Archive for the ‘David’s Blog’ Category

Two more mass shootings over the weekend in Ohio and Texas sparked another frenzy as liberals in the media renew their campaign for gun control. Others demand solutions to the mental health crisis, still others say shootings occur because of the alienation of young men today or fatherless homes. Progressive politicians – including former president, Barack Obama as well as many 2020 Democrat hopefuls blame President Trump. CNN and MSNBC concur, and falsely accuse Trump of promoting white supremacy.

There may be reasonable solutions to be considered and I don’t mean to oversimplify a very complicated issue, but few seem to suggest let alone address man’s greatest problem: sin. The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

In a culture where discipline and respect for authority is lacking, where people have bowed to the god of self-fulfillment, where narcissists abound, and where young people are coddled and not given healthy boundaries, it’s no wonder darkness and violence are increasing. 

But there is a natural and spiritual law that affects every human being, like it or not: you will reap what you sow. 

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Prophet Jeremiah said, 

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

One glaring problem in our society is the rejection of any fixed moral anchors with which to guide and govern people. Chaos and godlessness are the result. Another clear consequence of removing the one true God from public places is that the culture of death spreads like a disease. 

For example, abortion is the number one killer in the world today. More lives are eliminated under the guise of “choice” than from cancer, heart disease, accidents, and of course, gun violence. 

Planned Parenthood alone commits over 900 abortions every single day (that’s one death every 95 seconds) and as a whole, all abortion clinics, businesses, and providers in the U.S. commit about 3,600 abortions a day. 

…Solutions aren’t easy, but in the book of Ecclesiastes, one of the wisest men to have lived on earth put it this way: 

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

READ FULL ARTICLE:

*video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

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Big tech censors conservatives and the media yawns. With mounting evidence, Facebook, Google, and YouTube seem to be doing to the Internet what the radical, socialist Left has done to American universities: giving lip service to the idea of free speech. If you’re Christian, conservative, Jewish, or Republican, you can have your beliefs, but just keep them to yourself, thank you very much.

The individuals and organizations that have been affected by censorship are too many to list here. While Antifa, which supposedly means “anti-fascist,” holds their intolerant and violent ‘Hate Trump’ protests, Facebook is banning accounts, Google is censoring search results, and Youtube is taking down or deleting conservative videos.

Big tech is monitoring our speech; but who’s monitoring them?

The danger here is obvious: No person or company should be deciding what the public gets to see and what they do not based on individuals in high positions determining what’s important or newsworthy. The biased, liberal media in America already does this so it is vital we fight for both sides to be heard or at least fight to maintain freedom of speech.

Remember what the Obama administration IRS did to Christian and conservative non-profits? One difference here is we’re in the arena of social media.

Prior to a subcommittee hearing last week on Big Tech companies censoring conservatives, Senator Ted Cruz said the Department of Justice should investigate Google for fraud and breach of contract. Cruz chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, and in a Fox News interview, he compared Big Tech’s censorship practices to those of Big Brother in the novel, “1984”: 

“You know, in George Orwell’s famous book, “1984,” the way Big Brother controlled its power, the way the state controlled its power, is it controlled information. …We see, in the Big Tech media companies, that same, exact power; Google is abusing its monopoly powers. We have antitrust laws to deal with that,”

Suggesting these big companies have a political agenda, which they do, and saying they’re guilty of fraud and deceiving the consumer, Cruz continued: 

“When you sign up, say with a Facebook or Twitter, you assume that, if you follow someone, you’ll see their tweets, you’ll see their posts. Likewise, you assume if someone follows you, they’ll see what you tweet and what you post. That’s not, in fact, what’s happening. What’s happening is the social media sites are censoring, they’re shadow banning. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they just hide what you’re saying.

Christian conservative author and vlogger, Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy recently stated:

“The big tech companies like Facebook and Google are trying to choke us out, and have demonetized our content, cutting off our income that helped sustain our ministry. [We must] fight back against the progressive agenda and biased censorship.”

Conservative radio talk show host, author Dennis Prager created, “Prager Universityand puts out free, short educational videos on subjects “important to understanding American values” — ranging from the astronomical cost of higher education to the motivations of the Islamic State. YouTube has been restricting many of these videos by labeling them as violent or having sexual content.

Prager filed a lawsuit and recently testified before Congress on Capitol Hill that Google violates the First Amendment by censoring conservatives. PragerU stated:

“There is no excuse for Google and YouTube censoring and restricting any PragerU videos, which are produced with the sole intent of educating people of all ages about America’s founding values,”

Next, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the social media company chose to block American pro-life groups from running ads. President of Live Action, Lila Rose tweeted that Zuckerberg blocked their ads, while Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg donated $2 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Twitter also banned Rose and Live Action’s pro-life ads, but naturally, they allow Planned Parenthood ads.

Journalist, James O’Keefe has gone through this for years due to uncovering many scandals exposing the left. Just last month, YouTube pulled down a Project Veritas video that showed Pinterest’s anti-Christian bias. An insider told O’Keefe that Pinterest listed Live Action as pornographic. They also censored Bible verses!  

Then, shortly after Project Veritas sent out their story by Twitter, their account was locked down for allegedly distributing communications belonging to another party. 

Okeefe tweeted:

Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of Christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it.

Listed on the Project Veritas website:

  • “Tech Insider Blows Whistle on How Pinterest Listed Top Pro-Life Site as Porn, “Bible Verses” Censored
  • Insider: Search Term “Christian” Won’t Auto-Complete, Others Can’t Trend…
  • Pinterest Blacklisted Pro-Life Group LiveAction.org, Classified as “Pornography,”
  • Leaked “Sensitive Terms List” Includes “bible verses” and “christian easter”
  • Ben Shapiro Commentary Censored…
  • Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Marked as “harmful,” Conspiracy
  • BIG UPDATE: YouTube has PULLED this investigative report. A backup is available on his page.” 

A popular Christian ministry helping people understand the times and contend for the faith, Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministries, was briefly shut down four years ago by YouTube.

Christian radio program, Stand Up for the Truth has been shadow-banned on Facebook for several years now.

My colleagues at Freedom Project were recently “shadow banned” for an entire week on Facebook. Shadow-banning means you can still post content but nobody sees your post: it does not show up in people’s news feed. The only way someone sees it is if they happen to go directly to the Freedom Project Facebook page.

Educator and host of the Dr. Duke Show, Duke Pesta states:

“It is hypocritical in the extreme for Facebook to claim its commitment to free speech while simultaneously handcuffing conservative content that starts to become popular and in demand. If you’re a conservative rising in popularity, you can speak, but they won’t let anyone listen.”

Full story and video at DavidFiorazo.com

How many fans do you need to lose before you understand you’re alienating more than half of your audience when you use sports to push progressive politics? Outspoken U.S. Women’s Soccer team co-captain, Megan Rapinoe is on top of the world for helping win the 2019 World Cup last week.

Congratulations. But it’s hard not to notice the pink-haired activist makes the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick look like a Boy Scout.

Rapinoe recently said in an interview,

“I’m not going to the f—king White House… [and] I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest.”

rapinoe-kneeling-for-anthem-300x300From kneeling during the National Anthem before games to calling the Trump administration corrupt, some of these social justice athletes just don’t get it. Their insults and disrespect come off as anti-American, and fans are tuning out. 

The moment had so much potential to unify Americans, but ended up a disappointing celebration clouded by politics. Nice job, ladies. Too bad your leaders blew it.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins put it this way:

“It was supposed to be a euphoric win – another chapter in American sports dominance. But the message from the captain of soccer’s reigning champs was clear: our country may be wearing the same colors, but that doesn’t mean we’re on the same team.”

…In another disappointing part of this story, there’s speculation that one of the best players in the nation, Jaelene Hinkle, was snubbed from the team for being a Christian. According to the Washington Times, Hinkle chose not to wear a rainbow-themed women’s soccer jersey in honor of Gay Pride month.

You can guess what happened to Jaelene Hinkle. The very next game, fans waving rainbow flags booed her. That was the last time she played for the national team. World Cup women’s team coach, Jill Ellis (who is married to a woman) cut Hinkle from the roster and told reporters her decision was ‘solely based on soccer.’

…Winning on the world stage is a big accomplishment, and the women’s World Cup could have been a uniting victory for all Americans. All it did was drive the divisive wedge of identity politics even deeper. 

Read the entire post at DavidFiorazo.com

Over fifty years ago, American culture was being prepped for a new era of sexual behavior and expression. People began accepting things that used to be called “sins.” The increase of adultery and abortion came first, which helped set the stage for pornography, homosexuality, and transgenderism.

…When moral anchors and norms are removed from culture, just about anything goes. Some say the next step is pedophilia. But they wouldn’t go that far…would they?

On June 28, 1969, New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, an underground venue for homosexuals, who responded with a violent riot. This event was one of the catalysts propelling the LGBTQ movement from the closet to America’s streets. Hoping to garner campaign support, Democrat Joe Biden visited the historic Inn just last week.

We can debate about how this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and when the moral decline accelerated to the point we are no longer a godly, moral people as a whole. The fact is things that used to be talked about in whispers are now proudly proclaimed and celebrated.

With the ongoing efforts of Hollywood, media, government, public schools, and corporations, we are being bombarded by sexual ideas and images. In this open rebellion against the one true God, the left has effectively dumbed-down our values. So now, if marriage, morality, life in the womb, and gender no longer matter, why should age matter? ‘Love is love,’ they say. There is nothing new under the sun, and pedophilia has been around for thousands of years.

…As for many on the left, they say they just want to “live and let live,” but we are no longer naive enough to think it stops there.

Read extensive article with reference links:

Short version – 6 minute video:

Courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Modern Liberalism cannot coexist with biblical Christianity. Another example of placing social justice above Scripture emerged last week, this time from a Baptist church leader in Texas. In a commencement benediction at Baylor University in Waco, left-wing pastor, Dan Freemyer denounced “straight white men” and lobbied for the environment – during a prayer.

Fine. If you disagree with certain aspects of God’s Word and dislike Christian conservatives, this is a free country. But stop being a progressive pretender and admit you’re either following the crowd or creating a god in your own likeness.

Calling evil good, conforming to secular culture, and reinterpreting Christian teachings to fit an agenda is part of the cult of modern Liberalism which masquerades as Christianity.  In their rebellion against God, their values might include hyper-grace, political idolatry, boycotting Israel, feminism, socialism, sexual confusion, environmentalism, and of course, abortion.

In these last days, the Holy Scriptures too often take a back seat to pleasing man. In this case, it’s Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, which proudly states they are: “fully affirming of women in lay and professional ministry roles, and fully inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons.” One Baylor alumnus proudly stated that Broadway Baptist cut ties with the Baptist General Convention of Texas long ago over homosexuality.

Affirming, inclusive. Friends in Christ, don’t be deceived by the modern use of these words. I wrote an entire book about man “Redefining Truth.”

So a few of the remarks from Dan Freemyer at the Baylor University commencement went like this:

“God, give them the moral imagination to reject the old keys that we’re trying to give them to a planet that we’re poisoning by running it on fossil fuels and misplaced priorities — a planet with too many straight, white men like me behind the steering wheel while others have been expected to sit quietly at the back of the bus,”

Misplaced priorities is right, but look in the mirror, Dan. In your rant about poisoning the planet, you missed an opportunity to honor Jesus Christ and the true gospel by encouraging the college grads to seek first the kingdom of God. You could have reminded them about the need for repentance and to walk closely with the Lord every day as they enter a very dark and worldly culture.

By alluding to environmental activism, climate change, and by subtly dissing God-ordained natural marriage, you were exposed as just another religious liberal, also known as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Using your platform and position as cover for a secular, social justice agenda is apostasy.

By appealing to people’s love of this world and taking advantage of their ignorance, plenty of false Christian leaders are deceiving multitudes while true believers in Christ have been placed on the defensive today. The octopus of liberalism now dominates virtually every aspect of culture.

The Left practically controls education, organizations, publications, the entertainment industry, government, and especially the media. The tragedy however, is that liberalism has gained power and influence in seminaries as well as in church pulpits across the country.

The notion too many pastors have today is we must become like the world in order to reach the worldly. Wrong. Where is this in Scripture? Think about it; do unbelievers and liberals ever compromise and become more holy, or do conservatives typically give in, compromise and become more worldly?

One result is Americans are more divided over moral and political issues than ever before, but our greater concern should be Christians are divided as well. Research shows that fewer believe in absolute truth which tells us we aren’t much different from the world after all.

How could this be since God never changes and His Word is eternal? They do a good job of changing public opinion by emotion-driven marketing.

Some call it a revival of post modernism, liberation theology, progressivism, or social justice. Many of these leaders hold to a form of godliness but they deny the power of God (2 Tim. 3:5) and attack those who stand on the inerrancy of Scripture.

So why does all this matter and why is it dangerous? Political liberals are one thing; we know exactly where they stand; radicals on the left like Pelosi, Booker, Beto, Buttigieg, AOC, and Sanders.

But religious liberals have infiltrated churches across America and have deceived many. These men (and women) generally believe many of the same things as extremists on the left, and yet claim to be “Christian.” You will know them by the fruit they produce and by their doctrine. They are masters at twisting Scriptures.

This is nothing new and the emerging church has been gaining converts for decades. Until we acknowledge the enemy within, know God’s Word and combat lies with the truth, people will just keep on buying what liberalism has been selling. Because after all, they have a degree or a title; he’s a pastor, priest, or reverend.

The Bible is full of warnings to discern false teachings, call out deceivers, expose the darkness, and contend for the faith handed down through the ages. Put on the armor of God! The main obstacles to the left’s takeover of America are strong, biblical churches and mature, informed Christian citizens who refuse to be silent.

Actors Jim Carrey, Alyssa Milano, and a cast of other liberals are fighting for abortion, but their tactics seem to be backfiring because they’re unintentionally making a case for the pro-life movement. It’s “Hollywood vs. Alabama and Georgia” – “Liberalism vs Life” in the ongoing war against truth.

On Saturday, Jim Carrey posted a graphic piece of artwork he created intending to defend abortion, but it actually depicts the violence of the life-ending procedure. Carrey is attacking Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey because she signed a bill into law last week restricting abortions in the state.

The idea behind Carrey’s art is Kay Ivey should have been aborted – and shows her brains being sucked into a tube. He tweeted:

“I think If you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, it should be done sometime before the fetus becomes Governor of Alabama,”

Carrey apparently knows what the majority in Alabama want. While signing the legislation, Governor Ivey said the bill had many supporters, and is a result of citizens having the “deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,”

Is Carrey publicly wishing death on an elected official and promoting violence? It’s debatable, but as usual, liberals are held to very different standards. Remember Kathy Griffin holding a bloody head of President Trump? Imagine a Republican tweeting this kind of image depicting Nancy Pelosi, for example.

Author and blogger, Matt Walsh responded to Carrey’s artwork and made some sobering statements on Twitter last weekend:

The left claims they are “pro-choice.” What about choosing abstinence, adoption, birth control (not post-pregnancy!), marriage, or making the difficult decision to have the baby? They act as if killing a living, developing fetus is the only option.

Just a few weeks ago, Hollywood activist, Alyssa Milano unwittingly promoted conservative values when she called for a sex strike in response to the heartbeat bill in Georgia signed by Governor Brian Kemp. In case you missed it, note the drama in her demands:

“Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano tweeted. “JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I’m calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on.”

Don’t look now, Alyssa, but you’re unintentionally promoting conservative values. An actress calling for abstinence? Well, the public schools won’t do it. Not only will there be less adultery and fewer pregnancies, but we could also see a reduction in STD’s. Sounds like a win win to me.

Read the full post and see video:

Photo credit, original post by Freedom Project Media

Public schools in America allow Planned Parenthood access to the youngest of children in order to push their hyper-sexual, destructive agenda. They justify perversion and deceptively use terms like health, science, and “age appropriate;” and with the help of your tax dollars, they’re exposing kids to pornography, homosexuality, sexual experimentation and of course, abortion as they normalize unrestrained sex.

It’s no surprise public school children are getting hooked on sex.

Following the same business model as a drug dealer, Planned Parenthood’s goal is to make sex addicts. With the help of Hollywood, pop-culture, music, and the education system, this godless worldview has already led to tragically high numbers of abortions among teenage girls and young women. And what happens when sex between boys and girls doesn’t lead to pregnancies? Planned Parenthood also makes money offering testing services for STD’s.

First, they introduce obscene sex-ed materials encouraging risky sexual behavior in young people through our schools. They may even pass out condoms and talk about “safe sex,” but never abstinence or purity. Planned Parenthood purposely and maliciously exposes children to things they are not mature enough to comprehend; things in generations past that were only discussed at home with parents.

Do you really know what Planned Parenthood is selling as normal, natural, and healthy? Sexual content depicting people in various sexual positions – along with images of male and female body parts, masturbation, and anal sex.

Producer of a 2012 American Life League report, Michael Hichborn stated:

“If a dirty old man in a park showed ten-year-old children the graphic images Planned Parenthood pedals as education, he would be arrested.  Planned Parenthood shows this smut to children and is awarded with more taxpayer money…

It’s hard to believe American parents are on board with this so I have to conclude that they don’t know about it. A book already promoted in many schools by Planned Parenthood discusses sexual intercourse, experimentation, homosexuality, and pornography. Guess what the book is called? “It’s Perfectly Normal.”

The controversy came up again recently, this time on the House floor in Minnesota as Representative Eric Lucero flipped through the book describing some of the content including naked caricatures of young boys and girls looking at their bodies in the mirror. Parents should not have to ‘opt out’ their children of content that ought not to be taught in the first place.

Like many of us, Lucero was also concerned not only about the graphic nature of the content, but the reckless idea that pornography is normal and healthy. The truth is porn degrades women, destroys families, relationships, and can lead to sexual abuse.

Parents and grandparents, our culture has been hijacked by radicals and open war is upon us. Tragically, children are the target as well as the victims here.

With the transgender revolution, we’re already seeing some of the consequences of removing God, moral absolutes, prayer, and the subject of intelligent design from schools.

…Only God can heal this land, but it’s clear over half the country has abandoned Him and rejected biblical morality. The gospel must be preached and the truth must be told! So what’s it going to be?

FULL POST HERE

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

The new mantra these days that you have your truth and I have mine is simply an extension of the 1960s, “If it feels good, do it.” So, should sin be redefined based on ever-changing times and pop-culture? What about the Law of Nature and nature’s God? Is there a moral standard? And now, we may soon find out if America is ready for an open-homosexual to be president – who, by the way, claims to be a Christian!

But feelings don’t change the truth. So the debate continues: Can we make up our own individual morality? Should the Bible be rewritten? The fact is God never changes, the human heart is wicked, man is sinful, and we all need a Savior.

John Stonestreet at Breakpoint is right, saying there’s an epidemic of self-centered faith in our culture as well as our churches.

If there were an Americanized translation of the Apostle’s Creed for today, it would be something like this: “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, who always supports my feelings.”

Enter openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, now a 2020 presidential candidate, who claims his homosexual lifestyle and marriage to a man has brought him closer to God. He also thinks God made him gay, so he obviously concludes homosexuality can’t be a sin.

The mayor may be most well-known for attacking the faith and character of Vice President, Mike Pence who responded with grace. Pete says he’s a Christian, but he doesn’t get to invent another doctrine or his own version of Christianity. That’s called idolatry. Either way, the media sure loves him.

They’re on board, promoting this new progressive 2020 candidate with glee. Senior editor of CNN, Kyle Blaine even sent an eye-opening tweet, saying:

This Buttigieg/Pence episode illustrates a core question many LGBT people have to confront at some point in their life: Can you be “friends” with someone who believes that something at the very core of who you are is wicked and should be changed?

First, there’s no “episode.” Buttigieg is good at insulting Mike Pence and others who disagree with his twisted theology, but Pence has not retaliated. He compliments the Indiana mayor as a “dedicated public servant.” The victim card may not work as Buttigieg intends.

CNN’s Kyle Blaine is actually suggesting every LGBT individual must question whether or not they can even be a friend of someone who is a truly converted Christian. What I mean by using descriptors is there are millions of pretend or “professing” Christians who do not believe the whole Bible nor do they live by its teachings.

What we’re talking about here are authentic, born-again Christ followers who trust Jesus, God’s Word, and understand holiness and sanctification. CNN and others continually provide a platform for people like Blaine who indirectly suggest a Christian is not worth befriending.

The truth is by nature, we are rebellious toward God. Scripture reminds us “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

Author Peter Heck points out the fact teaching about the sickness of the human heart goes back before the early church to the Prophets. We all need redemption.

That’s not just “the gays.” It’s everybody. And since every human being is wicked at our core, we Christians believe that the heart of every human being must be changed; We recognize it for all mankind, including ourselves.

But many progressives cannot allow themselves to believe man is inherently evil. Even Jesus said no one is good except God alone. Man at his best falls short; we need a Savior, but this doesn’t bode too well with those who have redefined sin.

We are made in God’s image, but we each have a conscience and moral awareness. I don’t have a problem with who Buttigieg is; I simply disagree with what him doing whatever he feels like doing and calling it “Christian.” There are too many hypocrites and posers in American churches trying the same thing, the difference being their sin of choice is something other than homosexuality.

Human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. Everett Piper of the Washington Times responded to Buttigieg this way:

[T]he “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear. There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. …You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood; If you want us to stay out of your bedroom, please shut the door. Stop opening it up and forcing us to applaud and celebrate.

When feelings trump truth, we’re in serious trouble. It has become trendy to ignore biological, natural roles our bodies have in procreation, as well as the historically accepted meaning of marriage between one man and one woman. But sadly, feelings have practically become the new authority or at least the measure of personal identity.

What may be most concerning however, is the biblical illiteracy in our churches as well as the radical shift in public opinion when it comes to God, government, and being gay. In all three, evil is being called good and good, evil. Our great grandparents and founding fathers would be extremely confused by today’s America; and perhaps indignant. One thing is certain: they would not remain silent.

Freedom Project Media video

When one of the most popular Christian leaders in America focuses more on personal growth, self-improvement, and positive thinking than on the essential doctrines of the faith such as repentance from sin, sanctification, and the atoning work of Jesus Christ, there’s a problem. The prosperity gospel preached by men such as Joel Osteen has been described as biblically anemic theology. And millions have fallen for it.

It’s like a caffeine or sugar high with the nutritional value of cotton candy, but make no mistake: it can be quite lucrative for those preaching it. A friend of mine visited his church and said there are no crosses and there was no mention of Jesus.

Lakewood Church in Houston church rakes in about $70 million a year. For his latest book, Joel Osteen received a $13 million-dollar advance. One book. He and his wife have a fortune estimated at $60 million. His 17,000 square-foot mansion is listed at $10.7 million and has six bathrooms, five fireplaces, three elevators, a swimming pool, guest house, and parking for 20 cars – including his $230,000 Ferrari.

…People who practice Joel Osteen’s formula for success and then get cancer or fail to get the expected results end up disillusioned or worse; they blame God! It might feel good short term, but many people get angry at God if things don’t work out the way they want them to and they fall away from Him.

Rather than catering to self, the Bible teaches us to surrender our lives to Christ. The Gospel of Luke 9:23-24 quotes Jesus as saying:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”

The true Christian faith is honest right up front because the road to eternal life is narrow and hard. The Bible promises persecution, trials, and that people will hate you. Jesus said we will have trouble in this world.

President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler offered some insightful comments on a recent an article in The Financial Times in which the writer destroys Joel Osteen’s brand of Christianity and contrasts prosperity theology with teachings in Scripture. The author is not even a believer.

Editor of The Financial Times, progressive writer Edward Luce, visited Lakewood Church in Houston and interviewed Osteen. Luce writes about what he sees as a contradiction between Joel Osteen’s preaching and the historic, orthodox Christian faith. He calls Lakewood, “the most significant temple to the prosperity gospel in America.”

…Only God knows the hearts of those who preach watered-down doctrines such as word-faith and the prosperity gospel, but those who are teachers will be held to a much higher standard (James 3:1) by the Lord who exalts His precious Word. To embrace and follow Christ, we must hold the things of this life loosely and set our hearts on things above (Col. 3:1-3)…

Read the full post here:

5 Reasons to Believe the Bible, Resurrection of Jesus

Posted: April 26, 2019 by David Fiorazo in David's Blog

5 reasons to believe jesusIf Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the Bible isn’t true, heaven isn’t real, and this life is as good as it gets. But thank God the evidence proves otherwise. Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for over two thousand years, no one has proven it to be false.

Jesus once said the truth will set you free. It’s not that people can’t know the truth, the problem is they don’t like what they find because they don’t want to change how they live. Let’s look at a fraction of the overwhelming evidence supporting the historical resurrection of Jesus as well as the accuracy and reliability of the Bible.

1. Minimal Facts Agreed Upon

First, even liberal scholars and historians agree on these basic facts:

  • Jesus was publicly executed and died by crucifixion
  • His tomb was empty; the body was missing
  • His disciples believed he rose and appeared to them
  • James, former skeptic and half-brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.
  • The church persecutor Paul was suddenly and radically changed

How do you explain the fact Christianity rapidly expanded in the first century? Within one generation of the death of Christ, this movement spread from Israel to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Where did it start and is there a way to know for sure?

In Luke 1:4, he gives the reason for his gospel;

“…so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

Christianity is the only religion which bases its faith on a verifiable event.

2. Extra-Biblical Sources

Second, if you’re not a believer yet and are skeptical about the Bible’s claims, consider a few ancient historians.

  • According to Thallus, there was a darkness during the day for three hours followed by an earthquake that occurred at the point of Jesus’ crucifixion.
  • Jewish historian, Josephus lived in the first century and wrote about events surrounding Jesus in more detail than any other non-biblical source.
  • Roman historian, Suetonius wrote about new levels of punishment Nero inflicted on Christians, and described Jesus as having had immediate impact on His followers.
  • Tacitus confirms Christianity was founded by a man named Christus, whom he said was “put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius.”

Some used to claim Pilate and Caiaphas never existed. A first-century inscription discovered at Caesarea in 1961 confirms Pontius Pilate was indeed procurator of Judea from 26-36 A.D.

Jesus was on trial before the high priest, Caiaphas before He was taken to Pilate. The tomb of the Caiaphas family was discovered in Jerusalem in 1990 and inside were the very bones of the infamous high priest mentioned in the Gospels! History and archaeology are very inconvenient for mockers and skeptics.

3. Eyewitnesses to the Resurrection

Third, this is one of the most compelling proofs of the resurrection of Jesus. Thousands of people saw Jesus’ miracles, at least hundreds of people were eye-witnesses who saw Him after being raised from the dead, and many were mentioned by name in the Bible. You better make sure you have your facts straight if you name names.

The eyewitnesses include:

  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18),
  • the other women at the tomb accompanying Mary (Matthew 28:1-10),
  • the Roman guards (Matthew 28:4),
  • the Eleven disciples (John 21),
  • two others on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35),
  • over five-hundred people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6),
  • James, and then Paul (1 Corinthians 15:7-9)

Jesus lived on earth another forty days before ascending to Heaven so it’s safe to suggest there were many more eye-witnesses.

The disciples truly saw the resurrected Christ. Only an event of this magnitude could turn scared, scattered, and skeptical disciples, with no prior concept and expectation of a crucified and risen Messiah, into courageous proclaimers of the gospel willing to suffer and die for their belief that Jesus rose bodily from the grave.

4. Early Dating of New Testament Manuscripts

Fourth, this is such an important point regarding the resurrection of Jesus: we have books in the New Testament that were written during the period when eye-witnesses were still alive! At least two books may have been written within fifteen years of the resurrection. The earliest documents include James, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and perhaps Mark or Luke. No wonder the Jews and Romans couldn’t refute the facts.

The Bible includes both primary and secondary sources of reference. Primary means the books were written by eye witnesses while secondary means other books were written by men who interviewed eye witnesses – those who saw the actual events. Fortunately for truth seekers, there’s an abundance of historical manuscript evidence in both categories.

5. Missing Motives

Fifth, if it was a lie, what were the motives of Jesus’ disciples? Certainly not popularity! Experts suggest when a conspiracy is formed, the basic motivating factors are:

  • Money or greed
  • Power or fame
  • Lust or sexual passion

Most of the disciples were killed for their faith. Christianity faced huge obstacles because it was a brand new movement. They had no money, they taught about love, sacrifice, and self-denial, and they were subject to intense hatred and persecution.

Why then, have so many Christian martyrs through the centuries been willing to go to prison or even die for their faith instead of deny Jesus? The only logical reason to believe the gospel is because the resurrection actually occurred. 

The Jews and Romans did not refute Jesus’ resurrection and stop Christianity from spreading. Why? Because they could not.

Anyone living around Jerusalem could have examined the empty tomb for themselves, and thousands probably did go to the tomb of Christ to look for His body. The historically indisputable fact is that something happened to the body.

After thousands of years of attacks, opposition, and scrutiny by critics − warfare that no other work has ever seen − the Bible has withstood the onslaught, has gained credibility, and the Christian faith has continued to thrive throughout the world. No other written work has the power to convict people of their sin, the ability to change human nature, and offers a permanent solution to man’s greatest problem.

There are no second chances after you die. You can ignore the evidence and deny the truth – or acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus, believe in Him, confess your sins and be forgiven, and have everlasting life. This could be the most meaningful Easter season you will ever have!

BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Romans 10:8-10, John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-13

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Hope in the Resurrection and Return of Jesus Christ – teaching by David Fiorazo