"Let the individual Christian be certain that this essential quality of saltness is in him, that because he is what he is, he is a check, a control, an antiseptic in society, preserving it from unspeakable foulness, preserving it, perhaps, from a return to a dark age. Before the Methodist Revival, life in London, as you can see in books written at the time and since, was almost unthinkable with its drink and vice and immorality. Is there not a danger that we are going back to that? Is not our whole generation going down visibly? It is you and I and others like us, Christian people, who alone can prevent that. God give us grace to do so. God stir up the gift within us, and make us such that we shall indeed be like the Son of God Himself and influence all who come into contact with us." Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, pg 158)
The professedly learned are forever trying to bring to nothing the faith of the humble believer, but they fail in their attempts. Their arguments break down, their theories fall under their own weight, their deep-laid plots discover themselves...
God Above Human Philosophy
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (1 Corinthians 1:19)
This verse is a threatening so far as the worldly wise are concerned, but to the simple believer it is a promise. The professedly learned are forever trying to bring to nothing the faith of the humble believer, but they fail in their attempts. Their arguments break down, their theories fall under their own weight, their deep-laid plots discover themselves before their purpose is accomplished. The old gospel is not extinct yet, nor will it be while the Lord liveth. If it could have been exterminated, it would have perished from off the earth long ago.
We cannot destroy the wisdom of the wise, nor need we attempt it, for the work is in far better hands. The Lord Himself says, "I will," and He never resolves in vain. Twice does He in this verse declare His purpose, and we may rest assured that He will not turn aside from it.
What clean work the Lord makes of philosophy and "modern thought" when He puts His hand to it! He brings the fine appearance down to nothing; He utterly destroys the wood, hay, and stubble. It is written that so it shall be, and so shall it be. Lord, make short work of it. Amen, and amen.
“I’m so blind without you, O God. Open my eyes to behold wondrous things in your word!”
Do you ever pray like this when you pick up the Bible? In tonight’s lead article, John Piper would like to convince you, and inspire you, to pray your way to wonder when reading God’s word.
To help prepare our hearts for corporate worship this weekend, Rachel Coulter writes about the sweetness of childlike worship. And we’d like to invite you to find half an hour this weekend for a classic Piper message from 1983 called “The War Within.” And in case you missed it, below you’ll find some of our top resources so far in the month of August.
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
What it is: Research by a psychology professor at San Diego State on iGen (kids born between 1995 and 2012) show they are “on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades.”
Why it's important: Today’s teens are less likely to be in a car accident, less likely to abuse alcohol, and less likely to have sex. Good, right? Not totally. They are safer, yet more depressed than ever. Why? Screen time. Dr. Twenge’s research found that “teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy.” And there is no exception! Screen time always leads to less happiness while all non-screen activity is linked to more happiness. Please read the article with your teen and create practical activities that can replace their screentime.
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Intentionally forcing children to become fatherless or motherless should not be a role of government or selfish adults.
No matter how much two women or two men may love a child, the truth remains that children need both a mother and a father. It is common-sense, it is biological fact, it is simple truth. Intentionally forcing children to become fatherless or motherless should not be a role of government or selfish adults. Marriage remains what it is regardless of politicians preferences, media propaganda, plebiscites, parliaments or forceful militant movements. It always will be between a man and a woman, for the benefit of both and of children and society.
Please stand up for these children, present and future, and honour those Australians who fought and died for our real freedoms (destroying marriage, family, freedom of speech and religion by changing marriage laws is not freedom, it will enslave) by speaking up against this present movement to forcefully impose homosexual "marriage" and lifestyle on our nation.
Do not be intimidated or bullied into silent submission. Speaking up for traditional marriage is not wrong, it is not homophobic, it is not bigoted. or old fashioned, It is common sense, it defends the rights of children and the weak and it is a worthy cause for you to engage in wholeheartedly.
It appears there is a serious threat to marriage coming from some homosexual politicians on Monday 7th August.
The truth remains that children need both a mother and a father. Please politely email the Prime Minister and all federal Liberal and National Party politicians using the easy email link above and ask them to keep their promise to allow Australians to have their say on this foundational issue.
Intentionally forcing children to become fatherless or motherless should not be a role of government.
Enemies of Christianity declaring new war on religion
Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun July 30, 2017
CHRISTIANS, prepare for persecution. Open your eyes and choose stronger leaders for the dark days.
I am not a Christian, but I am amazed that your bishops and ministers are not warning you of what is already breaking over your heads.
How mad that Queensland’s Education Department can now warn schools against letting students praise Jesus in the playground.
The department has put out reports telling state schools “to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in (religious instruction) are evangelising to students who do not participate”.
It gives examples of what students must not say in the playground — such as “knowing about Jesus is a very important thing”, or “God, please help us to use our knowledge to help others”.
Nor may students hand out Christmas cards or decorations.
What do these bureaucrats fear from children inspired by Christ?
Is it that stuff about loving your neighbour? Or that instruction to respect the dignity of every human life that makes Christians the enemy of totalitarians?
But this ban on playground talk of Jesus is only the most shocking salvo of the new war on Christians.
Last week, two Christian preachers were summoned to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for preaching their faith’s stand on traditional marriage and homosexuality.
Hobart pastor Campbell Markham and street preacher David Gee, from Hobart’s Cornerstone Church, were denounced by an atheist offended by, among other things, Markham quoting a verse from the Bible.
We’ve seen this before. Hobart’s Catholic Archbishop, Julian Porteous, was two years ago ordered by this tribunal to tell by what right he spoke against same-sex marriage.
How cowed the churches have been before this looming persecution, now picking off vocal Christians, one by one.
Just this year, Sydney University’s Student Union threatened to deregister the university’s Evangelical Union unless it stopped insisting members declare their faith in Christ.
Meanwhile, same-sex marriage extremists bullied Coopers Brewery into taking down a video of a Christian MP Andrew Hastie debating same-sex marriage, and lobbied IBM, PwC and Sydney University to punish staff belonging to a Christian group opposed to gay marriage.
Last week, 70 pro-Safe Schools activists picketed a church to abuse people at an Australian Christian Lobby meeting as “bigots”.
Last year, an ACL meeting was cancelled after the hotel venue was bombarded with threats.
The state-funded SBS joined in by banning an ad by Christians defending traditional marriage, yet ran one for an Ashley Madison dating service for adulterers.
The Greens are the political wing of this attack on Christianity, and are demanding churches lose their legal freedom to hire only people who live by their faith.
The media, too, often cheer this war, using as their excuse the sexual abuse of children by some priests and ministers decades ago.
Rarely do they admit the average gap between the alleged offences by Catholic priests and the lodging of complaints is 33 years. That suggests the churches did crack down on paedophiles decades ago.
But this vilification has had its effect. The Census shows the proportion of Australians calling themselves Christian has dropped from 74 per cent in 1991 to 52 per cent now.
No wonder, when the weaker churches cower before the persecution.
Last week, some even licked the boots of the anti-Christian ABC when it launched yet another attack, smearing churches as the haven of wife-beaters.
This ABC series led off with a ludicrously false claim: “The men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically.”
A week after I proved this untrue, the ABC edited its reports to replace that false claim with another: “Overall, the international studies indicate that intimate partner violence is just as serious a problem in Christian communities, as it is in the general community.”
Wrong again. Professor Bradford Wilcox, author of the American study the ABC cited as proof, complained “the (ABC’s) story … does not square with the evidence that churchgoing couples, in America at least, appear to be less likely to suffer domestic violence”.
In fact, Christianity produce better citizens in many ways.
Surveys show Christians are more inclined to volunteer, donate and keep families together.
So what do the enemies of Christianity wish to achieve by smearing, silencing and destroying this civilising faith? What would they replace it with?
With the atheism that preaches every man for himself? With Islam?
Or with the green faith that has not inspired a single hospital, hospice, school, or even soup kitchen?
Yet the persecution is starting. Are the churches ready?
Be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands.
"When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.." 1 Kings 2:1-3
As a father I wholeheartedly echo David's charge to his son to my beloved offspring also.
Daniel Andrews continues his Marxist march through Victoria with his biggest and boldest move to date, now announcing a $1.9 billion program designed to continue his push to undermine families. While Victoria reels under a rampant crime wave, traffic congestion continues to grow, and children continue to be bombarded with confusing messages about life, the Victorian government simply double their efforts at social engineering!
If as a society, we are willing to undermine the very foundations which underpin civilized society and which are designed to restrain bad behavior, we can only expect more, not less, crime in Victoria. Marriage, gender nonsense, same-sex adoption, LGBT indoctrination of children, $1.9b anti-family programs. What next?
Australian Associated Press
May 2nd 2017
"Victoria will slash consultancies and other spending to fund what it says is the largest family violence prevention budget in Australian history.
The 2017/18 state budget delivers $1.9 billion to tackle what Premier Daniel Andrews calls the biggest "crisis" facing Australia.
New child protection staff will be recruited, new courts established, and safety hubs will be built for at-risk women and children to get help faster.
"This will not just change lives. This will save lives," Treasurer Tim Pallas told reporters on Tuesday.
"It is more money directed in this budget to family violence than all of the budgets of all the states and territories and the Commonwealth combined."
Mr Pallas said $1.3 billion will be rerouted from the public sector to pay for the family violence initiatives.
"It's effectively redirecting the effort of government," Mr Pallas said.
"We could have taken the easy route of adding to our revenue base by putting a family violence charge on the community, but we've chosen not to do that."
The government will reduce "consultancies and other forms of outgoings" to pay for it.
While it won't affect frontline services, there will be "some pain associated with this", Mr Pallas said.
Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said the money would help victims and put the focus on perpetrators.
"The government is sending a message to men who use violence that there will be much more accountability," Ms McCormack told reporters.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting chief executive Bryce Prosser said the focus on social issues, such as family violence, would boost the confidence of businesses to invest and grow.
The biggest investment is $448.1 million for 17 support and safety hubs for women and children to escape to, and to get them in faster contact with social services and crisis housing.
Victoria will establish five new specialist family violence courts at a cost of $269.4 million over the next four years.
That will include an upgrade of the archaic 1980s computer system still being used by the Magistrates' Court and Family Court.
Some 450 new child protection workers will also be recruited under the plan."
Following is a fantastic talk by Pastor John Stasse from South Yarra Presbyterian Church called: "Keeping Sex Pure"
I highly recommend it to you and to your teenage children. It really is well worth listening to.
God's View of Sex
By Billy Graham
From the very beginning, God has given us moral laws governing the subject of sex that are absolute and unchangeable. Nowhere does the Bible teach that sex in itself is a sin. But from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible condemns the wrong use of sex.
The Bible teaches that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
We allow our magazine shelves to be filled with obscene literature. Our young people have very little restraint placed on them. In many universities religion is frowned on and sexual freedom is idolized.
In the midst of this darkness, the Word of God stands as a beacon. It speaks either to assure us of the right or to condemn us when wrong.
According to the Bible, morals are not relative. They are absolute. When Moses stood on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, which are the basis of all moral law, God said to him, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine” (Exodus 19:5).
There is nothing in the Bible that would lead us to believe that God has ever lowered His standards. The seventh commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
This commandment has never been revoked or changed in the slightest degree.
Jesus went further and said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
All the way through the Bible, immorality is listed along with murder and idolatry. In the Old Testament God demanded the death penalty for this sin. God hated it to such an extent that if persons were proved to be guilty, they were to be stoned. Jesus hated this sin so much that He said it is the only thing that can break a sacred marriage contract.
The Bible teaches that this sin leads to hell. “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell” (Proverbs 5:3-5).
In 1 Corinthians 6, the Bible says that no immoral person can inherit the kingdom of God. There are hundreds of passages that indicate the wrath of God is being stored up against those who commit such sins. God destroyed whole cities because of immorality, and He ordered Israel to destroy nations because of their perversions.
God has not changed. What was wrong from the beginning is still wrong today in God’s sight. There is no variableness nor shadow of turning with God. He is absolute. And I warn you that His wrath is going to explode upon those who are immoral and upon those who encourage others to indulge in immoral practices.
While it is true that “by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Romans 3:20), God will judge men and women by the Law. The Bible says, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things” (Romans 2:1).
Romans 1 not only exposes moral sin, but it sets forth the basis upon which God will judge such sin. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32).
Three times this chapter says that God “gave them up” or “gave them over.” Men and women became so immoral that even God “gave up.” In other words, they hardened their heart and deadened their conscience to such an extent that they could no longer hear the voice of God. They were blinded, hardened and deadened to conscience.
You may continue in your sins and evade the social consequences in this life, but you will never evade God’s Law. Even as the Bible says, “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins” (Leviticus 26:14-18).
Many people say, “But we are not under law—we are under grace.”
Jesus did teach a new theology. The real truth is that now, Christ having died for our sins, God views them more seriously than ever. The Bible says, “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:28-31).
We flaunt our evil and corruption into the face of Almighty God as though God were completely indifferent. We glorify the twin crimes of sexual perversion and drunkenness, which have spelled doom for other nations. Men and women openly condemn immorality but secretly get a vicarious thrill out of reading in the newspapers the moral deviations of movie stars, socialites and public figures.
Such times of moral degradation have taken place before in the history of the nations. There have been few that have survived the deadening effect. The truth that is often overlooked is that while we become deeply concerned and rightly take steps to curb the evil, legislation cannot work a cure in these things.
Many people are confident that legislation will solve our problem. Our problem is deeper than that. It is the constant problem of the individual sinner before God. Whether the sin is privately or publicly expressed, it is still the individual who stands guilty before God. It is the individual who must cry out to God for salvation from his or her personal sin.
While we have an obligation to take steps to curb the outbreak of sin, we have a higher responsibility for the protection of our youth. Young people must be brought before God’s answer to the problem. The temptation to sin, and the evil that results from yielding to temptation, is more than an unaided man or woman can overcome. The disposition to sin is so overpowering that apart from the grace and power of God we cannot solve our problems. Unless God lifts us out of our sin, we will forever remain in it.
Perhaps you have been confronted with temptations to sin and have found yourself unable to rise above them. The law has condemned you before God and has done its rightful work. Paul said, “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20), and you, hearing the standards set forth in God’s law, have said within yourself, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:18-24).
Many have tried with all sincerity to live according to these requirements of the law, and have been plunged into despair, being unable to fulfill them. And all the requirements must be fulfilled, for the Bible says that “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
What a horrible condemnation this is, and yet this is the Scripture.
But God, knowing our inability because of sin, has graciously made provision for all our need, great as it is. While we are unable in ourselves to live up to the law, and while in our weakened condition through sin we can only acknowledge its correctness, yet there is mercy with the Lord. To the desperate soul, fully aware of all his or her sin and failure, there comes the joyful assurance: “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! … There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 7:25-8:1).
Turn from sin and temptation today. Ask Christ to come into your life, and surrender yourself to Him.
Source: ©1953 (renewed 1981), 1998 BGEA
Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
Forget and Forgive
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee. (Proverbs 20:22)
Be not in haste. Let anger cool down. Say nothing and do nothing to avenge yourself. You will be sure to act unwisely if you take up the cudgels and fight your own battles; and, certainly, you will not show the spirit of the Lord Jesus. It is nobler to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom and to meditate revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones. Better forget and forgive.
Peradventure, you say that you must do something or be a great loser; then do what this morning's promise advises: "Wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee." This advice will not cost you money but is worth far more. Be calm and quiet. Wait upon the Lord; tell Him your grievance; spread Rabshakeh's letter before the Lord, and this of itself will be an ease to your burdened mind. Besides, there is the promise "He shall save thee." God will find a way of deliverance for you. How He will do it neither you nor I can guess, but do it He will. If the Lord saves you, this will be a deal better than getting into petty quarrels and covering yourself with filth by wrestling with the unclean. Be no more angry. Leave your suit with the Judge of all.
The new moralists, or immoralists, will not compromise. They have no tolerance for light, only love of darkness. Yet, the Light will always conquer the darkness. Christians, prepare for growth.
Three interesting articles from The Australian on 15th April show the unsettling times are upon us. Christians are being prepared for growth around the world, as the seed of the Church is watered by intense and growing persecution.
Christian values under attack
Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large
"There will be no settlement or social harmony from the agendas of the new moralists - just a fragmented society. Read on-->>
Christians are under assault
Gerard HendersonViolence against Middle East churches is supplemented by verbal attacks in the West. Read on-->>
Corporate bullies threaten freedom
Pressuring employees to support social agendas is totalitarian. Read on-->>
The Bible is a Mainstay of Western Life: We jettison its input in the public square at our collective peril. If it goes, so too could some things we take for granted such as individual rights, free speech, leadership and democracy.
This interesting article from Greg Clarke in The Australian newspaper 23-3-17 is worth reading:
Bible a mainstay of Western life
By Dr. Jeff Myers, Summit Ministries President
"How is Postmodernism different than the Christian Worldview? The Postmodernist believes humans are nothing more than the sum total of the economic, legal, and personal relationships developed in a given society. Living within this order is ‘the essence of our life.” Our culture determines who we are. To Fredric Jameson, a Marxist professor who regularly comments on Postmodernism, not even space and time are “natural”; they are “projected afterimages” of structures of making and acquiring things.
Postmodernism in sociology, then, can be described as social constructionism, the belief that human beings and society do not have essences that exist in and of themselves, but are constructed through many layers of conversations and experiences.
When it comes to deconstructing society’s institutions, Postmodernists are particularly critical of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. In The Future of Religion, Richard Rorty describes his view as “anticlericalism” rather than “atheism.” He doesn’t object to “congregations of the faithful” but targets “ecclesiastical institutions” as dangerous to a society’s health. In his speeches, Rorty often quoted Denis Diderot: “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
Postmodernists, those of a Secularist bent anyway, also show their contempt for Christian concepts of love, sex, and marriage. The very concept of a father, mother, and children forms a “heterosexist norm” which enables society “to marginalize some sexual practices as ‘against nature’. So how should we rid ourselves of this “heterosexist norm?” By pushing the boundaries so far that people forget what used to be normal. This means talking about sex all the time, and the more deviant the better.
It is unclear what Postmodernists think these actions will accomplish, if anything, in building a healthy society. This much is clear, though: Postmodernists, those who react so strongly against the idea that we have any direct access to reality, act as if they have direct access when it comes to try to break the “heterosexual norm” so that everything possible becomes permissible, everything permissible becomes desirable, and everything desirable becomes normal. If you don’t like it, don’t be surprised if Postmodernists accuse you of being a bigot who wants to mandate your intolerant point of view.
5 Posts From Summit this week:
1. The rise of the non-believing Millennial. 35% of Millennials identify as Atheist, Agnostic, or nothing in particular.
2. Sean McDowell discusses what a worldview is and the three components that make up a worldview.
3. Why monogamy and marriage don’t Interest Millennials. Three reasons experts believe Millennials are keeping the knot untied.
4. What is the root of the transgender debate? Ultimately, the transgender question is about more than just sex. It’s about what it means to be human.
5. Is Marxism present in America? The short answer is yes and here are three places you'll see it in America.
How Christians Acting on Biblical Beliefs Secured the Basis for Women’s and Children’s Rights, Dr. Jeff Myers, excerpted from Understanding the Culture
A Survey of Social Engagement Christianity has done more for women’s rights than any other movement in history. Christianity sprouted in the seedbed of the Roman Empire, whose soil was nourished with the blood of the innocent. To say that Rome was distinctly anti-woman is an understatement. Families typically kept all their… Read More →
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Mass child abuse. The rise of the radical feminists and LGBTI activists, and the silencing of responsible adults, are leading youth to such confusion that the consequences will be dire.
The Two Bibles Donald Trump Used at the Inauguration.
When Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, he will do so with his hand on two Bibles: his own, and one used by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Only one other president has used that Bible for the oath: Mr. Trump’s predecessor.
Thomas Barrack Jr., the chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee, said in a statement earlier this week that the president-elect “is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”
Mr. Trump’s personal Bible was given to him by his mother in 1955, two days before his ninth birthday, according to a statement from the inaugural committee. He had just completed the Sunday Church Primary School at the First Presbyterian Church in Queens, where he grew up.
Highly Recommended: Parenting Teens Summit
What it is: Axis is hosting an online parenting conference this February!
Why it's good: Ravi Zacharias, Tim Keller, John Eldredge, Kathy Koch, John Stonestreet, Kara Powell and a host of other experts will equip you to start conversations with your teen about faith, body-image, failure, pornography, sex, social media, leadership, prayer, college prep and more. Get your free digital seat at the conference today!
This online event will equip parents and mentors to disciple their teens into lifelong faith:
Build Lifelong Faith
We’ve assembled over 40 of the world’s most influential authors & Christian thought leaders to help you know your teen's culture, develop their heart, and lead them into lifelong faith in Jesus Christ.
Each speaker uniquely answers the big question, "how can I most effectively parent my teens so that they can develop a lasting faith in Jesus?"
We've hand-picked a stable of Godly experts who care about your teens! Their expertise and wisdom will provide practical ways for you to disciple your teen into lifelong faith.
Spend 30-minutes each with Ravi Zacharias, Tim Keller, Gary Chapman and more as they teach their best stuff directly to you via this online summit!
Your FREE Ticket To The Axis Virtual Parenting Teens Summit
1. When marriage can be anything, marriage can be anything. People are "marrying" roller coasters, and themselves.
2. A study finds that Christians are the most persecuted group in world for the second year. 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year, and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS.
3. Chris Pratt talks about how he became a Christian and how it changed his life. Pratt has become one of the busiest celebrities in Hollywood but has not shied away from talking about his faith in public.
4. Why do we give up on Bible reading and what do you do when your Bible reading seems insignificant or irrelevant?
5. Do we really live in a “post-truth” world? Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth.
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Why private schools work better
The Australian 28th December 2016
Let’s drop Marxist-inspired nonsense and get our children back to the basics.
In 2004, in Why Our Schools are Failing, I argued Australia’s competitive academic curriculum was being “attacked and undermined by a series of ideologically driven changes that have conspired to reduce standards and impose a politically correct, mediocre view of education on our schools”.
Three years later, in Dumbing Down, I repeated the claim, arguing that Australia’s cultural-left education establishment, instead of supporting high-risk examinations, teacher-directed lessons and meritocracy, was redefining the curriculum “as an instrument to bring about equity and social justice”.
At the time the Australian Curriculum Studies Association organised two national conferences involving leading education bureaucrats, professional organisations, teacher unions and like-minded academics to argue all was well and that critics such as the News Corp’s newspapers were guilty of orchestrating a “black media debate” and a “conservative backlash”.
The Australian’s campaign for rigour and standards in education, especially its defence of classic literature and teaching grammar, was condemned by one critic as a “particularly ferocious campaign” that was guilty of wanting “to restore a traditional approach to the teaching of English”.
Fast-forward to 2016 and it’s clear where the truth lies. Despite investing additional billions and implementing a raft of education reforms, Australia’s ranking in international tests is going backwards and too many students are leaving school illiterate, innumerate and culturally impoverished.
In the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, Australian students were ranked 22nd; in the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment, Australian students were ranked 20th in mathematics; and in the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, our Year 4 science students were outperformed by 17 other countries.
Australia’s national curriculum, instead of acknowledging we are a Western liberal democracy and the significance of our Judeo-Christian heritage, embraces cultural relativism and prioritises politically correct indigenous, Asian and sustainability perspectives.
Instead of focusing on the basics, teachers are pressured to teach Marxist-inspired programs such as the LGBTI Safe Schools program where gender is fluid and limitless and Roz Ward, one of the founders, argues: “It will only be through a revitalised class struggle and revolutionary change that we can hope for the liberation of LGBTI people.”
What’s to be done? It’s rare that those responsible for failure are capable of choosing the right way forward. Organisations such as ACSA, the Australian Education Union and the Australian Council for Educational Research are part of the problem, not the solution.
Instead of education fads and a command-and-control model mandated by such bodies, where schools are made to implement a one-size-fits-all curriculum, assessment, accountability and staffing system, schools must be freed from provider capture and given the autonomy to manage themselves.
As argued by Melbourne-based Brian Caldwell: “There is a powerful educational logic to locating a higher level of authority, responsibility and accountability for curriculum, teaching and assessment at the school level. Each school has a unique mix of students in respect to their needs, interests, aptitudes and ambitions; indeed, each classroom has a unique mix.”
The reason Catholic and independent schools, on the whole, outperform government schools is not because of students’ socio-economic status, which has a relatively weak impact on outcomes, but because non-government schools have control over staffing, budgets, curriculum focus and classroom practice.
In a paper this year — The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement — European research Ludger Woessmann identifies “school autonomy and private competition” as important factors when explaining why some education systems outperform others.
Instead of adopting ineffective fads such as constructivism — where the emphasis is on inquiry-based discovery learning, teachers being guides by the side and content being secondary to process — it is vital to ensure that teacher training and classroom practice are evidence-based.
Not so in Australia, where the dominant approach is based on constructivism.
In opposition, and when arguing in favour of explicit teaching and direct instruction, NSW academic John Sweller states that “there is no aspect of human cognitive architecture that suggests that inquiry-based learning should be superior to direct instructional guidance and much to suggest that it is likely to be inferior”.
American educationalist ED Hirsch and Sweller argue that children must be able to automatically recall what has been taught. Primary schoolchildren, in particular, need to memorise times tables, do mental arithmetic and learn to recite poems and ballads.
After citing several research studies, Hirsch concludes: “Varied and repeated practice leading to rapid recall and automaticity is necessary to higher-order problem-solving skills in both mathematics and the sciences.”
Even though Australia has one of the highest rates of classroom computer use, our results are going backwards.
A recent OECD study concludes “countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science”.
At a time when Australia’s education ministers are deciding a new school funding model after 2017, it is also vital to realise investing additional billions, as argued by the AEU and NSW’s Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, is not the solution. Australia has been down that road across 20 years and standards have failed to improve.
The debate needs to shift from throwing more money after bad, a la Gonski, to identifying the most cost-effective way to use resources to raise standards.
As noted by Eric Hanushek and Woessmann in The Knowledge Capital of Nations, the focus must be on “how money is spent (instead) of how much money is spent”.
And here the research is clear. Stronger performing education systems embrace competition, autonomy, diversity and choice in education, and benchmark their curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning against world’s best practice and evidence-based research.
Teachers set high expectations with a disciplined classroom environment, students are taught to be resilient and motivated to succeed, there is less external micromanagement, and parents are engaged and supportive of their children’s teachers.
As argued in the Review of the Australian National Curriculum I co-chaired, it is also vital to eschew educational fads and new age, politically correct ideology and ensure what is taught is based on what American psychologist Jerome Bruner describes as “the structure of the disciplines”.
Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of The Culture of Freedom.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” – Isaiah 5:20-21
(CHRISTIANITY TODAY) — “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” – Isaiah 5:20-21
The world we live in today is one that’s full of lawlessness and deceit. This period in time was already declared in the Bible, when many deceivers and deceived people will be coming out, as well as those who only love themselves and their money. With a world so bleak, how do we live right?
The world has turned upside down right now with regards to many things. Here are but some of them:
...they are all wrong and unacceptable before the eyes of God.
This is the kind of world we live in today. Christ said it so clearly during His earthly ministry.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:9-12)
Knowing this, how do we respond?
Stand on the Truth of God’s Word
There’s nothing better to do than to stand on God’s Word. Many deceivers even use God’s Word, twisting it to deceive others. The best thing to do is to study it well, and obey it.
Be firm in your walk with God. No matter what people tell you, even if they turn everything upside down to tempt you, don’t give in. Stand on God’s Word always.
When you know that something is wrong, don’t go with the flow: See it and declare it as wrong. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into submission to sin and deceit. Rather, fight back and declare the truth.
Keep Holding on to God
Don’t let go of your faith in God, thinking that you’re the only one left standing for truth, righteousness, and justice. “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
Courtesy Gideon Stephens
Why the Mainstream Media is Officially Dead
By Caleb Stephen
December 14, 2016 9:58 am AEDT
The mainstream media as we know it is dead. They’ve been discredited big time and nobody trusts them anymore. People have woken up to the fact that the corporate media is nothing more than a dissemination tool for socialism and globalism. As an alternative media journalist and commentator, I’ve been closely watching and analysing the fall-out following the U.S. election over the last month.
A survey conducted earlier this year showed that just 6% of Americans trust the mainstream media. Is it any wonder why?
It’s true that their demise has been many years in the making, but the defeat that we witnessed following the election was absolutely epic in proportion.
The recent U.S. elections were, I guess, the climax in the crescendo of the loss of their integrity. Americans’ distrust of the mainstream media didn’t happen overnight. This dissatisfaction and loathing of the lies and propaganda fed to them on a daily basis happened slowly over time as more and more people began to wake up to reality and refused to buy into their malarkey.
During the election, the absolute fawning, gushing, genuflecting and infatuation over Hillary Clinton stank like a rotten corpse. It was palpable… it was blatant what they’re were trying to do in terms of painting Donald Trump as pure evil whilst trying to extol Hideous Hillary as if she was a saint. READ ON -->>
This isn’t racist, Islamophobia or cruel. It’s commonsense
Excerpts from artcile by Warren Mundine is chair of the Prime Minister’s indigenous Advisory Council and a former ALP national president. Read full article here.
"Donald Trump’s victory demonstrates the media and commentariat are disconnected from voters. Almost without exception they failed to anticipate the presidential election outcome — and had little influence on it. Their message that Trump was unfit for presidency largely ignored.
Australia’s political media and commentariat are also out of touch. Listening to them you’d think Australians are preoccupied with gay marriage, offshore detention, carbon emissions and identity politics. Most are preoccupied with their families, their homes, their jobs, the monthly bills and their kids’ education and job prospects.
They care about the economy and national debt. They want to live in a safe society where Australia’s way of life is valued and respected.
There’s a growing disconnect between the views expressed by the media and commentariat and those of many Australians, with commonsense often dismissed as extreme, ill-informed, even bigoted. Here are some examples.
Our biggest education challenge is performance declining against global benchmarks. Demanding more education funding as the solution is misconceived. It’s been happening despite substantial education funding increases. Something’s wrong. Australian schools should be the best in the world, not 28th behind Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, the education issue dominating political news has been the Safe Schools controversy. It’s understandable why parents are concerned. Some content in Safe Schools and other school programs, frankly, beggars belief.
Teachers shouldn’t be schooling children in gender fluidity or asking them to imagine or role-play different sexual orientations, or teaching them about exotic sex acts, or criticising “heteronormativity”.
Governments should shut this nonsense down and focus on improving academic performance.
That’s not homophobic. It’s commonsense.
...Australians have a strong record of embracing immigrants in their communities and in their families, and most immigrants embrace Australia and our way of life.
But at the moment Australians are seeing something we’ve rarely seen before.
A small minority of Muslim migrants and/or their descendants reject our way of life and instead want us to embrace aspects of theirs which go against our laws, customs and culture — women covering their faces, refusing to stand in court, Sharia law regulating divorces, polygamy and even forced child “marriages”.
...I hope the federal government’s welfare reform plans go beyond tough talk and become tough action. Making people take available work isn’t cruel. Sit-down money is cruel. Welfare reform is commonsense.
Politicians who articulate these kinds of opinions are often branded heartless and bigoted by the progressive/Left, cheered on by prominent members of the political media and commentariat.
It’s rare to hear centrist politicians speak as bluntly as I just have. Centrist Labor tends to pander to the progressive/Left. Centrist Liberals tiptoe. In doing so they leave a vacuum for extremists and populists.
Trump, Brexit and One Nation’s resurgence deliver two key lessons.
First, politicians who speak directly to voters about what voters care about can prevail, regardless of the media and commentariat.
Second, if centrists are unwilling or afraid to embrace commonsense views, voters will turn to extremists and populists, however offensive.
The first centrist politician who embraces commonsense with plain-speaking, ignoring the political class and dealing honestly and firmly with issues Australians care about, will dominate the ballot box."
Warren Mundine is chair of the Prime Minister’s indigenous Advisory Council and a former ALP national president
Dear Teens, Virginity Is Good for You
By: John Stonestreet|Published: December 9, 2016 6:00 AM
Topics: Sexual Ethics, Worldview, Youth Issues
Teens who abstain from sex are healthier than those who don’t. Once again, research backs up the life-giving moral claims of a Christian worldview.
We talk about this on BreakPoint quite a bit: Young people who wait until after the wedding have a better chance for a stable, fulfilling, happy marriage—not to mention they don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. You’ve probably also heard me or Eric Metaxas talk about how obedience to the Lord’s loving plan for confining sex within marriage brings incalculable spiritual benefits in our Christian lives.
But what we haven’t heard in quite a while is the government admit that teenage sexual activity has, shall we say, negative consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—that’s right, the CDC—young people who are virgins register much higher in nearly all health-related behaviors than those who are sexually active. What kinds of behaviors? Things like using seat belts, avoiding drug abuse, eating a healthy diet, going to the doctor, exercising, and avoiding riding with a driver who’s been drinking.
In addition, in a finding that the media is sure to either bury or dispute, while sexually inactive teens are healthiest, sexually active homosexual and bisexual teens fare worse than their sexually active heterosexual peers.
The CDC conveys this blockbuster conclusion as drily and bureaucratically as possible: “Significant health disparities exist.”
Our friend Glenn Stanton, director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family, documents some of these disparities. Let’s take a look at just two:
First, smoking. Sexually active heterosexual teens are 3,300 percent more likely to light up daily than their virgin counterparts. The “same-sex/bisexual-active” teens are an amazing 9,500 percent more likely to smoke daily than the virgins.
Second, drug abuse. Sexually active heterosexual teens are 500 percent more likely to have ever injected a non-prescription drug than the virgins, while the “same-sex/bisexual-active” teens are a whopping 2,333 percent more likely than the virgins to have done so.
Now Glenn is quick to add, correlation is not causation—meaning the research doesn’t prove that abstinence causes these other healthy habits. But the fact that the CDC noted a relationship between behaviors that you might at first blush think are unrelated is more than a little significant.
And parents should take note, too. As researcher Mark Regnerus has highlighted in his book “Forbidden Fruit,” the intensity of teens’ religious beliefs is more important when it comes to sexual activity than exactly what religious beliefs they claim.
So it goes without saying that the first thing we should care about is our kids’ faith. A strong, informed, and vital relationship with Jesus will help them resist temptation and peer pressure—sexual and otherwise—the type that assault them every day at school and online.
While the CDC will never be able to put it this way, Glenn Stanton does sums up their findings well: “The sexual choices and values our young people hold have real-life consequences far beyond sexuality itself.”
Or in other words, as we say all the time around here, “worldview matters.” The CDC report shows there are consequences for a secular worldview that sees bodies as something we “own,” something external to who we are, something we use (or abuse) depending on our desires, our will, or our “identity.”
The Christian worldview, in sharp contrast, teaches that our bodies are integral to who we are, both in how humans were created and in that Christ took on flesh to make all things new. The extent that we and our kids truly embrace this, will determine how we treat our bodies and the bodies of others.
Come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll link you to Glenn Stanton’s article, the CDC study, and other helpful resources.
Further Reading and Information
Dear Teens, Virginity Is Good for You: Here’s Why…As John has reiterated, worldview influences behavior and attitude, especially when it comes to sexuality. For further study on this topic, check out the resources linked below.
ResourcesCDC Study Says Teen Virgins Are Healthier
Glenn T. Stanton | The Federalist | November 29, 2016
Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — United States and Selected Sites, 2015
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | August 12, 2016
Available at the online bookstoreForbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers
Mark Regnerus | Oxford University Press, USA | April 2007
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