Links to Go (February 27, 2019)

African United Methodists Won’t Trade Bible for Dollars

But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us.

How can we take a Biblical stance on cultural issues without appearing hateful or bigoted?

The bottom line is there is not much we can do to avoid being considered haters or bigots. No matter how tender, compassionate, and courteous we try to be, the world is in rebellion against the truth of God’s Word. The Bible clearly states that God has created us male and female, homosexual behavior is a sin, and it’s wrong for a man to dress like a woman. The world has come to believe Satan’s lie that homosexuality is a gender instead of a behavior. But we can’t alter God’s truth. No matter how tactful we try to express it, the truth goes against the grain of popular opinion.

An Agenda for Moderates

The problem with today’s left-wing and right-wing ideas is that they are both based on a scarcity mind-set. They are based upon us/them, friend/enemy, politics is war, life is conflict.
They are both based on the fantasy that the other half of America can be conquered, and when it disappears we can get everything we want. They are both based on the idea that if we can just concentrate enough power in the centralized authoritarian state, then we can ram through the changes we seek.

Seven Benefits to the Coming Opposition

So, how can the coming opposition be an advantage to the mission of Jesus Christ in North America? Here are seven ways that we can anticipate finding a kingdom blessing in the loss of our earthly status:

  1. Opposition Reminds Us of What Matters
  2. Opposition Weeds Out the Frauds
  3. Opposition Raises Up Prophetic Voices
  4. Opposition Moves People to the Margins
  5. Opposition Enhances the Need for Genuine Discipleship
  6. Opposition Unites Believers
  7. Ultimately, Opposition Increases, not Diminishes, the number of Jesus’ Disciples

When God Doesn’t

What do we do when we feel as if God has forgotten us? And just as difficult, how do we deal with those in our lives who allow their brokenness to cause our own? It’s a difficult lesson when you’re an adult and nearly impossible for children but it’s happening all around us. Church, we have a responsibility to help those struggling.

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable

The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism.

The tech giant fighting anti-vaxxers isn’t Twitter or Facebook. It’s Pinterest

Even still, Pinterest seems to be the first social media company that is willing to take responsibility for the content on its pages–beyond industry mainstays like banning violent or pornographic images, perhaps–recognizing that the truth of content is as integral to a user’s experience as the interface that serves it.

Why Are Bots Unable to Check “I Am Not a Robot” Checkboxes?

So why is all this hard for a bot to beat? Because now you’ve got a ridiculous amount of messy human behaviors to simulate, and they’re almost unknowable, and they keep changing, and you can’t tell when. Your bot might have to sign up for a Google service and use it convincingly on a single computer, which should look different from the computers of other bots, in ways you don’t understand. It might need convincing delays and stumbles between key presses, scrolling and mouse movements. This is all incredibly difficult to crack and teach a computer, and complexity comes at a financial cost for the spammer. They might break it for a while, but if it costs them (say) $1 per successful attempt, it’s usually not worth them bothering.

Stranded Amtrak train heads north to Seattle

With the help of heat, power and food, a passenger said the mood on board had remained surprisingly upbeat.
“It’s just been like a giant kumbaya party,” Dodson said early Tuesday. “Strangers are playing cards. A teenager played his ukulele to kids to get them to sleep. Ladies who have never met before were dancing in aisles.”

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