God Is Great! God Is Good!

Kathy Thomas

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV)

The irresistible scent of home-cooked goodness permeated the air, torturing our faithful yellow Lab and her spastic beagle companion. They struggled to restrain themselves, maintaining perfect posture, as their eyes followed every move, hoping their patient obedience would reap tasty rewards.

Suddenly, the beagle began to shake violently; her eyes bulging; looking as if, at any moment, she would spontaneously combust! Finally, I picked some samplings of the coveted feast and headed toward the two beggars. The beagle could no longer contain herself. She broke her obedient posture and began impatiently flailing and squawking about.

“Sit!” I commanded.

The rule is… if you want a treat, you have to sit still and wait for me. But, she refused. She had been patient long enough!

Our Lab, however, was the perfect model of discipline and obedience; never once breaking her posture; but patiently watching, as the beagle repeatedly disobeyed. Finally, she realized that her blessing wasn’t coming until the beagle submitted. So, she reached out her paw, placed it atop the beagle’s sitter, and shoved her down into the sitting position.

Grinning at her firm correction of her impatient, unruly companion, I treated the Lab to a double portion.

“Okay, God!” I chuckled. “I get it!”

It was our first Thanksgiving in our new house. The previous two years, one month, and 13 days … our family of six cohabitated in a rented camper on our farm, while we undertook the task of building our own home with our own 12 hands.

“I’m a good sport!” I assured my husband when the builder announced the project would take six to nine months. “It’ll be an adventure, like a six-month-long camping vacation! Let’s do it!”

My enthusiasm sprang from our certainty that God was calling us to stop pursuing the country club lifestyle and move to the country instead; to release our children into the wild, and teach them the values and blessings of a simple life and good old-fashioned hard work.

Everything that could go wrong … did! Avid do-it-yourselfers, we eagerly accepted the task of doing all the cosmetic work after the builder completed the structure. But one heartbreaking disappointment and delay after another resulted in our family becoming responsible for way more of the building process than we ever intended.

Every day, my husband ran our business, while the children and I did what little projects we could. Every evening, he came home, ate dinner, kissed the kids goodnight, and the two of us worked on the house until we got tired and started making mistakes, or until we got on each other’s nerves. Some evenings we finished late … some early!

I learned how to use rechargeable power tools because waiting on my husband to finish the construction all by himself was taking too long! We had already spent two Christmases in the camper! Finally, our power was scheduled to be turned on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving number three. Victory was soooo close … we could taste it!

But, our power lines had been improperly installed. We weren’t going to have power for Thanksgiving, after all. At that point, I must have looked like the beagle. I think my husband was afraid that I might actually spontaneously combust! Like our faithful Lab, he took control and made me “Sit!”

He dug a hole in the sand, lit a charcoal fire, and cooked corn on the cob in a stockpot using an old grill rack and two cinder blocks. He placed a portable roasting oven atop a lawn table, plugged into the camper’s power pole, and roasted the turkey. We cooked sweet potatoes inside the camper in a portable skillet and boiled green beans in a crockpot inside the house using a 50-foot extension cord.

We savored our Thanksgiving feast in our new home without electricity, but not without power. When I finally submitted, became still, and waited upon God, He blessed us with a double portion of His power, provision, and blessing. It was the best Thanksgiving meal we ever tasted … not because the treats were great … but because our God is!

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:8-9 NKJV)

Copyright © Kathy Thomas, used by permission.

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The Real Purpose of Thanksgiving

by Greg Laurie on Nov 20, 2020

In a few days we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a uniquely American holiday, but it doesn’t commemorate a battle or anyone’s birthday. It’s a day that we set aside for the specific purpose of giving thanks to God Almighty.

Despite what the revisionists tell us, many of our founding fathers were very committed Christians—not all of them, but many of them. Even those who weren’t strong in their faith in Christ believed that the Bible was the Word of God.

They had a respect for God and understood that God gave us this great nation. So in 1789, our first president, George Washington, issued a proclamation to set apart a day to give thanks to the Lord.

Fast-forward to today, and our culture doesn’t seem to know what to do with a day called Thanksgiving. For many, it’s just something that happens between Halloween and Christmas, two days that we’ve managed to monetize.

But Thanksgiving is an altogether different kind of bird, no pun intended.

For many, it’s the day they stuff themselves before they shop ’til they drop, because it’s all about the next day, Black Friday. In fact, stores traditionally have been closed on Thanksgiving Day, but now many of them are open.

And many people don’t even call it Thanksgiving anymore; they simply call it Turkey Day. They’ve forgotten that Thanksgiving was originally about setting aside a day to give glory to God.

Why We Give Thanks

For the Christian, however, every day should be Thanksgiving, minus all the food. In fact, studies have revealed that when we have an attitude of gratitude, our health will be better and we’ll actually live longer.

Researchers discovered that people who gave more gratitude to God and gave thanks for what they had actually experienced fewer heart issues and fewer aches and pains. It also affected their outlook on life.

Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at University of California, Davis, pointed out that “gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness.”

Here’s what the Bible says about giving thanks: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:4–5 NLT).

When we’re in trouble, when we’re facing a crisis, we’ll call on the name of the Lord. But when things are going reasonably well and the bills are paid, when everyone is healthy and we have food in our stomachs, we can start to forget about God.

Psalm 100 is a reminder to give thanks, and it wasn’t addressed only to the people of Israel. Rather, it was addressed to all people and all generations: “Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!” (verse 1 NLT).

Interestingly, this psalm doesn’t mention a word about material things. In verse 1 we find the word Lord, as well as in verses 2, 3, and 5. So our rejoicing on Thanksgiving Day (and really, every day) shouldn’t be based on what we have materially. It should be based on God Himself.

Possessions come and go. Friends come and go. So does time. Yet God doesn’t come and go. He stays. I love what the writer of Hebrews says about this: “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you’” (13:5 NLT).

We Are His

There’s so much pressure at this time of year to find the perfect gift for someone else. Or maybe you’re hoping that someone else will get that perfect gift for you. But you probably can’t remember what you received last Christmas.

David wrote in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (verse 1 NKJV). This means that if the Lord is your shepherd, then you shall not want. And if you’re always wanting, wanting, wanting, then I would have to question whether the Lord is your shepherd.

It is God Almighty who made you. It is God Almighty who sustains you. Everything you have is a gift from God. Every breath and every beat of your heart are gifts from God. And the Bible says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).

The word workmanship originates from the Greek word poiēma, the same term that our English word poem comes from. So think of it this way: You are God’s painting. You are God’s song. And you are God’s sculpture. You’re also a work in progress.

Verse 3 of Psalm 100 tells us, “Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (NLT).

Maybe right now you’re in a situation where things aren’t making sense. There’s a lot of uncertainty, and it’s hard for you. But you can still give thanks. You can give thanks because God loves you.

Jesus said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 NKJV).

You can give thanks because God is in control of your life. You can give thanks because God is good. And you can give thanks because ultimately, He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

I know that you don’t see the end yet, but you can still give thanks, because God does see the end. And ultimately it’s going to be good. You will thank Him then, of course, but you can also thank Him now. So give thanks to the Lord, because He is good. His mercy endures forever.

Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie.

Join us online every week for Harvest at Home and experience worship, fellowship, and a powerful teaching from God’s Word.

This article was originally published at WND.com.

How dangerous is rebellion and stubbornness?

 

December 25, 2019 Nehemiah Zion

Who is a rebellious person? The one who rejects a certain way of life, and stays stubborn in his belief. The Word of God states rebellion is witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23).

The state of rebellion reveals a heart that is gripped by foul spirits and a mind that is blinded by darkness. Those who are stubborn are like idols, can’t be moved from their evil state. They have become deaf and blind and dumb and lame to the way of God.

Saul was a good king, when he started. But, his disobedience to God’s word triggered rebellious natures which never allowed him to repent and receive mercy. From thereon he went on an emotional journey of jealousy, anger, bitterness, depression, eventually into suicide. Every life is precious in the sight of God, yet man chooses to do his own will.

When we learn about the journey of the Israelites, we see the true natures of Gods chosen.

“The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people.” (Exodus 32:9

Why did God call Israel a rebellious and stubborn people? They were an impatient lot, and their rebellious and stubborn ways got the better of them while they waited for Moses to come down from the mountain. They ended up creating an idol for themselves, out of the gold and silver they possessed. Not only that, they indulged in ungodly rituals and lewd acts.

“Do not be worshipers of handmade gods, as some of them were; just as it is written [in Scripture], “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK [after sacrificing to the golden calf at Horeb], AND STOOD UP TO PLAY [indulging in immoral activities].” (1 Corinthians 10:7

3000 Israelites were spell-bound by their own rebellion, their sinful indulgence corrupted their conscience from turning away from their idol worship. They could not repent and be freed from their blindness they brought upon themselves, having known the truth. Their impatience cost them their lives.

What a terrible state to be in for man! We are in the last days, and what we see around us is increasing sin and love waxing cold. Psalms 106:36 reminds us that worshipping idols is a snare. How sad for those who fail to break-free because of their own choice. 1 John 5:21 reminds us to keep away from idols. Is idol worship only about hand-made objects? Not at all.

When we go against the will of God, to do our own will, we sin. When we repeatedly and religiously continue in our own ways, the snare (witchcraft) of selfish pride turns us into idol worshippers. The world and all it’s offerings are temporary, and when we hold anything greater than Jesus in our lives, we end up walking in idolatry.

We are living in an instant world where our spirits are easily tampered with. We rage, instead of encourage. We rebel, instead of avoiding trouble. We are impatient, instead of being patient. Increasing fake news and lies is stirring hearts to react without reason. Knowledge is being wielded without love.

Are you poor in spirit or proud in spirit? Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the Good News of the Word or the news of this world?

Redeem the time. Guard your heart and mind from drinking the potion of spell-binding words that turn you away from the living God. Jesus is coming soon.

Original here

 

5 Gates Where You Shouldn’t Be

Date: December 23, 2019  hepsibahgarden

Hunting through the Scriptures we can find, quite a few names of GATES mentioned — Some Gates where we ought to be found and some Gates we shouldn’t be found at all. Read on to find out more:

1. Wide Gate — Walking in this gate will lead to destruction.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. Matthew‬ ‭7:13

A Christian is called to walk through the narrow gate, which leads to everlasting life. Nevertheless, even after being saved and walking through the narrow gate for sometime, we may find ourselves walking on the broad way, easy to travel, for e.g. when we find it difficult/unable to forgive others as Christ forgave us. Forgiving others from the heart does not come easy, but avoiding and not forgiving is easy.

A humble request – even if it may be hard to forgive that person, seek grace from God and forgive him/her, because ending in destruction isn’t worthwhile.

2. Gate of Sodom – In the olden days, judges and officers were appointed to sit at the city gates, and they judged people there (as in a courtroom). Deuteronomy 16:18. Lot, Abraham’s nephew was appointed as a judge in the city of Sodom.

It was evening when the two angels came to Sodom. Lot was sitting at Sodom’s [ city] gate. Seeing them, Lot got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. Genesis‬ ‭19:1‬

My point is, if we judge other’s lives instead of our own, then even we are at the Gate of Sodom. Jesus said – Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mathew 7:1. Let’s not judge others anymore but rather examine and look into our own lives.

3. Beautiful Gate – A man, lame/handicapped by birth was found lying there, unable to enter the temple.

and a man who had been unable to walk from birth was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at that gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, so that he could beg alms from those entering the temple. Acts‬ ‭3:2‬.

Lame from birth means an incomplete salvation experience, therefore unable to walk uprightly before God, nor come into His Presence. If then, when is a full salvation received? When you and me confess our sins to Jesus, repent and forsake those sins. Then we can receive complete assurance of being saved. Not walking by faith is also compared to “lame from birth”

4. Gates of death – When does a person arrive at the gates of death?

Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their sins, were afflicted. They detested all kinds of food, And they drew near to the gates of death. Psalms‬ ‭107:17-18‬

Being ignorant of God we were also at this gate, in a hopeless state, once upon a time. But! God’s eyes of mercy fell on us and He saved us from death and made us to walk in the newness of life. Now, if we transgress the commandment of God and walk in iniquity, once again we are back at this gate. Not being found in the First Love, First Zeal is iniquity.

5. Gates of Hell – Being carnally/fleshly minded is death. That is, minding things only of this earth.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew‬ ‭16:18‬

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Simon Peter had a clear understanding about who Jesus was. Jesus in turn tells him that this understanding was revealed by the Father. May God help us!!

Be blessed 💕

Original here

Sydney Archbishop Cautions Against ‘Safe Spaces’ and ‘Trigger Warnings’

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 16: Archbishop of Sydney, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher celebrates a mass to pay respect to the victims of the Martin Place siege on December 16, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis, was shot dead by police in the early hours of Tuesday …

 

THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. 25 Dec 2019

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher warned against the dangers of identity politics in his Christmas morning homily, suggesting that today’s snowflakes risk falling victims to a toxic narcissism.

“As desires change, we can revise our bodies surgically or our beliefs ideologically,” the archbishop said. “But reducing ourselves to our tastes or to a single attribute risks neglecting other important things about us.”

“Amidst celebrity adulation and identity politics, narcissism is now endemic. Too much focus on identity can be distorting,” he warned.

Preaching to a standing room-only crowd of some 2,000 Catholics at St. Mary’s Cathedral Wednesday morning, Fisher said that the modern “era of liquid personality” and “self-generated identities” runs counter to people’s true identities before God.

“Some of our I.D. comes from family, nation and culture,” he said. “But modernity prefers self-generated identities. Much of it is said to be about what we identify with.”

“Sometimes it’s just code for self-indulgence,” Fisher declared. “We humor our preferences with the excuse ‘it’s who we are.’ No need to abide by laws of faith and reason, or to compromise to the needs of others.”

“Safe spaces and trigger warnings coddle our fragile egos,” he added.

Much of the archbishop’s homily seemed aimed at modern theories of gender identity, which propose that a person’s sexual identity is fluid rather than biologically anchored and that sexual orientation is the defining attribute of personal identity.

Fisher said there were “forces” seeking to marginalize the Christian identity in particular, which require a recommitment to the faith from believers.

“If we are confused about values and vocation, we’ll be disinclined to plan or commit. Disengaged from family, Church and society, we fall easy prey to isolation or extremism,” he said.

“Forces threaten our identity and even our existence from the first moment of conception. Some seek to marginalize Christian identity in particular,” he said.

At the same time, people continue to seek God and his truth, the archbishop suggested, as evidenced by the presence of so many at Christmas Mass.

“But your presence here today speaks volumes. It says that our core identity as Christians graces us to be, not just better believers, but better friends and lovers, children and parents, citizens and colleagues,” he said.

In the end, Christmas brings a message of salvific love and turning to Christ means looking for our redemption — and our identity — in Him.

“To call Him our Saviour is to say we need saving – from sin, death, enemies, even ourselves,” Fisher said. “We need liberation – from vices, addictions, all that cages our spirit.”

“To call Him Son, Grace and Glory of God, is to acknowledge that we need a power greater than ourselves. To call Him Wonder-Counsellor, Almighty God and Prince of Peace is to recognize that He has remade us as the wisdom, peace and glory of God,” he said.

https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2019/12/25/sydney-archbishop-cautions-against-safe-spaces-and-trigger-warnings/

AUDIO How Christmas Has Shaped Our History and Values

“Madonna and Child” by Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, oil on canvas, circa between 1655 and 1660. This well-loved depiction of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus hangs in the Pitti Palace Gallery in Florence, Italy. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

ROBERT KRAYCHIK 25 Dec 2017

“Christmas is essential to our understanding of Western Civilization and our values,” said Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour on Sunday.

“The symbols and celebration of Christmas have shaped our history [and] Western Civilization,” said Mansour.

Reflecting on “the dawn of Christianity,” she noted Christianity’s “transformative” impact on the old pagan world and the culture of Germanic barbarian warrior tribes.

Chivalry — rooted in ethical monotheism — spread the concept of valuing all human life as having dignity, said Mansour:

Chivalry was introduced to Western feudalism [via Christianity]. It made feudalism actually livable and bearable. What chivalry called for, what the concept of chivalry was, it was about the defense of the weak. It said that the strong had to be champions of the right and the good against injustice and evil. That was the code of chivalry.

This only came about because of the Judeo-Christian West, and I say Judeo-Christian for a very specific reason; all of this is rooted in the ancient Jewish scripture, what the Christians would call the Old Testament. You can see it right from the beginning. The God of the Old Testament, the God of Jewish scripture instructs that every single human being has worth and dignity — even the foreigner, even somebody outside of your tribe, even the widow and the orphan. They all have worth and value — the weakest among you as well as the strong. This is a radical concept, and it is from the Jews that we have monotheism, and it is from that that Christianity evolved.

“The idea of protection of the weak and innocent,” said Mansour, entered Western culture via Judeo-Christian ethics, which radically “changed the way that we have looked at the rights of the weakest among us.”

Bannon agreed, noting that the “Rough Roman justice” of the old pagan world had “no sense of you as a person or an individual.”

Christianity’s spread to the Germanic lands on the frontiers of the Roman Empire, noted Mansour, set the stage for the evolution of conceptual human rights and created the foundation for the Western values we cherish today.

Mansour tied this to the symbols and celebration of Christmas by explaining that the “most iconic” and ancient Nativity image is the Madonna and Child.

The ubiquity of depictions of the Madonna and Child as “the highest expression of art” in European countries, said Mansour, vividly illustrates Christianity’s transformation of the “Viking-type” “warrior tribe” cultures that valued only the strong and worshipped war gods. People who once subscribed to an ethos of “might makes right” had transitioned to a civilization that elevated the image of a woman holding a child to preeminence in their artistic expressions.

Christian symbolism — particularly pertaining to the Christmas-themed image of the Madonna and Child — played an indispensable role in rallying Christian forces to victory against Islamic enemies in determinative battles, said Mansour. Pointing to the Battles of Vienna (1683) and Warsaw (1920) as examples, she noted the centrality of Christian symbolism to the war efforts of European nations in defending against Islamic and communist invasions, respectively.

In both battles, Mansour explained, Catholic Poland’s devotion to a depiction of the Madonna and Child known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa served as a rallying point and source of consolation. It also served as a unifying symbol for Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Movement in their struggles against their communist rulers in the 1980s, she noted. Walesa famously wore a lapel pin bearing the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

Mansour and Bannon went into particular detail about the epic Battle Vienna in 1683. As Mansour explained, the Polish King Jan III Sobieski rallied his forces to liberate the besieged city of Vienna from the Islamic army of the Ottoman Turks by encouraging them to fight for “God and Our Lady” and to invoke the Madonna’s help in securing their victory and protecting their homeland, which he had entrusted to her care when he visited the shrine at Częstochowa before departing for battle.

The allied Christian forces, known as the Holy League, under Sobieski’s command knew that if Vienna fell, the Turks would then turn their sights on their ultimate goal which, Mansour explained, was “the greatest city in Christendom — Rome,” and “if Rome fell, Holy Mother Church would fall.” The Christian forces were fighting to preserve their faith, she said.

Sobieski himself led the cavalry charge to liberate Vienna — the largest cavalry charge in history — with 18,000 Polish and allied knights, including 3,000 of the famed “Wing Hussars.” The allied forces of the Holy League smashed the Turkish army and sent them scurrying over the Danube. The victorious Sobieski sent the Pope the Turkish army’s green Islamic banner along with a message paraphrasing the words of Julius Caesar: “Veni, vidi, Deus vicit.” (“I came, I saw, God conquered.”)

“The Christians had turned the tide against the sword of Islam” in the Battle of Vienna, said Mansour, quoting Ludwig Heinrich Dyck. The Turks would never again venture that far into Western Europe.

The Battle of Vienna, oil on canvas, circa 1688, by Martino Altomonte (Wikimedia Commons)

“It was on September 11, 1683 that the conquering armies of Islam were met, held, and thrown back at the gates of Vienna,” wrote the late Christopher Hitchens, describing the rationale behind the date selection of the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.

“The radicalized Muslim world,” said Bannon, views the Battle of Vienna as a symbol of Christian victory that must be overcome. “It was one of the symbols of the September 11 bombing seventeen years ago, this Battle of Vienna.”

“We would all be in mosques today” if not for Christianity and Christmas as galvanizing forces among Western societies against hostile Islamic societies, said Bannon.

Although civilizational conflict between Western and Islamic societies has modified across space and time, it continues through the present day with certain commonalities. Bannon explained:

The Siege of Vienna we’re talking about, with the Ottoman Empire — which is Turkey, and the Muslims — this whole invasion of the West, occurring literally today with the same migrant issues coming up through Syria, through Turkey, and you see the countries of Poland, and Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and Slovakia taking the lead here in trying to reverse this.

“These fights haven’t really changed all that much. It’s still Iran and the West. It’s still Persia and the West,” said Bannon, noting the similar conflictual flash points between Western forces and ISIS of today and the Roman and Persian empires of nearly two thousand years ago.

Christianity and broader Judeo-Christian values, suggested both Bannon and Mansour, reinforce Western Civilization’s sense of purpose in the face of internal and external threats.

The migration of tens of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent decades, said Bannon, is an existential threat to Europe and modern iteration of aforementioned civilization conflict between Western and Islamic societies: “The entire situation with this mass migration and refugee situation, which is really, there is no doubt, is starting to destroy Europe.”

Listen to the full audio of Mansour and Bannon’s discussion on Breitbart News Sunday above.

Breitbart News Sunday airs on SiriusXM Patriot between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern (4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific).

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

Mansour made her comments while co-hosting Breitbart News Sunday alongside Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon during a special Christmas Eve live broadcast on SiriusXM.

 

https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2017/12/25/mansour-how-christmas-is-essential-to-our-understanding-of-our-values/

Christianity Today and the problem with ‘Christian Elitism’

By John Grano and Richard Land, Editorial

Christianity Today editor Mark Galli’s “lofty” op-ed last week calling for President Trump’s removal from office touched off a firestorm of criticism and dissent from scores of evangelical leaders, and the backlash and debate have reached “critical mass” since its publication. Meanwhile, secular media immediately seized upon the CT editorial to argue that evangelical support for the president was finally crumbling under the weight of impeachment by the House of Representatives.

After all, when Christianity Today, the “flagship” magazine of evangelicals, founded by Billy Graham himself, turns against the president, then the long hoped for evangelical exodus from Trump must surely have finally commenced.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, as made clear by the Graham family itself. The great evangelist’s son, Franklin, divulged that his father “knew Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump.” He then went on to say that his father “believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”

Additionally, almost 200 evangelical leaders signed a joint letter opposing the CT editorial and asserting that CT itself is a shell of its former self and that CT speaks to, and for, fewer evangelicals with each passing year.

What was the spirit animating CT editor Galli’s “thunderbolt” from on high? The answer is likely found in the self-appointed Mount Olympus from which Mr. Galli made his “moral” pronouncement. After Trump’s election, Mr. Galli bluntly confessed:

“I know hardly anyone, let alone any evangelical Christian who voted for Trump. I describe evangelicals like me as ‘elite’ evangelicals … and this class of evangelicals has discovered that we have family members so different they seem like aliens in our midst. These other evangelicals often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently a lot of them don’t), they are blue-collar jobs or entry-level work. They don’t write books or give speeches; they don’t attend conferences of evangelicals for social justice or evangelicals for immigration reform. They are deeply suspicious of mainstream media. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump.”

These words are chillingly similar to former President Barack Obama’s description of rural voters who “cling to their guns and Bibles,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s characterization of Trump supporters as “deplorables,” and most recently, Beto O’Rourke’s smug threats against biblically orthodox churches and citizens who own a certain type of rifle. These are the words of elitists who look down upon opponents as inferior human beings who need to be controlled, not debated.

That is the toxic emotional and spiritual stew in which the attitude animating Galli’s editorial festered into life.

This attitude is distinctly unbiblical. In Philippians, the Apostle Paul describes Jesus —the only one who rightly deserves elite status — as one who, “though in the form of God, did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself.” Instead, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, fellowshipped with sinners, tax collectors and the racially “unclean,” and was the first to champion equality for women, slaves, and even lepers.

Mr. Galli asks evangelicals supporting Trump to consider how continued support for the president will impede and compromise evangelical witness for Jesus to an unbelieving world. One might well ask Mr. Galli how his obvious elitist disdain and corrosive condescension for fellow Christians with whom he disagrees, as ignorant, uneducated, “aliens in our midst” might well damage evangelical witness to an unbelieving world. Unbelievers might well conclude, “These Christian preach love for neighbor, but they certainly don’t seem to practice what they preach!”

You may think Trump is a narcissistic, morally challenged, belligerent cad who has no business being president — except for the pesky constitutional fact that over 60 million American voters elected him to it. You may see Trump as a modern day Cyrus, the Persian king who did God’s bidding in assisting in the restoration of Jerusalem. You may think Trump is a Samson-like hero called to realign the Supreme Court, to redirect the economy toward the American worker, and/or to tear down the pillars of Deep State corruption in modern Washington. But whatever you think — and however you vote — America will certainly survive and is, in significant ways, thriving under a Trump presidency — even if it lasts another four years.

However, our religious and other freedoms will not long survive a government of elites so convinced of their superiority that they are willing to compromise constitutional due process, after illegally manipulating the nation’s national security and law enforcement apparatus behind the scenes, to depose a duly-elected sitting president — all the while declaring arrogantly to the American people that it is for their own good.

These are the fellow travelers that Christianity Today is clearly aligning itself with at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. CT’s op-ed does not represent evangelical Christianity today, yesterday or in the future. After all, a majority of Trump’s evangelical support has been triggered by his opponents’ advocating policies that make him appear to be, at the very least, the lesser of two evils in a binary contest.

CT’s disdainful, dismissive, elitist posture toward their fellow Christians may well do far more long-term damage to American Christianity and its witness than any current prudential support for President Trump will ever cause.

John Grano is Senior Managing Editor of The Christian Post and Richard Land is it’s Executive Editor.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/christianity-today-and-the-problem-with-christian-elitism.html

VIDEO Merry and Blessed Christmas

καλά Χριστούγεννα

Feliz Navidad

feliz Natal


The End of The Christmas Story? 

The Christmas story is one of good news and great joy, but it is also quite a short one. There are 27 books in the New Testament part of the Bible, but the story is only told in the books written by Matthew and Luke, two of Jesus’ followers and friends. In Matthew, the story is told in two out of the 28 chapters and in Luke, it is told in two chapters out of 24.

Both Matthew and Luke finish their telling of the story with Joseph, Mary and Jesus returning to Nazareth to live. But Christians believe that Christmas was only the beginning of the amazing life of Jesus.

To Christians, one of the most important things about Christmas is what the ‘mas’ of ‘Christmas’ really means – the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). Mass (or Communion) is a Christian act of worship when Christians remember that when Jesus was a man, he willingly died to take away all of our wrongdoings and bring us closer to God. Then he came back to life three days later. Christians celebrate Jesus’s death and resurrection throughout the year, but especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Nothing has ever been the same since the first Christmas and you can find out more about Jesus’ life in the Bible.

https://www.whychristmas.com/story/end.shtml


The Christmas Story by John MacArthur


The Christmas Story – Parts 1 & 2- Chuck Missler


 

And the Lord will be King over all the earth!

Sealed in Christ / 2019-11-17

A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 

You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

Zechariah 14:1-9 NIV

God is faithful! God is good!!

https://sixthsealministries.wordpress.com/2019/11/17/and-the-lord-will-be-king-over-all-the-earth/

 

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