Friday, November 27, 2020

The chilling effect of censorship

Social media in and from America has begun to flex its muscle that some always feared it could, but always trusted to restrain itself from excessive use of power.

It seems the era of President Donald Trump has pushed them over the edge. The dam broke, and now it's an all-out battle over information and the truth.

If Twitter can slap a label on your Tweet, or make you disappear altogether, then that will make people think twice before invoking the wrath of the supposedly unbiased algorithm.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The gratitude that followed the plague

I would be glad if I could close the account of this melancholy year with some particular examples historically; I mean of the thankfulness to God, our preserver, for our being delivered from this dreadful calamity.

Certainly the circumstance of the deliverance, as well as the terrible enemy we were delivered from, called upon the whole nation for it. The circumstances of the deliverance were indeed very remarkable, as I have in part mentioned already, and particularly the dreadful condition which we were all in when we were to the surprise of the whole town made joyful with the hope of a stop of the infection.

Nothing but the immediate finger of God, nothing but omnipotent power, could have done it. The contagion despised all medicine; death raged in every corner; and had it gone on as it did then, a few weeks more would have cleared the town of all, and everything that had a soul.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Plague drove away astrology

In his account of the Plague in London, Daniel Defoe wrote, “One thing I cannot omit here, and indeed I thought it was extraordinary, at least it seemed a remarkable hand of Divine justice: viz., that all the predictors, astrologers, fortune-tellers, and what they called cunning-men, conjurers, and the like: calculators of nativities and dreamers of dream, and such people, were gone and vanished; not one of them was to be found.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

5 marks of false religion

“There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), and false religions are no exception. Many have come and gone over the years.

The broadcasting era increased awareness and emotional response to false teachers and some of the more extreme examples came to be known as cults. Jim Jones was one of the more prominent examples of the 1970s, but he was not unique. New religious teachings were proliferated at the grassroots level to the point where one might be handed a tract while heading to a wedding.

That's exactly what happened to my great-uncle, Dave Breese. He was a well-known Bible teacher, and in reading a pamphlet someone gave him at a wedding got him thinking. What is it were possible to identify some of the common characteristics of these cults, of these false religions, false teachings?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Forever dying without release

I once heard a story from a young English evangelist. He told me about the day Charlie Peace, a well-known criminal in London, was hanged—February 25, 1879. The Anglican Church, which had a ceremony for nearly everything, even had a ceremony for hangings.

So, when Charlie Peace was marched to the gallows, a priest walked behind him and read these words from a prayer book: “Those who die without Christ experience Hell, which is the pain of forever dying without the release which death itself can bring.”

When these chilling words were read, Charlie Peace stopped in his tracks, turned to the priest, and shouted in his face, “Do you believe that? Do you believe that?”

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