Theology

“Double” Predestination" by R.C. Sproul

This concept is one of the more difficult - did God preordain some for destruction, or does He just allow humans to damn themselves and He ordains a few for glory?

Politics

A Tsunami of Hate

We are suffering from a Tsunami of Hate emanating from the Democrat Party that seeks to demonize, criminalize and extinguish dissent from the 75 million supporters of Donald Trump. It is now official Washington dogma that to question an election result – something the congressional Democrats have done in the face of every Republican presidential victory since 2000 - is now “insurrection” and “domestic terrorism,” or the incitement thereto, and needs to be prosecuted and suppressed.

Fortress DC

(this one is a bit old)

According to Ken Cuccinelli, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, Pelosi not only asked for those massive numbers of troops, but she also asked for the Guard to have crew-manned vehicle mounted machine guns. Now that’s absolutely crazy, was she really envisioning Guard members machine gunning down Americans? Remember these are the same folks who ignored violent riots precipitated by BLM/Antifa for months and chastised President Donald Trump for responding to them with federal agents.

But now reports are suggesting that Pelosi wants them there into March, during impeachment proceedings…

So she’s going to try to use them like her personal Army till mid-March? Welcome to the security state. Based on what? Notice how they’re very happy to use the Guard for themselves yet not so much for other citizens during the months of rioting.

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Biden Takes Heat For Killing Trump’s Opioid-Treatment Prescription Plan Praised By Doctors

President Joe Biden last week killed a plan from the Trump administration to allow more physicians to prescribe an opioid-treatment drug.

The move from the Trump administration was widely praised by both physicians and lawmakers, and came on the heels of another spike in opioid-related deaths during the pandemic. Criticizing the Biden administration on the reversal, Trump’s Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Brett Giroir warned the move “will cost thousands of lives.”

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What I'm Reading

Biblical Imprecations: Christians’ Secret Weapon

Biblical Imprecations: Christians’ Secret Weapon demonstrates the unity of Biblical teaching regarding such imprecations, examining: (1) Christ and the Apostles endorsement of Old Testament imprecations; (2) imprecations spoken by Christ and the Apostles; and (3) imprecations spoken by God’s angels and by glorified martyrs in heaven.


Eight key Biblical-theological principles underlying the imprecatory Psalms are developed: (follow the link)

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What does it mean that our old man was crucified?

 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; (Roman's 6:6 ASV)

From Sunday's (AM) sermon -

A lot of translations render the "old man" as "old self"

this leads to wrong thinking about what the verse is saying. Our pastor illustrated with the phrase "sphere of existence" - our "old man" = "in Adam" and our "new man" = "in Christ.

(below is my understanding, not from the sermon)

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Lots of links today...and one of them is no longer active (well, it didn't take long for that censorship to happen...

In the Christian Sphere

A Biblical Case for Civil Disobedience & the Right Use of Romans 13 - James White

"Yet unqualified Christian obedience to government cannot be taught from texts which explicitly limit the boundaries of government authority and the extent of our submission.  God Himself clearly restricts the role of government, not giving it unlimited authority: it acts “for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Pet. 2:14).  When rulers reverse that, as often happens, by praising evildoers and punishing those who do right, they violate their delegated, God-given authority and transgress their divinely established boundaries and assigned jurisdiction.  "

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Psa 106:32-48

32 They angered him at the waters of Meribah,
    and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33 for they made his spirit bitter,[a]
    and he spoke rashly with his lips.

34 They did not destroy the peoples,
    as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
    and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
    which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
    and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
    the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
    and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
    and played the whore in their deeds.

40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
    and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
    so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
    and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
    but they were rebellious in their purposes
    and were brought low through their iniquity.

44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
    when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
    and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
    by all those who held them captive.

47 Save us, O Lord our God,
    and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.

48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
    Praise the Lord!

I've been either a member or regular-attender at several different churches, over over close to thirty years. (Put that way, the "church hopping number" doesn't sound all that bad, especially since two of the moves were because I moved to a new state.)

Church hopping has a definition that doesn't fit my whole experience: First, a working definition: church hopping is going from one church to another without committing to any one church for any significant period of time (which makes it different than legitimate church “shopping”). (definition from Crosswalk)

I am reading "Grounded in the Gospel" - a book about the Christian tradition of teaching through catechism. One thing led to another in my brain and that led me to this post. Going over what led me, and kept me in various churches.

So let's take a walk. I'm not going to name the churches, unless they were spectacular.

The Pre-history

I had taken a few years off from church and I can remember so very clearly the day I knew I had to return. We had taken a vacation and had ended up in Nauvoo, Illinois. Nauvoo is a Mormon settlement on the Mississippi River and they have a beautiful "monument to women" (I am *NOT* pro-Mormon; we were there for the history).

Being what Mormon is, the statues not only had Book of Mormon references, they had Bible references also. As I walked through this garden with my two children (then ages 5 and 3) I knew that if I wanted to be what God wanted me to be, I had to return to Him.

In my church hopping experiences, each church that I've been in has led me to a deep topical study, and that's a good thing. Even in the churches that suck...something good came of it.

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I have a MeWe profile for a couple of reasons

1. I watched "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix

The program goes through the advertising model of Facebook and social media platforms - how they track you, how they target you, how they use and sell your personal information.

The phrase that keeps coming back is: If you're not buying the product, you *ARE* the product. Watch the program - it's creepy.

I hear more and more stories about getting Facebook ads when you've been talking on the phone about a similar product. My husband was talking to him mom about her RA meds...and he started getting ads!

I'm on a few groups (gardening, color theory, cooking, tutoring, etc.) - the more groups that decide to move, the more I can use Facebook for personal contact and use MeWe for the groups.

I am tired of being the product.

Why I'm weaning myself off Facebook in favor of MeWe
MeWe header pic

2. I do follow a couple of religious pages on MeWe

that have been in "facebook jail" - not because they're inciting violence, but because of their religious beliefs about the LGBT agenda.

Christians are being censored by Left-leaning social media, and we will see platforms like MeWe being used those Christians. This is not necessarily political, but about.religious beliefs that are being silenced by political agendas.

It's okay to go where you're wanted.

3. There's something just a bit cool about being on MeWe...the "next new thing"

I started a local group that mirrors a Facebook group (and hopefully a bit less nutty on the moderation side of things)

I follow groups on MeWe that mirror my current groups on Facebook and when they get more active, I'll drop the facebook groups.

So...reason #3 - MeWe is new and shiny!

I will stay on both platforms

Moving forward, both platforms will have their uses. I am not going to be censored, because I don't post that much controversial stuff. If I head in that direction I'll move more toward MeWe.

I might post links to MeWe, in order to save them, but I do that here on lunes linkage.

So I'm not leaving Facebook because of their left-leaning intolerance of diverse opinions. I'm not leaving Facebook at all - but I do see where MeWe will have advantages over Facebook and I'll be using both, depending on *my* agenda.

This book is a solid, Bible-based book on emotions and how to deal with them as a Christian.

“Feelings and Faith” by Brian Borgman

“I am a pastor who loves theology.  The theological stream I consciously drink from takes doctrine very seriously, something with which I wholeheartedly agree.  That’s one of the reasons I drink there.  My theological tradition (Reformed) puts a great deal of emphasis on the mind.  It is a strongly academic tradition and can become very cerebral.  So why am I writing a book about the emotions?  A few years ago I “felt” the need to teach on the emotions.  Since I believe that there is a biblical doctrine of the emotions and am convinced that in our mind-oriented tradition we could use some perspective on the emotions, I started a “short” sermon series…”

This book is the result of this sermon series.

"Feelings and Faith" is solidly Bible-based.

Brian Borgman immerses us in the Bible’s perspectives on feelings and the book is good teaching on emotions (and the negative and positive results).

Borgman writes, that the book is practical theology – and he quotes what was said about Jonathan Edwards:  “All of his doctrine was application and all of his application was doctrine.”

The book has two major parts" foundations and applications.

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Side note: Today would have been my dad's 86th birthday and he's been in heaven a bit over four years, but many times I just want to pick up the phone and hear his voice.

Now...

Christian Reading Habits

Reading Out of Love For Others - Tim Challies - Good thoughts and as I'm thinking about books for the Reading Challenge, I'm thinking about this also.

Politics (The Corruption of President Biden)

Labor Pick Paid Biden-Linked Firm Tens of Thousands Prior to Nomination This is a bit confusing, but there's an end to that ball of string.

The Culture Wars

Biden's Culture War Aggression

"TLDR version": If Biden wanted "unity", he wouldn't have turned the "on a scale of 1 - 10" dial up to 12 on "the culture war" (that's in quotes because that's the term that Sullivan used)"

And another from the Heritage Foundation

Boys who identify as girls must be allowed to compete in the girls' athletic competitions, men who identify as women must be allowed in women-only spaces, healthcare plans must pay for gender-transition procedures, and doctors and hospitals must perform them.

Sounds unifying, right?

In reality, it spells the end of girls' and women's sports as we know them. And, of course, no child should be told the lie that they're "trapped in the wrong body", and adults should not pump them full of puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.

What’s the real evidence for 2020 Election Fraud?

There are seven points, and this conclusion

This isn’t an exhaustive survey of fraud evidence in the 2020 presidential race. For example I didn’t even include affidavits from witnesses seeing fraud in Wisconsin or Nevada. Nor did I even go through the Navaro Report or many of the claims listed on HeresTheEvidence.com.

But what I’ve seen is more than enough to convince me that Biden will not be a legitimately elected president when sworn in this Wednesday.

NOTE:  I disagree with the statement that President Trump would have won...but I do believe that there were enough irregularities to raise an alarm and all irregularities should be investigated (whether or not it would have changed the outcome) in order to have fair and honest elections in the future.

And...Policy Changes

Biden Appears To Signal Shift On Israel After Claiming In Speech That He Would ‘Repair Our Alliances’

“The change in title marks a significant shift in policy toward Israel,” The Washington Free Beacon reported. “The United States has for decades declined to take a policy position on the West Bank and Gaza territories, maintaining the Israelis and the Palestinians must decide in negotiations how the areas will be split up for a future Palestinian state. By including Gaza and the West Bank in the ambassador’s portfolio, the Biden administration appears to be determining that neither area is part of Israel—a move that is certain to rile Israeli leaders,” the outlet continued. “The incoming administration’s move also signals that it will elevate the next ambassador’s role to include conducting direct diplomacy with Palestinian leaders, including in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terror group maintains control. This is the only ambassador tasked with conducting diplomacy in a region controlled by a U.S.-designated terror group.”

‘Incredibly Troubling,’ ‘Deeply Disturbed’: Canadian Lawmakers React To Biden Energy Policy

This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Sadly, it is an insult directed at the United States' most important ally and trading partner," Kenny told a news conference, according to Reuters.

Politics

Rush to judgement? Three crucial questions remain unanswered about Capitol siege

How could Trump incite an attack that had already been pre-planned and was in motion before his speech ended?

What did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other leaders in Congress know — and when did they know it — about the possibility for violence and the Pentagon's pre-attack offer to send National Guardsmen to reinforce the Capitol Police?

Were there facilitators inside the Capitol and outside it who instigated or enabled the attack to be carried out?

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Jim Jordan Blasts ‘Double Standards’ of Democrats: They ‘Objected to More States in 2017 than Republicans Did Last Week’

Jordan continued, reminding his colleagues that the individual managing impeachment for the Democrats, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), too, objected to electoral votes in 2017.

“Americans are tired of the double standards. They are so tired of it,” the Ohio Republican said. “Democrats objected to more states in 2017 than Republicans did last week, but somehow we’re wrong.”

“Democrats can raise bail for rioters and looters this summer but somehow when Republicans condemn all the violence, the violence this summer, the violence last week, somehow we’re wrong,” he said.

Gaslighting Last Summer's Riots and the Law Enforcement Response

Minneapolis: For the first few days of riots, Minneapolis police focused on defending their embattled 3rd Precinct building located at the center of the unrest. The mayor then ordered the police to stand down and abandon the building to the angry crowd that had surrounded it. The police withdrawal caused the situation to "spin[] out of control in the neighborhood around the precinct house"; the Precinct was burned to the ground, and "nearly every building around it [was] vandalized, looted or set on fire."

Seattle: For twenty-three days in June, armed leftists occupied six blocks of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, declaring the area a "police-free" zone they called the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" ("CHAZ"), later changed to "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" ("CHOP"). Bands of self-appointed, gun-toting "guards" set up encampments and patrolled the area, looted stores, smashed windows, and prevented residents from leaving or visitors from entering—in the process devastating businesses located in the occupied blocks.

Portland: Portland suffered three months of nightly riots. Daryl Turner, head of the Portland Police Association, alleged that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt limited the city's response to riots in order to appease lawbreakers: "If it is acceptable for rioters to commit acts of violence against community members and to try and burn down occupied buildings, and if this conduct is allowed to continue," Turner said, "then Portland is lost."

Chicago: On a particularly violent weekend in early June, Mayor Lightfoot refused to deploy the National Guard beyond Chicago's central business district, drawing condemnations from officials representing districts on the south and west side of the city, which were left unprotected during Chicago's deadliest weekend in sixty years.

Louisville: Riots left the city's downtown "look[ing] like a war zone," according to a local paper. Louisville Police accused Mayor Greg Fischer of issuing stand-down orders to officers during riots, allowing lawlessness to run rampant.

(and more)

The Capitol Police were woefully understaffed and under-prepared for last Wednesday's riot. The reasons for that need to be thoroughly investigated. But the notion that right-wing mostly white rioters get special treatment while BLM-associated lawless behavior attracts violent, harsh, crackdown is at odds with what actually happened last summer.

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Joe Biden pledged on Friday "to defeat the [National Rifle Association" and end our epidemic of gun violence"

(MzEllen writes, ummm...that's us.)

Pushing back on the "sin" of anger

saw this image today on the "sin" of anger and need to push back:

I need to push back on the idea that anger (in and of itself) is sin.

That idea that anger is always sin..

- well, let me tell you about a Sunday School lesson we taught on propitiation. A student asked, "what is propitiation" - that's when God's anger is satisfied by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

"That can't be right, because anger is a sin and if God gets angry, He can't be God!"

Emotion (yes, even anger) is the catalyst for action

Do you get angry when you know that unborn babies are being slaughtered in the womb? (if not, why not?) If yes, that anger may spur you on to action, whether it be talking to a pregnant mom and talking her out of abortion, it may lead to being a foster parent, it may get you out of the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic.Are you angry at injustice? Then get going and work for justice.The point is, it is not sinful to be angry at the things that God is angry at.If we're angry at things that God does not get angry at, the root sin may not be anger, it may be pride, selfishness, lust.

It is only when we examine ourselves through the lens of Scripture that we know if our anger is sinful.

"Feelings and Faith" is a helpful book on understanding emotions

"We are created in the image of God and that includes our emotions (which are marred by sin) - however, emotions are more than feelings; they are the expressions of our values and evaluations that affect motives and conduct"

Brian Borgman, "Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life"

From the same book:

Although anger is a common and harmful sin, anger in and of itself is not sinful. In fact, our capacity to be angry is a reflection of the image of God in us.

Emotion (yes, even anger) is the catalyst for action.

Do you get angry when you know that unborn babies are being slaughtered in the womb? (if not, why not?) If yes, that anger may spur you on to action, whether it be talking to a pregnant mom and talking her out of abortion, it may lead to being a foster parent, it may get you out of the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic.

Are you angry at injustice? Then get going and work for justice. The point is, it is not sinful to be angry at the things that God is angry at.

In my first marriage, there were things to be angry about. Those things spurred me action - boundaries, accountability, conditions. Because I was angry enough to *DO* something, my marriage got better.

If we're angry at things that God does not get angry at, the root sin may not be anger, it may be pride, selfishness, lust. It is only when we examine ourselves through the lens of Scripture that we know if our anger is sinful.