Sky Links, 5-18-19

We’re in an economic war with China. It’s futile to compromise.

-Steve Bannon 

Getting tough with China to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States was the linchpin of President Trump’s electoral march through the Rust Belt during his 2016 victory. Today, the goal of the radical cadre running China — the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — is to be the global hegemonic power. The president’s threatened tariffs on Sunday demonstrate the severity of this threat. But as Washington and Beijing wrap up months of negotiations on a trade deal this month, whatever emerges won’t be a trade deal. It will be a temporary truce in a years-long economic and strategic war with China.

These are six “understandings” that highlight why it is futile to compromise with this regime.

The first understanding: The CCP has been waging economic war against industrial democracies ever since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and now China has emerged as the greatest economic and national security threat the United States has ever faced.

As a framework for the current trade talks, China must agree to end forced technology transfers; intellectual property theft; cyberintrusions into business networks; currency manipulation; high tariff and nontariff barriers; and unfair subsidies to state-owned enterprises. However, if the CCP agrees to the United States’ demands in an enforceable manner, it would amount to a legal and regulatory dismantling of Chinese state capitalism.

Americans Paid For The Internet. We Deserve Free Speech On It

-Daniel Greenfield

“But, it’s a private company.”

It’s a familiar argument. Bring up the problem of Google, Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative speech and many conservatives will retort that it’s a free market. The big dot com monopolies created their own companies, didn’t they? And we wouldn’t want government regulation of business.

Facebook censors our new ‘still one of us’ ad campaign

-Iona Institute
Facebook has censored our new ‘still one of us’ ad campaign which we launched last week. It has been placed behind a notice of warning and we are no longer allowed us to promote it. The campaign is currently running on a number of billboards in various parts of the country and we had extended the campaign to Facebook where we were paying a small amount (€150 in total) to bring it to a wider audience.

Christian Student Forced to Write Islamic Conversion Creed Appeals Case to Supreme Court

-Tyler O'Neil

 During the 2014-2015 school year, a Christian teenage girl was forced to recite the Islamic conversion creed — the Shahada — in writing for her 11th-grade class. She was also taught that "Most Muslims' faith is stronger than the average Christian." The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) sued the school responsible, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled with the school. TMLC appealed to the Supreme Court, filing a Writ of Certiorari on Monday.

The Places in America with the Most Cases of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the crime of transporting a person from one country to another, usually for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and it’s much more common that one may know. Underlying much of the prostitution industry and illegal massage parlors is the horrible fact that many of the women supposedly working there are being held against their will.
Spotting when someone is being trafficked against their will is challenging, but increasingly airlines, hotels, and other industries are training their employees to spot when it’s happening and to alert authorities. Increasingly, flight attendants and hotel receptionists are helping to spot and rescue these victims.

As a student at the University of Notre Dame, I have always been taught to try to make a difference in my community. So when I noticed that campus culture has a pornography problem, I wanted to do everything possible to remedy it.

On campus, I have met several people who struggled with an addiction to this pervasive drug. Pornography harms users’ ability to form healthy relationships, and it harms women by fostering a culture of exploitation and violence. But while it’s no secret that many students consume pornography, what most people don’t acknowledge is that many students want to stop.

The Spell That Must Be Broken Over America | Dr. Lance Wallnau

Andrew Klavan | Can We Keep Silent in a World Gone Mad?

Dr Charles Kraft Shares His Story: Rediscovering Jesus' Ministry

Tim Wimber Shares His Story

Anne Kennedy's Reflections on Rachel Held Evans' Legacy

For context, this was Anne's central commentary on Rachel that the following post is about:
I said this post, in some very indirect way, is about RHE. I prayed for her for many years, being angry with the way she undermined and twisted the scriptures. She wanted to be a help, as we all do, and wanted to make sense of a church that I think, from all that I have read of her writing, failed her, as it does so many. To make a place for herself, then, she read the bible with a revising, judging eye, inviting others, like her, to stand in judgment over the text.
This angered me, deeply, because when you stand over the text, the text can never stand over you to judge the truth about you. And if the text never can judge you, you can never catch hold of the hope of the resurrection—that though the Lord died, he rose, he defeated death itself.
Death in Eastertide

Anne wrote a follow-up post, Answering A Kind Comment.

The comment is in italics, followed by Anne's response:

She helped me face and work through my fundamentalist upbringing in which I became a believer out of fear of hell rather than the love of Jesus. She reassured me that my doubt was survivable. She introduced me to liturgical praying (lots of BCP) as a way to talk to God when doubt had taken the words from me. And I could go on. Did I always agree with her? No. Did I ever doubt her love for Jesus and his word? Never. So I was quite distraught, liking you and all, to read the last paragraph of this post in which you seem to be inferring that Rachel wasn’t a Christian and hoping she’d made some sort of death bed confession. Perhaps I read too much into what you said. Anne, we’re all in Christ, eating at the same table, though perhaps you and Rachel are at different ends of it. I hope you’ve been reading the deluge of tweets from people who decided to stay in the church or who went into ministry or learned to love others better because of Rachel. It’s an astounding testament to God’s speaking through her…All of this to say that I’d really like it if you’d reconsider your take on her. She’s one of us.

And so here we have a deep and tragic divide within the visible church. There are two kinds of churches—biblically faithful, orthodox churches on one hand, and on the other churches where the Bible is subject to revisionist reading, and where church doctrine is measured by the cultural doctrines of the day.

In other words, some churches cease being true biblical churches when they willingly and purposefully embrace teaching contrary to that same bible.

This isn’t to say that everyone inside of those churches is then not a Christian, nor that no church can have any error to be a real church, but rather that some teachings are big enough to set a church, and certainly individuals within the church, outside of ‘the bounds of orthodoxy.’ Which is to say they are no longer truly Christian.
I think there is a great deal of confusion for evangelicals right now about what constitutes real error with regard to issues of race. But that is a topic for another time. What is very clear is that the biblical gospel does not allow for the “radical inclusive love” that Rachel espoused. God is love, of course, but that love is not defined by modern 21st century inclusivest, intersectional categories. It has to be defined by the Bible itself. It is agape—the self giving love that characterizes the Godhead and is the foundation of the created order. It is holy, perfect, and does not desire the death sinners but that they should turn from their wicked ways and live.

And so an unapologetic embrace of the LGBTQ agenda is not biblically Christian. Those who teach and preach it can be said, without any confusion at all, to be outside the visible boundaries of biblical faith. The church, in its true and biblical sense, cannot embrace that agenda. Can it embrace individuals caught up in that life and offer to them the way of repentance, the hope of salvation? Yes it can. And it should. And I think one reason why Rachel had such a far reaching message is that it had not.

I left the Episcopal church—probably as Rachel was entering it—for this reason: it looks inviting to say that everyone is welcome as they are, no questions asked, but it is actually cruel. In so far as inviting someone in out of a snowstorm, but then opening all the windows and doors, so that the furious icy snow comes in with them, is cruel. There is a reason the human heart longs for the warm shelter of the church—because inside the heating fire of God’s atoning grace binds sinners together in one holy fellowship. But the sin has to stay outside, and we can’t change the definition of sin to make it easier.

And so we are not sitting at opposite sides of one long table. We are not eating of the one bread and drinking out of the one cup. We are talking about two different faiths, two different kinds of love, two different lords.

Christians who love sinners, as Christ has commanded them to do, must speak the truth about who that God is, and who we are as his creatures. Moreover, we ought to pray that those who are walking away from his warm and gracious mercy will turn around, will repent, will walk back toward him. And that when they come to the haven of the church, the church does not throw away that mercy by saying that it is something other than what it really is.

Answering A Kind Comment
-Anne Kennedy 

Rod Dreher quoted Dana Ames who said this about Rachel:

I spent +30 years as an Evangelical. I was on my way into Orthodoxy as Rachel’s star was rising. I read her blog faithfully until she stepped over the line about which Rod writes, but I continued to check it every once in a while to see what Rachel was working on next. I believe she remained a Christian and could affirm the Nicene Creed. I also believe she became confused about something important, as pretty much everyone is right now in the Western world.
Rachel had the following she did because she was a good writer who exuded real honesty, and was asking questions Evangelicals were thinking but were often afraid to say out loud because of the inability of those in authority in Evangelical institutions to engage with those questions.

And this:

I think Rachel became a Progressive Christian because she was a kind person; she wanted Christians to be kind to those she believed were excluded, moved from one thin theology to another that supposedly justified that kind of inclusion, and found friendships and intellectual and other kinds of support among other Protestants who had also moved in that direction. Many of the problems of Evangelicalism she highlighted, other than the issues around sexuality, have been real problems that the majority of Evangelicals have not yet managed to adequately address in theology and praxis. If there is any blame to be cast for Rachel’s “drift”, in my view a large portion of it falls into the lap of conservative American Evangelicals and their ineptitude in addressing all of issues she highlighted in her work.