We Are Dealing with the Christians
ChristianToday.com, 5/22/18, “‘Don’t worry we are dealing with the Christians’: Algeria’s crackdown on churches” [Excerpts]: Largely dormant for more than 10 years, a law in Algeria which permits the outright persecution of Christians is shaking back into life.
But even after 2006, when laws controlling non-Islamic worship were introduced, the former French colony tended to continue its largely tolerant attitude towards minorities.
‘Since November last year they have been cracking down on the churches,’ says Ali Khidri, general secretary of the Bible Society in Algeria....With presidential elections looming next year and the government under pressure from the Islamist MSP opposition party, ministers are using the 12-year-old legislation to instill a new crackdown on churches.
The 2006 law means non-Islamic worship can only take place in buildings officially sanctioned by the government’s National Commission on Religious Worship. Those gathering in ‘house churches’ could face a prison sentence of between one and three years and a fine of between 20,000 and 60,000 AD ($1,400-$4,200).
“Husband and Wife” Removed
AnswersinGenesis.org, 5/21/18, “US Epis-copal Church Removes “Husband and Wife” From Marriage Liturgy” [Excerpts]: We’re increasingly seeing churches ignore God’s clear Word and bowing to the pressures of our culture. The US Episcopal church already ordains practicing homosexual clergy and offers gay wedding services. Now they’re taking this blatant erosion of biblical truth a step further by removing the terms “husband and wife” and “procreation of children” from their marriage liturgy after gay and lesbian couples complained it was “offensive and exclusionary.”
The “union of husband and wife,” is being replaced with, “the union of two people.” And....the purpose of marriage will replace “for the procreation of children” with “for the gift of children,” reportedly “to make it more relevant for same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”
Now, marriage is not just the “union of two people.” Marriage is the union of a man and woman, where the two become one (Genesis:2:24). And marriage is not the Episcopal church’s institution to redefine. It’s ultimately not a church, government, social, or cultural institution. It’s God’s institution. He ordained marriage when he created the first man and woman in Genesis 1. Since he created it from the very beginning, only he has the authority to define what it is.
Your Best Life Now or Later?
ConcerningTheTimes.com, 11/18/17, “Your Best Life Now or Later?” [Excerpts]: Christians and non-Christians in the West are being lied to....What is the lie being sold? It is the promise of having your best life now. What makes the lie all the more deceptive is that it is being sold to people wrapped in a big beautiful box complete with ribbons, bows, and a gift tag naming Jesus as the giver and you as the recipient. The problem is that the Bible never promises anyone your best life now, but it promises believers that in this life we will have tribulation, that Jesus is coming soon and he will repay us according to what we have done.
Your best life now isn’t just a best-selling book by a prosperity gospel preacher; it is the widespread unbiblical mindset that puts the focus on the god of self in lieu of the One true God. There are a multiplicity of reasons for the popularity of the your-best-life-now type of message being so popular but I think we can dial it down to one primary reason, and that is the idol of self. The self-focused your-best-life-now message is in diametric opposition to what the Bible teaches.
I’m not calling out or judging anyone’s personal life or sin. What I am calling out is the unbiblical teaching that people like Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Mike Murdock, Kenneth Copeland and many others preach. The me-centered or your-best-life-now teaching isn’t something isolated to the television prosperity gospel preacher crowd....we have replaced the gospel message of sin, judgment, repentance, grace, and atonement with words like acceptance, togetherness, doing life, experience, and belonging. The approach and methodologies are multifaceted and the hook is delivered in numerous ways but the underlying message is always the same...