And the modern fixation on ‘church growth’ is a distortion of Christianity. The growth of the church is the work of the Spirit. Period. The only ‘church growth’ ‘program’ the Scriptures know is the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of unbelievers and believers. Period.
An Idaho man will spend about four months in jail for taking his 14-year-old daughter to Missouri to marry a 24-year-old man who raped and impregnated her. The Idaho State Journal reports that the father pleaded guilty to injury to a child last week and Seventh District Judge Gregory Moeller put him behind bars for 120 days, telling him it was about as long as the girl was in a “vile farce of a marriage to a rapist because of you.”
Court documents say the father believed that a man should marry a girl he gets pregnant. He picked a state where 14-year-olds can legally wed. Officials say the girl miscarried and when she returned to Idaho, her mother filed for an annulment. The 24-year-old was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony rape.
Four months in prison isn’t nearly enough.
[We reject any] ‘claim to private revelation,’ which is peculiar to enthusiasts, whose distempered phantasies, like Jonah’s gourd, spring up in one night and perish in another, as their falsehood becomes manifest, to the confusion of their prophetic authors. – Williams
Distempered fantasies… that sums it up.
Ten-year-old Jacob Riley is putting his faith into action and believing God for a threefold increase in his weekly allowance, sources reported Tuesday.
“I’m just laying claim to the material blessings that belong to me in Christ,” explained the fifth grader, echoing the beliefs his parents have discussed in front of him countless times.
“God didn’t create me to be average, to just get by,” Riley, flanked by his parents, explained to reporters. “He created me to prosper, to succeed, to dream big, to be above average. I’m no ordinary Joe; I’m a child of the most high God, and my heavenly Father does not desire for me to live in lack.”
The boy’s parents, while proud of their son, admitted that this new claim of faith might strain their finances a bit. “When we instituted his allowance last year, we were thinking of three or five dollars per week, but he informed us that he was laying claim to fifty,” noted Jacob’s father, Mike. “So his allowance is already substantial. Upping it to a hundred and fifty a week—man, that’s six hundred a month—ugh. Wow. We might have to discuss this a bit, son.”
The ten-year-old’s faith remains unshaken. “Jesus already earned my tripled allowance—it’s already mine,” he reminded his father. “I just have to lay claim to it in Jesus’s name, just like you and mom always talk about.”
Etc. Nail on the head. Again.
Who either understand or apply to their own lives the demand of the Gospel that Christians deny themselves and take up their cross. Hence the moral and ethical weakness and poverty of their ‘faith’.
And the stupidest of the stupid say things like this: ‘Shooting an endangered animal is worse than murder’
The killing of an endangered gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo to rescue a boy who fell into a dangerous enclosure unleashed an outpouring of grief over the holiday weekend. Within hours, that grief had turned to fury as critics questioned the zoo’s decision to kill the endangered 17-year-old gorilla, named Harambe, and called for the boy’s parents to be punished for not adequately supervising their child. A Facebook page called “Justice for Harambe” received more than 41,000 “likes” within hours of its creation. The page’s description says it was created to “raise awareness of Harambe’s murder” and includes YouTube tributes and memes celebrating the western lowland gorilla and admonishing zoo officials. “Shooting an endangered animal is worse than murder,” a commenter from Denmark named Per Serensen wrote on the page. “Soooo angry.”
Jesus take the wheel…. what kind of unhinged people inhabit this planet? That little boy matters 10 million times more than a gorilla. Every gorilla on the planet could perish and it wouldn’t matter as much as the death of the most abject child.
How long now before #GorillaLivesMatter becomes a real thing and not the unmasked mockery it is here?
This paper seeks to investigate the relationship between hope, cynicism, and despair in the stakes of a well-known dispute between Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr accuses Barth, and those who adopt Barth’s central doctrinal and political positions, of quietism: in the name of religious perfectionism, such Barthians are not disposed toward incremental but necessary social reforms. For Niebuhr, this is a sure sign of “Barthian pessimism,” the despair that results from a conscience oversensitive to the absolute demands of God’s righteousness. This paper seeks to show that a certain form of Barthian political theology is defensible as an ethical disposition since it need not fall victim to the helpless despair that Niebuhr fears, and simultaneously that a defensible account of what I call “total complicity” reflects the self-awareness and self-criticism that often become deformed into cynical despair and reshapes them toward repentant engagement with the world.
This is a very interesting read– which begins
Jesus Christ would be banned from preaching on university campuses if he were alive today, after Britain became “too feeble” at standing up for free speech, a leading Oxford professor has said.
Professor Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford University, said the trend for “so-called safe spaces” had led to free speech being eroded from all sides, with even students insisting on shutting one another’s opinions down.
Warning universities must “hold the line” against the “salami slicing” of free speech, he said it was time for the public to stand up against creeping legislation and self-censorship.
Go forth and read.
No more precise definition of justification has been offered than this one:
So then, now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; it is through him, by faith, that we have been admitted into God’s favour in which we are living, and look forward exultantly to God’s glory. Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
When we were still helpless, at the appointed time, Christ died for the godless. You could hardly find anyone ready to die even for someone upright; though it is just possible that, for a really good person, someone might undertake to die. So it is proof of God’s own love for us, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. How much more can we be sure, therefore, that, now that we have been justified by his death, we shall be saved through him from the retribution of God. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more can we be sure that, being now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. — St. Paul