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The world is again in the grip of yet another realization its ways are bankrupt. The sexual revolution of the 60’s has born more bitter fruit in the ever-growing sexual harassment scandals rocking one industry and institution after another. Like falling dominoes, leaders, athletes, and celebrities face career-ending accusations. In the midst of that scandal, The Gospel offers an attractive option. While secular society has objectified women, the Community of Christ is called to honor them with dignity as joint heirs of glory and spiritual sisters. This difference is seen in God’s commands to ancient Israel. In Deuteronomy 21, a policy was laid down for how a Jewish man was to treat a female captive. The act of sex was already limited to marriage, so rape of captives was prohibited. Any Jewish man who wanted to marry a foreign captive couldn’t just “take” her. There was a process that aimed to help...

The Thomas Fire recently roared to life in the hills near Santa Paula. High winds drove it relentlessly toward Ventura where it burned hundreds of homes, including three of our members and many friends. The faith of our members is a beauty to behold. All three families were in service Sunday and gave testimony to God’s sustaining grace. We’ve already heard dozens of stories of small ways God has evidenced His mercy amid tragic loss. The months to come will reveal more. But something became clear as I listened to the stories of those who lost their homes. It marks a major advantage the Spirit-filled follower of Jesus possesses. It’s this: When we’re walking in the Spirit, our thoughts are directed to consider things we’ll soon face. I’ll share one example to illustrate this. One of the ladies who lost her home is a mature saint who’s been instrumental in the lives...

Introduction In Part 1 we took a look at Meticulous or Hard Determinism and the way it casts God as a moral monster. In Part 2 we will consider a couple more troubling doctrines of Calvinism, then turn to consider a more Biblically consistent view of God’s sovereignty. Double-Predestination We ended Part 1 with this from John Calvin . . . . . . how foolish and frail is the support of divine justice afforded by the suggestion that evils come to be, not by His will but by His permission. . . . It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing, but the author of them. . . . Who does not tremble at these judgments with which God works in the hearts of even the wicked whatever He will, rewarding them nonetheless according to desert? Again it is quite clear...

Introduction This is an appeal to those attracted to a movement going by several titles, predominantly The Resurgence and Neo-Calvinism. The more traditional title is Reformed Theology. Its popular contemporary proponents are voices like RC Sproul, John Piper and James White. These and others have inspired a growing number of popular bloggers and podcasters spreading the Reformed brand. The movement’s well-known advocates are intelligent and well-spoken advocates whose influence is persuasive. The following appeal is a cautious attempt to ask those being drawn into The Resurgence to make sure they realize what they are buying into when they embrace Reformed Theology. Are you ready to intellectually embrace what Calvinism really says about God? A word of caution is needed in regard to what follows. While attempting to avoid inflammatory words and contentious phrases, there is going to be some strong challenges to the basic tenets of Calvinism. They are strong only because...

WE BEGIN WITH REST - Mark 2:27–28, Luke 6:5, Luke 13:14, Isaiah 58:13–14 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Christian, “Find your weekly refreshment in ME!” In a seventh–day Sabbath, the emphasis is on six days of work first, and then the Sabbath day for rest. The work comes first, and then the rest. Jesus redefined the cycle of the work week: we rest first, then we work! The Christian’s “Lord’s Day” is typically Sunday: He rose on the first day of the week. His notable appearances to the disciples were on the first days of the week. Pentecost was on the first day of the week. The early church gathered on this new “Lord’s Day”—Sunday. Now, we aren’t to wrangle about days of worship (Romans 14). In fact, the early church would gather on every day to worship Jesus together. But the fact remains: Sunday is...

A FAULTY SYSTEM OF WORKS - Luke 6:9–11, Luke 6:5, Ephesians 2:8–9, Titus 3:4–6 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the religious person, “We are saved by grace, and not by works.” Sometimes our actions have the exact opposite result than we desired or expected: Trying to slowly ease yourself into a cold pool. Once your foot feels the cold, you aren’t getting in. Trying to diet by only taking a small sample of a delectable chocolate cake in order to ease your temptation. Once you’ve tasted it, you are going to devour a huge piece. Trying to deal with your tantrum throwing toddler by getting angry and yelling at them, and you end up freaking out right alongside them, being reduced to their same infantile level of insanity. The Pharisees legalistic control of the Sabbath achieved exactly opposite of what they intended. They wanted to...

CHRIST OUR CREATOR -  Exodus 20:11, Deuteronomy 5:15, Isaiah 58:13–14, Luke 6:5 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the theologian, “Jesus is God!” The Greek word “Lord” in the New Testament (“kurios”) has the basic meaning of “Master” – but is also used to translate the Old Testament’s “Yahweh,” or “the Lord,” as most Bible render it. Not only was Jesus laying claim to the Sabbath as its new Master, He was also making a divine claim—that He was God! Consider this: Throughout the Bible, God lays claim to the first portion of every good thing He gives His people, so they would remember Him. God gave all the trees to Adam, except one The first city of Joshua’s conquest, Jericho, was to be given to God and not touched as booty The first–born children required a special sacrifice to give thanks to God for rescuing His Firstborn...

CHRIST OUR IDENTITY - Exodus 31:13, Luke 6:5, Galatians 2:20 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Jew, “Let Me be your identity!” God’s covenant with Moses was the sign of the Sabbath. It was given to remind Israel of their Creator. Unlike Abraham’s sign of circumcision, which was private and hidden, Moses’ sign was public and visible. The Sabbath became the national sign—how Israel was best identified among all the other nations on earth. And Jesus laid claim to their most visible, national identification! Some national holidays in America have been redefined over time: Labor Day is no longer a day for labor unions to organize and have member meetings. It is now a day to mark the end of summer and have a BBQ. Columbus Day is being widely replaced with “Indigenous People’s Day.” Thanksgiving is less about giving thanks to God for our nation, and...

SABBATH SURRENDER - Luke 6:2 & 7, John 11:47–48, Luke 22:25–26, James 4:13–15 Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the Pharisee, “You are not large and in charge – I am!” The term “Lord” in the New Testament is used for both, “Master” and “Lord God.” The simplest meaning of “Lord of the Sabbath” is that Jesus is claiming to have authority to call the shots on this most critical day. But, the Pharisees wouldn’t give up their self–appointed position as “masters” of the Sabbath easily! You see, the Pharisees saw it at their duty to enforce the Sabbath, and the other details of the Law of Moses, in order to protect Israel from another exile to a foreign nation. They were the “masters” of the Sabbath—as a matter of national survival! But, because they weren’t simply trusting God’s word, they ruined the intent of the Sabbath for everyone! What...

[What follows is an edited transcript of today’s (August 24, 2017) “the Briefing” with Al Mohler. Not much commentary is needed. Be aware of how far Statism has progressed in the United States.] CBS News //  Sacramento, California // “The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class.” The story can be summarized in this: A transgender reveal of a student in a kindergarten class in a charter school in Sacramento. There are two issues. 1) A school sponsored lessons for kindergartners including a gender reveal having to do with five-year-olds. 2) Parents were not told this was going to happen. They were intentionally not told, and furthermore, they are not going to be told, according to those who are making the policies. A parent said, “My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy.” The...