Saudi anti-Christian sweep prompts calls for US involvement

Opening paragraphs:

Dozens of Christians arrested at a prayer meeting in Saudi Arabia need America’s help, according to a key lawmaker who is pressing the State Department on their behalf.

Some 28 people were rounded up Friday by hard-line Islamists from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the home of an Indian national in the eastern Saudi city of Khafji, and their current situation is unknown, according to human rights advocates.

(3 min read; 584 words)

Saudi anti-Christian sweep prompts calls for US involvement | Fox News.

Miscellaneous Notes for September 10, 2014

“The Bible” is our shorthand expression for the testimony of ancient Israel concerning God.

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It is better to know less about God and be sure about it than to know more about God but not be sure about it.  Sure knowledge provides security to your soul.

What do you know that you know that you know?  That will get you through.  And that’s a foundation upon which you can add more.

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What does it mean when you think or say that you know God but your behavior tells a different story?  It’s an indication that you are not actually living by your faith (Titus 1:15, 16; Hebrews 3:13).  Go back to Christ and reestablish your foundation (Isaiah 31:6; Galatians 2:20).  Remember: faith is the foundation, but works perfect our faith (Faith and Works).

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The Bible is an invitation – issued in ancient times to be relevant for all times.  It is an invitation from God to us – an invitation to righteousness, and invitation to life with Him.

Like an invitation we receive in the mail, it contains all the relevant details.  The invitation is not the event itself.  We have to act on the relevant information that the invitation presents in order to experience the event.

The event is not a single happening but rather an ongoing relationship.  God is inviting “whosoever will” to an intimate relationship with Him.  It means giving up our pleasures and pursuing His.  His pleasures are rooted in love – that is, doing what’s right.  Always.

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 If Nathanael was “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile” (John 1:47), what then was the person who described him in this way?

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For as long as we live on earth we are just “infants in the womb.” That is, as the infant’s first nine months after conception are to the rest of life, so is our life here on earth to the life we’ll live in eternity. Therefore, we should always remember that each of us is “just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14) as far as life on this earth is concerned.

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 Until Jesus came, humanity did not have a face it could associate with God.  That’s all settled now.

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God laid down His life as God that He might take it up as Christ.  It worked.

In John 10:17, Christ was a type of God.  (For some elaboration of this concept, see Christ Is a Type of God.)

Christian Morals in a Free Fall

Christian sexual morals appear to be in full-scale collapse.  The link below takes you to a post from BreakPoint (John Stonestreet).  It’s titled “The Pornification of the Church.”  Here’s the opening excerpt:

In the spring of 2000, Zogby International asked more than a thousand U.S. adults whether they had ever visited a sexually-oriented web site. Only one in five had done so. Among born-again Christians, 18 percent had gone to such sites, just three percentage points less than the general public.

That’s bad enough.  Three percentage points is not a meaningful distinction.  In both cases, it’s one in five.  Born-again Christians behaved as badly as the general population.

Here’s the next paragraph:

Well, fast forward to today. A group called Proven Men Ministries commissioned the Barna Group to examine current pornography use. You might want to sit down for this—Barna found that 64 percent of American men and 20 percent of women view pornography at least monthly. And for Christian men, that number is 55 percent.

Over half of Christian men are viewing pornography!  Oh, wait – monthly!  And yet the news gets even worse.

Fourteen years ago, only one out of every three men had ever gone to a pornography site, but now nearly one-third of men under 30 do so on a daily basis. And if you think it can’t get worse, the survey found that 18 percent of men believe they may be addicted to pornography. That’s more than 20 million men in deep trouble.

Given that the numbers for Christians roughly tracked with the general population in the data covered in the first two excerpts, we can’t expect them to trail far behind these numbers either.

This data tracks with that of a recent study revealing relaxed attitudes among professing Christians regarding all forms of non-marital sex where “gay marriage” is concerned.

Beneath the visible corruption of our culture is a deepening corruption of human thinking.  What sort of children will be raised by these sorts of adults?  What sort of Christian children will be raised by these sorts of Christian adults?

The Lord will forgive and cleanse if we will repent.  Will we?

(3 min read; 715 words)

The Pornification of the Church.  [Editorial note as of March 3, 2017: Sorry, but it appears that the Colson Center (Breakpoint) is no longer maintaining this page.]  

Miscellaneous Notes for September 7, 2014

A valid way of thinking about the New Testament is that it is the official account of God’s visitation to earth.

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Are we surprised that when God visited the earth that He came among the lowly and despised and did not hobnob with the high and mighty (i.e the celebrities) of His day?  That just proves that we don’t understand God very well – all the more reason we should let Him explain Himself to us through the Bible

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What’s #1 on my “to do” list for today?  To think and behave more like Jesus than I did yesterday.  Shouldn’t that be #1 on my “to do” list every day?

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Book: Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything by Robert R. Reilly

Excerpt:

Why are Americans being forced to consider homosexual acts as morally acceptable? Why has the US Supreme Court accepted the validity of same-sex “marriage”, which, until a decade ago, was unheard of in the history of Western or any other civilization? Where has the “gay rights” movement come from, and how has it so easily conquered America?

The answers are in the dynamics of the rationalization of sexual misbehavior. The power of rationalization the means by which one mentally transforms wrong into right drives the gay rights movement, gives it its revolutionary character, and makes its advocates indefatigable. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest because the security of its rationalization requires universal acceptance. In other words, we all must say that the bad is good.

The key phrase here is “the rationalization of sexual misbehavior.”  That did not begin with homosexuality, but it has reached new heights with homosexuality.  In other words, homosexuality has become the leading symbol of the sexual revolution, and people who are wanting to practice old-fashioned fornication and adultery are happy to let others bear the spotlight.

Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything: Robert R. Reilly: 9781586178338: Amazon.com: Books.

The fear of God is “a carefulness to not do something to disappoint or offend my heavenly Father.”

I assume that pop culture would consider “the fear of God” a foreign and outdated expression.  Yet is is a thoroughly biblical expression, and a concept just as important to humanity today as it ever was.

Someone named Paul Dulaney wrote about the fear of God on Quora today and I really liked what he said.  I’ve excerpted the most salient part here:

The mental shorthand that I carry around in my head regarding the fear of God is basically: “a carefulness to not do something to disappoint or offend my heavenly Father.”

That’s a very good way of putting it.

Here is the great evangelical disaster-the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth.

Here is the great evangelical disaster-the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this-namely, ‘ACCOMMODATION:’ the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age. —Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

If this was true when Schaeffer said it (and it was), how much more true it is now.

The failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth (The Poached Egg of Ratio Christi)