Monthly Archives: December 2014

December 31, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report and News Headline Alerts

 

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Dec. 31, 2014

BLOOMBERG

The minimum wage will rise in almost half of U.S. states Jan. 1 after local governments helped the lowest earners while efforts to approve a nationwide boost languish in Congress.

At least one former employee of Sony Corp. may have helped hackers orchestrate the cyber-attack on the company’s film and TV unit, according to security researcher Norse Corp. The company narrowed the list of suspects to a group of six people, including at least one Sony veteran with the necessary technical background to carry out the attack.

More Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits for the first time in five weeks, displaying the typical year-end holiday swings that make the data difficult to interpret. Jobless claims rose by 17,000 to 298,000 in the week ended Dec. 27.

Russian inflation quickened to the fastest in more than five years after the country’s worst currency crisis since 1998 stoked price growth. Consumer prices rose 11.4 percent in December from a year earlier.

The Indian government issued an executive order to make it easier for companies to buy land and eventually replace a law that has hindered manufacturing and constrained economic growth.

Five prisoners from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are to be released to the Kazakhstan government, the Defense Department said. They will be released as part of an effort by President Obama to speed transfers and close the facility.

The dollar headed for its best year since at least 2005 amid speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next year as policy makers in Europe and Japan ease further.

The number of arrests in U.K. terrorism probes soared by 40 percent this year as police grappled with growing numbers of British citizens traveling to war-torn Syria to work on behalf of Islamic militants.

The number of Americans dying from cancer has continued to fall since peaking in 1991, averting 1.5 million deaths that otherwise would have stemmed from one of the most feared diseases in the world.

Andy Warhol was the top-selling artist at auction in the past year as increased competition for the most-expensive segment of the market drove global art sales higher. Collectors bought 1,295 works by the deceased artist totaling $653.2 million.

AP Top Stories

Radar data being examined by investigators appeared to show that AirAsia Flight QZ8501 made an “unbelievably” steep climb before it crashed, possibly pushing it beyond the Airbus A320’s limits, said a source familiar with the probe’s initial findings.

A woman was accidentally shot and killed at a Walmart store in northern Idaho on Tuesday when her 2-year-old son pulled a loaded handgun from her purse that then went off.

A New Hampshire man walked into his wife’s hospital room early Tuesday, fatally shot her then killed himself, a murder-suicide that he foretold in a candid and emotional Facebook posting to friends and family.

Upper Darby, Pa. – A man who had posted an online video threatening to kill police and FBI agents tried to use his car to run down officers seeking to arrest him on Tuesday so, fearing for their lives, they shot and killed him, authorities said.

As epidemic flu spreads across the United States, with 15 child deaths reported in nine states so far this year, federal health officials said on Tuesday they could not yet predict the severity of the current season.

Flash floods and landslides triggered by Tropical Storm Jangmi left at least 31 people dead and seven missing in the Philippines, including in areas still recovering from last year’s Typhoon Haiyan.

The leaders of two rural vigilante groups and 35 of their members have surrendered to authorities following a clash that left 11 dead in the western state of Michoacan, Mexico.

BBC

The first two bodies from the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash off Borneo arrived back in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, where relatives are waiting.

Arrests in New York City are down 66% since two officers were killed on duty, but police unions deny ordering a work slowdown as a protest.

The Venezuelan economy is now officially in recession after the central bank released figures showing that it has been shrinking all year.

Pakistan hanged a man who plotted to assassinate Pervez Musharraf, the seventh execution since a moratorium was lifted.

Cars, bikes and consumer goods are set to get more expensive in India as the government is to withdraw tax breaks in the new year, reports said.

A suicide bombing in Yemen’s southern city of Ibb, targeting a Houthi religious celebration, has killed at least 33 people, medical sources said.

WND

Guantanamo Navy Base, Cuba. – The base with the most expensive prison on earth is getting one of the world’s priciest schools – a $65 million building with classroom space for, at most, 275 kindergarten through high school students.

A network of underground tunnels and bunkers used by the Nazis to develop an atomic bomb has been discovered in Austria by a filmmaker.

A case of red measles, also known as Rubeola, was diagnosed earlier this week in Moorseville, North Carolina — worrying health officials and highlighting the renewed threat of measles in this country.


Leaked NSA Documents Reveal The Best Way To Stay Anonymous Online

The best way to stay anonymous online has been to use Tor, a special kind of web browser developed to help US government employees hide their tracks online.

But if you want to be properly anonymous, you need a combination of extra services and websites on top of Tor to avoid detection. Plenty of online guides offer advice on the subject, but it’s always been hit and miss.

Now, leaked NSA documents provide a big clue on how to remain hidden. They show that the agency has trouble breaking certain methods of encryption.

Der Spiegel published a collection of documents that detail what systems the NSA has troubling decrypting. Previous documents have focused mainly on what the NSA is good at, not what it finds difficult.

The documents reveal that the NSA ranks targets according to how difficult they are to decrypt. There are five internal levels: One to five. Level one is known as “trivial,” meaning it’s pretty easy for the NSA to track targets or decrypt messages. But level five is “catastrophic,” which essentially means that the NSA can’t break the encryption.

Read Full Story

Also:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/28/7458159/encryption-standards-the-nsa-cant-crack-pgp-tor-otr-snowden


Gerald Celente 2015 Forecast: Manipulation, Depression and War

Celente explains, “It’s the grand manipulation of the markets and the news, and it just keeps spreading. There is manipulation of the gold markets, and we know there is manipulation in the Forex market; we are not making this up.”

“We are talking about $5.3 trillion a day. The markets are rigged. Kramer came out and said the stock market was rigged. We know that the LIBOR market is rigged. That’s the interest rate market”

Read Full Story


These are the top 10 threats facing America in 2015

“We definitely cannot forget about a major problem in 2015 that we’re 100% going to be dealing with, the border—still not secured, and given the administration’s policy, given the executive amnesty, it’s very likely to get worse, isn’t it? You see, many people fear America’s weakened borders means an increased likelihood of some kind of attack as well,” Buck said.

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ObamaCare’s Nightmarish 2014 – Malkin

By Michele Malkin

What surprises are in store for you in the new year?

There’s no candy coating the truth: Obamacare has had a very terrible, horrible, crappy, none-too-happy year. What it really means is that the victims of Obamacare — taxpayers, health care consumers, health care providers, employers and employees — have had a hellish, nightmarish 2014.

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Answers in Genesis Sets Up Religious Freedom, ‘Cross of Christ’ Video Billboard Next to Famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in NY Times Square

The apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis is hoping that, in addition to millions of people witnessing the famous ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, multitudes will also see its video billboard displayed nearby with a cross and reminder to Americans of the “religious freedoms they enjoy.”

“I am thrilled that the Cross of Christ will be seen in the most-watched place in the world on this day,” Ken Ham, AiG president, stated.

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Faith and values in 2014: 10 telling numbers

Scores of studies and surveys in 2014 revealed myriad, quirky ways we live out our faith and values. Here are 10 telling numbers about religion and society that caught our eye. (Grossman, Christianity Today)

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Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2014

A flurry of year-end announcements provided some late-breaking additions to the list of archaeological discoveries made public in 2014. (Govier, Christianity Today)

Full Story


Billy Graham makes Most Admired list for 58th time

For a record 58th time, Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham has made the Gallup Poll’s annual list of the men Americans most admire. (Funk, The Charlotte Observer)

Full Story


Barna Update | Year in Review: Top 10 Findings of 2014

December 29, 2014 – Every December, Barna Group compiles its top findings and trends from research conducted in the past year. From legalizing marijuana to increasing secularization trends to America’s complicated relationship with sports—2014 was an interesting year.

Read more


Lutheran Church And Vatican Announce ‘Common Liturgical Material’ Partnership

Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican Announce “2017 – Together on the Way”

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

Pope Francis has issued the order to bring all the world’s religions into the Vatican tent, and this front-burner priority is being accomplished at a record pace. Emergent church leaders like Rick Warren, who says that Francis is “our Pope”, and prosperity “preacher” Joel Osteen have been on-board since last year after private meetings with the Pope. But this latest coupe is also a swipe against the very heart of the Protestant Reformation as well.

lutheran-church-vatican-announce-common-liturgical-material-2017-pope-francis-catholic-church

Rev. Martin Junge, General Secretary of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) says relations between the Lutheran and Catholic churches have reached an epoch-making turning-point.

Speaking during a panel discussion, held 18 December, in the Lutheran church in Rome, Junge emphasized that the relationship between Lutherans and Catholics was being transformed “from conflict to communion.” Precisely in a world “in which religion and faith are regularly portrayed and perceived as trouble makers,” he said it was a phenomenal testimony that the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches continued to move “towards a profound communion that frees us to serve God and the world.” source -LWF

The One World Religion is be assembled as we watch, and all the key players will soon be in place for the time of the Great Tribulation when it will be in full bloom. Aren’t you glad that those of us who are saved get out of here in the Rapture before that time starts?

 

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Abortion Is America’s Shameful Silent Holocaust (VIDEO)

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

In 2009, Planned Parenthood gave the Margaret Sanger award to Hillary Clinton. She was honored for all of her hard work to ensure that abortion would remain available upon demand by young women across America.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”  (Isaiah 5:20)

To Clinton, this was an honor. To those of us who believe in the sanctity of life, it was an indictment against Hillary Clinton, exposing her as the champion for murdering innocent babies in their mother’s wombs. We shudder when we hear this. Those in the other camp, consider it a badge of honor.

abortion-is-americas-silent-holocaust-pro-life-choice-roe-v-wade

So, who was Margaret Sanger? Here is a quote by her:

“Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.”1 These are the words of a woman who is heralded by women’s rights groups worldwide.  These are the words of Margaret Sanger, the mother of Planned Parenthood, whose beliefs were firmly rooted in the destructive pseudo-science of Negative Eugenics, a social movement that believed in selective breeding to better the human race by preventing the reproduction of the ‘unfit’.2 Professionally, Sanger was a nurse who testified before the U.S. Senate in 1916 to call for the formation of the Population Congress that would seek to employ Negative Eugenics to separate humanity. Drastically limiting immigration of those considered ‘unfit’ was a mainstay of Sanger and her fellow eugenists. Their draconian proposals of forced segregation, for American citizens, were commonly held views among these ‘progressives’ who sought to achieve a superior and more intelligent race. [1] source

Margaret Sanger would probably consider the following to be her most important work. It was called the “Negro Project.”  It was initiated in 1939, and was a collaborative effort between the American Birth Control League, and Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.

Sanger recruited some very reluctant, but extremely well known black ministers, to assist her in this endeavor.  The black ministers were strategically chosen to dispel objections to her views on birth control from a moral or religious standpoint.  The fact that they were black was by no means coincidental. It was calculated move by Sanger for this reason; Sanger said “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” [2] source

Eugenicists were open about the goal of their initiative:

“…those of us who believe that the benefits of Planned Parenthood as a vital key to the elimination of human waste must reach the entire population, also believe that a double effort must be made to extend this program as a public health measure to Negroes who need is proportionately greater.”     

– Dr. Dorothy Ferebee (black physician serving as the Chairman of the Family Planning Committee of the National Council of Negro Women) at 1942 annual Planned Parenthood meeting. (One should note that, today, both Planned Parenthood and the National Council of Negro Women are radically pro-abortion.)

Abortion is Today’s Birth Control

It is alarming to know that almost 40%  of births in the black community end in induced abortion. Black women access abortion clinics at 5 times the rate of white women. Planned Parenthood has purposely built a disproportionate number of abortion clinics in heavily black populated areas in America. This is calculated and despicable.

Abortions among black women make up 36% of all abortions. Considering that the black community makes up only about 13% of the entire population of America, that makes the 36% of black abortions disproportionately high.  This is NOT an accident. This was the plan from the beginning in the world of eugenics.

Maafa21

My husband and I watched an eye-opening and shocking documentary a few years ago. The name of it is Maafa21. If you have not seen this, you must.

Maafa21 exposes the inhumane treatment of blacks, once they were freed from slavery. Forced sterilization was commonplace. Margaret Sanger once bragged that she met regularly with the KKK. With eugenics in place, many more blacks lives would be snuffed out that any amount of lynchings by the Klan. Now, with abortion clinics being built in predominately low income black communities, their evil plan has come to fruition.

Watch Maafa21 trailer here:

Planned Parenthood

I think there is no institution in American more evil than Planned Parenthood. They are immoral, deceitful, calculating and I certainly could go on and on. They insist that their primary function in society is the “health” of women. They go on to say that the bulk of their money comes from the normal check ups of women. This is NOT true.

Roe Vs Wade, a SCOTUS case decision was responsible for making abortion on demand possible in 1973.  Since then, over 53 million babies have been discarded as trash. I believe that this in demonically inspired. The blood thirsty crowds of women, marching through cities with signs that are too crass and despicable for this article, seem almost inhuman. That’s because Satan is behind abortion, as he is behind every reprehensible act.

Planned Parenthood makes most of their money from performing abortions. Also, I most note that there are corporations who are determined to watch the slaughter of the innocents, and donate thousands, sometimes millions to PP.  Our own government funds this organization with our tax money!!  Ford Foundation is one of their largest contributors.

Planned Parenthood has been caught numerous times on camera, offering abortions to underage girls. They have also neglected to divulge the names of men who have taken advantage of the young girls. PP has sections on their website, devoted to teens, telling them that being LGBT is perfectly normal. They have sections which are so incredibly filthy – teaching the kids to do perverted acts.

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” – Romans 1:24-32

I remember attending a church in the early 1990’s where the pastor spoke about the evils of abortion from his pulpit.  We picketed the local abortion clinics.  We put hundreds of tiny crosses, blue and pink, in the front area of our church, in memory of the babies.

I wrote a letter to the editor back then, exposing abortion for the terrible evil that it is. I remember writing in that letter, that Planned Parenthood would tell the women who came in, that it wasn’t even a baby. They would say it was just a clump of cells.  I continued in my letter that there would come a day when a baby further along in gestation would be aborted. Would they still use the “clump of cells” argument?  Would they still say that the cells did not even resemble a baby?  I knew that their goal was to kill any baby who might be inconvenient for the mother or the father.

Now, pro death groups are pushing for “post birth” abortions!  God please help us!

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist, was sentence to jail for his atrocities. It was found that in many cases, that Dr. Gosnell would kill the aborted baby who just would not die during the procedure.  It was a grisly story, but it showed the world the sick and demonic world of abortion.

I want to close with something very important. If you are reading this, and you have had an abortion, I want you to know that Jesus forgives abortion. Don’t allow the devil to lie to you about this.

Come to Jesus and confess to Him what you did, and ask Him to forgive and cleanse you. He will, you know. But He would say “Go and sin no more” because He wants you to repent and agree that this is sin.  Perhaps one day, you will be able to help a young woman who is contemplating abortion.  God may use you in a very powerful way in someone else’s life.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

MARANATHA!

Blessings in Yeshua

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Headlines of Interest

Pastor shoots employee in gunfight at Florida church

Lindsey Graham assures Netanyahu that U.S. Congress works for Israel

Senior counsel calls for Hillsong founder Brian Houston to be referred to police

Contemplative Dana Candler speaks at IHOP-KC 2014 Onething

Chuck Pierce continues to delcare vague and leaningless “prophecies”

‘I Don’t Think God Exists’ Says former Preacher Ryan Bell After Atheist Experiment

The religious cleansing of Middle East Christians


China new nuclear JL-2 and DF-41 missiles will cover all US territory

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 07:05 AM PST

DF-31A-ICBM-TEL-2009-3SChina could soon target the United States with sea-based nuclear weapons as it is reinforcing its submarines with long-range nuclear ballistic missiles, a US congressional report has found. China’s military is set to acquire a reliable, hard-to-destroy sea-based nuclear deterrent, with a dozen JL-2 missiles that are being mounted on its JIN class submarines, according to a report submitted to Congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The missiles have a strike range of around 7,350 km, meaning they can reach all 50 US states if they are launched from waters west or east of Hawaii. More

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Magnitude-3.9 Earthquake Strikes Off San Pedro, Rattles Long Beach & South BayPosted: 31 Dec 2014 07:01 AM PST

KTLA-vid11468-in39822-out42734-114ef7d0-54a363a5-LargeImageA magnitude-3.9 earthquake struck between San Pedro and Catalina Island on Tuesday afternoon, according to U.S. Geological Survey. Yahoo News

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Mystery Object Appears Near Milky Way’s Monster Black HolePosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:57 AM PST

holeA mystery object at the center of the galaxy has astronomers scratching their heads, and a new piece of information won’t be solving the case before the New Year.  In yet another twist to a saga of astronomical proportions, astronomers have identified what they say is a gas cloud that made a tight orbit around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy 13 years ago. The object could be one in a series of gas clouds, the second of which may soon become a snack for the black hole. The newly discovered object has been dubbed G1. An object known as G2 has been in the news for more than a year, ever since astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany hypothesized that it was a gas cloud. If that is true, it should lose some of its material to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way (known as Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*). This giant black hole — its name is pronounced Sagittarius A(star) — doesn’t dine on material often, so the event would be a rare chance for astronomers to watch a black hole eat. More

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California Snowstorm Leaves Drivers Trapped in Their VehiclesPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:51 AM PST

getty_123114_snowstormMore than 100 drivers were trapped in their vehicles overnight during a snowstorm in Southern California. Dozens of stranded drivers were trapped on State Route 38 in the San Bernardino Mountains, said San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Ryan Beckers. Rescue crews worked to remove people from their vehicles and take them to a nearby church, Beckers said. Others were trapped on Mount Baldy – some near the ski lifts, others near Baldy Village, with those people provided shelter for the time being, Beckers said.  Two highways were shut down due to the conditions – the Ortega Highway connecting Riverside and Orange counties, as well as southbound lanes of I-15, authorities told ABC station KABC. Isabel Castellanos said it was difficult to drive in the wintry conditions. More

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7 Surprising Biometric Identification MethodsPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:47 AM PST

biometric-eyesBiometrics has long been put forth as the next big thing in authentication, replacing or supplementing the concept of “things that you know”—passwords, PINs, and so on—with “things that you are.” But despite lots of advances in the realm of biometric authentication, it’s clear that there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Hackers have found ways to trick and circumvent biometric authentication that relies on factors like fingerprints and facial recognition, and it’s not hard to imagine that they’ll also find ways around more advanced authentication methods, too. More

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PROPHECY WATCH – Wild Cheers for Proposed Invasion of IsraelPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:42 AM PST

obama-erdoganTurkish and Palestinian flags fluttered like angry birds in a crowd of thousands of people chanting “Allahu Akbar!” and “Down with Israel!” The chants grew more exuberant as the hulking, bearded man on the speaker’s platform assured them that “God willing, we will liberate Jerusalem together.” The speaker was Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and his audience was Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, gathered for its annual meeting Dec. 27 at a convention hall in Konya, the hometown of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Turkish prime minister introduced the Hamas leader and then took a seat in the front row, cheering and clapping for the radical Islamist statements being made by Meshaal. “As Turkey for centuries was the main defender of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, likewise with you are the center of the Muslim Umma (Muslim nation) which will carry on the mission of liberating Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” Meshaal told the crowd in an address that received almost no major media coverage. “Know this, that strong Turkey is the strength of Palestine and of Jerusalem. Turkey is the strength that represents all Muslims.”. More

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Palestinian draft resolution fails in UN councilPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:39 AM PST

ShowImage4The UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected a Palestinian resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories by late 2017. The resolution called for negotiations to be based on territorial lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the Six Day War. It also called for a peace deal within 12 months. Even if the draft had received the minimum nine votes in favor, it would have been defeated by Washington’s vote against it. The United States is one of the five veto-wielding permanent members. There were eight votes in favor, two against and five abstentions. Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure. US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power defended Washington’s position against the draft in a speech to the 15-nation council by saying it was not a vote against peace between Israeli and the Palestinians. More

 

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Lutheran Church And Vatican Announce ‘Common Liturgical Material’ PartnershipPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:35 AM PST

deads“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

Pope Francis has issued the order to bring all the world’s religions into the Vatican tent, and this front-burner priority is being accomplished at a record pace. Emergent church leaders like Rick Warren, who says that Francis is “our Pope”, and prosperity “preacher” Joel Osteen have been on-board since last year after private meetings with the Pope. But this latest coupe is also a swipe against the very heart of the Protestant Reformation as well. More

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GOG N MAGOG WATCH – Russia threatens to change Iran stance over US sanctionsPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:30 AM PST

Russia-Putin-Ukraine_Horo-e1394069884213-635x357Russia on Tuesday angrily criticized the latest US sanctions, saying they could derail cooperation with Washington on dealing with the Iranian nuclear standoff and the Syrian crisis. Russia-US ties have plunged to post-Cold War lows over Ukraine as Washington has introduced economic sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. In the latest move, the US has imposed sanctions on four Russians under a law targeting Russian human rights violators. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday dismissed the new US sanctions as unfounded and warned Washington that its actions “are putting in question the prospects for bilateral cooperation in settling the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and other acute international problems.” More

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Oil could fall to $20 a Barrel over the coming yearPosted: 31 Dec 2014 06:28 AM PST

Article-Lead-wide6456577412dg6simage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.12fv9q.png1419984896557.jpg-620x349Revisiting the past year’s predictions is, for most columnists a frequently humbling experience. The howlers tend to far outweigh the successes. Yet, for a change, I can genuinely claim to have got my main call for markets – that oil would sink to $US80 a barrel or less – spot on, and for the right reasons, too. Just in case you think I’m making it up, this is what I said 12 months ago: “My big prediction is for $US80 oil, from which much of the rest of my outlook for the coming year flows. It’s hard to overstate the significance of a much lower oil price – Brent at, say, $US80 a barrel, or perhaps lower still – yet this is a surprisingly likely prospect, the implications of which have been largely missed by mainstream economic forecasters.”
If on to a good thing, you might as well stick with it; so for the coming year, I’m doubling up on this forecast. Far from bouncing back to the post crisis “normal” of something over $US100 a barrel, as many oil traders seem to expect, my view is that the oil price will remain low for a long time, sinking to perhaps as little as $US20 a barrel over the coming year before recovering a little. More

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Are Your People Real? 6 Marks of a Real Christian Inspired by Jonathan Edwards

What Is a Real Christian?

“In his book Religious Affection, Edwards answered his question by outlining twelve marks of genuine Christian faith. Inspired by this description, [Todd] Wilson aims to provide the contemporary church with a similar description of what it means to be ‘real’.”

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Pope Francis to issue climate change call to arms for world’s Catholics in measures that will anger Vatican conservatives

by Marsha West

According to The Independent:

Pope Francis has declared it his mission to take on climate change in 2015, through a series of speeches, summit appearances and a rare call-to-arms for the world’s Catholics.

According to Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, the chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope wants to have a direct influence on the vital 2015 UN climate conference in Paris, the culmination of decades of negotiations that will help determine the planet’s future.

“The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion,” Sorondo was quoted as saying in the Observer.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/pope-francis-to-issue-climate-change-call-to-arms-for-worlds-catholics-in-measures-that-will-anger-vatican-conservatives-9947357.html


A Christmas Gift from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 2)

By way of conclusion, it is hard to know what to say about an article like Eichenwald’s. In many ways, it embodies all the misrepresentations, caricatures, and misunderstandings of the average non-Christian in the world today. It is short on the facts, it has little understanding of interpretive principles, it assumes that it knows more about theology than it really does, and it pours out scorn and contempt on the average believer.

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No Kingdom Builders or Co-Redeemers Required

Fortunately, God’s never asked us to be world-changers. Instead, he encourages us to enter into Jesus’ rest, and be thankful for what has been provided today. To trust him with the needs of tomorrow. And to do the work he calls us to—which, yes, does include social action—not in order to build our inheritance, but as those secure in the goodness of its Builder.

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Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? The Question of Genesis 1

One of the grand motives, I believe, for accommodating evolution in Genesis 1 is so that evangelicals can stop arguing about science and start teaching about Jesus. But do we fail to note that Jesus’ story begins in Genesis 1? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…” (Jn. 1:1). In fact, when the interpretive approach used to neutralize Genesis 1 as history is necessarily extended by evolution, then the reason for Jesus’ coming is lost? After all, without a biblical Adam as the first man and covenant head of the human race, then what is the problem for which the Son of God came?
Given what World Magazine has called a “major, well-funded push” to promote the acceptance of evolution among evangelical Christians, the case must be persuasively made against the compatibility of evolution and the Bible. In answer to this pro-evolutionary stance, I am one of those Bible teachers who believe that the implications of evolution involve sweeping changes to the Christian faith and life.

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Douglas Bond hit it out of the park in Grace Works!

In Part 6 of Grace Works!, RE Bond then deals with current errors creeping into the conservative Reformed denominations, including the mythical “objective covenant”, confusion on the sacraments, and final justification. He does so without naming names, although anyone who has been paying attention to the last 20 years or so can easily fill in the blanks. RE Bond clearly demonstrates the corrosiveness of those who take an oath that the Confessions contain the doctrines taught in Holy Scripture, yet write and teach against those same Confessions and doctrines. He also cautions against the “fine print,” where officers espouse orthodoxy but then caveat with fine print that guts the orthodox statement.

Bottom line up front: Take a little of your Christmas cash and buy this book, then read it cover to cover. The gospel is under attack on many fronts, even from those with advanced degrees who claim to be Reformed. Mr. Bond sets record straight in the modern battle over the gospel of grace.

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After Year Of Atheism, Former Pastor: ‘I Don’t Think God Exists’

Bell says he still feels like atheism is “an awkward fit,” and also feels uncomfortable around his former Christian friends who are adjusting to his new views. One of his biggest lessons from the year is “that people very much value certainty and knowing and are uncomfortable saying that they don’t know.”

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How Movies Embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)

But before Nolan, before the Matrix, before, even, the iPad, there was Star Wars. It was the film, with its cosmic scale and theme of a transcendental “force” that confers superhuman powers on those who can align with it, which opened up mainstream American culture to Indian esotericism more than anything else. George Lucas was influenced by the mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose work A Hero With a Thousand Faces traced the narrative arc common to all mythic heroes that Luke Skywalker would embark upon.

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What Is Your Bible-Reading Plan for 2015?

Tis the season to think about next season. As 2014 draws to a close, our thoughts begin to turn to the new year. Whenever I consider a new year, I think of how I will approach another 365 daily devotions. At this point I am still undecided. There are so many good ways to read the Bible and each one seems better than the last. While I think and pray about it, I thought I’d share what I have found so far.

Here is a round-up of some of the ways you can read the Bible in 2015.

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CultureWatch: On Being Deserted

by Bill Muehlenberg

Have you ever been abandoned by friends? Have you ever had brothers or sisters in Christ desert you? Have you ever had close associates turn on you? Have you ever been dumped by those you trusted and depended on? If so, you are not alone. It happens to all of us.

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8 Happinesses Promised By Jesus

In other words there is no happiness in being self-confident, self-accepting, self-assertive, self-righteous, self-seeking, self-centered, or self-protective. There’s only happiness in turning from self to the Savior by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

“Take warning this day, that you never will be happy till you are converted. You might as well expect to feel the sun shine on your face when you turn your back to it, as to feel happy when you turn your back on God and on Christ.” J C Ryle

When Jesus promised happiness eight times at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount, He did not promise it to everybody. Rather, He identified the marks, the characteristics of those who will experience this blessedness.

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Your God is Too Small!

Grand Old Man. Some Sunday School children were once asked to write down their ideas as to what God was like. Most of the answers said something like this: ‘God is a very old gentleman living in heaven.’ Children often view their superiors and “old,” which carries over into a person’s conception of God. People use old and archaic language or Victorian expressions to speak about and pray to God, because he seems old to them.

In the first half of his excellent book published in 1955, Your God is Too Small, J. B. Phillips exposes “the inadequate conceptions of God which still linger unconsciously in many minds, and which prevent our catching a glimpse of the true God.” Or, to put it in the form of a question, “What are some faulty views of God?” Here are some of Phillips’ (edited/summarized) explanations of inadequate conceptions of God.

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Blogs

47 Sermons for a New Year
Dr. Ray Pritchard

Use these sermons as part of your own sermon preparation.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says? (A Response to Newsweek’s Cover Article on the Bible)
Alex Crain

Those who use the Bible to persuade others actually put themselves in a dangerous place.

READ FULL ARTICLE

The Year (2014) in Review
Dr. James Emery White

This is the time to recap the year that was. There are a number of ways to do it, all of which are interesting. But how do you really get a twelve-month snapshot of a year like 2014?

READ FULL ARTICLE

Sabbath
Ann Spangler

Sabbath was not a time for dwelling on all that was wrong in the world but for creating a sense of celebration and restfulness, a taste of the life to come.

READ FULL ARTICLE

The Hobbit and the Video-Gamization of Movies
Trevin Wax

Much of The Hobbit was about as enjoyable as watching someone else play a high-definition video game. In other words, not very.

READ FULL ARTICLE

#PoliceLivesMatter
David Murray

Here’s something that, over time, would do more to re-unite the divided states of America than any amount of legislation.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Brokenness Precedes Usefulness
Tullian Tchividjian

In the twenty years I’ve been preaching, this was the most emotional I’ve ever been.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Resources to Help You Defend the Virgin Conception (Free Bible Insert)
J. Warner Wallace

The virgin conception of Jesus is important to defend, especially during this season of the year.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Featured Video Ministry from
LightSource.com

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
Thomas Road Baptist Church
Jonathan Falwell

More ministry video at LightSource.com


Our Time is Short


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer: The news/information headlines in this blog post are a service freely given so as to keep people informed about current events and discussions taking place within our church and culture. A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

Christianity expanding rapidly in communist China

WINTERY KNIGHT

Jay Richards tweeted this story from Breitbart News.

Excerpt:

Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now overshadowed by an estimated 100 millionChristians in China. It is no wonder Beijing is nervous and authorities are cracking down on Christian groups.

Christianity is growing so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming outside the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing, rather, in unofficial Protestant “house churches” and in the underground Catholic church.

“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China:…

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MAKING DECISIONS IN THE NEW YEAR

Samuel at Gilgal

John MacArthurI ran across this article recently and I thought it contained some excellent advice. Consequently, I am sharing some of it with you. John MacArthur offers us seven principles for making good decisions in the New Year.

         Will it benefit me spiritually?

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify (1 Cor. 10:23).

  • Will it bring bondage?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12).

  • Will it defile God’s temple?

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body

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Lifeway has pulled “The Worst Book Ever”….But we found one even worse!

Polemics Report

Several days ago, at the beginning of #the15 movement, we posted this article which we asked “Is this the WORST book Lifeway sells?” We were of course referring to  The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach, by Elaine A. Heath. This book, among other things, told us how we ought to learn evangelism practices from the great Roman Catholic mystics, including Ignatius of Loyola, who was known for starting the Jesuits and battling the Protestants during the counter-reformation.

In a thankful turn of events, and as a direct response from the pressure and bad publicity that Lifeway has received from #the15, they have pulled this book from their online store. That’s not to say of course that it still won’t be sold. As we have uncovered and written about just recently, even though Lifeway doesn’t sell in store or online books by…

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National debt up more than $10 trillion since Pelosi/Reid budgets of 2007

WINTERY KNIGHT

This post is from Red State.

Excerpt:

Despite his promises to cut the deficit in half by the end of his “first” term, Obama  racked up the largest deficits in U.S. history:

  • FY2009: The federal budget deficit was $1.413 trillion, the highest in U.S. history. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
  • FY2011: The federal budget deficit was $1.299 trillion, the second highest in U.S. history. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
  • FY2010: The federal budget deficit was $1.294 trillion, the third highest in U.S. history. (“Monthly Budget Review: November 2011,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/7/11)
  • FY2012 The federal budget deficit was $1.090 trillion, the fourth highest in U.S. history. (“An Analysis of the President’s 2013 Budget,” Congressional Budget Office, 10/5/12)

You shouldn’t be shocked by Obama’s failure to reduce the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. He did warn…

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Test every spirit

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NASB)

CSM is an acronym for “Contemplative Spiritual Meditation.” It is a perverse melding of Christian prayer with Eastern mysticism. Bottom line, those who are behind this are deceived. They have been taken in by deceptive spirits because they have not “tested” every spirit, but have, instead, eagerly sought spiritual influences from outside the Church. The Word of God expressly warns believers against this sort of thing. In this post I would like to unpack 1 John 4:1-6 which does indeed address this.

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2014 Truth2Freedom’s Blog in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. I would like to thank you all for patronizing this blog in 2014. I look forward to the next year of service to The Lord and my readers.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 90,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 30, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report and News Headline Alerts

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Dec. 30, 2014

BLOOMBERG

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama topped Gallup’s lists Monday of the nation’s most admired women and men. Of the 31 names mentioned often enough to get a least a single percentage point in the poll, 16 were politicians or their spouses, making politics most revered profession on the lists.

Spanish consumer prices fell the most since July 2009 in a sign that slumping oil costs are complicating the European Central Bank’s battle to stave off deflation in the euro area.

The Indian government issued an executive order to make it easier for companies to buy land and eventually replace a law that has hindered manufacturing and constrained economic growth.

The richest people on Earth got richer in 2014, adding $92 billion to their collective fortune in the face of falling energy prices and geopolitical turmoil incited by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bargain-seeking investors have turned bullish on embattled energy stocks, plowing record amounts into the industry. More than $3.13 billion went into exchange-traded funds holding stakes in Exxon Mobil, Schlumberger and other energy stocks this month, even as the price of oil fell 22 percent.

U.S. oil drillers idled the most rigs since 2012 as prices slide below $55 a barrel to the lowest level in five years and a fight for market share with OPEC intensifies.

Ukraine may have to leave the fate of Crimea to future generations, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, a day after the president said the country can’t afford to take back its rebel-held areas by force.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended in October, putting the market on better footing heading into 2015.

U.S. Representative Michael Grimm of New York, who pleaded guilty to a federal tax charge, said he plans to resign from the House.

AP Top Stories

Indonesian rescuers searching for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people pulled bodies and wreckage from the sea off the coast of Borneo on Tuesday, prompting relatives of those on board watching TV footage to break down in tears.

A cargo ship believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants near the Greek island of Corfu sent out a distress signal saying armed people were on board, Greek television reported.

The ripples from the massive National Security Agency leak orchestrated by former contract worker Edward Snowden continue to be felt even now. While most of the eye-opening revelations are behind us, the sheer volume of confidential documents exposed by Snowden has resulted in a continued trickle of information. Now, a new report covering information pulled from leaked NSA documents reveals several encrypted services that the NSA has been able to crack in its widespread data collection efforts. More importantly, perhaps, the report identifies a number of secure services with encryption that the NSA has been unable to crack.

Was the North Korean government really the mastermind behind the massive hack on Sony? Many researchers have continued to express skepticism about this claim and The Security Ledger reports that researchers at security firm Norse may have uncovered the best evidence yet that the Sony hack was actually an inside job.

The Islamic State group published on Monday an interview with the Jordanian pilot captured last week after his plane crashed in northern Syria.

A new gun law banning the sale of certain types of fire arms will take effect in California on January 1st.

Brent crude fell to a 5-1/2-year low of less than $57 a barrel on Tuesday as a global supply glut outweighed concerns of lost supply from Libya where battling militias have closed ports.

A volunteer nurse who contracted Ebola in west Africa was being treated at an isolation unit in a specialist London hospital on Tuesday as infection rates increased in eastern Sierra Leone.

BBC

Iraqi government forces have retaken the town of Dhuluiya from Islamic State, sources said, reportedly inflicting heavy casualties on the jihadist group.

The Ebola victim who triggered the current outbreak, a two-year-old boy from Guinea, may have been infected by playing near bats, said scientists.

Maryland’s first female Episcopal bishop was the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist in Baltimore, the diocese said.

The Pentagon said that the US military has carried out an air strike targeting a senior al-Shabab leader in Somalia.

A new national cemetery for Ebola victims opened in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, as the number of infections in West Africa passed 20,000.

WND

The “implosion” in America’s abortion industry is continuing, and the only thing that prevents a complete collapse is a series of court injunctions that are preventing various state safety laws from being enforced, according to a new survey of the situation. “In all, 73 abortion facilities shut down for all or part of the year. The total number of all remaining abortion clinics in the U.S. is currently 739. Surgical abortion facilities account for 551 of that total while the number of medication-only abortion facilities stands at 188.”

After more than 10 years of litigation, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island has thrown out lawsuits by two Christian firefighters who were forced to drive a Providence fire truck in a “gay”-pride parade despite their religious objections.

A Muslim civil rights group has sued the government on behalf of a former Navy enlisted man from Northern California who says he was the target of ethnic slurs, was reassigned to a menial job, and was later denied re-enlistment after seeking permission to wear a beard for religious reasons.


December 29, 2014
ALAN KEYES — “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise… (more)


December 29, 2014
CLIFF KINCAID — I recently asked John A. Stormer, author of the 1964 bestseller ‘None Dare Call It Treason,’ if he thought President Barack Obama was a Marxist. “He’s two things,” Stormer told me. “Is he a Marxist or is he a Muslim? He is really involved in both of these things. He’s anti-American.”… (more)


December 29, 2014
BRYAN FISCHER — Campaign consultants “make bank” on advising candidates how to win the independent voting bloc. These are perceived to be the 20% of the electorate who are in the middle of the spectrum between left and right… (more)



December 29, 2014
WASHINGTON TIMES — Rep. Steve King has summoned the potential field of 2016 Republican presidential candidates to Iowa next month for his Freedom Summit, and they are jumping at the opportunity – – underscoring the conservative firebrand’s political pull and marking the event as the first major gathering of the next campaign for the White House…. (more)


December 29, 2014
NEWSMAX — Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to apologize to the NYPD to mend fences with police, and also refused to back down on his comments that President Barack Obama has engaged in anti-police propaganda…. (more)



December 29, 2014
SYLVIA THOMPSON — President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and race-hustler Al Sharpton are most definitely complicit in the recent deaths of two New York City police officers. I refuse to listen to the blather that says otherwise. These four race mongers set the stage for the hateful act committed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the murderer. Furthermore, I reject the playing down of this hater’s guilt by branding him “mentally unstable.” He was a typical hateful black person spawned by the Left’s decades-long campaign to brainwash American blacks…. (more)


December 29, 2014
BREITBART — Anti-police protesters are planning to disrupt New Year’s Eve celebrations at major metropolitan sites. The website Stop Mass Incarceration calls upon activists to not allow New Years Eve 2015 “to go down because business as usual in Amerikkka includes wanton police murder of Black people.”… (more)


December 29, 2014
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Obama thanked the military in a statement marking the end of the United States’ combat mission in Afghanistan as a ceremony took place in Kabul to commemorate the departure of most U.S. troops…. (more)



December 29, 2014
WESTERN JOURNALISM — In a recent radio interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann indicted Barack Obama for his perceived complicity in the ongoing Islamic effort to destroy Israel…. (more)


December 29, 2014
JOE KOVACS — Sporting events have been getting quite political in 2014. Just this week, prior to the Denver Broncos taking on the Cincinnati Bengals on “Monday Night Football,” Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young raised some eyebrows when he used the word “dictator” in a sentence mentioning President Obama and an NFL quarterback…. (more)



December 29, 2014
WESTERN JOURNALISM — Obama’s impeachment was called for by multiple prominent figures in the conservative movement during 2014. Here’s a list of some of the biggest names: 1) Former Alaska governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin defended an Obama impeachment in a column on Breitbart in July 2014. Palin pointed to the current immigration crisis as the primary reason to impeach Obama. She compared Obama to an abusive husband and said that it was time for his wife, the American people, to say, “No more.”… (more)


December 29, 2014
BREITBART — Not only does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce think it is the only reason the GOP won in November, it is now threatening Republicans with opposition next go round if they don’t lay down and give the Chamber precisely what it wants, including on immigration, increased spending on transportation, and economic deals that sweeten the pot for big business…. (more)


December 29, 2014
NEWSMAX — Inspire, the English-language online magazine aimed at Western lone-wolf jihadists, released its latest edition on Christmas Eve with a cover story on how to build a bomb to sneak onto commercial airliners…. (more)


December 29, 2014
NEWSMAX — Despite efforts from the left to restrict gun ownership on claims that it will reduce crime, the opposite is actually true, says Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie. In a Sunday blog post, Gillespie points out that crime rates drop in states that enact laws allowing more people to carry concealed weapons, and they drop even further as more residents of those states avail themselves of their right…. (more)


December 29, 2014
WORLDNETDAILY — Call me an optimist, but I don’t believe Hollywood and the Christian faith are as incompatible as oil and water. Even though Hollywood abominations like “Noah” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” have tried to insult and drive away the faith audience, Christians still make up a huge portion of the ticket-buying audience…. (more)



December 29, 2014
BREITBART — Politico’s new editor, Susan Glasser, brings a management style that results in a steady stream of editors and writers headed for the door, a report says. Glasser took the helm of the popular Internet-based news portal’s print magazine in 2013. She was once the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Magazine. This year she was promoted to Politico’s editor, a role that gave her “full authority” over both the print and Internet editions…. (more)


December 29, 2014
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE — The actress Kirsten Dunst shared some thoughts about femininity and relationships in the May issue of the U.K. edition of Harper’s Bazaar. As is now standard when women celebrities voice more-traditional opinions on such topics, Dunst’s views were immediately met with mockery and derision on feminist blogs and Twitter…. (more)


December 27, 2014
NEW YORK POST — Mayor de Blasio tried to make peace with the NYPD Saturday, but again collided with the Blue Wall of Resentment. As he took the podium Saturday at the funeral of slain Officer Rafael Ramos, thousands of cops outside the church turned their backs to the video monitors showing the mayor giving his eulogy inside…. (more)


December 27, 2014
RICH LOWRY — We have heard a lot lately about tensions between the police and the communities that they serve, and the urgent need to reduce them. Here’s an easy first step: Stop lying about the cops…. (more)


December 27, 2014
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — A week ago, New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were murdered in an act of premeditated assassination by a man who was patently inspired by – – indeed, was a documented participant in – – a radical movement that has brazenly called for cops to be murdered…. (more)


December 27, 2014
THE BLAZE — Amid racially charged protests and controversial police altercations, President Barack Obama said the United States is less racially divided now than before he took office. NPR released quote excerpts of an interview set to air on “Morning Edition” starting Monday, including one in which host Steve Inskeep asked if the country is more racially divided now compared to when Obama took office six years ago…. (more)


December 27, 2014
HNGN — During a Tuesday morning interview on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson spoke of the brick wall she encountered while attempting to obtain official White House photographs of President Obama from the night of the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks in Libya…. (more)


December 27, 2014
WORLDNETDAILY — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., had a succinct analysis of the Obama administration’s latest diplomatic move and how it appeared to conflict with FBI’s own assessment. “The president is going exactly in the opposite direction of trying to stamp out terrorism,” she told WND upon hearing why Obama administration officials had huddled earlier in the week with representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Muslim American Society, or MAS…. (more)


December 25, 2014
ALAN KEYES — Merry Christmas, Dear Friend. This blessed Christmas season, as a difficult 2014 comes to a close, we can’t help but think of you and the many God-honoring patriots whose loyal and often sacrificial support makes our good work possible. Through you, God continues to bless our various projects – – and our nation – – and I praise His touch upon your heart… (more)


December 25, 2014
JOSEPH FARAH — And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary…. (more)


Shock As NY Times Reveals Obama Generals ‘Do Not Understand’ ISIS

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it”

WASHINGTON — Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought help this summer in solving an urgent problem for the American military: What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?

new-york-times-reveals-obama-generals-do-not-understand-isis

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” he said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.

Read the rest of the story on the New York Times…

The post Shock As NY Times Reveals Obama Generals ‘Do Not Understand’ ISIS appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Gay marriage dynamic in U.S. shifted dramatically in 2014

by Marsha West

According to the Los Angeles Times:

For the first time, a majority of Americans are living in a state that allows gay marriage. After a year of cascading court opinions tossing out many remaining restrictions, the dynamic in 2014 changed from how many states allow same-sex marriage to how many states don’t.

Now, at the end of the year, same-sex marriage is legally approved in 35 states and the District of Columbia, and court reviews are pending in many others.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-year-ahead-gay-marriage-20141228-story.html


Abortion industry on verge of ‘implosion’

The “implosion” in America’s abortion industry is continuing, and the only thing that prevents a complete collapse is a series of court injunctions that are preventing various state safety laws from being enforced, according to a new survey of the situation. “In all, 73 abortion facilities shut down for all or part of the year. The total number of all remaining abortion clinics in the U.S. is currently 739. Surgical abortion facilities account for 551 of that total while the number of medication-only abortion facilities stands at 188,” said the report from Operation Rescue. “Out of 60 surgical abortion clinic closures, 47 were permanent. This represents a 23 percent decline in surgical abortion facilities over the past five years. “The only things that are preventing total collapse are court injunctions that are blocking several state abortion safety laws from being enforced,” the report said. The report said 13 surgical facilities were closed, but then allowed to reopen “primarily due to court action that enjoined abortion safety laws that had shut down the substandard facilities.” More


Stop conversions, Stanford religious dean tells churches

The newly appointed dean for religious life at Stanford University has some advice for churches. They should stop doing all those conversions and shouldn’t even “do religion” all the time, contends Rev. Jane Shaw, who plans to teach “empathy” in her religion classes. The school explained her duties are to provide “spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serve as minister of Memorial Church and also teach undergraduates and graduate students as a professor.” Provost John Etchemendy praised her as “both a charismatic leader and an accomplished academic.” “Dean Shaw is equally committed to the educational mission of the university and the ecumenical mission of Memorial Church,” he said. It was in a taped interview when she complained that churches should be more into art, global warming and the like. They should be less “churchy,” she said. “I think people are always slightly surprised that I’m not very churchy as a person,” Shaw said in the interview with Palo Alto Online. “I don’t think church is to be more churchy. I think church is about, anyone should be welcome. I’m really interested in how you welcome many different kind of constituencies, certainly not convert them, not even necessarily to do religion all the time. More


Obama golf game prompts relocation of Army wedding

Two captains in the U.S. Army relocated their wedding over the weekend to accommodate a golf game for President Obama, who is currently on vacation in Hawaii, according to Bloomberg News. Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. initially invited Mr. Obama to their ceremony, but received a letter Saturday saying he couldn’t come and wishing them well. Soon after, the couple was informed they would have to move their wedding, scheduled for Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, which Mr. Obama has visited when he’s in the state. A manager for the catering company handling logistics for the wedding said they had other sites ready to go and said people planning an event at the course when the president is in town are warned about possible last-minute shuffling. More


Seed Libraries Struggle With State Laws Limiting Exchanges

Gardeners at hundreds of spots around the country are sharing seeds as part of an increasing interest in locally grown food, but some agriculture officials say the well-meaning effort violates state laws. In spots like Duluth, Minnesota, the conflict has surprised gardeners and library officials who never thought to examine the intricacies of state seed laws. Agriculture officials say they weren’t looking for a fight but must enforce laws that are intended to protect farmers by ensuring seeds are viable, will grow the intended plant and aren’t mixed with unwanted seeds for weeds or plants. More


Japan Culls 42000 Chickens After Second Bird Flu Outbreak In A Month

Japan on Monday ordered the slaughter of some 42,000 chickens after officials confirmed the country’s second bird flu outbreak in less than a month. DNA tests confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a farm in Miyazaki prefecture in the country’s southwest after its owner reported Sunday that several chickens had suddenly died, the local government said. Officials began the slaughter Monday and asked farms within a 10 kilometre (62 miles) radius not to move their poultry outside of that geographic area. The case comes about two weeks after the government ordered the slaughter of some 4,000 chickens at another poultry farm in Miyazaki — the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu at a Japanese poultry farm since April. More


License Plate Reader Technology Looks At Faces

The leading suppler of automated license plate reader technology in the US (ALPR, also known as ANPR in Europe) is expanding its offerings to law enforcement. Vehicle owners have already had their movements tracked by the company Vigilant Solutions, which boasts 2 billion entries in its nationwide database, with 70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month. Now passengers can also be tracked if they hitch a ride with a friend and are photographed by a camera aimed at the front of the car. The Livermore, California-based firm recently announced expanded integration of facial recognition technology into its offerings. “The new Vigilant Mobile Companion app expands the benefits of license plate recognition and facial recognition technologies to all areas of the agency,” a Vigilant Solutions press release claimed. “Using many of the new analytic tools that Vigilant has released in its Learn product over the last couple of years, the app makes these tools even more easy to use and accessible on a mobile device. The app also features Vigilant’s Facesearch facial recognition which analyzes over 350 different vectors of the human face.” More


A New Jersey bid to privatize water without public votes

A bill that would allow New Jersey municipalities to sell their public water utilities to private, for-profit corporations without putting the measure to voters is awaiting Gov. Chris Christie’s signature. Until now, any municipality in New Jersey that sought to sell off its water system to a private bidder had to hold a public vote. But a bill passed with bipartisan support by the state’s Senate last week would allow municipalities with aging and deteriorating water systems to put their systems up for sale without holding a referendum. While supporters of the bill say privatizing water systems could save municipalities money, it allows companies to factor the purchase price of the systems into the rates they charge customers, meaning taxpayers could ultimately be on the hook for the sale of their water systems. Many New Jersey municipalities have turned to privatization as a way to get quick cash infusions for their deteriorating water systems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the state would need $41 billion over the next 20 years to repair its water, stormwater and wastewater systems. More


Hackers could steal your fingerprint from readily available photographs, leaving iPhones and other technology vulnerable

Hackers have already proved they can bypass Apple’s fingerprint scanner using a collection of household items to make a latex replica print. And now, one expert has recreated the fingerprints of Germany’s Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, using just a photo of her. The security researcher known as Starbug, used publicly available software called VeriFinger with photos of the finger taken from different angles. Starbug, whose real name is Jan Krissler, told attendees of the Chaos Computer Club’s (CCC) 31st annual congress in Hamburg, Germany, how he achieved the hack. More


ObamaCare fines rising in 2015, IRS to collect

Don’t have health insurance? Get ready to pay up. The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 — and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year. The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest — $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more. But insurance scofflaws face a sharp increase if they don’t get covered soon. The fine will jump in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures. The insurance requirement and penalties remain the most unpopular part of the health care law. They were intended to serve a broader purpose by nudging healthy people into the insurance pool, helping to keep premiums more affordable. But the application of fines in 2015 could renew criticism of the law, at a time when Republicans are taking control of Congress and looking at ways to undercut the policy. More


Solar System Likely To Collide With Nearby Orange Dwarf Star

A local orange dwarf star has a 90 percent probability of passing within the orbit of our outer solar system’s Oort Cloud between 240,000 and 470,000 years from now, says the author of a new study detailing the computer-modeled orbits of more than 50,000 nearby stars. In a paper just accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, Coryn Bailer-Jones, an astrophysicist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, and the paper’s sole author, found that of 14 stars coming within 3 light years of Earth, the closest encounter is likely to be HIP 85605, which now lies some 16 light years away in the constellation of Hercules. Like agitated bees circling a hive, we live in a dynamic sea of low-mass stars. More than a few buzz our own star on timescales of thousands to millions of years. But how many of these stellar interlopers perturb a fraction of the estimated few trillion comets that make up the Oort Cloud? That is, the grand reservoir of comets which circles our own solar system at a distance of nearly a light year. That’s the crux of this new paper which, among other things, posits that these passing stars cause a significant number of the Oort Cloud’s kilometer-sized cometary bodies to be injected into Earth-crossing orbits. More


The McAvany Intel Memo

A quick review (by Ugo Bardi) of the fall of the Roman Empire:

THE TOP – 120 to 180 AD Marcus Aurelius was Emperor and “spent most of his life fighting to keep the empire together; fighting barbarians. [Does this sound like America today?] Aurelius surely understood that something was wrong. The Romans had been almost always on offense. Now they were always defending themselves.”

400 AD “Of Matters of War” (author unknown): “This document includes beautiful color illustrations of dreamed of futuristic weapons … none of which were ever constructed. But … the futuristic weaponry does show that the unidentified 4th century author did see empire troubles … actually he seems scared to death because of what is happening (around him).”

476 AD Romulus Augustus was deposed. In a book, “DeReditu Suo” by Rutilius Namatianus, Bardi found a description of the last days: “Namatianus lived at a time that was very close to the last gasp of Empire. He found that, at some point, it wasn’t possible to live in Rome any longer. Everything was collapsing around him and he decided to take a boat and leave. He was born in Gallia (France).”

“Namatianus said, ‘I have chosen the sea, since the roads by land, if on the level, are flooded by rivers; if on high ground, are beset with rocks. Since Tuscany and since the Aurelian highway, after suffering the outrage of Goths with fire and sword, can no longer control forest with homestead or river with bridge, it is better to entrust my sails to the wayward.'”

With the extensive road and highway system that had supported the Roman Empire in total disrepair by 476 AD, it was clear that the Roman Empire was no more!

A CONCLUSION (from Ugo Bardi) – “But what does Namatianus think of all this? Well, he sees the collapse all around him, but he can’t understand it. For him, the reasons for the fall of Rome are totally incomprehensible. He can only interpret what is going on as a temporary setback. Rome had had hard times before, but the Romans had always rebounded, and eventually triumphed over their enemies. It had always been that way: Rome would become powerful and rich again.

“There would be much more to say on this matter, but I think it is enough to say that the Romans did not really understand what was happening to their Empire, except in terms of military setbacks that they always saw as temporary. [ED. NOTE: As most Americans and their leaders do not see the decline in America today.] They always seemed to think that these setbacks could be redressed by increasing the size of the army and building more fortifications. Also, it gives us an idea of what it is like living a collapse ‘from the inside.’ Most people just don’t see it happening – it is like being a fish: you don’t see the water.”

NOTE: The strength of the Roman Empire was based upon the strongest army of the day, fruitful agriculture, and the conquering army’s continual harvest of gold, silver, and slaves to enrich Rome from each new foreign conquest. The fall of Rome began when there were no longer any easy or wealthy targets to conquer.

The fall of the Roman Empire spanned 300 years in a day when news arrived by carrier pigeon. If there is a peak in our American Empire, will it take 300 months, 300 days, or 300 hours with today’s worldwide information network?

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, July 2014, by guest editor Jim Deeds)


How feminism conquered pop culture In 2014

On the red carpet, on stage, in our National Theatre and our Houses of Parliament, at the UN, on our bookshelves, Twitter feeds and on talk shows, prominent actresses, singers and writers proclaimed the importance of gender equality. (Vincent, The Telegraph)

Full Story


Will 2015 be the year of meninism?

Could 2015 be the year when downtrodden men finally grow a pair, rise up against the tyranny of modern feminism and cry, “I’m a meninist – and I demand equality!” (Daubney, The Telegraph)

Full Story


Reality TV facing its own reality: a ratings slump

Just a few years ago, underemployed TV writers were complaining that reality programming was taking over their industry. Now the scribes are having their revenge: Unscripted programming is mired in an unexpected slump. (Collins, Los Angeles Times)

Full Story


Islam Is Neither a Religion Nor Peaceful

By Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a conservative political analyst and columnist who regularly appears on Fox News Radio.
It’s misleading to call Islam a religion. While Islam, literally translated, means “submission” [to Allah—or death], it’s very much a political ideology.

The Qur’an, Hadith, and the Sunnah all clearly articulate Islam’s goal to implement worldwide totalitarian rule through implementing Shari’a Law.

Read more


Through a Glass, Darkly

This is why young, influential leaders like Cameron Strang, Donald Miller, and Shane Claiborne have bought into leftist “justice” issues, and it is no surprise each of these men is also pro Palestinian. A century of liberal/leftist ideology, first infecting the seminaries, has now spread to all quarters of evangelical thought.

It is why some of us struggle to understand exactly what is going on. We see through a glass, darkly.

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Congress Goes to Pot

I’ve pretty much given up on both the Democrats and the Republicans. Since they have obviously lost sight of the biblical guidelines that made America a great nation, I don’t have any hope that someone from these two parties can get us back on the straight and narrow. Unless a secular leader understands the spiritual forces that cause trouble in this world, their best carnal efforts will likely end in failure (Ephesians 6:12).

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NYPD cop slayings: Never forget who’s to blame

Exclusive: Jesse Lee Peterson reveals root of ‘anti-police sentiment’ that led to executions…..

And, unfortunately, the people themselves have short memories. Over time, we tend to allow the media’s warped message to become reality.

Yet we must never forget who’s to blame for creating the violent atmosphere that brought on the murder of two of NYPD’s finest, and other police officers.

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The Left’s Use of Black People

How progressives keep African Americans in a perpetual state of grievance.

Let’s look at some of the ways white liberals use black people. One of the more obvious ways is for liberals to equate any kind of injustices suffered by homosexuals and women to the black struggle for civil rights. But it is just plain nonsense to suggest any kind of equivalency between the problems of homosexuals and women and the centuries of slavery followed by Jim Crow, lynching, systematic racial discrimination and the blood, sweat and tears of the black civil rights movement.

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US finds Israel fourth most ‘unacceptable’ country

Foreign Policy article examines number of times state department referred to ‘unacceptable’ behavior this year; Israel ranked between North Korea and Pakistan.

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4 Trends in Christianity That Could Scare You

Despite what many think, the church in America is not dying (and no serious researcher thinks that). However, there are some challenges and changes to be considered.

When we consider missiology, part of the discipline includes considering how churches relate to their culture. Since we live in changing times, it’s worth thinking through what current cultural changes mean for future church engagement of that culture.

Here are four trends that are already evident, but will become even more important in days to come:

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Top 12 Most Important Christian News Stories of 2014

NOTE: This ministry cannot conceive how Christian persecution would not be at the very top of this list. — OTM

View list


State supreme court rules firefighters must participate in ‘gay pride parades’ despite objections

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island has unanimously ruled that the religious rights of two firefighters were not violated when they were forced to participate in a “gay pride parade” a decade ago despite their objections.

Theodore Fabrizio and Stephen Deninno were assigned by city officials to drive a fire truck in the 2001 parade, but when the men asked if they could be reassigned as they do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, they were refused. The men then carried out their assignment against their will, but state that they experienced sexual harassment, including sexual propositions and “at least 60 profanity-laced anonymous phone calls,” from parade attendees and their co-workers both during and after the event.

http://christiannews.net/2014/12/30/state-supreme-court-rules-firefighters-must-participate-in-gay-pride-parades-despite-objections/


Rivlin: Retaliation against persecution of Christians in the Middle East is a war against extremism

Over the past months, he said, “we have been greatly concerned by the on-going religious persecution and restrictions on freedom of worship for minorities in the Middle East. Because of their faith hundreds of thousands are being exiled, forcibly converted, attacked and brutally murdered,” he said.

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One Word Changes Everything; Can You Handle The Truth?

There is a significant shift in the church today to avoid controversial truths, such as sin and repentance. if a pastor avoids difficult truths they are not a pastor; they are a motivational speaker, or a false prophet offering false hope (cf. Jeremiah 23). The cross only makes sense in light of the consequences of sin.

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The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand

“Hillenbrand’s biography of Zamperini, “Unbroken,” was released in 2010. The hardcover debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list and remained on the list for nearly four years. This week, a movie adaptation of the book, based on a script by the Coen brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie, will be released amid a flurry of early Oscar attention.”

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If The Good News Is Old News, Does It Become Bad News?

“As consumers of news, we become quickly bored with a repetition of antiquated news. With our wide tendencies toward A.D.D., we always crave novelty. Many think, the “new is true, the old is mold.” This is what C.S. Lewis labeled ‘chronological snobbery,’ the belief that we who come later in the parade of knowledge automatically have the advantage of being smarter. Accordingly, those who come before us are thought of as not nearly ‘enlightened.’

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A Christmas Present From The Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 1)

“The recent Newsweek cover article by Kurt Eichenwald, entitled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” published intentionally (no doubt) on December 23rd, goes so far beyond the standard polemics, and is so egregiously mistaken about the Bible at so many places, that the magazine should seriously consider a public apology to Christians everywhere.”

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A Dangerous Passion For Growth

“The more passionate a person is to see the church grow and the more their sympathies rest with the sinners we are trying to reach, the more open they become to the danger of compromise. Leaders and churches can become ‘sinner driven’.”

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What Is The Church’s Big Mac?

“We might even be able to agree that the church must identify and keep her metaphorical Big Mac but what ought to strike us is that nowhere in the author’s list of possible candidates are those which ought to be obvious to us: the pure preaching of the gospel, the pure administration of the sacraments, and the use of church discipline.”

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The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age #7: Pride

“In recognizing our dependence upon God, we don’t necessarily think less of ourselves, rather we think of ourselves less. We do not waste much time assessing how well we have overcome various vices, but simply fix our eyes on Jesus and start focusing on the next vices that need to be overcome — remembering that this side of glory, pride will always be one of them.”

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Finnish Church Embraces Gay Marriage, Loses 12,000 Members

In the days following the statement, nearly 12,000 people resigned their membership in the Lutheran Church in Finland, according to Finland’s YLE news. A website making it easy for people to resign online continues to track daily totals. Comments on the website seem to suggest the majority of resignations are in response to Mäkinen’s statements.

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So, Who’s Training Tomorrow’s ‘Mainline’ Protestant Pastors?

“Independent evangelical seminaries that have grown exponentially since World War II affect not only conservative groups but the pluralistic or liberal “mainline” denominations where minority evangelicals exercise minimal influence on national programs but persist at the local level. These schools have built a reputation for training pastors in effective sermonizing, pastoral work, and outreach.”

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Examining the 10 Commandments of Atheism

by Alan Anderson

The Atheist Mind Humanist Heart website recently conducted a crowd sourcing project titled, “The ReThink Project”, where they asked their viewers to submit entries with the goal of developing the “Ten Commandments for the 21st century”. They had a slew of popular atheist names on the judge’s panel to narrow all the entries down to ten, which included well-known atheistic advocates such as Adam Savage from Mythbusters, Dan Barker from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Experience television show. There was a reasonable amount of responses from their fan base with over 2,800 entries submitted from over 18 countries. However I must admit, when I heard of the “ReThink Project”, I almost laughed aloud.

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After ‘Unbroken’: The remarkable story of Louis Zamperini’s faith

By Franklin Graham

Actor and director Angelina Jolie has done an incredible job in following the remarkable story of Olympian and World War II POW Louis Zamperini, as told in the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.

Unfortunately, Jolie’s movie, by the same title, stops before Louie’s real battle begins. He was broken by his own memories of anger, fear, alcoholism and the abandoned promise he had made to God while adrift at sea in 1943.

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The Top Ten 2014 Cold Case Christianity Blog Posts

Posted: 29 Dec 2014 06:09 AM PST

Top Ten 2014 BlogsIt’s been an amazing year for me personally here at Cold Case Christianity. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be this busy as a “retired” cold-case detective. My most recent case went to trial in July and we convicted another killer 6 weeks later. The case was featured on Dateline again, and I’m now consulting with the Los Angeles District Attorney on cold-case homicides from other agencies in Southern California. This year I also presented the case for Christianity to 30,385 people at 73 speaking engagements (166 talks) in 20 states and 9 university campuses. I completed 25 radio show interviews, and made 3 television show appearances. Along the way I managed to write my second book and post 17 new videos, 48 podcasts (and television broadcasts), and 246 blog articles. Next year I think I’ll slow down a bit.

As I was reviewing the statistics for the blog posts this year, I figured it was time to post my annual top ten list. Here are the most popular articles (written in 2014) in order, from the 10th most popular to the most popular of all:

10. 10 Important Questions for the Jehovah’s Witness Worldview
There are a number of philosophical and theological questions exposing the internal contradictions of the Jehovah’s Witness worldview.

9. How the Book of Abraham Exposes the False Nature of Mormonism
By taking an evidential approach to Christian and Mormon scripture, I confirmed the veracity of Christianity and guarded myself from the falsity of Mormonism

8. Ten Principles When Considering Alleged Bible Contradictions
If we objectively examine the Scriptures with these principles in mind, we’ll grow in our understanding of the Bible and better resolve the difficulties

7. Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Horus Mythology?
Is Jesus simply a retelling of the Horus myth? How similar is Horus to Jesus upon close examination? Do these similarities invalidate the historicity of Jesus?

6. Why Are Young Christians Leaving the Church? It’s Simple Math
Why Are Young Christians Leaving the Church? Three powerful forces are driving the current departure of young Christians from the Church.

5. The Inevitable Consequence of An Atheistic Worldview
What are the inevitable consequences of an atheistic worldview? A summary from an honest (if not politically correct) comment from an atheist.

4. Investigating the Evidence for Mormonism In Six Steps
Given the evidence, there is more than enough reason to conclude Joseph Smith was a fraud and the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction.

3. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert)
Is the Bible true? The case for the reliability of the Gospels is strong and substantive.

2. The Difference Between “Natural Talents” and “Spiritual Gifts”
Natural talents are the result of our genetic inheritance and the training in our family environment. Spiritual gifts are given to us by the Spirit of God once we are saved.

And here it is, the most popular article posted this year (by far):

1. Is There Any Evidence for Jesus Outside the Bible?
The ancient non-Christian interpretations (and critical commentaries) of the Gospel accounts serve to strengthen the core claims of the New Testament.


Words of Comfort: One blood.

Some have wondered, if we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, why are there so many races? The Bible informed us 2,000 years ago that God has made all nations from “one blood.” We are all of the same race—the “human race,” descendants of Adam and Eve, something science is slowly coming to realize. Reuters news service reported the following article by Maggie Fox:

“Science may have caught up with the Bible, which says that Adam and Eve are the ancestors of all humans alive today. Peter Underhill of Stanford University in California remarked on findings published in the November 2000 issue of the journal Nature Genetics. . . Geneticists have long agreed there is no genetic basis to race—only to ethnic and geographic groups.

“People look at a very conspicuous trait like skin color and they say, ‘Well, this person’s so different’ . . . but that’s only skin deep,” Underhill said. “When you look at the level of the Y chromosome you find that, gee, there is very little difference between them. And skin color differences are strictly a consequence of climate.” [From, The Evidence Bible]

http://www.onthebox.us/2014/12/words-of-comfort-one-blood.html


Frustrated With God

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I am so frustrated with God, I have been praying for years now, my family and friends too, to save my marriage.  Last night i was talking to my husband again, meanwhile I am praying for God to intervene. He just will not. Nothing. My husband is moving out, he is done, and I stand here helpless.  Where is God?  He is able to move mountains, he can do anything he wants, and if he loves me, why does he not answer my prayers.  I know it is his will we don’t divorce so why is he not stopping this.  Why is he not helping me?

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Peace Or Sudden Destruction?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I am a brother in Christ, but I have trouble understanding how Luke 21:25,26 and 1 Thessalonians 5:3 can both be right.  How can they be saying peace and security and at the same time being fearful about the thing coming to the earth?

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Becoming Like Little children

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Do you think all children in the world under the age of accountability will be raptured? Even those in unbelieving households?

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A Secret Jesus Couldn’t Reveal, Follow Up

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Re: A Secret Jesus Couldn’t Reveal.  We do not understand your statement,  “Blessings like salvation by grace through faith alone, eternal security, and especially the rapture, never have and never will be offered to Israel.”  We  understand that only the Church will be raptured, but how does the Jew receive salvation if not thru faith alone?

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Pop-offecy versus preaching as from a full Canon

by Dan Phillips
It’s so much fun to be a Charismatic these days. You can say anything you want, and not only will no one in your movement call you on it, they’ll give you buckets of money and the opportunity to do it over and over and over again!
Take Pat Robertson, famous for The 700 Club and much besides. Every year, Pat literally goes up in the mountains to get a word from God. Now, in case you are not familiar with Charismaticism, this isn’t a Bible study. This isn’t a word like the word every last child of God has been given by Him for millennia. This is a special word, a private word, just from God to just Pat.
Then Pat tells us.
Of course, like all of the distinctive doctrines and practices of modern Charismaticism, this bears no resemblance to the Biblical phenomena. (That’s why some solicitous enablers have fabricated the whole “analogy” camouflage.) Unlike Biblical revelatory phenomena, these are largely unverifiable, unfalsifiable, and unremarkable.
“Largely,” I say, but not always. In Pat’s case, he has made some specific predictions in God’s name. In those instances, how’s Pat’s record as a prophet? In short, not so great. For instance, in 1996 “God” murmured to Pat that Clinton would lose in his bid for the White House. Yeah, if only. Also, a nuke was going to hit the US. Then in 2005, “God” hinted that Bush would pass Social Security reform and tax reform, and would load the Supreme Court with conservatives. Again, if only. Then in 2006, the US would be hit with tsunamis, and in 2007 a mass killing would possibly leave millions dead in the US.
So you see? If Pat were held to the standards of Biblical prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:20-22), he’d be thirty years dead.
More recently, then, how did Pat do for 2014? Well, the walking, talking unpaid Charismatic bill said he thinks maybe God kinda told him that the world is going to be in chaos; some kind of credit crisis. (Wow, now, that’s going out on a limb, isn’t it?) Also, Iranians will have a nuclear device by end of year. President Obama will be severely hampered and will take a lot of vacations, surfing and stuff — again, hardly Isaiah 40.
But Pat also said “There’s going to be a great move of God.” Like what? Oh, the usual Charismatic stuff — so, nothing. But also this:“There will be a move of God, and it will be the greatest year in the history of the church. It’ll be unbelievable all around the world. And I think Islam is going to be on the retreat; instead of advancing, it’s going to be retreating, uh, and, you know, onward Christian soldiers”Apparently God didn’t tell Pat what impact it has on Islamists to hear a Christian saying “onward Christian soldiers.”
At this writing, that promised revival of Christianity (which, ironically, would mean the end of Charismaticism), as well as the retreat of Islam, hasn’t happened either.
So as I say, if this were Israel, Pat would be thirty years dead. As it is, he can’t even get himself excommunicated, or disowned, or even effectively shushed.
For our church and as a sort of foretaste for the Sufficient Fire conference, I preached a sermon titled 2015 – Predictions and Prescriptions, from the perspective of hearty affirmation of a full Canon and a sufficient Scripture.
Compare and contrast, at your leisure.

Source


Headlines of Interest

Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Responding to the Muslim View of Jesus


Our Time is Short


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Laying Out a Simple Strategy for #the15

Polemics Report

Where do we go from here?

If you’re new to #the15, these two posts explain both the origins of #the15 and who, specifically, #the15 are (here and here). In the mean time, here are a few facts.

1) We NEED to be more than what one well-meaning fellow called “reactionary tweeters.” Don’t get me wrong. We should be reactionary. Reacting to things is not bad, and I would argue, not reacting can be deadly (if you’re not agreeing at this point, please don’t get behind the wheel of a car). Furthermore, #the15 (as a whole) have reacted only after years and years of being ignored and years and years of heresy-peddling from Lifeway and condescension from evangelical leaders. We’ve reacted in a big way, but it was a very, very long fuse. It was, as they say, a long time coming. No, what I want to warn us…

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Let him be anathema

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘ There He is, ’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:23-24 NASB)

I have been a Christian since January 1986. I had just turned 34 in October so I was an adult with a wife and children when God had mercy on this sinner. However, I grew up in a “Christian” home going to church every Sunday until I grew up and went my own way. I know that Christians are commanded to be forgiving, kind, and gentle with others. However, we are also commanded to stand firm and withstand false teachers and their doctrines. When I began writing and blogging as an extension of my teaching ministry, I soon…

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December 29, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report and Headline Alerts

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Dec. 29, 2014

BLOOMBERG

NATO-led forces and U.S. military personnel formally ended a 13-year war in Afghanistan amid an escalating insurgency that threatens to undermine the nation’s second elected government.

Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, were walking from their wedding rehearsal on Saturday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii when they were informed they’d have to move their wedding, scheduled for the next day. President Barack Obama wanted to play through.

Thousands of police filled a church and lined the streets at the funeral for a slain New York City cop hailed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a “hero,” as some officers silently protested by turning their backs on the mayor as he addressed the service.

Sony Pictures’ “The Interview,” the Seth Rogen comedy that sparked a cyber attack linked to North Korea and threats of violence in theaters, filled cinemas in a limited Christmas Day release across the U.S. without incident.

Talks between separatist officials and representatives of Ukraine’s military ended in Donetsk without an agreement as the authorities in Kiev accused rebels of reinforcing their positions in the country’s east.

A price war is brewing between Canada and Latin America over who will satisfy U.S. Gulf Coast refiners’ hunger for heavy oil. The Canadian supply will square off against crudes from Mexico and Venezuela that have traditionally fed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

Oil advanced amid speculation that an escalating conflict in Libya may pare a global surplus that’s driven crude into a bear market.

Gold futures fell for the fourth time in five sessions amid waning investor demand for a store of value. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by bullion fell 0.6 percent last week, extending a drop to the lowest since 2009.

Search crews scouring the Java Sea for a missing AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA) passenger jet failed to find any trace for a second day as authorities suspect the plane carrying 162 people crashed into the waters off Indonesia.

AP Top Stories

Helicopters defied high winds and stormy seas Monday to evacuate hundreds of passengers and staff from Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania. Seven people died and survivors told of a frantic rush to escape the flames and pelting rain.

The spokesman for the Ferguson, Mo., police department has been placed on unpaid leave after calling the makeshift memorial to slain black teenager Michael Brown a “pile of trash in the middle of the street” after it was destroyed.

Warning from President Obama to congressional Republicans: I have a veto pen and, come January, I won’t be afraid to use it. Since taking office in 2009, Obama has only vetoed legislation twice, both in fairly minor circumstances. But with Republicans set to take full control of Congress next year, Obama is losing his last bulwark against a barrage of bills he doesn’t like: the Senate.

Meteorologists first conceived of seeding clouds as a way to increase rainfall in 1946, working at General Electric’s laboratories in Schenectady, New York. But in the nearly 60 years since then, it has remained unclear whether human attempts to make it snow actually work.

Next month’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp is a reminder, at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise again, of what happens when the world stays silent about persecution, the president of the World Jewish Congress said.

The Taliban responded scornfully Monday to the formal end of NATO’s war in Afghanistan, describing the US-led mission as a “fire of barbarism and cruelty” that had drowned the country “in a pool of blood”.

After promising clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug called Saxenda for chronic weight management that will be available by prescription to overweight and obese adults.

BBC

Russia’s economy contracted for the first time in five years as President Putin moved to protect the country’s banks.

A member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) hacker network claimed to have cloned a thumbprint of a German politician by using commercial software and images taken at a news conference.

Controversial Sony film The Interview became the studio’s most downloaded film ever, just four days after its release online.

A world record-breaking ice cream shop in Venezuela closed due to a milk shortage, the latest victim of a continuing economic crisis.

Cameroon has carried out air strikes against militant Islamist group Boko Haram for the first time, after it seized a military base, officials said.

South Korea proposed high-level talks with North Korea, including discussions of reunions for families separated by the Korean War.

WND

Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.

According to a Buzzfeed report online, Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) staff members said he will reintroduce a bill that “goes after the federal programs that send military-grade equipment to local police departments.”


The 2.6 Billion Dollar Welfare Payment That The U.S. Government Gives To Wal-Mart

Should the federal government be spending billions of dollars to pump up Wal-Mart’s profits? I know that question sounds really bizarre, but unfortunately this is essentially what is happening. Because Wal-Mart does not pay them enough money, hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees enroll in Medicaid, food stamps and other social welfare programs. Even though Wal-Mart makes enormous profits, they refuse to properly take care of their employees so the federal government has to do it. And of course this is not just a Wal-Mart problem. There are hundreds of other major corporations doing exactly the same thing. And they will keep on doing it as long as they can because relying on the federal government to take care of their employees allows them to make much larger profits. This gives these companies an enormous competitive advantage and it distorts the marketplace. If you love the free enterprise system, you should be aghast at this. Our big corporations have become the biggest “welfare queens” of all, and Wal-Mart is near the top of that list. (Read More….)


The Zombiefication Of America

Do you know people that seem like they have had their souls sucked out of them? On dictionary.com, a “zombie” is defined as “the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose”. And that sounds very much like what has happened to tens of millions of Americans. When you look into their eyes, it doesn’t look like anything is even there. That is because who they once were is now dominated and controlled by the overwhelmingly powerful “matrix” that is being constructed all around us. As I wrote about the other day, virtually all news, information and entertainment that Americans consume is controlled by just six monolithic corporations. And today, Americans are more “plugged in” than ever before. The average person watches 153 hours of television a month in addition to spending countless hours watching movies, playing video games, listening to music, reading books and surfing the Internet. In the end, all of that “programming” turns many of us into virtual zombies, and that is the way that the elite like it. (Read More…)


ISIS Closing In On Israel From The North And The South

The war against ISIS is taking a dangerous, perhaps inevitable turn. The terror organization has been keen to expand to southern Syria and the Syrian capital of Damascus. Now it says it has recruited three Syrian rebel groups operating in the south of the country in an area bordering the Israeli occupied Golan Heights — that have switched their loyalties to ISIS …………. Click here for full story


From Baltic To Asia, East-West Aerial Confrontations Heat Up

From the skies of the Baltic to the South China Sea, a new era of confrontation with Russia and China is pitting U.S. and allied pilots against their counterparts on a scale not seen since the Cold War era ……… Click here for full story


It’s Not The Zombie Apocalypse, But Killer Superbugs Could Be On The Way

Humans are pretty darn lucky. We’re surrounded on a daily basis by a number of things that could potentially kill us, including bacteria and viruses, yet our immune system has evolved over time into a pretty impressive defense system that’s capable of repelling or killing many of the bacteria and viruses we encounter………. Click here for full story


Your Christian Faith Could Cost Your Job

He seemed like a shoe in for the job of Director of Public Health for the state of Georgia. A medical doctor and PhD, Dr. Eric Walsh had been thoroughly vetted for the position in over 100 pages of documentation praising the doctor being hired by the agency. That is, until Dr. Walsh’s Christian sermons were uncovered………. Click here for full story


Biometrics Coming Beyond Fingerprinting

Those who are old enough to remember the days when fixed telephone handsets were the only source of long distance voice communication can hardly believe the gigantic transformation that cellphones have brought. Those who relied on telegrams and postal mail are also quite impressed with how much farther electronic systems such as email, have added to the speed and variety of written communication channels ……… Click here for full story


Palestinian Leadership Hijack Christianity: Jesus Declared A Palestinian

Palestinian leaders this Christmas season are bent on claiming Jesus Christ and the celebration of His birth as their own. Despite the fact that Jesus’ birthplace of Judea wasn’t renamed “Palestine” until at least 100 years after his death, despite the fact that modern-day Palestinians didn’t adopt that name until the 20th century, Palestinian Authority officials have repeatedly claimed recently that Jesus was a “Palestinian.” ……… Click here for full story


These Two Nations Have Banned a Controversial Movie

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been banned in Egypt, CNN reported. The movie also has been nixed in Morocco, the Guardian noted. The Egyptian Ministry of Culture banned the controversial Ridley Scott flick over historical inaccuracies, CNN said, citing a statement from the agency. Egyptian Culture Minister Jabir Asfour called the movie “Zionist.” “It shows history from a Zionist viewpoint and forges historical events, therefore it is was banned in Egypt,” CNN reported, citing state news agency EGYNews. “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been criticized over issues surrounding race as well as lead actor Christian Bale’s not-so-complimentary view of Moses, whom Bale portrays in the newest celluloid version of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt. Morocco has banned “Exodus” as well since it contains a representation of God, which goes against Islamic principles. The scene in question depicts God appearing as a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses,” the film’s distributor told the Guardian. More


AirAsia plane missing with 162 on board, Indonesia media report

Air traffic controllers in Indonesia have lost contact with an AirAsia plane with 162 people on board, local media reported Sunday. Indonesia’s Metro TV station reported that contact with the plane, Flight QZ 8501, was lost sometime after takeoff. Sky News reported that an official with Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said that contact with the Jakarta air traffic control station was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time Sunday (6:17 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday). Sky also reported that the official said that the aircraft had requested an unusual route before losing contact. According to the website FlightAware.com, the Airbus320 was scheduled to depart from Juanda International Airport on the Indonesian island of East Java at 5:30 a.m. local time, with arrival in Singapore scheduled for 8:20 a.m. (7:20 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday). It had last flown the route on Dec. 26. Fox News


Theft of baby Jesus figure may be hate crime, authorities say

The FBI has joined the investigation into who stole a baby Jesus from a Haverhill, Massachusetts, nativity scene and replaced it with a real pig’s head. During a press conference Friday, authorities said this case may be treated as a hate crime. “If our investigation leads us to think this person was motivated by prejudice towards a religion, it will be treated as a hate crime,” Haverhill police Detective Robert Pistone said, according to CNN affiliate WCVB. Authorities say a priest at Sacred Hearts Church, north of Boston, called them Christmas morning to report the nativity scene theft and switch. Video from CNN affiliate WHDH showed the pig’s head wrapped in plastic in the center of the manger, surrounded by Mary, Joseph and lamb figurines. Sacred Hearts Parish was founded in 1908 and serves 3,000 families of the Merrimack Valley. More


Black pastors make stand for traditional marriage

A coalition of black pastors has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of traditional marriage in a federal case that upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Thomas More Law Center filed the brief at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders, asserting that marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. The brief supported the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Deboer vs. Gov. Rick Snyder, which upheld Michigan’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman as constitutional. The Sixth Circuit Court’s decision affects laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Thomas Moore Law Center began filing amicus briefs on behalf of the black pastors earlier this year as part of a new strategy to stem the tide of federal cases overturning the definition of traditional marriage as passed by overwhelming majorities of voters in more than 20 states. In many of the cases, a single federal judge was able to overturn laws approved by a state’s voters. More


300 PATIENTS A DAY HAVE SURGERY AXED IN UK.

More than 300 patients a day are having operations cancelled as the National Health Service runs out of beds, official figures show. Surgeons were forced to delay planned, “elective” procedures 3,113 times in the first two weeks of this month. This is an average of 311 each working day and a rise of almost 50% on the same period two years ago. The numbers are up 16% in the last year alone. Another 161 urgent operations — where life, limb or organs were at risk — were also cancelled in the first half of this month, up from 138 last year. The disclosure comes amid mounting concern about the growing signs of strain in the health service. David Cameron has ordered his two most trusted “fixers” to take charge. More


Iran military helps Iraq fight ISIS; Obama welcomes.

Iranian military involvement has dramatically increased in Iraq over the past year as Tehran has delivered desperately needed aid to Baghdad in its fight against Islamic State militants, say U.S., Iraqi and Iranian sources. In the eyes of Obama administration officials, equally concerned about the rise of the brutal Islamist group, that’s an acceptable role — for now. Yet as U.S. troops return to a limited mission in Iraq, American officials remain apprehensive about the potential for renewed friction with Iran, either directly or via Iranian-backed militias that once attacked U.S. personnel on a regular basis. A senior Iranian cleric with close ties to Tehran’s leadership, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss security matters, said that since the Islamic State’s capture of much of northern Iraq in June, Iran has sent more than 1,000 military advisers to Iraq, as well as elite units, and has conducted airstrikes and spent more than $1 billion on military aid. More


Europe is in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, Abbas claims

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the Palestinians feel they are in a position of strength “because the world is standing with us.” In a message to Fatah activists in Nablus, Abbas said that the parliaments and governments of important countries in Europe have voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. He pointed out that only nine countries opposed the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. Abbas said that in light of worldwide support, the Palestinians felt strong enough to go to the Security Council and ask for a resolution that sets a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. More


Falklands defence review after military deal between Russia and Argentina

The aircraft, which Moscow will swap for beef and wheat, would be able to mount air patrols over Port Stanley. Ministry of Defence officials fear Buenos Aires would take delivery of the planes well before the deployment in 2020 of the Navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its F-35B fighters, leaving a “real window of vulnerability”. Defence cuts have left the Falklands with just four RAF Typhoon fighters, Rapier surface-to-air missiles and fewer than 1,200 troops, supported by a naval warship that visits throughout the year. President Putin’s visit to Argentina in July laid the groundwork for exchanging Russian military hardware for wheat, beef and other goods Moscow needs due to EU food embargoes. The deal involves a lease/lend of 12 Sukhoi Su-24 supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft. They are ageing but Nato still regards what it codenames “Fencers” as “super-fighters”, with their 2,000-mile range and laser-guided missiles. Russia has been increasing its links with Argentina since 2010, when it provided two Mi17 assault helicopters which are in service with the 7th Air Force Brigade. More


A new public security law in Spain is taking away people’s right to speak out about the financial crisis.

Human rights groups say law is parliament’s attempt to ‘gag’ public and muzzle protests over its handling of country’s financial crisis The new law allows fines of up to €30,000 for disseminating photographs of police officers that are deemed to endanger them or their operations. Individuals participating in demonstrations outside parliament buildings or key installations could be fined up to €600,000, if they are considered to breach the peace. Those insulting police officers could be fined up €600. Burning a national flag could cost the perpetrator a maximum fine of €30,000. More


A federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state must allow thousands of illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses

A federal judge in Arizona ruled that the state must allow thousands of illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses This means that the state is now compelled to allow “Dreamers,” who have received work permits through President Obama’s deferred action program, to apply for licenses as soon as Monday. On “Fox and Friends Weekend” this morning, Nomiki Konst clarified that these are not illegal immigrants, but non-American citizens who were brought here when they were younger than 18. More


Did the US and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?

Saudi oil policy… has been subject to a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture in recent weeks. We do not seek to politicize oil… For us it’s a question of supply and demand, it’s purely business.” – Ali al Naimi, Saudi Oil Minister “There is no conspiracy, there is no targeting of anyone. This is a market and it goes up and down.” – Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, United Arab Emirates’ petroleum minister “We all see the lowering of oil prices. There’s lots of talk about what’s causing it. Could it be an agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to punish Iran and affect the economies of Russia and Venezuela? It could.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin. Are falling oil prices part of a US-Saudi plan to inflict economic damage on Russia, Iran and Venezuela? Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to think so. In a recent interview that appeared in Reuters, Maduro said he thought the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted to drive down oil prices “to harm Russia.” Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees with Maduro and told journalists at RT that: “The reduction in oil prices was provoked by the US as an attack on the economies of Venezuela and Russia. In the face of such economic and political attacks, the nations must be united.” More


Look Who Tops Oprah on Most Admired Woman List of 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman of 2014, a new poll has found. According to a Gallup’s annual list of most admired public figures, conducted Dec. 8-11 of 805 adults, 12 percent of people named her. She was the only person to reach double digits on the women’s list, and it’s the 19th time in the poll’s history that she has come in first. Clinton is “easily the most [admired] of any woman in Gallup’s history of asking the most admired question, six more times than Eleanor Roosevelt,” Gallup said. Oprah Winfrey came second with 8 percent, while Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai got 5 percent. A number of other women in the political arena also made the list including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with 4 percent, Michelle Obama with 3 percent, and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin with 2 percent. Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is often floated as a possible 2016 presidential contender, attracted 1 percent. And former First Lady Laura Bush also got 1 percent. More


Terror Alert: Holy War in America’s Bible Belt

It was like any other family vacation for us: rare, restful and too short. Three generations piled into adjoining condos that my father had booked; four generations if you count that my daughter was pregnant and making me a grandmother. We were all gathered to visit and then go with her to the big ultrasound. The result? Twin boys, now almost 8 years old. But one afternoon, I decided to lay down and take a nap before the big family meal. Since I never nap, and since I believe God speaks through dreams, I decided to take advantage of this extra sleep cycle and see if He might speak to me in a dream. I laid down, asked the Lord what He wanted to say, and drifted off. Surely I would dream about those precious twins. Or maybe about how the generations of the righteous are blessed. But that wasn’t at all what God needed to say that day. I saw an American city destroyed by terrorist bombing. There was carnage in the streets, smoke everywhere, and utter pandemonium. It looked like a desolate wasteland. I somehow knew a “holy war” had been incited by Middle Eastern terrorists, and that the city they’d bombed was my hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. Not that there wouldn’t be other cities targeted, but this attack was different. More


Filipino City Requires Taxi Drivers to Display Bible Verses on Vehicles

A city in the Philippines mandates all of its taxi drivers to paint Scripture on the back of their vehicles, also known as three-wheeled motorcycles, in an effort to curb crime in the city. While the regulation in Tagbilaran has been in effect for over twenty years, reports have just recently highlighted the requirement. “This is the only city in the Philippines that has such an ordinance,” Samuel Belderol, who issues taxi licenses at city hall, told reporters. “We want the world to know that we are a God-fearing city and that these Bible verses help us draw closer to God.” “We only issue 3,000 licenses every year and each one must have a unique verse on it, no duplicate verses allowed,” he explained, nothing that the drivers are assigned a particular Bible verse. More


Russian economy suffers first contraction since global crisis

Russia’s economy shrank sharply in November and the rouble resumed its slide on Monday as Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices combined to inflict the first contraction in GDP since the global financial crisis. The Economy Ministry said gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent last month, the first drop since October 2009. With oil exports forming the backbone of the economy, analysts said the contraction is likely to worsen. The slide on the oil market accelerated this month after the exporters’ group OPEC refused to cut output, and prices are down almost 50 percent from a peak in June. On top of this, the sanctions imposed over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis have deterred foreign investment and led to over $100 billion flooding out of the Russian economy this year. More


Hackers Tried to Paralyze Nuclear Plants

Authorities investigating a hacking attack targeting Korea’s nuclear power plants said Sunday that emails containing malware were sent to hundreds of workers at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation. They were intended to destroy internal files and hard disks. The emails were sent to KHNP workers between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, while the malicious codes were designed to be activated at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10. The hackers emailed around 5,980 messages to one-third of KHNP’s 9,500 staff. More


Colorado locks down water supply, promising “not a drop more” to California

Recent storms dropped torrential rains across much of California, causing flooding and mudslides across many areas, leaving some residents homeless and killing at least two people. There was even a tornado in Los Angeles. Despite record rainfall on December 10 of between 1.54 inches at Long Beach Airport and 2.36 inches in Oxnard, the amount of rain that fell was a mere drop in the bucket for this drought-stricken state. A milder storm December 12 added to the rainfall total. These early-winter storms left behind a combined 166 billion gallons of water, which seems like an enormous amount of water, but in reality is only enough water for 2.5 million people for one year. Given that California has been in a drought since 2011, and has a population of over 38 million, it is clear that California is far from done with its water woes. According to an article by the San Jose Mercury News, the California Department of Water Resources estimates that California will need six more major winter storms dropping similar amounts of rain to bring an end to the drought. More


School teachers forced to wear scarlet letter flu masks, gloves when they refuse flu shots that don’t even work

The vaccine mafia is upping the stakes in its endless war against free thinking and personal choice. A shocking new report indicates that some daycare workers in Texas are now being forced to wear face masks and gloves throughout the duration of “flu season” if they refuse to be injected with live viruses and mercury. Citing a letter received from a concerned daycare worker in the College Station area of central Texas, VacTruth.com reports that at least one daycare center in the region, Covenant Presbyterian Children’s Center (CPCC), has implemented the egregious policy, which is akin to forcibly labeling all resisters with a giant scarlet letter in order to coerce compliance. More


Obamacare causing massive wave of hospital closures across USA

A number of acute-care hospitals closed across the United States last year — 18 to be exact — and experts who see a raft of new regulatory processes being heaped upon the healthcare industry in the coming years, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, believe that a wave of additional closures are ahead. As noted by WorldNetDaily, a dozen more hospitals have closed in the U.S. so far this year in rural areas alone; more are getting ready to be shuttered. But Dr. Lee Hieb, M.D., says this is just the beginning. “Events happening now give us some idea of what medicine will be reduced to in the future,” she wrote in her upcoming book, Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare, which is being published by WND Books. More


Los Angeles on Tactical Alert After Two People Fire at Patrol Car.

The city of Los Angeles, California has been put on tactical alert after two suspects fired at a patrol car with rifles on Sunday night, according to a report posted on ABC7.com, the website of the local ABC affiliate. Police say one suspect is in custody and they are searching for the second one. The incident occurred at 62nd and Hoover streets at about 9:20 p.m. Police say every available officer has been sent to the area. Authorities said two officers were rolling down the street when they observed the muzzle of a rifle firing in their direction, according to CBS Los Angeles. A rifle has reportedly been recovered. But it remains unclear if more than one weapon was used in the alleged attack. More


Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches

He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?

It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.

The reason for such frenetic activity, says Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is the pope’s wish to directly influence next year’s crucial UN climate meeting in Paris, when countries will try to conclude 20 years of fraught negotiations with a universal commitment to reduce emissions.

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10 Lies Taught To Us In School

The school system is a bastion of education and enlightenment, a fortress of higher learning where our children can safely discover the facts about the way our world works. Through this system we have the opportunity to grow and mature into responsible adults, secure in our knowledge of history, science, and mathematics.

Except, of course, for all the ridiculously irresponsible lies we’re being fed. Here are ten of the biggest lies taught to us in school.

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The Year (2014) in Review – Church & Culture Blog

As we did last year, this is the time to recap the year that was.

There are a number of ways to do it, all of which are interesting. You can look at a year in terms of notable deaths, viral events, political rises and falls….

But how do you really get a twelve-month snapshot of a culture’s zeitgeist?

I would argue for two words: “Google searches.”

I’m not saying that this will be what historians will mark in 10, much less 100 years…even less what is most significant. But I will say that it may be the clearest window into our current soul.

So here we go with a few peeks into our inner world, courtesy of Google itself:

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How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing)

This article shows how many films are based on the tenets of Hinduism.

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Our Year With The Bible Infographic 2014

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Peace on Earth? I Don’t Think So

Around the world millions of Christians joined together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to pray for “peace on Earth, good will toward men.” The 2015 World Almanac puts the number of Christians in the world at 2,347,171,000, by far the largest group sharing the same spiritual beliefs. It puts the number of Muslims at 1,633,173,000. Of the seven billion residents of planet Earth, more than six billion identify themselves as part of one of the many different faiths, to include Hindu, Buddhist, and others.

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Michele Bachmann Accuses Obama Of Assisting Anti-Israel Jihadists

She said she has watched Obama, “at every turn, cut the legs of our ally, Israel, and in fact embrace and lift up the agenda of Islamic jihad.” Obama’s ostensibly enthusiastic support of Iran’s leader as that nation reportedly moves toward the creation of a nuclear weapon, Bachmann said, is a further cause for serious concern.

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Cop Shot By Muslim in ‘Revenge Killing’ Was Christian Who Saw Streets as Ministry

“He told me that his job even with the NYPD, he felt he was doing God’s work,” Marcos Miranda, president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force, told Arise America. “He felt that he was protecting and serving his community and that was a sort of a ministry for him. And I totally agreed with him.”

“As most of you may know by now, one of the officers, Ralph Ramos was a long-standing member of 14 years at Christ Tabernacle. When he was not working, he was highly involved in our church,” Adam Durso, the executive pastor of Christ Tabernacle wrote in a statement on the church website. “He served as an usher, was part of our marriage ministry and life group ministry. He and his family are well loved throughout the congregation.”

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The New Anti-Semitism in 2014: A Year in Review

When it comes to chronicling the “Oldest Hatred”, stories abound. 2014 was no different, and in a sense, was even more heavily loaded with statements, events, tragedies and even death, than the previous year. All seems to indicate that Anti-Semitism is on the rise globally AND exponentially, in frequency AND intensity. A review of the main anti-Semitic acts that punctuated this last year will suffice to make your Judeo/Christian hair rise on your head.

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Mars Hill Church’s Former Pastor Mark Driscoll Is Back With A Flashy New Website

Pastor Mark Driscoll may be aiming for comeback.

The disgraced evangelical preacher, who recently resigned from the Seattle megachurch network he spent 18 years building, has reportedly launched a website filled with sermons and other free resources.

News about the website emerged just days before Mars Hill Church formally dissolves on Dec. 31, Seattle PI reports.

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The Rapture — A Secret Jesus Couldn’t Reveal

I am frequently asked if the rapture is such an important event for the Church, why didn’t Jesus say anything about it? Our Q & A format doesn’t lend itself to a comprehensive answer to such a complex question, so here’s the whole story. It begins 500 years before the cross with God’s answer to a prayer from Daniel reminding Him that Israel’s 70 year Babylonian captivity was just about over and He promised He would restore the nation when it ended (Jeremiah 29:10-11).

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The Economy is Not Recovering: Get Prepared

I know it’s tiresome and depressing to constantly read how bad things are economically in this country, but commerce runs the engine of our economy and our lives for it generates the income we all need to survive. It’s also confusing because one doesn’t know who or what to believe. However, is it not better to know the truth than to rely on an illusion? Truth from people who actually care what happens to we the people.

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Is ISIS in Psalm 83?

A 3000 year old prophecy written in the book of Psalms appears to be alarmingly close to finding its final fulfillment. Psalm 83 identifies a 10-member coalition comprised of the Arab territories that mostly share common borders with Israel. Psalm 83:4 informs that this formidable alliance wants to destroy the Jewish state and banish the name of Israel once and for all. Psalm 83:6-8 provides the Old Testament identity of these belligerents, which could also include notable terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and more.

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How To Make A New Year’s Resolution That Sticks

We have all heard the statistics: 50% of people make some kind of new year’s resolution, but 88% of those resolutions ultimately fail. That is more than a little discouraging. But I still believe in new year’s resolutions. I believe in them as a convenient opportunity to evaluate life and to make choices about living life better. I have done a fair bit of reading on how to make resolutions work, and it turns out that though there are many reasons your resolutions may not work, the most common ones are easy enough to avoid. Here are some tips on making wise resolutions and on making them stick.

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Ten Practical Ways to Control Spending and Wisely Manage God’s Money

The following guidelines are designed to help you exercise self-control in spending, become a better steward of God’s resources, and free funds to use for Kingdom purposes:

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What Should We Be on Our Guard for as Our Children Grow Older?

Sin is the true and obvious answer. That said, there are peculiar sins that teenagers, at least in our day, are somewhat prone to. Just as with adults, however, I’m afraid we mass our defenses in all the wrong places. The sins of our youth are just like the sins of our dotage, though they may present themselves in somewhat different ways. The key sin I am on the lookout for with my teenagers is the one I’m on the lookout for in me—pride.

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Is Your Church Functionally Liberal?

This lack of clarity allows unbiblical ideas and behavior to get traction. In a liberal church no one stands up, with an open Bible in his hand, and says, “Hey guys, we just don’t say/do things like that around here. It isn’t biblical.” That simple clarity just doesn’t exist in such a church. There is no authority towering over all else, rallying the people to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Only the Word of God, received with meekness, can prevent a church from sinking lower and lower into mediocrity, irrelevance, conflict and sheer boredom.

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Let’s Not Be Big, Fat Contradictions People!

Why do such a seductive picture for a Christian song about new birth? Carrie looked much more modest before the music industry got a hold of her. She also looked about 20 pounds heavier—and beautiful! She isn’t even close to overweight in her early days on American Idol. But healthy and wholesome isn’t the right image, I guess. And her real “changed life” seems to be okay with a lot of compromise.

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Seven Myths about a Pastor’s Workweek

It is an old joke, one that is still told too often. You go up to your pastor and say, “I wish I had your job; you only have to work one hour each week.” It is likely your pastor will laugh or smile at your comment. In reality your pastor is likely hurt by your statement. Indeed the reality is that too many church members have made wrongful and hurtful comments about the pastor’s workweek.

Sadly, some church members really believe some of the myths about a pastor’s workweek. And some may point to a lazy pastor they knew. I will readily admit I’ve known some lazy pastors, but no more so than people in other vocations. The pastorate does lend itself to laziness. To the contrary, there are many more workaholic pastors than lazy pastors.

So what are some of the myths about a pastor’s workweek? Let’s look at seven of them.

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The Evangelical: Jesus saw scripture as unbreakable; so should we

Post-evangelicals often present the options as (1) an infallible Bible and an infallible Church, or (2) a correctable Bible and a correctable Church. But if we were to present these options to Jesus or Paul or Moses – or Gregory, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon and the rest – I suspect they would splutter in astonishment and tell us about option (3): an infallible Bible, and a correctable Church. That, surely, is the way to preserve divine authority and human humility; a word from God that never fails, and people that frequently do.

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Police Matter: Some Reflections on the NYC Police Murders

We’d also be foolish not to recognize that demonizing the police—who are bringing hope in so many communities—has great dangers. We’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. And, coming from a public service family, it disgusts me. Yet, indeed, we do stand at a moment where there is a great danger the police will be demonized when they are, indeed, a key part of the solution. Only a fool thinks you cannot simultaneously support the police and listen to those who think they’ve been treated unfairly. That’s the kind of thinking that divides rather than brings reconciliation. We can support the police and talk about how to make policing better at the same time.

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The Cosmology of Killing— Part II

The cosmology of killing is thus pagan and occultic to its core and originates in the first temptation, that man could be as God and determine good and evil for himself – to be beyond good and evil. The contemporary justification of the killing of the unborn, then, on the sole basis that it sanctions ‘choice’ (the woman’s right to choose), is the essence of Moloch worship. We may not place our children in the fire, but the meaning is the same. We propitiate (satisfy) self-will and the will of the state (man enlarged) by offering up our children on the altar of our godhood and worship and serve the creature.

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The One Goal Your Family Needs This Year

Enjoy God together: Be intentional in taking time together as a family to explore God’s creation. Talk together about all God has done. Study his promises in his word and talk about how he has fulfilled them. Read biographies of missionaries and other heroes of the faith and be amazed at God’s work in his Kingdom. Rejoice together over answered prayers. Share what you are thankful for each day.

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CultureWatch: It’s Time To Get Intolerant

by Bill Muehlenberg

We expect secular humanists and others like them to celebrate the idea of tolerance as the greatest good, but sadly many believers have also hopped on to this foolish bandwagon. It is as if the greatest virtue is now tolerance and the greatest vice is intolerance.

Well, it is time for some straight thinking here. In fact, it’s time to get biblical as well. Just today I read the words of Jesus in which he praised intolerance. Yep, you heard me right. In his words to the Church in Thyatira he praised their ‘faith, service and perseverance,’ but he went on to harshly rebuke them:

“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20). These believers were tolerating something which they should have been very intolerant about.

tolerance 1The truth is, God cannot and will not tolerate anything that is evil, and neither should we. There are plenty of other biblical texts one could appeal to in this regard. Let me mention just a few more.

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Episcopal Church Baptisms Dry Up

“The report reveals that in U.S. dioceses, baptisms are down five percent from 27,140 in 2012 to 25,822 in 2013. Similarly, marriages are down four percent from 10,366 to 9,933 (the denomination has seen a 40 percent decline in children baptized since 2003 and a 46 percent decline in marriages over the same period).”

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Church of England Names Its First Woman Bishop; Libby Lane to Assume Historic Role

Lane, 48, a mother of two and the wife of an Anglican vicar, will be consecrated as the eighth bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, at a ceremony at York Cathedral on Jan. 26. Her appointment is as a suffragan bishop — a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan or diocesan bishop.

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Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World’s 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014

Out of the 10 countries with the most YouVersion usage, Philippians 4:8 was the most popular verse in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria in 2014, while Jeremiah 29:11 was the most popular verse in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jeremiah 33:2-3 was the most popular verse in South Korea. Isaiah 41:10 was the most popular verse in Mexico and Colombia.

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5 Special Things Black People Lost When Schools Were Integrated After Brown v. Board of Education Decision

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that state laws establishing separate public schools for Black and white students were unconstitutional, violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The 9-0 decision was hailed as a major victory for the civil rights of African-Americans, paving the way for the integration of the nation’s schools. But in retrospect, while there was reason to celebrate the court decision, there were also many things the Black community lost after the Brown decision.

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How Academia’s Liberal Bias Is Killing Social Science

The authors also drop this bombshell: In one survey they conducted of academic social psychologists, “82 percent admitted that they would be at least a little bit prejudiced against a conservative [job] candidate.” Eighty-two percent! It’s often said discrimination works through unconscious bias, but here 82 percent even have conscious bias.

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2014 In Review: An Unsettling Year, With Religion In A Starring Role

A string of court decisions paved a way for greater accommodation of religion in public life, dealing a blow to atheist groups that warned that the separation of church and state was under attack. In Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld sectarian prayers at public meetings, and the justices also ruled 5-4 in favor of the Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts chain in its bid to refuse a full range of contraceptive services to employees.

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Headlines of Interest

Have You Believed The LIE That The Apostle Paul Preached a Different Gospel Than The Other Apostles of Jesus Christ?

Rick Warren to Deliver Mars Hill Church’s Final Sermon via Video

“Apostle” Barb gets a brand new Mantle

President Obama’s Christian Faith ‘Has Deepened’ in Second Term, Say Spiritual Advisors

The True Story of General Patton’s Prayer

Stanford: New Dean for Religious Life is an LGBT activist and lesbian

Crosses torn down from 400 churches in eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang

China tightens church control ahead of Christmas


Our Time is Short


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer: The news/information headlines in this blog post are a service freely given so as to keep people informed about current events and discussions taking place within our church and culture. A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

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