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Washington Post Caught in Big Bible-Bashing Lie, Tries to Quietly Overhaul Entire Piece

The Washington Post quietly rewrote a story about a Congressman using the Bible to bash poor people Friday, after a writer at the Federalist published a systematic break down of the piece that exposed major holes and mistakes in the story.

Caitlin Dewey’s initial write-up in the paper (which recently adopted the slogan “Democracy Dies In Darkness”) did not include a single quote from the Texas representative she basically accused of using the Bible to justify taking food from starving people. The story also incorrectly referred to “2 Thessalonians 3-10,” and wildly mischaracterized Rep. Jody Arrington’s statements on the verse.

While Arrington did reference 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat) in a discussion of food stamps, he did not, as the WaPo article suggested, use it to argue unemployed people should not be allowed to eat.

After Sean Davis pointed out these mistakes and others in a piece for the Federalist Friday, someone at The Washington Post went through and majorly reworked the story. In fact, it appears the stealth edits are a direct answer to his piece. The story now includes the full quote from Arrington and other adjustments, although the incorrect verse reference remains. (Read more from “Washington Post Caught in Big Bible-Bashing Lie, Tries to Quietly Overhaul Entire Piece” HERE)

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Watch: What ISIS Militants Did to This Bible Will Infuriate You

An ISIS militant’s failed, barbaric attempt to destroy a Bible written in Aramaic has helped inspire one Canadian media personality to take action for the communities displaced by the group.

In a five-minute video at TheRebel, host Ezra Levant holds up a Bible from the Nineveh region in Northern Iraq — an area that was desecrated during ISIS’s over two-year reign.

“It’s desecrated. It’s ripped,” he shows of the Bible in the video, noting that the ISIS fighter’s attempt to rip the book to shreds were thwarted by its sheer size. “So he shot it with a gun, aiming in the center of the cross. A symbolic target — to desecrate the symbol of Christianity; a symbolic murder of Christ himself, perhaps.”

In the video, Levant goes on to detail the horrors that ISIS wrought upon the people of Batnaya, a northern Iraqi village where the Bible came from.

“The church was torched. It was defiled in every possible way,” he explains in the accompanying post. “[ISIS] toppled the cross on the roof. I’m sure they did every humiliating thing they could — they torched it; I’m rather surprised they didn’t dynamite it too.”

The fact that Batnaya’s roughly 6,000 remain displaced after two years is made worse, Levant says, by the Canadian government’s treatment of them in comparison to unscreened Sunni Muslim refugees from the country, in a similar fashion to the enforcement U.S. refugee policy under Obama

The entire experience has driven him to do something about the dismal state of Northern Iraq’s long-suffering minorities,

“I’ve been thinking about this Bible all day since I saw it, he writes. “The Aramaic words in it; the bullet; the church; the town; Trudeau abandoning Christian refugees; the world ignoring them,” he concludes, before writing that he’s “putting together a plan” to help people like those in Batnaya.

“I’m still working on it,” he cautions. “I’m not ready to roll it out yet — but I will probably in a couple of weeks when I do some more inquiries.”

To keep up to date on Ezra Levant’s forthcoming announcement and plan to help Iraq’s Christians, visit his project at SaveTheChristians.com. (For more from the author of “Watch: What ISIS Militants Did to This Bible Will Infuriate You” please click HERE)

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Favorite Bible Verses in 2016 from 88 Nations

An online Bible App says they’ve discovered the world’s favorite Bible verses, based on the number of highlights, bookmarks and shares for verses, according to Christianity Today. YouVersion announced that 2016 was the biggest year ever, with users installing their App on over 250 million devices. Based on their analysis, some surprising verses made it to the top of the favorites list.

Zechariah 14:9 was the favorite verse for two countries that could hardly be more different: Israel and Afghanistan. The verse says, “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” Other countries identifying with this verse were France, Finland, Sweden, Guadeloupe, Belgium, Martinique and Cyprus.

The most popular verse worldwide with nearly 550,000 shares was Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Another popular verse was Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” This verse was the top verse for 29 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Italy.

A complete chart of the most popular verses by country may be found here. (For more from the author of “Favorite Bible Verses in 2016 from 88 Nations” please click HERE)

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What Should Christians Do After a Year Like 2016? The Bible Has Some Suggestions

In 2016, the presidential election dominated everything. It consumed nearly every social media post I scrolled past, every conversation I heard and every news report I watched. If it wasn’t one candidate saying, doing or being accused of something scandalous, it was the other.

Christians on both sides made equally impassioned cases for their version of the right thing to do, complete with doomsday prophecies, if-then predictions, and even suggestions that anyone voting for the other candidate must not really be saved.

Overwhelmed with the bombardment of “advice” and disheartened at the ugliness I often saw between candidates and voters, I would sometimes think, under the shadow of a double-handed face palm, What is happening to our world and what the heck am I supposed to do?

But then one day, God showed up with a much-needed reminder. I don’t remember exactly when this happened or how. All I know is that I was in the middle of one of my frustrated-at-everyone fests (scrolling through Twitter was likely involved) when the reminder dawned on me, kind of like a light bulb that flicks on quietly in the corner, lending a soft glow to the darkness.

Moral Depravity Surrounds Us

First, God reminded me that I shouldn’t be surprised at the moral state of our society.

If there is one thing the past election cycle did well, it exposed how significantly religion’s influence in America has waned. We have witnessed the rejection of God’s perfect design for men and women, the acceptance of brutality against unborn innocents, promotion of assisted suicide, and threats to religious liberty — just to name a few hot issues.

But this shouldn’t catch us off guard. “Understand this,” Paul tells us,

that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

This is human nature, and it’s nothing new. In the time between Christ’s ascension and his return, we are told that we will encounter the exact kind of behavior we are seeing today. This is the way politicians, celebrities, and even our neighbors will behave.

Acknowledging the inevitable depravity of humanity, even in our own country, will help us to deal with it accordingly. When it feels like the entire culture is calling goodness evil (Isaiah 5:20), that’s when it’s most difficult to obey. Paul tells us to “Abhor what is evil; host fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

But thankfully, we are well equipped to do so: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

Our Ultimate Calling

Then, God reminded me that no matter how bad the world is and no matter what I political preferences are, my calling as a Christian remains the same:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).

If I am getting so caught up in the election of temporary, earthly rulers that it clouds my faith and distracts me from this ultimate call, then I need a serious gut check.

Everything In Love

Finally, God reminded me that carrying out this calling must be done in love.

It’s easy to be upset, angry and bitter about what is happening in our nation politically and culturally. Often, it seems like it’s even easier to be angry toward fellow believers with whom we disagree on politics than with nonbelievers with whom we don’t expect to agree.

But that is not how Jesus calls us to shine his light. In John 13:35 he tells us, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

And that love isn’t just for our brothers and sisters in Christ:

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked (Luke 6:35).

In a post-election America where many people just as divided and angry at each other as they were before November 8, this reminder couldn’t be timely enough.

Three Resolutions

I’ll need a many more light bulb reminders before I really get it. But for now, instead of perpetually shaking my head in exasperation, I’ll start 2017 with these three resolutions:

Don’t be surprised at the state of our world. Put on God’s armor and hold fast to truth. Keep sharing that truth, and do so with love for all. (For more from the author of “What Should Christians Do After a Year Like 2016? The Bible Has Some Suggestions” please click HERE)

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Dollywood Employee Finds Burned Bible Page After Wildfires

The day after wildfires tore through Gatlinburg, destroying more than 150 structures, killing at least three people and displacing thousands, Isaac McCord was doing his part to help out, picking up debris from the Dollywood park grounds.

Gripping his rake, he revisited a spot in Craftsman Valley he had skimmed over after his co-worker, Misty Carver, quipped, “Is that how you clean your room?” Provoked, he said he had started “really getting in the nooks and crannies” under a park bench when he caught a glimpse of a piece of paper lying in a puddle of water — soggy, seared and torn in two . . .

“As soon as I got down on the ground, I noticed it was a Bible verse, and I was like holy crap,” McCord said in a phone interview on Tuesday night. “It was in a puddle of water. I said, ‘I want to take care of this the best way I can,’ so I gently scooped it up and carried it out the best I could” . . .

In silence, the pair pored over the page, the edges of which were burned black, rendering many words illegible. But parts of the right side of the page were preserved enough to get the message across: it perfectly reflected, McCord said, the tragic natural disaster that had thrust Gatlinburg and Sevier County into the national spotlight the night before.

“O Lord, to thee will I cry: For the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field,” the page reads, according to a picture of the page posted on McCord’s Facebook. (Read more from “Dollywood Employee Finds Burned Bible Page After Wildfires” HERE)

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Discovery: Ancient Old Testament Fragment Identical to Copy Found 2,000 Years Later

Modern technology met ancient text when imaging software showed a 2,000-year old Israeli scroll matches the modern Hebrew Bible’s Book of Leviticus.

As reported by The Associated Press, the scroll was discovered decades ago and has been kept in a storeroom thanks to being too brittle to open. According to researchers, that’s no longer a problem:

The passages from the Book of Leviticus, scholars say, offer the first physical evidence of what has long been believed: that the version of the Hebrew Bible used today goes back 2,000 years.

The discovery, announced in a Science Advances journal article by researchers in Kentucky and Jerusalem on Wednesday, was made using “virtual unwrapping,” a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan. Researchers say it is the first time they have been able to read the text of an ancient scroll without having to physically open it.

“You can’t imagine the joy in the lab,” said Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who participated in the study.

The digital technology, funded by Google and the U.S. National Science Foundation, is slated to be released to the public as open source software by the end of next year.

The scroll was discovered 46 years ago inside an ancient synagogue that was destroyed in a fire. Preserved by the dry climate, it was left largely undamaged until researchers attempted to open it. Since 1970, it has set dormant, unreadable and unusable.

The experimental reading was requested last year by the man who discovered the scroll, Yosef Porath. AP reports he asked researchers at the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Dead Sea Scrolls preservation lab in Jerusalem to scan a box of scrolls. While Shor initially asked if Porath was “joking,” she agreed to do the scans.

[Shor] agreed, and a number of burned scrolls were scanned using X-ray-based micro-computed tomography, a 3D version of the CT scans hospitals use to create images of internal body parts. The images were then sent to William Brent Seales, a researcher in the computer science department of the University of Kentucky. Only one of the scrolls could be deciphered.

Using the “virtual unwrapping” technology, he and his team painstakingly captured the three-dimensional shape of the scroll’s layers, using a digital triangulated surface mesh to make a virtual rendering of the parts they suspected contained text. They then searched for pixels that could signify ink made with a dense material like iron or lead. The researchers then used computer modeling to virtually flatten the scroll, to be able to read a few columns of text inside.

“Not only were you seeing writing, but it was readable,” said Seales. “At that point we were absolutely jubilant.”

The scroll is expected to be of assistance in expanding the understanding of the Hebrew Bible. The famed Dead Sea Scrolls date back more than 1,700 years, but differ significantly from the modern Hebrew Bible, despite scholars’ belief that the Bible has changed little since the time of Christ. One scholar told AP after the recent discovery that “in 2,000 years, this text has not changed.”

The implications for other historical discoveries are also significant, according to Tel Aviv University’s Noam Mizrahi. “It’s not only what was found, but the promise of what else it can uncover, which is what will turn this into an exciting discovery,” he told AP. (For more from the author of “Discovery: Ancient Old Testament Fragment Identical to Copy Found 2,000 Years Later” please click HERE)

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Was Jesus a Social Justice Warrior?

The following is a political conversation between a Christian progressive (“Dorothy”) and a free market Christian conservative (“Jeremiah”) sparked by this year’s election.

DOROTHY: I agree with you that abortion is killing. It’s tragic and wrong, and we as Christians should be doing everything we can to discourage it. But I object when people like you think you can corral our political allegiance to your candidates over that single issue, especially when your party treats opposition to abortion as an ugly stepchild, which it trots out every four years then puts back in the corner wearing a dunce cap.

JEREMIAH: I agree that the pro-life issue is a hill worth dying on. It’s crucial to rid the GOP of pro-choice candidates and public officials. We’ve actually done a pretty good job of doing that; all but one (sub 1% George Pataki) of the GOP presidential contenders in 2016 was pro-life. But your party won’t even let pro-life Democrats speak at its convention — and hasn’t, since 1992 when the Clintons banned Robert Casey. Inside that party, pro-life Democrats barely rise to the level of “cranks.” They’re more like … exotic pets.

DOROTHY: You’re wrong to claim the “pro-life” label. Like me, you’re anti-abortion, but you’re not comprehensively “pro-life.” The rest of your party’s platform makes that obvious.

JEREMIAH: I assume you’re invoking the “Seamless Garment,” a statist ideology that was cooked up to dissipate the pro-life movement in a dozen irrelevant directions while helping the Democrats. It pretends that a million voluntary murders of innocent babies are interchangeable with, say, accidental gun deaths or side-effects of climate change. Hold on, while I email you some articles from The Stream which address that.

[He takes out his phone and sends links.]

Why is it, you think, that conservatives just happen to be right about the abortion issue, on which every prominent, successful, or even vocal liberal politician or organization just happens to be wrong? That’s a coincidence, is it?

DOROTHY: I’ll agree with you that progressives have a blind spot on abortion. They see it as a crucial piece of the feminist agenda, granting equal sexual autonomy to women as to men. We need to wake them up on how it exploits and hurts women. But that would be easier, I think, than converting the whole conservative movement on a long list of subjects where it’s out of sync with Gospel priorities.

JEREMIAH: I think you’re mistaken about “Gospel priorities,” and even on what the words “pro-life” mean. You’re against abortion thanks to some residual trace of good sense and common decency that you’ve clung to. But otherwise you’ve signed on to an ideology that rejects individual responsibility and hence human dignity, which sees us not a citizens with rights and duties but termites in a hive, whose work and wealth and daily activities must be controlled by the Collective. Abortion fits in perfectly with such a worldview, since it’s the ultimate means of dodging responsibility for one’s actions.

You have far more common ground with pro-choice secular leftists such as George Soros than you do with any historic Christian church, the Gospel itself, or any world view that is remotely compatible with orthodox Christianity. You can no more be an authentically Christian leftist than you can be a faithful Catholic Social Darwinist, or a devoutly Muslim Hindu.

DOROTHY: So you think that Donald Trump is a model Christian statesman? Why don’t you explain that to me. This should be good.

JEREMIAH: The Republicans this year chose a flawed candidate, who isn’t completely in sync with the party’s platform, or with most GOP elected officials in the country. If elected, Trump will have tangle with those people, who will moderate his views and water down his proposals. He may have tried to grab control of the party, but as we saw in the GOP primaries, he failed. Every single Trumpian challenger he supported got defeated, so even if he wins, he will be isolated within his own party. In other words, we’ll restrain him.

The Democrats, by contrast, nominated a lockstep left-wing multiculturalist who will have the full backing of their governors, senators and congressmen in promoting the radical policies she endorsed in their party’s platform. The main objections Democrats had to Hillary Clinton were to her appalling personal ethics, autocratic isolation, manifest greed, and habit of doing blatantly illegal things that endanger national security, then bald-face lying about them to the American people and Congress. So I’d say that the “character” problems of the two candidates at least cancel each other out. We’re better off comparing the parties and their platforms.

DOROTHY: Fine. Apart from abortion, the Democrats’ platform is much more closely in accord with Christian values of tolerance, inclusion, social justice, and respect for life.

JEREMIAH: The only way you could support that is by cherry-picking from the Gospels the verses that fit your ideology — ignoring context, Christian history, the examples of the saints, and the thinking of faithful Christians for almost 2,000 years. You’d have to assert that nobody understood Christianity correctly until the mid-nineteenth century, when people who were losing their faith in the church’s supernatural claims replaced them with the “social gospel.”

Whether or not Jesus really rose from the dead or is coming again, we can build an ersatz Kingdom of Heaven on earth by making the State really, really strong, and corralling people at gunpoint to follow our version of Christian ethics. That way the church remains relevant whatever becomes of its creed, because it’s close to the sources of money and levers of power. (See the mainline Protestant churches and too many American Catholic bishops.) But because you are moral superheroes, you will only use your powers for good, instead of evil. Of course you will.

DOROTHY: I challenge you to find in the Gospels any place where Jesus talks about the need to protect private property, maximize economic efficiency, guard national borders, or prepare for war. Those aren’t what he was interested in. He was speaking constantly about the poor and the marginalized — just like the Democrats.

JEREMIAH: Jesus didn’t comment on private property, economics, immigration or war. That’s why the Christian tradition has yielded many different answers on those issues. Yes, Jesus talked about our religious obligation to help the poor, enforcible on pain of hellfire. Even more than that, he talked about our duty to kneel down and worship Him as the Son of God, to avoid the same Gehenna. Both of those things are religious duties, not political programs. Neither one, if done at bayonet point to avoid going to prison, will do a thing to save your soul. So unless you want a theocratic state that will force everyone to be Christian, you can’t use Jesus’ words to advocate the redistribution of wealth by the government, either. Make other arguments, but leave Jesus out of it.

DOROTHY: Jesus was constantly telling people to give up their possessions and distribute them to the poor.

JEREMIAH: Those passages don’t mean what you think they mean. You’re confusing a call to Christian perfection — such as monks, nuns, and missionaries embrace willingly — with a crass political program to buy votes with confiscated money. Let me rewrite the Gospel to read as it would have to, if your program were truly Christian. Imagine if St. Mark had written:

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “Go apprehend him.” Peter and John ran after the young man and bound him with ropes, bringing him back to Jesus. Jesus bade Judas to question him about his riches and where they were kept. Once Judas had fully accounted for all of his holdings, Jesus said to his disciples, “Go to his estate, seize all that he owns, sell it, and distribute it to the poor. Blow a trumpet and announce that it is I who have done this, and command them to follow me. Then let us find more rich men and do likewise, that our numbers may be complete before we march on Jerusalem.” [Mark. 10: 17-28, Revised Socialist Version]

I could go through the whole New Testament, rewriting Christ’s words and works to fit your political program. But I don’t have to bother. Leftist pastors across America effectively do that in their sermons every Sunday. (For more from the author of “Was Jesus a Social Justice Warrior?” please click HERE)

Watch a recent interview with the author below:

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Bible at Air Force Base Infuriates Atheist

A Bible that an Air Force officer kept on his work desk at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado has infuriated a group opposed to allowing military members to exercise their faith in public.

WND reported last week that the Air Force removed the Bible from the desk of Maj. Steve Lewis of the 310th Space Wing after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

The organization claimed the Bible’s presence violated Air Force policy and the U.S. Constitution.

At the time, Mikey Weinstein, president of the group, said, “The 310th ‘Space’ Wing is NOT called the 310th ‘Space For My Personal Proselytizing Christian Bible Shrine’ Wing for a damn good reason” . . .

He immediately lashed out with a letter to the Department of Defense’ inspector general, Glenn Fine, as well as Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., Air Force Secretary Deborah James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and others. (Read more from “Bible at Air Force Base Infuriates Atheist” HERE)

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Christians Forced to Hide Bibles Amid Migrant Muslim Death Threats

Bundestag member Erika Steinbach and Iranian-born pastor Mahin Mousapour called for much stronger sanctions for Muslims who abuse Christians in Germany at a press conference on Monday.

Highlighting the fact Christians suffer violence, harassment, and death threats in migrant lodgings, Ms. Mousapour criticised Germany for granting Islam “too much respect”. Declaring anti-Christian hate attacks an affront to German values, politician Erika Steinbach advocated the government deport migrants who insult or attack Christians.

At the press conference Ms. Mousapour, who converted to Christianity more than 25 years ago, reported that Christians face various forms of persecution in migrant housing.

Ms Mousapour warned that Christians living in migrant housing are told they are “impure as a dog” and deserved death for rejecting Islam.

“Toys of Christian children are being destroyed, Christian asylum seekers are told not only to wash their dishes after eating but also that they must clean the entire kitchen as it would otherwise be ‘unclean’. Many Muslim asylum seekers call all Christians unclean. Church services are held in secret, bibles and crucifixes have to be hidden,” she explained. (Read more from “Christians Forced to Hide Bibles Amid Migrant Muslim Death Threats” HERE)

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The Hero of the Bible Is God — Not Flawed People

As conservatives, we are trying to conserve that which is right, just, true, and noble about and for the human condition. Both for this and future generations.

Many of those things have their basis and/or inspiration in the Bible, which is evident in so many of our founding documents, traditions, and way of life. This is why I have no problem as a believer swearing an oath to uphold and defend the actual wording of the U.S. Constitution, because it was devised with my worldview in mind.

Unfortunately, in an election featuring two systemically flawed, damaged, and unrepentant people running for the highest office in all the land, there is a tendency — even among those who have proven before their virtue and worth — to try and rationalize choosing one of them to vote for. And this is done usually at the expense of what we’re supposed to be conserving.

For example, some Christian leaders — and these are real leaders, not fake ones for hire on the political hack payroll — are attempting to justify Donald Trump’s lifetime of debauchery and malfeasance. Like in the following tweet from James Hohmann, who is a national political reporter for the Washington Post:

I have an immense amount of respect for Franklin Graham, and his family’s legacy. Barely a day goes by that I don’t find something he says profound enough to re-tweet to my own followers. My home church is an affiliate of his Christmas Box charity program for children around the world. I acknowledge that in the Christian/media hierarchy he’s in the gated community and I live in the suburbs.

That being said, “God is not a respecter of persons.” So neither should we be. The truth here is I believe, with all due respect, that Franklin Graham is not rightly dividing the Word of God here. And in the interests of conservatism, we cannot allow a generation of Americans who already have no idea what their historical legacy is to be further led into moral pea soup. Where there is no clarity, only subjective opinions. Which is exactly how the progressives want it.

But if there’s anything the Bible provides it is clarity.

See, the Bible clarifies we live for God’s glory. Not Him for ours. That yes, as Franklin Graham points out all of the Bible’s significant figures other than Christ were flawed vessels. That’s because all of us other than Christ are flawed vessels.

This is why Christ came to Earth. He came to bridge the gap between our flaws and God’s holy perfection. He came to be our perfect vessel of atonement, resurrection, and redemption. That when we couldn’t get up to heaven, heaven came down to us.

However, we are not to look at the flawed vessels God still used to accomplish His plan and seek to emulate them. As if to say, “I’ll just go on being an unrepentant degenerate and God will bless me for it because He needs me.”

That is willful rebellion, not humble contrition.

Instead, we are to see these people and then realize that we, too, can be redeemed and used by God for mighty things if we seek Him and His ways. Not ours. That we are to look at them and see ourselves, yes, but not pridefully. Rather we are to see ourselves and not boast but be convicted that “all of have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That’s why we all need a Savior.

Jacob, one of the great patriarchs of the faith, has a name that literally means “schemer” and that’s what he was. But nobody goes to the Church of Jacob today. We go to the Church of God, who still chose to use Jacob the Schemer for His glory. Not to mention, when the significant figures of the Bible committed these sins both they and those around them paid a terrible cost for it.

For instance:

Yes, Abraham defied God by sleeping with his servant out of wedlock to conceive a child. That child would go on to become Ishmael, which tradition teaches is the rival patriarch of Islam. As in the source of rivalry, warfare, and bloodshed with the Jews — who are descended from Abraham’s other son, Isaac — for centuries to the present day.

Yes, even Moses defied God as the leader of the Jewish people. He was banned from ever stepping foot in the Promised Land as a result.

Yes, David was an adulterer several times over. And it nearly cost him his crown, plunging his entire kingdom into civil war.

Yes, Paul was once a persecutor named Saul. But he suffered temporary blindness, and then lived a ministry where he himself was constantly persecuted or under the threat of it after his conversion. As were those who accompanied him on his travels. As Saul, Paul encouraged the mob to kill the first martyr, Stephen, and then was martyred for his faith, too.

I could continue, but by now you get the picture. God is a God of justice, so if we choose to sin we choose to suffer the consequences. That even applies to those called directly into leadership by God, who are held to the same standard as everyone else and not given preferential treatment. Fortunately, God offers to spare us eternal condemnation for those sins if we earnestly seek and ask His forgiveness. That is the Gospel message in a nutshell:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whomsoever shall believe in him will not perish, but have eternal life. That God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that through him the world may be saved.

Therefore, the primary role of Christian leaders, according to the Bible, is to lead unrepentant sinners like Donald Trump (who openly admits he’s never asked God for forgiveness) to the Cross. Not the White House. For what good does it do a man to gain the whole world, but lose his eternal soul in the process? Did Jesus die for Trump to be president, or for Trump to be forgiven? Shouldn’t we, then, as his followers emphasize that which he gave his life for?

If we have come to a point as a culture that we’re no longer going to urge unrepentant sinners to be forgiven, as Franklin’s father Billy preached to the world over for decades, but instead cast our pearls unto swine by wish-casting them into powerful political offices, then the church is in no position to conserve American Exceptionalism for future generations.

For the church herself is responsible for losing it.

“Consider how far you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.”

Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:5

(For more from the author of “The Hero of the Bible Is God — Not Flawed People” please click HERE)

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