Work on Capitol Hill and sooner or later (most likely sooner) you will be confronted with a response to the effect that your views are obsolete or “out of date” or even “reactionary.”
In fact, that response is derived in great part from 18th and 19th century thinkers who believed the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that preceded them represented the onset of a steady progress toward the good society.
But, as Shane Morris of the Colson Center explains in the following “What Would You Say” series video, there are at least three good reasons such thinking is disconnected from reality, particularly on this side of the bloody 20th century!
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In a move recalling 1900’s Boxer Rebellion, officials in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) are preparing to ban foreign missionaries from China.
The “Foreign Religious Activities in the People’s Republic of China” draft rules released earlier this month provide 40 Articles covering virtually every aspect of missionary work in the world’s most populous country.
“Foreigners are also not allowed to set up religious groups, engage in activities, or open schools, proselytise among Chinese citizens, recruit followers, or accept donations from Chinese citizens (Article 21),” according to LifeSiteNews, quoting AsiaNews.It.
Foreign-based groups, including missionaries representing Protestant groups like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Missions Board and the Catholic Church in Rome, must register with SARA, then wait 20 days before being told what they can and cannot do.
The registration requires names of each individual associated with the group seeking to operate in China, as well as detailed information about proposed activities.
The authorization also includes review of materials proposed for distribution to Chinese citizens. Thus, missionaries may carry with them into China no more than 10 copies of the Bible.
The SARA regulations are the latest development in the CCP’s expanding effort to contain and ultimately eliminate the influence of Christianity in China. Go here for previous HillFaith reporting on these developments.
“The government has orchestrated a campaign to ‘sinicise’ Christianity, to turn Christianity into a fully domesticated religion that would do the bidding of the party,” Lian Xi, a Duke University professor who focuses on Christianity in modern China, told The Guardian earlier this year.
Persecution of Christians is not a new thing in China, as the decade-long Cultural Revolution launched by Chairman Mao Tse Sung specifically targeted Christians.
The SARA regulations also recall the 1900 Boxer Rebellion that sought to remove all “foreign devils” from China. The Boxer Rebellion especially targeted Chinese converts to Christianity in a bloody purge that saw many tortured and murdered.
Pastor Rob McCoy, who describes himself as a “pro-life Democrat,” recently converted his church, Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, into a strip club.
Yes, you read that correctly, a strip club. McCoy acted in response to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decree that church congregations cannot assemble to worship God but strip clubs and numerous other kinds of establishments can remain open.
So, McCoy did a quick strip (of his tie, people, nothing more, this is church, remember?!??), accompanied by the 1960s show tune, “The Stripper.”
Paul the Apostle put it bluntly in I Corinthians 15: 12-19 when he said that, if Christ was not really resurrected by God from the dead three days after His crucifixion, then Christians are among all people “the most to be pitied.”
Why? Because Christianity depends absolutely for its credibility upon the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If He was not raised as He said He would be prior to the crucifixion, then the faith is based on a falsehood. If Christ did not conquer death, then He cannot save us from our sin, which leads to eternal death.
So, how do we decide where we stand on this issue of the truth or falsehood of the Resurrection? Like any other issue, it’s a matter of finding the evidence, assessing the possible explanations, then reaching a conclusion as to which one of the potential explanations best accounts for the evidence.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace is one of the world’s best judges of evidence and how it fits potential explanations. For much of his adult life, he was a convinced atheist, but then he applied what he learned as a Los Angeles Police detective who specialized in solving the coldest murder cases to the evidence for the resurrection. He explains what he concluded and why in the following short video:
There is a reference in I Samuel 27 to David raiding towns and villages of the Geshurites, among others, during the year and four months in which he lived among the Philistines to escape the wrath of King Saul.
The Old Testament was for centuries the only ancient reference to the Geshurites, but that appears to have changed recently with the discovery of a fort that dates from the Davidic era and that may have been a Geshurite facility, according to The Times of Israel.
“Dating to around the time of King David 3,000 years ago, what may be the earliest fortified settlement in the Golan Heights was recently discovered during salvage excavations ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood,” according to the Times.
“Incredible rock etchings of two figures holding their arms aloft — possibly at prayer with what could be a moon — were uncovered inside the unique fort, which was dated to circa 11th-9th century BCE.
“The striking find is being tentatively linked to the Geshurite people, whose capital is recorded in the Bible as having been located nearby, to the north of the Sea of Galilee.
They are among the most troubling of Old Testament passages for contemporary minds. I am referring to verses like Deuteronomy 2:34 and I Samuel 15:2-3 in which God ordered every Amalekite and Canaanite man, woman, child, cow, goat, etc. etc. utterly destroyed.
Doesn’t sound like justice, does it? Well, maybe there’s more to these verses than is commonly assumed, especially when there is a lack of understanding of the ancient contexts in which they were composed.
The Colson Center’s Brook McIntyre digs deep into the facts about how ancient literature portrayed things like military victories, as well as the horrific truths about the pagan culture that was dominant in what the Old Testament referred to as the “Promised Land” for Israel:
Your friend tells you a check for $1 million made out in your name will appear in your snail-mail box next Wednesday morning. Sure enough, next Wednesday morning rolls around and there’s the check.
That ought to get your attention, right? But maybe your friend had some way of knowing in advance that for whatever reason somebody would so favor you. Besides, it’s just one correct prophecy, so not necessarily evidence of your friend having an amazing prophetic skill.
But then over the course of the next four weeks the same friend delivers four more prophecies about you and your life —some good, some not so good — that prove to be dead-on accurate. You’re going to pay close attention whenever that friend speaks!
Would you do the same with a book containing five accurate prophecies about hugely important events in world history? What if it’s not just five, but hundreds of accurate prophecies made over more than 2,000 years? Check it out:
“Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science” is a new documentary from Pensmore Films featuring Oxford Mathematics Professor Emeritus John Lennox and actor Kevin Sorbo, to be aired in more than 600 theaters across the country on November 19.
Kevin Sorbo is known to millions of Hollywood fans around the world as the lead character in one of the most successful syndicated TV series ever, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” as well as “Andromeda” and “Supergirl.”
More recently, Sorbo has become known for his faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. “I am frequently berated by Hollywood compatriots for my Christian faith,” Sorbo said. “This seemed a great opportunity to learn how to respond from a master in turning the atheist manifesto on its head. Furthermore, I get to appear as ‘myself!’” Not every successful actor gets to appear on screen as themselves.
For more information on tickets and where the film is being shown, go here.
Remember the 2004 movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” produced by Mel Gibson and with actor Jim Caveziel in the lead role? It was the most successful R-rated movie ever, grossing $612 million against production costs of $30 million.
The R-rating was a result of extraordinarily graphic presentation of the crucifixion, one of the cruelest and most painful methods of executions known to man.
“Passion” received three Academy Award nominations, though it did not win in any of the categories in which it was nominated. But making profits and generating cinematic celebrity were not the purpose for which the movie was made.
It was made to put the life of Jesus Christ, the single most influential individual in all human history, on movie screens around the world, and to that end, “Passion” was an amazing success because it succeeded in that respect despite the Hollywood Establishment’s active hostility.
Now, Caveziel is preparing to reprise his role in the sequel to “Passion,” picking up with the incredible resurrection after His crucifixion and death. Is Caveziel excited about it?
“It’s going to be the biggest film in world history,” he recently told Christian Post. This has the makings of what could well turn out to be the most successful sequel ever made.
Listen to a conversation on the Hill among congressional staffers about the Crusades and it’s a near certainty that somebody will claim these Middle Ages wars between Christians and Muslims prove Christianity is just as violent as Islam.
There is some truth behind that statement, but it’s not what you might be expecting. What it shows is that Original Sin is a problem every human being who has ever lived (except one, Jesus Christ!) must come to grips with one way or the other.
The Colson Center’s Brook McIntyre lays out the historical facts on three points that make clear the inaccuracy of the argument about what the Crusades “prove” about Christianity:
Jon Harris is the author/thinker/critic behind “Conversations That Matter” on Patreon and elsewhere on the Internet. He is a born-again Christian of the Reformed persuasion and a traditional American conservative.
But don’t let that description put you off because Harris is also a very perceptive, observant and articulate critic of all sides of contemporary culture and politics in America. His discussion of the origins and significance of Critical (especially Race) Theory and Intersectionality is trenchant and thought-provoking.
The Bible at Galatians 3:28 declares that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
There is no more clear a statement of the fundamental equality of all men and women in all of human literature, whether ancient or modern. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I affirm Galatians 3:28 with all of my heart and seek to live that reality every day.
No serious historian doubts that Tiberius Caesar was the second emperor of the Roman Empire, ruling for 23 years, spanning the period of 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., after succeeding his stepfather, Caesar Augustus.
But how much historical evidence is there for the life of Tiberius, compared to that of his ultimately most famous and influential contemporary, Jesus of Nazareth?
It may surprise you but there are profound differences. And the emperor comes out on the short end of the comparison.
Utopian thinking has been around since the dawn of time, but the socialist version of that outlook is a relatively recent invention. Government ownership of the means of production and abolishing private property is the socialism of the modern era, thanks mainly to Karl Marx and the British Fabians.
Here in America, this socialism has developed an inordinately large following among Millennials and Gen Xers because America’s public schools for decades have refused to allow students to learn the advantages, flaws and historical performance records of both free enterprise and socialism. Nobody should be surprised then that so many think socialism is the answer to all of America’s problems.
But the facts, according to Brook McIntyre on the latest Colson Center “What Would You Say” video, make it abundantly clear that there really is no comparison between the two systems:
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“Take, for example, the emperor Commodus (AD 161-192). For a gladiatorial contest, Commodus once had all those with disabilities rounded up from the streets of Rome and tied together in the shape of a human. Entering the Colosseum, Commodus clubbed them to death before cheering crowds, proudly announcing that he had ‘slain a giant.'”
Mahlburg draws that example from Tom Holland, author of “Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind.” As it happens, Holland is an authority on ancient history and is an atheist.
But Holland is an atheist who understands that “in my morals and ethics, I have learned to accept that I am not Greek or Roman at all, but thoroughly and proudly Christian.”
Mahlburg smartly introduces readers to other atheists who, like Holland, acknowledge that Western civilization is at its healthiest roots, thoroughly Christian.
Go here for the full tour, especially if you are an atheist or agnostic, or are one of the many in this country who was taught on campus that Western civilization is oppressive, racist, evil, etc. etc.