Sky Links, 1-26-19

--Updated, 1-27--

Zinzendorf and Moravian Missionary Principles 3/4
-Josh Marcolina

Section 3: Moravian Thought, Continued
The Moravians introduced the idea of a whole church on mission. It was not up to missionary societies to reach the lost, but churches themselves need to raise up missionaries to go, devoting themselves to prayer.[1] Most Moravian missionaries were not highly educated, but were lay people from the church. They used their skills to support themselves as missionaries, following the tent making strategy of Paul. Zinzendorf believed that those involved in commerce and trade, more so than factory work or farming, would make great missionaries since they have flexibility to move and their profession can provide interactions and opportunities to present the gospel in conversation with the communities they are trying to reach.[2]
Missionaries should be happy and joyful, having their life be an example of Christ to those they are trying to reach as they live by the power of the Spirit. They need to be humble, not wanting to rule over the lost, but instead work alongside them to share the gospel. This means learning the native language and respecting the culture. Zinzendorf did not wish to see Herrnhut multiply across the world but instead wanted the gospel to adapt to the culture to the point where the natives lead the church. This also meant that he did not want any denominational preference to arise. He simply wanted Christ to be preached and wanted to avoid any sectarianism that could arise.[3] This most likely stemmed from his experience at university in Halle and Wittenberg where he found the ecumenical balance between Pietism and Lutheranism.
A key aspect of Moravian mission was a focus on those who are marginalized in society. This meant going to countries that were overlooked by others and going to those like slaves and Native Americans who were passed off as not worth the time to evangelize. This love for the marginalized came from the Moravian’s own experience of wandering Europe searching for a home.[4] Using the first fruit principles, missionaries could seek out those whom society had ignored and share with them the good news of Christ.

[1] Schattschneider, “Pioneers in Mission,” 64; Mulholland, “Moravians, Puritans, and the Modern Missionary Movement,” 224.
[2] Mulholland, “Moravians, Puritans, and the Modern Missionary Movement,” 224.
[3] Schattschneider, “Pioneers in Mission,” 66; Gallagher, “The Integration of Mission and Theology Practice,” 195-196.

[4] Gallagher, “The Integration of Mission and Theology Practice,” 193; Mulholland, “Moravians, Puritans, and the Modern Missionary Movement,” 225.

A Home for Everyone? (#OneChurchPlanMyths #UMC)
-Matt O'Reilly

More recently, the Wesleyan Covenant Association has reminded the larger Church that the adoption of the so-called One Church Plan is “untenable” and would force the formation of a new Methodist denomination. It’s worth remembering that this is not a new posture taken by these folks. Conservatives have been saying this for a very, very long time. What’s new is the amount of pressure and influence being presently given to changing the Church’s definition of marriage and its ordination standards. So, the question is: how can the so-called One Church Plan be a home for everyone when a significant number of United Methodists have been saying for decades that they cannot live under such a plan? And therein lies the myth. The so-called One Church plan doesn’t make a home for everyone. It makes a home for everyone except the people who can’t live with it.
What’s even more striking is that the so-called One Church plan is the only plan (to my knowledge) that any major group has officially said it cannot live with. No one has said they’ll feel forced from their home if the Connectional Conference Plan passes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of any Progressive groups who’ve officially said they’ll leave if a version of the Traditional Plan passes. I do know of some individuals who’ve said as much, but no group-as-a-whole. Again, leave a comment and let me know if I’ve missed an announcement of that sort. Somehow, the only plan under which a significant constituency has publicly said it would feel forced out of its home is the one plan that alleges to be a home for everyone. Curious that.

Prison Was My First Pulpit
-Morgan Lee

The valedictorian of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies had been incarcerated longer than many of her fellow graduates had been alive. “I got a standing ovation at graduation,” said Linda Barkman, who graduated last year at the age of 65 and was imprisoned for 30 of those years. “I was shocked. It was not what I expected from my past.”
I wanted to die, and God said, No, you’re not allowed to die. I was so angry at God. I remember screaming out to him, “You say you can make a new creation out of me, so you have to turn me into somebody I can live with. I don’t know what part is good, what part is not. All I know is everybody who has ever loved me or been loved by me is now hurt, and I just don’t know what to do.”
After that, God started showing me that he could use me if I would let him, if I would stop fighting. It took a long time. I began to see Jesus and his love and mercy in the day-by-day things. Not long after I got to prison, I started helping with church services in the psychiatric unit. For 28 of the 30 years I was incarcerated, I was the lay pastor for that prison unit.
Prison is a pretty good seminary in a lot of ways. One of the women I interviewed for my dissertation told me, “I had a 27-year retreat. People don’t understand it, but you do. Jesus was with me every single day of those 27 years.”

Executive Branch Sites Continue to Promote Obama’s Climate Politics
-James Taylor

As president of the United States, Donald Trump might be the official head of the federal executive branch, but climate alarmists embedded in numerous executive departments apparently don’t care about such things as democratic elections. Two years into the Trump administration, career bureaucrats continue to promote blatantly political climate propaganda on executive branch websites, including numerous statements that directly contradict Trump’s policies and past statements.
There is no justification for any administration to subvert the presentation of objective science on official federal websites or championing one side in a contentious scientific debate. There is even less justification for over-the-top, anti-science alarmist climate propaganda to dominate executive branch webpages in defiance of the current chief executive’s policy positions.

Good, Bad & Ugly: How the Media Covered False Smear of Covington Kids
-Kyle Drennen

Before all the facts were known, the media ran with a story accusing pro-life activists from Covington Catholic High School of racism during an altercation with left-wing demonstrators at the Lincoln Memorial after the March for Life on Friday. That false narrative began to fall apart almost immediately, once additional video surfaced proving how the original, social media version of the story, was false. NewsBusters has analyzed the coverage and assigned a grade to various prominent media outlets in their handling of the fake news.
  • During a hostile interview with one of the Covington students aired on Wednesday's Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked if teen owed an "apology" due to his "aggressive" behavior. 
  • On Sunday’s Kasie DC, a one-sided panel discussion devolved into pundits comparing the Covington students to neo-Nazis and segregationists.
  • USA Today: Even after the incident had been debunked, the paper still insisted on publishing a smear against the Covington students, featuring a softball interview with Phillips, who trashed the kids as “beastly” and having a “mob mentality.”
  • New York Times: On Monday, the liberal paper was eager to blast the “racist” teenagers for having “mocked a Native American veteran.”
  • The Washington Post: On Sunday, the paper published a very one-sided article on the front of the Metro section based only on the Native American activist's lies about being “surrounded” by the Covington kids.

I'm About Ready to Buy a MAGA Hat Just to Spite These Child-Hating _______.
-Jim Treacher

But as we head into week 2 of the MAGA Kid Saga, I'm finding common cause with my Trumpkin brothers and sisters. Whatever our differences, I've always agreed with them that the media is astonishingly biased and corrupt. The abject shamelessness of our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters, the self-appointed gatekeepers of the truth, has never been more apparent than it's been over the past week.
If you attend a march in Washington, D.C., while wearing a cheap red hat that can be purchased at any gift shop or souvenir stand in the city, there's every chance you'll be branded a racist for maintaining your composure while complete strangers scream at you and pound drums in your face. And even when irrefutable video evidence proves you've done nothing wrong, a pack of bigots with press passes will still blame you for angering them.

The Abyss of Hate Versus Hate
-Andrew Sullivan

What I saw was extraordinary bigotry, threats of violence, hideous misogyny, disgusting racism, foul homophobia, and anti-Catholicism — not by the demonized schoolboys, but by grown men with a bullhorn, a small group of self-styled Black Hebrew Israelites. They’re a fringe sect — but an extremely aggressive one — known for inflammatory bigotry in public. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated them a hate group: “strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic.” They scream abuse at gays, women, white people, Jews, interracial couples, in the crudest of language. In their public display of bigotry, they’re at the same level as the Westboro Baptist sect: shockingly obscene. They were the instigators of the entire affair.
And yet the elite media seemed eager to downplay their role, referring to them only in passing, noting briefly that they were known to be anti-Semitic and anti-gay.

To put it bluntly: They were 16-year-olds subjected to verbal racist assault by grown men; and then the kids were accused of being bigots. It just beggars belief that the same liberals who fret about “micro-aggressions” for 20-somethings were able to see 16-year-olds absorbing the worst racist garbage from religious bigots … and then express the desire to punch the kids in the face.
How did this grotesque inversion of the truth become the central narrative for what seemed to be the entire class of elite journalists on Twitter? That’s the somewhat terrifying question.


There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press, Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.

Inside the Black Hebrew Israelites' World of Hate
-Joseph Klein

Members of a black supremacist group known as The House of Israel set off the confrontation in Washington, D.C. last week that created a national media firestorm. Many in the media, however, were all too anxious to blame the clash on white Catholic high school students from Kentucky who were in the nation’s capital to participate peacefully in the annual March for Life. The media vultures pounced on an out-of-context video clip that appeared to show the students disrespecting a Native American elder very nearby who had approached them while chanting and beating on a drum. Once a longer video emerged, however, it was clear that the black supremacists who were in the same vicinity, not the Catholic students, were the culprits. The members of The House of Israel, part of a broader movement of Black Israelites, were captured on the video insulting Native Americans as “savages” as long as they continued worshipping idols, and then insulting women who dared to argue with these self-described “real men.” After observing students from the Covington Catholic high school standing nearby, the Black Hebrew Israelites hurled vicious homophobic, racist and anti-Catholic insults at them.
The House of Israel members who precipitated the Washington, D.C. confrontation are an offshoot of a broader black religious movement that is sometimes referred to as Black Israelism or Hebrew Israelites. As described in Forward, “Hebrew Israelites are people of color, mostly African Americans, who view the biblical Israelites as their historic ancestors. For Hebrew Israelites, the transatlantic slave trade was foretold in scripture and they understand those Africans who were enslaved in the Americas as Israelites, severed from their heritage.” The movement is more than a century old.
Within the movement, there are a variety of black groups claiming Jewish roots and an historic connection to Israel.

Where President Trump might deliver his next State of the Union address
-James M. Thunder

On January 30, 2018, President Trump delivered a State of the Union message that was extremely well received by the American people whatever their party affiliation, and very poorly received by the Democrat members of the Senate and House.
How well was it received by the people? It was the highest-rated presidential address in the history of cable news. A CBS instant poll showed: 97% of Republicans liked it; 72% of independents; and 43% of Democrats. 80% stated they believed the President was trying to unite the country rather than divide it.

Why Gen-Z Loves Closed-Captioning
-Lance Ulanoff

“Everyone does it.”
These were the words from my college-aged daughter when I caught her lounging on our couch, streaming Friends with 24-point closed captioning on. She has no hearing impairment, and I wanted to know what she was up to.
Does “everyone” do it? My wife and I turned to Facebook and a private, nationwide group for parents with near-adult children. “Anyone else’s college student (without a hearing disability) watch TV with the closed captioning on and insist that everyone does it?” my wife posted. Seven hundred responses (and counting) later, we had our answer.
“It helps me with my ADHD: I can focus on the words, I catch things I missed, and I never have to go back.”
Many parents expressed similar confusion with the TV-watching habits of their millennial and Gen Z children, often followed with, “I thought it was just us.”

Kamala Harris Prophecy
-Charlie Shamp

Charlie received this word on September 26, 2017:

"Behold the woman who will rise from the West."  I looked to see a light-skinned black woman, standing before me, with the authority, poised, to take political power.  And as I looked at the woman, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said it was Kamala Harris.  She will rise from California, in the coming days.
And the Lord said to me, "She has been hand-picked by some, in power, as a queen, to trump President Trump, in 2020." 
And so, this was a strategy, from the enemy; and they were going to use this woman, those that were secretly trying to take out Trump; they saw this woman as someone they could use, to do that.
"This is their hidden vision", the Lord spoke to me, "and it has yet to unfold".  "They will use her to grab the hearts of people and the nation in an attempt to create momentum to build a political bridge from east to west.  They will set her on a course to make major waves in the country, for a time.  Her eyes will be opened and her heart will be changed, when she sees that they have played her, as a pawn, in a political game; only to put forth a rook to upset a king.  In the end, this plan will fail.  She will be broken as a result of this reality.  Through this, I will show her my mercy and teach her about true justice.  Her political future will hang in the ballance, and I will present her with a choice to choose a different road; one that will build bridges across enemy lines and forge friendships from common political rivals.  She is my bridge builder.
I will use her to build new political allies, that help those in need in the nation.  Where she was once hated by some, she will be seen as a trusted ally and praised, as she brings justice to the poor of the country. 
My destiny for her life is that she fulfill the promise that she made to her mother when she was young.  If she chooses, I will lead her down a difficult path, to seal the legacy of her father and mother.  In the end, she will be remembered for the advancement of civil rights and economic justice, among Americans."

Pray for Kamala.

Auditing our Auditors
-Victor Davis Hanson

The Roman satirist Juvenal, in a famous passage, asked, “Who will watch the watchmen?”
That problem of policing the police has troubled Western thinkers from Plato to the American founders.

The framers of the Constitution set in place a brilliant series of legislative, executive and judicial checks and balances to thwart the abuse of power by the powerful. Their pessimistic take on human nature was that all power corrupts. Inevitably, elites will insist that they should not be subject to the very rules they enforce on others.
The sexual-abuse crises within the contemporary Catholic Church arose from the de facto exemptions from the law given to priests. Too many assumed that men of faith were exempt from prosecution because as holy men they would be the last to violate the trust of minors.
One of the ironic things about the Me Too movement was that some of the worst offenders were powerful progressive men such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, NBC host Matt Lauer and PBS interviewer Charlie Rose. They all apparently believed that their loud liberal credentials gave them immunity from being held accountable for their harassment.

Some of the feminist organizers of the recent Women’s March, such as Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, have been linked to racist and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. They apparently assumed that as supposed victims, they could not be viewed as being sympathetic to victimizers.
Given President Trump’s unconventional background, his wheeler-dealer past and the hatred he incurs from the left, few ever give him the benefit of the doubt. The paradoxical result is that his tenure in just two years has become the most investigated, the most audited and the most closely examined presidency in history.
Half the country apparently believes Trump cannot be trusted. The result is that everything he says and does is the object of pushback, opposition and audit.

In contrast, his most frequent accusers—the media—have set themselves up as the country’s moral paragon. Journalists now see themselves as social justice warriors who are immune from the scrutiny to which they subject others.
The result of such self-righteous moral exemption has led to journalism’s nadir, with an unprecedented lack of public confidence in the media. “Fake news” now abounds, from CNN to BuzzFeed.

“This is the worst CRISIS I’ve ever seen”

Think about it - The Wall divides Democrats, the shutdown divides Democrats, Venezuela divides Democrats.
Ditto, the SOTU divides Democrats, Covington divides Democrats.
The Democrats are divided. They are weak. Trump's GOP already controls the Senate. His aim now is to destroy the Democrats in the House. And in the middle of it all is Nancy Pelosi, the House Leader.
Ignore the Hype: Pelosi Is Weak
House Leader Nancy Pelosi is a dream come true for Trump. Aging, lacking energy, out of touch with ordinary Americans and almost certainly a heavy drinker, Pelosi's powers have been declining for some time.
Pelosi is also in a far weaker position than many realize. Rumblings against her from within the Democrats were clear back in 2017. And let's not forget that when Pelosi nominated herself (unopposed) as Speaker in November, 2018, she didn't even win the minimum Democratic Party votes required (218). In fact, 32 opposed her.
This places Pelosi in a difficult situation now, as Trump knows full well. On the one hand, she must placate the vocal extremist elements within the Party, a rag-tag rabble of radicals such as the millenial socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the anti-semitic bigot, Ilhan Omar. These people will not negotiate, or strike deals with Trump's GOP about, say, The Wall. Lacking intelligence and maturity, they simply don't know how to negotiate. Their approach is infantile, zero-sum, ideological.

Incredible as it may seem, these extremists are popular with the Democrat base. A recent poll showed that 74% of Democrats would vote for Cortez as POTUS, which reveals how extreme the Democrat base has become. But of course, the same poll showed that 24% of Democrats would NOT vote for Cortez. So as well as placating the extremists, Pelosi must also reassure the more moderate elements in the Democratic Party who are not radical extremists, or she risks losing them.
Of course, these more moderate Democrat representatives want a bi-partisan deal on the Wall.
To a strategic genius such as Donald J Trump, this crisis within the Democrats can be summarized in one word : OPPORTUNITY.

YouTube vows to recommend fewer conspiracy theory videos
-Julia Carrie Wong and Sam Levin

YouTube will recommend fewer videos that “could misinform users in harmful ways”, the company announced on Friday, in a shift for a platform that has faced criticism for amplifying conspiracy theories and extremism.
The change concerns YouTube’s recommendations feature, which automatically creates a playlist of videos for users to watch next. The recommendations are the result of complex and opaque algorithms designed to capture a user’s interest, but they have become a locus of criticism when YouTube directs people to potentially harmful and false content that they would not have otherwise sought out.
The company did not provide a clear definition of what it considers to be harmful misinformation, but said that some examples were “videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the Earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11”.

Silencing Conservatives: Spotify Removes All PragerU Content
-Chris White

Music-streaming platform Spotify removed PragerU’s advertisements from its platform, noting the content does not comply with the company’s editorial policies, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
“Our policy team has re-reviewed the ads that you have submitted through Ad Studio and determined that the content of the ads do not comply with our editorial policies,” Spotify noted in an email to PragerU.
TheDCNF saw a copy of the email, which also alludes to other noncompliance issues.
“Our policy team has made the decision to stop all existing ads and not approve new ads coming through in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions or require further clarification,” the email adds.
Most of the ads are tame and direct listeners to click on the conservative group’s website to learn more about “intersectionality” and other social issues.

Trump Continues to Prepare the Battlefield
-Brian Cates

The ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in chapter 6 of his timeless book “The Art of War” about how the successful military leader wins a battle before the fight even begins. Trump knows this chapter well because “Art of War” is his favorite book and he fashioned his book “Art of the Deal” after it.
To win the battle before the fight is joined, pick the ground, prepare it completely to your advantage, and then guide your enemy there. Leave nothing to chance.

As the winning side marshals its forces and prepares the ground, behind the scenes, the Democrats/DNC Media/Spygate plotters can see themselves being surrounded.
Some try to sell you on the idea that the side leaking in a panic—throwing out one quickly debunked fake news story after another is actually about to eat Trump’s lunch. Don’t make me laugh.
The two key places the battleground in this fight will run through–in the move from exposing the Spygate plot to prosecutions—are the DOJ and the courts, especially the Supreme Court.
Why a New Attorney General for Prosecution Phase?

The real battlefield has never been in the news media. The losing side picked the wrong battlefield. All the leaking in the world to The Washington Post or The New York Times won’t change the outcome now.
Trump is getting ready to make two key moves on this battlefield as he prepares for the fight: The first is a new Attorney General for the prosecution phase. The second key move will involve the courts.

 Jeff Durbin: Conversations with Planned Parenthood Supporters

Jeff Durbin and a Mormon Missionary have a Discussion