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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Since January, 525 violent incidents against Christians have been documented in 23 different states in India, according to the United Christian Forum (UCF), which highlighted the spike in reported incidents from last year which saw 505 attacks.
This week, the Albuquerque Journal reported on� a study released by the abortion industry's research arm, The Guttmacher Institute, that indicates New Mexico's abortion rate has increased by nearly 220%.� According to the report:� � Between January 2020 and June 2023, New Mexico saw a larger increase in abortion than any other state. New Mexico Alliance for Life has […]The post Abortionist Whose Shoddy Care Killed Woman in Botched Abortion Falsely Claims Abortion Bans Kill Women appeared first on LifeNews.com.
Friends,I recently returned from a very busy 17-day trip (January 13�30) to Russia and Albania, speaking on creation (almost always through a
Boy, I sure have had a busy and exciting spring this year! Starting the first of January, I offered a new workshop at the Creation Museum titled �T. rex�King of
. . . and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.by Phil Johnsonavin Ortlund has written a blogpost titled "Should Churches in California Defy Government Restrictions? A Response to John MacArthur." Time won't permit me to go through his entire post, but I want to clarify one point that Ortlund gets wrong, because it's a crucial one, and I've seen it repeated several times on Twitter. (I've even had a couple of angry emails from people who think John MacArthur said what Ortlund claims he said.) Since it's the starting point of Ortlund's blogpost, much of what he writes in the piece hinges on his misunderstanding of a partial quote he has pulled from MacArthur.Ortlund writes, for example, "To claim that those complying with the government restrictions 'don't know what a church is and . . . don't shepherd their people' is both unhelpful and unkind" (italics added). MacArthur made no such blanket statement, but Ortlund seems to believe that's what he meant, and Ortlund feels personally targeted by it.Here's what John MacArthur did say, with a little bit of context:Churches are shutting down. Large churches are shutting down until (they say) January. I don't have any way to understand thatother than they don't know what a church is and they don't shepherd their people. But that's sad. And you have a lot of people in Christianity who seem to be significant leaders who aren't giving any strength and courage to the church. They're not standing up and rising up and calling on Christians to be the church in the world.John MacArthur (2 August 2020)As the context plainly shows, Pastor MacArthur was talking about pastors who are doing what Andy Stanley and JD Greear have donenamely, they have stopped gathering as a church and made small home groups a long-term substitute for congregational worship. And they say they have no intention of re-gathering the whole flock until sometime in 2021.MacArthur's remark was not about masks and social distancing. It wasn't aimed at churches that have continued to gather the flock by moving their services outdoors or off site. And let's be clear: That would exclude Gavin Ortlund from MacArthur's censure. In his blogpost, Ortlund himself says, "Our church has chosen to meet outdoors." Wonderful. He is to be commended for that. But would Pastor Ortlund not actually agree that it would reflect an unbiblical notion of what the church should be if he had given up on the duty spelled out in Hebrews 10:25�which (by the way) Ortlund himself lists first in his list of "four biblical values that should inform our decision-making in this situation"?No one who is making a good-faith effort not to forsake the regular assembly has any cause to feel insulted by John MacArthur's comment. I'm convinced that no one who is listening carefully to what Pastor MacArthur is saying (and what he has said�repeatedly�about Grace Church's response to the indefinite extension of the quarantine in California) has any cause to feel targeted�unless they are arguing that long-term closure of churches is the right response to the pandemic.I admit, it did surprise me last week when Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director of the 9Marks ministry, indicated he appreciated JD Greear's approach, implying that canceling congregational worship for the rest of the year is a viable (perhaps even better) answer to the quarantine than John MacArthur's decision simply to open the doors of the church and allow the congregation to come. Leeman himself had previously written an excellent article, "The Church Gathered," defending the priority of the congregational assembly.In the discussions currently taking place in various Internet forums, it seems there is no shortage of church leaders who, faced with the pragmatic difficulties of the recent pandemic, have adopted the view that it's just fine for a pastor to make plans not to gather the flock at all for the better part of a year. Those who think that way ought to feel the sting of John MacArthur's rebuke. The prevalence of such thinking among evangelicals is a disturbing reality, and one that shouldn't be glossed over or downplayed just because someone's feelings might accidentally get hurt.MacArthur was absolutely right in what he said. Those who think closing churches for the remainder of the calendar year is a good plan frankly don't have a biblical understanding of what the church is to be. The fact that so many in current positions of church leadership don't see that sets up a scary scenario for the future of the evangelical movement.
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