Welcome to the AUGUST 2013 Edition of the blog!
Here are some sites that may contain information of interest to you:
Government can punish homeschoolers
The eight college degrees that aren’t worth the money
Fuller Seminary OKs LGBT student club
PASADENA, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the world’s largest multi-denominational seminaries, apparently is the first major evangelical seminary to sanction an LGBT student club.
The LGBT group, OneTable, formed last fall, has attracted about three dozen students, and fits into the greater conversation at Fuller, which is committed to helping students understand that sexuality is part of being human, said Juan Martinez, who oversees the approval of the seminary’s student groups.
But there’s a catch: Martinez does not take issue with Fuller’s LGBT students as long as they accept the school’s guidelines of being both celibate and non-political, he said.
“If you are ready to make that kind of commitment, then we’re ready to walk with you,” Martinez said. “We’re not going to turn around and say, `No. You can’t be here because you like girls or you like guys as opposed to the opposite sex.’”
One would think that Christian seminaries are bastions of truth and preservers of sound Bible doctrine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the leaders in producing liberal ministers and are generally not faithful to their founding doctrines, practices and standards. To substantiate this, I authored a research paper resulting from a study on the record of Christian seminaries in America. It is called The Kiss of Betrayal: The Record of Theological Seminaries in America.
Seminaries serve as the hotbed of liberalism in virtually every Christian denomination. Theoretically, they are cast as the saviors of the movement, a feeder of schooled and degreed ministers into the system, supposedly trained in the fundamentals of that movement’s message and methods. As it turns out in many cases, they are the avant garde who challenge the fundamentals of the movement they are created to serve. They introduce methodologies and practices that are foreign to the movement’s traditions.
To read Kiss of Betrayal: The Record of Theological Seminaries In America, go to advanceministries.org/store and get Vol. 4 of Apostolic Theological Forum.
Homosexuality in the Bible: “personal interpretation”?
Increasingly, gay rights advocates have attacked Christian pastors for denouncing homosexual activity, saying that the biblical injunctions concerning it are merely personal interpretations of the passages. Is that true?
Of course not. Millions of pastors and Christian leaders over the centuries have used the clear passages of the Bible to denounce homosexuality. It has been the almost unanimous consensus of Christendom since day one that “gayness” (a modern term) is a perversion that God considers an abomination (Leviticus 20:13; I Corinthians 6:9,10; Romans 1:26,27). Alternative views have been almost non-existent until the middle of the last century. Ministers are required to preach the Word regardless of the changes in cultural mores.
The voices of gay rights advocates are the loudest so they are getting the most press and attention. They are trying to make it sound as though they are the majority and anyone who speaks with a different opinion is a lone wolf with a “personal interpretation” without substantial support.
Apostolics love everyone regardless of their sexual orientation; however, we are obligated to stand where the Bible stands on this issue. Speaking the language of the Bible is not considered “hate speech,” but merely expressing the revealed will and thoughts of God.
A major new study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry of 4/13 reveals that incidents of clinical depression was 22% lower among those who attended religious services at least once a month compared to those who never attended.
Just think how much better off they would be if those folks attended on a regular 2-3 times a week basis—like Pentecostals. Perhaps depression could almost be wiped out by faithful attendance and sincere worship. What a revelation. Hmmmmmm….
Did Helen Keller have ADHD?
Someone recently sent me this question. In Helen’s early childhood she was left deaf and blind. As she developed she became almost incorrigible. One can imagine the fears and anxieties of not being able to see or hear what is going on around you, and with people who don’t really know how to deal with your problems. Doubtless, today she probably would be diagnosed with extreme ADHD or some other dread “disorder” drawn from the DSM-5. Her real problem was that she needed someone to love her and teach her. Enter Anne Sullivan. Through her patient efforts, Helen became a productive citizen, public speaker, and one of the outstanding personages of her time.
Lots of kids that are being psychoanalyzed and diagnosed with mental illness are not mentally ill. Pills are flowing into them because selfless parenting is out of vogue. There is another reason chemical solutions are being promoted for children as well as adults—all pointing to a time in the future when such a diagnosis in one’s past will play into the hands of tyrannical politicians. There is a method in their madness.
Self-control, like traditional marriage and loving parenting, is not popular; pills are. Weep for your children.
Who won the Cold War?
Clue: It wasn’t America.
I well remember the major political battles during the 1950s and 1960s of what is called the Cold War. America seemed to be winning some of the skirmishes, but in the end they lost the war. The reason: Communists are patient. They don’t have to accomplish all their goals in one day or one year or even in a decade.
I remember seeing a list of the Communists’ (a.k.a., Socialists’) goals for the takeover of America back during that time. It was actually entered into the Congressional Record in 1963 by the Hon. A. S. Herlong, Jr. of Florida in the House Of Representatives Thursday, January 10, 1963. It may be accessed at the Congressional Record, Vol. 109 88th Congress, 1st Session Appendix Pages A1-A2842 Jan. 9-May 7, 1963 Reel 12. I never dreamed that virtually all of their goals would be reached in my lifetime. But you can read the list for yourself and see the progress that has been made, especially the giant leaps under the current administration.
Representative Herlong stated that the list came to him from a constituent who was quoting from Cleon Skousen’s book The Naked Communist, first published in 1958. Some of these will shock you. I thank Arlo Moehlenpah for recently reminding us of the existence of the list.
45 COMMUNIST GOALS FOR TAKE-OVER OF AMERICA
1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
Read the remainder of this article and the complete list, if you dare, at advanceministries.org/articles. See how many have already been achieved and how others are in the process of becoming a reality.
Note: This is not a political blog, but we reserve the right to express how political movements may affect our Christian faith and our missions around the world.
Archaeology brings the past to light
Starvation during the Roman siege of Jerusalem
The Roman siege of Jerusalem during the First Jewish Revolt in the first century A.D. forced many of the city’s residents into starvation. Excavations in a small cistern near Robinson’s Arch revealed three intact cooking pots and a small oil lamp dated to the period of the First Jewish Revolt. The vessels were found in the cistern’s drainage channel, corresponding to an account by Josephus, who wrote that Jews would hastily eat their food in hidden spaces in their homes to prevent the rebels from stealing their meager provisions.
Roman Road discovered in Jerusalem
Robin Ngo, writing for the Biblical Archaeology Review website, states that this finely preserved Roman road was recently discovered in Jerusalem. The road was part of two main arteries that connected the Mediterranean coast with Jerusalem in the Roman Empire. Photo by Assaf Peretz, courtesy the Israel Antiquities Authority.
In the Roman Republic and Empire, state-sponsored roads were critical to the growth and preservation of the state. They provided an extraordinarily durable and efficient means of overland travel, communication and trade. The Jerusalem road, dated from the second to third centuries A.D., was found during an excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in preparation for the installation of a drainage pipe. Measuring c. 26 feet in width, the road was built by fitting together large flat stones and was flanked on both sides by curbstones.
Two main Roman roads led from Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast to Jerusalem. The section of road discovered by the IAA was part of the northern route that passed through Beit Horon on its way to the Old City of Jerusalem. According to excavation director David Yeger, “Several segments of the road were previously excavated by research expeditions of the IAA, but such a finely preserved section of the road has not been discovered in the city of Jerusalem until now.”
More Obamacare hidden taxes
The 2.3% Medical Excise Tax that quietly went into effect on January1st has been brought to the public’s attention by hunting and fishing store Cabela’s. They show it as a separate line item tax on their receipts.
You can go directly to the IRS’s website for information that affirms this to be the case. Most are probably not aware of it.
Q1. What is the medical device excise tax?
A1. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device.
Q2. When does the tax go into effect? A2. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012.
Q3. How much is the tax? A3. The tax is 2.3 percent of the sale price of the taxable medical device. See Chapter 5 of IRS Publication 510, Excise Taxes, and Notice 2012-77 for additional information on the determination of sale price.
This document explains that there are new taxes on:
Sport fishing equipment;
Fishing rods and fishing poles;
Electric outboard motors;
Fishing tackle boxes; Bows, quivers, broadheads, and points;
Gas guzzler automobiles; and
The boiling planet
Obama to Africans: “The planet will boil over” if you have access to air conditioning and big houses.
President Obama’s recent trip to Africa took another interesting turn with his announcement of a new energy initiative—Power Africa. Speaking at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Obama claimed that “the planet will boil over” if everyone has access to air conditioning, automobiles, and big houses. That is, unless the world finds “new ways of producing energy.”
Is that really the best thing to say to a continent that suffers from oppressive temperatures and widespread poverty? We have all that but you shouldn’t want it. How is that for inciting hatred and resentment for America?
Military’s Use of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs
Last month FOX National News released a three-part series on the drugging of our nation’s military, produced by award-winning investigative reporter Douglas Kennedy, and assisted by CCHR International.
The first part of this series, “Military’s Reliance on Powerful Psych Drugs,” tells the story of Marine Corporal Andrew White who survived the 2005 war in Iraq, but unfortunately, says his father Stanley, he could not survive the drug cocktail prescribed to him by his caregivers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Andrew was prescribed 19 different drugs from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA), and was on 5 drugs for insomnia when he accidentally died in his sleep in 2011. A cocktail that included the antidepressant Paxil, the anti-anxiety Klonopin and the anti-psychotic Seroquel. Click here for part one of this series.
The second part of this series, “Military Prescribing Powerful Anti-psychotics,” follows the tragic death of former Navy Corpsman, Kelly Greece, who overdosed on the cocktail of drugs she was prescribed by her doctor from the VA. She was prescribed Klonopin, Adderall, Seroquel, and at least 15 other powerful psychiatric drugs. Click here for part two of this series.
The third part of this series, “Drug Treatments for Vets Doing More Harm than Good?” tells the story of Iraqi war veteran Charles Perkins who, after returning home from Iraq, saw 13 different VA psychiatrists within one year, many of them giving him different diagnoses. Perkins ended up receiving 25 prescriptions for 25 different drugs. Once Perkins saw his own doctor, he was told “You are lucky to be alive.” Click here for part three of this series.
“When you have so many soldiers on psychiatric drugs, you are producing chronic mental patients.” — Dr. Peter Breggin
What a great word Peter chose in Acts 2:38
When conviction struck the hearts of the Jews on the Day of Pentecost, they asked what they should do about their guilt. Peter did not hesitate: “Repent…” (Acts 2:38). The Greek word Luke was inspired to use was metanoesate, from meta (after) and nous (the mind), or afterthought. He used the correct word—after being told what they were guilty of, after considering their sins, the Jews perceived that they needed to change their mind. They changed their mind from unbelief to faith, and quickly on to commitment to obey. That is why Luke said, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41). Baptism comes after evidence of this mental assent.
This change of mind after consideration of truth is what God is after. He first provides the purpose for our change, but leaves the action up to us. On Pentecost they heard, felt, believed (changed their mind), then were obedient to baptism. However, the Jezebel in the church at Thyatira did not “will” to repent even after the purpose and space was provided to do so. Unless one’s mind is changed by the preaching of the Word and the conviction of the Spirit, trying to live the Christian life will be like “gravel in the mouth”—joyless, unfulfilling, something likely to be cast aside at the first challenge or difficulty. But true commitment produces a life marked by “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). Perhaps we need to use this wonderful word more often.
Does God and the Devil ever work together?
Perhaps, at times, but with differing agendas. For example, who moved David to number the people? This seems to be a big question in some minds, instilling doubt as to the accuracy of the biblical record. II Samuel 24:1 suggests that it was God who moved David to number the people. But in I Chronicles 21:1, the writer states that Satan was the instigator in the heart of David. Who really was responsible?
Many scholars believe that both were involved in the action, but with different purposes in mind. Evidently Satan initiated the thought, but ultimately God allowed it to be done. One wanted to see David and God’s people destroyed, God’s purpose seems to have been to humble David and Israel, teaching both a valuable spiritual lesson.
Both God and Satan were involved in the trials of Job, just as they were in the crucifixion of Jesus. Satan wanted to destroy Jesus (John 13:2; I Corinthians 2:8), but God’s purpose was the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Acts 2:14-39).
Do you have another explanation? Share your thoughts with us.
Preachers are called to preach!
John Adams once remarked,
“It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted. For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality are predominant, ought they not to warn their hearers against those vices? If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue? If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, how muchsoever it may move the gall of Massachusetts?”
The problem today is that America’s preachers have taken off their black frocks and put on yellow ones! Where is the preaching against prevalent sins? Where is the spiritual, scriptural explanation concerning the rights and duties, limitations and restrictions of Christian magistrates from America’s pulpits today?
The famed nineteenth century revivalist, Charles G. Finney, had some trenchant words on this subject. He said,
- If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
- If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it.
- If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.
- If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it.
- If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
- If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.
Both John Adams and Charles Finney were right on target! When is the last time you heard a nationally renowned (or even locally renowned) Christian pastor speak out against the One World Order that appears to be under construction at a very rapid pace? When have you heard them speak against the demise of our constitutionally protected liberties with the implementation of the Patriot Act and similar encroachments? When did you hear them renouncing the way the White House and Congress are facilitating the invasion of our country by illegal aliens? The answer is…you haven’t and you won’t.
Every minister is urged to look closely at the resolution concerning media that will be brought before the upcoming General Conference. Is it strengthening the hands of pastors who are attempting to hold the line against an invasive culture? Is it protecting what Apostolics have stood for during the past two generations? Will it help the movement retain its standards relating to worldly entertainment and TV filth? Will there be any way to enforce the new positions—i.e., is it “toothless”? Does it move us closer to, or perhaps into, an “anything goes” era? Or is it basically an accommodation to those who want to remove the restriction of Article VII, Section 7, Paragraph 31?
A 6/26 USA Today article by Marco Cava stated films and TV have helped clear a path for acceptance of the gay lifestyle in pop culture. “Hollywood is gay marriage’s best man,” the author crowed. They are happy to take the credit for changing the culture about gays.
Thanks, Hollywood, for providing yet another reason we should be slow in softening our stand against Hollywood trash.
Judging With Righteous Judgment
Righteous judgment uses the background of biblical principles to make informed decisions. Would one consider marriage without “judging” their potential mate? Should one invest in a stock or business without making an informed judgment about the overall health of the company and the character of its chief executives? Would you put someone in a church position without determining whether they are capable or trustworthy? Or issue ministerial license without first judging by all the evidence available that they should have the license? Bottom line: all Christians, and especially Christian leaders, must judge.
This little inexpensive booklet points out the difference in righteous and unrighteous judgment, and also provides some guidelines for avoiding the guilt one may feel when he or she is obligated make a judgment. AM Price $2.99
Before You Say “I Do”
By J. R. Ensey
No one in your church should get married before asking themselves these twenty-five very important questions. This book has helped countless couples circumvent potential trouble areas in their courtship and marriage. A wedding planner and other extras are included in the book. AM Price $3.99
The Perils of Pluralism
The Oneness Pentecostal movement is being pressured toward ecumenism. Here are the positions that will help us overcome the temptation to surrender to that spirit. AM Price $3.99
By J. R. Ensey
This supernatural gift from God involving a revelation of information has been mightily used but also abused. A must read!
AM Price $2.99
Of Dice and Men
By J. R. Ensey
Gambling is becoming a huge industry in America. It is pulling millions of dollars out of the pockets of those who can least afford it. It is a thief! And if we do not teach our people the principles that it violates, someday a type of this evil will invade our own assemblies with the mantra, “Everybody’s does it in some way, so what’s the big deal?” Includes considerable information on state lotteries. AM Price $3.99
I once heard a message on judgmentalism where the preacher himself was the one who was being judgmental. He was judging motives right and left but only of those he thought were judging or with whom he disagreed. I suppose it is OK to criticize the critics when the critics are criticizing you. That seemed to be the message. Don’t judge anyone. Just let everyone do their own thing freely without any input. Sorry, that is not the message of either Jesus or the Apostles.
Jesus and the apostles judged, and they told us to judge. But people who want to avoid accountability and spiritual responsibility make judgmentalism an all-day sucker. Judgmentalism is the world’s last sin. Everything else is OK. Don’t make anyone feel bad about anything they want to do. If you do, you are judgmental.
That attitude basically puts the ministry in a box, just where the world and carnal Christians want them. If everyone is a law unto himself, then why are we wasting our time trying to preach the Word and guide people out of their sinful ways?
What does the Bible really say about judging? Take a few minutes and order the little booklet Judging With Righteous Judgment described above under BooksBooks. It is only $2.95 and might be worth a lot more than that in understanding of this vital issue.
In the same vein—isn’t it funny that those who inveigh the loudest against “labeling” are the ones doing most of the labeling. They want to label you, but don’t want you to label them.
A sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to our steps as we walk the tightrope of life. – Bits and Pieces
My problem is I say what I’m thinking before I think what I’m saying. – Laurence J. Peter
There are two kind of people: Those who stop to think and those who stop thinking.
Studies show that you burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. Yet another reason…