Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Religion

Gospel Preaching Churches Staying Strong, Getting Stronger

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 24, 2019: 

The current narrative – the “secularization thesis” – that America’s churches are in terminal decline is dead wrong according to two college professors who looked into it. Professors Landon Schnabel of Indiana University and Sean Bock of Harvard published their findings atSociological Science:

Recent research argues that the United States is secularizing, that this religious change is consistent with the secularization thesis, and that American religion is not exceptional.

 

But we show that rather than religion fading into irrelevance as the secularization thesis would suggest, intense religion – strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism – is persistent and, in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States. (emphasis added)

 

We also show that in comparable countries, intense religion is on the decline or already at very low levels. Therefore, the intensity of American religion is actually becoming more exceptional over time. We conclude that intense religion in the United States is persistent and exceptional in ways that do not fit the secularization thesis.

Gallup has repeatedly expounded on that thesis. On Thursday,

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Gospel Preaching Churches Staying Strong, Getting Stronger

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 22, 2019: 

The current narrative – the “secularization thesis” – that America’s churches are in terminal decline is dead wrong according to two college professors who looked into it. Professors Landon Schnabel of Indiana University and Sean Bock of Harvard published their findings at Sociological Science:

Recent research argues that the United States is secularizing, that this religious change is consistent with the secularization thesis, and that American religion is not exceptional.

 

But we show that rather than religion fading into irrelevance as the secularization thesis would suggest, intense religion – strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism – is persistent and, in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States. (emphasis added)

 

We also show that in comparable countries, intense religion is on the decline or already at very low levels. Therefore, the intensity of American religion is actually becoming more exceptional over time. We conclude that intense religion in the United States is persistent and exceptional in ways that do not fit the secularization thesis.

Gallup has repeatedly expounded on that thesis. On Thursday, Gallup reported that since 2000 church membership in the U.S. has fallen, modestly at first but accelerating recently. Twenty years ago, 70 percent of Americans said they were members of a church or a synagogue. Today, said Gallup, that has declined by 20 points to just 50 percent. Said Gallup: “The decline in church membership is consistent with larger societal trends in declining church attendance and an increasing proportion of Americans with no religious preference.”

The decline among Millennials (born 1980-2000) was equally drastic. Twenty years ago, 62 percent of Generation Xers belonged to a church while among Millennials today just 42 percent say they belong to a church.

Gallup concluded, based on this poll, that the “United States is far less religious than it used to be,” adding:

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Gallup: Church Membership Down 20 Percent in 20 Years

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 19, 2019:  

Recent Gallup polls appear to reflect and confirm the “secularization thesis” in the United States: Church membership and religious affiliation among all demographics is falling precipitously. On Thursday Gallup reported that since 2000, church membership in the United States has fallen, modestly at first but accelerating recently. Twenty years ago, 70 percent of Americans said they were members of a church or a synagogue. Today, said Gallup, that has declined by 20 points to just 50 percent. Said Gallup: “The decline in church membership is consistent with larger societal trends in declining church attendance and an increasing proportion of Americans with no religious preference.”

The decline among Millennials (born 1980-2000) was equally drastic.

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Evolutionists Find “Evidence” of Another Human Species in the Philippines

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 11, 2019: 

Nature magazine announced a new discovery on Wednesday: Paleontologists digging in a cave in the Philippines for the past three years have found evidence of a “previously unreported hominin species.” They named it after the island of Luzon, where the Callao Cave is located: Homo Luzonensis.

What French paleontologist Florent Detroit and his fellow diggers found were some hand and foot bones, part of a thigh bone, and some teeth from what they claim originally belonged to two adults and a child. Detroit celebrated the “discovery”:

We recognized [those fragments] almost immediately as hominin. The molars were so tiny, so small. The pre-molars had two or three roots.

 

I thought: Uh-oh, this is clearly a human-like something.

According to Nature,

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Nationwide Power Outages Sending Venezuela Back to the Dark Ages

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 11, 2019: 

Most of Venezuela is without power, and what little is available is unreliable and intermittent. It started last Thursday with the failure of the San Geronimo B power station that transmits electric power from the country’s enormous Guri hydroelectric power plant. Guri supplies 80 percent of the country’s power, while a smaller substation, used for backup, has been able to provide only a small percentage of what was lost on Thursday.

The country’s dictator, Marxist Nicolás Maduro, has blamed the Trump administration for the outage, calling it sabotage, the result of an “imperialist electromagnetic attack.” The New York Times reported the real cause: An uncontrolled grass fire beneath the power station burned a major trunk line, which caused one of its 10 turbines to fail, and when workers tried to restart it, others failed. After four failed attempts, workers were told to take Monday off, leaving Venezuela in the dark for the foreseeable future.

A supervisor in charge of the facility was told by his managers that the plant’s critical infrastructure was heavily damaged following an explosion at a nearby secondary power station during the fourth attempt to restart the turbines. Said Luis Aguilar, a Chicago-based expert on the Venezuelan power industry, “Every time they attempt to restart, they fail, and the disruption breaks something else in the system, destabilizing the grid yet further.”

The Times explained the breakdown in layman’s terms: “Restarting the turbines requires skilled operators who can synchronize the speed of rotation on as many as nine of Guri’s operational turbines.”

The Times explained further that the real problem is socialism that has destroyed the normal operations of a healthy economy: “Experts said the most experienced operators had long left the company because of meager wages and an atmosphere of paranoia fed by Mr. Maduro’s ever-present secret police.”

This is what socialism looks like. In Venezuela,

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Billionaire Soros Warns of Collapse of the European Union

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 12, 2019:

In a lament written for the Project Syndicate on Monday, billionaire George Soros sees the coming collapse of the European Union. It sounded like an obituary written by the EU’s godfather:

Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion, and the people of Europe need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the way of the Soviet Union in 1991. Neither our leaders nor ordinary citizens seem to understand that we are experiencing a revolutionary moment….

 

The next inflection point will be the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019. Unfortunately, anti-European forces will enjoy a competitive advantage in the balloting. There are several reasons for this, including the outdated party system that prevails in most European countries, the practical impossibility of treaty change, and the lack of legal tools for disciplining member states that violate the principles on which the European Union was founded.

Translation: Citizens are waking up to the personal and political liberty they lost when they traded it for the promise of an improved economy.

Soros complained that the EU had unnecessarily exposed its iron fist back in 2017:

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The “Church” Continues to Fail to Reach and Keep Young Adults

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 18, 2019:  

I love my church. My wife and I have been attending there for nearly 50 years. It is our spiritual home until He comes or takes us Home. We sing in the choir. We deliver plants to the homebound and call on those in assisted living. We tithe. We believe the Gospel – the Good News – that Jesus Christ died for our sins and nailed our account books to His cross.

But lately we’ve noticed a distinct change. Our church is trying to become more “relevant” in order to “reach young people.” The problem is demographic: half of the church’s members are 65 or older. The church’s membership is half what it was when we joined. Giving, in real terms, has declined as well.

What to do? The church changed its logo and its mission statement. The former logo showed His cross emblazoned on a field of blue. Now it’s a silly combination of the church’s name, using its first two letters. It was designed by a local PR firm which was chosen because – ready? – it was secular and “tuned in” to the local culture.

It’s mission statement? It sounds like an ad for our local utility company, which gives life and light to the city.

For years, LifeWay Resources has been tracking the decline in membership and the walking away from the church of teenagers upon graduation for decades. Its current survey, released earlier this week, confirms the national trend. LifeWay, a creation of the Southern Baptist Convention, asked 2,000 young adults between the ages of 23 and 30 (who had a history of regular church attendance while teenagers) 55 questions about their faith. Said LifeWay:

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Survey: Two Out of Three Teenagers Leave the Church as Young Adults

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 17, 2019: 

To most, LifeWay’s survey confirms what they think they already know: Young people are leaving the church once they get out of the house and onto a college campus.

LifeWay Research, a creation of the Southern Baptist Convention, asked 2,000 young adults between the ages of 23 and 30 (who had a history of regular church attendance while teenagers) 55 questions about their faith. Said LifeWay: “Two-thirds of [those] who attended a Protestant church regularly for a least a year as a teenager [said] they also dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22.”

There was scarcely any good news in the study, said Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research’s executive director: “The good news for Christian leaders is that churches don’t seem to be losing more students [today] than they were 10 years ago.” He added: “The reality is that Protestant churches continue to see the new generation walk away as young adults. Regardless of any external factors, the Protestant church is slowly shrinking from within.”

Those surveyed were asked why. A third said

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Ginsburg’s Fall Could Give Trump Another Supreme Court Appointment

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 9. 2018: 

Jewish comedian Woody Allen liked to quote the Yiddish proverb, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Jewish Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have listened to Woody. In July she gave a not so oblique hint that she would stay on the Supreme Court as long as she could in order to keep President Trump from replacing her with a conservative: ““I’m now 85. My senior colleague Justice John Paul Stevens … he stepped down when he was 90. So I think I have about five more years.”

God may have other plans.

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Pastor Released from Turkish Prison Prays for Trump in Oval Office

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 15, 2018:

Within hours of his arrival on American soil after being held prisoner for two years in Turkey, Pastor Andrew Brunson’s release was celebrated by President Trump in the Oval Office on Saturday morning. The president quipped, “From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours, that’s not bad!”

After the laughter died down, Pastor Brunson asked the president if he could pray for him and Trump said, “Well, I need it probably more than anyone else in this room, so that would be very nice. Thank you.”

Brunson stood up from his chair, went over to the president and knelt beside him and put his hand on the president’s shoulder. He bowed his head and asked God to “give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans You have for this country and for him. I ask that You give him wisdom on how to lead this country into righteousness.”

Brunson then added:

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The Reason Trump is “Different?” He’s a Christian, Says the Person Who Brought Him to Christ

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 15, 2018: 

In an interview with the Washington Times last Thursday, Paula White, host of the television show Paula White Today and senior pastor of the evangelical megachurch New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, said that “a lot of evangelicals have grown accustomed to feeling used by the political process. Every politician appeals to us, every one wants to hear us out during the campaign, but then things change once they get into office.” Mr. Trump, she said, is “just different.”

And just why is that?

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Iranian Protesters Blame Country’s Leaders, Not Trump, for Their Woes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 8, 2018: 

Thanks to social media (outside press isn’t allowed to report on Iran’s internal affairs), the world is learning about the growing protests by irate citizens suffering under the country’s oppressive regime. The protests predate by months the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, and the protesters are blaming the regime and not President Trump for their troubles.

For example, in one video posted on social media on Thursday, protesters chanted “Death to inflation! Death to unemployment!” while another showed crowds leaving a soccer game at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium chanting “Death to the dictator!”, referring to the country’s President Hassan Rouhani. Still another showed protests in Kazerun, a city in southern Iran, on Sunday night chanting insults about Rouhani’s security forces. On Monday the largest demonstration took place in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city, after a local opposition cleric called on them to protest the government’s failure to keep its promises.

Those promises made and not kept followed protests earlier in the year by crowds in hundreds of cities demanding restoration of clean water supplies and predictable electricity.

One of the promises broken has idled hundreds of buses, as the drivers don’t have the money to buy fuel for them. One social-media entry came from driver Raman Ghavami:

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Atheist Stephen Hawking Meets His Maker at Age 76

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 14, 2018:  

Cover of "A Brief History of Time"

Atheist Stephen Hawking met his Maker on Wednesday, March 14, at age 76. One imagines that the meeting didn’t go well for him.

For most of Hawking’s life here on Earth, he denied the existence of God, declaring himself an atheist and claiming, “There is no Heaven or afterlife.… That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” He famously declared:

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Trump Gives Clear Signal that He is a Christian

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 9, 2018:  

There is scarcely a newborn Christian who doesn’t know and rejoice in the Apostle Paul’s confirmation of his salvation in his letter to baby Christians living in Ephesus in the first century. It’s Ephesians Chapter 2, verses 8 through 10. First, the New International Version (NIV):

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Some consider the New Living Translation (NLT) to be a little more “user-friendly”:

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this: it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

When President Trump deliberately and intentionally inserted part of this into his speech on Thursday at the Prayer Breakfast attended by an estimated 3,000 evangelicals, he was sending a message: I am saved by the grace of God through faith.

Trump started off his speech by giving God the credit for His many blessings He has bestowed upon the American republic:

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Trump More Comfortable With His Faith at Prayer Breakfast

English: Donald Trump's signature.

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 8, 2018: 

During his 15-minute speech at the 66th annual Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump exhibited much greater comfort in his faith than he has shown previously.

He opened by giving credit to God for His blessings on this unique nation:

Our founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence; our currency declares “In God We Trust,” and we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the pledge of allegiance and proclaim we are one nation under God. That is why the words “Praise be to God” are etched atop the Washington Monument, and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people. So today we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American.

And then he treaded where the previous president feared to go: Trump unabashedly used the name of Jesus Christ:

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CHARLES SPURGEON’S MORNING COMMENTARY – MONDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2017

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Let us today go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in him, and can sing, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire. Let us notice at the very first glance his miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son.

The first promise ran thus, “The seed of the woman,” not the offspring of the man. Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise. Our Saviour, although truly man, was as to his human nature the Holy One of God. Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that he may be formed in us, the hope of glory. Fail not to note his humble parentage. His mother has been described simply as “a virgin,” not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate. True the blood of kings ran in her veins; nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise; but yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she stood affianced, and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.

R.C. Sproul Goes to His Eternal Reward

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 18, 2017:  

English: Logo of Ligonier Ministries

Logo of Ligonier Ministries

Robert Charles “R.C.” Sproul left his earthly existence around 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon in a hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida, surrounded by his wife, Vespa, and members of his family.

When he suffered a stroke in 2015, someone asked him what he wanted to see engraved on his tombstone. His cheerful response: “I told you I was sick!”

He never fully recovered from that stroke, and in early December a combination of the flu and COPD (from which he suffered for years) sent him back to the hospital. Despite the medical efforts to restore his breathing, he passed into eternity after 12 days in the hospital, at the age of 78.

Sproul came to faith in Christ in an experience that he said was probably unique in all of human history. As a football player at Westminster College, he was having dinner with the captain of the team:

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Trump Lights Up Christmas Tree, Explains Real Reason for the Season

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 4, 2017: 

During the White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony last Thursday evening, President Donald Trump was more clear and more forthright about the reason for the season than Americans have heard from the White House in years:

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Tennessee Church Shooter Subdued by “Gentle Giant” Sheepdog

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 25, 2017: 

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Most of the media covering the shooting at a Tennessee church on Sunday morning focused on the shooter and his horrific attack on innocents. Precious little was said about the “gentle giant,” Robert Engle, who instead of running away, ran toward the sound of gunfire and neutralized the shooter before he could wreak more havoc.

According to various media reports,

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Most Aid to Hurricane Victims Is Private, Not Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 15, 2017: 

English: Jacksonville, Fla. (Oct. 24,2005) - T...

When asked where to send money to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) administrator Brock Long referred them to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)’s website, NVOAD.org. NVOAD is nearly 50 years old, a coalition of private, mostly Christian or faith-based, groups that specializes in helping victims recover from natural disasters. It was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969.

The seven founding members were

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann