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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Lester Roloff - That Dirty Crowd Called "Mainstream Media" Lester Roloff was born on June 28, 1914, to Christian parents in Dawson, Texas. Raised on a farm, he learned the value of hard work at a young age. In his early teens he was saved and later committed his life to becoming a preacher. He knew he needed
Lester Roloff - That Dirty Crowd Called "Mainstream Media" Lester Roloff was born on June 28, 1914, to Christian parents in Dawson, Texas. Raised on a farm, he learned the value of hard work at a young age. In his early teens he was saved and later committed his life to becoming a preacher. He knew he needed
Charles Crismier - New Sex Trend: It's Frightful, Frightful, Frightful Younger Generation More Prone to Immoral Behavior, Survey Finds Young adults under 25 are more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards, a survey released Monday shows.
Charles Crismier - New Sex Trend: It's Frightful, Frightful, Frightful Younger Generation More Prone to Immoral Behavior, Survey Finds Young adults under 25 are more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards, a survey released Monday shows.
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Dear Friends,Over and over, the New Testament gives us a “simple” commandment: love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 3:11, Romans 13:8, Ephesians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, etc.). It sounds simple, but we all know that putting this commandment into practice is anything but.When we are reminded to love one another, it’s easy to get discouraged by thinking of all the times we have failed to show love to our neighbor. C.S. Lewis provides an insightful way to think about how we can develop a habit of love by using the metaphor of mathematics. When we study math, we don’t begin by trying to understand calculus—we start with basic addition. In the same way, we learn to love by first loving our family—the basic unit of society from which we come from. This plays out in small, everyday acts of love, like forgiving your spouse for leaving the sink piled high with dirty dishes, or forgiving your child for blurting out an insult.Once we gain this habit of love in our families, we can more easily transfer the habit to everyone we meet in our everyday lives. But it is still quite difficult, as we all know, because unloving feelings seem to naturally bubble up within us out of nowhere, and they are often difficult to shake. One example is when we are driving on a highway, and we are abruptly cut off by another driver who changes lanes right in front of us, forcing us to slow down. The immediate reaction is one of resentment, and we are often tempted to react in equal measure, perhaps by speeding up to tailgate them. But this is a failure to love one another. As C.S. Lewis has written, “The feeling of resentment, the desire for payback, must be simply killed. It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible.”When we feel the inklings of resentment building up within us, we must stop them before they become worse. Instead of letting your anger rise, take a deep breath and ask Jesus for the grace to forgive the person who has wronged you. Say a prayer for the person, asking the Lord to help them see the truth. When we begin to form this kind of habit of forgiveness and practice it over and over again, it will with time blossom into a way of life. When God sees our attempts at love, however small they may be, He pours His grace into our lives, giving us continued strength to persevere in love.On this Martin Luther King Day, let us be especially mindful of the importance of loving one another in order to bring about increased harmony between those of different ethnicities and cultures.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesVoices From The Grave Cry Out For Justice In Iran – Ken BlackwellEvery Vote Really Does Count – Ken BlackwellWill Republicans Finish The Job for Seniors And Small Businesses? – Ken BlackwellChai Feldblum Should Not Be Reappointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Peter SpringWhat You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking – Dan HartOregon State Appeals Court Rules Against Aaron and Melissa Klein – Travis WeberHow the New Tax Bill Helps Families – Andrew GuernseyA Pastor’s Take on the Sex Abuse Scandals of 2017 – Andrew HebertThe Rich History of Christmas Traditions – Dan Hart Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareIs Your Church Prepared to Handle a Challenge to its Religious Liberty? – Erik Stanley, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionWhat the Founders Understood About Religious Freedom That We Must Recover – Michael Berry, The Daily SignalChristian school fights Michigan Township for right to operate out of a church – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionFEMA to Allow Churches to Receive Disaster Relief After Key Policy Change – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostCalif. County Allows Christian Group to Display Nativity Scene on Public Property for Epiphany – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostTop 5 religious liberty stories of 2017 – Joe Carter, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionAtheist Group Forces Louisiana Sheriff's Office to Remove Christian Facebook Posts – Samuel Smith, The Christian Post"Free to Believe"Judge Gives Partial Victory to Fired Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran – Michael Gryboski, The Christian PostChristian Couple Who Lost Bakery After Heavy Fine for Not Making Lesbian Wedding Cake Loses Appeal – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostNJ Gives Christian Teacher 3-Year Suspension After Facebook Post on Homosexuality – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostInternational Religious FreedomItaly Faces ‘Dark Future’ After Passing New End-of-Life Law – Edward Pentin, National Catholic RegisterUnder Justin Trudeau, Canada marches towards totalitarianism – Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNewsChristians in Egypt Celebrate Christmas Amid Tight Security – The Christian PostChina church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians – Benjamin Haas, The Guardian LifeAbortionThe new pro-life generation – Leigh Jones, WORLDFrom Ireland to Africa: What Happened in the Pro-Life Movement in 2017 – Liberty McArtor, The StreamPlanned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars – Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS NewsPath to pro-life: Overcoming pro-abortion peer pressure with facts – Marvin Olasky, WORLDOhio passes Down syndrome abortion ban – Samantha Gobba, WORLDUnsafe: Ambulance calls to abortion facilities doubled in 2017 – Rebecca Downs, Live ActionCourt strikes down Baltimore law on pregnancy centers – Associated PressWomen Describe Trauma of Abortion in Survey; Nearly 3 in 5 Abortions Done 'To Make Others Happy' – Brandon Showalter, The Christian PostHow Abortion Pills Upend the Politics and Practice of Abortion – Rebecca Oas, C-FamAdoptionMother records heartfelt message for her son before he's placed for adoption – KOATBioethicsSix Things You Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide – Nancy Valko, Public DiscoursePhysicians Cannot Serve Both Death and Life – Gerard T. Mundy, Public DiscourseHealth CareTrump Rule Aims to Extend Health Care Option to 11 Million Uninsured – Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal FamilyEconomics/EducationTaxes and Parental Educational Autonomy – John Grondelski, Ethika Politika4 Of The Biggest Myths About The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act – Justin Haskins, The FederalistA Good Guide: A Winsome Argument for Virtue in Business – John Yoest, The StreamHow Common Core Taught Me Bureaucrats Will Always Win Unless We Slash Big Government – Jenni White, The FederalistCommunicating Key Truths About Marriage and Family in the University Classroom – D. Scott Sibley, Family StudiesMarriageWhat's the Secret to Great Marriage in the New Year? – Erin Smalley, Focus on the FamilyIf Women Want A Family, They Need To Prioritize Marriage Above Their Careers – Suzanne Venker, The Federalist7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Marriage in 2018 – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesHow to Live Out the Gospel in Your Marriage – Kaitlin Curtice, RelevantFaith/Character/CultureWhy MLK's Vision of Love as a Moral Imperative Still Matters – Joshua F.J. Inwood, Intellectual TakeoutThe Anomaly of Being an Anti-Drifter – Jared Zimmerer, Word On FireCreation waits: Incarnation and resurrection are the pulse of the world – Janie B. Cheaney, WORLDA Modest Suggestion: Perhaps Things Aren’t That Bad – Heather Wilhelm, National ReviewThe Supernatural Foundation of Charity – Gary A. Anderson, PrinciplesThe Fatal Flaw of Going It Alone – RelevantBe True to Yourself – Jon Bloom, Desiring God6 Ways to practice being kinder – Cynthia Dermody, AleteiaModesty and Charity – Anthony Esolen, The Catholic ThingHuman SexualityManhood Is Not Natural – Glenn Stanton, Public DiscourseA great sexual reckoning – Mindy Belz, WORLDIn Defense of Prudery – David Sandifer, TouchstoneMilitary to begin accepting transgender recruits after Trump delays appeal – Julia Manchester, The HillThe Cure for Toxic Masculinity is Real Masculinity – Robin Koerner, The StreamPsychologist Says Teens Need to Stop Asking for Nude Texts – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual ExploitationCDC study shows decline in teen sex during abstinence education period – Fr. Mark Hodges, LifeSiteNewsHow Their Refusal To Tolerate Dissent Is Creating A Global Backlash Against LGBT People – Stefano Gennarini, The FederalistHuman Trafficking5 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Sex Trafficking In Your Daily Life – Fight the New DrugHow to Participate in National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 2018 – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual ExploitationHarvey Weinstein Isn't Unusual: Sexual Abuse and Trafficking in the United States – Mary Rose Somarriba, Public DiscourseBill to Aid Victims of Child Pornography Passes Senate Judiciary Committee – National Catholic RegisterPornographyYour Brain on Porn – Katherine Blakeman, National Center on Sexual Exploitation16 Need-To-Know Facts About How Porn Is Impacting Our Society – Fight the New Drug
On December 28th, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled against Aaron and Melissa Klein, upholding a determination under state law that forced them to create a cake for a same-sex wedding against their consciences.The court threw cold water on the Kleins’ First Amendment defenses, claiming that if it allowed them to proceed, then others seeking to defend racial discrimination through religious freedom claims would also be allowed to prevail.The Court also goes overboard by accepting and recounting wholesale the feelings and perceptions of the upset same-sex couple, coloring bias into the entire narrative—while failing to do the same courtesy for the feelings and perceptions of Aaron and Melissa, who no doubt have been seriously harmed throughout this case. Moreover, Aaron and Melissa had to endure a barrage of hateful rhetoric directed at them as this incident developed, yet none of this is built into the court’s recounting of events, which ultimately supported highly excessive damages against the Kleins built on nothing more than the couple’s flimsy emotional narrative.Yet there were a couple of bright spots in the opinion.The one finding the court reversed was the part of the administrative ruling which acted as a “gag order” on the Kleins being able to speak about what happened to them. This finding was outrageous, and rightly reversed by the court of appeals.Second, even though the court ruled against the Kleins’ freedom of expression claim, it recognized that to the degree such cake creations are artistic, they are very likely protected. Noting that “[i]t appears that the Supreme Court has never decided a free-speech challenge to the application of a public accommodations law to a retail establishment selling highly customized, creative goods and services that arguably are in the nature of art or other expression,” the court said that “[i]f BOLI’s [Bureau of Labor and Industry—the administrative entity which ruled against the Kleins] order can be understood to compel the Kleins to create pure ‘expression’ that they would not otherwise create, it is possible that the Court would regard BOLI’s order as a regulation of content, thus subject to strict scrutiny, the test for regulating fully protected expression.” This also “would be a different case if BOLI’s order had awarded damages against the Kleins for refusing to decorate a cake with a specific message requested by a customer (‘God Bless This Marriage.’)”Well, the Supreme Court is about to decide this very issue in Jack Phillips’ case—Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission—in the upcoming months. When his case is decided, the Kleins’ case may be too. Indeed, at oral argument in Phillips’ case, the exact message “God Bless This Marriage” was mentioned by the justices as implicating protected expressive conduct (one wonders if the Oregon Court of Appeals specifically cited it in order to leave itself an “out”).Finally, in another bright moment in its opinion, the Oregon Court of Appeals observed that the Kleins’ case (and therefore many of these wedding vendor cases) are unlike FAIR v. Rumsfeld, in which the Supreme Court said law schools must allow military recruiters (the military was under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy at the time) access to campus if they wanted to continue to receive federal funds. Opponents of the Kleins and others often claim their cases are like FAIR, and it was good to see the Court here dismiss that notion, observing that the law schools never objected to being forced to speak a message with which they disagree, while the Kleins and other wedding vendors do.Despite these few promising points, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruling is a blow to freedom for all, and will only perpetuate the current culture war by suppressing the religious freedom of many people of good will who just want to live their lives in peace. The Kleins’ opponents could have easily obtained a cake from a nearby bakery, and the problem would be solved. Instead, once again, everyone has been dragged into years of litigation. Until a different approach to these conflicts is taken, we can only expect more of the same results.
Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. Matt Lauer. Charlie Rose. Al Franken. What do these men have in common? They, along with over one hundred others, were accused in recent months of sexual misconduct. The list of names spans the east and west coasts, the media and politics, Democrats and Republicans. The revelation of widespread sex abuse was one of the most important developments of 2017. It brought darkness to light and uncovered a societal cancer that has been kept secret for far too long.Some have expressed shock that people can indeed be so evil. Some wonder if this kind of depravity has always happened but remained concealed. Is the extreme nature of this abuse a new phenomenon?As Christians, what are we to say about these things? Who’s to blame? And more importantly, how do we get out of this mess?For Christians, none of this twisted sexual behavior should come as a surprise. Humanity has been this broken all along. The Bible gives both a framework for understanding why all of this is happening as well as a clear way out of the mess. Christians have believed for a long time in the depravity of mankind, that every human person is sinful and broken. This view of depravity does not mean that we are as bad as we possibly can be, but rather that any one of us is capable of doing anything.Of course, this theological understanding of mankind does not in any way excuse the behavior of these men, any more than a compulsive liar’s proclivity to tell untruths justifies the lies he or she tells. We believe in protecting the innocent, fighting injustice, and guarding those who are most vulnerable in our society. We also believe that the government’s job is to punish evildoers, as the Apostle Paul states in Romans 13. If any of these men are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.But while justice must be done, to what extent does our society also share some of the blame? Since the sexual revolution, American sexual mores have been alarmingly and harmfully fluid. Coupled with the moral relativism that has been espoused in many public forums—especially the media, the arts, and the classroom—the sexual revolution effectively taught boys and girls that personal expression supersedes “restrictive” traditional ethics. Those boys and girls grew up to be some of the same men and women who decided that love of self-expression is to be valued more than love of neighbor.Currently, even our elementary aged children are exposed to sexual education where traditional sexual boundaries are pushed. Whether it is the issue of gender identification, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, or polyamory, the culture has enabled the sexual confusion and dysfunction we are experiencing. There is little doubt as to why we are where we are. Ideas have consequences. Failing to recognize any moral absolutes, society has left the door open for a host of unethical behaviors. It is time for our society to look in the mirror when leveling blame for these tragedies.These scandals simply reflect the outcome when a society rejects the Christian notion of moral absolutes, which are grounded in the creative design of God. The British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once famously remarked, “If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.” In this cultural moment, we are seeing what happens when people try to fill the void in their lives that is left when there is no room for God. We are sex-obsessed. Sex has become a god, and as all idols do, it has left us hurting and broken.So, amidst the very apparent brokenness we are experiencing as a society, how should we respond, particularly from a Christian perspective?Scripture calls us to humility and hope. We must have humility, because we believe “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Let him who thinks he stands beware lest he fall,” Scripture warns us (1 Corinthians 10:12). While not everyone has committed sexual assault, everyone stands equally sinful before God. Furthermore, most people struggle with sexual dysfunction in one way or another. We are all sexually broken and our sexuality needs to be healed. This recognition should give us humility.Beyond humility, the gospel also says that there is hope. For the victims there is hope that justice will be done, if not on earth then in heaven. There is hope for those who feel used, hurt, dirty, and perhaps even full of shame. Regardless of what has caused that shame, cleansing is possible. The Christian gospel is clear: you are not the sum total of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you. People do not have to be defined by their mistakes, or the destructive actions of others. Psalm 147 tells us that God heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Restoration is possible through Christ.A more scandalous notion is that those who have been accused have hope as well. Regardless of the crime they may have committed, any of these men who turn to Christ in repentance and faith can be forgiven and made new. This is the hope of the gospel: because of Christ crucified, our sin—past, present, and future—has already been judged at the cross. God reckoned Jesus as guilty so He could reckon us as innocent. The good news of the gospel is that no matter the mistake, forgiveness can be received in Jesus. What’s more, Christ rose from the dead, enabling us to walk in newness of life. Christ can restore us in such a way that we can pursue all of life, including our sexuality, in the way God designed it. We don’t have to be who we’ve been. That’s a message that Harvey Weinstein needs to hear. That’s a message that we all need to hear.Dr. Andrew Hebert is the lead pastor of Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo, Texas. You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewhebert86.
Our culture istearing itself apartbecause it rejectsall authority.How can Christiansdemonstrate thatGod's authorityis just whateveryone needs?
Have you ever wondered why it became such a common tradition for Christians to bring a tree into their homes for Christmas? Or why certain plants like holly and mistletoe are often used as Christmas decorations? As it turns out, there is a rich history behind many of the Christmas traditions that seem so common to us now.Christmas treesSt. Boniface traveled to Germany from England in the eighth century to try and convert the pagans that lived there. He discovered that many of the people there were open to his message of Christ’s salvation, but still insisted on worshipping their pagan gods, including an oak tree that they considered to be sacred. Boniface was uncertain about how he could convince the people that the tree was not a god; finally, he decided to cut the tree down. The people were angered by this, so he gave them a young evergreen tree instead. Unlike the oak tree which lost its leaves each year, the evergreen tree kept its green needles all year around. Therefore, the evergreen tree is richly symbolic of the everlasting life that Christ offers us.Christmas plants Holly, ivy, and mistletoe are often used as decorative ornaments for Christmas. So how did these traditions originate? Holly has been used for hundreds of years for making wreaths and for decorating tables and mantelpieces. The sharp, thorny edges of holly leaves are a reminder of the crown of thorns that was placed on Christ’s head, and the red berries symbolize drops of his blood. Ivy was once used by pagan religions to form crowns that were placed on the statues of pagan gods, but has since been adopted by Christians for use in wreaths and ornaments, with the white berries of some varieties of ivy representing purity and innocence. Before Christianity arrived in Ireland, mistletoe was once used by Celtic Druids (pagan priests) in their ceremonies. It was eventually adopted by Christians to decorate their homes and to act as a symbol of marriage. This is how the custom of kissing a person standing under the mistletoe began.Christmas cardsThe earliest forms of Christmas cards date back to the fifteenth century, when sheets of paper were used to print the Christmas story on. The first Christmas cards to appear as we know them today were made by Henry Cole in England in 1843. The cards featured scenes of Christians doing acts of charity, and said “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you.” In the U.S., Louis Prang of Boston was one of the first to produce Christmas cards in 1875, and they proved to be very successful. Today, over two billion Christmas cards are mailed in the U.S. each year.Christmas DayThe exact date of Christ’s birth was not known by the early church, but one of its earliest traditions is that the Annunciation of Mary (when the Archangel Gabriel appears to her with the news of her motherhood of God) happened on March 25th. It is believed that since December 25th is exactly nine months later, the church decided that this would be the appropriate date of Christ’s birth. Another possible reason why this date was chosen was that in Rome during this time, the pagans celebrated December 25th as the birth of the sun (the winter solstice) with a large feast. As a way to persuade the pagans to become Christian, the Christians decided to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th as well. This was also very appropriate since Christ was prophesied in Malachi 4:2 as the “sun of righteousness”: “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.”The Christmas traditions that we often take for granted do indeed have a rich history grounded in the traditions of many different peoples and cultures. As the Lord of history and the Savior of all mankind, Christ has and continues to transcend, enrich, and fulfil our earthly traditions and lives with his salvific grace.Sources: Celebrating Christmas by Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.; “Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December?”; “Christmas”
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