other’s needs are more than likely tempted to go elsewhere. However, unmet needs is not an excuse for infidelity. The word of God to all married couples is, “Be satisfied with the wife of your youth.”

This is a clear indication that we should be content with our mates. For this reason, water your own grass to avoid the greener grass syndrome. Truth is, there’s nothing better out there. Create whatever your heart desires in the woman/man you married.

Remind yourself why you chose your spouse over anyone else. You evidently saw some wonderful qualities in them. Shift your focus to the best in them instead of their faults. The more you meet their needs, the more they will meet yours.

Most importantly, look at the person in the mirror, before judging your spouse. Hopefully you’re not the kind of person who thinks everyone is a problem. More often than you might know. The biggest problem can be eliminated if you change something about you. Good luck with your relationship. To learn more about building a solid marriage, read on how to save your marriage here

 

 

Original here