Patrick's Recovery | A Salvation Army Story
Patrick's life long struggle with drugs brought him misery, but when he visited the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center, his life was transformed. Now he se...
Provision Theater Presents: C.S. LEWIS ON STAGE
An intimate evening with a literary icon! This one-man show captures the personality and fiction of the author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape ...
Boundless Dating Advice
To celebrate the start of our radio show, we invited some kids to offer their dating advice. Our show starts October 4th. Listen in to hear our advice.
Lead in dating your wife | A guide for husbands
A tight budget, a new baby, bad weather, or some other kind of challenge shouldn’t keep you from dating your wife. In fact, it’s even more important to keep dating and connecting when a baby is born, when money is tight or something else is posing a challenge in your marriage. Working around these kinds of challenges will just require a little more creativity. Try having a special at - home date after the kids go down — move your table by the fireplace, light some candles and turn on some music and you can rival the romance of lots of expensive restaurants in your wife’s eyes. Or just go take a walk. Walks are not only free, they provide fresh air — something that’s especially valuable if your wife has been indoors most of the day.
Setting Aside Your Liberty
And that is precisely how Paul lived and ministered. He refused to adopt worldly methods (2 Corinthians 4:1-3), and he behaved such that he personally would never be an obstacle to anyone’s hearing and understanding the message of Christ. He had an attitude of personal sacrifice, not compromise. He would never alter the clear and confrontive call to repentance and faith. He saw his personal liberty and human rights as something to be used—or not used—for God’s glory, not his own enjoyment. If he could trade his liberty for an opportunity to proclaim the gospel, he would gladly do it.
The Briefing 10-06-14
1) Response to ruling on Texas clinic standards reveals pro-choice motivated by profit
Same-Sex Marriage and the Supreme Court: What Now for the Church? | Moore to the Point
The Supreme Court has declined to take up appeals from states in which the courts have found same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right. This paves the way for same-sex marriage in many, perhaps most, places in the United States. Many Christians may be unaware of how momentous this is, since the denial of cases doesn’t come with quite the shock and awe of a ruling handed down. The effect though is wide-ranging. So what should our response be as the church of Jesus Christ?
Gay marriage not to be constitutional right this term
(1) Downside : Same-sex marriage will now go forward in five states—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. This should increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24. By deciding not to review these cases, the Supreme Court has let stand bad rulings from lower courts that usurp authority from the people by striking down good laws. This is not good and will likely have far-reaching effects over time.
Resource for Students and Student Leaders!
Did you know that students have recently been ordered to stop reading their Bibles during free time at school? Here at Focus on the Family, we believe the Bible is a powerful message of hope and love for humanity—something to be celebrated, not banned. We also believe in the cherished religious freedoms our Founding Fathers fought to protect.
EQUIP, Christian Articles, Bible Answer Man | CRI
What is the biblical view of wealth? I am persuaded that the Bible teaches a form of Christian capitalism—in other words, responsibility associated with wealth. It does not promote the possession of money for the sake of money, but instead encourages us to use money for the sake of the kingdom. In short, a biblical […]
The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily
The Poached Egg Apologetics Daily, by Greg West: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.
Newly-Found Document Holds Eyewitness Account of Jesus Performing Miracle
A complete and official translation of the document should be made available online in many different languages over the next few weeks, but the impact of the discovery is already felt in the scientific community. Many scholars have already saluted the finding as one of the greatest breakthrough ever realized in the study of the historical life of Jesus, while others have expressed doubts about the conclusions of Professor Perrucci and demand for more tests to be performed by other scientific institutions before drawing any conclusions.
How Long O Lord?
Even though our questions can be brought before our loving Father, they must ultimately be resolved in trusting in his character. Spurgeon put it beautifully: “When you cannot trace his hand, you can always trust his heart.”
Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community
Several years have passed since that conversation, but it’s convinced me of the vital relationship between sexuality and ecclesiology. There are many churches like ours that believe there are two possible paths for followers of Jesus to live obedient sexual lives: heterosexual marriage and sexual abstinence. But among churches that are committed to a biblical sexual ethic, there are few, I’m afraid, that make living out that ethic possible for the average person dealing with same-sex attraction.
Q&A: John Mark McMillan
I don’t think people realize how much the commercial side of things has created people’s definition of what is and isn’t worship. I don’t think people realize how much big companies have to do with what they consider to be worship music and not worship music. So I really like to push people’s buttons when I can, just to make them think about what really is worship. So I like that, though it is a little frustrating sometimes from a practical standpoint with how to explain to people what we do.
Supreme Court Decision Will Lead to Gay Marriage in Five States. Why That’s Wrong.
Citizens are, of course, free to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships, but so too should citizens be free to retain the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman—as citizens in a majority of states have done. Nothing less than the future of our society and the course of constitutional government in the United States are at stake.
The Pastors.com Daily
The Pastors.com Daily, by Pastors.com: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.
The Vindication of Antonin Scalia — A Sad Milestone for Marriage and Morality
A giant milestone in the moral revolution passed today when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down every single appeal from several states on the issue of same-sex marriage. This decision not to take at least one case under consideration stunned both sides in the same-sex marriage battle. Last weekend’s edition of USA Today featured a front-page story that declared the virtual certainty that the Court would take at least one of the cases and declared same-sex marriage to be “a cause whose time has come.”
Q&A: Plumbing The Mysteries Of The Teenage Brain
In Age of Opportunity , he argues that in the last decade, neuroscience has established that the brain remains "plastic," that is, changeable, well into the early 20s. His experiments have shown that adolescents respond differently to rewards, are more likely to take risks and are more sensitive to peers than adults. But he argues that our education, legal system, and our parenting have yet to incorporate these insights.
'We've Got Your Back Pastor,' Legal Group Promises Church Leaders Who Fear Incurring Wrath of IRS, Atheists on Pulpit Freedom Sunday
Nearly 1,500 U.S. pastors reportedly have agreed to flex their free speech muscles this weekend and preach politically-charged sermons on the occasion of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Their act of civil disobedience, which involves putting their churches' tax exempt status on the line, is meant to draw attention to what they believe is an unjust law. And if they manage to spark the ire of the IRS and any atheist organization willing to argue it out in court, then an activist legal group is more than ready to take up their case, for free.
Intelligent Design's Secret Weapon: The World
Europe and Asia aside, how about Brazil? From South America's most populous nation, accounting for half the continent's total population, comes news of the First Brazilian Intelligent Design Congress, scheduled for November 14-16 this year at the Royal Palm Plaza in Campinas, in the state of São Paulo.
Great Commission Race
The Great Commission Race is an annual race in Louisville, Ky., hosted by the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This race unites the city of Louisville and Southern’s campus to work towards the seminary’s goals in fitness, fellowship and fundraising for missions. All proceeds and donations benefit those participating in mission trips through Southern Seminary.
'Vicar of Baghdad' unarmed on the front lines, standing up to ISIS | Human Events
However, none of that applies in the case of Iraqi Christians—who have been outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded since the seventh century Islamic conquest of their country. For most of the subsequent centuries, they were subjugated as dhimmis—third-class citizens who must give way “with willing submission” to their Muslim rulers and neighbors on pain of death. Given that grueling reality, in a place where one cannot defend himself or his children, wielding the language of pacifism is a smart means of self-defense.
Stranger in a Strange Land: Fox’s New Reality Show ‘Utopia’
And this is the real problem with this utopia—not the inability of its members to keep their clothes on, though this does stand in the way of progress. No, the real problem is that none of the people involved has a shared sense of anything greater than themselves. Historically, utopian societies emerge when a group of people with a shared value system break away from the larger society. The Puritans and Shakers come to mind. While the cast members of this Fox-generated version desire to remake the world, they are stymied by the fact that each one wants to remake it in his or her own image, creating society one selfie at a time.
Food Blogger Has Figured Out How to Deep Fry a Pumpkin Spice Latte
T his whole Pumpkin Spice thing has officially gone too far. The food alchemist behind the blog Ohbiteit.com has posted this recipe , showing brave readers how they can soak pieces of pound cake in Pumpkin Spice Latte to make the deep-fried creation for themselves. We live in fascinating times ...
Under 6 Percent Unemployment Rate May Really Be Double? Economic Experts Explain Why
While people celebrate the fact that America's unemployment rate has fallen below six percent for the first time since 2008, some economic experts say not so fast and point out the discrepancy between the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons.
Kids Singing Together for Jesus at a School Assembly – This Will Give You Chills! (VIDEO)
Now this is like a breath of fresh air! These students singing together during a school assembly will absolutely blow your mind.
False Claims in the Popular Press
Dr. Craig exposes sensationalistic claims about the historical Jesus making the rounds in popular media.
Renewing Your Mind | The Otherness of God | October 6, 2014
Nothing compares to the life changing experience of a person who encounters the holiness of God. In this message, Dr. Sproul shares the story of his encounter with the holiness of God which set the course for the rest of his life to investigate, reflect upon, and seek an understanding of what the Scriptures mean when they declare that God is holy.
Audacity: Ray Comfort's First Scripted Short Film
Ray Comfort : For the most part, homosexuality has been embraced as morally acceptable in contemporary culture. Sexual sin was once frowned upon, but in time, it’s become accepted as the norm by our sinful world. As Christians, we’ve come to terms with fornication and adultery but we bristle at the thought of homosexuality gaining a similar foothold, so we put up a battle. We have concern that fornicators will not enter Heaven, but that concern has waned for homosexuals. Instead, we are more disturbed that they are destroying the fabric of our Judeo-Christian society. “Audacity” puts the focus where it should be. Author Joe Dallas rightly said, “Our response should show interest and concern, two qualities the church has rarely shown when dealing with homosexuality. We must admit we have mishandled the issue in many ways: we have veered between ignoring the problem to becoming obsessed with it, we have made hasty and false generalizations at times about homosexuals themselves, and we have shown a tremendous zeal for defeating the political goals of gays while showing less concern for their eternal well-being.
I fear that personal holiness is not a priority within the church — even among its leaders — as it was in the days of the Puritans. Many ministers are often nowadays more concerned with visual growth and success than with cultivating personal purity. That was certainly not the case with John Owen. Rather than devoting much time to developing innovative amusements for the worship hour, Owen made private communion with God a top priority. He understood why the apostle Paul wrote: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2). The Word of God is the means employed by the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ, so if preaching and evangelism are to be effective, private communion with God in His Word must be more important than discovering the latest ministry technique. Owen wrote that “whatever else be done in churches, if the pastors of them, or those who are so esteemed, are not exemplary in gospel obedience and holiness, religion will not be carried on and improved among the people” ( Works , vol.
Ex Porn Addict and Minister: 5 Reasons Pastors Are More Vulnerable to Sexual Temptation
Pastors are not immune to sexual temptation, in fact, their positions as ministers place them right in the path of danger, says Christian writer Jeff Fisher.
Teen sexting is the new ‘first base,’ study finds
A new study to be published by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that sexting among teens has become the new “first base” of adolescent sexual behavior.
What We Lose In A World Without Saturday Morning Cartoons
But we should recognize there’s something lost here, as well, as it is in so much of the on-demand economy. The Saturday morning cartoons and breakfast cereal meant that children experienced things as they came, together, and could talk about those shared experiences after. It was inherently a community activity, a definitional moment in childhood, with ties of shared reaction to surprising moments and turns of plot, not individualized to the user’s priorities. What replaces it is more responsive to our desires, with more instant gratification, but also more atomized. The loss of that shared experience is a minor thing in the scheme of Burkean collapse – but it is something, and I suspect something more meaningful than we might understand. And we won’t get it back.
North Carolina Community Defiantly Prays on School Grounds After Officials Ban Students From Using PA System for Pregame Prayer
Thomasville, North Carolina, residents hosted a prayerful protest Friday on a high school football field after county officials disallowed students from hosting pregame prayers over the school's PA systems.
National Geographic's 'Killing Jesus' Miniseries Features Lebanese Actor Haaz Sleiman as Christ; Kelsey Grammer and Stephen Moyer as Herod and Pilate
According to a press release from the National Geographic Channel, the main cast includes: Haaz Sleiman ("The Visitor") in the title role as Jesus, Stephen Moyer ("True Blood") as Pontius Pilate and Kelsey Grammer ("Partners," "Boss") as King Herod (see below for an expanded cast list).
The Fundamental Case for Parental Rights
It’s important to note that although adoptive parenthood lacks the biological aspect, adoptive parents are genuine parents, and the ultimate root of their parental authority is also pre-political in the sense that it derives from the parent-child relationship and not from the state. Adoptive parents form deep psychological bonds with their children and profoundly shape their identity, giving “birth” to them psychologically, morally, socially, and intellectually. Furthermore, while adoptive parents are licensed by state agencies that act as intermediaries until a child has been successfully placed in a good home, the adoptive parents’ rights (and responsibilities) to direct the education and upbringing of their children do not have their roots in that contractual agreement with the state. Rather, they flow from the deep personal relationship that they establish with the child, a relationship that makes their adopted son or daughter uniquely dependent on them to meet his or her developmental needs.
Highly Influential Evangelical Apologist Gretchen Passantino Coburn Dies at Age 62
"Her influence on the lives of many budding apologists will never be fully realized until heaven," Strobel added. "She and her late husband Bob wrote and edited influential books and articles on a variety of apologetics topics. She was brilliant and compassionate, a thorough researcher and dogged pursuer of truth – the embodiment of 1 Peter 3:15. She was famous within the apologetics community, though her name wasn't very familiar in broader circles. Her loss will be felt by all whose lives were touched by her. We are thankful she's at Home with her Savior."
Strategy Matters: The Importance of Strategic Thinking in the Church (Part 1)
We noticed that churches were intentionally investing strategic energies in groups ministry and sermon prep this year in a way that seems to be growing in popularity over the past few years. This matters because strategy is sorely lacking from many American churches. In a recent LifeWay Research study, among the pastors we surveyed, only 42% believed that their groups have a well-defined approach. Even worse than that, over half of all pastors we surveyed have no intentional plan for discipling all ages in their church.
As Elections Near, Group Aims to Help Citizens Vote Smart
“Vote Smart was put together to assist voters who are confused or even cynical with unbiased information about candidates,” said Adelaide Elm, a board member and senior adviser to Vote Smart. “We want information to be accessible for average citizens rather than just political junkies.”
Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Has your church membership plateaued? Do you find some types of texts easier to preach than others? Do you want to supplement your mission field experience with leading-edge research? Are you a Korean or an African-American church leader looking for ways to improve your leadership skills? Are you finding out that real world problems are not always easy to solve? Do you feel left behind by the current trends in education? If you are facing any of these issues, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a D.Min. program concentration for you.
Feed the Hungry
In 2013 we asked church congregations to join our project to bring food to those who are most in need over the winter months. As a result of your generosity 24,000 bags of food were delivered to food banks and community projects to help those in your local communities, with nearly 300 churches taking part in the project. Thank you so much for helping us to bless so many people at such a special time of the year.
Should We Keep the Sabbath? - Christian Research Institute
Some groups today, such as the Seventh-day Adventists, teach that keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is a perpetual moral law meant for all people, and that not keeping it is a sign of apostasy and disloyalty to God. They base their belief on Genesis 2:1–3, which tells of God resting after His creative work and then sanctifying the Sabbath day, and on the fourth commandment. They also argue that the New Testament teaches the continuity of seventh-day Sabbath observance by Christ’s followers, even after Christ’s death. These beliefs, however, are misguided. There is no universal moral obligation given in Genesis 2 to keep the Sabbath. Christ’s finished work on the cross, moreover, abrogated the Mosaic law, and thus the fourth commandment no longer applies to Christians. Paul made this clear in his epistles, primarily in Romans, Galatians, and Colossians. Apostolic practice in Acts also confirms it. To be under the Jewish law, furthermore, brings its curse, for one cannot choose just a part of the law — he or she must obey every precept of it (Gal. 3:10). The Jews kept the Sabbath, but after Christ’s resurrection no biblical data suggests that Christians kept the Sabbath.
Yes, the World Is Getting Better
I see 2 issues in the responses:1) questioning the numbers. At face value I too am curious, but I have no data and I am not going looking for it. Perhaps others can do the research and then decide if differences here warrant throwing out the entire article based on factual disputes. 2) Cultural argument. Are Christians seen negatively because of viewing the world as going to hell in a hand basket? I spoke to this issue because my experience supports it. I think this kind of negativity, criticism and cynicism is part of the problem with Christianity. Let's face it, in many ways we have provided the ammunition for our enemies. But this will always be the case because we are not perfect either. It is not about having hope that this world will get better per se, but it is about really caring about God's creation and fighting for real issues that affect this world. Caring about this world and hope in the New Creation are not mutually exclusive.
CANAN Pledges $1 Million in Fight Against Boko Haram; Calls for Donations to Help Persecuted Christians in Nigeria
The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN, held its second annual fundraising dinner in New York City on Sunday where the organization's President vowed to raised $1 million within six months to help victims of terrorism in Nigeria.
6 Great Reasons To Study Doctrine
Fourth, doctrine leads to unity. I once attended a church where I heard a pastor use that old phrase, “Doctrine divides.” He told the church that the path to unity was to hold a very low and basic level of doctrine, because he was convinced that knowledge would breed arrogance and division. But he was dead wrong and that church splintered because of lack of unity—a lack of unity that flowed directly from a lack of sound doctrine. Churches are bound together by the beliefs they share. Of course there will be certain minor variances in a church on lesser matters, but the greater the shared beliefs on the essentials, and the greater the emphasis on the essentials, the greater the degree of unity. In Ephesians 4 Paul talks about the way God gives leaders to churches and says they are given, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
10 unique challenges of ministry
In an earlier post I wrote that seminary cannot prepare anyone to be a pastor. Only a church, guided by the Holy Spirit, can truly qualify a man for ministry. By its very nature, the field of pastoral leadership is fraught with such incredible difficulties that we must say with the Apostle Paul, "Who is sufficient for these things?" Leading God’s people is unlike any other task in the world--which is why it requires a calling of the Spirit, and not merely training for a job. While I am sure there are others, I have identified a matrix of ten challenges specific to the church that make pastoring unlike anything else.
High court denies gay marriage appeals
A federal appeals court in Denver ruled Wednesday that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, moving the issue a giant step closer to a return engagement at the Supreme Court. The 2-1 ruling striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage came from a three-judge appeals court panel that included two judges named by Republican presidents. The decision, which upheld a federal district court verdict, is likely to become the first of many to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Last year's ruling by the high court granting federal recognition to same-sex marriages unleashed a string of lower court rulings striking down state bans against gay marriage.
Ben Affleck Slams Bill Maher's Criticism of Islam, Calls It 'Gross, Racist, Disgusting'
Actor and director Ben Affleck slammed atheist HBO host Bill Maher's continued criticism of Islam during an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher," calling his views on the religion "gross, racist, disgusting."
5 Ways To Lose the Battle Against Sin
Putting sin to death is not only diverting a sin. All of our sins are first sins of the heart and have many ways of manifesting themselves in outward ways. It is easy enough to divert the outward manifestation of sin, but unless that sin is actually put to death, it will only manifest itself in a different way. “A man may be sensible of a lust, set himself against the eruptions of it, take care that it shall not break forth as it has done, but in the meantime suffer the same corrupted habit to vent itself some other way. … He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he has mortiﬁed the sin that he seems to have left. He has changed his master, but is a servant still.”
One gets a lingering sense of déjà vu reading postChristian: What's Left? Can We Fix it? Do We Care? , a new book by Christian Piatt, founder of Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado, and creator and editor of the Banned Questions book series. There’s the neo-Schliermachian attempt to deal with the newest wave of Christianity’s “cultured despisers” and the edgy, progressive attempt to ruffle feathers (“This book is going to piss you off!”). But the déjà vu results primarily from realizing halfway through the book that rather than being post-anything, Piatt’s newest work is just another spin around the liberal/conservative theological merry-go-round that leaves readers standing right where they started.
Molinism and Divine Election | Reasonable Faith
Reformed theologians teach that Molinism and divine election are incompatible based on Paul’s statements in Romans chapter 9. They take the passage to say that because God is the potter, He molds some to be predestined for salvation and the rest are “hated” and condemned. However, Dr. Craig shows that these verses, when placed within the broader context of Romans, actually argue for God’s election by grace through faith. The proper understanding of Romans 9 supports the doctrine of Molinism and divine election is exercised through the free choices of both of Jews and Gentiles.