Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Albert Mohler: Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible

May 14, 2014

It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.

The sentence above comes from Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today in an essay entitled, Yawning at the Word.” In just a few hundred words, he captures the tragedy of a church increasingly impatient with and resistant to the reading and preaching of the Bible. We may wince when we read him relate his recent experiences, but we also recognize the ring of truth.

Galli was told to cut down on the biblical references in his sermon. “You’ll lose people,” the staff member warned. In a Bible study session on creation, the teacher was requested to come back the next Sunday prepared to take questions at the expense of reading the relevant scriptural texts on the doctrine. Cutting down on the number of Bible verses “would save time and, it was strongly implied, would better hold people’s interest.”

As Galli reflected, “Anyone who’s been in the preaching and teaching business knows these are not isolated examples but represent the larger reality.”... the rest
In many churches, there is almost no public reading of the Word of God. Worship is filled with music, but congregations seem disinterested in listening to the reading of the Bible. We are called to sing in worship, but the congregation cannot live only on the portions of Scripture that are woven into songs and hymns. Christians need the ministry of the Word as the Bible is read before the congregation such that God’s people—young and old, rich and poor, married and unmarried, sick and well—hear it together. The sermon is to consist of the exposition of the Word of God, powerfully and faithfully read, explained, and applied. It is not enough that the sermon take a biblical text as its starting point.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

God cares not for the length of our prayers...

My Florida
God cares not for the length of our prayers, or the number of our prayers, or the beauty of our prayers, or the place of our prayers; but it is the faith in them that tells—believing that prayer soars higher than the lark ever sang, plunges deeper than diving-bell ever sank, darts quicker than lightning ever flashed. Though we have used only the back of this weapon instead of the edge, what marvels have been wrought! If saved, we are all the captives of some earnest prayer. ...Thomas DeWitt Talmage image

Search Engine Giants Remove Pregnancy Center Ads; Porn users more likely to have affairs...more

‘There is absolutely no need’ to try to resuscitate babies born alive after abortion: columnist
Australia – A prominent columnist has said a campaign to have abortionists attempt to save the lives of babies born alive during abortions is the work of a “lunatic fringe” MP.

Geoff Shaw, an Independent MP in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, proposed a ban on infanticide and sex-selective abortions throughout the state of Victoria.

The measure angered columnist Susie O'Brien of the Herald-Sun, located in Victoria's capital city of Melbourne.

“There is absolutely no need for 'pain relief for fetuses' and resuscitation attempts for fetuses which survive and there is no need for special provisions which protect against gender selection or partial births,” O'Brien wrote...

Coming next under Obamacare is the abortion mandate
...During oral arguments in March, when trying to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to let it force Hobby Lobby to comply with its contraceptive mandate, the Obama administration made a striking admission.

Hobby Lobby and its lawyers from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had argued that the government’s position, if accepted, would allow the government to force people to pay for abortions.

The government did not deny the charge. In fact, it admitted that its legal arguments would justify an abortion mandate.

Responding to a question posed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Obama administration's lawyer answered “you're right” that “under our theory” the government could force payment for all abortions...

Bobby Jindal, raised Hindu, talks about his Christian conversion
A dozen politically active pastors came here for a private dinner Friday night to hear a conversion story unique in the context of presidential politics: how Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled from Hinduism to Protestant Christianity and, ultimately, became what he calls an “evangelical Catholic.”

Over two hours, Jindal, 42, recalled talking with a girl in high school who wanted to “save my soul,” reading the Bible in a closet so his parents would not see him and feeling a stir while watching a movie during his senior year that depicted Jesus on the cross...

Porn users more likely to have affairs
New research from the US concludes that those who consume pornography more regularly are more likely to have extra marital affairs.

The study, published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, focused on 551 married adults and was entitled "More than a dalliance? Pornography consumption and extramarital sex attitudes among married US adults"...duh

Search Engine Giants Remove Pregnancy Center Ads
Search engine giants Google and Yahoo have removed pro-life ads promoting the services of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) across the nation. According to World Magazine NARAL Pro-Choice America and UltraViolet pressured Google and Yahoo to yank the CPC advertisements.

"Yahoo is throwing women to the wolves on this issue," Nita Chaudhary said in a statement, co-founder of UltraViolet. "Desperate women seeking help are being directed by Yahoo to predatory centers where they will face harassment, aggression, and outright lies about their health and safety, and that is unacceptable. Yahoo should remove these ads immediately."...

Ohio measles outbreak largest in USA since 1996
...The Ohio outbreak is part of a larger worrisome picture: As of Friday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had logged 187 cases nationwide in 2014, closing in on last year's total of 189. CDC warned several weeks ago that the country could end up having the worst year for measles since home-grown outbreaks were eradicated in 2000...

The Rise of Anti-Christianity in the West

Anti Street-Church Protest 07
By Wallace Henley
May 12, 2014

Excerpt:
I witnessed the launch of the age of marginalization [of Christianity] as a reporter for a large daily newspaper in the 1960s. The anti-establishmentarians who became the present establishment pontificated widely on the unimportance of biblical Christianity. From that beginning, marginalization went on to become public policy as the church was sequestered behind a bigger and bigger "wall of separation" that fenced out the wrong culprit: a regime that might want to create its own religious establishment, or one whose godless policies would cause it to throttle the church.

Vilification easily follows from marginalization. To vilify is to defame and slander. The goal is to shrink respect for the person, movement, institution, or idea being vilified.

Marginalization says the person, movement, institution, or idea deserves only a minimal and peripheral role in culture. But vilification suggests there really should be no role at all for the vilified subject. It has nothing to contribute to the great societal conversation, not even from the cultural boondocks.

Now the danger mounts and the possibility of persecution looms. What has been merely caricatured, marginalized, and vilified is now villainized. That pesky person, movement, institution, or idea is no longer to be scorned merely, but feared. It's the bad boy on the cultural street, ready to trip or assault the noble civilization-builders and freedom-defenders who gallantly march by.

The consensus-makers in the contemporary Establishments of Entertainment, Information, Academia, and Governance raise national awareness regarding these villains. At this point, there's not enough evidence to send an armed team to get the villains off the street. But the cultural SWAT team is standing by... the rest image

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dear Lord, if at this evening hour...

Face of Jesus 158
Dear Lord, if at this evening hour I think only of myself and my own condition and my own day’s record of service, then I can find no peace before I go to sleep, but only bitterness of spirit and miserable despair. Therefore, O Father, let me think rather of Thee and rejoice that Thy love is great enough to blot out all my sins. And, O Christ, Thou Lamb of God, let me think of Thee, and lean upon Thy heavenly righteousness, taking no pleasure in what I am before Thee but only in what Thou art for me and in my stead. And, O Holy Spirit, do Thou think within me, and so move within my mind and will that as the days go by I may be more and more conformed to the righteousness of Jesus Christ my Lord; to Whom be glory forever. Amen. ...John Baillie image

41 American Anglican Bishops Stand in Solidarity with Persecuted Believers

by Faith McDonnell
May 9, 2014

Forty American Anglican (U.S.) bishops, as well as the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, (ACNA) have signed on to a Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action on behalf of Christians and Other Small Religious Communities in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria

The pledge was released at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, and  hosted by U.S. Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), strong advocates for the persecuted and the co-chairs of the bipartisan Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, collaborating with Nina Shea, the director and senior scholar at the Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom. Wolf, a firm believer in the power of prayer, observes “there are more churches than there are chambers of commerce in America.”  the rest
  
Anglican Bishops:
The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America, and the Rt. Reverends Keith L. Ackerman, Kevin Bond Allen, Roger C. Ames, David Craig Anderson, Sr., William G. Atwood, III, Thad Barnum, Foley Beach, David Bena, Steven Breedlove, David C. Bryan, Julian Dobbs, Alphonza Gadsden, Sr., R. Charles Gillin, Terrell Glenn, John A. M. Guernsey, David L. Hicks, Jack L. Iker, William H. Ilgenfritz, Derek Jones, Quigg Lawrence, Neil G. Lebhar, Richard Lipka, Clark W. P. Lowenfield, Frank Lyons, Peter Manto, Eric Vawter Menees, John E. Miller, III, Dan Morse, Winfield Mott, William L. Murdoch, Felix Orji, Leonard W. Riches, Ken Ross, Stewart E. Ruch, II, Sam Seamans, Ray R. Sutton, William A. Thompson, William C. Wantland, Steve Wood, and J. Mark Zimmerman.

Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Tell Stories of Escape; Over 200 Others 'Sighted'

By Anugrah Kumar
May 12, 2014

Some of the Nigerian girls who managed to escape after armed men from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped them last month shared their stories, while the governor of the state where the incident took place says more than 200 girls still captive have been "sighted."

On the night of April 14-15, the gunmen commanded the hundreds of students at the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Chibok in eastern Borno State to gather outside, and then they went into a storeroom and took all the food.

"They then moved all of us to the main gate and brought their cars where they loaded the food they had taken and asked us to get in," one of the girls was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera. "The girls that had no shoes on and were not wearing veils were told to go and fetch them as they started to set the school on fire."

Police say 53 girls managed to escape. the rest

“I Feel Super Great About Having an Abortion”—The Culture of Death Goes Viral

Albert Mohler
May 8, 2014

Emily Letts is a 25-year-old abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey whose video has gone viral. These days, videos go viral on a daily basis, and most are soon forgotten. But not this one. Emily Letts decided to make a video about her own abortion, and the result is one of the most disturbing video messages ever presented to public view.

“I feel super good about having an abortion,” Letts told Philadelphia Magazine. “Women and men have been thirsting for something like this. You don’t have to feel guilty.”

Her video follows her through her first-trimester abortion, undertaken at the clinic where she counsels other women. About a year after she began working at the women’s center, she found herself pregnant. As she told her story in Cosmopolitan, “Once I caught my breath, I knew immediately I was going to have an abortion. I knew I wasn’t ready to take care of a child.”

She was, however, ready to produce a video about her own abortion. “I searched the Internet, and I couldn’t find a video of an actual surgical procedure in the clinic that focused on the woman’s experience,” she wrote. “We talk about abortion so much and yet no one really knows what it actually looks like. A first trimester abortion takes three to five minutes.”... the rest
Her most chilling words of all are those with which she ends her video:

“It is about a month and a half after the procedure. I feel like I talk to women all the time and of course everyone feels bad about this; everyone’s going to feel guilty. It’s a given how people should feel about this, that what they’re doing is wrong. I don’t feel like a bad person. I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life. I knew that what I was going to do was right, ’cause it was right for me and no one else. I just want to share my story.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Anglican Unscripted Episode 98


May 10, 2014           
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate at http://anglican.tv/donate

Story Index

00:00 Peace over Repentance
14:29 Symptoms Vs. Disease
22:36 Submit or Die
28:30 Legal News with AS Haley
37:08 Peter Ould on the Anglican Communion
46:35 Closing and Bloopers