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Easter and Ethics: How the Resurrection Reshapes the Christian Life
Phillip Bethancourt, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
What is the relationship between Easter and ethics? How does the crucifixion shape the Christian life? How does the resurrection reorient our moral intuitions? The answer may come from an often-overlooked part of Acts 1. When most read the beginning of the chapter, they fixate on several features: (1) Acts as a continuation of Luke (1:1), (2) the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1:6), and (3) the missionary commission to be witnesses to the end of the earth (1:8). But buried in that text are a few nuggets of truth that shed light on the relationship between Easter and ethics. It highlights how, before his ascension, Jesus gave “commands through the Holy Spirit” while “speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2-3). What Luke makes clear is that, after the resurrection, Jesus reframes how to live as a follower of Christ in light of the inbreaking kingdom of God. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus achieves a decisive victory over his enemies Satan, sin, and death.   MORE
Christian America and the White House Easter
Mark Tooley, American Spectator
....So it’s unsurprising that President Obama, although not a regular churchgoer, delivered at the third annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast Monday a fairly orthodox presentation of the Easter message of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the world’s sins and rising from the dead....Obama easily could have nuanced his description of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, making it more metaphorical, an allegory of survival against injustice, or an inspirational vignette that speaks to all faiths or no faiths. But his words were almost a sermon and don’t contradict the Nicene Creed.  As to what extent Obama, or anyone, truly believes the Easter story in its full sense, only the Lord knows the human heart. But a good politician doesn’t espouse a detailed theological assertion unless confident it resonates with the majority. As the late Richard Neuhaus would say, America remains “confusedly” Christian, if in ways that perplex and exasperate both secularists and the religiously devout. Of course, the variant of Christianity espoused in many of the Administration’s themes and by its religious supporters is often less than orthodox in practice. At the White House Easter breakfast’s conclusion, Obama asked the Episcopal Church’s first openly homosexual bishop to say the closing prayer.    MORE
Jews Arrested Trying to Perform Passover Sacrifice on Temple Mount
A group of eight Israeli Jews were arrested on Monday while attempting to ascend the Temple Mount and sacrifice a goat there in fulfillment of the biblical instructions regarding the Passover holiday. Several organizations associated with the group told Israel National News that the arrests were yet another indication of the total lack of religious freedom for Jews atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. That same Temple Mount again exploded in violence on Wednesday morning when Muslim mobs assaulted police and Jewish visitors. The violence began as police opened the Mughrabi Gate, the sole entrance where non-Muslim visitors can enter the Temple Mount. Muslim rioters waiting on the other side of the gate hurled stones and firecrackers, prompting Israeli police to respond with rubber bullets and tear gas.  MORE
Slaughter in Nigeria — 
Where Is the State Department?
Faith J. H. McDonnell
....But even on the very day on which they called Boko Haram terrorists for the first time, the State Department displayed mixed feelings and moral equivalence regarding the jihadists. Testifying at the House hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that “Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.” It’s true that there is poverty and inequality in Nigeria. But none of it touches Boko Haram...In addition, the State Dept is always loath to attribute religious motivation to  Islamists. In her testimony, Thomas-Greenfield rolled out the typical State Department talking point that Boko Haram “had killed numerous Christians and an even greater number of Muslims.”    MORE
WEEKEND, APRIL 19th-20th, 2014
Congress Urges U.S. Air Force to Revise Regulations to Protect Religious Freedom
Bipartisan members of Congress have submitted a letter to U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James regarding concerns over the need to revise current Air Force regulations that may hinder religious freedom. “We are concerned that the Air Force has not updated its regulations on religious freedom and appears to have the most restrictive policy of any military service,” the letter begins. “Air Force regulations which govern religious freedom and expression are inconsistent with Congressional intent and current law.”   MORE
Students Bring Bibles to School in Protest After
Teacher Tells 15-Year-Old She Can't Read Scripture on Campus
Students at a high school near St. Louis, Mo., reportedly arrived on campus Thursday carrying their Bibles as a form of protest after two students claimed a teacher banned them from reading the Bible while they walked down a school hallway. The incident began when Angela English, mother of 15-year-old Kiela English, took to Facebook to express her dismay after her daughter was reportedly reprimanded by a teacher at Potosi High School for reading her Bible to herself in a school hallway. Kiela had reportedly been walking down the hallway with a....
Clemson University Rejects Atheists' Allegations Against Football Program
Clemson University officials are countering an atheist group's accusations that it's imposing Christian beliefs on student athletes who participate in the football program. The university says the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is "mistaken" in its claim that football coach Dabo Swinney is pushing his beliefs on team...
Christians Arrested on Canadian Campus for 
Distributing Literature Against Homosexual Behavior
Two Christians who focus their ministry efforts on the defense of the biblical family were arrested on a Canadian university campus on Monday after officials asked them to leave when they disagreed with the content of the literature that they sought to distribute. Peter LaBarbera, the director of the U.S.-based Christian ministry Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, and Canadian activist Bill Whatcott were placed in handcuffs and escorted off the University of Regina campus when they refused to leave.   MORE
Community College to Reach Settlement
With Student Barred from Preaching Gospel on Campus
 The Virginia Community College System has agreed to alter its free speech policy as a means to settle a lawsuit with a Christian student who was barred from preaching the Gospel on campus last fall. As previously reported, last fall, student Christian Parks publicly preached the Gospel on four different occasions in a courtyard on the Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) campus. However, the third time Parks preached the Gospel in the campus courtyard, he was confronted by three uniformed police officers from the TNCC Police Department.
Pastor's Death Stuns North Carolina Congregation
 A High Point congregation is mourning the death of its senior pastor, who took his own life over the weekend. Pastor Robert McKeehan, the senior pastor of Community Bible Church, died Friday evening, and news of the 42-year-old pastor’s suicide sent waves of shock and grief through the body of the Johnson Street church.
Baptist Press: Jehovah's Witness 'Doomsday' Prediction Turns 100 Years Old
The 100th anniversary of Jehovah's Witnesses' prediction that history would end in 1914 presents an opportunity for leading members of the group to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, a Southern Baptist expert on Christian sects and cults said.
‘Science Does Not Disprove God’: Renowned Mathematician Declares that God Exists
Bill Gothard Denies 'Sexual Intent' in Hugs,
Foot Contact With Young Ladies in Statement Following Resignation
Bill Gothard, an influential conservative Christian leader in the homeschooling movement, has released a statement denying allegations that he sexually harassed women and teen girls. He insists in the statement that his behavior toward those whom he favored, such as holding hands or touching the feet or hair of young ladies, was never carried out "immorally or with sexual intent."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to Deliver
2014 Keynote Speech at Liberty University Commencement
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 Commencement ceremony for Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., the school's news service announced Wednesday. The Republican governor will make his address on May 10 at 10 a.m. on the campus's Williams Stadium. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, said in a statement posted by the Liberty University News Service that Jindal is a "rising star..."
Rick Warren: Posting Blood Moon Photo on Facebook Had Nothing to Do with End Times
Former Muslim's Relatives Attempt To
Poison Him After He Converted to Follow Jesus in Uganda
What the Networks Aren't Telling You About the Nevada Cattle Battle
Pelosi Assists In Holy Week Foot-Washing Ritual
To "honor the dignity and work of immigrants," Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi helped Bishop Marc Andrus wash the feet of two children Thursday at Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Pelosi also used the occasion to talk about passing HR15 - bipartisan immigration legislation that her office says would "reduce the deficit by nearly $1 trillion, secure our borders, unite our families, protect our workers and provide..."
Mennonite World Review: Traditions Drive Amish Survival
Why have the Amish survived? Cory Anderson says it boils down to one word:babies...For the Amish, babies trump evangelism. Conversions by evangelism remain a minimal source of growth, he said.
While Amish babies provide a steady flow of new members, belief and boundary maintenance provide the social glue. Belief drives affection and loyalty. It empowers obedience to the Gospels’ pacifist teachings. It fuels the quest for spiritual purity and nonviolent nonconformity.   MORE
Stéphane Bussard: A Revival Of American Calvinism
....The rise of this latest wave of neo-Calvinism, which follows another revival at the beginning of the 20th century, is all the more surprising because overall church attendance in the United States has declined from 43% in 2004 to 36% in 2014, according to Barna, a California-based research institute. 
CBN News: Do Four Blood Moons Prophesy a Nuclear Threat?
Emails Show Lois Lerner Planned to Help DOJ Prosecute Conservative Groups
Al Sharpton: True Meaning of Easter is Reavealed Through Obama
Greenville (SC) News: Freedom From Religion Foundation Files Complaint to Clemson
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter of complaint to Clemson University, citing "constitutional concerns about how the public university's football program is entangled with religion." According to the foundation, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that violates constitutional stipulations of the separation of church and state.
Beachy Amish Define Beliefs
Beachy Amish Mennonite ministers adopted the group’s first statement of faith at their national meetings April 9-11. Outgoing bishops committee chair David Yoder of Partridge said the multiyear drafting process was initiated to define what the Beachy Amish believe...The statement gives an overview of Old and New Testament interpretation and understanding of the intent of Scripture. It defines marriage as between one man and one woman, dissolved only by death. God established roles for men and women, giving men the responsibility of...
Alexander Griswold: Andy Stanley’s Troubling New Sermon
The last place you might expect to hear a call to put “religion in its place” is a church. And certainly the last church you might expect to hear it at is an Evangelical megachurch . But that was indeed the message of Atlanta megachurch pastor Andy Stanley’s message on Sunday, April 6, entitled “Putting Religion in its Place.” Stanley, the pastor of Atlanta’s North Point Community Church, addressed the topic as part of a sermon series addressing why God became human. One of those reasons, Stanley preached, was “to put religion in its place.”   MORE
CNN Belief: The Accused Kansas Killer's Neo-Pagan Religion
Frazier Glenn Cross is a white supremacist, an avowed anti-Semite and an accused killer. But he is not, as many think, a Christian. Cross, who also goes by the name Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people – all Christians - on Sunday at Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas. Authorities are weighing whether to file hate-crime charges against Cross, who is suspected of targeting Jews.
Ron Prosor: The Middle East War on Christians
This week, as Jews celebrate the Passover holiday, they are commemorating the Bible's Exodus story describing a series of plagues inflicted on ancient Egypt that freed the Israelites, allowing them to make their way to the Holy Land. But over the past century, another exodus, driven by a plague of persecution, has swept across the Middle East and is emptying the region of its Christian population. The persecution is especially virulent today.   MORE
 Dave Shiflett: Where Atheists Meet to Evangelize
Look out unbelief—atheism is on a roll, or so proclaims American Atheists, whose annual convention kicks off Thursday in Salt Lake City. "This has been an excellent year for atheism," says Dave Muscato, public-relations director for the deity-dissing group. "Between 2005 and 2012 there was a fivefold increase in the number of people who use the word atheist when asked to identify their religion." That's still not a lot. While 20% of Americans profess no particular religious faith, according to the Pew Research Center, only 6% identify as atheist or agnostic. 
Joe Carter: The Fountainhead of Satanism
Over the past few years, Anton LaVey and his book The Satanic Bible has grown increasingly popular, selling thousands of new copies. His impact has been especially pronounced in our nation’s capital. One U.S. senator has publicly confessed to being a fan of the The Satanic Bible while another calls it his “foundation book.” On the other side of Congress, a representative speaks highly of LaVey and recommends that his staffers read the book.
Levi Lusko: Resurrection--It's Not Abstract or Hypothetical for Me, It's Personal
Easter has always meant a lot to me, and in the life of our church, Easter Sundays have been historic times of outreach, growth and opportunity. However, the resurrection of Jesus has never meant more to me than now.
Great Britain Prime Minister David Cameron:
My Faith In the Church of England
....Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about eternal things. I completely disagree. I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives...Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none - and we should be confident in standing up to defend them. People who, instead, advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code. Of course, faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.   MORE
Jordan Allott: The Sacrificial Love of Lebanon’s Christians
I recently returned from the Middle East, where I captured stories for a film project about Christians living their faith in the face of crippling persecution. In Beirut, Lebanon, I spoke with two Lebanese Christians, Georges Maalouly — a 48-year old, Orthodox father of three — and his friend Father Joseph — a priest at St. Tetla’s Catholic Church. They explained how Christians in Lebanon are coping with the arrival of more than a million refugees from Syria.
Jeremy Lott: The Saddest Story Ever Told
....Christmas and Easter represent the birth and the rebirth of God, first from the Virgin, then from the tomb. Churches roll out the red carpet, with lots of pageantry and actual pageants. If you believe that the Christian religion is true or even admirable, why wouldn’t you come out for that? The Christian holy day I am drawn to is the darkest one: Good Friday. To call it good is almost offensive, though I’m told the Poles do us English speakers one better by calling it Great Friday. It wasn’t hard to picture Greek, Roman, and other gods as men.
Hilgemann: 20 Questions to Ask Before Preaching Your Easter Sermon
Easter Sunday is like the Superbowl of preaching. This may be your largest attended service of the year. Statistically, people are more open to visiting a church on Easter (and Christmas) than any other time of year.
Because of this, your Easter sermon is infinitely important.  MORE
Matthew Tuiniga: I Will Praise You In This Storm
On Monday afternoon around 4:00 a tornado 200-300 yards wide tore down Beech Ridge Road in Beaufort County, North Carolina, a peaceful rural road where I spent the latter part of my youth and still consider home...About half way to the ditch Carla felt the wind pick up and said she realized they wouldn’t make it. She lay down and covered Hannah as the tornado swept over. Carla tries to describe what happened during the next few seconds but says she doesn’t entirely know.  MORE
Kevin DeYoung: What We Need In the Battle Against Homosexuality
....In our day careful attention needs to be paid to the issue of sexual immorality in particular.  This isn’t because Christians are prudes or like to judge others or are obsessed with sex.  We have to talk about sexual sin because it is the idol of our age. For the church to be silent on the most important ethical matters of our day would be irresponsible and cowardly. This means Christians have difficult waters ahead, especially as it relates to the issue of homosexuality. How can we talk about sexual immorality in a way that is both true and gracious?   MORE
Jim Oesterwind: The Debt You Cannot Pay
It’s hard to love people who feel entitled to your love. I guess you’re just supposed to be grateful to bask in the presence of one so loveable. When a person feels that he is God’s gift to the world, that person has very little to give the world. But when a person who is needy and desperate finds genuine love, that person will truly reciprocate with undying gratitude and affection.   MORE
Chuck Lawless: 10 Ideas From Wise Leaders
...To be honest, most of the important insights I’ve learned about leadership have not come from a book. They’ve come from watching leaders with whom I’ve been privileged to work. I’m a practical person who wants action more than concepts, experience more than theory, and results more than dreams. That’s why what leaders do often catches my attention more than what they think. Here are ten creative actions I’ve learned...  MORE
Thom Rainer: The Narcissistic Christian Leader
Narcissism should not be said in the same breath as Christian. The former is love of self; the latter is love of God in Jesus Christ. But the sad reality is that narcissism can and often does creep into the lives of many Christian leaders. And narcissists are selfish and inconsiderate. They demand excessive attention. They feel entitled. And they often pursue power and prestige without regard for others. The world of narcissistic Christian leaders is complicated by the fact that these leaders rarely recognize their problem. And the disorder may not be readily apparent to those who see them from a distance. They can appear, at least on the surface, to be brilliant and charismatic. MORE
Joseph Scheumann: When Evil Dug Its Own Grave
When you’re in the middle of intense suffering, it’s easy to lose your bearings. Questions arise reflexively: Is God really in control? How can a good God allow so much pain? Is God good?   MORE
 Sam Crabtree: Until Death Do We Part — For Real
If anything but death is an option for ending a marriage, then don’t say “until death” in your wedding vows. Tell the truth. Promise what is meant. Say something like “until adultery, abandonment, or abuse.” Say what you mean. God never lies (Titus 1:2) and delights in truth-telling and oath-keeping. Whether speaking of marriage or any other subject, it comes as no surprise that God expects people to say what they mean.    MORE
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FRIDAY, APRIL 18th, 2014
Ukrainian Jews Told To Register Or Be Deported
Ukrainian Jews leaving Passover eve prayers were handed leaflets ordering them to either register with an interim government that is trying to make the eastern province of Donetsk Russian or face deportation.    MORE
The US Postal Service Wants to Mine and Sell Data Gathered From Your Mail
The United States Postal Service is looking to get in on the big-data-for-profit game played by tech giants like Facebook and Google, and begin mining and selling private data gathered from personal mail sent from and received by Americans everywhere. USPS chief marketing and sales officer Nagisa Manabe recently told the forward-looking PostalVision 2020 conference that the post office is “actively looking for ways to build new business lines around what not long ago might have been considered science fiction,” eCommerce Bytes reports.  MORE
Judge Gives Easter Reprieve to NYC Churches Meeting in Schools
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys filed a petition with the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit Wednesday to overturn a 2–1 ruling by a three-judge panel that could widely affect New York City churches. On April 3, the panel upheld city’s policy of prohibiting religious groups from conducting worship services in vacant public schools during non-school hours.
Franklin Graham: ‘At Every Turn, the Gay and
Lesbian Agenda is Being Pushed by This Administration’
President Barack Obama, his administration, and many people in Congress are pushing “a gay and lesbian agenda” and, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, our Congress “needs to do more in protecting our nation’s children” from exploitation, said Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Graham added that gays and lesbians biologically cannot have children but they can “recruit,” and he believes in “protecting children, okay, from exploitation, all exploitations."  MORE
'Heaven Is for Real' Movie Generating Divided Christian Opinion
"Heaven Is for Real," the movie based on the near-death experience of a young boy who believes he visited heaven and met Jesus, is generating divided opinions among Christians on whether it presents a biblical message on heaven as it hits theaters Easter weekend.
Missouri High School Girl Yelled at for Carrying Bible
Christian Broadcaster Dobson Wins Temporary ObamaCare Mandate Injunction
Clemson University Football Program Under Fire for ‘Christian Worship’
An ACC football program has come under attack by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for its alleged “commingling of religion and athletics.” Clemson University’s football coaching staff has been accused of “unconstitutional behaviors” by the foundation for head coach Dabo Swinney’s vocal support of Christian prayer and religious practices among his players. Swinney has also come under fire for employing a team chaplain.
Human Microchipping: Under Your Skin
Thousands of technology enthusiasts use it as the ultimate app, enabling them to lock and unlock their homes, cars, computers and mobile phones with a simple wave of a hand. But there’s a catch: they must have a microchip inserted into their bodies. The idea may seem weird, and painful, but human microchipping appears to appeal not only to amateurs, who call themselves biohackers, but also to governments, police forces, medical authorities and security companies. It involves using a hypodermic needle to inject an RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchip, the size of a grain of rice, usually into the person’s hand or wrist. The same kind of chip is used for tracking lost pets. The implants send a unique ID number that can be used to activate devices such as phones and locks, and can link to databases containing limitless information, including personal details... MORE
British Prime Minister Calls for Defending the Christian Faith
British Prime Minister David Cameron is encouraging his country to stand up for Christianity, in an opinion piece published in the Church Times online. He said Christians make a big difference in people's lives and those contributions should be recognized.
Poll: Many Americans Consider Obama a ‘Liar’
Father, Son Use Athletic Apparel to Share Gospel
Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye: I'm Not the Leader of Some Cultic Fringe Group
Lady Gaga Resurrects ‘Jesus’ in Soft-Porn Music Video
Joe Kovacs: Temple Mount Clash Over Passover Sacrifice
An attempt to slaughter an animal for a Passover sacrifice atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has led to the arrest of eight Jews and a new wave of criticism against the Israeli government. According to local media, eight Jews were taken into custody Monday as they ascended the mount, considered the holiest site in Judaism where two of God’s temples once stood. They were carrying a goat and were reportedly seeking to slay the animal in accordance with biblical instructions. MORE
Michael Brown: A Shameful Day in Evangelical Christian Publishing
For many years now, publishers have been releasing books that claim the Bible does not oppose committed homosexual relationships. That is nothing new. But it is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed.
Bobby Mitchell: He Came To Me
The farmer doesn't say to the soil, "Find a way to get to the barn, get the plow hitched to the tractor, run the plow across your hardened self, and then have some seed sown on you, and bring forth fruit."  The cloud does not say to the ground, "Find a way to come up to me and get water for yourself that your seed may be germinated." ...Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came down from His exalted position in Heaven.  Philippians 2:5-11 tells us He was High, He was Humbled, and now He is Highly Exalted.  He came to "seek and to save that which was lost."  I'm glad He came to where I was, picked me up, breathed life into me, and saved me by His grace.   MORE
Hilgemann: 5 Mistakes Pastors Make on Easter (and How to Avoid Them)
Easter is a busy time for churches. It is easy to make mistakes when you feel overwhelmed with all the extra work and preparation. To help make this Easter the best yet, here are 5 of the common mistakes pastors make on Easter that I have noticed. MORE
Thom Rainer: Seven Reasons Your Church Needs a Social Media Director
I continue to be amazed at the exponential growth of social media as a key form of communication in our culture. Church leaders need to understand the importance of this medium as they attempt to contextualize and reach the culture in which their churches reside. In fact, I am going to encourage churches take another big step in social media. I recommend that most churches need a social media director. For the majority of churches, this person will be an unpaid volunteer. I am familiar with a number of small churches that have found such a person in their congregation just by asking. I even see this position as a key ministry position in the church for years to come. Allow me to offer seven key reasons churches need one individual coordinating and leading social media for the congregation.   MORE
David Crabb: Bible-Balance in Christian Ministry
You don’t hear a lot about it in seminary. It doesn’t get much discussion in pastoral theology books. But one of the more complex challenges of Christian leadership is cultivating a Bible-balanced ministry. What does it mean for a church, or a ministry, to be Bible-balanced? Why is it important?   MORE
John Piper: Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed
Recently I spent 30 hours in the hospital. I won’t tantalize you with details, but you can tell by this blog, I’m still alive. In fact, I feel good. I received good care, a clear diagnosis, some new medication, and permission to go on with my life as usual. Not wanting to waste this experience, I’ve been thinking about lessons learned and benefits received. Maybe, if I list some of them, you will be helped when your own time comes.  MORE
Wally Morris: Struggling Against Social Pressures
...In every survey of attitudes about homosexuality, the beliefs of different age groups are significant, and Christians should be concerned. Those people who are older tend to oppose homosexuality, and those who are younger tend to support homosexuality. Even those who identify themselves as Christians show this age distinction...What may be surprising to some is the extent that conservative Christians are changing their social views. Since those Christians are usually part of a local church and sometimes part of parachurch ministries, then those churches and ministries will change their views as well. The pressure to conform is slowly creating significant changes.   MORE
Paul Gould: The Church Needs Philosophers and Philosophers Need the Church
"Who cares what Aristotle thinks about a severed hand," retorted an exasperated philosophy student on a wintery night in a Midwestern university. My lecture screeched to a halt. As the class stared at me, enjoying the showdown, the subtext of my student's comment was not lost on them or me: "Aristotle's view of substance provides me with no 'real world' benefit, so it is useless knowledge." I wish I could tell you my student's comment that night was an exception to the rule. It is not.    MORE
Ronnie Martin: Failing With Family
As a phone conversation with my sister was winding down, she offered stinging final words after debriefing over some family drama: "Well, we all know you're the spiritual one in the family." I sighed an internal ugh, knowing that she really meant to say self-righteous one. In an attempt to defend what I thought she was implying, I launched into a stream of apologetic clarifications. In the end, it felt like an exercise in futility. I knew the reputation I had forged years earlier in much less sanctified times had never been forgotten.   MORE
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THURSDAY, APRIL 17th, 2014
N.C. Pastor Robert McKeehan Commits Suicide, Congregation Grieves
A pastor in North Carolina died Friday after hanging himself in his home. Robert McKeehan, 42, was pastor of the Community Bible Church in High Point, N.C. According to the High Point Police Department, McKeehan was found dead on April 11. McKeehan’s wife, Elizabeth, wrote on McKeehan's Facebook page Saturday, asking for prayers. Church family members have said they do not know why he would commit suicide. MORE
Israel Closes Temple Mount after Riots
Police closed the Temple Mount to visitors Wednesday morning following more Arab riots that injured two officers.There's a heightened security presence in the Old City due to the Passover holiday and the upcoming Priestly Blessing, when thousands of Israelis from around the country will visit Jerusalem and the Western Wall. Police used riot control gear against Muslim youth throwing rocks and fire bombs at police. Arabs also wounded another officer in a rock-throwing incident in one of the Old City's narrow streets.   MORE
Charisma News: After Benny Hinn Flap, Liberty University Reins In Provost's Duties
Earlier this month, Charisma News reported on Liberty University's official statement regarding a controversial video that was uncovered, showing Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Ronald Godwin appearing on televangelist Benny Hinn's television show. Liberty University amended its statement late last week with the following update, explaining that Dr. Godwin's responsibilities have been scaled back in light of the oversight:
The Real Story of Ben-Hur's 'Tale of the Christ'
For many, watching the movie "Ben-Hur" has become an Easter tradition. The 1959 blockbuster, starring Charlton Heston, made history with a record 11 Academy Awards. Now, the 1925 silent version is making a comeback. But what many may not know is that Hollywood didn't create this classic story. The idea came from the best-selling novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, published in 1880. The book tells the story of a life-altering encounter between a first century Jewish prince and Jesus of Nazareth.  MORE
Michael Bloomberg: 'I Have Earned My Place in Heaven, It's Not Even Close'
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks he’s going straight to heaven after working to eliminate smoking, obesity, and his efforts to promote gun control. “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” he told the New York Times.
Census Bureau: Change that Conceals
Obamacare Impact Before Midterms 'Coincidental'
The Census Bureau decided to so drastically change the methodology of its annual survey for the first time in over 30 years that it will be nearly impossible to measure Obamacare's impact before the midterm elections. 
Study: Casual Pot Use Causes Brain Abnormalities
Casual marijuana use could harm your brain, according to a new study from Northwestern University. Researchers discovered that when young adults ages 18-25 smoke pot just once or twice a week, abnormalities form in two brain structures. MRIs enabled the scientists to study two key parts of brain regions responsible for processing emotions, making decisions, and motivation.
Exercising Religious Liberty, Christians Plan
Midnight Good Friday Prayer Vigil in Public Square
At midnight on Good Friday, a nine-day prayer vigil will commence in Chicago's Daley Plaza to honor the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based national public interest law firm, joins private citizens to sponsor “Jesus in Daley Plaza” for the eighth year. A 19-foot-tall cross and a 10-foot-tall image of the resurrected Jesus will be displayed as an expression of faith by private citizens in the Daley Plaza forum.
Carson: White House Wanted Me to Apologize for 'Offending' Obama
White House Easter Egg Roll to Feature 'Let's Move!' Yoga Garden
Brain Surgery Patient's Obamacare Plan Denies Meds, Drops Doctors
At Least 100 Nigerian Schoolgirls Abducted
 Various news outlets report Muslim terrorists abducted at least 100 Nigerian schoolgirls on Monday at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. Nigerian police claim they can’t confirm who is behind the kidnapping, but named the Islamist group known as Boko Haram as the possible perpetrator.
Gospel Coalition: Pipelines for the Gospel: Russia and Ukraine
....Also early in the year, over 100 missionary pastors—many supported through SGA Canada—gathered for a conference in northwestern Ukraine. Their time together included fervent prayer for political stability. Around the same time, more than 300 church youth leaders from former Soviet countries attended a training conference in Moscow. Allan traveled to both conferences, which he says were “far more exciting and eternally significant” than the semblance of unity the Olympics offered. 
Prophecy News Watch: Middle East Geopolitical Alignments
Shifting Towards Ezekiel 38 Scenario
Al Arabiya.net has recently described the current standoff between the West and Moscow concerning Ukraine as potentially the gravest instance of tension in the post-Cold War era. The tensions between Russia and the West seem to be causing some significant geopolitical re-alignments following Russia’s recent political aggressions in relation to Ukraine and Crimea. Against the backdrop of this increasing tension between the West and Russia, Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany) started their diplomatic negotiations to make headway on the nuclear dispute, which would ideally be a lasting accord permanently resolving the decade-long nuclear standoff and averting the threat of another war in the Middle East.  MORE
Transgender Student Denied On-Campus Male Housing at Christian University
 A transgender college sophomore has filed a complaint against a Christian university in Oregon after school officials said he couldn’t live with other men on campus during the forthcoming school year. Jayce M., as he is identified in the George Fox University student newspaper, has been undergoing a female-to-male transition, and next week, a judge is expected to issue a court order allowing him to change his gender on his birth certificate...
Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Funeral of Kansas Jewish Center Shooting Victims
Egyptian Writer Wants to Sue Israel Over Biblical 10 Plagues
Attention Shoppers: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising
Vials of Deadly SARS Virus 'Go Missing' In France
More than 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus have gone “missing” from a high-security laboratory at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The research body insists there is no cause for alarm as the samples have “no infectious potential”, but it has filed a complaint against “persons unknown” in an attempt to resolve the mysterious disappearance.
Wash. Restaurant Criticized for Easter Ad
Showing Jesus Smoking Marijuana, Eating Cheeseburger
A Seattle fast food restaurant is receiving criticism for sending an advertisement to customers via email that shows an image of Jesus smoking marijuana and eating a cheeseburger. The restaurant, Lunch Laboratory,  is advertising a "buy one, get one free" deal on April 20. While this Sunday marks the Christian holiday of Easter, April 20 is also known by many to be the informal holiday celebrating marijuana.
Peter Lawler: The State Of Our Religious Liberty Is Confusing
When it comes to religion especially, the condition of our liberty today is confusing. Nobody is against the separation of church and state, and everyone seems to agree that the sacred property each of us has in a free conscience is especially deserving of protection from government and other forms of oppression. Freedom of religion is also good for political life, insofar as political action can be limited to matters that don’t require the controversial shaping of souls or intrusions into the realm of conscience. But freedom of religion is...  MORE
Richard Land: Electronic Devices--Servants or Masters?
Daniel Greenfield: CBS, Colbert and Contempt for America
...Leno is no conservative, but he left with the baffled bewilderment familiar to many on the right of being the better man who is despised for his success, while his rival who failed miserably as a boss, a human being and a comedian, is leaving with a media ticker tape parade.
Sam de Brito: Mock Christians Get Laughs, Mock Muslims Get Bullets
A young man mocks Christians on stage on national television he gets laughs. Another young man mocks Muslims on YouTube, he gets bullets through his home's window. Is this the future of religious debate in Australia?   MORE
Nathaniel Givens: Are Christians Obsessed with Sex?
From time to time a member of the Christian left will admonish the Christian right to stop obsessing about sex. This is a clever move because in addition to undercutting traditional sexual morality it also suggests that those who are concerned with the topic are acting on some secret ulterior motive. Voyeurism? Projection? Repression? Whatever the precise cause, it definitely sounds unhealthy.
Arnold Ahlert: The EPA’s Science Problem
In a stunning admission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency neither possesses, nor can produce, all of the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans via the Clean Air Act. In short, science has been trumped by the radical environmentalist agenda.    MORE
Dannah Gresh: Fifty Shades of Feminine Hypocrisy
Recently, modesty proponents have been accused of promoting "rape culture" by both faith-based and mainstream bloggers and columnists. The thinking, led by secular third wave feminists, asserts that discussing modesty "sexualizes women" which in turn contributes to rape crimes.
Albert Mohler: It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” 
and the State of Modern Scholarship
The so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” is back in the news and back in public conversation. The story first broke in a flurry of sensationalism back in September of 2012 when Smithsonian magazine declared that a papyrus fragment had been found which would “send jolts through the world of biblical scholarship.” Well, it didn’t jolt much of anything. In 2012 Professor Karen King of the Harvard Divinity School announced that a papyrus fragment that had come into her supervision made reference to Jesus having a wife. Professor King announced that the papyrus fragment included the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife.’” Smithsonian, which also produced a major television program on the finding, promised that the fragment would “send shock waves through the Christian world.” MORE
Macomber: The Holiest Levy; Is The U.S. Tax Code Divinely Inspired?
Parishioners are invited to bring their tax forms, or their tax guides, or other representations of their IRS returns, forward to put on the altar… So begins the sample ceremony for a Tax Day Sunday Service prepared by Rev. Jim Burklo—and, alas, what follows is neither a request for a bottle of lighter fluid and a match nor tariff exorcism text, but, rather, an exhortation to “give thanks to a generous and loving God for the good that comes through our taxes.”
Jeremy Pierre: Should Churches Offer Vocational Retraining for Fallen Pastors?
Does financial security prevent ministers from repenting of sin, and if so what should the church do about it? This question assumes that preparation for ministry does not easily translate to other fields, so the economic incentive to hide sin is strong. Thus, the practical question: Should churches offer vocational retraining for fallen pastors? The stakes are high for a pastor to remain on the straight and narrow.   MORE
Justin Taylor: 10 Key Events--
Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism in 20th Century America
In 19th century North America, evangelicalism basically referred to a loosely associated, intradenominational coalition of Protestants who held to the basic reformational doctrines of sola fide [faith alone] and sola scriptura [Scripture alone], mediated through the revival experiences of the Great Awakenings...North American evangelicals not only believed in the Bible's general authority but also its inerrancy and infallibility. They not only believed in conversion but also saw revivalism as a way in which God might work. The following are ten key events that took place in the relationship between evangelicals, fundamentalists, modernists, and neo-evangelicals during the 20th century in North America.  MORE
Al Mohler: Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it Is)
....one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior. Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. MORE
Rick Flanders: Understanding Carl McIntire--
Important Insights into Our Present World
Many Christians today have never heard of Dr. Carl McIntire, but back in the 1960s he hosted the most widely syndicated independent religious radio program in the country.  It was called “The Twentieth Century Reformation Hour,” and the thrust of its message was that there needed to be a new reformation, with churches that are true to historic Christianity withdrawing from the mainline denominations because of their tolerance of “liberal” false teachers.   Dr. McIntire was the pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, New Jersey... MORE
Sproul: What Does It Mean to Know Nothing Except Christ and Him Crucified?
....Paul was a man who had the equivalent of two Ph.D.s in theology by the time he was 21 years of age, a man who wrote with great insight on the whole scope of theology. Nevertheless, he said that the focal point of his teaching, preaching, and ministry among the Corinthians was simply “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  MORE
Tim Challies:How Many People Go To Your Church?
....Let’s stop asking, “How many people go to your church?” And when someone asks us that question, let’s not feel obliged to give a direct answer. We all pay lip service to the reality that we cannot necessarily measure the health of a church by its size. We all know that some of the biggest churches in the world are also some of the unhealthiest churches in the world. The history of Christianity has long-since shown that it is not all that difficult to fill a building with unbelievers by just tickling their ears with what they want to hear. We also know that the Lord is sovereign and that he determines how big each church should be and we know that in some areas even a very small church is....   MORE
Gavin Ortlund: When You're Waiting in the Wilderness
If you had to pick one story in the Bible as a model of "ministry success," which would you choose? Personally, I can't think of anything more dynamic than Elijah's victory over the false prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. In the space of one chapter, the prophet singlehandedly purifies the nation of idolatry, sparks a grassroots revival among God's people, and brings the three-and-a-half year drought to an end. But we often forget Elijah's ministry didn't begin that day. MORE
Matt Smethurst: When the Gospel Transforms Your 9 to 5
Does Monday morning excite you? If so, good for you! But that's not where many of us live. Our jobs challenge and threaten to consume us. So what does devotion to Jesus Christ look like in competitive—and often cutthroat and insecure—workplace environments? How about in painfully mundane ones? In their new book, Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger bring their pastoral and workplace experience to bear on issues concerning the intersection of faith and work.   MORE
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FOR ARCHIVES OF EARLIER STORIES, CLICK HERE

ELECTRONIC DEVICES:
SERVANTS OR MASTERS
Richard D. Land
....the other dayI read a news release that said that at least 40% of Americans (and 90% of under 30 millennials) are afflicted with "nomophobia" -the fear of not having, or losing, their smartphones. This fear actually produces psychological and physical symptoms...These statistics reveal the extent to which technology is changing our personal lives. When people don't have their smartphones, they feel disconnected and isolated (72% of people report being within five feet of their smartphone the majority of the time.) According to Psychology Today, when people who own smartphones (56% of all Americans) were asked how they felt when they misplaced their phones, 73% said they were "panicked," 14% were "desperate," 7% "sick," and 6% were "relieved."    MORE
CHICK-FIL-A CEO: WITNESS OR COWARD?
Christian Post
Just two years ago, conservative Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy infuriated LGBT avtivists when he publicly voiced his support for traditional marriage. As his company gets ready to expand into the more liberal Northeast, however, Cathy is on a campaign to show the public that he has found a wiser way. While his position on the traditional definition of marriage has not changed, Cathy explained in a USA Today interview that his company's socially conservative agenda, which led them to donate millions to opponents of same-sex marriage in the past, has been tempered.   MORE
HOW TO DEAL WITH FALSE TEACHERS
Denny Burk
....The examples of Apollos and Peter show us that any one of us might be subject to imbibing and disseminating false teaching. As I have confessed elsewhere, I have been in this position before. The key issue is how we respond to correction. There are two kinds of false teachers: those who repent and those who do not. We need to be careful not to underestimate how important our response to correction is. Those who respond to biblical correction reveal that they have the Spirit and are under the command of Jesus. Those who refuse to respond to biblical correction are proving themselves to be devoid of the Spirit and taking orders from another master. MORE
 AN INSIDER REFLECTS ON THE WACO STANDOFF WITH THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS
Malcom Gladwell, New Yorker
...The second, more serious problem with the way the F.B.I. viewed the Branch Davidians was the fact that the agents could not accept that beliefs such as these—as eccentric as they were—were matters of principle for those within Mount Carmel. During the siege, two of the leaders of the F.B.I. team referred to Koresh’s theology as “Bible-babble” and called him a “self-centered liar,” “coward,” “phony messiah,”...In the government’s eyes, the Branch Davidians were a threat...But...the F.B.I.’s approach was doomed from the outset...Docherty points out that the techniques that work on bank robbers don’t work on committed believers. There was no pragmatism hidden below a layer of posturing, lies, and grandiosity. Docherty uses Max Weber’s typology to describe the Davidians. They were “value-rational”—that is, their rationality was organized around values, not goals.   MORE
HOW TO KEEP YOUR PASTOR
David R. Brumbelow
One of the heartbreaking things church members go through is losing a pastor they love. The church may not even notice the Pulpit Committee that quietly shows up one Sunday. They may not notice the pastor missed a Sunday or two to preach “in view of a call” at another church. They may not know the pastor wanted to move; they thought everything was fine. And the pastor has good reason to keep things quiet until another church has called him as pastor. So often the first information the church has that their pastor is leaving is when he stands in the pulpit and formally announces his resignation.    MORE
OPRAH, ROB BELL, AND SELF-EMPOWERMENT FOR THE SELF-CENTERED
Joseph Sunde, The Federalist
Oprah Winfrey has long been the leader in American guru aggregation, rounding up doctors, psychologists, planners, soothsayers, do-gooders, pastors, rabbis, and emotive specialists from all corners of life. Yet amidst the seeming diversity and specialization, the overall themes are rather predictable. Look inside yourself. Be yourself. Improve yourself. Launch yourself. Love yourself.  And love others, too, I suppose.  Yet lo and behold, Oprah’s Big-Tent Self-Helpism is about to expand its posts once again. This fall, Oprah will rally a handful of preferred prophets and “tastemakers” to embark on an eight-city weekend tour, “The Life You Want,” a celebration aptly titled for the self-obsessed. MORE
IS THERE NEW EVIDENCE 
THAT JESUS HAD A WIFE?
Michael Brown
....There remains no evidence of any kind that Jesus had a wife (note to the reader: Dan Brown’s fictional Da Vinci Code is not evidence), and the only thing scholars did was determine that this small papyrus fragment was not a modern forgery, although it is hundreds of years younger than they originally thought....Unfortunately, many casual readers and skeptics now think that some “authentic” new evidence has been discovered supporting the idea that Jesus was married, and even Christians are asking if they should be concerned about this latest find. Rest assured that nothing has been discovered that even remotely challenges the biblical account, and if this very late text does imply that Jesus had a wife, what we have is an authentic fabrication and nothing more. MORE
MIKE HUCKABEE CALLS OUT 
OBAMA'S 'CHRISTIAN CONVICTIONS' 
ON GAY MARRIAGE
Huffington Post
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) went after President Barack Obama's views on gay marriage Friday, questioning the commander-in- chief's changes in his "Christian convictions." In an interview...Laura Ingraham asked Huckabee if there was a concerted effort out there to tar conservatives as anti-gay. Huckabee said that his views were no different than those of Obama's in 2008, shifting the focus to how the president has changed his stance. "He said it was because of his Christian convictions," Huckabee said of Obama. "Does he have them or does he not? If one has them, they don't change depending on what the culture does."    MORE
WHY GOD GIVES US MORE 
THAN WE CAN HANDLE
Jon Bloom
The next time someone says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, point them to Judges chapter seven. God instructing Gideon to take on over 100,000 enemy soldiers with just 300 fits in the “more than you can handle” category. Imagine how Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have felt trying to come to grips with a humanly impossible assignment.    MORE
SURPRISE FINDING AS ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS IS FOUND IN ISRAEL
Ancient Origins
Archaeologists made a rare and unexpected discovery during a natural gas pipeline salvage excavation in Jezereel Valley, Israel, when they came across a 3,300-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus complete with human remains and numerous grave goods. It is the first time in around fifty years that an anthropoidal (person-shaped) coffin has been found in present-day Israel.    MORE
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY SHOULD APPLY TO BOTH INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS
Eric Metaxas
In the contraceptive mandate case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby-argued Tuesday, March 25th-the government asserts that corporations can't exercise religion because they're not people – and that the people who own corporations can't exercise religion through them because they aren't corporations. Did you follow that? Me neither. But it's true. MORE
THE SMALL CHURCH IN TODAY'S CULTURE
Rick Shrader
This isn’t an easy time for small churches.  In today’s culture, small often means inadequate, unsuccessful, non-visionary, and unexciting.  By today’s cultural standards those descriptions may be right.  Our culture sees bigness and excitement as marks of success.  By God’s standards, however, any size church may be successful or unsuccessful and may seem boring or exciting.    MORE
MIKE HUCKABEE: NOT HOMOPHOBIC BUT 'ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BIBLE'
CNN Politics
...Huckabee, who is also a pastor, told a conservative crowd, "I'm not against anybody. I'm really not. I'm not a hater. I'm not homophobic... But...when people say, 'Why don't you just kind of get on the right side of history?' I said, 'You've got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it's not my book to change.' Folks, that's why I stand where I stand."   MORE
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...What is it then that the Resurrection does? Why is it so central and so foundational? For your consideration let me divide into two parts what the apostle here says. The first thing is that the resurrection of Christ gives us "a living hope." Why does the apostle describe it in this way? No doubt he is contrasting it with the vague, the shadowy, and the uncertain. Today there is much that passes for Christian hope, but when you test it by his adjective "living," or 'lively," you at once expose it as counterfeit. What is the message of Easter morning? Is it simply some vague saying that spring has come again, and that after the death of winter there are signs of life? Is the Easter hope something vague and general, belonging only to nature?...That is not what Peter is talking about. "Who hath begotten us to a living hope." Something substantial-, something certain, something vibrant with life and power. Of course that is essential, he says, because the great thing about this hope is that it enables us to live.   MORE
....Yet, what a great noise a little infidelity makes. One infidel will make more noise than a thousand Christians, and noise is thought to be prosperity and success and the utter uprooting and total routing of the Church. It is always so that the destructive becomes, I will not say more popular, but in the first instance more notorious, than the constructive. Did any of you hear that the Scotch express arrived safely in Edinburgh last night? If it had broken down between London and Edinburgh, the world would have heard of it. They report destructions; who cares to hear that the train got in safely...So if one little infidel a few inches high should get up and make a noise, we should all hear about it.   MORE
The text is in Galatians 6:7— "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."....What does this mean? I will tell you exactly. It means that God is not to be ignored. Many of us have actually done this in our actions, if not in our thoughts. The revelation contained in the Bible counts for nothing. The gift of His Son Jesus Christ — you are not bothering about it. The love of God — you have no use for it. You have turned your back upon God. But the text says: Be not deceived. God is not to be mocked. You may think you can mock Him, but some day you will face Him. Oh, it is well enough to think that you can get along without God when you are well and your family circle is unbroken and your friends are many. But some day, with a broken heart, and broken health, and a broken family circle, and friends forsaking you, where will you be when you reach the end?   MORE
The washing of the disciples’ feet was one of the last of our Lord’s acts on earth, as the servant of His disciples, the servant of sinners. How fully did that towel, and that basin, shew that He had “taken upon him the form of a servant” (Phi 2:7), and that He had come not to be ministered unto, but to minister! This last act of lowly love is the filling up of His matchless condescension; it is so simple, so kindly, so expressive; and all the more so, because not referring topositive want, such as hunger, or thirst, or pain, but merely to bodily comfort. Oh, if He is so interested in our commonest comforts, such as the washing of our feet, what must He be in our spiritual joys and blessings! How desirous that we should have peace of soul, and how willing to impart it!  This scene of condescending love is no mere show. It is a reality....a reality for us to copy.   MORE
....There is not a soul among us, no matter how seemingly indifferent or unconcerned, who is not at times —and these times come oftener and oftener with the advance of years—brought face to face with the problems of the reality, of the very existence of heaven. It is my purpose, God aiding, to bring to your minds, hearts, your souls some of the glorious, victorious truths about heaven, its citizens, its perfections, its conditions, and, perhaps most of all, to point out to you what you must do to get there; then to plead with you in all the passion of my soul that you put your feet by faith in the way of the cross that leads to God and to heaven. My outline is simple, brief, and, I hope, to the point. I know there is a heaven. I know what kind of place it is. I know I am going there.    MORE
...There have been many gifted men, gifted by nature and grace, who have devoted themselves to the work of the ministry; God be thanked for them all, and God grant that there may be many more hereafter!  But in the estimation of every one who diligently studies his character and history, Paul must stand, among all preachers, unrivalled and alone. Thoroughly to analyze his great powers is a task for which I have no talent, and my hearers, under present circumstances, would perhaps have little inclination. I mean only to present some points in connection with Paul as a preacher, the consideration of which I trust may be blessed to our benefit.   MORE
....There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.-He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. MORE
....As Ahab goes walking through the rows of vines, he begins to plan how he will have that vineyard arranged by his royal gardener, how flowers will be here and vegetables yonder and herbs there. As he converses with himself, suddenly a shadow falls across his path. Quick as a flash Ahab whirls on his heels, and there, before him, stands Elijah, prophet of the living God. ..."And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" and Elijah, without a tremor in his voice, his eyes burning their way into Ahab's guilty soul, answered: "I have found thee: because thou has sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord." Then, with every word a thunderbolt, and every sentence a withering denunciation, Elijah continued...     MORE
...ministers in all ages have found it necessary, frequently to remind their people of the the terrors of the Lord, as so many powerful dissuasives from sin. But whence is it that men are so disingenuous? The reason seems to be this: The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it: but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  MORE
...If the issues of life are determined by fate or chance, there are no foundations. In the one case we become the effortless children of apathy upon whom no responsibility devolves, our only consolation being the Oriental proverb, “Kismet.” In the other case we become the devotees of ephemeral pleasure with no higher watchword than, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Hence my theme today: The Providence of God is the Christian’s foun- dation. Under these - Fate, Chance and Divine Providence may be grouped all the theories and philosophies of life. There is no room for another classification.   MORE
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