Government & Politics
PIVOTAL IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL: “Federal officials will consider an immigrant’s use of welfare benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid as a negative factor in deciding on the eligibility of the immigrant’s permanent legal residency or on a temporary visa. 'It will also help promote immigrant success in the United States as they seek opportunity here,‘ Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters Monday at the White House. 'Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America.’ The Department of Homeland Security placed the regulation in the Federal Register on Monday, and it goes into effect Oct. 14.” (The Daily Signal)
MCCABE SEEKS REVENGE: “Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe sued the Justice Department and FBI on Thursday for his firing last year, which he says was politically-motivated retribution for failing to support President Donald Trump. In the complaint, McCabe accuses the Justice Department and FBI of ‘unlawful retaliation for his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man,’ a reference to Trump.” (The Daily Caller)
GUN-CONTROL NONSTARTER? “Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, are lead sponsors of a bill to expand background checks to include gun show and internet sales. … But there are significant differences in what the two parties would be willing to accept in a gun control measure, and that wide gap is not bridged by the Toomey-Manchin bill. House Democrats, for starters, say the Toomey-Manchin background check bill doesn’t go far enough.” (Washington Examiner)
NRA FALLOUT: “Julie Golob, a professional sport shooter and a strong public advocate for gun rights, announced Monday she was resigning from the National Rifle Association board before the end of her three-year term. She is the fourth member in the past two weeks to leave the board of the NRA in a sign of further upheaval within the nation’s most powerful gun rights group.** (The Washington Post)
ESA ADJUSTMENTS: "The Trump administration announced on Monday it would change how it implements the Endangered Species Act. … The revisions announced in the new rule were a culmination of more than a year of efforts to loosen restrictions written to protect hundreds of species judged to be under pressure. The Interior Department has argued that a streamlining is necessary to update how it enforces the 1973 law, including allowing the federal government to begin to measure the economic costs of protecting some species.” (Politico)
Around the Nation
EPSTEIN UPDATE: “Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in his lower Manhattan jail cell with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck and secured to the top of a bunk bed,” according to the New York Post. The New York Times adds, “One of the two people guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he apparently hanged himself in a federal jail cell was not a full-fledged correctional officer, and neither guard had checked on Mr. Epstein for several hours before he was discovered.” Meanwhile, NBC News reports that “FBI agents raided Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean on Monday in a vivid display that the probe into his alleged sex trafficking ring is continuing despite his death.”
ASSAILANT’S FRIEND CHARGED: “Federal prosecutors announced charges Monday against Ethan Kollie and accused him of buying weaponry used by [the assailant] in last week’s mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. … Benjamin C. Glassman, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Ohio, said Mr. Kollie bought the body armor, large-capacity drum magazine and a part of the AR-15-style weapon Betts used in the Aug. 4 attack.” (The Washington Times)
RECIPE FOR VOTER FRAUD: “California’s ambitious effort to automate voter registration at Department of Motor Vehicle offices produced almost 84,000 duplicate records and more than twice that number with political party mistakes, according to an audit released Friday by state officials.” (Los Angeles Times)
VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM: “The Land of Lincoln will require public schools to incorporate LGBTQ figures into history lessons. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed House Bill 246, which mandates the following: ‘In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.’” (The Washington Times)
POLICY: “Red flag” laws are the wrong solution to mass shootings (National Review)
POLICY: Universal background checks are constitutionally suspect (National Review)
HUMOR: Buttigieg: Trump “mirrors Hitler’s rhetoric” by using “a very similar alphabet” (IMAO)~The Patriot Post
What makes a man, specifically a pastor, leave his wife of over 20 years, his three teenage children, his ministry, and his entire faith — and publicly apologize for not supporting homosexual relationships and unions?
Joshua Harris, former lead pastor of Covenant Life Church, a megachurch in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was best known for his monstrously popular book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which he wrote at 21 years of age. He served as pastor from 2004 to 2015 until departing for British Columbia for graduate studies at Regent College.
In recent weeks, Harris announced to the world that he had not only decided to abandon his pulpit but also his family and even his faith. The accounts, posted via Instagram, show that he and his wife have made a mutual decision to separate. Perfectly fitting for today’s informal, less-than-committed culture, the post featured a photo of Harris and his wife announcing their plans to “continue our life together as friends” while alluding to “significant changes” faced by the couple during passing years.
A side note: Life is forever changing, but that does not equate with marital separation nor with the need to abandon one’s beliefs. Yet, what a dramatic conflict in the heart, mind, and body of one who preached covenant relationships and their importance to God, even as an author who taught the call to purity in teen lives was clearly moved from what had been a very legalistic view to the polar opposite, appearing to skip that middle ground by lurching headlong into the ideology of secularism. This is apparently the story of Joshua Harris.
Not only did the young man, rooted in the theology of Calvinism, separate from his wife and kids and leave the pulpit, he also declared: “I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”
Harris continued, “But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry.”
Harris referenced his apparent “repenting of my self-righteousness,” in what would be assumed to be his past writings and teachings from his doctrinal view that dating in the teen years could lead to a focus of self and sex. But he didn’t stop there. The former shepherd of a very large flock, whose influence impacted many, went further by indicating his new support of homosexual relations and unions.
“Deconstruction,” “failing away” — this former pastor has chosen culture over Christ.
The “True Love Waits” movement, launched in 1993 by Southern Baptists, taught commitment and sexual abstinence. The movement intersected Harris’s book release in 1997. His book suggested abandoning dating completely. The “True Love Waits” effort was aimed to equip teens with teachings to avoid sexual intercourse outside of marriage as they dated. Harris’s book taught that abstinence from dating was best in a more extreme approach based on his upbringing and denomination.
Harris is just one example of many who are confronted with such a choice. His, however, takes on more celebrity in light of his story.
A few observations.
At least Joshua Harris walked away from a post of leadership in his congregation as he clearly struggles with his own beliefs. He now lives in Canada and owns his own firm providing marketing and public-relations work. He struggles, as many do. Prayers are lifted for those in this fight to reconcile beliefs, truths, and our culture.
But it’s critical to differentiate that which is denominational versus that which is Christian.
Denominations — are man-made rules that are incorporated into teachings to upload traditions within church organizations. The Christian faith is a miraculous faith that takes the Bible — comprised of the Old and New Testaments, recorded in 66 books, written over about 1,500 years by 35-40 different individuals — and brings teachings to life. These truths are not necessarily the most accepted nor the most popular, but they are the best for believers, inspired by a holy, righteous God who loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place to pay the penalty required of all for our sins. Denominations don’t save, perform miracles, or change lives. Christ does.
Yet, when Harris apologizes that his lack of inclusion and support of the homosexual lifestyle has contributed to a culture of bigotry, it’s pretty clear he’s abandoned not only a denominational teaching but also a Biblical truth. Joshua Harris is not deconstructing his faith. He’s arguing with God.
And so it is with us all. We are created in the image of God, yet have free will. God’s Word teaches us the best way, but our free will allows us to choose. Harris, as each of us, make choices daily.
Harris battles his own beliefs from a public platform. But every single individual walks a similar path with a choice to either believe and say the same thing about love, sin, mercy, forgiveness, righteousness, peace, etc. that God does — homologeo (Gr), which means to confess — or reject what God says and make our own way.
Sometimes, culture wins hearts and minds, as it appears to have done in the case of Joshua Harris and countless others. But many times, Christ prevails with lives lived in liberty, not license, and freedom found in faith, not in the Secular Trinity — Me, Myself and I. ~The Patriot Post