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American Christian Voice

read this magazine wearing Rhino skin

Volume 14 No. 1 Contents Don’t Miss These!


Roe V. Roe: Women

Hurt By Abortion

Speak Out



4.ACV About Us

5.ACV Mission Statement



27.Puzzle Page!!

36.Where you can buy a copy of the

American Christian Voice...

36.Subscription Info

36.War Room Widow

39.Would you like to join the ministry

of the American Christian Voice?


7. Revealed! How Trump will get

Mexico to Pay for Wall

16.Bible is on Side of Secure Borders

18.Political Thoughts: Separating the

Sheep from the Goats

26.Do We Need Congressional Approval

to Create Term Limits on Congress?

37.I’m a Christian, a patriotic American,

and a free-market, shrink-thegovernment

conservative—who also

happens to be gay.

40.Jimmy Kimmel Says Late Night Hosts

Are All Liberal Because It Requires

'Intelligence.' Ben Shapiro Responds.


24.Seven Thoughts on the Billy

Graham/Mike Pence Rule


2.Gold Star Family Inn information

35.Gold Star Family Inn supporters


8.Roe V. Roe: Women Hurt By Abortion

Speak Out

9.Ex-QB Colin Kaepernick Celebrates

Super Bowl With $20K Donation To

Group Named For Convicted Cop-Killer

10.Want To Tell The State To Stick It?

Homeschool Your Kids

14.’Religion divides people’ - A

refutation from a Muslim

20.Ask the Rabbi

23.Are You a Wheat or a Tare?

29.Gun safety regulations that even

NRA members should support

32.How Legalism Betryas Christ,

Violates the Gospel, and Destroys



34.Why You Keep Falling For Fake News

42.Who Is The Church?


12.Jim Bakker Remembers Billy


24.Seven Thoughts on the Billy

Graham/Mike Pence Rule

Jim Bakker


Billy Graham


Bible is on Side of


Secure Borders

How Legalism

Betrays Christ,

Violates the Gospel,

and Destroys People

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God Loves you just the way you

are, not the way you should be.

Because no one is as

they should be.

- Brennan Manning

The American Christian Voice magazine, Memory

Lock Fence and the Gold Star Family Inn are

ministries under the non-profit, 501(c)3

designation, Ozarks Christian Foundation.

All contributions in excess of goods and services

received are tax deductible. See more details

under our websites.





about us

People often ask us who we are,

expecting to hear the name of a

particular Christian group or

religious organization.

We are not an organization, nor do we

want to be one, so we cannot introduce

ourselves with a particular name. Jesus’

disciples did not give themselves any

special name either, but were recognized

as such through their message and

lifestyle. Later they were called

Christians because they proclaimed Jesus

as the Christ, the Saviour who came to

mankind from God.

We, too, are Christians, disciples of

Jesus. We want to follow the example of

the first Christians and put what we read

in the Bible into practice in our lives. We

do not belong to any denomination or

any other kind of religious society. We

are together because each of us wants to

follow Jesus, our Lord and our God (John

20:28) and not out of any obligation to

abide by the rules and regulations of an


Leslie Leylands best put it this way,

“The basis for loving our neighbors, and

for unity in Christ, is not proximity, understanding

or commonality. We are one

in Christ not because we are one in the

same, but because Christ is the same. It

is an impoverished theology that mistakes

unity in Christ for sameness in


ACV Magazine - Who We Are

We regard the Bible as the sole basis

of Christian doctrine. This is why we

meet every day to think together about

God’s word. We take the Bible seriously

as the authority for our faith and life,

while also trying to understand it within

its historical and literary context, using

the mind God gave us to continuously

gain a deeper understanding of it. We

want to avoid both the fundamentalist

and the liberal errors in their views on

the Bible and we are aware that we can

only understand the Bible correctly with

the help of the Holy Spirit.

Faith, for us, is a reality which fulfills

all areas of our life and does not mean

cultivation of traditional customs.

Our partners are small in number and

consists of people with different

professions, with formerly different

religious and social backgrounds. We

simply want to be Christians, brothers

and sisters who worship God as our

common Father and Jesus as our Lord.

We reject the religious notion that we

are better than the lost because we don’t

have sin in our lives. That is a clear

contradiction to God’s word and

brotherly love. We humbly accept that

our short comings are viewed differently

by our heavenly Father because we are

now His kids. Our weaknesses are

covered by the blood of Jesus. We are

convinced that unity, which God wanted

to be the reality among

Christians, cannot be

achieved by the

controlling human

structures of authority

but is only the fruit of

obedience of every single

disciple towards the Holy Scripture. We

are in unity because each of us puts his

own self aside and wants to follow what

God revealed in the Bible and made

recognizable for everyone.

At present we know Christians in a

few different countries, but we are

looking forward to getting to know

brothers and sisters in other parts of the

world as well. We think it would be a sin

against brotherly love for Christians to

live side by side without taking an

interest in one another. In 1 John 3:14–

16 the apostle wrote:

We know that we have passed out of

death into life, because we love the

brothers. Whoever does not love abides

in death. …By this we know love, that he

laid down his life for us, and we ought to

lay down our lives for the brothers.

* Our “About us” was adapted by our

dear brothers in sisters in Europe. While

we take a different position on some

“twiggier matters” of the law we love their

spirit and understanding of the Word of

God and their response to it.


We also have a calling to honor the

Families of the Fallen soldiers and

first responders with FREE lodging

through our Gold Star Family Inn

here in Branson Missouri. Their

lost, loved ones are “Christ types”.

They laid down their lives for the

freedom of others. Our mission

statement follows on the next page.

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ACV Magazine NEW Mission Statement

Representing the Body of Christ Through Our Diversity

The American Christian Voice

magazine is published with the primary

purpose being to educate the body of Christ

through informative articles (Intelligent), to

edify the body of Christ through motivating

articles of Christian faith and courage

(Inspirational), and to promote the message

that disciples of Christ are not under the

penalty of sin or condemnation of it (Fun!).

It is because of what Christ has done...

not what we do that makes us in good

standing with God. Our obedience is to

Love Him and our fellow sojourners.

Now that Christ has cloaked us with His

Righteousness, God the Father looks at us

as Sons/Daughters, no longer at enmity

with Him. We are in training now. That is

why this publication focuses on politics. If

we are to rule and reign with Jesus Christ

we should be very much interested in

training here and now.

We are dedicated to be Kingdom

builders as we realize that our diversity

should not impede the method in which

God chooses to woo through the Holy Spirit

the lost through love. We can err in our

theological understanding of doctrine and

dogma but love never fails. In the law we

find death - in love we find Liberty to obey

by desire... not compulsion.

We implore all people to call out to God

and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.

THE Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person.

HE will fill your heart, mind and soul with

truth; Not some man's opinion of God. In

this manner, when you see the counterfeits,

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Father. He loves you. He is good and only

does good. He is not "out to get you". He is

out to love you. Not because of what you do

(or do not do) but because of what Jesus has

already done for you.

We encourage our readers to eschew

religion and pursue a relationship with

God through Jesus Christ as led by the

Holy Spirit, thus allowing an openmindedness

to differing opinions on

complex matters.

We strive not to be the fire alarm, but

the fire extinguisher.

Please be advised that the contents of

this publication often do not represent

the positions held by many of the

sponsors of the American Christian

Voice (or for that matter, the publishers).

L R John, Lorri, Belen and proof readers -

Yanni and Kairos Sacoulas (which explains alot).

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President finally discloses

strategy to accomplish 1 of

biggest campaign promises

WASHINGTON – Quietly, and without any

fanfare from major media, Donald Trump

has unveiled his plan for getting Mexico to

pay for the border wall.

By Harriet Sherwood and agency

He says he plans to offer a new deal on

NAFTA that will share increased revenues

between the two countries more equitably,

a small portion of which will be diverted to

pay for the cost of the wall.

The Trump administration is currently

seeking federal funding for the wall while

renegotiating the U.S. trade deal with both

Mexico and Canada.

“They can pay for it indirectly through

NAFTA,” Trump said recently in an

interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We

make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, ‘I’m

going to take a small percentage of that

money and it’s going toward the wall.’

Guess what? Mexico’s paying.”

Trump’s comments came hours after he

was updated by his administration’s top

economic and trade advisers on the

progress of those negotiations and the

administration’s trade actions more


Trump repeatedly promised during the

campaign that he would build a wall on the

Southern U.S. border and get Mexico to pay

for it. Democrats are refusing even to

approve a budget without a bill to approve

DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood

Arrivals program, which he rescinded in

the fall.

Trump warned that if Mexico did not agree

to new terms on the free trade deal, known

formally as the North American Free Trade

Agreement, then he would simply

“terminate” the deal.

“Now, Mexico may not want to make the

NAFTA deal, which is OK, then I’ll terminate

NAFTA, which I think would be frankly a

positive for our country,” Trump said.

“The Budget should be balanced,

the Treasury should be refilled,

public debt should be reduced, the

arrogance of officialdom should be

tempered and controlled, and the

assistance to foreign lands should

be curtailed, lest Rome will become

bankrupt. People must again learn

to work instead of living on public


-Cicero, 55 BC

Battles are fought in our minds

every day. When we begin to feel the

battle is just too difficult and want to

give up, we must choose to resist

negative thoughts and be determined

to rise above our problems.

We must decide that we’re not going

to quit. When we’re bombarded with

doubts and fears, we must take a

stand and say: “I’ll never give up!

God’s on my side. He loves me, and

He’s helping me! I’m going to make

it!- Joyce Meyer


By Jerry Newcombe

original jane roe speaks


Post abortive women say it hurts women

Recently, a group of abortion advocates, as

part of the National Network of Abortion

Funds, set out to solicit people to speak out

on behalf of abortion through their

personal stories. They call it: “We Testify –

Storytellers Rise Up for Roe.”

That got me thinking about how there are

many women who could testify to the exact

Jerry Newcombe opposite of what the

abortion advocates want to hear. Having an

abortion turned out to be a disastrous

turning point in their lives.

Through the years of my broadcast

ministry, I’ve had the privilege to interview

many women who have had abortions and

came to regret it. For example, Carol

Everett, who not only had an abortion but

went on to become a part-owner of a few

abortion clinics in the Dallas area. She once

told me: “Nothing [in my life] worked after

my abortion.” But, she reasoned, if in some

twisted way, she could talk other women

into having an abortion, maybe her own

abortion wouldn’t seem so wrong. She went

on to become partly responsible for some

35,000 abortions, and the money was good.

But then Carol found Christ – whom she

was not seeking – or more accurately, Christ

found her. She is now very happy to work

for the pro-life side.

Women regretting their abortions is a

common phenomenon. Consider these


Monica: “The worst part of abortion to me

is the emptiness. … I deprived my daughter

of her sister or brother, or my son of a sister

or brother. And sometimes when I see my

family, I feel like it’s incomplete, because I

notice that third person is missing.”

Janice: “The abortion was humiliating. It

was dehumanizing. I lost my dignity there

in that clinic. I lost my self-respect. It was a

very unpleasant procedure.”


“God has


me and


me to a





still that


that loss





you don’t forget. … It wasn’t quick. It wasn’t

painless. It was horrible. No woman should

ever have to endure that type of procedure,

or even those lies that they said, that I

would ‘forget.’ Because you don’t forget it.”

As the abortion advocates try to conjure up

women to testify on behalf of Roe, how

about hearing from Roe herself?

It’s not news that Norma McCorvey, the

Roe of Roe v. Wade (the Supreme Court

decision that legalized abortion on demand,

Jan. 22, 1973), later became a pro-life

Christian. She died last year.

McCorvey did a television interview with D.

James Kennedy Ministries in the late

1990s. In that interview, she said, “My story

began … in 1969 when I found myself

pregnant, on the streets. I was into drugs,

and I really didn’t have any other

alternatives in line. I did not believe in God,

and I’d fallen away from the church at a

very early age. In retrospect, when I look

back on those days and I see what a sad

person I was, I have to really kind of smile

and think about little Emily – a little 7-yearold

girl who came up to me at my office one

day and told me that if I knew God that I

wouldn’t be going to the place downstairs.

She befriended me when Operation Rescue

moved in next door to the abortion clinic

where I worked.

And at first, I didn’t

like them there

because they

reminded me of what we were doing.”

She further testifies: “I really hadn’t been

happy with anything that I saw in the proabortion

movement. … They don’t really

care about women. All they care about is

your money. But once you’re gone, they

don’t know you. … They took your baby, and

they left you just a shell of a woman – just a


McCorvey never had an abortion herself –

the Supreme Court decision did not come

until after she had already given birth – but

she has seen what it does to women who

have had them. She came to deeply regret

her participation in the Court decision that

bears her pseudonym.

Describing herself in the third person,

“Roe” said, “What Roe v. Wade did for

Norma McCorvey was send her into about

a 20-year spin of depression and

lesbianism and alcoholism. And it was just

like living in the pit of hell.”

Abortion is a human tragedy. In my opinion,

it continues to bring God’s wrath down on

this nation. The sooner America moves

away from the abortion ethic, the better off

we will be. I guess the ultimate test is, going

forward, which Roe should we listen to?

The pre-conversion Norma McCorvey or

the one whom Christ had made new? Let’s

embrace the new and improved Roe, who

testified, “Now that I’ve become a Christian.

… I’m 100 percent pro-life. … I’m a much

happier person.”

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is a TV producer

and the co-host of "Kennedy Classics." He has

also written or co-written 24 books,

including "The Book That Made America"

(on the Bible) and (with D. James Kennedy)

"What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?" and

(with Peter Lillback) "George Washington’s

Sacred Fire." Jerry hosts gracenetradio.com

Thursdays at noon Eastern.

ed- Through DNA science we have learned

that abortion destroys a unique human

being that has never existed in history, the

present, or the future. No two alike. Not even

in identical twins. Absolutely an original

person with a one-of-a- kind personality and

temperament. Think of your own children,

nieces, nephews or grandchildren. If any one

of them would have been aborted, what


jack & ryan have reason to be pro-life

would be the consequences? Even a former

family nemesis that passed away last year ,

and by most peoples’ assessment, led a

corrupt and useless life, left behind some

awesome children that would not be here

without him.

Like liberal actor, Jack Nicholson continues

to say, “I cannot honestly be pro-choice. My

birth mother (Jack was told his

grandparents were his parents and his real

mother who became pregnant at 17 was his

sister) had told people if abortion were legal

when she got pregnant, she would have

discarded me immediately. I found out later

that she even tried unsuccessfully, to kill me

in the womb on her own.”

It is always preposterous to hear a woman

say that it is the woman’s body so it should

be her choice. Well, it

wasn’t Jack’s mother’s

body. It was Jack’s body

she attempted to kill

and her grandson Ray

and his fiture progeny.

Ex-QB Colin


Jack & Ryan Nicholson Celebrates

Super Bowl With

$20K Donation To Group

Named For Convicted Cop-Killer

"Assata's Daughters" is an activist

organization named for Assata Shakur, one

of the FBI's "Most Wanted."

Honoree Colin Kaepernick spoke onstage

at ACLU SoCal Hosts Annual Bill of Rights

Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four

Seasons Hotel on last December in Beverly

Hills, California.

Former 49ers backup quarterback Colin

Kaepernick might not have played in

Sunday night's Super Bowl, but he did

celebrate the pinnacle of the National

Football League's season by raising money

for a group named after convicted copkiller

Assata Shakur.

The Washington Times reports that as part

of his post-football career Kaepernick has

been raising money for a variety of

progressive causes through a program

called Million Dollar Pledge. Some of the

groups are innocuous, such as proeducation

organizations and campaigns to

help get kids off the street after school, but

at least one, Assata’s Daughters, has more

concerning roots.

Assata's Daugthers bills itself as a "direct

action" group that "carries on the tradition

of radical liberatory activism encompassed

by Assata Shakur.” But Shakur herself was

a member of the Black Liberation Army and

in 1977 was convicted of killing a New

Jersey State Trooper in a highway shootout.

She escaped prison and fled to Cuba, where

she remains, evading authorities .

She is one of the FBI's most wanted.

Kaepernick gave $25,000 of his own money

to Assata's Daughters before bundling an

additional $20,000 from celebrity friends

who are anxious to signal their support for

the out-of-work football player and his

crusade to bring social justice to the NFL.


Entertain and Educate...

fun and learning has a link.

Start to finish while you’re playing;

this game will make you think!

Fahrenheit is a game about weather, featuring positive and negative

temperature values ranging from –32° to +32°. Using temperature value

cards and weather wildcards, the temperature rises and falls throughout

each round of the game and at the end of each round you are given a

personal temperature score.

OLIVIA S. - My husband and I love it! We play it together, just

us mostly, and I like that it's still very fun and competitive with

us two, though it's also great in a group of 4-6. It usually takes

me forever to learn a new card game (which takes the fun out

for me, usually, always spending time relearning), but with

Fahrenheit I caught on fairly quickly, spending more time

enjoying it!! The anticipation for your next card is always fun

(and often funny!) as it could be the instantaneous rise or fall

of your success that round!!

We are hooked! - John & Lorri Sacoulas





By Jamie Rohrbaugh

your children’s cohorts are the true teachers

Want To Tell The State To Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids

This notion that the children

belong to the state, that their

education must be provided

for by the state … is inimical at

every step to liberty.”

– J. Gresham Machen

The swelling legions of

homeschoolers poke a subtle

rebuke at America’s ever

expanding nanny state. Under both

parties, Washington has systematically

invaded private spheres and co-opted

public services historically performed by

local bodies. But a spontaneous

groundswell of freedom minded folks has

continued America’s rich inheritance of

rugged individualism.

The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting

homeschool crowd embodies the

American spirit of mutual self-reliance.

You won’t encounter a more neighborly

bunch. Their children thrive without

government “help.” Their support

networks blossom sans the state’s

sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a

fortune securing abysmal academic

results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their

lowest level since tracking began. As

spending soars, assessment scores


The modern homeschool movement

comes largely by Christians aghast over

an academic establishment overrun by

progressives. Schools long ago became

laboratories for instilling statism and

distilling politically correct groupthink.

Values clarification anyone? With public

education increasingly geared toward

multicultural agitation against America’s

godly heritage, many parents resolved to

safeguard the hearts, souls and minds of

their young.

At least 1.5 million students receive

home-based academic instruction. The

ranks of homeschoolers are rising rapidly

across every social strata, faith and

ethnicity. While many families lack

sufficient means for someone to stay

home, it’s not generally those affluent

enough to afford exclusive parochial

education. The highest homeschool


participation appears in households with

incomes ranging from $25,000 to

$75,000. The homeschool community

reflects a cross-section of Americans; the

children of truck drivers and lawyers,

whites and blacks, rich and poor,

Christians and


What is


save passing to

posterity the





customs and

mores of our

forbearers? In

the American

context this

includes selfreliance.

Parents are the


medium for


children. Should liberty endure, America

must restore her multi-generational

perspective, lately befuddled by

Leviathan permeating life.

We have two principle tutors, lessons

learned via individual experience and the

wisdom amassed by our ancestors.

Progressives have purposely uprooted

America’s multi-generational perspective

for many decades. Woodrow Wilson, who

prior to the White House presided over

Princeton, wrote, “The use of a university

is to make young gentlemen as unlike

their fathers as possible.”

Not to besmirch the many fine teachers,

but an education establishment intent on

discrediting tradition as a compass has

rendered much of America’s youth adrift

with only the pittance of personal

experience to navigate their course.

Students are prodded to disdain the

independent spirit and biblical morality

which birthed America’s exceptionalism.

But casting aside the wisdom of our

fathers comes at great peril.

Edmund Burke admonished “The

individual is

foolish, but the

species is wise.”

J. Gresham Machen, the foremost

defender of fundamentalism in the

modernist controversy of the past

century, also led the battle against

compulsory public education. A fierce



cautioned, “If you

give the

bureaucrats the

children, you

might as well

give them

everything else

as well.”

We have. See

election 2012.

Barack Obama –

who spent his

past assailing the

American system

– would not be



overwhelming support from twentysomethings

imbued with a reverence for

the state. No longer the family tree,

“government is the only thing we all

belong to” claims the ruling party.

Ron Paul senses the urgency, “Expect the

rapidly expanding homeschool

movement to play a significant role in the

revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild

a free society with constitutional

protections.” Dr. Paul warns, “We cannot

expect a federal government controlled

school system to provide the intellectual

ammunition to combat the dangerous

growth of government that threatens our

liberties.” Proving his point, homeschool

parents were instrumental behind

several UN treaties stalling in the Senate.

Like the local self-government formed

indigenously by settler communities on

America’s frontier, homeschoolers

spontaneously built a support apparatus

from the ground up. The free market at

work, parents can readily access almost

any curricula, subject matter or activity.

The Department of Education’s Dr.

Patricia Lines countered the notion of

homeschoolers withdrawing from

America’s social fabric, “Like the

Antifederalists these homeschoolers are

asserting their historic individual rights

so that they may form more meaningful

bonds with family and community. In

doing so, they are not abdicating from the

American agreement. To the contrary,

they are affirming it.”

A misperception persists that

homeschooled children lack social skills.

Dr. Brian Ray, of the National Home

Education Research Institute, surveyed

seven thousand adult graduates of

homeschools. His research reveals they

are significantly more likely to participate

in community service initiatives, join

civic, religious or business organizations

and be politically involved. A limited

study by J. Gary Knowles found no

homeschool graduates who were

unemployed or residing on welfare.

Unless socialization means sassing their

parents, as confirmed by Dr. Larry

Shyers, homeschooled children exhibit

significantly less behavioral problems

than other students. Public schools

nurture self-esteem. Homeschooling

cultivates character allowing children to

flourish into responsible citizens.

Moreover, Dr. Ray concludes adults

taught at home retained their parent’s

worldviews far more frequently than

peers. Students learning at home absorb

much less liberal cant.

Homeschooled kids don’t lack

socialization . . . but socialism.

The most pressing motive behind taking

on the terrific burden of home education

is to impart religious or moral beliefs at

36 percent; safety was primary for 21

percent of parents and dissatisfaction

with academic performance at other

schooling options accounted for 17

percent. Parents also cited geographical

distance, preferring non-traditional

teaching methodologies or wishing to

tailor classes per a particular student’s


Some parents simply prioritize getting

our children into Heaven over getting

them into Harvard. Forging godly

character, precept upon precept,

surpasses SAT scores in importance.

But homeschooled children suffer no

discernible academic handicap.

It’s not only national spelling bees and

similar competitions where

homeschooled students have become a

force. Studies consistently have

homeschooled students scoring 15-30

points above national averages. A recent

survey by Brian Ray covering 11,739

students showed homeschooled children

tested at the 86th percentile. These

stellar results held for boys and girls; all

incomes; whether or not the parent had

teacher credentials; whether their

budget was above or below $600; and the

amount of state regulation.

The Home School Legal Defense

Association asks, “If government

regulation does not improve the results

of homeschoolers why is it necessary?”

Many Americans coming from other

walks no doubt similarly ponder the

efficacy of red-tape.

The impressive results may partly derive

from positive selection.

And any child whose


willingly invest so much time would

likely thrive in other settings, but

students previously homeschooled

continue to prosper at college. They

obtain above average grades with higher

graduation rates.

Despite undeniable successes – or

perhaps because of them –

homeschooling still faces resentment by

suspicious social workers and

government bureaucrats. Per Christine

Field, an attorney with the National

Center for Life and Liberty (we are

members), “If we are losing rights, it is in

the social services arena where an

anonymous phone call can bring

authorities in to ‘investigate’ a

homeschooling family. The Fourth

Amendment violations committed by

social workers … can wreak legal havoc

on parents.”

Homeschooling represents a microcosm

of traditional Americana and a rebuke of

government meddling. Hence liberals

hate it.

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Thank you, Todd for honoring

the families of the fallen - John,

Lorri and staff


By Jim Bakker

this memory is telling of the man

Jim Bakker remembers Billy Graham

Excerpt from Jim’s book “I Was Wrong” ©1996

On January 2, 1992, I finally

succumbed to the flu. Besides the

physical misery, a deep sadness

plagued my heart and mind.

Nevertheless, I got up each morning and

went to work, but as soon as I finished

cleaning bathrooms and halls, I returned

to my cell, closed the door and crawled

back onto my bunk, still wearing my

work clothes.

On the day I had the worst fever, I lay

in my bunk, trying to “sweat it out.”

Suddenly, my cell door

opened and a guard

appeared in the doorway.

“Bakker, come with me,” he


I groaned and rolled out of

bed. I had not showered or

shaved yet that day. I knew

I looked awful, but I was

too sick to care. I did not

even bother to comb my

hair; I simply ran my

fingers through the

increasingly thin strands

and left it at that. I started

to put on my good tennis

shoes, and stopped short. I

had no idea why the guard

wanted me. Maybe, he

wants me to clean up a

mess somewhere or help

push the trash cans over to

the dumpster, I thought.

No use ruining my good

shoes for that. I had two

pairs of tennis shoes in

prison, one pair I wore while I cleaned

the rest rooms, and the other I wore to

exercise, walk the track, or during afterwork

hours. The old tennis shoes I wore

mopping and cleaning rest rooms were

tattered, torn, and filthy. I decided to put

them on.

I reported to the guard, wearing my

work clothes and work shoes. He looked

at me strangely, but he didn’t say much.

He simply told me to sit down and wait.

Although I had been in prison for more

than two years, fear of the unknown still

caused me to be extremely nervous.

Have I done something wrong? I

wondered. Did I miss something when I

did my cleaning chores today? I retraced

my steps and activities over the past few




my words

and deeds.

After about fifteen more minutes,

another guard came over to me. “Get

your coat,” he said. I walked back to my

cell, retrieved my heavy green army coat

with its bright orange lining, and

returned to the guard station.

“Let’s go,” the guard said. We walked

out of Building Two into the bitterly cold

air, toward the front of the prison

compound. It eventually became clear

that we were going to the warden’s office.

The guard and I entered the building. I

noticed a number of people buzzing

around a doorway, some familiar faces,

others who were not. Something is up, I


A high-level prison official approached

me and whispered, “somebody is here to

see you, Bakker. Do you want to see


“See who?” I asked, honestly surprised.

I was expecting no visitors. Why would

they be making such a fuss over

somebody coming to see me? And why

are we in the administration building,

rather than in the visiting room?

“Hasn’t anyone told you who it is?” the

official asked.

“No sir,” I responded.

“Why Billy Graham is here to see

you?” the prison official gushed.

“Billy Graham? I repeated. “He’s here?

To see me?” I looked down at my shoes.

The gaping holes in them stared back at


“Well, you do want to see him, don’t

you?” the official asked.

For a fraction of a second, I almost said

no out of sheer embarrassment. The last

time I had seen Billy Graham face-to-face

had been when he had appeared on PTL,

along with George Beverly Shea and Cliff

Barrows. Billy’s opening line to Tammy

Faye and me that day had

been “You feel just like

family, you have been in

our home so much.” On

that day, I had been

dressed in one of my best

suits of clothes, with every

hair in place. Now, I was in

rumpled, prison work

khakis, totally disheveled.

How could I allow the great

Dr. Billy Graham to see me

like this?

There was no way I was

going to refuse his visit.

“Yes, I would like to see

him,’ I replied. I took off my

old green over-coat and

tried to straighten my hair.

It was no use. I took a

breath and walked into the

warden’s conference room

where the prison officials

had indicated that Dr.

Graham was waiting along

with Dr. Westrick and

other prison officials.

As I walked through the door, Billy

Graham turned toward me and opened

his arms wide. Immediately, I felt his

total acceptance and love. I wanted to

run into his arms like a little boy would

run into his daddy’s arms. As I looked at

him, the tall, distinguished gentleman

looked back at me with absolute

compassion. I had not seen such

compassionate eyes in a long time.

We stepped toward each other and

embraced. “Hello, Jim,” he said in his rich

Carolina accent. “How are you?”

“Hello, Dr. Graham. I’m very sorry you

have to see me like this,” Billy Graham

simply waved my apology away.

We sat down beside each other at the


thanks, billy, for not adding religion to the gospel

conference table and began to talk. The

room was still swirling with people, but I

felt as though Dr. Graham and I were in

our own separate world. We talked

quietly but freely. He told me that he was

glad to be able to see me. “I wanted to

come sooner,” he said almost


His wife, Ruth, was in Mayo Clinic for

some tests, which is why they were in

Minnesota in the first place. He told me

Ruth was especially insistent that he

come to visit me. “She sends her

greetings and her love,” said Dr. Graham.

Billy Graham asked about my family

and about my life in prison. He seemed

genuinely concerned, so I shared with

him some of the good points and the bad.

He then told me about his most recent

overseas crusade and how God had done

such great things there. He was clearly

pleased that so many people had

accepted Christ. He noted that satellite

television had extended the crusade

coverage to the four corners of the world.

I told him about Dr. Ruth Westrick, whom

I could see out of the corner of my eye.

“This woman is the Mother Teresa of

the prison system,” I told Dr. Graham. I

told him of Dr. Westrick’s compassion

and loyalty to the inmates and about the

dignity she had given me. I got the feeling

I was not telling Billy anything he did not

already know.

Before he left, Billy Graham offered to

pray with me, and as he began, the

activity in the room instantly ceased.

Time seemed suspended during Dr.

Graham’s visit, so I have no idea how long

he stayed. Probably not long, but I will

never forget that the man who had just

been voted one of the most influential

men in the world and who has ministered

to millions of people, took time out of his

busy schedule to come minister to one

prisoner. Amid my depression, flu, filth,

and hopelessness, Billy Graham had

come. I felt as though Jesus Himself had

come to visit me.

The prison officials stood by looking

on. I put on my green army coat and

headed for the door. Dr. Graham waved

good-bye from across the room. “Ruth

and I will be praying for you, Jim,” he said.

I made my way down the hall toward my

cell, still trying to grasp all that had just


Remarkably, when I was released from

prison I was invited by the Graham family

to their personal house. I climbed into

Franklin Graham’s pickup to drive up to

his parents’ home. Fortunately for me, he

had removed the guns from his gun rack

----federal felons are not allowed to be in

the same vehicle with a gun.

By the time we arrived at “the cabin,”

as the Grahams refer to their lovely, old,

log mountain home, Ruth and Franklin’s

wife, Jane Austin, and the children had

already arrived. Ruth had prepared a

full-course dinner for us. We enjoyed a

wonderful casual dinner together. I felt

as though I was sitting in the midst of a

family reunion. We talked and laughed

just as any family might during the

Sunday afternoon meal. We talked a great

deal about one of Ruth’s favorite subjects,

as well - - - how we could better get

Bibles to inmates and their families.

During the course of this conversation,

Ruth asked me a question that required

an address. I reached into my back pocket

and pulled out a paper envelope in which

I kept my addresses and cash. I had not

owned a wallet for over four and a half

years---prisoners are not allowed to have


As I fumbled through the envelope

looking for the address, Ruth Graham

watched me quizzically. “Don’t you have

a wallet, Jim?” she asked tenderly.

“This is my wallet,” I replied pointing

to the envelope. Right then it seemed

natural to me to have a paper envelope as

a wallet.

Ruth got up and left the room. In a few

minutes she returned carrying one of

Billy Graham’s wallets. “Here is a brandnew

wallet Billy has never used. I want

you to have it,” she said.

I still carry that wallet to this day.

Before I left that afternoon, Ruth Graham

insisted upon sitting down and writing a

thank you letter that she asked me to

carry with me to Darlene Thompson,

the woman who was in charge of the

Salvation Army halfway house. In the

letter, Ruth wrote thanking the directors

of the halfway house for being good to

me. She also thanked them for allowing

me to come and spend the day with the

Graham family.

Over the years, I have met literally

thousands of wonderful Christian men

and women and families. I have never

met anyone more humble, gracious and

in a word, real than Ruth Graham and the

members of her marvelous family.

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By Waleed Ahmed

why can’t all muslims be like this? LOL

‘Religion divides people’ – A refutation from a Muslim

I have heard numerous arguments

against religion. A friend of mine once

dismissed religion on the grounds that ‘it

divides people’. I’ve heard that argument

before and after that conversation I was

compelled to put some thought into it.

Following are some thoughts on that


Religion does divide people. That is true.

However, I prefer the word separate

rather than divide and you will see later

why. Religion does group people into

different sects. Jews, Christians, Muslims,

Hindus. These differences sometimes can

cause disagreements and hostility

between people of different religious

backgrounds. Wars have been waged in

the past and present in the name of

religion and often times the resentment

follows through generations to come.

But here’s the thing people tend to

overlook. Religion divides people; but so

does race, ethnicity, nationality, political

philosophies (democracy vs

communism), language (Quebec vs

English Canada) etc. Look at the wars

that have been waged in the past century.

At least 60 million people have died in

armed conflicts in the past 100 years.

How many of these wars were ‘religious’?

Did the Americans bomb Hiroshima for

religious reasons? Did Stalin massacre

thousands for religious reasons? Did the

genocide in Rwanda happen for religious


The number of people that been killed in

so called ‘religious wars’ is miniscule

compared to those in secular wars. So the

point is, why insult religion and put down

its beauty by making it responsible for

our disunity? Look at all the hate that has

resulted because of democracy. I’ve never

heard any one ridicule democracy or

blame wars on it. Why the double


Here is what people need to understand.

Humans are inherently different from

one another. No matter what you do,

people will disagree over one matter or

another and will always have different

opinions. As humans we all have an

identity, a set of values or a philosophy

which suits our rational faculties. We

cling onto people who share this identity

and pledge allegiance to them. No matter

what one tries to do, this cannot be

changed and is in fact something that

God has programmed into us and is there

for a reason. God says in the Quran,

“If thy Lord had so willed, He could have

made mankind one people: but they will

not cease to dispute” (Quran 11:118)

“O mankind, indeed We have created you

from male and female and made you

nations and tribes, that you may know

one another” (Quran 49:13)

I gather three things from the above

verses. One the confirmation that we

have been purposely made different and

have been split into nations and tribes.

Second that disputation is also a part of

our nature and even if we were one

nation we’d continue to dispute over

religious matters. Lastly, the purpose

behind our divisions: to learn from each

other and not to despise one another.

Living in peace and learning to co-exist is

a divine trial and we as humans ought to

live up to it.

If anything, religion unites people that

are divided. Look at the history of the

Arabian Peninsula before and after Islam

for example. The Arabs had a strong

sense of tribalism and maintaining the

honour of their particular tribe was of

utmost importance to them. This

resulted in never ending wars where one

tribe was always trying to take revenge

and shedding blood in order to remain

‘honourable’. After the advent of Islam,

not only was the Arabian Peninsula

united but along with it were Eastern

Europe, North Africa, India and Western


‘Okay fine, religion isn’t the only thing

that divides people and maybe it can

unite people sometimes too. But what

about hostility, hate and resentment

between people of different faiths?

Wouldn’t our world be more peaceful

without all this

religious bigotry? One

less reason to hate’

What people don’t

understand when they

ask the above question

is the following:

Religion isn’t the cause

of hate amongst

people; religion is the

justification for hate.

No religion inherently

preaches hate. No

religion inherently

teaches one to be

hateful to others; they

preach the opposite in fact. Yes, religious

people differ but differences don’t equal

hate. Theological disagreements don’t

usually amount to hate and deep rooted


Hate is a human problem. It is a

manifestation of anger, pride, greed,

struggle for power and other human

flaws. The Palestinians don’t hate Israelis

because they are Jewish; they hate them

because they are oppressed by them.

Even in that case, religion is used as a

justification for hatred.

Some people argue that a world without

religion might not be perfect, but at least

better than what it is today. I argue that

we’d be in a position that is far worse as

the good that religious values bring far

out weight the divisions attributed to

religion. The divisions would remain the

same even if you remove religion. People

would find other excuses to justify hate

and oppression. Removing religion

would just rid the world of the good that

it brings about.


. Feed Back From Our Readers

Write Us! We love Yak Baks. Be sure to include where you found us,

yak bak

and where you are from.

A few years ago the ACV

reported on an opinion piece by

Alex Jones. Turns out, he was

right all along. The orchestrated

collapse of America’s southern

border is part of an overall

agenda to destroy U.S. national

sovereignty in order to usher

America into a North American

Union with Mexico and Canada.

The crony capitalists who have

created the global statecorporate

nexus known as the

New World Order want a

perpetually poor population

across the world which can be

easily exploited and controlled.

Time will tell if Americans have

the guts to stop this agenda by

first building a wall.

Carey Dunlop, Akron, OH


I want to tell you how excellent

I think the last issue (Volumn

13 issue 6) of the ACV is! Great

choice of articles! I especially

enjoyed the "Lead us not into

mistranslation(!)--I've always

disagreed with that particular

translation of the Lord's prayer;

the article "Trophies are for

Winning"--such important

thoughts in this day and age;

"Prophetic Vision"; "The

Making of a Miserable

Millennial"; the article on Joel

Osteen; and your article on

Jim Bakker. The magazine is a

wonderful compilation of

relevant, worthwhile articles.

Good job, and it looks great too!

Good work from your entire


Susie Link, Reeds Spring, MO


Why do people who would

rather spit on a Bible than read

it justify their wrongheaded

ideas by appealing to it? “Who

would Jesus deport?” they ask,

rhetorically. They haven’t

suddenly “found religion”,

they’re just using words they

don’t personally believe to

shame religious people into

silence. (There is a difference

between a Sojourner and an

illegal immigrant.)

Wes Walker, DailyClash.com


I am disappointed that

Christians are not more

discerning with whom they do

business. Many will tell you that

boycotts do not work and ask

what would happen if the left

stopped patronizing Christian

owned companies? For one

thing, we are promised that no

weapon fashioned against us

will stand. When Chick-fil-A

was targeted for a boycott, their

numbers increased but when

conservatives boycotted the

NFL; changes were made. I


know why

you would continue doing

business with Target and

Walgreen stores when a

perverted man can follow your

littel girl or your wife into one

of their public restrooms. Is a

sale price worth your support?

Denise Perez, Hilton Head, NC


We enjoyed our time at your

Gold Star Family Inn. Giving

free lodging and entertainment

to the families of the Fallen is a

real blessing to us. Our son,

Christopher was killed in action

serving his country and laid

down his life for us all. He is so

honored - the highest honor of

all- don’t we all long to be with

our Savior too?

Chuck and Mary Johnson,

Holland, MI


Can even hard boiled Christians

like me change their minds? I

am 93 years old and your

article on Joel Osteen and Jim

Bakker brought instant

conviction. I publically repent

and ask their forgivenesss for

speaking against one of God’s

anointed. I don’t have to like the

method they use to present the

Gospel and the Holy Spirit

showed me I am not allowed to

judge another man’s servant.

Yes, even an old dog

like me can learn a

new trick.

Eliza Wains, Winter Park, FL


I read the article by Tim

Challies on how to make a

miserable millennial. I was sad

because my husband and I did

not raise our daughter like that

and she still turned out to be

the poster child for all lazy,

shiftless, entitlement

demanding brats. Beware

parents on who you allow their

friends to be. It turns out their

influence was greater than

ours. We are holding fast to the

scripture that promises our

little girl will come to her

senses as she gets older

because we were diligent in

Godly instruction when she was


Hana Rogers, Newport News, VA


Send your letters to the editor to:

American Christian Voice

1030 W. Main St. Hwy 76

Branson, MO 65616 or email:



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all things being equal


Cheryl Chumley defends rule of law from attack by Christians - WND.com

In Exodus 22:21, God commanded the

Israelites, “You shall not wrong a

sojourner or oppress him, for you

were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

Some American Christians have

interpreted that passage as a mandate for

the United States to excuse and

accommodate illegal immigrants.

But award-winning journalist Cheryl

Chumley notes a “sojourner” is a

temporary visitor; illegal aliens seek to

remain in the country, so that passage

does not apply to them.

Moreover, she pointed out, God Himself

was the one who separated the peoples

of the Earth and confused their

languages in Genesis 11, thus creating

nations. So national sovereignty is

perfectly biblical.

In her new book, “The Devil in DC:

Winning Back the Country from the

Beast in Washington,” which is set to be

released this month, Chumley wrote, “It’s

hard to believe in a morality that teaches

that breaking the law is OK.”

The Bible does not teach that breaking

the law is OK, she asserted. She cited

Proverbs 28:4, which reads: “Those who

forsake the law praise the wicked, but

those who keep the law strive against


Chumley said it is unseemly for a nation

based on the rule of law and Judeo-

Christian values to

reward illegal

immigrants for

their lawbreaking

by putting them on

a “path to


“I don’t understand



lawbreakers are

given extra

concessions while

the citizens are put

in a second-class

state,” she told

WND in an


The most prominent Christian, by far, to

defend open borders has been Pope

Francis. The pope said Donald Trump is

“not Christian” if he talks constantly

about building a border wall between the

U.S. and Mexico.

(Have you seen

the Vatican



Francis was not

the only

Catholic leader

to attack Trump

over the


issue, whether

directly or



Timothy Dolan

of New York

penned an

opinion piece slamming Trump’s “antiimmigrant

rhetoric” as “nativist.”

Around the same time, Bishop Kevin

Farrell of Dallas warned that “the ghost

of Nativism again prowls our land.”

Additionally, Archbishop Jose Gomez of

Los Angeles took exception to Trump’s

comments on illegal immigrants, saying

illegals are “human beings in search of a

better life,” according to

CNN. Gomez is a champion

of “immigration reform.”

Chumley said her impression is these

Catholic leaders hold “crazy” positions

on immigration.

“These are people that are supposed to

be grounded in biblical principles,” she

said. “First and foremost it’s truth, right?

They’re supposed to understand the

concept of right and wrong and law

versus lawbreakers, and yet they’re so

quick and speedy to embrace the

lawbreakers at the expense of those who

are here legally that it just spins my


Chumley, who also authored the book

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s

Nightmare is Becoming our Reality,”

noted a certain level of hypocrisy at


“These same people that are pointing

fingers at the rest of America criticizing

us for wanting to uphold border controls

– you don’t see them too often opening

their homes and welcoming in these

illegal immigrants into their own homes,

sheltering them, providing for them,

giving them food and so forth,” Chumley

reasoned. “Nine times out of 10 their

calls for aid come at the taxpayers; they

want the taxpayers to do things that they

themselves don’t want to do.”

Instead of condemning the U.S. for not

welcoming illegal aliens, Chumley

opined, the pope should “quiet down”


and focus on his core duty of pastoring

the church. She rejected the idea that

welcoming illegals is a matter of

compassion or love.

“How can it be

compassionate and

loving to break laws at

the expense of those

who live on the borders

and have to deal with

those border crossings

on a daily basis?” she

asked rhetorically.

Chumley said she is

fortunate to live far

from the Mexican

border. But those who

do live along the border

face frequent dangers:

illegal border crossers

stealing items from

garages or barns, breaking into houses,

attacking ranchers, etc.

The author insisted people who wish to

protect the border and uphold the laws

of their country do not lack compassion.

“If you want to be compassionate, then

what you should do is take it upon

yourself to help those you see are in

need,” she challenged. “It’s not

compassion to use somebody else’s

money, somebody else’s resources – the

taxpayers, I’m talking about – and say

that they have to pay for these people. It’s

compassion when you’re compelled by

your own heart, by your own moral

compass, to get your hands dirty and do

something yourself.”

In fact, Chumley stated one of her

primary messages in “The Devil in DC” is

that Americans don’t have to capitulate

to the devil in D.C.; rather, they can turn

the country around through their own


“We need to be bold – you know, quit

sitting on the sidelines and wringing our

hands and screaming at the TV but

cowering in front of government

officials,” Chumley declared. “We are

their employers. The president is our

employee, and we need to remember


It’s not just the president who is our

employee, she noted – it’s also U.S.

congressmen, state officials and local

officials – from county clerks to town

supervisors to city councilmen. Chumley

begs Americans to wake up and hold

these leaders accountable.

“These people work for us, and we need

to get that in our minds and take that

back, because our actions start with our

attitudes,” she said.

Paul Bremmer is a WND staff writer based

in Washington, D.C.

editor’s note: Nobody champions the poor

more than our Catholic brethren, and I

believe they need a wall that massive

around their country. (yes, they are a

sovereign) but it disingenuous to

“pontificate” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

to other sovereigns to tear down their

walls when they are not inclined to do so

themselves. I do admire people who work

with those who are so disenfranchised as

those in Calcutta but it requires secure

borders and walls to maintain the wealth

to do so.

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a person’s first basic right is to be born

Political thoughts: Separating the Sheep from the goats.

I have had many conversations with

Christian brothers and sisters what I

would call them because our

identification in Jesus Christ. Some of

them who I respect greatly and

understand their criticisms against

Trump. No I did not disassociate my

presence from them and call them liberal.

It is ok to not be as conservative as I am

because God did not make two people

just alike.

Zackery is 9, Addison turns 7 in April. I

have been struggling with how do I teach

them good conservative beliefs without

indoctrinating them. How do I tell them

about God’s love when I feel like the most

part it is what is missing from

conservative people. How do I tell them

on one hand that God loves everyone and

then tell them on the other that you

should vote conservative and not care

about loving the poor.

While I do not support some of my

friend’s views against Trump vs his

stance against women, I do respect their

decision to not vote Trump. Most of them

have probably been blamed as politically

correct. They had some concerns that

kept them from voting for Trump. I share

their same concerns with his character

however if anyone filmed me long

enough, it would not be long before

people would probably protest against

me. Sure I have had my fair share of

church politics of people doing that

behind the scenes. I am talking about

blatant, overt hate-filled people

protesting against someone.

Where I would disagree with them is that

I don’t think Trump is responsible for

some of the Republican weaknesses.

While I definitely do not think Obama

was a good president as a whole, I think

he definitely displayed strong in certain

areas. Republicans usually are not good

at foreign policy. Where Obama failed

was his balance in the area. There is

nothing wrong in building great

relationships with other nations

(unfortunately, Islam nations), where he

failed was making other countries richer,

and bankrupting our own country. Where

I hate politics from whatever side of the

coin, Obama never blamed himself,

congress instead he blamed George Bush.

George Bush did not double if not triple

our debt during his presidency.

I would like Trump to take care and build

our economy first up and take care of our

Veterans who should never have been

mistreated the way they were under

Obama. But with that being said, I hope

Beware of the one on the left. He appears to want to cuddle

but in reality he will skew you with his horns if you do not line

up with his agenda to pander to every whim and desire of the

many who want to be their own God. He will sell you out to

the wolves as he appears as a creature of light but mocks his

true creator and endorses the taking of life sacrificed at the

altar of convenience. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice and

follow me.” The goats... not so much. - ed

Trump does not

rest in acting as

if he is doing it,

or actually living up to his word and

providing a better economy. What I want

him to do is even greater than that. I want

him to be able to befriend Israel once

again, maybe even make peace with

Communism in Cuba, Russia, and China.

While at the same time taking the

hammer where it needs to be, against the

spreading of ISIS.

If people hate the U.S. for democracy like

Communism may be does, then those

countries we will never be able to

convince. However, I hope that Trump is

successful in getting rid of some of the

anti American sentiment found against

the liberals, ISIS, and countries that

generally hate the United States. I am not

saying being politically correct and

dancing around

eggshells. I do hope

Trump makes it a

somewhat priority to

be friendlier to other

nations that are not


Another Republican

weakness is that this

might sting some as it

offends myself.. we do

not rightfully care

about the poor as we

should. I understand a

lot of this is based on

reality that the

economy sucks, the

price of living is going

higher, our pay wage

hasn’t seen an increase

in ten years. I

understand more than

anyone that our

resources are limited.

However how many

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have us have clothes we haven’t worn in

years, shoes that grew out of fashion that

are just laying around the house. How

many old coats, gloves, scarves etc that

we have and are not being used.

Does it really bother me that millions of

people are either unemployed,

underemployed, or need government

assistance to live? Does it really bother

me that many people tonight do not have

a home, do not have have warmth during

the colder months. Does it really bother

me that people with not severe enough

mental illness are not able to get

disability or financial assistance?

These are some great questions to be

introspective with your heart. So if you

are a Republican and do not really care

about the poor. I would challenge you to

read Matthew 25:31-46.


Readers, be careful here. Matthew is

referring to Jesus’ disciples, not the

materially poor.

The Final Judgment

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his

glory, and all the angels with him, then he

will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before

him will be gathered all the nations, and

he will separate people one from another

as a shepherd separates the sheep from

the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep

on his right, but the goats on the left. 34

Then the King will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you from

the foundation of the world. 35 For I was

hungry and you gave me food, I was

thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a

stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was

naked and you clothed me, I was sick and

you visited me, I was in prison and you

came to me.’37 Then the righteous will

answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see

you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and

give you drink? 38 And when did we see

you a stranger and welcome you, or naked

and clothe you?39 And when did we see

you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And

the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to

you, as you did it to one of the least of these

my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left,

‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the

eternal fire prepared for the devil and his

angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave

me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me

no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did

not welcome me, naked and you did not

clothe me, sick and in prison and you did

not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will

answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you

hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked

or sick or in prison, and did not minister

to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them,

saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not

do it to one of the least of these, you did

not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away

into eternal punishment, but the righteous

into eternal life.”

Sheep cares about the needs of others,

goats do not care about the needs of

others. (Another interruption. Sheep care

about needs but should refuse to pander

to the idea that we should enable

prurient interests or irresponsibility)

Jesus separates the goats which are made

for destruction just like weeds and sets

apart the sheep which are made for

eternal life just like the tares. The

Kingdom of God cares about the needs of

the poor. It cares about people having

enough food, enough drink, enough

housing, enough clothing, enough

compassion for those who are shown

none. Truly what you have done for the

least of them, you have done for me.

As I try to teach my kids how to hold

conservative beliefs, those beliefs are not

good enough without being validated by

Jesus. I want my children to have a love,

compassion, desire to help others. What

I do not want them to do is to help people

who think they are entitled. There is a

major difference between wants and

needs. Needs are food, shelter, clothing. I

want them to have a passion for that. You

want free healthcare, free abortion care

well too bad, you have to go earn it like

the rest of us.

I do not want my kids to worship

Republican, or conservative beliefs. My

burden is even bigger, I want them to love

God. I want them to love God’s people. I

want them to not only hear God’s word

but sucessfully apply it to their lives. I so

much want to be the Holy Spirit to them

which I do only at times where I feel it is

extremely necessary. I want God to dwell

in them richly and have a passion for him.

What I do not want for them to is to be

entitled or self-righteous. I want them to

follow God because God’s love change

them. The purpose of these verses is that

God’s love will change your mercy,

compassion for people and that will be

the reason why his love through you he

will use to meet the needs of others. The

ones that give food, shelter, clothing away

does not earn God’s righteousness. They

too will be consumed into the fire pits of

hell unless God’s love saves them. So you

can give all you have to the poor but still

don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior and

still not go to Heaven.

Faith precedes works which encourages

the works to happen. I don’t do good

works to save me but because God’s love

has saved me I will do what he wills for

my life. God’s providence cares about

people starving, cares about the

homeless, cares about clothing people.

Did you forget that God clothed Adam

and Eve after they sinned? God still cares

about you after you sin. What he wills for

you is to care about others even after you

have sinned against them by not caring.

Coming from a guy that stood up for

Trump, voted for Trump, defended

Trump. I will not defend an ideology less

God destroy my idols of politics. I see

Trump’s character flaws but there

shouldn’t be one sane person out there

that thinks Hillary has better character.

Faith without works is dead and the

Republican party soon too will if there

are no works that comes from having


Either we care about God’s people or we

don’t, YOU CHOOSE,- Ryan



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is it time to retire the bunny, eggs and the bonnets?

Ask the Rabbi - Easter or Passover?

From Rabbi Jeremy Storch

On April 1 of this year, a billion or

more people who identify

themselves as Christian will

celebrate Easter and for the week

following, a far smaller number will

observe Passover. I am confused. How can

you celebrate the death and resurrection of

our Lord and Savior a month before it


I can’t find anything in the Bible

mentioning the apostles or early Church

celebrating Easter. No eggs or rabbits

anywhere. I even found that the one place

where the word Easter is found in the

Bible—Acts 12:4 in the King James

Version—the original word there is

actually Pascha, the Greek word for


My Bible clearly shows that Yeshua (Jesus),

a Jew, observed the Passover with His

closest followers and instructed them, and

us, to continue to keep it until His return

(Matthew 26:26-29). I was also

surprised to read that the apostle

Paul explicitly told Church members

in the Greek port city of Corinth—

most of whom were not and never

had been Jewish—to observe the

Passover as a reminder and

memorial of Jesus Christ's death (1

Corinthians 5:7-8 and 11:23-26).

Most Christians think that as long as a

person celebrates Easter as honoring

Christ's resurrection, God won't mind and

we shouldn't care. But God does mind and

we should care that He does.

Many sources are available that describe

the origins, history and purpose of the

Easter celebration. If you read them

without checking what the Bible says about

which religious festivals are acceptable to

God, you could easily conclude that the

writers and researchers know what they

are writing about. Their analyses may seem

well-grounded, even beyond questioning.

But question you must. If you follow

human dogma that doesn't match Yeshua’s

(Jesus') teachings, you're on religious

quicksand without the lifeline of God's

saving truth.

This is a brief excerpt from an article on

our website TheTabernacleInBranson.com

entitled “The Truth About Easter”. And

prayerfully consider joining us for our

Passover Seder this year on April 2nd.

To contact Jeremy for ministry in your

congregation, for a radio or television

interview or other special event, or for

information on his albums or teachings,

please call or email:

The Tabernacle

Branson’s Messianic


256 Church Road

Branson, MO 65616

(417) 334-7373








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When It Must Be Right!


By Kathleen Caruso O’Neil

Are You

a Wheat or

a Tare?

What do you believe in? “I am a

Christian,” Chad replied. “How

do I know?” I ask.

I have watched him for a long time. I know

that he cheats on his income tax as I am an

accountant for his

company. I have

seen him short

change his

customers. He

is at church





on the



He is


by others in





puzzles me.

He was forever asking me if I wanted to

give my life to Jesus and all I could think

was, “Not if it means I will be like you.”

I have worked for Chad for about two

years. When he thought no one around, he

would pester the pretty young woman

who had joined his company in the last

year. She needed the job very badly to

support her child and was fearful of losing

her position. He held her job over her and

she put up with his advances. She confided

in me that he had paid for her abortion. I

tried to get her to quit and assured her I

would help her find another position, but

he had promised if she quit or told about

him, that she would not work anywhere in

this town.

Chad was a staunch Republican and

supported the party with funds and words.

He was a -respected person in our town.

This puzzled me. How could people be

with him and not see how double-minded

he is.

It is no wonder that many people have

been wounded by people who call

themselves “Christian” and who look good

on the outside. They know church

doctrine better than anyone and are

willing to argue their current position with

a haughty and demeaning attitude. This is

the kind of people that Jesus referred to

when he confronted the Pharisees and


If any of this feels like it could be you, then

it is time to quit calling yourself a Christian

or fall to your knees in repentance! A true

and intimate relationship with Jesus is the

only answer to our world’s

problems. A new

Congress or a

President will not save





Jesus is the


We are at a

place in

history when

we can no

longer afford

to be Christians

of convenience.

Our country has

reached a place of


that can

split us apart. It is time to take an honest

position. We know that a house divided

can not stand.

Remember the old quote, “Who is on the

Lord’s side; who will serve the Lord?”

Examine your own heart today and see if

you are walking in Truth or talking a lie.

editor’s observation: Just to be clear, a tare

is a disingenuous Christian and certainly an

immature one. Why does God tolerate them

in the church? He sees the end form the

beginning and He is hoping that Chad will

mature and repent of His behaviors so he

becomes a good and faithful servant.

If he were to be plucked out of the wheat,

there would be no opportunity for

repentance. Unfair? Did God give up on you

when you returned to your own vomit?

A wolf in sheeps clothing in most cases are

beyond redemption because they know the

truth but deliberately do their father’s, (the

devil) bidding. See more articles in this issue

on the subject.

better not make an oath than break it

(303) 963-3000




By Tim Challies

billy graham proved that it works

Seven Thoughts on the Billy

Graham / Mike Pence Rule

Ihave often wondered how the late,

great, Billy Graham would feel about

having a rule named after him. And

it’s not just any rule either, but one that

has generated all kinds of controversy

both within the church and outside of it.

Having a name synonymous with marital

faithfulness must be a joy; having a name

synonymous with charges of puritanical

prudishness must be a burden. I wonder

if he had been happy enough to hand it

off to Mike Pence and let him carry the

load for a while.

(Definition: The Billy

Graham/Mike Pence Rule

establishes that a man will

not put himself in

situations in which he is

alone with a woman who

is not his wife.)

The Billy Graham/Mike Pence Rule

bubbles up on a regular basis as a

discussion that usually seems to generate

considerably more heat than light. To be

frank, I don’t much care how unbelievers

feel about it, but do care quite a lot about

how Christians feel about it. Even more

so, I care how they feel about those who

do or do not hold to it. What follows are

some of my thoughts on the Rule.

First, we all acknowledge there are

appropriate and inappropriate ways for

men and women to relate when one or

both are married to someone else. The

question is not whether unmarried men

and women will establish boundaries

different from those they establish with

people of the same sex, but where and

how. Few would say it’s wrong for a man

and woman to consider one another

friends even if they are each married to

other people; few would recommend

they travel together as, say, two male or

two female friends can. We all establish

our own boundaries even if we never

name or formalize them. Some hold to

the Rule because they fear time alone

with a member of the opposite sex may

lead to sexual temptation and, ultimately,

adultery; some have no fear of

committing grave sin but still hold to it

out of a desire to avoid the appearance of


Second, Romans 14:4

(and, indeed, the rest of

that chapter) sheds

important light on this

matter. The Billy Graham

Rule is not a universal law

mandated by the Bible,

but a personal rule

mandated by conscience.

It is not a biblical law but

an attempt to flesh out a

biblical principle (sexual

purity and/or being seen

as above reproach). Many

will follow the Rule

according to their best

understanding of how to

ensure they are honoring

God. In so doing they will be heeding

their conscience, and right here Romans

14:4 asks, “Who are you to pass judgment

on the servant of another? It is before his

own master that he stands or falls. And

he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to

make him stand.” If someone believes

they ought to follow the Rule or one

much like it, we must not only affirm

their right to do so, but also the rightness

of them doing so. We cannot and must

not pass judgment on them or belittle

them in any way. In fact, we need to be far

more willing to lend support than cast


Third, no one owes anyone else an

explanation for why they do or do not

hold to the Rule (except, perhaps, one

spouse to another and/or an elder to his

fellow elders). Again, “It is before his own

master that he stands or falls.” Both

flaunting adherence to a law and

flaunting freedom from it are sinful and

unloving toward others.

Fourth, part of the reason we need to

be so careful in passing judgment and

holding others to our standard is that the

church is made up of many people from

many ethnicities, cultures, and

backgrounds. It is myopic to speak

universally across such diversity. A

Christian man sitting in a café sipping

coffee with a woman who is not his wife

may be doing something unremarkable

according to the customs of one culture

but utterly scandalous according to

another. A man who is recently saved out

of a lifestyle of extreme promiscuity may

be unwisely putting himself in the way of

too much temptation. A husband needs

to account for the fears, struggles, or

temptations of his wife (and a wife of her

husband) and for that reason may hold to

the Rule out of love even if he or she

experiences no struggle or temptation.

There are many, many reasons people

may hold to the Rule or one like it and

those are exactly and precisely none of

your business.

Fifth, the Rule may matter more today

than ever before for reasons related to

modern technologies and ideologies. On

the technology front, everyone carries a

camera and a broadcasting device with

them at all times. At any time, any person

can snap a photo and immediately make

it available to the world. An Instagram

snapshot can make a very innocent

situation appear decidedly suspicious. On

the ideological front, we have shifted

from the presumption of innocence to the

presumption of guilt, not in the legal

system but in the court of popular

judgment. Thus, it does not take proof of

adultery to find someone guilty and

imperil his or her reputation, but a mere

photograph accompanied by a suggestive

question or accusation. This comes into


play especially for pastors and elders

who are qualified to the office only if they

are deemed above reproach.

Sixth, extremely rigid adherence to the

Rule may be unhelpful or even sinful if it

interferes with an opportunity to show

love to a person in need. Legitimate and

helpful rules can tip into sinful legalism

if they are so rigid they convince us we

cannot offer assistance to someone who

may be among “the least of these.” Think,

by way of example, of how the Pharisees

used man-made Sabbath laws as a reason

to condemn Jesus for carrying out acts of

mercy. The Rule may also be unhelpful or

sinful when it generates suspicion

toward people of the opposite sex feel as

if they are the problem. A man may begin

to distrust the women around him like

each one is a seductress who means to

ruin his life, marriage, and ministry.

Seventh, rules have a sneaky way of

becoming a person’s hope for

purity. Establishing personal

boundaries may be wise, but

abiding by a rule cannot be

confused with growing in

sanctification. A Christian

doesn’t prove the inner work

of the Holy Spirit by so

bounding himself with rules

that he cannot act out sinfully,

but when his desire to sin has

been replaced by a desire to do

what honors and glorifies God.

Rules have their place, but

they must never be separated

from a prayerful

determination to put sin to death.

Do I hold to the Rule? Kind of. I have

genuine friendships with women, but

don’t invite them to meet up for a coffee

“just because” or travel with me to a

conference like I do with their husbands.

On the other hand, I’m perfectly

comfortable having a business-related

lunch or coffee with a woman who works

for or with me. I’ve sometimes willingly

“bent” the rule in situations in which

rigidly adhering to it would have

removed an opportunity to express love

or care for a person.

The long and short of it

is that there is great

freedom within the

Christian life to hold or

not to hold to the Billy

Graham slash Mike

Pence Rule. In this, as in

so many other areas,

“each one should be

fully convinced in his own mind”

(Romans 14:5).



y Alannah NicPhaidin

are there 38 rational leaders out there?



The short answer is NO. Our

founding fathers saw a day

when the people would need to

bypass Congress to get things


There are two ways to change the U.S.


The first way is the way we usually think

of, passing a bill through congress with a

two-thirds majority vote in both the

House of Representatives and the Senate.

That is why so many people think we

would never be able to get term limits on

Congress. ‘Why would Congress vote to

term limit themselves?’ We agree, that

would be a tough sell. But that is where

the second, and lesser known way of

amendment, comes into play. The second

part of Article V of the Constitution

allows us to bypass Congress. We would

be able to call a Term Limits Convention

which would ultimately allow us to

impose the necessary term limits on


Here’s how it was set up by our

founding fathers:

Two-thirds of state legislatures (34) pass

bills applying for the Term Limits


2. Congress is mandated to call the



3. The Convention, which features

delegates chosen by the states, proposes

one or more term limits amendments.

4. Three-quarters of states (38) must

ratify the amendment, either by

legislature or state convention.

With this process there are checks in

place to make sure that there is a narrow

agenda for the term limits convention to

discuss ONLY term limits on Congress.

This will ultimately help us accomplish

our goal as over 75% of Americans agree

with term limits. It means no other

divisional issue can sneak in and prevent

our progress.

Through this process we are able to

completely bypass Congress. Yes it might

take a little longer, and yes it can be

difficult, but we are looking to change the

Constitution. As necessary as it may be, it

should never be ‘easy’ to change such an

important document. We agree that

getting Congress to agree to term limits

on themselves is like asking turkeys to

vote for Thanksgiving.

So we have to take it upon ourselves to

get this done!

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Online readers, we’ve included a link to printable PDF puzzle page!

puzzle page

Answers to CrossWord

Puzzle on Page 47

Answers to Sudoku

Puzzle on Page 21


1 Assert

7 Junk e-mail

11 Air blower

14 Where we all

want to end up

15 __ hoop

16 Compass point

17 Number to be


18 Heroic

19 Unrefined

20 Peak

22 Fire remains

23 Expert

24 Wicked city

29 River of


31 Excessive interest

32 Turf

34 Holy person

35 Pig

36 Respects

38 Large weight unit

39 Boxer Muhammad

40 Ghost's greeting

41 Lode yield

44 Robes

46 Bridge

47 Applaud

50 Neither's partner

51 San __ (CA city)

52 Baseball's Jackson

54 Capital of Syria

56 Serving of corn

57 Compass point

59 That woman

60 Before, poetically

61 Twin brother of


63 Cats

68 Time zone

69 Made music vocally

70 Uproar

71 Affirmation

72 Abel's brother

73 Lands


1 Expression of


2 Headed

3 Boy

4 Adam and __

5 Aristocracy

6 A witch lived here

7 Her

8 Insect in a cocoon

9 List of highly

desired guests

10 Male ego

11 Sports car brand

12 Bayer's competitor

13 Freshest

21 The suffering of

Christ on the cross

24 Wind

25 National capital

26 Subatomic particle

27 Sphere

28 Fiery

30 Vapor

33 Prophetess

36 Shade tree

37 Aurora

39 Jauntiness

41 Organization of


Exporting Countries

42 Prego's


43 Son of Seth

44 Cask

45 Cain fled to this


46 Sister for short

47 Frightening

48 Funeral car

49 Herons

51 Persian king;

the Mede

53 Result

55 Metric length unit

58 Covet

62 Good grief!

64 Time zone

65 Environmental


agency (abbr)

66 Furrow

67 Compass point

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diversification at its finest



Praise & Worship - Sun. @ 8:30 a.m.

Education Hour - 9:15 a.m.

Liturgy &Traditional

Service - 10:30 a.m.




350 State Drive

Hollister, MO

Pastor Emil Bartos



(417) 334-1499

Crossroads Evangelical

Methodist Church

Sunday --Breakfast 9:15am, --Sunday

School 9:45am --Services 10:45am and

6:00pm; Wednesday --Services 6:30pm

715 N. Marshall

Marshfield, Missouri 65706

(417) 859-2488



see service times at:





Sunday School: 9:30 AM

Praise & Worship: 10:30 AM

(Children's Church and Nursery

Available) Sunday Evening Service: 6 PM

300 W Hensley St, Branson, MO

(417) 334-4308


First Presbyterian


Pastor Tom Wilcox

420 W Main St, Branson, MO

(417) 334-3468 • fpcbranson.org

Charity Christian

Revival Center

Sunday Prayer at 9:00 AM

Sunday School at 10:00 AM

Worship Service at 11:00 AM

Wednesday Bible Study at 7:00 PM

Dr. Willie Shields - wishields@charter.net

59 NE D Hwy

Knob Noster, Missouri 65536

(660) 563-4813



First Baptist Church Hollister

HIS Lighthouse on the Hill

136 Hill Billy Ln, Hollister, MO 65672

Phone: (417) 334-6970

Sunday School 9:30 am

Sunday Worship 10:30 am

Evening Worship 6:00 pm


Springfield Church of God (7th Day)

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Pastor: Andy Hassen • 1521 E. 24th Street N.

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Sabbath School: 9:45 am • Worship: 11:00 am

Wednesday night: 6:30 pm


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described as “gun control.” These include:

1. Requiring criminal background checks

on gun owners and gun shop employees.

2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members

from acquiring guns.

3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the

police when their gun is stolen.

4. Concealed carry permits should only be

restricted to individuals who have

completed a safety training course and are

21 and older. (You want a gun before you

are 21... join the army)

5. Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be

given to perpetrators of violent

misdemeanors or individuals arrested for

domestic violence.

6. No guns may be purchased by any

individual that has failed a mental health

evaluation. More than three people

warning officials about a potential lunatic

would require a mental health evaluation.

7. Require three references from non family

members required for gun ownership.

8. Culpibility for the actual owner of a gun

committed in a crime.

9. Permit any government school teacher

that is willing to train for a concealed

permit to have one in the classroom. (or try

home schooling. Not many shootings


some people don’t deserve rights

10. Incarcerate any parent that

inadvertantly supplied the weapon to a

deranged child.

11. Revoke permanantly the right to own a

firearm if said person ever made idle

threats on social media.




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Dear Lord, Help

me not despise

the things I do not

know or


~William Penn

The gospel that is beautiful and

transforming to God’s people is

ugly and odious to those who are

not his people. The gospel that so

satisfies those who believe it

revolts those who reject it.

Your children will either inherit God’s promises or

your fears. Deal with your fears so your children will

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By Joe McKeever

stop majoring on the minors

How Legalism

Betrays Christ,

Violates the Gospel,

and Destroys People

“Then some Pharisees and scribes

came to Jesus from Jerusalem saying,

‘Why do your disciples transgress the

tradition of the elders?’ … And He

answered and said to them, ‘Why do

you yourselves transgress the

commandment of God for the sake of

your tradition?'” (Matthew 15:1-3).

“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives

life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Historians tell us the Pharisees

started off well, as revivalists in a

way, calling the nation back to

faithfulness. Eventually, however, their

insistence on righteousness settled down

into a code of laws and rules. They went

from being encouragers to harassers,

from lovers of God to bullies and legalists.

The legalist is someone who says, “I know

the Lord didn’t say this, but He would

have if He’d thought of it!”

The legalist is smarter than God. He

helps the Lord by completing His Word,

by filling in the gaps where the Lord

clearly forgot to say something, explain

something, or require a thing.

The legalist drives the rest of God’s

people nuts. He is forever finding rules

we overlooked, requirements we clearly

missed on purpose, and laws the rest of

us should be keeping. He insists his way

is the only one and can play the morerighteous-than-thou

card when we do

not agree with him.

The legalist claims to love the Word more

than you. Typically, he takes a single

saying of Scripture and builds an entire

system around it, then demands that

everyone else obey it. If you refuse, you

don’t love the Lord, are in rebellion

against God, and unworthy to be a leader

or teacher of this church.

When told “The letter of the law kills, but

the Spirit gives life,” the legalist will

accuse you of taking a truth out of

context. He prides himself in stressing

the letter of the law. He likes to say that

“Scripture says what it means and means

what it says.” That sounds so good, even

to the faithful, that few stop to consider

that Scripture often uses various ways of

saying something. And translating a

teaching from one language to another

often presents difficulties. So, it’s not

always that simple.

The legalist likes it simple.

Woe unto you if the

legalist in your church

happens to be your pastor.

His sermons will be harsh

(he will call it “preaching

against sin!” and many

will applaud him for it),

grace will be missing from

his messages (“cheap

grace” he will call it), and

the people he attracts to

your church will be clones

of him. It all goes downhill

from here. Soon, he will

be pulling the church out

of the denomination (they

no longer preach the

Word!) and disassociating

himself from any pastor

or church unwilling to

abide by such strict

adherence to the rules.

The fact is, the

denomination is often led by men and

women of greater understanding of

Scripture than he with his legalistic

demands and harsh interpretations.

In former days, such pastors loved to

harp on the length of women’s skirts and

hair, to require no makeup and jewelry,

men’s wearing facial hair, and people

dancing, smoking, attending movies, and

reading novels. In earlier days, they

railed against the radio and then the

television, followed by the computer.

If a legalist cannot find something to be

against, he will make it up.

There is something about legalism that is

attractive to a lot of people. It reduces the

Christian faith to a list of rules. No more

of this “search me, O God, and know my

heart; try me and know my anxious

thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful

way in me” (Psalm 139:23-24). No more

of this “The sacrifices of the Lord are a

broken spirit; a broken and contrite

heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”

(Psalm 51:17).

It’s rules. Laws. Regulations.

Requirements. Demands.

Legalism condemns those not agreeing,

those who take liberties the legalists

forbid, and those who insist that the

whole message of Scripture should be

considered, not just a verse here and a

verse there.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the gold

standard of legalists. But their

descendants are many, vocal, and everpresent.

It was a Sunday night service in

Columbus, Mississippi’s First Baptist

Church, where I was pastoring sometime

in the late 1970s. We had a good crowd

that night, including several guests from

other churches for some reason I’ve long

since forgotten. I was excited and felt

great about the service.

The next evening at the deacons’

meeting, Deacon Atwell Andrews said


to me, ‘Pastor, the fellow sitting next to

me last night at church was a Pentecostal.

And during the handshaking time, he said

to me, ‘Your pastor is going to hell.'”

Atwell continued, “I said, ‘Oh? My pastor

is going to hell? May I ask why?'”

“The man said, ‘His hair is too long.'”

Atwell, always with a little mischievous

air about him, had the right question for

the man.

“And how long should his hair be?”

“The man answered, ‘About like mine.'”

We had a good laugh over that. It was as

clear an example of legalism as we could

ever hope to have.

What legalism does…

-Legalism makes righteousness a matter

of externals and not the heart.

-Legalism makes righteousness a matter

of rules not found in Scripture (or

improperly interpreted).

-Legalism neglects the full teaching of

Scripture on an issue and goes to seed on

one small text and sets it up as the


-Legalism sets itself up as the judge. “We

will decide.”

-Legalism sets itself up as the standard.

“About like mine.”

In all its manifestations, legalism violates

a dozen principles of righteous

discipleship: the sovereignty of Almighty

God, the proper interpretation of

Scripture, obedience to the Holy Spirit,

love for people, the prominence of the

gospel message, and many others.

We are given a great picture of how

legalism abandons people by the story of

our Lord and the Syrophoenician woman

in Matthew 15:21-28. See below. Not a

pretty thing.

Matthew 15 and the attack on Jesus by

Israel’s self-appointed referees!

“Why do your disciples not wash their

hands before eating? You know they are

violating the traditions of the elders?

We’ve had these rules for a long time.

They are well-established by custom.”

They’re teaching Jesus, they think.

Correcting what is surely an oversight by

this untrained Rabbi of Nazareth. They

“just know” He’ll want to straighten out

His disciples.

Jesus was having none of this. He said,

“Why do you violate the commands of

God by your traditions?”

The Lord didn’t even response to their

question, except to give them one of His

own. His question was like a knife to the

heart. And make no mistake–violating

God’s commands is a far weightier thing

than “transgressing the traditions of the


This was no gentle conversation between

two equals. No dialogue between them.

The Lord was speaking bare-knuckled

truth to the self-righteous, self-appointed

critics; God’s truth with the bark off.

Told that the Pharisees were offended by

HIs statements (Matthew 15:12), our

Lord scoffed. “Let them alone! They’re

blind leaders of the blind!”

It reminds us of His response to the

compliments of Nicodemus. Told that He

was surely from God “for no one can do

these miracles except God be with Him,”

Jesus said, “Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God!”

(John 3) He got straight to the heart of

the issue.

The heart of our Lord’s thrust to the

Pharisees and scribes that day (still on

Matthew 15) was “it’s not what goes into

the mouth that defiles a man, but what

comes out of it.” And “out of the

abundance of the heart the mouth

speaketh” (Matthew 11-20).

Righteousness is a matter of the heart

first, then the life. Get the heart right

first. “Create in me a clean heart,” David

prayed (Psalm 51). “Then, I will teach

transgressors thy ways.” “Then my

tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.”

“Then thou wilt delight in my righteous

sacrifices” (Psalm 13,14, and 19). Get

the heart right first.

God looks on the heart. See I Samuel

16:7. It’s one of the essential truths of the


What true righteousness does

The rest of Matthew 15 gives us

snapshots of our Lord as He ambles along

the shore of the Galilee, then walks up to

the top of one of the nearby mountains.

The crowds came from all the cities and

towns, “bringing with them the lame,

crippled, blind, dumb, and many others,

and … He healed them.”

He taught the people, then fed the four

thousand by one of the great miracles of

His earthly ministry.

True righteousness never abandons

people in favor of getting the rules right

(See our Lord’s lesson back in Matthew

15:4-6. By the rule of ‘Corban,’ they

diverted money into the religious

activities and abandoned their own

parents. Our Lord was not impressed).

This is the point of Matthew 25's

emphasis on “I was hungry and you fed

me, naked and you clothed me, etc.” It’s

not that doing such earns the way into

heaven; it’s that true faith in Christ

causes people to do such things. As

James was to say later, “True religion and

undefiled is this: to visit the orphans and

widows in their distress….” (James 1:27).

I cannot leave this without bringing in an

amazing reference to “good works

testifying about our salvation” found in

Jeremiah 22:15-16. It’s unique in

Scripture, and we will leave the subject

with this:

“'Did not your father eat and drink, and

do justice and righteousness? Then it was

well with him. He pled the cause of the

afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is

not that what it means to know Me?’

declares the Lord.”

Wow and double wow.

Joe McKeever says he has written dozens

of books, but has published none. That

refers to the 1,000+ articles on various

subjects (prayer, leadership, church,

pastors) that can be found on his website



are you reading this online?


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clickbait is a pejorative term for web content whose main goal is to get users to click on a link to go to a

certain webpage. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap," providing just enough

information to make readers curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to

the linked content.[1][2][3]

By Bernard Fuscola, Beliefnet.com

From a historical perspective, the techniques employed by clickbait authors can be considered derivative of

yellow journalism, which presented little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead used eye-catching

headlines that included exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.[4][5] For sites

that thrive on thousands of click-throughs to content, many authors see the use of clickbait as a means to tap

into human psyche by crafting these eye-catching headlines.[6]

Why You Keep Falling For

Fake News

There is a strange thing that happens

anytime we see something published.

Intellectually we know, just because it’s

published, doesn’t mean it’s true. It just

means it’s published.

Yet, when we see something published,

we start to behave like someone who’s

never seen a newsreel before.

We’re in a trance.

There’s something about being

“published” that makes our common

sense go, “Bye, Felicia” and our lizard

brain takes over.

That lizard brain loves it some fake news.

Sensationalism, Fear Mongering,

Bombast…loves it.

This has been the case since for

centuries, which is why it’s a little

troubling that we’re only now becoming

concerned with “fake news.”

Fake news has been a thing since we

invented the printing press. And we keep

falling for it. Century after century after


The good news about recurring patterns

is that you can break them. So, I’m going

to explain why you keep falling for fake

news so you can punch your lizard brain

in the face.

There are three reasons. Here we go:

Reason 1: Real news is boring.

If you liked real news, you’d be watching

CSPAN right now. But you’re not. Because

CSPAN is boring.

You’re already bored with your job and

your spouse and the drudgery of the 9-

to-5, why would you want to be bored

while you read the news?

You don’t.

You want to be entertained.

Is that not why you are here!?

If we don’t entertain you, you won’t click,

read, or watch what we produce. And if

you don’t click, read, or watch — then you

don’t get news (and we don’t get paid —

but that’s a topic for a different article).

If we can’t get your attention, you won’t

even get fake news, you get no news.

So we have to trick you. Like a dog.

Have you ever seen a dog take a pill?

No, you haven’t because they won’t do it.

Dogs are weird. If you want your dog to

take its medicine you have to hide it in

peanut butter.

Same thing with the news. Specifically

with what we call “headlines.” (lovingly

referred to as “click bait.”)

If I want to get your attention, I need to

bait you with headlines that make your

lizard brain go “WHAAAAT?! Tell me


Otherwise, you’ll ignore me because

you’re busy and you don’t want to be


If I called this article “Intro to media

literacy” you’d be like, “meh, Mark as

read,” and move on with your day. Which

is why I had to bait you with something


It’s also why I’m writing like I’m talking

to you instead of like an academic.

It’s so you pay attention.

(Ok fine, it’s also because I’m terrible at

writing like an academic.)

Right now, bombastic sensationalist

headlines are the only things you’re

paying attention to, so they’re going to

give you more of those until it stops


Reason 2: You’re being framed.

Let’s say, your mom went to a fundraiser

to hear a speaker named Cathy.

When she calls you and recounts the

fundraiser, all she tells you about is who

was there and what they wore.

You conclude, “What a superficial


Had you gotten the account from your

mom’s friend, Stacey, you’d have heard all

about Cathy’s tear-jerking speech on

human trafficking.

Both accounts are true.

No one is “lying” to you.

But by highlighting certain things and

downplaying others, each person is


get our clickbait at www.AmericanChristianVoice.com

framing the story differently — causing

you to draw completely different

conclusions about the evening.

That’s exactly what’s happening with the


The fancy academic term for this is “the

framing effect.”

IRL it’s understood that someone is

leaving things out or giving you what we

colloquially refer to as “their side of the


You watched all 7 seasons of Homeland.

Your attention span is fine.

You are the same. That’s the problem.

The landscape has changed and you’re

the same.

Back in the day, there were only four

channels you needed to keep up with. You

kept up with them and generally got the


Deep down, you suspected there was

more to the story (see #2), but there was

literally no way (literally) to get said

You’re in the click-bait-rabbit-hole-ofdoom,

set to resurface in an hour or so,

still feeling like you haven’t



It’s not your fault, but it is your problem.

It’s a little your fault. You keep clicking on

crap and choosing entertainment over

real news. While you might not be able to

resist our clickbait, you can combat it.

Just like any addict, the road to recovery

it begins with awareness of the problem.

So now you know.

Should I click on this

story about how Oprah

Winfrey and Donald

Trump have a love child


We expect that of our friends, not our


And just like with your friends, if you

want the full story, you need to go out and

find it.

That’s why I recommend treating your

media consumption the way you treat

your mom and de facto assume it’s being

framed and do not draw any conclusions

before you consult the rest of the parties


Reason #3: The landscape

changed, you didn’t

There’s lots of fun pseudo-science and

neurobabble about dopamine hits and

shrinking attention spans and how we’re

all getting dumber.

None of it is true.

You’re as dumb as you’ve always been.


“more to the story.”

So, you moved on with your day.

Today, you can get the “more to the story.”

But there is no feasible way to do it and

still have a life (or a paycheck).

There’s too much information.

Props to the 4 people who get this joke.

It’s not physically possible to consume it


But, that doesn’t stop you from trying.

It doesn’t help that we lure you in with

our bombastic click-bait headlines (see

#1), so you can’t turn off your TV or your

computer or your phone and walk away.

You HAVE TO KNOW why Kim got

robbed!?! (#punny) JUST ONE MORE


And then POOF.

Margo Aaron writes about the dubious

underbelly of marketing and other

lighthearted topics at That Seems

Important. Winner of many participation

trophies. On a mission to rid the internet

of lazy content .


If you had a choice

of eating tacos

every day or being

skinny, which would

you choose... soft

or crunchy?


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What I mean by that is my values

define me, while my sexual

orientation sometimes feels

more like—well, a footnote. Literally, in fact.

I “came out” as gay in a footnote in my book,

End of Discussion.

When it comes to my political beliefs, my

orientation is only one part of the story.

It’s not the totality of who I am.

Some unimaginative leftists like to claim

that this qualifies me as a "self-hating"

gay person. This is so boring. That

intellectual laziness only underscores my

point. Far too often, people are sorted by

their gender, or their skin color, or their

sexual orientation, or any other

immutable characteristic that has nothing

to do with ideas or values.

To be candid, in my day-to-day life and

work, I spend a lot more time thinking

and writing about the failures of

Obamacare, for example, than I do about

“LGBT issues,” whatever that term might

mean on any given day.

Just like any conservative, I want taxes low,

the military strong, and don’t even get me

started on single payer health care or lateterm

abortion. I'm a conservative because

when I think about these issues critically, I

usually end up on the right end of the

spectrum. It's that simple.

Here's the thing: I fully recognize how

fortunate I am to live in a time and a

country where I can be openly gay and live

a normal life. And that’s in large part thanks

to the hard work of gay rights activists

who’ve paved the way for people like me—

people who had it much harder than I do,

and people who likely wouldn’t share my

politics. I am genuinely grateful to them.

But it’s a new era now. Why ostracize

members of our community who don’t toe

the left-wing political line? Exit polling

shows that in the last four general elections,

between 14 and 29 percent of LGBT voters

pulled the lever for the GOP. That's a lot of

us. Now, does that mean that we all support

every element of the party’s platform?

Absolutely not.

In fact, I know that many conservatives,

including some here at PragerU, don’t see

eye-to-eye with me on all of these

sexual orientation is a very temporary predilection

I’m a Christian, a patriotic American, and a free-market, shrink-the-government

conservative—who also happens to be gay.

questions. And yet, here I am—making a

PragerU video. Which perfectly illustrates

another really important point:

Conservatives are often much more

tolerant of dissenting views than those who

fancy themselves the torch-carriers of


Nope. Cross the left on a hot-button social

issue, and you’re out.

You see, some on the left believe that

they’re entitled to control the thoughts or

votes of certain groups of people—namely

minorities and so-called “victim groups.”

For some, it comes down to a cynical

calculation: Without the overwhelming

support of those groups, the Democrats

would win very few elections.

That’s why the left lashes out so viciously

at anyone who wanders off their assigned

reservation. I suspect conservative women

and Hispanics and African Americans know

exactly what I’m talking about.

The truth is, the left isn’t entitled to a d***


To paraphrase my coauthor and friend,

Mary Katharine Ham:

“We didn’t get liberated in

order to be told by liberal

activists precisely what

we’re allowed to think, or

how we must vote.”

A free-thinking, free

citizen of a free country is

not obliged to believe anything because

someone else believes he or she “ought” to

think or “ought” to vote or “ought” to rank

his (or her) priorities a certain way. Look,

I get it: Many other gay people approach

these issues and their voting criteria

differently—and I respect that. That’s their

call, even if it’s not

how I choose to

operate. What’s the

phrase again? “Live

and let live?” Why

has that been

turned on its head,

into “agree—or


Let’s debate issues

and stop trying to

punish “wrong”


Like I said, I’m a

Christian, a patriotic

American, and a

free-market, shrinkthe-government

conservative—who happens to be gay.

That's how I choose to rank my priorities.

You know what that's called?

It's called progress.

I’m Guy Benson for Prager University.

Guy Pelham Benson (born March 7, 1985)

is an American


and political

pundit. He is a


for Fox News,

political editor



and a

conservative talk

radio personality.

Guy Benson

By Guy Benson




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join the ministry

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Christian Voice?

Socialism has no moral

justification whatsoever; poor

people are not morally superior

to rich people, nor are they

owed anything by rich people

simply because of their lack of

success. Charity is not a socialist

concept - it is a religious one, an

acknowledgment of God's

sovereignty over property, a

sovereignty the Left utterly

rejects. -Ben Shapiro




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this from the least talented host

Jimmy Kimmel Says Late Night Hosts Are All Liberal Because It Requires

'Intelligence.' Ben Shapiro Responds.

Adapted from JAMES BARRETT

Jimmy Kimmel has fully embraced his

self-identified role as the Leader of the Late

Night #Resistance — a role which recently

prompted him to invite on a porn star to

show the audience how sophmoric his

lame, frat boy humor is. He recently

explained to some former Barack Hussein

Obama staffers of "Pod Save America" that

the reason that latenight

hosts like himself

are all liberal is because

it "requires a level of

intelligence," thus clearly

broadcasting to all

would-be conservative

viewers that he has a

very lowly opinion of

them indeed.

Daily Wire editor-inchief

Ben Shapiro took

to Twitter to respond to

Kimmel's conservative

bashing comment: .

Ben Shapiro ✔ @benshapiro

Careers that ooze intelligence:

3. Rocket scientist

2. Neurosurgeon

1. Late night host who says funny things

writers write for him

Shapiro followed up the response by

pointing out on The Daily Wire that

Kimmel's line of reasoning "does raise a

few questions":

First, all of the late night hosts are straight

white males. Presumably, Kimmel doesn’t

think that the requirement for intelligence

excludes those who are non-straight, nonwhite,

and non-male. Also, the dean of late

night hosts is Jay Leno, a Republican; does

that mean he’s dumb? If so, Kimmel will

have to explain how Leno dominated late

night for so many years. (and Johnny

Carson was to classy to alienate millions of

people with Kimmel drivel -ed)

Finally, when one thinks of positions that

require serious intelligence, late night host

usually doesn’t make the list. Kimmel

literally reads lines written for him by

others; his intellectual credentials stretch

all the way back to being a sidekick on

"Kevin and Bean" on KROQ in Los Angeles,

followed by a stretch as host of “The Man

Show” — alongside Kimmel’s longtime

friend, libertarian Adam Carolla.

Presumably, Kimmel does not think Carolla

is a dummy. And presumably, Kimmel

wouldn’t find his antics on that show

indicative of higher intelligence

requiring a particular political


As for some examples of Kimmel's

"level of intelligence" at work,

here are two strong candidates.

First, his #MeToo moment that

recently came back to haunt him:

(So profane, msogynistic, sexist

and bigoted that it drew ire from

his normally vapid fem

supporters... therefore I cannot

describe it here -ed)

And then there's Kimmel's anti-

Trump porn star stunt, which he scheduled

to follow right after Trump's widelypraised

State of the Union address last

week. Here's intellectual superiority at

work, or something:

(again, so profane, msogynistic, sexist and

bigoted that I cannot describe it here -ed)

Jimmy Kimmel... intelligent... said no one.

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you are

Who Is The Church?

1 Introduction

Many people are aware that not everyone

who goes to a Sunday “church service” is

really a Christian. Such people are

considered to be “nominal Christians”

(Christians by name only), who do not

have a relationship with Jesus. These

“Sunday-Christians” usually attend

church meetings, pray, sing and often

even take communion along with the

others even though they have not

committed their lives to Jesus. This

situation is regarded as biblical by the

various denominations and is referred to

as the teaching of the “invisible church”.

According to this teaching there is both a

visible church and an invisible church.

The visible church takes the form of

different denominations and churches

(e.g. Roman Catholic, Anglican, Reformed,

Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist etc.). These

visible churches consist of both believing

members (or “born again Christians”)

and unbelieving members (or “nominal

Christians”). The “invisible church”, on

the other hand, is considered to be the

one true church comprising all the “born

again” members of the visible churches

across the globe. It is not a visible

organisation or denomination; its

members are connected by their faith

without even knowing one another or

having personal fellowship with each

other. These people see it as their duty to

evangelize the unbelieving members of

the local visible churches which they

attend and where God has “put” them–a

kind of internal evangelism.1

The New Testament shows us a

completely different picture of the church

from the one described above.

The Church in the First Century

The first church in Jerusalem, which

came into existence after Peter’s sermon

at Pentecost, is described in the following


Now many signs and wonders were

regularly done among the people by the

hands of the apostles. And they were all

together in Solomon’s Portico. None of

the rest dared join them, but the people

held them in high esteem. And more than

ever believers were added to the Lord,

multitudes of both men

and women… (Acts 5:12-


The miracles which

happened among the

Christians, their devotion

to God and love for each

other aroused respect and

awe among the Jews. They

realized that joining them

would mean giving up

everything for Christ.

Those of them who had the

wish to love God with all

their heart believed and

joined the church. The rest

of the Jews who were not

ready to live such a life, did

not dare to join.

If an unbeliever came to

the church, everybody

assessed the “secrets of his


If, therefore, the whole

church comes together

and all speak in tongues,

and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will

they not say that you are out of your

minds? But if all prophesy, and an

unbeliever or outsider enters, he is

convicted by all, he is called to account by

all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed,

and so, falling on his face, he will worship

God and declare that God is really among

you. (1 Corinthians 14:23-25)

The whole church endeavoured to help

the newcomer to understand what he

had to repent of. Sometimes this process

was quicker and in other cases it took

longer. If, however, the newcomer did not

want to repent after hearing the

assessment of the Christians, there was

obviously no base to baptise him, nor did

he join or take part in the fellowship.

There were exceptional cases in which

people like Simon the sorcerer joined the

Christians after hearing the Gospel. When

Philip preached about Christ to the

Samaritans, a large number of them

believed and were baptized–including

Simon, although he had not changed his

way of thinking. Since so many people

repented at the same time, it was not

easy for Philip to recognize that one of

them (Simon) was not honest. Thus,

Simon succeeded in deceiving the other

Christians for a short while. Soon,

however, the truth about him emerged,

and Apostle Peter, who later arrived from

Jerusalem, opposed him resolutely:

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was

given through the laying on of the

apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

saying, “Give me this power also, so that


anyone on whom I lay my hands may

receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to

him, “May your silver perish with you,

because you thought you could obtain the

gift of God with money! You have neither

part nor lot in this matter, for your heart

is not right before God. Repent, therefore,

of this wickedness of yours, and pray to

the Lord that, if possible, the intent of

your heart may be forgiven you. For I see

that you are in the gall of bitterness and

in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon

answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that

nothing of what you have said may come

upon me.” (Acts 8:18-24)

We see a similarly strict

assessment in such cases when

some men who lived or thought

in a different way to what Jesus

and the apostles taught slipped

into the church.

For certain people have crept in

unnoticed who long ago were designated

for this condemnation, ungodly people,

who pervert the grace of our God into

sensuality and deny our only Master and

Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4)

Jude’s aim was to express that these men

have no place in the church. Even if they

succeeded in slipping in, they were only

able to remain in the church for a short

time, until the believers understood that

they were not actually brothers. We find

several other admonishments in the

letters of the New Testament urging the

churches to expose and separate from

such people: Acts 20:29–31; Matthew

24:23–26; 1Timothy 4:1–3; 6:3–5; 2

Timothy 3:1–9; 1 John 2:18–19.

The Purity and

Holiness of the


If a member of the church

sinned in a way that made

him become unworthy of

the fellowship with the

saints and he did not want to

turn from his sins in spite of

the patient help and

repeated admonitions of his

brothers, the church ceased

having fellowship with him:

he was excluded. This was

based on Jesus’


If your brother or sister sins,

go and point out their fault,

just between the two of you.

If they listen to you, you

have won them over. But if

they will not listen, take one

or two others along, so that

‘every matter may be

established by the testimony

of two or three witnesses.’ If

they still refuse to listen, tell it to the

church; and if they refuse to listen even

to the church, treat them as you would a

pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you,

whatever you bind on earth will be

bound in heaven, and whatever you loose

on earth will be loosed in heaven.

(Matthew 18:15-18 NIV)

The Jews did not have fellowship with

Gentiles because they considered them

unclean (see Acts 10:28). They treated

tax collectors in a similar way because

they compromised with the Romans

(Matthew 9:10-11). This categorical

rejection was not right, yet this was the

Jewish practice. Jesus refers to this

practice but shows that the reason for

separation should not be someone’s

social status or nationality, but his

refusal to accept the help and correction

his brothers and sisters repeatedly tried

giving him, choosing instead to remain in

his sin.

There is a practical example of this

instruction of Jesus being applied in the

Corinthian church:

It is actually reported that there is sexual

immorality among you, and of a kind that

is not tolerated even among pagans, for a

man has his father’s wife. And you are

arrogant! Ought you not rather to

mourn? Let him who has done this be

removed from among you. For though

absent in body, I am present in spirit; and

as if present, I have already pronounced

judgement on the one who did such a

thing. When you are assembled in the

name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is

present, with the power of our Lord

Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan

for the destruction of the flesh, so that his

spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not

know that a little leaven leavens the

whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven

that you may be a new lump, as you really

are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover

lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians


Some verses later Paul continues:

But now I am writing to you not to

associate with anyone who bears the

name of brother if he is guilty of sexual

immorality or greed, or is an idolater,

reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even

to eat with such a one. For what have I to

do with judging outsiders? Is it not those

inside the church whom you are to judge?

God judges those outside. “Purge the evil

person from among you.” (1 Corinthians


Somebody might ask: “Where is mercy?

Where is patience? Did Paul not have the

hope that God could still open the heart

of this sinner?” Yes he did!2 However,

even though he considered it possible, he

shows that there are clear conditions for

belonging to the church. Although this

kind of separation (i.e. exclusion) is hard

and painful, God’s church cannot have

fellowship with anyone who clings to sin.

If the excluded person repents he can

return to the church with a renewed


sanctification is a lifetime process

decision to live a life worthy of God and

his church.

editor’s note: Do not confuse this with

the weaknesses of the flesh, outward

behavioral manifestations of

strongholds not yet delivered from. It

is rather the observations of the lack of

the fruit of the Holy Spirit

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical

term that sums up nine attributes of a

person or community living in accord

with the Holy Spirit according to the

Epistle to the Galatians: "But the fruit

of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness, and self-control."

Religion has taught us to judge people

on its false esoteric understanding of


brothers and want to

change. Each and every member of the

church fights against sin. A Christian

cannot live a double-life. He cannot serve

God while his heart is in the world (see:

Matthew 6:24; Matthew 10:38-39; James

4:4; 1 John 2:15-17; John 12:25-26; 1

John 2:4-6). Likewise, the church cannot

accommodate sinners who do not want

to change.

If Christians accepted people who follow

the way of this world as partakers in

their spiritual fellowship, they would be

deceiving them, because they would be

treating them as their brothers and

sisters in Christ, although in fact they are

not. In this way they would also be

portraying a false image of the church to


unclean thing; then I will welcome you,

and I will be a father to you, and you shall

be sons and daughters to me, says the

Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

God is willing to receive people as his

children who separate themselves from

unbelievers.4 The Greek word for church

(ecclesia) means an assembly that is

called out. This word was originally used

to refer to the custom of messengers

calling out the citizens of ancient Greek

towns from their houses for official

assemblies. Thus, the messengers of the

Gospel also call God’s people out of the

world into his assembly.

As we see, the practice of the first

Christian churches was totally different

from that of today’s denominations.

Do not be tempted to believe that we

obtain righteousness by our

conquering of weaknesses of the flesh.

Our right standing with God comes

from what Jesus did because of the

sacrifice He made for the world on the

cross. It is HIS righteousness imparted

as a gift to us that makes us righteous.

God is a God of hearts not heads, Love

covers a multitude of sins so LOVE AT


This is how the first Christian churches

guarded their purity, and in this way it

was possible that there were no

unbelievers among them. That is why

Paul can address the brothers and sisters

in his letters as “saints” (e.g. 1

Corinthians 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2).3

In the New Testament the term “saint”

means the same as “Christian” (Acts 9:13;

Ephesians 5:3; Philippians 4:21-22;

Hebrews 3:1). All Christians are saints

and people can only belong to the church

if they let themselves be sanctified and

let God reign in their lives (Hebrews

12:14; Ephesians 5:5; Galatians 5:19-21).

Saints are not sinless people (this is

visible especially in the letters to the

Corinthians) but people “who are

sanctified in Christ Jesus”, who have

accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and salvation.

Even if they do stumble and sin, they will

listen to the admonitions of their

Do not be unequally yoked with

unbelievers. For what partnership has

righteousness with lawlessness? Or what

fellowship has light with darkness? What

accord has Christ with Belial? Or what

portion does a believer share with an

unbeliever? What agreement has the

temple of God with idols? For we are the

temple of the living God; as God said, “I

will make my dwelling among them and

walk among them, and I will be their God,

and they shall be my people. Therefore

go out from their midst, and be separate

from them, says the Lord, and touch no

Today everybody can become a member

of the “church” (after completing some

formalities), and usually exclusion is not

practised either. In order to be able to

distinguish who should be accepted as a

part of the church and who should be

excluded, more intensive fellowship is

necessary: spending more time together

and giving one another more attention in

order to be able to take part in each

other’s spiritual life. Without this

devotion to our brothers’ sanctification,

Christ’s commandment cannot be

fulfilled, and the purity of the church

cannot be preserved, jeopardizing its


very existence.

The Parable of the Wheat and

the Weeds

The wrong practice, however, did not just

begin in our time. As early as the fifth

century, in the context of the Donatist

controversy5, Augustine used the

parable of the wheat and the weeds to

justify the presence of unbelievers in the

church. Augustine claimed, based on this

parable, that the church is a “mixed body”

(corpus permixtum) in which the wicked

live together with the righteous.

He put another parable before them,

saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be

compared to a man who sowed good

seed in his field, but while his men were

sleeping, his enemy came and sowed

weeds among the wheat and went away.

So when the plants came up and bore

grain, then the weeds appeared also. And

the servants of the master of the house

came and said to him, ‘Master, did you

not sow good seed in your field? How

then does it have weeds?’ He said to

them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the

servants said to him, ‘Then do you want

us to go and gather them?’ But he said,

‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root

up the wheat along with them. Let both

grow together until the harvest, and at

harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather

the weeds first and bind them in bundles

to be burned, but gather the wheat into

my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Then he left the crowds and went into the

house. And his disciples came to him,

saying, “Explain to us the parable of the

weeds of the field.” He answered, “The

one who sows the good seed is the Son of

Man. The field is the world, and the good

seed is the sons of the kingdom. The

weeds are the sons of the evil one, and

the enemy who sowed them is the devil.

The harvest is the close of the age, and

the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds

are gathered and burned with fire, so will

it be at the close of the age. The Son of

Man will send his angels, and they will

gather out of his kingdom all causes of

sin and all law-breakers, and throw them

into the fiery furnace. In that place there

will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun

in the kingdom of their Father. He who

has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:36-


In the parable of the wheat and the

weeds the field is the world, not the

church (verse 38). The church is in the

world and shines as a light in it;

therefore, the church cannot be identical

to the world!

…that you may be blameless and

innocent, children of God without

blemish in the midst of a crooked and

twisted generation, among whom you

shine as lights in the world, holding fast

to the word of life, so that in the day of

Christ I may be proud that I did not run

in vain or labour in vain. (Philippians


Jesus used the parable of the wheat and

the weeds in order to help the Jews to

correct their ideas about the Messiah.

The Jews at that time expected the

Messiah to come as a glorious king and a

righteous judge; he would rescue his

people from the oppression of the

godless and cut off the evildoers from the


Jesus, however, did not come to rule as a

political king, nor did he come to punish

the evildoers. The last judgement will

take place on the day of his second

coming. Until that time, both the good

and the evil have to live on earth together.

His kingdom is spiritual and has

overcome the world in a spiritual way:

I have said these things to you, that in me

you may have peace. In the world you

will have tribulation. But take heart; I

have overcome the world. (John


In Matthew 13:41 the Son of Man gathers

the evildoers out of his kingdom. Yet

here, his kingdom does not stand for the

church, but for the world. Jesus is the

Lord of the whole created world and he

has the authority to rule over it as the


Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet,

and there were loud voices in heaven,

saying, “The kingdom of the world has

become the kingdom of our Lord and of

his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and

ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

A similar interpretation applies to the

parable of the net.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net

that was thrown into the sea and

gathered fish of every kind. When it was

full, men drew it ashore and sat down

and sorted the good into containers but

threw away the bad. So it will be at the

close of the age. The angels will come out

and separate the evil from the righteous

and throw them into the fiery furnace. In

that place there will be weeping and

gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50)

The fact that Jesus compares the

kingdom of heaven with the net does not

mean that the net refers to the church. In

other parables he compares the kingdom

of heaven, for instance, to a king6 or to a

merchant7. In these parables, there is no

grounds to think that the king or the

merchant symbolize the church. Jesus


changing your intellect is fast, changing your heart can take a lifetime

often used the expression “the kingdom

of heaven” when he wanted to explain

something concerning God’s Kingdom.

“God’s Kingdom” (in Matthew: “Kingdom

of Heaven”) to the Jews meant the

kingdom of the Messiah. With his

parables Jesus mainly wanted to correct

their wrong understanding of this.

Other Frequently

Misinterpreted Passages

5.1 2 Timothy 2:16-21

But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for

it will lead to further ungodliness, and

their talk will spread like gangrene.

Among them are Hymenaeus and

Philetus, men who have gone astray from

the truth saying that the resurrection has

already taken place, and they upset the

faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm

foundation of God stands, having this

seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,”

and, “Everyone who names the name of

the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

Now in a large house there are not only

gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of

wood and of earthenware, and some to

honor and some to dishonor. Therefore,

if anyone cleanses himself from these

things, he will be a vessel for honor,

sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared

for every good work. (NASB)

In support of the false teaching of the

“invisible church”, the house mentioned

by Paul (v. 20) is identified with the

church and the vessels to honour and

dishonour are wrongly referred to the

believers and unbelievers, respectively,

who are together in the church.

It is correct to refer the house to the

church since the context is also about the

life of the church. However, the vessels to

“honour” and “dishonour”8 do not refer

to believing and unbelieving members

but, based on the context, to those

members who stand firm in their faith

and in the teaching and to others who are

weaker and could be more easily

influenced by false teachers (There were

Gnostic false teachers outside the church

who should be avoided because their

teaching spreads like gangrene and they

had already confused many in their faith).

To cleanse oneself from “these things” is

similar to the thought in verse 19:

“everyone … is to abstain from

wickedness…”. So “these things” do not

refer to the vessels to dishonour, but to

the false teachings and teachers. The

“vessels to dishonour” may have started

to give in to the influence of Gnostic

deceivers but if they separate themselves

from them, they will become “a vessel for

honour, sanctified, useful to the Master,

prepared for every good work.”

Many fellowships, in their attempt to remove what

they perceive to be bad weeds in the church, wrongly

ostrecize a member who has not yet fully matured

in Christ. When we ask a stranger if they are a

Christian, only spiritual discernment will indicate if

they are a first grader, middle school, high school or

a grad student. Too many members live an austere

almost puritanical life but do not have love. Their

witness is sounding brass. Noisy but not pleasant to

listen to with the accompiament of some strings.

(love, grace and mercy)

5.2 1 Corinthians 15:34

Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is

right, and do not go on sinning. For some

have no knowledge of God. I say this to

your shame.

In the context, the topic in this passage is

the correct understanding of

resurrection. It seems that some

Christians in Corinth—influenced by the

Greek concept of the afterlife—became

uncertain about what exactly would

happen to their bodies after death and

started to question the resurrection of

the body. Generally, Greeks believed in

the immortality of the spirit but bodily

resurrection was unimaginable for them.

Paul, on the one hand,

thoroughly explains the

right Christian teaching

about resurrection, but on

the other hand he rebukes

the Corinthians for their

doubts, as in this way they

question the power of God

who is able to raise the

dead. This is why he says

that some of them have no

knowledge of God—they

do not fully grasp how

powerful he is and that it

is not too hard a thing for

him to raise the dead in

immortal bodies. It does

not mean that some of

them were not Christians.

In the initial greeting of

the letter we can see that

he regarded all of them as


To the church of God that

is in Corinth, to those

sanctified in Christ Jesus,

called to be saints

together with all those

who in every place call

upon the name of our Lord

Jesus Christ, both their

Lord and ours… (1

Corinthians 1:2)

5.4 John 10:14-16

I am the good shepherd. I

know my own and my own

know me, just as the

Father knows me and I

know the Father; and I lay

down my life for the sheep.

And I have other sheep that are not of this

fold. I must bring them also, and they will

listen to my voice. So there will be one

flock, one shepherd.

Jesus says that there will be “one flock” in

the future. That is why many people refer


the flock to those believers whom Jesus

will gather together from different visible

denominations on the last day. At that

time the believers who are scattered

throughout many different flocks will

supposedly be united into one flock. But

why should we refer this future event to

the last day? It could just as well refer to

another future event. Jesus speaks about

those who are “of this fold” and those

who are not. He had already called the

sheep from the first fold and he would

call the other sheep later. All the sheep

that listen to the voice of the Good

Shepherd would form one flock. In verse

16, he speaks about “this” fold, which

must refer to Israel, since during his

earthly ministry Jesus’ mission was to

call the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”:

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing

them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles

and enter no town of the Samaritans, but

go rather to the lost sheep of the house

of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying,

‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

(Matthew 10:5-7)

It follows that the “other sheep” refer to

the Gentiles. Jesus wanted to hint at the

fact that there were people from among

the Gentiles, too, who would listen to his

call. Some years later the disciples were

to experience this great event: the

unification of Jews and Gentiles. This is

summarized by Paul in the letter to the


Therefore remember that at one time

you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the

uncircumcision” by what is called the

circumcision, which is made in the flesh

by hands—remember that you were at

that time separated from Christ,

alienated from the commonwealth of

Israel and strangers to the covenants of

promise, having no hope and without

God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus

you who once were far off have been

brought near by the blood of Christ. For

he himself is our peace, who has made us

both one and has broken down in his

flesh the dividing wall of hostility by

abolishing the law of commandments

expressed in ordinances, that he might

create in himself one new man in place of

the two, so making peace, and might

reconcile us both to God in one body

through the cross, thereby killing the

hostility. And he came and preached

peace to you who were far off and peace

to those who were near. For through him

we both have access in one Spirit to the

Father. So then you are no longer

strangers and aliens, but you are fellow

citizens with the saints and members of

the household of God… (Ephesians 2:11-


Consequently, the unification of the

sheep from the two folds already took

place in the first century when Jewish

and Gentile Christians were joined

together as one flock in the church.


The teaching of the “invisible church”

does not occur in the Bible. Even if there

are differences between the members of

the Christian church in maturity, faith or

obedience, each member has a

relationship with the Head, Christ (1

Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:15-

16). This church is seen by the world:

A new commandment I give to you, that

you love one another: just as I have loved

you, you also are to love one another. By

this all people will know that you are my

disciples, if you have love for one

another.” (John 13:34-35)

…I in them and you in me, that they may

become perfectly one, so that the world

may know that you sent me and loved

them even as you loved me. (John 17:23)

The world has to be able to see the

church. The Christian church must

always be aware of this responsibility. A

“church” that lives as a “mixed body” is

not the body of Christ and does not fulfil

the mission that Jesus entrusted to his

church. Christians live in deep fellowship

based on the teachings of Christ. Only in

this way can their testimony about

Christ’s love be authentic to the world.


CrossWord Answers

to Page 27

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