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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
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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The Preeminence of Christ (Independent fundamental baptist preaching) Preaching from the Pulpit of the Salem Baptist Church, Cincinnati, OH Pastor Phillip Blackwell Sunday Morning March 5, 2017 Title: The Preeminence of Christ ...
Tri-State Preachers Fellowship (2 of 2) preached by Pastor Billy Goolesby, Rome Baptist Temple in Rome, GA - March meeting of the Tri-State Independent Baptist Preachers Fellowship ...
Tri-State Preachers Fellowship (1 of 2) preached by Pastor Tim McCulley, Philadelphia Baptist Church in Calhoun, GA - March meeting of the Tri-State Independent Baptist Preachers Fellowship ...
Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the Meek - Baptist Preaching - Pastor David Pigott "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." - Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
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July 9th marked the four-year anniversary of the launch of a campaign by Chinese officials to crack down on human rights lawyers. Many of these lawyers were arrested, given prison sentences, and tortured behind bars. This tragedy is now referred to as the “709 Incident” because it began on July 9, 2015. Since this date, China has continued to persecute human rights lawyers and activists.The Chinese government’s crackdown on anyone brave enough to advocate for human rights in China is especially disgusting given that China currently sits on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.The fact that shameless human rights abusers can participate in the UN Human Rights Council brings to light an issue that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is trying to address.On July 7th, Pompeo announced the launch of the Commission on Unalienable Rights. This new panel of scholars, legal experts, and advocates are tasked with reorienting the definition of “human rights” to one that our country’s Founders and the signers of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights would recognize.Political activists over the past several decades have slowly eroded the proper understanding of human rights from being centered around life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to a catch-all phrase that encompasses everything from abortion to free college tuition.The confusion over human rights is especially evident in international affairs. The United Nations’ Human Rights Council has shamelessly ignored obvious human rights violations around the world—all while some of the worst violators of human rights claim membership on the council. It’s clear that international institutions tasked with addressing human rights concerns have lost focus on their mission. The Commission on Unalienable Rights is looking to change that.The commission, which will provide advice, not policy, will take a step back and consider the source and substance of what the Declaration of Independence labeled our “unalienable rights.” Informed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and U.S. founding documents, the commission is intended to provide insight on how we can better define and protect essential human rights.Pompeo argues that oppressive regimes have abused the term “human rights” and acted as if they were champions of this cause. We can no longer let brutal regimes get away with hiding their heinous actions as they hijack the legitimate and necessary terminology of “human rights.” There must be a universal standard of basic human rights so that countries can be held accountable for violating the fundamental rights of their people. We can hope that this new commission will provide the clarity that is so desperately needed to effectively advocate for those most basic rights which all people are entitled to, but far too many people around the world are denied.
A historian shows how the pursuit of God and “black gold” went hand in hand—and how it changed the shape of American Christianity.Editor’s note: CT’s June cover story considers the use and abuse of oil from a Christian lens.In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus frames a stark choice between God and money, declaring, “You cannot serve both” (Matt. 6:24). His warning has not exactly fallen on deaf ears in the modern United States, but it hasn’t kept many awake at night either. American believers have for generations possessed a buoyant confidence—one might call it a faith—in their ability to make money without being mastered by it. The righteous can pursue riches, so long as their hearts are in the right place.Such bits of conventional wisdom have a history. In recent years, scholars have delved deeper than ever before into the longstanding synergies between American Christianity and American capitalism. Their efforts have yielded a wealth of excellent studies focused on everything from Wal-Mart to Chick-Fil-A, from spiritual celebrity to Christian nationalism, and from the origins of fundamentalism to the rise of prosperity megachurches.Darren Dochuk’s landmark book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America, at once builds on this important body of work and represents its most stunning achievement. Authors rarely deliver so fully on their titles. Through the stories of believers hot in pursuit of both God and “black gold,” Dochuk indeed opens a breathtaking new window onto the making of the modern nation.Sparring Spirits of CapitalismOil is not incidental to Dochuk’s narrative. Its distinctive qualities, ranging from its hiddenness and explosiveness to its extraordinary value, make it an essential player. Dochuk underscores this point from the outset, characterizing ...Continue reading...
Conservatives breathed a refreshing sigh of relief upon hearing the Supreme Court’s ruling to protect the Bladensburg cross-shaped memorial last month in American Legion v. American Humanist Association. In defending the memorial, the Court not only resolved this case’s controversy but helped shed light on religion’s place in the public square entirely. This case may prove to be a greater victory than many suppose as it looks towards the original intentions of our Founding Fathers, measuring the memorial’s legality with the Constitution rather than tests the Court has conjured up in the past.Though the Court has had to determine how the Constitution is to be interpreted, some of the ways chosen to do so have greatly deviated from the Constitution’s plain original meaning. One of the worst interpretations of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause—the Lemon test—has played a significant role in the Court’s decisions since Lemon v. Kurtzman was decided in 1971. The Lemon test instated a three-pronged set of requirements intended to drive a wedge between Church and State—something that the Establishment Clause never envisioned, supported, or made accommodations for.Though the Lemon test has daunted cases of religious freedom for decades, the Court’s decision to protect the Bladensburg cross-shaped memorial gives one hope for a future full reversal of Lemon. Having produced a strong 7-2 ruling in favor of the memorial, the Court once again highlighted the futility of the test. Even though the Court did not throw out Lemon entirely, their ruling greatly crippled the test, increasingly marginalizing it and making clear it is simply unhelpful. In his concurring opinion, Justice Kavanaugh highlighted its obvious flaws and increasing uselessness, as he surveyed the Court’s Establishment Clause cases to show that Lemon has not been applied in many of them.Kavanaugh pointed out Lemon’s grave flaws by showing that many normal religious practices would be prohibited by the test. As Lemon doesn’t allow the government to act in any way that could advance or endorse religion, any form of government-granted religious accommodations and exemptions—practices that have always been fundamental within the United States—would be entirely forbidden. Kavanaugh lays out that many religious practices intertwined with daily life “’by definition’ have the effect of advancing or endorsing religion to some extent.”Along with other justices, Justice Kavanaugh urges that a test as hostile towards religious imagery as the Lemon test is dangerously unconstitutional and should hold no place within our judicial system. Kavanaugh concurred, “The Court’s decision in this case [The American Legion v. American Humanist Association] again makes clear that the Lemon test does not apply to the Establishment Clause…”Rather than choosing to interpret the cross as a secular symbol, Kavanaugh drives home the significance of preserving religious imagery in the public square, stating, “I fully understand the deeply religious nature of the cross. It would demean both believers and nonbelievers to say that the cross is not religious, or not all that religious.” Kavanaugh summarized and solidified the cross’s validity, choosing to understand it for what it is—the universally chosen icon to represent Christ’s death and sacrifice on Calvary.Justice Kavanaugh, along with others, shed light on the clear truth that it is impossible to separate religion from the public square, being that the public square is comprised of religious individuals. For those that prize religious freedom as a core principle of this country, the Bladensburg memorial stands as a testimony to the Constitution’s provisions for religious freedom. This case helps illuminate how religion is not only inseparable from but also necessary for public life to flourish, something that FRC’s amicus brief highlights. In a culture that appears to be continuously straying from biblical values, it is comforting for Supreme Court Justices to stand on and for the truths that this country was founded upon.Nicolas Reynolds is an intern at Family Research Council.
Recently, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies have been the target of many discriminatory acts made by state and local governments.Far from the Founding Fathers’ original intent, the ability to help others through foster care and adoption is now contingent on the feelings of LGBT activists in some states and localities. This is just the latest example of a disturbing trend—if the convictions of one’s religion encroaches on someone else’s comfort, ego, or ideology, they are demonized and declared to be a manifestation of hatred.Increasingly, care provided by faith-based adoption agencies is only permitted on the condition that these agencies’ beliefs do not offend the LGBT movement, conditions that threaten their ability to serve children who are in desperate need of fundamental nurturing. Governmental discriminatory actions have been taken against faith-based agencies in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.In Philadelphia, actions were taken in March of 2018 to end the referral contract the city had with Catholic Social Services (CSS) even though they are one of the city’s largest foster care agencies (there are 30 total), working every day to place at-risk and special needs children in supportive homes. According to CSS, the agency serves 120 children in foster care and supervises 100 foster homes on a daily basis. In 2017 alone, they worked with over 2,200 children. Following the city’s ending of its referral contract with CSS, a “foster parent of the year” award winner’s home was emptied and siblings were nearly kept apart despite the city’s urgent call for hundreds of new foster homes. Even though CSS has been placing children in foster care for over a century, it appears they have lost the opportunity seemingly overnight.Situations like Philadelphia will only escalate all governmental discriminatory actions towards religious organizations. Actions like these open the door to far more severe discriminatory actions to be taken against Christian organizations, which will adversely affect their ability to care for the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40). As recently as December of last year, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services issued an ultimatum to faith-based adoption agency New Hope, forcing them to either violate their beliefs (that a child needs both a mother and a father) or close their doors. New Hope would likely no longer be able to provide children with homes.In response to the clear governmental discriminatory actions taken against faith-based adoption agencies, legislators such as Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) are introducing legislation to protect religious liberty. They have introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2019 (CWPIA) (H.R. 897 / S. 274), a piece of legislation which would allow organizations such as CSS and New Hope to continue helping those in need without threat of foreclosure from the government. Rep. Kelly echoes the plea to preserve the ability of Christians to care for children who are desperately in need of nurturing that only a family can give:Faith-based adoption and foster care providers have historically played an unrivaled role in caring for our country’s most vulnerable kids… They are the very providers that we should be encouraging and promoting, not punishing.Concurring, Rep. Enzi adds:The government should not be in the business of forcing faith-based child welfare providers to abandon their sincerely held religious beliefs, especially at the expense of finding a new home for a child in need.Additionally, laws similar to the CWPIA have been passed in Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia—most recently in Oklahoma and Kansas.Discriminatory actions taken against faith-based adoption and foster care agencies are attacks on the biblical definition of the family, the most fundamental establishment in society. These attacks show a disregard for the Judeo-Christian principles which are uniquely imparted through the family. Lawmakers must provide more security to Christian organizations that wish to place children in homes that will sacrifice for, care for, and nurture children in need of a forever-family. Since the family is the cornerstone of a moral and flourishing society, it should be regarded and defended with the utmost care. This includes ensuring that the best possible services are provided for children who are not privileged to have a biological family. If governmental discrimination causes families to fall short, society’s moral standards too will fall short. The American people must stand up for the rights of faith-based organizations to continue providing the care that children need. No longer should Christians be targeted by governmental discriminatory actions for their efforts to care for “the least of these.”Nicolas Reynolds is an intern at Family Research Council.
The fundamental human right of religious freedom is under attack around the globe today like never before. While this disturbing trend should concern everyone, it should be particularly alarming for Christians, because a Christian worldview requires us to care about religious freedom – including the religious freedom of others.
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