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-Federal Judge: University Can’t Single Out and Ban Christian Student Group

by Dr. D ~ February 12th, 2019

University of Iowa

Colleges and universities all across America have been banning Christian groups for demanding that there leaders be—wait for it—actual Christians. One group at the University of Iowa sued the university and won their case in a District Federal Court. From the Christian Post:

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the University of Iowa can’t selectively enforce its non-discrimination policy on a Christian student group that requires that its leaders abide by a Christian statement of faith.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose issued an injunction barring the university from enforcing its human rights policy against student group Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) so long as the school continues to allow other registered student organizations to have leadership requirements that also are deemed to violate the university’s policy.

<Read the whole article>

Response: The authorities at Iowa were using their ‘non-discrimination’ policy as an excuse to single out and actually discriminate against Christian student groups. We have pointed out in previous articles that Christian student groups are being discriminated against while the policy is not enforced on other groups.

For instance, Muslim student groups have never been challenged even though they may require all of their leaders to be practicing Muslims. Also, political student groups continue to be allowed to choose leaders that support their main tenants and reasons for existence.  in addition, fraternities and sororities continue to be allowed to disregard the gender discrimination part of the policy.

University officials are claiming that they are going to notify all campus student groups and expect them to comply with the policy or be expelled off campus. The lawyers supporting BLinC in their lawsuit (Becket) do not believe that they will follow through however:

  “It is very unlikely because the university would have to tell fraternities and sororities that they have to integrate and sports clubs would have to integrate.  Military support groups will have to allow people who do not support the military or disagree with the military to be leaders. It is very unlikely to happen. If it did happen, we would still challenge that decision.”

It will be interesting to see how the administrators will ultimately respond to this ruling. The university is also being sued by InterVarsity Christian Student Fellowship and their case is expected to receive a similar ruling.                *Top

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Proverbs 2: 1-8

by Dr. D ~ February 12th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru Proverbs: 2: 1-8:

2 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones. –NIV

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Proverbs 1: 20-33

by Dr. D ~ February 11th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru Proverbs: 1: 20-33:

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, …
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.” -NIV

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Weekly Bible Study: Mark 12

by Dr. D ~ February 9th, 2019
Bibles027

Gospel of Mark

Lesson 13: Mark -Chapter 12

Previous Lesson: -Lesson 12: Mark -Chapter 11

 

First read Mark 12 all the way through.

The ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events in Mark 12

Things you don’t see everyday:

Verses 6-12:

-Parable of the tenant foretells the death of Jesus.

Verse 15:

– Jesus prophetically knew that they were trying to trap him.

Verses 15-17:

-The Roman coin and Caesar answer is truly inspired.

Verse 25:

-Prophetic info.: The risen dead will not marry.

Verse 40:

-Jesus predicts that the teachers opposing him will be punished.

Verse 44:

-Prophetic/word of knowledge-widow gave all she had.

 

Now read it again in detail along with  the Notes and Commentary below:

Notes and Commentary:

Jesus Teaching in The Temple –Chapter 12

Jesus began teaching in the Temple in the form of parables.  Notice that after a while, the authorities began to perceive that Jesus was talking against them, particularly in the Parable of the Tenants.

 

I.  The Parable of The Tenants –Verses 1-12

The Vineyard in this parable represents Israel. 

     Verses 2-5:  The servants that the master sent represents the prophets. Many were mistreated over the years by the authorities in Israel and even killed. 

     Verses 6-9:  The tenants kill the Master’s Son figuring that they will gain the vineyard in the process.  The Master in the parable kills unfaithful tenants and gives the vineyard to others. Jesus is really the master’s son in this parable.

In 70 AD the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the leaders at that time were killed fulfilling this parable.  

     Verses 10-11:  Jesus also represents the rejected stone of Psalm 118:22.  The time is coming when he is going to put a cap on history and an end to the present age.

     Verses 12:  The chief priests confirm what Jesus is alluding to in the parable. They are looking for some way to arrest him but are afraid of the crowds that are following him. Later they would not only have him arrested but killed.

 

II.  Give To Caesar and To God –Verses 13-17

Again the Pharisees, along with some Herodians, try to trap Jesus.  They start out pretending to pay Jesus a complement, however Jesus perceives their hypocrisy. 

     Verses 14b-15:  They are presenting Jesus with a clever ‘no win’ scenario.  If Jesus says to go ahead and pay Roman taxes, then many of his supporters, especially Zealots, would probably abandon him, so these ‘smart guys’ reason.  On the other hand, if Jesus tells them not to pay the taxes, then they can charge him with treason before the Roman authorities.  Actually, quite a brilliant plan. 

     Verses 15b-17:  However, Jesus sees the trap and resolved the question in such a way that even the ‘smart guys’ were amazed.  Notice that he ends with: "and to God what is God’s"-after all, God is really the ultimate authority. on that they can all agree.

 

III.  Marriage and The Resurrection –Verses 18-27

     Verses 18-23:  Next, a bunch of Sadducees, who didn’t believe in the Resurrection, try to demonstrate the crazy problems one might experience in the Resurrection if one had been remarried a number of times. After seven marriages, who would one be married to in the after life? 

This was probably one of the favorite unsolvable questions that they usually presented to their ‘smart’ Pharisee adversaries (who believed in the resurrection).  No one had ever been able to solve this problem before so the Sadducees were confident that they had Jesus where they wanted him.

     Verse 24:  But Jesus spoke with unusual authority and proclaimed that there would  be no marriage in the life to come. 

     Verses 25-27:  Then he deals brilliantly with the real question and demonstrates the truth of the resurrection and the after life, by quoting from the Pentateuch (first five books), the only scriptures that the Sadducees fully recognized. 

Jesus, quoted from Exodus 3:1-6,  citing God himself as proof for the continuing existence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in an after life.  The Sadducees had to be surprised and totally defeated by his answer.

 

IV.  The Greatest Commandments –Verses 28-34

The final question of the day posed to Jesus comes from one of the scribes or teachers.  This seems to be a genuine query rather than a trap. 

     Verse 29-31:  This teaching of Jesus is just as valid for Christians today.  We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Secondly, we are called to love others as ourselves. 

     Verse 32-34:  Notice that this teacher agrees with Jesus and states that these two commandments were more important than "all burnt offerings and sacrifices."  Jesus commends this teacher:  "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."  Later, hundreds of scribes, teachers, and Pharisees joined the early Christian church.  Perhaps this teacher was one of them. 

I love the last line of verse 34: 

"And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions." 

Obviously, Jesus had demonstrated his superiority that day over the smartest and the best educated men in Judea.

 

V.  The Messiah is Son of David and More? –Verses 35-37

Now it is Jesus’ turn to ask a question and there were no takers. But the regular folks are hanging on his every word.

Jesus points out that according to the scriptures, the Christ (the Messiah or the ‘anointed one’) was supposed to be a descendant (a son) of King David, and yet in Psalm 110:1, David refers to his descendant as ‘Lord’:

David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Jesus does not answer his own question here, but leaves it hanging. In reality, only Jesus could fulfill this scripture as a descendant of David but also the Son of God. But none of the authorities recognized who Jesus really was or even wanted to know.

The answer:  If the Messiah was merely David’s descendant (son), than David would naturally hold the primary position of authority.  However, Jesus was not only the Messiah and a descendant of David, but he was also the Son of God.  Therefore, David recognized his own descendant as his Lord and his superior.

    

VI.  Who Has Real Authority -the Teachers or Jesus? – Verses 38-40

Now Jesus teaches in the temple to a large crowd, and they listened to him with wonder and delight.  All the ‘smart guys’ were gone, they had enough, but the regular folk received it all with pleasure.

     Verse 38:  Jesus than warns the people that the teachers of the law they respect and who are suppose to represent God and his teaching are really hypocrites that will be judged severely by God.

Jesus points out that those teachers of the Law, who demand respect and positions of authority, who seek honor and commendation, but actually rob widows are not following God’s Word at all.

 

VII.  The Poor Widow’s Offering Vs. The Rich –Verses 41-44

Jesus and his disciples watched as people filed in to give money to the temple treasury.  A whole lot of rich folks came in with all sort of ‘pomp and circumstance’ and gave huge amounts of money to the temple.  I am sure that the disciples were appropriately impressed.

     Verses 42-44:  Among the crowd was a poor humble widow who dropped in two small copper coins.  She contribution would have probably gone unnoticed except for maybe a sneer by the priest overseeing the collection.  The disciples may have missed it or may have dismissed it along with the temple priest. But they would have been shocked when Jesus said:

“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

It was a popular teaching in Israel at the time, and especially among the priests and temple teachers, that the poor were sinners that deserved their poverty while the rich were righteous folks blessed by God. It was a false doctrine but the temple priests would have looked down on the poor widow assuming that she was a ‘sinner.’

But Jesus knew something that they did not know.  The widow gave all she had and was giving it to God fulfilling the First Commandment.  Now that is really righteous and impressive!

 

-Read: Mark 13 for the next lesson.

Previous Lesson: -Lesson 12: Mark -Chapter 11

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Proverbs 1: 8-19

by Dr. D ~ February 8th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru Proverbs: 1: 8-19:

8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul; … 
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it. -NIV

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Proverbs 1: 1-7

by Dr. D ~ February 7th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru Proverbs: 1: 1-7:

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. –NIV

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 150

by Dr. D ~ February 6th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #150:

150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. 

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Canada: Couple Rejected as Foster Parents Over Their ‘Outdated’ Biblical Beliefs

by Dr. D ~ February 5th, 2019

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A Canadian adoption agency rejected a Christian couple because of their ‘outdated’ Biblical beliefs on homosexuality. From the Christian Post:

…the couple submitted an application in November 2017 to become foster parents. In the week of April 30-May 4 of last year, they met with a Child Services social worker.

The social worker asked the couple, one of whom is a pastor, if they “still” believe “in some of the more outdated parts of the Bible” and if they considered homosexuality a sin.

Last October, the couple received a letter from Child Services declining their application, stating that “the policies of our agency do not appear to fit with your values and beliefs.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is just one example of how Christians who ‘still believe in the Bible’ are starting to be marginalized and discriminated against by some liberal government officials. In this case it is an agency in Canada.

However, in the USA whole Christian adoption and foster organizations themselves are under attack by liberal/progressive activists because they do not place children with LGBT folks. Forget the fact that other agencies in the same area will accommodate same-sex couples. Regardless there is a concerted effort to put Christian agencies out of business.

Supposedly it is all about discrimination and ‘hate’ and they are right about that except the bias and the discrimination is increasingly against Christians and Christian organizations.

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 149

by Dr. D ~ February 5th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #149:

149 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth…

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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-Devotion and Prayer for the Day: Psalm 148

by Dr. D ~ February 4th, 2019

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Join us in today’s prayer and devotion: -Praying Thru the Psalms: #148:

148 Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. …

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

14 …Praise ye the Lord.

Continue: <Link to the rest on our Prayer & Devotion page>

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