Doritos, Babies, and a Bit of Controversy

During the 2016 Super Bowl, a funny commercial by Doritos created some bit of controversy.

What is so controversial about it? Apparently NARAL Pro Choice America (i.e., abortion activists) became quite upset that the commercial "humanized fetuses." Immediately they began to tweet that they are #NotBuyingIt.

The Doritos commercial showed, in a funny and fictional way, what everyone instinctively knows is true: Babies in the womb are humans.

Likewise, NARAL has communicated an unmistakable message, albeit unwittingly. They have exposed to the entire world their belief that a fetus is NOT a human. To take this position is to deny the obvious: preborn babies ARE human. NARAL's reaction to the commercial has shown everyone how wrong they are.

If you believe in the "right" to abort a preborn baby, you need to deal not only with the fact that you came to this position only by denying your instincts and common sense, but also that science has conclusively proven that the baby inside the mother has its own DNA. The entire industry devoted to prenatal DNA testing could not exist if the baby was nothing more than a growth inside a woman.

If NARAL and other abortion activists want to continue to make a case for abortion "rights," they first need to admit to what they have unwittingly proven: that they are in favor of killing human beings for profit and convenience.

Abortion rights supporters know that preborn babies are humans. We all do. It's time they admit it.

David's Quick & Easy Salsa Recipe

Time: 15 minutes

For hotter salsa, use hot Rotel, hot green chiles, and the seeds from the peppers.

For milder salsa, use medium Rotel & medium green chiles, and remove the seeds from the peppers.

Ingredients

1 can (14.5-oz) diced or petite diced tomatoes

1 can (10-oz) Rotel (hot)

1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce

1 can (4-oz) Hatch diced green chiles (hot)

1 jalapeño pepper, diced

1 Fresno pepper, diced (alternatively, use a Serrano pepper or a 2nd jalapeño pepper)

⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

juice of ½ lime

½ white onion, diced

½ red onion, diced

⅛ tsp. ground cumin

½ Tbsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

⅛ tsp. sugar

Copyright ©️ 2016 David Rhoades

Copyright ©️ 2016 David Rhoades

Directions

Add all ingredients to blender. Pulse 5-6 times until ingredients all come together. Store chilled in airtight container.

Contemporary Parallels to the Third Reich

Yesterday on H2 (History Channel 2) I viewed the documentary "The Rise of the Third Reich." The narrator described it not as the story how Adolf Hitler came to power, but how and why the German people allowed him to do so. I was not surprised to hear about some cultural and political dynamics that, to me at least, parallel the situation in our own day.

Adolf Hitler used a combination of blind devotion and fear to transform a society and ultimately destroy millions of lives.

Adolf Hitler used a combination of blind devotion and fear to transform a society and ultimately destroy millions of lives.

The comparisons between the rise of the Nazis in Germany and certain contemporary political powers is not precise, of course. History does not exactly repeat itself, but it does seem that those who do not learn from history are doomed to suffer similar consequences as did their predecessors.

Below is a brief list of some parallels derived from the documentary. Many of the statements below are not my own ideas, but directly quoted:

  • Berlin had become a swamp of depravity. Everything and everyone was for sale.
  • Things were chaotic. Money was worthless. The atmosphere has become revolutionary. Apocalyptic. Not only money, but all standards have lost their value. Saviors appear everywhere, claiming they have been sent by God to save the world. In German, there is no plural word for Savior. There can be only one.
  • Hitler was a socialist, the leader of the National German Social Workers Party. Socialism has the inherent power of drawing the allegiance of the people to the state.
  • Politically, there were only two viable options for those who wanted to facilitate change: the communist party and the socialist party. No one of substance stood on the side of individual liberties.
  • On February 28, 1933, someone set fire to Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag. Hitler blamed the communists. The middle class, which had been repulsed by some of the tactics of the Nazi's, became frightened by the burning. The press, in lockstep with Hitler, said that the fire was meant to be a signal to all communists throughout the country to begin destroying property, life, and values throughout the land. Through the use of a false flag, Hitler had invented a threat, and now he would use it to crush his opposition.
  • The people gave up their liberties for the sake of security. They did not object to their telephones being tapped, their letters opened, and their desks broken into. People accepted it in order to "clean up" society and rid their land of the communists.
  • By March 23, the communists were all jailed. Hitler became dictator after only 52 days of being named Chancellor.
  • Often for many months parades marched and church bells rang. The idea was to condition the people to cheer, even when there was no reason for it. It is reminiscent of television comedies using laugh tracks for shows that are not funny. It is human nature to go along with the crowd and mimic others. Hitler knew this and manipulated the emotions of the people.
  • The government began officially declaring who was good and who was bad. Undesirable members of society included Jews, disabled people, minorities, and dissenters. Prisoner camps were established for "bad" members of society. Adults that did not use a "Heil Hitler" greeting faced the possibility of being sent to a concentration camp. The result and intent was to make people live in fear. Within 10 months of Hitler's rise to power, 100,000 Germans had been arrested.
  • Children were indoctrinated with Nazi propaganda. The movie "Triumph of the Will" was required viewing in all German schools. Children's hearts were turned against their parents. They were taught that the Führer (and by extension, the Fatherland) was first and family was second. Children were told to turn their parents in to the Gestapo (the secret state police) if their parents insisted that family came first.
  • In the end, Hitler betrayed, impoverished, and destroyed the country that he sought to lead.

Schuyler Bibles: Excellence in Bible-Publishing

Schuyler Quentel NASB

Schuyler Quentel NASB

If you are looking for a high-quality Bible, I would recommend checking out Schuyler Bible Publishers. Although their Bibles are expensive, they are made with great care, knowing that their readers will be handling God's Word.

From their website: "Schuyler Bibles has had one simple mission – to produce Bibles whose quality extends to both Printing and Binding. Often customers are forced to choose between the two. We decided to produce Bibles with the best of both worlds.  Paper quality, legibility and  binding come together to produce the best crafted Bibles available."

Schuyler currently produces the following Bible translations: NASB, ESV, KJV, and NKJV. I preach from the Quentel NASB. It is a big, heavy Bible, but it is easily the best-made Bible I have ever owned. The text is clear, the paper is thick and sturdy, and there are even four bookmarks.

You can learn more about Schuyler Bibles at schuylerbible.com.

Response to a Proposal to Eliminate Tax-Exempt Status for Churches

Mark Oppenheimer, columnist of the biweekly "Beliefs" column for The New York Times, recently fired the next shot against Christians and churches in his article "Now's the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions." The elimination of tax-exempt status for churches is the obvious next "radical step" (his words, not mine) by the same minority of activists that use the courts and executive fiat to achieve what they cannot legislatively.

A Letter for My Son About His Baptism

Every year my wife and I celebrate our children's spiritual birthdays, and thirteen years ago today our oldest son, Timothy, received Christ. It was a great honor to share the gospel message with him and baptize him. To witness him continue to follow Christ year after year is even greater.

Below is a letter I wrote the day Timothy was baptized:

Faith Coach Workbook - Available on Amazon.com

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The Faith Coach Workbook is designed to be a self-study guide, or it can be used with the help of another Christian or small group of believers.

Where Is Rob Bell Coming From?

"If a certainty occurred and only Rob Bell was there to experience it, would anyone know it for sure?" This feeble attempt at a theological joke could be said of Rob Bell only a few years ago when he vaguely couched his beliefs behind the premise of dialoging with doubters/seekers/unbelievers. Now he's coming out the closet (well, his beliefs are, anyway). 

Greed in the Pulpit

Greed in the Pulpit

Late night musings... I've grown increasingly saddened with the greed of so many prominent pastors. They cast a stain upon the gospel with their profits from their unbiblical teachings. Most pastors that I know have chosen to make sacrifices to serve the Lord in ministry. Yet there remain some whose influence and marketing machinery shines so bright that people miss the falsehood in what they say.

Some might say that I'm envious of their wealth. Really, I'm not. The Lord has more than blessed me with the provisions needed for life, and with that I am content. What concerns me is not other people's status, but whether I might displease my Lord. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and I do not see enough fear of God in pastors today.

Prayer and the Word of God - E. M. Bounds

“How constantly, in the Scriptures, do we encounter such words as ‘field,’ ‘seed,’ ‘sower,’ ‘reaper,’ ‘seed-time,’ ‘harvest’! Employing such metaphors interprets a fact of nature by a parable of grace. The field is the world and the good seed is the Word of God. Whether the Word be spoken or written, it is the power of God unto salvation. In our work of evangelism, the whole world is our field, every creature the object of effort and every book and tract, a seed of God.”—DAVID FANT, JR.

God's Word is a record of prayer—of praying men and their achievements, of the Divine warrant of prayer and of the encouragement given to those who pray. No one can read the instances, commands, examples, multiform statements which concern themselves with prayer, without realizing that the cause of God, and the success of His work in this world is committed to prayer; that praying men have been God’s vicegerents on earth; that prayerless men have never been used of Him.

A reverence for God’s holy Name is closely related to a high regard for His Word. This hallowing of God’s Name; the ability to do His will on earth, as it is done in heaven; the establishment and glory of God’s kingdom, are as much involved in prayer, as when Jesus taught men the Universal Prayer. That “men ought always to pray and not to faint,” is as fundamental to God’s cause, today, as when Jesus Christ enshrined that great truth in the immortal settings of the Parable of the Importunate Widow.

As God’s house is called “the house of prayer,” because prayer is the most important of its holy offices; so by the same token, the Bible may be called the Book of Prayer. Prayer is the great theme and content of its message to mankind.

God’s Word is the basis, as it is the directory of the prayer of faith. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,” says St. Paul, “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

As this word of Christ dwelling in us richly is transmuted and assimilated, it issues in praying. Faith is constructed of the Word and the Spirit, and faith is the body and substance of prayer.

In many of its aspects, prayer is dependent upon the Word of God. Jesus says: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

The Word of God is the fulcrum upon which the lever of prayer is placed, and by which things are mightily moved. God has committed Himself, His purpose and His promise to prayer. His Word becomes the basis, the inspiration of our praying, and there are circumstances under which, by importunate prayer, we may obtain an addition, or an enlargement of His promises. It is said of the old saints that they, “through faith obtained promises.” There would seem to be in prayer the capacity for going even beyond the Word, of getting even beyond His promise, into the very presence of God, Himself.

Jacob wrestled, not so much with a promise, as with the Promiser. We must take hold of the Promiser, lest the promise prove nugatory. Prayer may well be defined as that force which vitalizes and energizes the Word of God, by taking hold of God, Himself. By taking hold of the Promiser, prayer reissues, and makes personal the promise. “There is none that stirreth up himself to take hold of Me,” is God’s sad lament. “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me,” is God’s recipe for prayer.

By Scriptural warrant, prayer may be divided into the petition of faith and that of submission. The prayer of faith is based on the written Word, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” It receives its answer, inevitably—the very thing for which it prays.

The prayer of submission is without a definite word of promise, so to speak, but takes hold of God with a lowly and contrite spirit, and asks and pleads with Him, for that which the soul desires. Abraham had no definite promise that God would spare Sodom. Moses had no definite promise that God would spare Israel; on the contrary, there was the declaration of His wrath, and of His purpose to destroy. But the devoted leader gained his plea with God, when he interceded for the Israelites with incessant prayers and many tears. Daniel had no definite promise that God would reveal to him the meaning of the king’s dream, but he prayed specifically, and God answered definitely.

The Word of God is made effectual and operative, by the process and practice of prayer. The Word of the Lord came to Elijah, “Go show thyself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” Elijah showed himself to Ahab; but the answer to his prayer did not come, until he had pressed his fiery prayer upon the Lord seven times.

Paul had the definite promise from Christ, that he “would be delivered from the people and the Gentiles,” but we find him exhorting the Romans in the urgent and solemn manner concerning this very matter: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints.”

The Word of God is a great help in prayer. If it be lodged and written in our hearts, it will form an outflowing current of prayer, full and irresistible. Promises, stored in the heart, are to be the fuel from which prayer receives life and warmth, just as the coal, stored in the earth, ministers to our comfort on stormy days and wintry nights. The Word of God is the food, by which prayer is nourished and made strong. Prayer, like man, cannot live by bread alone, “but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.”

Unless the vital forces of prayer are supplied by God’s Word, prayer, though earnest, even vociferous, in its urgency, is, in reality, flabby, and vapid, and void. The absence of vital force in praying, can be traced to the absence of a constant supply of God’s Word, to repair the waste, and renew the life. He who would learn to pray well, must first study God’s Word, and store it in his memory and thought.

When we consult God’s Word, we find that no duty is more binding, more exacting, than that of prayer. On the other hand, we discover that no privilege is more exalted, no habit more richly owned of God. No promises are more radiant, more abounding, more explicit, more often reiterated, than those which are attached to prayer. “All things, whatsoever” are received by prayer, because “all things whatsoever” are promised. There is no limit to the provisions, included in the promises to prayer, and no exclusion from its promises. “Every one that asketh, receiveth.” The word of our Lord is to this all-embracing effect: “If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it.”

Here are some of the comprehensive, and exhaustive statements of the Word of God about prayer, the things to be taken in by prayer, the strong promise made in answer to prayer: “Pray without ceasing;” “continue in prayer;” “continuing instant in prayer;” “in everything by prayer, let your request be made known unto God;” “pray always, pray and not faint;” “men should pray everywhere;” “praying always, with all prayer and supplication.”

What clear and strong statements are those which are put in the Divine record, to furnish us with a sure basis of faith, and to urge, constrain and encourage us to pray! How wide the range of prayer, as given us, in the Divine Revelation! How these Scriptures incite us to seek the God of prayer, with all our wants, with all our burdens!

In addition to these statements left on record for our encouragement, the sacred pages teem with facts, examples, incidents, and observations, stressing the importance and the absolute necessity of prayer, and putting emphasis on its all-prevailing power.

The utmost reach and full benefit of the rich promises of the Word of God, should humbly be received by us, and put to the test. The world will never receive the full benefits of the Gospel until this be done. Neither Christian experience nor Christian living will be what they ought to be till these Divine promises have been fully tested by those who pray. By prayer, we bring these promises of God’s holy will into the realm of the actual and the real. Prayer is the philosopher’s stone which transmutes them into gold.

If it be asked, what is to be done in order to render God’s promises real, the answer is, that we must pray, until the words of the promise are clothed upon with the rich raiment of fulfilment.

God’s promises are altogether too large to be mastered by desultory praying. When we examine ourselves, all too often, we discover that our praying does not rise to the demands of the situation; is so limited that it is little more than a mere oasis amid the waste and desert of the world’s sin. Who of us, in our praying, measures up to this promise of our Lord: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to My Father.”

How comprehensive, how far reaching, how all-embracing! How much is here, for the glory of God, how much for the good of man! How much for the manifestation of Christ’s enthroned power, how much for the reward of abundant faith! And how great and gracious are the results which can be made to accrue from the exercise of commensurate, believing prayer!

Look, for a moment, at another of God’s great promises, and discover how we may be undergirded by the Word as we pray, and on what firm ground we may stand on which to make our petitions to our God: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

In these comprehensive words, God turns Himself over to the will of His people. When Christ becomes our all-in-all, prayer lays God’s treasures at our feet. Primitive Christianity had an easy and practical solution of the situation, and got all which God had to give. That simple and terse solution is recorded in John’s First Epistle:“Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”

Prayer, coupled with loving obedience, is the way to put God to the test, and to make prayer answer all ends and all things. Prayer, joined to the Word of God, hallows and makes sacred all God’s gifts. Prayer is not simply to get things from God, but to make those things holy, which already have been received from Him. It is not merely to get a blessing, but also to be able to give a blessing. Prayer makes common things holy and secular things, sacred. It receives things from God with thanksgiving and hallows them with thankful hearts, and devoted service.

In the First Epistle to Timothy, Paul gives us these words: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

That is a statement which gives a negative to mere asceticism. God’s good gifts are to be holy, not only by God’s creative power, but, also, because they are made holy to us by prayer. We receive them, appropriate them and sanctify them by prayer.

Doing God’s will, and having His Word abiding in us, is an imperative of effectual praying. But, it may be asked, how are we to know what God’s will is? The answer is, by studying His Word, by hiding it in our hearts, and by letting the Word dwell in us richly. “The entrance of Thy word, giveth light.”

To know God’s will in prayer, we must be filled with God’s Spirit, who maketh intercession for the saints, and in the saints, according to the will of God. To be filled with God’s Spirit, to be filled with God’s Word, is to know God’s will. It is to be put in such a frame of mind, to be found in such a state of heart, as will enable us to read and interpret aright the purposes of the Infinite. Such filling of the heart, with the Word and the Spirit, gives us an insight into the will of the Father, and enables us to rightly discern His will, and puts within us, a disposition of mind and heart to make it the guide and compass of our lives.

Epaphras prayed that the Colossians might stand “perfect and complete in all the will of God.” This is proof positive that, not only may we know the will of God, but that we may know all the will of God. And not only may we know all the will of God, but we may do all the will of God. We may, moreover, do all the will of God, not occasionally, or by a mere impulse, but with a settled habit of conduct. Still further, it shows us that we may not only do the will of God externally, but from the heart, doing it cheerfully, without reluctance, or secret disinclination, or any drawing or holding back from the intimate presence of the Lord.

- From The Necessity of Prayer by E. M. Bounds