Sky Links, 12-8-18

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
-Matthew 15:8

Chris Pratt talks about Father's love at Disneyland!

Europeans Rejecting Globalist Agenda
NBC attempted to cast the rioters’ rage as class warfare over policies that favor the rich over the poor. ABC told its viewers the riots were caused by a simple “fuel tax”. Neither network dared mention the truth about these riots, which is that they are a backlash against taxes on carbon being imposed thanks to the French government’s commitments made under the Paris Climate Accords.
And guess what? The French are not the only people who are rejecting government efforts to seize their money and property as a fool’s means of “doing something” to fight the nebulous concept of “climate change.”
One of the main reasons why Angela Merkel is stepping down as Chancellor of Germany in the coming months is because the population there has become enraged by the massively higher utility costs imposed on them by Merkel’s Energiewende initiative that attempted to transform the country’s power sector from burning coal to getting electricity from hundreds of thousands of giant windmills.
In Canada, the province of Ontario is suing to halt the imposition of a federal carbon tax that child Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is attempting to impose, a tax that threatens to destroy that country’s economy. Just a few weeks ago, the voters in Washington State resoundingly rejected the Democrat-controlled government’s attempt to impose what would have been the first statewide carbon tax in the United States.
The riots in Paris are just the latest signal that we are coming to a real inflection point in the global climate scam. The Globalist community latched onto what they first called “global warming” and later shifted to “climate change” 30 years ago as their newest rationalization for the imposition of worldwide socialism. It is no accident at all that literally every proposed “solution” to “climate change” for the last three decades involves seizing the money and property of individuals so that the ruling class can “do something” about the “problem,” a problem which constantly evolves and which they can never seem to quite describe in a way the average person can understand.
But despite their increasingly shrill and desperate efforts at brainwashing, the public has never embraced this “climate change” as an issue of major concern. In every poll taken that asks voters to list the issues they are most concerned about, “climate change” always, without exception, ranks at or near the bottom.
The Paris Riots are a Rejection of Climate-Imposed Socialism -David Blackmon

Absurd Facebook censorship
Censorship on Facebook has reached a level of absurdity. Even seemingly innocuous Christmas images are considered too graphic for sensitive users.
A post with over 11,000 shares dating back to 2015 was given a blackout covering, with the words over it, “This photo may show violent or graphic content.” But instead of a gory image or a disturbing picture underneath it, there was a painting of Santa Claus kneeling at the manger, worshiping the infant Jesus. When the photo was uncovered, the caption read, “This photo was automatically covered so you can decide if you want to see it.”

Facebook censors Santa kneeling in front of baby Jesus as 'violent' -Corinne Weaver

Why we aren't ready for revival, in North America (Chuck Lawless)
Here’s why I wonder if the North American church will experience revival:
  1. We’re not really desperate for God. We may use that kind of “desperation” terminology, but the words don’t always reflect our heart. It’s been some time since I’ve seen a congregation that pleads for God’s presence.
  2. We tend to speak about the sin of others rather than deal with our own sin. We preach strongly against sins that we sometimes tolerate under our own roof. Few people are so broken over personal sin that they can only cry out to God.
  3. We find happiness in our stuff. Sure, we know it’s all fleeting, but we treat it as if it weren’t. The more stuff we have, the “happier” we feel and the less we need God – and we often have much more stuff than people around the world do.
  4. We know little of the Word of God and often less about church history. We don’t know enough about the stories of God’s miraculous intervention and powerful displays to long to see the same. Our general lack of knowledge equates to a corresponding lack of burden.
  5. We have too few persevering, patient, persistent prayer warriors. Our praying is usually reactionary; that is, we pray only when we must. Not many of us lie on our faces pleading with God to fall on us with His power.
  6. We can grow churches without the power of God. That growth may not be the result of non-believers gloriously transformed by the grace of God, but it still results in increased numbers. And, churches that show any record of growth seldom begin praying for revival.
  7. We’re probably not ready to pay the cost of revival. When God falls on us in His power, the result must be a brokenness that leads to repentance from sin and weeping over lostness. It means calling the church to holiness and dealing appropriately with members who choose to live in rebellion. Revival often wounds first before it heals – and I’m simply not convinced the North American church is ready for that.

What are your thoughts?
I’d say just the opposite. Richard Lovelace in his book Dynamics of Spiritual Life, says that over the past 300 years in the British Isles and USA, whenever the Church was as sick and impotent as It is today, there has ALWAYS been a widespread awakening. -Dave MacCarthy
I couldn’t agree more with the assessment of the current condition of the North American Church. Fortunately God has usually not waited for the right conditions but responded to the hearts of a remnant crying out in desperation for Him to visit His people again. -Alec Rowlands
I don’t think I disagree with anything you write here. This is what drives me to my knees. It is a large part of why I preach. Call me foolish, but I think there is perhaps a remnant of His people in North America that want to see revival. May our sovereign God be gracious and send revival.
“Come, and let us return to the Lord” – Hosea 6:1 -Heath Lloyd
As for #4, God’s miraculous interventions include Purim and Passover/Exodus which are rarely mentioned in Evangelicalism. Even though they happened long ago, they are times when God acted and everyone knew it. -Mark
Thank you for this bold and truthful post. I wonder if a local church may experience revival even if revival doesn’t sweep a region or nation. Could these missing preludes to revival be present in a local church but not the wider church? -Scotty
Why the North American Church is Unlikely to See Revival -Chuck Lawless

A recommended book for pastors with depression 
At about 200 pages, this book functioned as a kind of litmus test for me. Am I well enough to give the time and energy to read a book on this when it is for me? I know there have been days and seasons where a book this thorough would have scared me away. Some days, I wouldn’t have had the strength or motivation to even pick it up. Don’t be surprised if you say that it’s too technical (it’s not all stories), that it takes too much energy (it’s not a pamphlet), or that it’s too much to bear (it engages the reader personally).
Meynell’s book is set apart from others in another particular way. Without forsaking biblical instruction, wise counsel, and clear thinking, Meynell offers freedom to shamelessly engage depression more than other books. I’m thinking of other incredible books like Spiritual Depression by Martin Lloyd Jones, Depression by Ed Welch, When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper, and How Long, O Lord? by D. A. Carson. Each of these books offers priceless counsel and consolation. Pastors should read them carefully and be trained by them! But I think Meynell connects more immediately to a pastor who is suffering depression today.
Reading this book is like having a seasoned counselor put his arm around your shoulder and say, “Let’s talk. I’ll tell you my story first.” Meynell is a friend who offers wise and pointed counsel. Simply put, this book isn’t meant to equip pastors for pastoral ministry to a depressed world. It’s a book for pastors who wrestle with depression themselves. What joy to know such a book exists!
Book Review: When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend, by Mark Meynell -Nathan Loudin

Lessons for would be missionaries from John Chau's murder
The recent killing of a 26-year-old U.S. missionary, John Allen Chau, on a remote island in India has raised many questions about global evangelical Protestant missions.
Chau was on a personal mission to convert the Sentinelese, a protected tribe who have avoided contact with the rest of the world. Indian ships monitor the waters to stop outsiders from approaching them. Chau, however, is reported to have asked fishermen to take him illegally to the island where the Sentinelese live. The Sentinelese are reported to have shot and killed him with arrows.
As my research on missionaries shows, this often unwise haste to evangelize the world was the founding characteristic of evangelical missions in the late 19th century.
John Chau may have been influenced by past evangelical missions and their belief in power of faith -William Cameron Townsend

Kevin DeYoung was wrong when he cheeped, "One of the acceptable idolatries among evangelical Christians is the idolatry of the family"
Pastor DeYoung is solid theologically and in most areas of orthopraxy, but the question still remains: Is family one of the acceptable idols among evangelicals today?

How do we determine if this statement is true? The answer is a rather simple one...we examine the evidence. We take a look at the claim made and the facts that are used to support it then determine whether that claim is valid or a strawman. Unfortunately, Pastor DeYoung does not provide tangible evidence in his short article. But this is understandable since it was meant to clarify his tweet and not qualify it.

The problem though is that this is not really something we can gather evidence from without a research survey of sorts. The only survey of recent that might shed light on this is from The State of Theology. Statement number 20 words it this way: "Worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church". 58% of respondents agreed with this statement while 30% disagreed. Could this be the lone smoking gun to claim the family is an idol? Not really!

First, the assumption of the question presupposes that a proper view of church membership is understood. The phrase "attending church" comes with a lot of baggage that assumes simply being in the location where the local assembly meets to worship is actually worship itself. Notice as well that worship is only referenced in regards to doing so with one's family and not with the local church. A better way of stating this would have been to contend the two locations of worship (at home with your family v. the location where your local church meets) against one another. While some may believe this is implied, as one who has taken countless workplace surveys in the military I can assure you that precise wording is key to precise results.

Are there stories of families that have weighed church "attendance" against their family events and fallen in favor of the latter? Yes, just like there are some who have favored against attending church so they can....well...just fill in the blank. Live in an earlier timezone and the game is one right when services are supposed to start? Had a long workweek with more overtime than you can bear and Sunday is your only day off? Lots of studying for those mid-terms that kick off on Monday? You can literally come up with just about any reasoning that someone would use to excuse themselves from corporate worship on the Lord's Day corporate.

Of course, absenteeism on the Lord's Day for the sake of family isn't the only issue Pastor DeYoung highlights but none can be offered with tangible evidence as to their validity or substantiation as to why they qualify his tweet. Perhaps what he tweeted was truly more out of frustration from what he has personally seen in recent times in his own pastoring but that alone is not enough. In fact, I would propose that the evidence proves that the opposite is true of what Pastor DeYoung claims. The family isn't an accepted idol because most just simply don't care about the family either way.

Why Kevin DeYoung is wrong about the family idol -Adam Gray