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Toddler Dies in Hot Car: California 3-Year-Old Climbed in Car Unsupervised

The Christian Post - 23 min 31 sec ago
A toddler died in a hot car Wednesday in southern California after climbing into the family car unsupervised, according to reports. The 3-year-old had been playing outside while the rest of the family was taking a nap, but got trapped in their car and could not escape.
Categories: News Headlines

The Merge Summit Returns for a Power Packed Sixth Year August 21-23

Christian Newswire - 38 min 13 sec ago
The weekend long program features top entertainers and industry executives including: Meagan Good, DeVon Franklin, Common, Michelle Williams, Sherri Shepherd, Terrence Jenkins, Pastor Paula White, Erica Campbell, Derek Luke, Sophia Luke, Clint Culpepper, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Mikki Taylor, Nate Parker, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jonathan Butler, Suzanne de Passe, Fonzworth Bentley, Harry J. Lennix, Mali Music, Bishop Lester Love, among others Contact: Joseph Babineaux, 323-389-6130 BEVERLY H Source: Perspective PR
Categories: News Headlines

Political Party Analysis: Republican 'Whites Only' Strategy Is Recipe for Disaster; Try This Instead (Part 3)

The Christian Post - 50 min 36 sec ago
The future of the Republican Party looks bleak. With the proportion of non-white voters increasing, demography is working against them. Republicans need an agenda that demonstrates their trust of voters — an agenda that looks to expand, rather than simply mobilize, its base. To do this, Republicans need to show potential supporters that they want them in the voting booth.
Categories: News Headlines

The cancer war America is losing

World Magazine - 51 min 36 sec ago
The ribbon-wearing, race-running war to prevent cancer is working little-by-little for almost every major kind of cancer except skin cancer. This week, the surgeon general called on Americans to quit tanning already as skin cancer rates stubbornly continue to rise. “Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, yet most cases are preventable,” assistant secretary for health Howard Koh wrote in the surgeon general’s report. Of the seven most common cancers
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How Should We Be Living?

The Christian Post - 53 min 34 sec ago
I intend to bring a wake-up call and sound an alarm as I take the trumpet to my lips. How should we be living today? In a day in which we can watch videos of Christians being beheaded on our cell phones while cities which have had a Christian presence for almost 2,000 years have been emptied of all believers by radical Muslims, how should we be living?
Categories: News Headlines

Two complementary emails

World Magazine - 1 hour 2 min ago
This morning I received two emails from friends, one in Pennsylvania and the other in Florida. They both had just finished their daily devotions and wanted to share what the Lord put on their hearts. One wrote: “I read, ‘Keep your servant from willful sins; may they not rule over me.’ Even the will and strength to turn from our stubborn ways have to come from the Lord. As with all things, our job is turning, needing, relying.” This friend was struck by the fact that God must give
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This movie is not for hipsters

World Magazine - 1 hour 6 min ago
The director and lead actor of the forthcoming Calvary talk about death, Flannery O’Connor, and the problem with irony
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Deadly Clashes Break Planned Three-Day Gaza Cease-Fire; White House Urges Israel to Do More to Limit Civilian Casualties

The Christian Post - 1 hour 11 min ago
The White House has urged Israel to do more to try and limit civilian casualties in its war with militant group Hamas. In the meantime, the two sides have agreed a three-day unconditional cease-fire over the Gaza strip.
Categories: News Headlines

Did Study Really Show That Christian Kids Are More Gullible?

The Christian Post - 1 hour 36 min ago
Touting a new study, some reporters and bloggers claimed that children raised in religious homes have difficulty telling the difference between fact and fiction. The study, however, does not justify these claims.
Categories: News Headlines

Beyonce and Jay Z Divorce Rumors Persist as Couple Plans 'Make or Break' Vacation

The Christian Post - 2 hours 4 min ago
Beyonce and Jay Z are reportedly set to go on a five-week "make or break" vacation in a bid to save their strained marriage, as insiders claim the couple is desperate to avoid divorce.
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Learning From Young Atheists: What Turned Them Off Christianity

The Christian Post - 2 hours 5 min ago
Have you ever asked a young atheist why he or she doesn't believe? Well, one researcher did. And the answers may surprise you.
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Freed Persecuted Christian Meriam Ibrahim All Smiles, Husband in Tears Amid Warm Welcome by Sudanese Community in New Hampshire (Photos)

The Christian Post - 2 hours 23 min ago
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Orthodox Christian who was nearly executed for her faith, was all smiles and her husband, Daniel Wani in tears, when they and their two young children finally arrived home Thursday night — in Manchester, New Hampshire.
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Good Samaritans Help to Raise Funds to Pay Off Pastor's Dead Daughter's $200,000 Student Loan Debt

The Christian Post - 2 hours 41 min ago
A California pastor and his wife lost their daughter to liver failure in 2009 and took in her three children. Good Samaritans across the country have rallied to help the family pay off nearly $200,000 in student loan debt that is still due despite the fact that their daughter, who was studying to be a nurse, is dead.
Categories: News Headlines

5 Reasons Why Christian Accountability Fails

Covenant Eyes - 3 hours 56 min ago

The following is an excerpt from our free e-book, Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability.

In my previous article I described the four key building blocks that give shape to our accountability relationships. These building blocks are based on James 5:16 and Hebrews 10:23-25: meeting together, confession of sin, prayer, and encouragement.

(This is structure of a healthy accountability relationship.)

Accountability groups and partners are not magic pills. While accountability plays a crucial role in personal growth and holiness, there are many accountability pitfalls.

Here are five ways accountability often goes bad:

 

Problem #1. When accountability partners are absent

Accountability relationships need to be fostered through time together. It is hard to hold one another accountable when partners meet infrequently or sporadically (or not at all).

Often both parties are at fault. We might commit to “holding one another accountable,” but this is something vague, elusive, and undefined. Accountability partners need to have a very clear picture in their minds about what accountability really entails: face-to- face, voice-to-voice conversation.

When accountability partners do not meet in some fashion, the accountability relationship has no foundation. This means confession, prayer, and encouragement are erratic and shaky, at best.

 

Problem #2. When accountability groups are programmatic

When we read through the one-anothers of the New Testament, one cannot help but see the organic, family dynamic that is meant to exist in the church. We are called to an earnest love for one another (1 Peter 1:22), brotherly affection (Romans 12:10), single- minded unity (Romans 15:5), eating together (1 Corinthians 11:33), bearing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), and having the same care for each other (1 Corinthians 12:25).

But often our approach to accountability is programmatic. We simply don’t have the quality of friendships that are close and spiritually meaningful, so we search for it in forced and sometimes awkward settings.

The church, of course, should offer support groups and discipleship models. “Program” is not a four-letter word. But these programs should aim toward something rich and natural.

If meeting together, prayer, confession, and encouragement are the building blocks of accountability, then many of the other one-anothers in the New Testament are the “atmosphere” of the relationship. This should not be an empty, austere structure, but filled with the air of Christian love and friendship. You may be “doing everything right” but it still feels empty and cold.

 

Problem #3. When accountability partners are sincerity-centered

Confession is the central pillar of accountability, but there are a few ways this pillar can be constructed poorly.
The first way confession of sin can go wrong is when it becomes an end in and of itself. This is when we believe confession is the only point of accountability, something we do to put to rest our uneasy consciences and get something off our chests. These kinds of accountability relationships make “getting the secret out” the whole point.

As therapeutic as this might feel—and it is therapeutic—we need to be careful that in our confession of sin we don’t trivialize sin as something that resolves itself with mere sincerity. Jonathan Dodson, pastor of Austin City Life church, says that one surefire way to ruin your accountability relationship is by making it “a circle of cheap confession by which you obtain cheap peace for your troubled conscience.”

Christians do not believe that pardon from sin comes from merely being honest about sin. Your sincerity wasn’t nailed to a Roman cross for your sins; Christ was. Peace with God comes only by leaning on what Christ has done for us (Romans 5:1). We often mistake the relief of unleashing our secrets with true peace.

Conversation must not stop at confession. The outermost pillars of the accountability relationship call us to prayer and encouragement. After humble confession, we should encourage one another with the assurance of forgiveness promised in the gospel, and we should approach God’s throne of grace in prayer together.

In this way we not only hold one another accountable for our behavior, but we also hold one another accountable for trusting in the gospel for our complete forgiveness.

 

Problem #4. When accountability partners are obedience-centered

The first way the pillar of confession can be built poorly is when we aim at cheap peace. The second way the pillar of confession can be constructed poorly is when the focus is on moral performance.

Some Christian accountability groups are militant about sin—a healthy attitude in its own right. Members want to see others grow in holiness, so this becomes the focus of the group: questions and answers that deal with obedience.

The problem is, mere rule keeping does not itself get to the heart of sin. This is one of the great lessons Paul teaches again and again. Merely knowing the law only aggravates our lusts (Romans 7:7-12), and following rigid ascetic regulations—don’t touch, don’t taste, don’t handle—is “of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:20-23).

Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, gives a solution for this kind of moralistic accountability.

I’m all for accountability—but a certain kind. The accountability we really need is the kind that corrects our natural tendency to dwell on me—my obedience (or lack thereof), my performance (good or bad), my holiness—instead of on Christ and His obedience, His performance, and His holiness for me. It sometimes seems that we can’t help ourselves from turning the good news of God’s grace into a narcissistic program of self-improvement. We try to turn grace into law, in other words. We need to be held accountable for that!

Don’t turn the pillar of confession into a pedestal—a place where we can prop up the idol of our own obedience. Accountability relationships like this either center our thoughts on a few benchmarks of success that we might happen to be reaching, or force us into hiding because we don’t want to admit how much we are failing to hit the mark.

 

Problem #5. When accountability partners forget the gospel

Whether you slide toward being sincerity-centered or obedience-centered, both tendencies have ignored that the gospel is the capstone of accountability.

When we make our groups all about sincere confession with no expectation of change, we trivialize the very sins that were nailed to Jesus on the cross. When we confess the same sins week after week, say a quick prayer, and go home, we merely highlight the cheap peace we feel from refreshing honesty, and we forget to comfort each other with a testimony of God’s grace of forgiveness. We forget to challenge each other to fight sin in light of the motivations God provides in His word.

When we make our groups all about obedience, we only reinforce our tendency to center our identity on our performance. This either drives us to rigid moralism or hiding the evil that lurks in us from others and ourselves. Either way, these kinds of accountability relationships only reinforce legalism and self-absorption. This robs us of the joy of building our identity on Christ’s obedience, and we lose an opportunity to speak about the grace of God that trains us to be godly.

This is why the gospel is the capstone of good accountability. Our confessions, prayers, and encouragement should all be done under the canopy of what the gospel promises God’s children.

  • Confess your sins in light of the gospel. One aspect of repentance is agreeing with what God says about your sin, labeling your sin as truly sinful, as an affront to His holiness, something that cost Christ his life. Confess your sins to God and others knowing He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you (1 John 1:9).
  • Pray together in light of the gospel. The gospel promises both grace to cover our sins (Romans 5:1-2) and grace to empower our obedience (Titus 2:11-14). Approach Christ together asking for this grace (Hebrews 4:16).
  • Encourage one another in light of the gospel. Knowing that true internal change happens in our lives as we set our minds and affections on things above—the complete redemption that is coming to us (Colossians 3:1-4)—we should help one another do this. Mining the Scriptures together, we can teach and admonish one another in wisdom (v.16). We can strive together to have more of a foretaste of the holiness we are promised in the age to come.

We need responsive, gospel-driven accountability. As good accountability partners, we need to not only hear an account of our friends’ sins, but give an account of God’s grace—a grace that not only saves us from the guilt of sin, but also from the grip of sin.

DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE BOOK, “COMING CLEAN”

The post 5 Reasons Why Christian Accountability Fails appeared first on Covenant Eyes.

Categories: News Headlines

Now that the Smoke has Cleared

Christian Newswire - 7 hours 51 min ago
Contact: Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, Operation Save America, 254-715-3134 NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 1, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Controversies ignited like brushfires as Operation Rescue/Operation Save America confronted the culture of death in New Orleans, Louisiana (Jeremiah 5:14). Now that the smoke has cleared, what actually happened in the Big Easy? OSA ministers in cities at the invitation of local pastors and churches. OSA is the wheel that helps lead the church to the exposed areas where Source: Operation Save America
Categories: News Headlines

God's Gifts and God's Gift

Today's Creation Moment - 8 hours 51 min ago

The evolutionary story of man's history tells us that it took man tens of thousands of years to figure out he could farm crops for himself. Yet, today we know that some termites, ants and ambrosia beetles actually cultivate food crops.

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Categories: Intelligent Design

Barna: Many pastors wary of raising 'controversy'

One News Now - 9 hours 51 min ago

Many theologically conservative pastors agree the Bible speaks to key issues of the day, but research indicates only a handful of them say they will speak to it.

Categories: News Headlines

Hemlock Grove Season 3 Release Date: Has Netflix Renewed or Canceled Series? Even Cast Left in Dark

The Christian Post - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:39pm
Hemlock Grove Season 3 has still not been confirmed even though fans of the hit Netflix series are eagerly searching for a potential release date
Categories: News Headlines

Christianity Today Announces 'The Behemoth,' a Magazine that Marvels at God's Creation

Christian Newswire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:05pm
Contact: Wes Jakacki, Christianity Today, 630-260-6200 ext 4320, wjakacki@christianitytoday.com CAROL STREAM, Ill., July 31, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christianity Today, the media ministry founded by Billy Graham in 1956, announced today its most daring publication to date in The Behemoth. This ad-free, biweekly publication aims to help people behold the glory of God all around them, in the worlds of science, history, theology, medicine, sociology, Bible, and personal narrative. The digi Source: Christianity Today
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Atheist group court victory could prove good for churches

World Magazine - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 5:00pm
An atheist group reached a settlement earlier this month with the Internal Revenue Service over stronger enforcement of policies against “church politicking,” and at least one religious freedom group is thrilled, claiming the IRS investigation could be “a good thing” in the long run. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has been campaigning to overturn the portion of the tax code that prohibits nonprofit organizations from “intervening in political campaigns as a condition of their
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