Daily Archives: December 3, 2014

December 3, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Headline Alerts Collection

If you have only been born once you will die twice, but if you are born twice you will only die once. —Steven Lawson

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Dec. 3, 2014

BLOOMBERG

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is headed to Canada on a trade mission to discuss energy, an issue central to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest.

U.S. lawmakers, about to pass a short-term deal to extend dozens of targeted tax breaks, know what they’re doing is bad policy. And they’re doing it anyway. Dozens of tax breaks expired on Dec. 31, 2013, and Congress spent the year fighting over them. Now, with just four weeks left in the year, the House of Representatives plans today to punt the whole debate and slap on a new expiration date: Dec. 31, 2014.

Legislation introduced in New Jersey to rescue Atlantic City from fiscal distress would channel taxes on gambling revenue to pay municipal debt and give the state more say in the public-school system.

The European Central Bank’s purchases of asset-backed securities is boosting confidence in a revival of the market seven years after it was shuttered by the financial crisis. Sales of the debt will jump next year by the most since 2007, increasing about 50 percent to $143 billion.

The slide in oil prices to five-year lows offers China a double benefit as its leadership confronts the weakest expansion in a generation.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent oils rose after an industry report showed that U.S. crude inventories declined last week.

AP Top Stories

The American mother of a 14-year-old boy killed by an online gaming partner in Britain said she did everything she could to protect her son: She limited his access to electronics, installed parental controls and forbade him from using the same server as a boy she had grown suspicious of. She warned both British police and her son, the boy, was murdered by someone he met online on Feb 17. The teenagers had been playing games online for several months, despite efforts to put an end to their relationship.

In what seems contrary to mainstream dietary advice, a small new study shows that doubling the saturated fat in a person’s diet does not drive up the levels of saturated fat in the blood. Rather, the study found that it was the carbohydrates in people’s diets that were linked with increased levels of a type of fatty acid linked to heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday it will take years for a US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State group, as Washington said arch-foe Iran had launched its first air strikes against the jihadists.

A judge is expected to set a trial date for a white Chicago police officer who shot and killed a young black woman in 2012, in a case that has gained notoriety in the national uproar in recent months over policing and race.

Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group said it was responsible for an attack on a northeastern Kenyan quarry where it said it had executed dozens of “Kenyan crusaders.” The group said its mujahideen fighters had killed 40 people, although the government and other Kenyan officials put the death toll at 36.

A Las Vegas man who won $14.3 million playing the Megabucks slot machine at Rampart Casino plans to donate a large portion of the winnings to charity and to his church.

A Maine court has awarded the family of a transgender girl $75,000 in a settlement of her discrimination lawsuit against a school district where administrators made her use a staff, not student, bathroom.

India is speeding up a navy modernization program and leaning on its neighbors to curb Chinese submarine activity in the Indian Ocean, as nations in the region become increasingly jittery over Beijing’s growing undersea prowess.

Massachusetts General Hospital admitted a patient possibly exposed to the Ebola virus on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

BBC

Sweden’s left-of-center government is facing defeat in a budget vote that could prompt snap elections less than three months after it came to power.

A man was jailed for posting revenge porn to Facebook, making him the first person to be imprisoned under a new Californian law.

President Obama renewed calls for Congress to approve $6bn in emergency aid to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said any member of the armed forces found to lack loyalty will be dismissed.

Schools need to rapidly reopen in three Ebola-hit West African states as some five million children are being denied an education, a campaign group said.

More than 180 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death over a 2013 attack on a police station near Cairo.

Authorities in India’s Orissa state halt mass sterilisation camps after a doctor was found using a bicycle pump to inflate women’s abdomens.

WND

A 10-year-old North Carolina girl is publicly shaming the Disney Channel after the network said her thanking God on its website was tantamount to profanity.

An openly lesbian federal judge whose appointment was opposed by dozens of U.S. senators has ruled against a Christian former Navy chaplain who alleged his superiors engineered his dismissal from the service because he was not “ecumenical.”

State health officials have designated 35 U.S. hospitals as Ebola treatment centers, a move that will at least triple the number of beds available to treat future patients. The hospitals are mostly clustered around five airports: New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, New Jersey’s Newark, Washington’s Dulles, Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson.


Daily Digest for Wednesday

December 3, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“How much more do they deserve our reverence and praise, whose lives are devoted to the formation of institutions, which, when they and their children are mingled in the common dust, may continue to cherish the principles and the practice of liberty in perpetual freshness and vigor.” –Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Reid Backs GOP Spending Plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) indicated he would support Republicans’ budget plan to curtail Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. But this isn’t exactly good news. Republicans plan on funding most of the federal budget through September 2015, while giving the Department of Homeland Security enough dough to keep it running only until March, when the Republican-controlled Congress could better attack Obama’s power grab. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AK) told The Wall Street Journal, “We’ve just been handed an opportunity to demonstrate our capacity to lead and to govern. I don’t think it would be wise on our part … to get locked down in some kind of a confrontation.” While Red State’s Erick Erickson argues the Republican Party is caving to the will of the president, it’s likely Republicans know they can make only limited progress in this lame-duck session. More…

Don’t Worry, Obama Was Just ‘Speaking Colloquially’

A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about Barack Obama’s admission that he changed immigration law when he took executive action. Earnest first said it was just part of Obama’s down-to-earth rhetoric: “I think he was speaking colloquially, that what he has put in place, uh, meaning that obviously, well, no, meaning that it’s the responsibility of the United States Congress to pass laws. And it’s the responsibility of the executive branch to implement and enforce them. So I guess my point is…” The reporter pressed, asking the question again, and Earnest stumbled some more. “Well, I think the impact of the law certainly has been changed in terms of the way it affects millions of people who are in this country,” he continued. “And I think that’s what the president was alluding to.” When challenged about the legality of Obama’s actions, the White House is left stammering into a microphone.

Obama to Pick Carter to Mind the DoD Store

Yesterday, we noted Barack Obama’s difficulties in choosing a new secretary of defense to replace Chuck Hagel. Well, it now seems the likely nominee is former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Though Carter is considered to be an aggressive and independent thinker, and he said, “I do not think they are looking for someone more aggressive and independent,” he may have been the last person standing. But he’s a technocrat who The Wall Street Journal speculates won’t “do much more than mind the store while the White House conducts its meandering foreign policy.” As even The Washington Post observes, “Obama has had a difficult relationship with the military and his defense secretaries, who have often questioned his passion and commitment to the military’s mission.” Indeed, Obama’s only mission is knocking the U.S. down a few pegs, in part by stubbornly “ending” the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without a sound strategic plan. That allowed ISIL to rise flourish, leaving Carter with quite the mess to clean up — if he’s allowed to.

Kathleen Sebelius Also Thinks American Voters Are Stupid

Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is yet another member of the leftist elite who has supposedly never heard of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber — one of the architects of the “Affordable” Care Act. However, while she tries to sever the connection Gruber had with ObamaCare, she sure does talk like him, saying Americans are too ignorant to understand the concept of insurance. “A lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about,” Sebelius told USA Today. “I think the financial literacy of a lot of people, particularly people who did not have insurance coverage or whose employers chose their coverage and kind of present it to them, is very low — and that has been a sort of stunning revelation. It’s not because people hid it from folks. It’s because this is a complicated product.” Insurance? What’s that? Gee, we suppose the government should tell us all what to do because we’re too stupid to protect our own futures. Mark this comment down as a Gruberism. More…

$18 Trillion and Counting

As millions of Americans were racking up credit card debt on Black Friday, the federal government published its own revised debt figures. The balance sheet reveals that the U.S. has officially accrued more than $18 trillion in debt, or 103% of GDP. The feds spent nearly as much money in one day as Americans doled out during the post-Thanksgiving spending spree. Zero Hedge reporter Tyler Durden says, “[D]ebt held by the public rose to $12,922,681,725,432.94, an increase of $32 billion in one day.” Contrast that with a report from Bloomberg showing four-day consumer spending was just over $50 billion. We saw a lot of things Friday, but “black” wasn’t one of them — more like deep red. Barack Obama, who once called George W. Bush’s deficits “unpatriotic,” is making his predecessor’s spending habits look downright thrifty. According to Durden, America’s “debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.” That’s change you can believe in. More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Using Ferguson to Further a Race-Baiting Agenda

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No racial profiling here

On Monday, Barack Obama spoke to a group of the usual suspects about how Ferguson is an example of the many communities across the country where young people of color feel cheated. In a nation governed by the basic principle of equality under the law, Obama complained too many feel they aren’t treated fairly. The president argued that when any part of the American community feels this way, it’s a problem for us all.

Obama said his conversations with young people moved him because they feel no one believes the reality of their miserable lives. Surprisingly, he also spoke fairly about police and the difficulties and dangers of the job: “[I]f they’re in dangerous circumstances, we have to be able to put ourselves in their shoes and recognize that they do have a tough job.”

So he’s got a plan. His first initiative is the creation of the 21st Century Policing Task Force (TCPTF), which will involve local law enforcement, community activists and other “stakeholders” to provide input. The TCPTF will report back to Obama within 90 days with concrete recommendations. Obama guarantees that, unlike most task forces, this one would not be a waste of time.

Next he wants to ensure that “we’re not building a militarized culture inside our local law enforcement.” The heavy hardware Ferguson police used during the rioting did indeed cause concern across the political spectrum. Yet Obama plans no pause or reduction in the program of giving local and state police unnecessary military supplies and hardware. He just wants $75 million to subsidize 50,000 body cameras.

Third, the TCPTF will focus on — wait for it — racial profiling. Obama’s coming executive order will require federal agencies to stop racial profiling. Fortunately, our federal system saves us from his foisting it on the states. Racial profiling can cause problems, but it doesn’t appear that was the case with Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown.

Noteworthy, of course, is that white cops kill an average of 96 blacks every year — prompting a major White House initiative to address it. Yet blacks killed 6,000 other blacks last year, as well as 409 whites with nary a peep from the president. How’s that for racial profiling?

Meanwhile, Obama thanked his outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder for doing “excellent work” in Ferguson. And Holder kicked off a series of “honest conversations” with a speech at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church — the one pastored by Martin Luther King Jr. Another conversation about race. Whoopee.

Where Obama soft-pedaled, Holder let loose. “What we saw [in Ferguson] was a genuine expression of concern and involvement,” Holder said. “And it is through that level of involvement … and I hope a level of perseverance … that change ultimately will come.” He continued, “[Ferguson] presents this nation with … a unique opportunity, and I think it’s incumbent on all of us to seize this opportunity to deal with issues that for too long have been ignored.”

To that end, Holder will pursue two civil rights investigations, one aimed at Officer Darren Wilson and one at the Ferguson Police Department. So the Left’s racist merry-go-round that began in the 1960s just keeps spinning.

Holder called the protests in Ferguson “a genuine expression of concern and involvement,” meaning it was a righteous display. The rest of America saw a bunch of savages rioting, looting, setting fires and destroying businesses.

Indeed, non-aggrieved people are fed up. In the 1970s movie “Network,” the lead character advised people should yell, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” On talk radio, on the Internet, in the social media, in the supermarket, people are figuratively yelling just that.

And non-minorities aren’t the only ones fed up. Black Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke blasted Holder for his interference in Ferguson. Clarke said he “listened to Eric Holder throw law enforcement officers under the bus for political expediency,” and he compared Al Sharpton and his ilk to “vultures [feeding] on a roadside carcass.”

Granted, Michael Brown didn’t grow up in a good family — he was raised mostly by his grandmother. And it’s terribly sad that every year black babies are born into Brown’s kind of life (if they’re born at all). But the finger of blame rests on the heads of those like Obama, Holder and all the others who continue enflaming race for personal gain. Enough already!

Oil Price Plunge Benefits U.S. at Home and Abroad

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The UK Telegraph describes the result of America’s increased oil production as “one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in modern economic history.” The Washington Post declares its effect on the world to be the “most important economic story of 2014.” And you can see this story played out at the gas pump in your hometown.

Gone are the days when gas was four or five dollars per gallon. According to the American Automobile Association, the average price for a gallon of regular gas on Dec. 2 is $2.76. Here in East Tennessee, the price of gas is expected to drop below $2 a gallon, just like in Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas.

Thanks to fracking and a boom in the oil production from shale deposits, the price of a barrel of crude oil is $66.88. Increased oil production in the United States hobbles hostile countries abroad while giving the wallets of the middle and lower class a boost. Did we also mention it’s good for education? Educating liberals in the effects of free markets, that is.

For years, America was tied to foreign oil, OPEC controlled the lion’s share of oil, and no matter what the feds tried, none of their schemes could break the dependence of foreign fuels. In 2005, a record 60.3% of the petroleum products consumed in America came from outside the states. The demand for oil — felt by price spikes at the pump — led to new technology for harvesting oil and that led to a boom in American oil extraction.

Today, if Texas were counted as a separate country, it would be the seventh largest oil producer in the world. According to Mark Perry, an economic scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Texas produced 3.17 million barrels of oil per day in July. During the same time, Iran produced 3.23 million barrels — the sixth largest oil producer. But let’s not forget the American contributions of offshore drilling, the Alaskan oil fields and North Dakota.

This was a result of pure American entrepreneurship, the free markets acting on their own. Obama never created an energy policy guiding the energy now pouring out of the shale deposits around the nation. The EPA? It was too busy chasing coal companies and rubbing shoulders with environmentalists that break out in hives when they catch a whiff of industry.

As Perry writes:

“It happened not as a result of government mandates, regulatory pressure or taxpayer subsidies. Rather, it came about primarily due to innovation, entrepreneurial problem-solving and the marketplace, with some early government assistance in developing the technology for fracking and horizontal drilling.

“Lo and behold, the shale revolution is not only driving economic growth and putting millions of Americans to work but also providing elegant and efficient solutions to problems like foreign-oil dependence that policymakers couldn’t solve.”

The result is a price cut that can be felt by anyone with an automobile. Americans can spend more money on clothes and food instead of sinking green into the gas tank. As The Washington Post reports, “Every day, American motorists are saving $630 million on gasoline compared with what they paid at June prices, and they would get a $230 billion windfall if prices were to stay this low for a year.” Obama probably read about this one in the paper. How much did he say ObamaCare was projected to save taxpayers again?

On the world stage, America’s oil production pulls this nation’s economy ahead while stalling countries hostile to America. Last week, OPEC decided it was not going to cut oil production in response to the plummeting cost of a barrel of oil.

That was a mistake, writes the Telegraph: “Opec has misjudged the threat. As late as last year, it was dismissing US shale as a flash in the pan. Abdalla El-Badri, the group’s secretary-general, still insists that half of all US shale output is vulnerable below $85.”

Currently, the world’s oil producers are in a game of chicken with their economies. If the price of oil drops too low, the competing countries will have to stop production because the cost would not be worth it. At the moment, their cost of producing oil is much higher than that of the United States.

The Telegraph again: “The fiscal break-even cost is $161 for Venezuela, $160 for Yemen, $132 for Algeria, $131 for Iran, $126 for Nigeria, and $125 for Bahrain, $111 for Iraq, and $105 for Russia, and even $98 for Saudi Arabia itself, according to Citigroup.”

And how far does the price of oil have to drop before it starts to hurt the U.S. shale fields? $50, according to CNBC.

This sets the U.S. in the strategic position to win in the economic struggle for oil domination against hostile nations. For example, Russia is now facing serious economic challenges, and as a result will possibly slow exploration for oil and gas in its Arctic seas. According to the Brookings Institute, the Great Bear estimated the global price of oil would be at $97 dollars as it set its 2014 budget. Once the price of oil slid below $80, however, it headed for economic trouble because oil accounts for 14.5% of Russia’s GDP. If oil prices remain low, how will Vladimir Putin fund his shadow war in Ukraine?

It’s a story the late economist Milton Freidman would love: A whole industry rises up under a regulation-happy government and sets the stage for economic security here and abroad. Our analysis? Drill, baby, drill.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

Senator Daniel Webster (1782-1852): “The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”

Columnist Walter E. Williams: “Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he’s poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for him to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep. Someone has to fix him a wholesome breakfast and ensure that he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers. Here’s my question: Which one of those basic requirements can be accomplished through a presidential executive order, a congressional mandate or the edict of a mayor, a superintendent of schools or a teacher? If those basic requirements aren’t met, whatever else that is done in the name of education is for naught.”

Columnists Stephen Moore & Kathleen Hartnett-White: “[The EPA’s Clean Power Plan] would expand federal control over electric power on a scale comparable to Obamacare’s transformation of health care but with a disturbing difference. At least Congress passed the Affordable Care Act — albeit without a single Republican vote — to overhaul the nation’s health care system. By contrast, Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation to give the EPA the power to control carbon dioxide. Congress has rejected carbon taxes, the Kyoto Treaty, cap-and-trade schemes, and other regulatory measures that would harm jobs and the economy. Regardless of how one feels about global warming, this is hardly the way the Constitution intended for the really big decisions affecting our economy and livelihoods to be decided. Most amazing of all is that we have here is an extraordinarily expensive rule, but the EPA can’t tell us what it hopes to accomplish.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the U.S. unemployment rate fell below six percent last month with the jobless rate down in thirty-four states and payroll up in thirty-eight. However on Monday, the number of non-working Americans rose by five hundred and thirty-five. Congress returned to session.” Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Democrat Lawmakers Stoke Fires Of Racial Hatred On House Floor

Several lawmakers took to the House floor Monday evening to make the “Hands up, don’t shoot,” gesture to protest the police shooting of Michael Brown

There is nothing else that liberals love more than to use the race card to cause strife and division in America. Seen here are members of the Congressional Black Caucus milking their 15 minutes of Ferguson fame for all it’s worth. You will never see an end to racism in America as long as fostering it remains the multi-million dollar cash cow of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and all the others who make their living from it.

“Hands up, don’t shoot. It’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said as he took the floor. “In community, after community, after community, fed up with police violence in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in Cleveland, in Oakland, in cities and counties and rural communities all across America.”

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“Now this is a problem that Congress can’t run away from and the Congressional Black Caucus stands here today to make sure that Congress runs toward the problem,” Jeffries said. “That we come up with constructive solutions to breaking this cycle, this epidemic, this scourge of police violence all across America.”

This has become the new symbol, a new statement, a statement wherein people around the country now, are calling to the attention of those who don’t quite understand that this is a movement that will not dissipate, it will not evaporate. It is a movement that is going to continue,” Green said on the floor.

Read the rest of this story on Politico….

 

The post Democrat Lawmakers Stoke Fires Of Racial Hatred On House Floor appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Quran Should be Read at Prince Charles’ Coronation, Anglican Bishop Says

A senior Church of England bishop has said that Prince Charles’ coronation service should include a reading from the Quran so that Muslims feel “embraced” by the nation – a proposal which is being criticized by some Christian groups in the U.K.

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Incitement…from the West

But even in the so-called conservative denominations, I know leadership — from the SBC and the Assemblies of God — that clearly seems to have a problem with Jews. They might acknowledge and even embrace much of prophecy. They might have some respect for Israel as an ally in the War on Terror.

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Desperate Boehner Looks to Make Deal with Democrats to Save Obama’s Amnesty

With House conservatives wanting to keep the pressure on Barack Obama given his end run of the political process when it comes to illegal immigration, reports indicate Republican House Speaker John Boehner may be considering doing the un-thinkable — abandoning House conservatives to do a deal with Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi to keep the government open long-term.

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Eating the Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life

Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer. That’s according to a new study led by Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School. The diet involves eating items off a menu that is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish. It keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum. And you can have a glass of red wine with dinner without cheating. Read More


Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns

In a new video, megachurch leader and author Rick Warren is calling for Christians to unite with Roman Catholics and “Pope Francis,” who Warren recently referred to as the “Holy Father”—a move that is raising concerns among Christians nationwide and is resulting in calls for Warren to repent. Warren made the comments following his visit to the Vatican last month, where he spoke at an interfaith conference on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman.” “We have far more in common than what divides us,” he said in the two-minute video released by the Catholic News Service on Wednesday, described as being an outline for “an ecumenical vision for Catholics and Protestants to work together to defend the sanctity of life, sex and marriage.” “They would all say, ‘We believe in the Trinity; we believe in the Bible; we believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ,” Warren asserted, speaking of the various denominations within Christianity, of which he included Roman Catholicism. “These are the big issues.” Read More


Phoney doctor convicted after practicing 30 years

Vidoje “Willy” Peric, a naturalized Swiss originally from Serbia, claimed to have a medical diploma from the Belgrade military academy but could not produce an original copy, the Corriere del Ticino newspaper reported. He treated patients in Savosa, a village near Lugano, as well as in German-speaking Switzerland and Cuba, according to the report. More than 30 years ago the man was caught passing himself off as a doctor in Serbia, the prosecution said. Yet he managed to continue practising in Switzerland despite having twice failed in attempts to obtain a Swiss federal diploma in medicine. After one failed examination Swiss experts maintained that Peric “knows medicine less than any man on the street”. Read More


Russia to hold more large-scale military maneuvers in 2015

Tens of thousands of Russian military personnel will take part in Center 2015 strategic exercises that will be held simultaneously in several areas both in Russia and abroad, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. The strategic military exercises for military personnel in the Central Federal District, called Center 2015, will be held in summer through autumn 2015. They are planned as the largest exercises of the year. “The exercises will be held in the summer training period simultaneously in different areas within Russian Federation and abroad,” the Defense Ministry’s statement said. “They will be extended in time and will unite tens of thousands soldiers and military personnel of the Central Military district, divisions and units of armed forces and other national security and defense agencies under a single command.” Read More


Brazil and Uruguay move away from US dollar in trade

BREAKING NEWS – Brazil and Uruguay have switched to settling bilateral trade with local currency to stimulate turnover, bypassing the US dollar. Payments in the Brazilian real and Uruguayan peso started on Monday. The agreement was signed on November 2 by the head of Brazilian Central Bank Alexandro Tombini and his Uruguayan counterpart Alberto Grana. Both countries believe such a move would strengthen trade across Latin America. “The agreement was the result of long negotiations between the countries belonging to Mercosur [the common market of South American countries – Ed.], as well as the global strategies of BRICS,” RIA quotes Carlos Francisco Teixeira da Silva, Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Read More


How Did Christmas Become A Festival Of Greed?

For most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading… Read More


Family Lived With Corpse for 6 Months While Praying for Resurrection

A Canadian family lived with a corpse in their upstairs bedroom for six months because they believed the deceased man would be resurrected if they prayed, but the body was discovered when the family was evicted for not paying the mortgage. Kaling Wald, 50, pleaded guilty to failing to notify police that her husband had died, an offense under the provincial Coroner’s Act, and was sentenced on Monday to probation and counseling, her lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday. Peter Wald, 52, died in March 2013 of what authorities believe were natural causes following a foot infection linked to his diabetes, defense lawyer Peter Boushy said. Read More


Tour Guide Gets More Than She Expected When She Joins Prayer at Supreme Court

It’s significant that a prayer vigil with Bound4LIFE is called a “Silent Siege.” This public prayer witness carries a distinct difference from the atmosphere of many protests that occur on Capitol Hill, specifically at the U.S. Supreme Court. The people praying are silent, yet definitely it is a Siege—things are most certainly happening! I have led educational historic tours of the East Coast for decades. I’ve often been by the people who are lined up at the steps of the Supreme Court, praying with the red Life Tape over their mouths. I was familiar with Justice House of Prayer DC and Bound4LIFE, but I had never prayed with them before. One day a friend and I were there without a group so I said, “Let’s go over and pray with them.” As soon as I took the piece of red tape that said “LIFE” on it, I started shaking. Keep in mind, I’m not some sort of shake-and-quake person. What is wrong with me? I thought. Why am I shaking? Read More


Is New York about to experience their own “Ferguson”?

A grand jury decision is expected to come soon, in the case of the apparent police chokehold that killed Eric Garner on Staten Island this past summer.
Garner, a father of six, died in July after being placed in an apparent chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner was being arrested for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. The grand jury began hearing evidence in the case Sept. 29. As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, a small, but spirited protest about the Garner case was held outside the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office on Tuesday. “I hope that Officer (Daniel) Pantaleo is indicted,” said Steve Quester of the group Stand up for Racial Justice. Read More


Alarm bells toll for human civilization as world’s 12th largest mega-city to run out of water in just 60 days

The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city “has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves,” reports Reuters. Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions. Read More


Are Republicans On Verge Of Already Breaking Their 2014 Campaign Promises?

Sessions: House GOP Is On the Verge Of Breaking 2014 Campaign Promises

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) suggested that House Republicans are on the verge of breaking their campaign promise to fight President Obama’s administrative amnesty, judging by the legislative text currently being circulated.

Sessions said that the proposed language “fails to meet [the] test” established by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who promised earlier this year that the GOP would do everything possible to thwart Obama’s executive orders.

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“The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants — reducing wages, jobs and benefits for Americans,” Sessions said in the statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the results of a House Republican conference meeting today.

In the meeting, “the lawmakers began coalescing around a two-part plan that would allow a symbolic vote to show their frustration with President Obama’s executive action on immigration, before funding the government ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline,” according to the New York Times.

Read the rest of the story on National Review…

The post Are Republicans On Verge Of Already Breaking Their 2014 Campaign Promises? appeared first on Now The End Begins.


6 Steps to an Awe-full Church

David Murray

In The Holiness of God, R C Sproul addressed the problem of large numbers of people leaving church because they are bored. As we saw previously, Sproul’s solution is more awe in our worship services, which puts significant responsibility on the pastor or worship-leader. But it also places important obligations upon worshippers too if we are to be awed by the evident presence of God.

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Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price Of Oil Crashed Like This?

There has only been one other time in history when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than 6 months. The last time this happened was during the second half of 2008, and the beginning of that oil price crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later that year by several months …………. Click here for full story


U.S. Debt Clock Surges Past $18 Trillion

The U.S. debt clock has swept past $18 trillion without so much as a flicker of hesitation. But what is $18 trillion? How about figuring it in exotic supercars, like those 253-mph, 1,001-horsepower (and 8 miles per gallon) $1.9 million Bugatti Veyrons? ……… Click here for full story


Bloody Christmas: ‘Spectacular Attack’ Alert

Another coordinated terror attack using jetliners, reminiscent of 9/11, could be in the works, according to an airport-security source cited by a London paper………. Click here for full story


Arab League Joins PA Bid For United Nations Timeline On Israeli Pullout To Pre-1967 Lines

Arab foreign ministers decided on Saturday to support the Palestinian Authority’s plan to seek a UN Security Council resolution calling for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital………. Click here for full story


Israel’s New IDF Chiefs Must Take Next Prospective War With Hizballah Onto Enemy Ground

In Israel’s Defensive Edge campaign that wound down three months ago, its defense forces under Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and his deputy and successor Maj. Gen. Gady Eizenkott were found wanting by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He found they lacked the operational and tactical capabilities needed for winning the far more extensive conflicts with Iran and Hizballah which, according to military intelligence forecasts, confront Israel in the spring ……… Click here for full story


Anglican Bishop Says Quran Should Be Read at Prince Charles’ Coronation

A senior Church of England bishop has said that Prince Charles’ coronation service should include a reading from the Quran so that Muslims feel “embraced” by the nation – a proposal which is being criticized by some Christian groups in the U.K ……… Click here for full story


Real Madrid removes cross from apparel to appease Arab partner

Real Madrid lose Christian cross from club crest to appease Abu Dhabi bank, The Telegraph

Real Madrid drop Christian cross from club crest in Middle East, The Guardian


CultureWatch: Kardashian Christianity

by Bill Muehlenberg

Most people in the West may know little or nothing about the Bible, about Christianity, about church life – all the things that made the free West what it is today – but they likely know heaps about Kim Kardashian. For the one or two people holed up in caves the past decade, Kim is of course a hyper famous, super celeb.

Oh yeah? Well what is she famous for? Well, she is famous for being famous. That’s about it. I still have yet to figure out why she is featured in all the media on a regular basis. Wherever she goes the cameras follow her, and we all have to know about it – even on the 6 o’clock news.

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Increase their Joy: 3 Ways to Encourage Pastors

Every few weeks I’ll tweet the following: “People, pray for your pastors!” I mostly do it because I need to be reminded to do so, but also because I know how much it means to my pastor friends to know they are prayed for by their people. You can look in any direction today and see churches, leaders, pastors, and flocks crumbling under the weight of sin, failure, financial ruin, and more. Not only do I not want to see that happen at my church, I also don’t want to be ignorant of the pressures on pastors and their families.

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The Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church

The reason that many church-attending young adults stopped going to church upon graduating from high school? Their faith just wasn’t personally meaningful to them. They did not have a first-hand faith. The church had not become a valued and valuable expression in their life—one that impacts how they live and how they relate and how they grow. Church was perhaps something their parents wanted them do. They may have grown up in church, and perhaps they faced pressure from parents and even peers to be involved in church. But it wasn’t a first-hand faith.

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Don’t Just Flee Sin, Run Toward Golgotha

Jesus reiterates a similar point when he says, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defiles him” (Mark 7:15). Does this, therefore, mean that it doesn’t matter what we expose ourselves to? What we watch? With whom we spend our time? No, it means that even though external factors condition, deceive and enable us to fall into sin, we cannot blame those factors. It means that even though we may avoid temptations, we cannot avoid ourselves.

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5 Ugly Qualities of the Anti-Elder

This is not a new problem. In the pages of the New Testament both Paul and Peter labor to describe the man who is qualified to the office of elder. It is noteworthy that almost all of these qualifications are related to character. Where we are drawn to outward skill, God cares far more for inward character. There are millions of men who are great teachers and great leaders and great C.E.O.’s, but still completely unsuited to leadership in the church. God’s standards are very, very different.

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Confessions of a Former Planned Parenthood Director

There are a few pretty common questions that you get when you leave the abortion industry. How did you not see that it was a baby? How did you not realize that you were killing babies? How did you see these babies in the POC lab and not leave? (The POC lab is where the fetal body parts are put back together after an abortion). How did you have a baby and not see the problem in what you were doing? My answer… I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

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Pope Francis Unites Hindus, Muslims And Buddhists To Sign Pact With Rome

Pope’s anti-slavery initiative gets new support from Hindu, Buddhist, Jews and Muslims

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” Revelation 16:13

Rome is very smart, always has been. They know that in order to unite the faiths, they must focus on humanitarian projects that nearly everyone can agree on and work together to try and solve. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about poverty, perceived injustice, abortion, slavery or any other subject. These are all mental conditioning exercises that Pope Francis is conducting to get all the religions into the same tent. Once everyone is together, Rome will be the leader. And as you can see, it’s working beautifully.

VATICAN CITY — Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths signed a new Vatican initiative Tuesday to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, organ trafficking and forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity.

Pope Francis was joined by the Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma, as well as Buddhist, Anglican, Orthdox, Jewish, Shiite and Sunni Muslim leaders in signing a joint declaration at an unusually high-profile ceremony inside the Vatican walls.

pope-francis-global-freedom-network-false-prophet-revelation-17-harlot-babylon-bible-prophecy

“In the eyes of God, each human being is a free person, whether girl, boy, woman or man, and is destined to exist for the good of all in equality and fraternity,” the declaration read.

Francis has made eliminating modern-day slavery one of the key priorities of his pontificate, inspired by his ministry in the slums of Buenos Aires. Earlier this year, the Vatican launched the Global Freedom Network, a multifaith initiative to encourage governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor.

One of the network’s founding members, the Walk Free Foundation, estimates that five countries account for 61 percent of the world’s population living in slavery: India, with an estimated 14.2 million people enslaved, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

Read the rest of the story on the Star-Tribune…

The post Pope Francis Unites Hindus, Muslims And Buddhists To Sign Pact With Rome appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Headlines of Interest

Texas Pastor Arrested for Not Reporting Allegations of Sexual Molestation at Church

Reinhard Bonnke replaces Joyce Meyer at IHOP-KC Onething 2014

Joel Osteen and Family Feud

Cash-covered Destiny Church stage draws barbs

Canada family lived with corpse for 6 months awaiting resurrection

Gay Marriage OK by Finnish Lutheran Archbishop Prompts Mass Resignations

Christians ‘Losing Everything’ to Islam


Blogs Review

Free Advent E-book (Through Thurs 12/4)
Dr. Ray Pritchard

Through this Thursday, you can download our new Advent guide in which We’ll explore 25 reasons why Christ came to the earth. There is no more pressing question today than this: why did Christ come to earth?

READ FULL ARTICLE

Clever and True
Dr. James Emery White

P.D. James, one of the true masters of crime fiction, died this past Thursday at her home in Oxford, England. She was 94. And I recall her saying something very wise…

READ FULL ARTICLE

6 Steps to an Awe-full Church
David Murray

How can we have what the Apostle Paul described in the early church?

READ FULL ARTICLE

Perspective
Ann Spangler

Anyone who has suffered some kind of tragedy knows that “Why me?” questions aren’t off the table. God allows them. But often he doesn’t answer them.

READ FULL ARTICLE

More Pastors are Addressing Mental Illness
Alex Crain

A new direction is hopefully becoming a positive trend in the way churches welcome those struggling with mental illness.

READ FULL ARTICLE

High Praise for Keller’s New Book on Prayer
Tim Challies

Hold on! Is it a book about prayer? Another book about prayer? Is there any possible way we can benefit from yet another book on the subject of prayer?

READ FULL ARTICLE

Featured Video Ministry from LightSource.com

Thankful For What? Dr. David Jeremiah Turning Point


Is Christmas Day Rooted in Paganism?

christmas_treeIt’s not uncommon to hear that the celebration of Christmas is rooted in ancient Roman paganism. That claim generally goes something like this: the ancient Romans celebrated a pagan festival on December 25th, but when the Roman Empire was Christianized in the 300s, the church simply turned the pagan festival into a Christian holiday.

It is true that there was a pagan Roman holiday called the “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” that marked the winter solstice. And in the old Julian calendar, the winter solstice occurred on December 25. The cult of “Sol Invictus” (“the Unconquered Sun,” a.k.a. the sun god) became an official Roman cult in 274 under the reign of Emperor Aurelian. And the Roman empire was Christianized about fifty years later under Constantine.

It doesn’t take too much imagination to see how some could assume that the post-Constantine Romans simply adopted the pagan holiday and Christianized it.

But there’s actually good evidence to suggest that the date of December 25 does not have pagan origins. That’s because, long before Aurelian made December 25 an official pagan holiday, there were Christians in the early church who taught that Jesus was born on December 25th.

In fact, in the early church, there were two primary dates suggested as the dates on which Jesus was born in Bethlehem. One was December 25 and the other was January 6.

Around the year 192, Clement of Alexandria suggested that Jesus was born on January 6. An early Christian tradition suggested that Christ’s baptism took place on January 6. Then, because Luke says that Jesus was “about 30 years old” when He was baptized, some early Christians (like Clement) assumed that His birthday was the same day as His baptism.

A contemporary of Clement named Hippolytus of Rome, writing in the early 200s, suggested that Jesus was born on December 25. Hippolytus was convinced that the first day of creation was March 25 (corresponding to the first day of Spring in the Julian calendar). From there, he speculated that March 25 was also the day on which Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb. (Incidentally, some church fathers also suggested that March 25 was the day Jesus died, which only added to the significance of that day.) If you add 9 months to March 25, you end up at December 25.

So we have these two dates suggested very early in church history, roughly 80 years before Aurelias made the pagan observance of December 25 official in Rome, and more than a century before the Roman Empire became Christian.

What this means, then, is that the selection of December 25th as the celebration of Jesus’ birthday may not have pagan origins at all.

After the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, December 25th became the official day designated for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Meanwhile, January 6th, which is known as Epiphany, remained associated not only with Jesus’ baptism but also with the coming of the Wise Men. As for the “twelve days of Christmas,” that refers to the twelve days between December 25th and January 6th.

Sources:

Calendar and Chronology

Toward the Origins of Christmas

Sol Invictus and Christmas

Source: http://thecripplegate.com/is-christmas-rooted-in-paganism/


King Obama Defies Congress And Rewrites Obamacare Law Yet Again

On Thanksgiving eve, the Obama administration dumped reams of mind-numbing ObamaCare regulations into the Federal Register — including yet more unilateral rewrites of the Affordable Care Act.

“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25

Dropping the rules as most Americans were busy preparing for the holiday made a mockery (again) of President Obama’s promise to have “the most transparent administration in history.” The stunt has even worked to keep most of the media from reporting on the rules. Yet the changes these regulations make in the health care law are substantial.

king-obama-rewrites-affordable-healthcare-law-yet-again-december-2014

For one, the president is redefining what health plans are “adequate” for larger employers (100-plus workers) to offer under the Affordable Care Act. He’s also “asking” insurers to pay for new benefits — while warning that, if they don’t, they may be forced to.

Under the Constitution, Obama lacks any authority to make such changes to the health law, or any law. Only Congress has that power. But he’s doing it, and not for the first time.

The president has made two dozen changes to his health law by executive fiat, from delaying the employer mandate to allowing people to keep health plans that don’t meet ObamaCare standards.

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

The post King Obama Defies Congress And Rewrites Obamacare Law Yet Again appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Lighthouse Trails December 1, 2014 Newsletter

This Week’s Headlines:

Letter to the Editor from Swiss Missionary: Spiritual Formation Being Taught “Everywhere”
Pay Attention to Leighton Ford’s The Attentive Life (A Book Review)
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth
Islamic Terrorists Attack and Kill 28 Civilians in Kenya – Please Pray for Our Brothers and Sisters in Kenya
Rob Bell and Oprah Wrap Up New Age Tour—EQUALLY YOKED
Catholic Pope Francis to Come to the United States – Rick Warren’s Role?
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The Awesome Wonder of God’s Word by Warren B. Smith
Warren B. Smith on Stand Up For the Truth Radio – Regarding Thomas Nelson and Sarah Young: Whitewashing Jesus Calling

Letter to the Editor: Texas Christian University’s Labyrinth – School Needs to be Added to Contemplative College List


‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer: The blog post headline links in this blog post are 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.

GTY Blog – Mary: An Angelic Announcement

Selected Scriptures

Code: B141203

by John MacArthur

When we first meet Mary in Luke’s gospel, it is on the occasion when an archangel appeared to her suddenly and without fanfare to disclose to her God’s wonderful plan. Scripture says, simply, “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26–27).

The Young Nazarene Woman

Mary is the equivalent of the Hebrew “Miriam.” The name may be derived from the Hebrew word for “bitter.” Mary’s young life may well have been filled with bitter hardships. Her hometown was a forlorn community in a poor district of Galilee. Nazareth, you may recall, famously bore the brunt of at least one future disciple’s disdain. When Philip told Nathanael that he had found the Messiah and the Anointed One was a Galilean from Nazareth, Nathanael sneered, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Mary had lived there all her life, in a community where, frankly, good things probably were pretty scarce.

Other details about Mary’s background can be gleaned here and there in Scripture. She had a sister, according to John 19:25. There’s not enough data in the text to identify accurately who the sister was, but Mary’s sister was herself obviously a close enough disciple of Jesus to be present with the other faithful women at the crucifixion. Mary was also a close relative of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:36). The nature of that relationship isn’t specifically described. They might have been cousins, or Elizabeth might have been Mary’s aunt. Luke’s account describes Elizabeth as already “in her old age.” Mary, on the other hand, seems to have been quite young.

In fact, at the time of the Annunciation, Mary was probably still a teenager. It was customary for girls in that culture to be betrothed while they were still as young as thirteen years of age. Marriages were ordinarily arranged by the bridegroom or his parents through the girl’s father. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, about whom we know next to nothing—except that he was a carpenter (Mark 6:3) and a righteous man (Matthew 1:19).

Scripture is very clear in teaching that Mary was still a virgin when Jesus was miraculously conceived in her womb. Luke 1:27 twice calls her a virgin, using a Greek term that allows for no subtle nuance of meaning. The clear claim of Scripture, and Mary’s own testimony, is that she had never been physically intimate with any man. Her betrothal to Joseph was a legal engagement known as kiddushin, which in that culture typically lasted a full year. Kiddushin was legally as binding as marriage itself. The couple were deemed husband and wife, and only a legal divorce could dissolve the marriage contract (Matthew 1:19). But during this time, the couple lived separately from one another and had no physical relations whatsoever. One of the main points of kiddushin was to demonstrate the fidelity of both partners.

An Angelic Announcement

When the angel appeared to Mary, she was already formally bound to Joseph by kiddushin. Luke 1:28–35 describes Mary’s encounter with the angel:

And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

Pregnancy and Perception

Numerous godly women in Mary’s ancestry, going all the way back to Eve, had fostered the hope of being the one through whom the Redeemer would come. But the privilege came at a high cost to Mary personally because it carried the stigma of an unwed pregnancy. Although she had remained totally and completely chaste, the world was bound to think otherwise.

Even Joseph assumed the worst. We can only imagine how his heart sank when he learned that Mary was pregnant, and he knew he was not the father. His inclination was to divorce her quietly. He was a righteous man and loved her, so Scripture says he was not willing to make a public example of her, but he was so shaken by the news of her pregnancy that at first he saw no option but divorce. Then an angel appeared to him in a dream and reassured him:

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:20-21)

Common sense suggests that Mary must have anticipated all these difficulties the moment the angel told her she would conceive a child. Her joy and amazement at learning that she would be the mother of the Redeemer might therefore have been tempered significantly at the horror of the scandal that awaited her. Still, knowing the cost and weighing it against the immense privilege of becoming the mother of the Christ, Mary surrendered herself unconditionally, saying simply, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).

There’s no evidence that Mary ever brooded over the effects her pregnancy would have on her reputation. She instantly, humbly, and joyfully submitted to God’s will without further doubt or question. She could hardly have had a more godly response to the announcement of Jesus’ birth. It demonstrated that she was a young woman of mature faith and one who was a worshiper of the true God. Her great joy over the Lord’s plan for her would soon be very evident.

(Adapted from Twelve Extraordinary Women.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141203
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

Sociologist George Yancey examines bias against Bible-believing Christians

WINTERY KNIGHT

So Many Christians, So Few Lions by George Yancey, PhD So Many Christians, So Few Lions

There are three posts in the series, and I think these are all worth reading.

Let’s see the introduction to the series from the first post.

Over the next three blog entries, I am going to discuss the content of my latest book –So Many Christians, So Few Lions – Christianophobia in the United States. Actually the book has not come out yet, but will officially come out later this month. Obviously the focus of the book will be the nature of anti-Christian attitudes in the United States. In this first entry, I look at the contours of a basic level of animosity towards conservative Christians in the United States. My next entry will qualitatively explore the nature of Christianophobic attitudes. In my final entry I will consider the implications of this work, as well as other research and social events, for what…

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John Wycliffe Quoted by Pres. Lincoln

Theologue

Some Lincoln biographers think the source of his famous statement in his Gettysburg address “government of the people, for the people and by the people” is from the Prologue of  John Wycliffe’s first English translation of the Bible: “This Bible is for the government of the people, for the people and by the people.” (1384):

Wycliffe-wethepeople

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Southern Seminary: Is “Allah” God?

One of the questions I frequently encounter by Christians in the West is whether or not the Arabic word Allah can be used to refer to the God of the Bible. Many well-meaning Western Christians have sought to disassociate the God of Islam from the God of Christianity. In doing so they’ve focused their efforts on driving a wedge between the Allah of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible. “The Allah of Islam is not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” is oftentimes the slogan. While on the face of it this is a true statement, unfortunately, the linguistic question surrounding the use of Allah in Arabic oftentimes gets entangled in the broader theological discussion related to the identity of God in Islam versus Christianity. In order to clarify the issues, it is important to understand something of the history of Arabic-speaking Christianity. Upon doing this, we’ll be better positioned to separate the linguistic question relating to the legitimacy of using Allah to refer to God in Arabic from the theological question pertaining to the nature and character of the word’s referent.

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Comfort Zone: Dawkins and Moyers.

Richard Dawkins is an eloquent deceiver who talks with a forked tongue. He told Bill Moyers, “Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.” He likens its “observation” to a murder case:

“It is rather like a detective coming on a murder after the scene. And you… the detective hasn’t actually seen the murder take place, of course. But what you do see is a massive clue….Circumstantial evidence, but masses of circumstantial evidence. Huge quantities of circumstantial evidence.”

Like all believers in evolution, he has huge quantities, massive clues, and mountains of evidence. But like Professor Craig Stanford (who said the same thing in “Evolution vs God”), he can’t think of even one example of observable Darwinian evolution. If he had one he would have given it to debunk the movie. Instead, Dawkins tweeted five times about it behind the safety of closed doors. This is because his circumstantial evidence didn’t happen yesterday, or last week, or last month, last year, 100 years ago (when the evidence would be old and cold), or even 1,000 years ago. It supposedly happened 60 million years ago.

Nothing about Darwinian evolution (as Dawkins likes to call it) can be observed or tested. His convictions rest on nothing but blind faith. He is a charlatan, and you only have to watch http://www.evolutionVsGod.com to see that what he is selling is nothing but snake oil. Somehow, that’s appropriate for a deceiver with a forked tongue.

Source: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/faithandreason/print/dawkins_print.html

Source

SUFTT Podcast: The lost art of discernment

 

Discern fork in the road

Many people ask us, “why do you need to warn people about these false teachers? What if you just focused on what you are for, and just on Jesus?” But Jesus told us to discern, and the Bible also says we need to be aware of the schemes of the enemy.

Today we’re talking about discernment, and why it has disappeared from modern teachings in the visible church. Where does lack of discernment lead?  Because we didn’t warn our youth ministries a decade ago about the teachings  of Pastor Rob Bell’s Nooma videos and his books, he departed biblical Christianity and took a whole bunch of young people with him – and now he will have a whole new way to lead his followers into the very Hell he denies. The Rob Bell Show is debuting on Oprah Winfrey’s television network in less than three weeks.

Can we prevent the yeast of false teachers and celebrity authors from infecting the church?  Yes, if pastors teach their sheep how to discern between right and almost right.

Pastor Randy White from Randy White Ministries in Katy, Texas, wrote an interesting article titled, Why Discernment Has Disappeared, and he is here to talk with us about how he equips his sheep.

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SUFTT: A pastor explains why discernment has disappeared

Discernment

“You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:3, NKJV)

Why Discernment Has Disappeared    by Pastor Randy White

I am continually frustrated that Christians, even pastors and theologians, seem to have an overwhelming inability to discern the times. The Christian world is continually making false assumptions about reality, then making decisions based upon those assumptions. A continued downward spiral is the only result.

Why is it that discernment has disappeared? I will share three reasons.

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TET Blog: James White on Rick Warren’s capitulation to Rome part 2

Here is a great follow up to James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries’ concern over Rick Warren’s capitulation to Rome part 1. He examines the Judaizers of Galatians and shows that even a minute change in the Gospel of Christ is a total abandonment of that Gospel. The strongest language in the New Testament is spoken against those who pervert the Gospel. Compared to much of today’s professing Christianity, the Judaizers look extremely conservative and even almost orthodox, and yet Rome makes the Judaizers look like amateurs in perverting Christ’s Gospel.

The video is 14 minutes and White also has good words for how to comment on the situation (hint: not angrily nor arrogantly) and he also expresses a biblical stance on why we should be concerned when we do speak up over these matters.

A commenter on the first video kindly posted this link to this follow up. Thank you.

Source

Truthbomb Apologetics – Article: Ten Principles When Considering Alleged Bible Contradictions by J. Warner Wallace

In this featured article, J. Warner Wallace shares 10 principles one should considering when examining so-called Bible contradictions.

They are as follows:

1. Begin with a fair attitude.
2. Examine the text in its context.
3. Let the Bible clarify the Bible
4. Don’t confuse “imprecision” with “error.”
5. Old Testament quotes aren’t meant to be “verbatim.”
6. Perspectives are different than contradictions.
7.Consider the viewpoint of “earthbound” people.
8. Description is different than approval.
9. Don’t fret copyist variants.
10. Remember who’s boss

You can checkout Jim’s explanation of each principle here.

Rob Bell isn’t A Christian

Zwinglius Redivivus

He should stop pretending to be.

Mind you, if he doesn’t want to be a Christian that’s his own business. But if he still wishes to describe himself as such he should cease and desist because in no meaningful or theologically accurate way can he use the word of himself.

I don’t imagine he ever really could.

Now you may be wondering by what right I would make such a declaration. By right of the fact that I have a pretty good grasp of Christian History and understand what the word Christian has meant to and in the community of faith. Consequently, I am thoroughly and professionally qualified to say what is and isn’t historic Christianity and accordingly who can justifiably use the term as a self descriptor. And Rob Bell can’t, shouldn’t and isn’t.

Sure, you can call him one- but you would be wrong to do so. And…

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Podcast: Faith Always Brings a Tamborine?

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Click Here to Download this episode

Program segments:

• Tom Chantry’s Reductio RE: Rick Warren
• Under the Influence?
• Beth Moore’s Bizarre Tamborine Application
• Joel Osteen on Generational Blessings
• Sermon Review: Success by Terri Savelle Foy

Screen shots and links to pamphlet published by Catholics about their doctrine can be found at HillSongChurchWatch.com

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Contend 2015: A Student Worldview Weekend (Free) Bring a Group or Just Bring Your Own Student | Worldview Weekend

Contend 2015: A Student Worldview Weekend (Free)
January 1-3, 2015
http://www.contend2015.com

Bring a Group or Just Bring Your Own Student

Point of Action: We need your help in getting out the word. Will you e-mail this letter to your family and friends? Will you post the information on your Facebook page or tweet out the URL: http://www.contend2015.com and let everyone know it is free as a ministry of http://www.worldviewweekendfoundation.com

As a parent or grandparent would you like the opportunity to bring the high school or college students in your family to a Biblical worldview conference that is specifically for them? Have you ever thought about sending your student to a worldview camp but the $1,400 or more in tuition, plus transportation, was a barrier? Colossians 2:8 tells us to:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Are you concerned that the students in your life may not be fully equipped and Biblically prepared to resist and refute the man-centered philosophies and empty deceit of this age? Can the students in your life destroy every argument raised up against the principles of the Lord as we are called to do in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5?

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Being a parent and grandparent today that is seeking to encourage the students in your life to follow the Lord and love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength presents challenges not even comprehended by your parents and grandparents. Sometimes the questions your students ask may frustrate you because you wish you had an answer for them. Perhaps you are worried about your students being included in the nearly 80% of young people that are walking away from the faith?

If the questions I have asked you have you concerned then I think you are going to be encouraged by the free Contend 2015 conference we are hosting January 1st starting at 6pm and ending at 12 noon on January 3, 2015. We are bringing in some of the premier Biblical worldview speakers to address the major issues facing today’s high school and college students.

A sweet family from Iowa sent us this e-mail last year. I will share it with you in a moment in hope it will challenge other adults to take the leadership and ministry opportunity as did this family. The January 1-3, Contend 2015 conference will have an eternal, life-changing impact on countless young people for the gospel and church.

Why would you not take advantage of a free Biblical conference like this and organize a group of young people? Why not? We are doing our part but are you? As an adult will you partner with us by sponsoring and organizing a group of young people and hosting them? If you cannot bring a group then just bring your own student with you parent! Here is the testimony from this family and I hope it is a challenge to you and inspires you to follow their example. They wrote:

Brannon,

So excited to be bringing 11 young people to your conference in January! Thanks for the hotel discounts – my husband and I are renting a van and paying for three hotel rooms with our Christmas cash. Cannot think of a better use for that money! The college-age youth that are coming are really looking forward to the conference also. Thank you…thank you…thank you!

Here is a link to the conference for complete details, topics and speaker bios: http://www.contend2015.com The conference is free but you must register online so we can save everyone a seat and have the free resources waiting for each student when they arrive. Some parents have asked if they can also attend the conference with their students and the answer is an enthusiastic YES!

A Short List of Some of the Topics to be Covered at Contend 2015:

Why the Prosperity Gospel is a False Gospel
The Jesus of the Cults Versus the Jesus of the Bible
The Danger of Mysticism
A Biblical Look at Pot, Gambling, Pornography, Abortion, & Doctor-Assisted Suicide
The Dangers of Moralizing: Why Christians Should Not Attempt to Force Christian Values on Unbelievers But Share the Gospel With Them By Which They Can Change Their Values
How Hannah in I Samuel 2 Understood and Trusted in God’s Total Control, Rule, and Goodness and Why You Can Too
Growing up in the Church but Not Saved: A Biblical Study of True and False Converts Through the Eyes of Samuel in I Samuel Chapter 3.
A Rocket Scientist Debunks Evolution (by Test-Pilot and Real Rocket Scientist Jason Pratt)
Testimony of a Backslidden Atheist (by former atheist Jason Pratt)
How To Study The Bible in Context
Critical Thinking Skills That Disarm Evolutionists
The Bible Versus Millions of Years
Plenty of Question and Answer Time with the Speakers

Students will be able to walk right up to the speakers during the breaks and visit with them. After each speaker we take a break. Last year our speakers were surrounded by young people talking to them at each break. The students wrote us testimonials about how important that interaction was to them.

Let’s not just complain about the state of modern Christianity but let’s do something about it. Join us January 1-3, 2015 for Contend 2015 in Memphis, TN, which is centrally located. Check the map and you will see that Memphis is a day’s drive from about half the population in the United States. Parents, if you want to bring your student or a group of students and attend the conference that would be great. If you just want to bring them and then you spend the time exploring Memphis, then that is fine as well. Either way, please partner with us through this ministry opportunity.

Finally in closing, if you agree with our stepping out in faith to host this free Contend 2015 conference please consider helping us with the cost by making a tax deductible contribution on our website at http://www.worldviewweekendfoundation.com At the very least, please join us in praying for a great weekend of ministry that will have an eternal impact on the life of these young adults.

Sincerely,
Brannon Howse
Worldview Weekend
Worldview Weekend Foundation

Worldview Weekend Foundation
1016 West Poplar Ave #106-228
Collierville, TN 38017

Testimonials From 2014 Attendees:

Contend was a truly encouraging and edifying conference, where adults and young adults alike were able to hear the Word of God accurately taught and proclaimed to equip the saints in contending for the faith and glorify God. All speakers brought a unique and dynamic contribution to the conference, varying topics with in depth study of God’s Word with available resources to continue learning. I really enjoyed hearing from Brannon about contending against the “ISMS” of the day, which threaten our society as well as true biblical theology. Jesse Johnson contributed a humbling and edifying message on the Christians life from Philippians 1:21. Jared Carlson contended for the validity of the Bible and the infallible Word of God, as well as clarifying the issue of homosexuality in light of the Gospel. And finally Jason Carlson taught on the lie of evolution. These speakers were my favorite and the notes I have taken I will surely share with others. I thank everyone who made it possible for the Contend 2014 conference and I hope that this conference will be able to happen again to continue to equip believers to contend earnestly for the faith.

Taylor, Minnesota, 19 College Student

I attended Contend this past weekend and had an absolutely great time! My only complaint would be that it didn’t last long enough! Haha. I loved all of the speakers. The topics from you six were so different that they are kind of hard to compare… It’s uncommon for there to be a event for teens that is full of facts like Contend was. Normally it would be directed more towards having fun and building up self-esteem, which is fine, but getting meaty facts was a really nice change! Thanks again for all that you have done. see you next year!

Kalee High school student from Arkansas

The conference has been so important to me because the speakers have directly addressed so many lies that I have been taught during my first semester in college. The worldview that I am being taught and which my professors attempt to convince me are right are not Biblical and it is so important that I and others in my position learn what is right according to God and how to defend truth.

Susan
High School student
Birmingham, Alabama

I enjoyed Jason and Jared Carlson the most. I loved that they talked about the problems that Christian college and high school students have going against them almost every day, such as homosexuality and evolution. This was the best Christian student conference I’ve ever been to. Thank you for bringing this together Brannon Howse.

Rachel
High school student
Birmingham, Alabama

I want to thank Brannon Howse for giving a good summary of feminism, mysticism and the other confusing issues of the day. I am looking forward to reading further information. All of the speakers communicated their messages with a degree of frankness and candor that was refreshing and remarkable. Their commitment to truth inspired me to live more truthfully. Also Mr. Johnson’s discussion about the purpose of the church was very compelling…Thanks to everyone who put this together.

Claire
College Student
Des Moines, Iowa

I can’t thank you enough for hosting the Contend 2014 conference. While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the speakers, I would have to say that my favorite part of the conference was watching my 16 year old daughter take it all in. As she herself may tell you, she did not want to attend.I had to pull out the “Dad” card to get her to attend. But by the end of the first night, she was soaking it all in, taking notes, and asking me questions about the various topics the speakers discussed. She has not shown this much interest in Biblical worldview issues for some time. She is already looking forward to Contend 2015, and plans on inviting some of her friends to join her. Thanks again, and may God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.

Bruce, Memphis TN

I have loved my time at Contend 2014! I love the fact that I am treated as a young adult instead of an immature kid. Contend has been a great experience because everything has been focused on Christ, versus keeping us entertained with fluffy messages. I have enjoyed the straight forward facts. Thank you to all of the speakers and behind the scenes workers for all of your time, teaching and work for us youth. Looking forward to Contend 2015!

Kalee
High School Student
Arkansas

The biggest thing for me that I’ve learned thus far is understanding all the ISMS of today…this is crucial for my generation and being a student in a top public university.

Molly College Student From Georgia

A few of the speakers stuck out to me most. 1. Jesse Johnson: He stuck out to me when he spoke on contending with purpose because my youth pastor always tells us we have a purpose. So this topic always captures my interest. 2. Brannon Howse: He just has a pleasant way about the way he talks. It makes it easy to listen and follow what he is speaking about. 3. The Carlson brothers have humor and some good stories of how God has worked in their lives. 4. Michael Furchert: His story is incredible. It amazes me that he did everything he did for God and his family was the outcast for it…5. Usama Dakdok: You will love his voice! The truth he revealed was amazing.

Student did not put name or state on letter

I liked the way everything was said…It was not like my church. We were treated like the young adults we are. Repentance was taught. My church doesn’t have a pastor, but only an interim. He doesn’t preach much about repentance. This conference was so refreshing to me. I don’t have any real Christian friends outside of church so the only encouragement I get is on Sundays and Wednesdays and whenever I read God’s Word. It was nice to have half a week full of Christ! Thank you!

Lydia
High school student
Birmingham, Alabama

This weekend has supplied me with evidence that has bolstered my faith. I feel more confident in my beliefs and I have gained an insight into the scriptures that I previously did not have.

Student did not put name or state on letter

One thing I have always struggled with is wanting to conform. The testimony of Michael Furchert was a big encouragement to me in my stand not to conform to society and its norms.

Audrey
High School Student
Michigan

This is a really life changing experience. A growing experience so we grow in our faith in God and learn not to be fooled by Satan and false prophets.

Yami State unknown

This was my first Worldview Weekend conference. I’ve been to many conferences over the years and I must say this is by far the most informative Biblical conference I’ve been to. I appreciate the sound Biblical teaching. Every speaker had me on the edge of my seat. Contend 2014 has given me more confidence to bodly stand up for Christ and the gospel.

James Arkansas

Source

More Than Half of Americans Believe The Bible is Inaccurate | Worldview Weekend

When Christians see alarming numbers of Americans openly—even enthusiastically—embracing completely anti-biblical teachings such as abortion, homosexual behavior, and evolution, they wonder how our culture (and the church) has gotten so far from its biblical foundation. Well, the results of a recent survey from Ligonier Ministries suggest that current trends in thinking shouldn’t really surprise us based on popular American theology.

Read more

J.D. GREEAR: 10 Plumblines for Local Outreach (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a four-part series on local outreach. We’re sharing the ten “plumblines” that guide our local outreach philosophy, as explained by Matt Mig, our Pastor of Local Outreach. Be sure to also read Part 1 and Part 2.

6. Discipleship (and Development) Happens In Relationship.

Yesterday we shared that the value of a local outreach program is directly related to the quality of relationships that result from it. In part that’s because we recognize that people grow as disciples in community with other followers of God. It’s also because social and economic development most effectively happens in the context of a relationship as well. Experts often talk about development as the process of leading an individual down a path that starts with a need for emergency assistance and ends with stability. The path looks something like this:

Emergency Relief » Rehabilitation » Development » Self-Sufficiency

You could think of a similar path of discipleship for someone who’s currently far from God:

Spiritual Apathy » Seeking God » Growing Disciple » Disciple-Making

This illustration is not perfect, but the two paths lead a person to become who God created them to be—a fruitful disciple, both materially and spiritually. The point of a local outreach ministry is to walk with a person down both paths at the same time. Historically, the church has done one or the other, leading us to either powerless social justice or ineffective evangelism. But a gospel-centered local outreach ministry does both, leading down the first path by the demonstration of the gospel and down the second path through the proclamation of it. And walking down either path with someone requires a relationship.

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Question: How Did Christmas Become A Festival Of Greed?

For most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading… (Read More….)

Fact: The Most Depressing Time Of The Year In The Most Depressed Nation On The Planet

Did you know that the rate of suicide is highest during this time of the year and that 45 percent of all Americans dread the Christmas season? We are constantly being told that Christmas is the happiest time of the year, but mental health professionals tell us that the exact opposite is true. For large numbers of Americans, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is filled with stress, anxiety, loneliness and family squabbles. And for most people, the reality of the holidays never even comes close to matching up with the glittering ideal portrayed in movies and on television. As a result, depression tends to spike during the month of December. And of course Americans are quite depressed most of the time anyway. In fact, one out of every ten Americans is on an antidepressant as you read this article. No other nation in the world even approaches that level. So right now we are in the midst of the most depressing time of the year in the most depressed nation on the entire planet. What is wrong with this picture? (Read More…)

Quick Question: Do you need to change?

Scripture: “Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.” – Romans 2:4

Do you know what God means when He says ‘repent’?

He means He wants you to change your mind to accept His will. The Bible says His kindness is what He uses to lead you into doing that – things like giving you strength or being patient with you. What area of your life is God calling you to change?

Charles Spurgeon on Repentance

Theologue

Charles-Spurgeon

Quotes from Charles Spurgeon on repentance:

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19.

“Repent signifies, in its literal meaning, to change one’s mind. It has been translated, “after-wit,” or “after-wisdom;” it is the man’s finding out that he was wrong, and rectifying his judgment. But although that be the meaning of the root, the word has come in scriptural use to mean a great deal more. Perhaps there is no better definition of repentance than that which is given in our little children’s hymnbook:

“Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve,
By doing so no more.”

Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it. It is, in…

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Rick Warren- theological Incompetent

Zwinglius Redivivus

Warren has a habit of demonstrating total unfamiliarity with doctrinal issues. and he has done so again today.

Rick wishes Protestants and Catholics to bond together- indicating that he is unaware of the incompatibility of Roman and Protestant dogma. And whilst doctrine may not matter to him and his emergent ignoramuses it does matter to Christians both Protestant and Catholic.

Warren needs to stick to modeling ugly Hawaiian shirts and leave theology to the folk who own a Bible.

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