Scripture of the Day

Jeremiah 8


6. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
7. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

Scripture of the Day

Ecclesiastes 2


11. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12. And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
13. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
16. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

Scripture of the Day

1st John 5

1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Scripture of the Day

Luke 12

. In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
4. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

This week in Christian history: Puritan leader born, Quakers make treaty with Native Americans

https://www.christianpost.com/news/this-week-in-christian-history-puritan-leader-born-quaker-treaty-with-native-americans.html

Throughout the extensive history of the Church, there have been numerous events of lasting significance.

Each week brings anniversaries of impressive milestones, unforgettable tragedies, amazing triumphs, memorable births, notable deaths and everything in between.

Some of the events drawn from over 2,000 years of history might be familiar, while other happenings might be previously unknown to most people.

Here are three events that happened this week in Christian history. They include the birth of Increase Mather, the final sermon of John Flavel, and a Quaker treaty with Native Americans.

Increase Mather born – June 21, 1639 

Increase Mather
A 1688 portrait of Increase Mather (1639-1723), a prominent Massachusetts Puritan preacher, politician, writer, and former head of Harvard University. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when Increase Mather, a prominent leader in Puritan Massachusetts, was born in Dorchester to Richard and Katherine Mather.

A graduate of Harvard College in 1656, Mather would later become a Puritan minister and serve as president of the academic institution, as well as be the father of Cotton Mather.

“Even more than his illustrious son Cotton, Increase Mather is representative of American Puritanism in seventeenth-century New England,” explained the Mather Project.

“As a leader of Boston’s ministry, he became the defender of Puritan orthodoxy during its decline; as president of Harvard, he guided the college through its most difficult period; as a political figure, he secured a new charter for Massachusetts when the old had been revoked; and as a voluminous writer, he published in widely diverse disciplines.”

William Penn signs treaty with Native Americans – June 23, 1683

William Penn
William Penn (1644-1718), notable Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when influential Quaker leader William Penn, founder of the modern state of Pennsylvania, signed a treaty with a local Native American tribe.

Penn made the treaty with a northern tribe known as the Lenni Lenape, making the agreement under a great elm tree located at Shackamaxon in Philadelphia.

There is some dispute as to the exact date for the treaty, with some placing it as actually having happened at other dates, such as sometime in 1682.

Nevertheless, the treaty was famously described by 18th century French intellectual Voltaire as “the only treaty between those persons and the Christians which has not been sworn to, and which has not been broken.”

John Flavel preaches final sermon – June 21, 1691

John Flavel
John Flavel (1627-1691), an English Puritan author and clergyman. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when John Flavel, an influential English Puritan author and preacher, preached what became his final sermon, dying from a severe stroke five days later.

His final message centered on the biblical passage of First Corinthians 10:12, rendered in one translation as “Wherefore let him that stands take heed lest he fall.”

According to the Christian History Institute, the goal of the sermon was to urge “those who were careless about their Christian profession to show a deeper concern for their souls.”

“His life was representative of the best of England’s seventeenth century nonconformists. He was known for his passion at prayer,” noted the Institute.

“For instance, learning that a sea battle was in progress, and knowing that many Dartmouth boys were in the navy, he led his people in prayer and fasting. Not one of Dartmouth’s many sailors perished.”

Christians in Nigeria have ‘risen to the challenge’ after terrorist attacks, bishop says

Inés San Martín Jun 18, 2021 rome bureau chief

Christians in Nigeria have ‘risen to the challenge’ after terrorist attacks, bishop says

Displaced Iraqi Christian children in Erbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, hold a sign for the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). (Credit: ACN.)

ROME – According to Bishop Mathew Kukah of Sokoto, the Church in Nigeria is one of martyrs. However, he said it wasn’t a Church of sorrows, because despite the persecution perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organizations, “our people have risen to the challenge.”

“The great news for us Christians in Nigeria is that we’ve been quite relentless, and this persecution, which is part of the life and oxygen of Christianity, has found a greater witness of faith and confidence of our people,” he said on Friday.

The prelate also said that Nigeria is a “very troubled country, almost on the verge of internal explosion,” which has created “serious pressure” for the Christian community, with Boko Haram no longer restricted to Nigeria’s northeast, reaching even Kukah’s diocese in north central Nigeria.

“Every day, we see death and destruction at a massive scale,” he said, noting that two days ago, schoolchildren and their teachers were kidnaped, and their whereabouts remain unknown.

Kidnapping girls and selling them as slaves has long been one of Boko Haram’s strategies to finance its crimes.

Kukah’s words came during the presentation of the 2020 financial report of the pontifical charitable agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). According to the annual report, ACN raised almost $150 million last year, a 15 percent increase from 2019.

One of the questions raised during the presentation was the impact of the allegations made earlier this year against the founder, Father Werenfried van Straaten, who after an apostolic visitation to ACN in 2009 was found guilty of “serious violations” in four areas of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of ACN International, said that the donors of the charity “understand that our mission is an important one, and they’re continuing to support our work with their donations.”

He also noted that most of the benefactors were “satisfied” with the way the papal charity had handled the allegations, claiming the past five months have been the most successful in raising funds in the charity’s history.

“Not only did the pandemic turn our own work upside down, but it also dramatically worsened the plight of Christians in many regions of the world, who found themselves — literally almost overnight, without work, pay or food. And many priests and religious were also left not knowing how to make ends meet,” he added.

“In this emergency, however, ACN‘s benefactors remained true to the charity. This great generosity leaves us feeling profoundly grateful,” Heine-Geldern continued. “It was quite unforeseen, especially since the crisis has inflicted profound economic insecurity and difficulties on us all. We were particularly pleased to note that the number of our benefactors has also increased worldwide.”

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-africa/2021/06/christians-in-nigeria-have-risen-to-the-challenge-after-terrorist-attacks-bishop-says/

Thousands to march on Washington in solidarity with persecuted Christians

MARCH FOR THE MARTYRS

The organizers of the September 25 March for the Martyrs hope to raise awareness of the plight of the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Gia Chacón, the founder of the non-profit organization For the Martyrs, is on a mission to spread the word that the Christians are dying for their faith in unprecedented numbers. 

To that end she is organizing a “March for the Martyrs” to be held in Washington, DC, on September 25.

“We believe knowledge inspires action— the more people who are aware of the crisis of Christian persecution, the more that can be done to aid the suffering faithful,” she told Aleteia.

That knowledge is based on what Chacón has witnessed in her travels to the world’s most dangerous places to be a Christian, from East Africa to the Middle East. 

It’s also founded in the work that humanitarian organizations have done to document persecution and violations of religious freedom around the world.

Christians, the world’s most persecuted religious group

According to a recent report from Aid to the Church in Need, almost 340 million Christians — that’s one in eight — suffer some form of persecution, ranging in severity from harassment to murder.

Christian martyrdom is far from a thing of the past. The humanitarian organization Open Doors reports that more than 4,000 Christians were murdered for their faith in 2018.

Called to help persecuted Christians

In 2017, at the age of 20, Chacón was working in the cosmetics industry when she felt a need to find a greater purpose in her life. She took some time off and joined her grandmother, Michelle Corral, in Egypt where she was engaged in humanitarian and missionary work.

John Burger reported in Aleteia that while living among Egyptian Christians, Chacón was inspired to devote her life to helping persecuted Christians:

“It was in Egypt, traveling with my grandmother, that I experienced the face of the persecuted Church for the first time. I realized that there are Christians suffering for their faith, and that these were not just the older generation, but people my age were willing to risk everything for their faith, willing to risk their lives to go to church, to serve Christ and live their lives for the Gospel,” said Chacón.

Jonathan Roumie from The Chosen marches

On September 20, the first March for the Martyrs was held in Long Beach, California. Hundreds of people from many Christian denominations took part, including the actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in the popular series The Chosen.

Roumie addressed the marchers, recalling America’s founding and his own family’s experience as Christians in Egypt.

The United States was founded by men and women who fled religious persecution,” he said. “My own father left Egypt in the 60s because of religious persecution. He brought his family over in search of a better life.”

“The fact that we can be here praising Jesus’ name together without apology deserves a round of applause. God called you here to celebrate with us, to march with us,” said Roumie.

https://aleteia.org/2021/06/18/thousands-to-march-on-washington-in-solidarity-with-persecuted-christians/

Only 6% of Americans have a ‘biblical worldview,’ research from George Barna finds

https://www.christianpost.com/news/only-6-of-americans-have-a-biblical-worldview-survey.html

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter | Wednesday, May 26, 2021FacebookTwitterEmailComment0

church, pews
Getty Images/Exkalibur

Only 6% of Americans have a “biblical worldview,” according to research from notable evangelical pollster George Barna released as part of a new endeavor with the Christian conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council.

In a statement Wednesday, FRC announced that Barna, who founded the influential evangelical polling organization Barna Group, joined the organization as a senior fellow of their newly launched Center for Biblical Worldview.

FRC President Tony Perkins said that the center is “designed to give Christians a firm foundation so that they can engage the culture by being rooted in God’s Word.”

“Every Christian can and should obtain a biblical worldview — which is only achieved when a person believes that the Bible is true, authoritative, and then taught how it is applicable to every area of life, which enables them to live out those beliefs,” Perkins stressed in a statement. 

As part of the center’s launch, FRC released research conducted by Barna’s Metaformation research group. Some of the new report includes questions and data compiled for the American Worldview Inventory produced by the Barna-led Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.

The data found, among other things, that while 51% of American adults said they have a “biblical worldview, only 6% of American adults actually hold this worldview.

Barna drew the conclusion of inconsistency among the 51% reporting a biblical worldview by noting that many of the questions to determine worldview found this group technically outside of what the pollster defined as a “biblical worldview.”

For example, of the 51%, 49% said that reincarnation was a possibility after they die. Meanwhile, only 33% said they believed that “human beings are born with a sinful nature and can only be saved from the consequences of sin by Jesus Christ.”

Data for the research came from a May survey featuring a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, with a sampling error of about plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

“Christians have a duty to stand against the prevailing cultural tides and proclaim God’s truth to a dark and wandering world,” Perkins stated. “But before you stand, you need solid ground.” 

The data comes as similar results have been found by other surveys in recent years. Last September, the Cultural Research Center revealed survey data compiled in January 2020 that showed that 2% of millenials hold a biblical worldview even though 61% identify as Christian. 

In 2017, a survey from the American Culture and Faith Institute found that about 10% of Americans hold a distinctly biblical worldview even though 46% claimed to lead a Christian life. 

In addition to Barna serving as a senior fellow, FRC’s new Center for Biblical Worldview will be headed by David Closson, author of FRC’s “Biblical Worldview Series” who has written pieces for publications including National Review and The Gospel Coalition. Owen Strachen, the provost and research professor of theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary in Arkansas, also joined the center as a senior fellow. 

“I am excited to work more closely with FRC to apply the research findings in ways that help to transform individuals’ lives and American culture,” Barna said in a statement. “Given FRC’s track record of making a difference in our society based upon its unwavering commitment to biblical principles, I look forward to an effective and fruitful partnership using research to guide our efforts.” 

The founder and namesake of the Barna Group, Barna also founded the Cultural Research Center in March 2020. 

Scripture of the Day

Proverbs 16


12. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

In the west the majority of countries don’t have kings as rulers, but I think this Scripture could also apply simply to rulers.

Leadership is established by doing what is fair, just, and equitable for all citizens. When rulers commit wickedness its an abomination, something that most refuse to or cannot see or understand.

In the USA many in positions of leadership use that position for personal gain, disregarding the very rules and/or laws they desire others to obey. Many have given into greed and other vices, losing all sense of moral clarity. This is also happening inside the Church.

Whereas the Churches use to be the center for defining acceptable societal norms and vices, nowadays the center has moved to the governmental funded educational systems. The Church has failed in its outreach to their local communities, instead turning inward. Church ministries for everybody and everything, sin is marginalized, repentance is trivialized and the heart of this nation whithers.

So wickedness is an abomination, if I may, to both kings and those in leadership positions, secular or religious. Now we are experiencing the fruit of their labor.

Nevada to Pay Church $175,000 Following Lawsuit over COVID-19 Worship Restrictions

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Friday, June 11, 2021

A person holding money, coronavirus is showing that we are giving creatures

Nevada to Pay Church $175,000 Following Lawsuit over COVID-19 Worship Restrictions

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The state of Nevada has agreed to pay a church $175,000 in legal fees after placing restrictions on houses of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The Christian Post, the Nevada Board of Examiners unanimously approved a request from the Office of the Attorney General to pay Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley $175,000 as the result of a tort claim.

Susan Brown, chief of the Board, explained that the payment was “to comply with the consent decree in this case that requires the state of Nevada to pay a reasonable attorney fees,” adding that the “cost will come out of the tort claim fund.

Complete story here, https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/milton-quintanilla/nevada-to-pay-church-175000-following-lawsuit-over-covid-19-worship-restrictions.html

Scripture of the Day

Proverbs 9


6. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
7. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
8. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
9. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Scripture of the Day

Matthew 25


14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Scripture of the Day

Matthew 14


13. When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
14. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18. He said, Bring them hither to me.
19. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32. And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Scripture of the Day

Matthew 8


5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Scripture of the Day

Revelation 21

1.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.