Daily Archives: December 15, 2014

Loving Jesus at Christmas: Christmas Study Guide (Part 7)

This lesson examines the practical issue of loving Christ during the holiday season—and year around— in the same way that Jesus loved the Father.

Outline

There is a way for us to fulfill the longing in our hearts for true intimacy with our Creator. It is seldom discussed, almost never mentioned at this time of the year, but here is the key: The key to loving Jesus is to understand how Jesus loved His Father.

  1. Jesus Loved the Father by Doing What the Father Asked Him to Do
  2. I Love Jesus by Doing What Jesus Asks Me to Do

III.  If I Will Love Jesus as He loved His Father, Jesus Will Do for Me What the Father Did for Him

Overview

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to love Jesus, for all around us are reminders of His birth and His loving death on our behalf. The cradle or the manger reminds us that He came. The tree is a subtle reminder of where He ended up on our behalf, hanging between heaven and earth. The darkness tells us what we were like before Christ came, and all of the lights which illuminate our hearts remind us that Jesus came as the light of the world to bring joy into each of our lives.

I have been asking myself, “If Jesus were physically here today, what would I say to Him, and how different would it be from what I said to Him in my prayer this morning?” If He were to walk in here among us, and move in and out of our homes, and we had an opportunity to express our love to Him at Christmas time, what would we say? How in the world do we, as modern believers, love Jesus at Christmastime? Do we sing Him songs? Do we go to church? Do we care for the poor? Do we give to the church which is His body? All of these are fine, and they may in some measure fulfill the urge we have within us to love Jesus at Christmas, but there is a way that we can love Jesus—not only at Christmas time but throughout the year—that is so evident that we wonder how we could have missed it. It promises to fulfill the longings we have in our hearts, so when the season is over, we don’t sit there at 7:00 o’clock on Christmas Day with the bitter aftertaste in our mouth thinking, “Is this all there is? I thought there would be more, and now it is over.”

The key to loving Jesus is to understand how Jesus loved His Father.

We can understand how Jesus loved his Father by turning to a passage of Scripture in the Book of Hebrews. Actually, this passage in the Book of Hebrews is an Old Testament passage used in the New Testament by the writer of Hebrews to make a very important point. The point is how Jesus loved his Father at the Incarnation, at Christmastime. How did he do it?

In Hebrews 10:5 we read, “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to do Your will, O God.’ ” This is obviously a quotation from Psalm 40, originally spoken by David. But it is a Messianic psalm, a prophetic psalm which speaks into the future the words of the Lord Jesus as He came into the world to be our Savior. Listen to these words from our Lord’s lips. He says, “Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do your will, O God.” How did Jesus love his Father?

Jesus Loved the Father by Doing What the Father Asked Him to Do

I can’t imagine what that day must have been like. It is an eternal day, and I can’t even think in terms of eternity. I have said goodbye to my children for short periods of time, some for weeks at a time, some for just days at a time, but can you imagine the Father in heaven saying goodbye to His Son for thirty-some years? He was in fellowship with the Father, but He was sent from heaven into the world to walk among us. That is what He is talking about when He says, “Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written, to do your will, O God.” Jesus came in total obedience to His father. “I come to do it your way, O God,” says one of the translators.

What did that mean to Him in His earthly life? In John 4:34 Jesus continued to reiterate that He was loving His Father by doing the will of His Father: “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’ ”

Notice, too, John 5:30: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

And in John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

Throughout His life, Jesus was loving His Father. How? Every time He was questioned, Jesus said, “I have not come to do My own will. I have come to do the will of the Father who sent Me.”

And then, when it came to that moment of crisis in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the fact that Jesus ultimately would pay the penalty for the sin of the whole world, He came back to this principle again: “Nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done.” How did Jesus love the Father? He loved the Father by doing the will of the Father.

I have written in the front of my Bible a verse. It is just a part of a verse, but it summarizes the life of Jesus while He was on this earth. It is John 8:29: “I always do those things that please [the Father.]” Every minute Jesus was on the earth, everything He did, every thought He had, was conditioned out of one truth: I want to please My Father.

Was God the Father pleased with Him? On two occasions at least, His pleasure broke out. When Jesus was being baptized the Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

And it happened in Matthew 17, on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus was being transfigured. He was being revealed. And the Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Not these other two (Moses and Elijah). This one.

Jesus lived all of His life that He might please the Father. And when the report card came in, the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (v.17:5).

I Love Jesus By Doing What Jesus Asks Me to Do

At the beginning we said that if we could understand how Jesus loved His Father, then maybe, just maybe, we can understand how we can love Jesus.

In John 14:21 the Lord Jesus says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me, And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and manifest Myself to him.”

Notice the first part of the verse: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me.” Always doing that which is pleasing the Father. Remember—if we learn how Jesus loved the Father, we can learn how we can love Jesus.

Then notice verse 23: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.’ ” The negative of this is in verse 24: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words.” Do you want to know how not to love Jesus at Christmastime? The Scriptures say the way not to love Jesus at Christmastime is not to keep His words.

Finally, look at John 15:10: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.” So let’s back up and ask ourselves that question again. How do we love Jesus at Christmastime? Well, how did Jesus love the Father? “In the volume of the Book it is written of me, ‘I come to do Your will, O God.’ ” He was obedient, according to the Book of Philippians, even to the point of death.

If I Will Love Jesus as He Loved His Father, Jesus Will Do for Me What the Father Did for Him

Here is the other part of the equation. If we will love Jesus as Jesus loved the Father, Jesus will do for us what the Father did for Him. Look at the second part of John 14:21. Verse 21 says if we will keep His commandments, we will be loved by the Father and Christ will love us and manifest Himself to us. That’s the promise He gives us. He says that if we will love the Lord Jesus by obeying His words, then in a very special way we will be loved by the Father, and we will be loved by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord Jesus will reveal himself to us.

Someone might say, “Am I not loved by the Father?” Yes! Are you not loved by Jesus? Yes, if you are a Christian. Does He not reveal Himself to you? Yes He does, in the Scripture. But there’s a special kind of manifest presence that comes upon the person whose only joy in life, whose only passion in life, is the passion that Jesus had. That was to do the will of God.

Notice verse 23: “And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

Again, look at (John 15:10): “Abide in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” As we look at these verses, we cannot help but see the principle: If I will love Jesus as Jesus loved the Father, then Jesus will do for me what the Father did for His Son.

That means a day is coming which is foretold in the parable of the talents, when you will be able to stand before Him, having served as a faithful servant, and He will say you are a blessed, faithful servant, and invite you to enter into the joy of your Lord.

So, at Christmastime, when we are running around, buying gifts, and trying to stay out of trouble with all of the relatives and all of the in-laws and all of the rest of everything that happens, how do we get through all of this and focus so that we can love Jesus? Here it is.

We love Jesus by doing what He asks us to do: by keeping His commandments. That’s the way to have a very merry, and Christ- centered, Christmas.

Application

  1. What do the following verses teach us about the Son’s obedience to the Father?
  2. Romans 5:19
  3. Philippians 2:6–8
  4. Hebrews 5:8
  5. What will be the ultimate outcome of the Son’s obedience to the Father?
  6. Psalm 110:1–2
  7. Daniel 7:13–14
  8. Philippians 2:9–11
  9. What do you think was the Son’s ultimate act of obedience to the Father? (See Matthew 26:39.)
  10. What is faith in Christ called in the verses below?
  11. 2 Corinthians 9:13
  12. 2 Thessalonians 1:7–8
  13. 1 Peter 4:7
  14. What, then, should be our understanding of the connection between love for Christ and obedience to Christ?
  15. How is that reflected in these passages?
  16. John 14:15
  17. John 14:21–24
  18. John 15:10
  19. 1 John 2:5–6
  20. What does God’s Word say about the person who talks about loving Christ, but lives a life of perpetual disobedience (see 1 John 2:4)?
  21. In what practical ways, then, might you display your love for Christ during the holiday season and beyond?

Did You Know?

The history of the Christian church is a continuous record of swinging between the extremes of legalism on one hand and license on the other. The argument against legalism, of course, is that good works can save no one; while the argument against license is that Christ is not unrighteous; therefore His saints should not engage in unrighteous acts.

The Bible teaches neither legalism nor license for the believer. What the Bible teaches is liberty—freedom—from bondage to belief in works that can save one’s self, and freedom from a body that cannot produce good works under the duress of the law. Jesus indeed came that He might set us free from the law, so that rather than vowing to do good (which we cannot do) in order to save ourselves (which we likewise cannot do), by faith we can be saved by Him and be set free to live our lives in submission to Him in us, Who can produce good works.

ICE Candles

This activity needs close adult supervision.

You will need the following items:

clean, empty card- board milk cartons

taper candles

ice, crushed or cubed

old broken crayons or candles

candle wax (paraffin)

old coffee cans

Remove tops from milk cartons and cut to desired height. Center a taper candle in each milk carton, making sure the wick is above the top of the carton. Place carton in a shallow foil-lined pan.

Melt wax in a coffee can that has been placed in a pan of water. Stir wax to aid in melting, and heat to a simmer.

Fill area around taper in carton with ice. The larger the ice cubes and the more ice you use, the larger the holes in the candles. Now ís the time to add bits of broken crayons or candles for extra color and texture.

 

The next step should be done by an adult.

 

Pour melted wax over ice in carton slowly. As the wax cools around the ice, it forms holes. Allow to cool completely and pour off water. To remove from carton, simply tear paper gently away from candle.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (1999). Celebrate his love: Study guide (pp. 88–99). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

December 15, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Headline Alerts Collection

Christianity’s first call is not “Behave!” but “Behold!” —Matt Papa

IMG_1531.JPG


Dec. 15, 2014

BLOOMBERG

The Sydney hostage crisis entered a second day as police negotiators worked to free the remaining people held at gunpoint in a city-center cafe. Hours after five hostages fled the Lindt cafe in Martin Place, police won’t say how many are left in the building or disclose the motives of the gunman. The armed man has forced his captives to display a black flag with Arabic lettering, while lights in the store were turned off some time after nightfall.

Two late-night votes in the Senate this weekend provide fodder for party activists already drawing up plans to reward loyalists and punish adversaries as the 2016 U.S. election cycle starts. The litmus-test votes: passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill that Democrats criticized for being too kind to big banks and campaign donors, and Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s failed constitutional objection to President Barack Obama’s immigration policy.

New York state plans to award its first full-scale casino licenses this week as Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Genting Bhd. vie to build a gambling palace within an hour’s drive of the Big Apple’s 8.4 million residents.

A CBS News poll found that 69 percent of Americans believe that waterboarding constitutes torture. Fifty-seven percent said they believe that such techniques provide reliable information. At the same time, though, just 49 percent of those polled said techniques such as waterboarding are sometimes justified.

If money is the life blood of politics, things in Washington are about to get livelier. Thanks to a provision in the new spending bill, an individual donor will soon be able to make political donations of $1.5 million over a two-year period. The deal to increase the donation limit is tucked into the omnibus spending bill and will allow individual donors to give $97,200 per year to a separate DNC or RNC account solely for defraying expenses related to running a presidential convention. That’s up nearly three times the current limit of $32,400 per calendar year.

Luxembourg charged a Frenchman with stealing confidential documents revealing sweetheart tax deals arranged for multinational companies by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Four months after becoming Connecticut’s first Democratic governor in two decades, Dannel Malloy signed a budget that raised taxes by a record amount. He vowed the revenue would stabilize a reeling economy.

PetSmart, the largest pet-store chain in the U.S., agreed to be bought by a group led by BC Partners for about $8.3 billion in the biggest leveraged deal for an American company this year.

Industrial production surged in November by 1.3 percent, the most since May 2010, as U.S. assembly lines churned out more consumer goods and business equipment, signaling manufacturing is bolstering economic growth.

AP Top Stories

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s bombshell report on the CIA’s interrogation program has armed defense attorneys representing accused terrorists held in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay with a powerful argument against capital punishment and the integrity of the system in which they are being tried.

A Ugandan maid was jailed for four years Monday for abusing a toddler in a case that shocked the country after a graphic video of the assault was made public.

The Syrian army on Monday lost control of two strategic bases in the northwestern province of Idlib to coordinated assaults by Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups.

Philippine government prosecutors charged a U.S. Marine with murder Monday in the killing of a Filipino, saying the suspect acknowledged attacking the victim after he found out she was a transgender woman.

Beaten, bound and fed mostly dry bread, on the darkest days of his three years held captive by Islamists in the Sahel, Frenchman Serge Lazarevic felt he was no longer human. “There was no time, there were no bearings. I was no longer a human being, I don’t know what I was.”

Home builders seem resigned to the fact that their business is recovering at a slower-than-expected pace.

BBC

The Russian ruble dropped to a new low against the US dollar, as falling oil prices and Western sanctions continue to weigh on the country.

Heavily armed police have stormed a cafe in Sydney where a gunman identified as an Iranian refugee has been holding dozens of people hostage. Paramedics carrying stretchers raced towards the cafe moments after a volley of loud bangs and flashes. Central Sydney has been in lockdown since the gunman seized the hostages early on Monday morning. Early in the siege, hostages were forced to hold up a black Islamic banner at the window.

Nigeria’s two main oil workers’ unions began a nationwide strike, threatening to hurt the output of Africa’s largest oil producer.

A nationwide strike in Belgium has brought air, rail and road transport to a halt and forced many businesses to close.

Liberia began treating Ebola patients with serum therapy – a treatment made from the blood of recovered survivors.

Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state said they will not allow Hindu nationalist groups to hold a religious conversion ceremony on Christmas Day.

WND

You may have to share living space with goats, but with more than 20 Greek islands for sale, Brits can live out their Mamma Mia! fantasies for the price of a central London flat.

He’s the teen wolf of Wall Street. Mohammed Islam is only 17 and still months away from graduating – but worth a rumored $72 million by trading stocks on his lunch breaks at Stuyvesant High School, New York magazine reports in its Monday issue.


Daily Digest

December 15, 2014

THE FOUNDATION

“I … place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Plumer, 1816

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

GOP Senators Let Down Voters to Get Home for Christmas

The one conservative senator who tried to defund Barack Obama’s executive amnesty was abandoned by his party, and the rest of the Senate was upset they had to miss holiday parties and the Army-Navy football game to do actual work. In a 56-40 vote, the Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill Saturday night. But during the proceedings, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made a point-of-order objection: The spending bill was unconstitutional, he argued, because it funded Obama’s amnesty. In the ensuing vote on Cruz’s objection, only 22 lawmakers agreed with the senator. “Forcing a vote on the constitutionality of Obama’s amnesty is important for two reasons,” Cruz said in a statement. “First, since President Obama enacted his unilateral amnesty after the elections, Democrats have never been made to answer for it. Tonight, they will and they will show America whether they stand with a lawless President, who is defying the will of the voters or the millions of Americans who want a safe and legal immigration system. Second, it allows Republicans to also show they are committed to ending Obama’s amnesty once and for all in the next Congress.” The GOP went so far as to attack Cruz, something Democrats didn’t do to their progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who also opposed the spending bill for her own reasons. More…

Newtown Families Remember Shooting by Suing Gun Maker

While the town of Newtown held no public ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre (the town’s churches, however, held ceremonies and rang bells), the families of the victims filed suit against gun manufacturer Bushmaster for making the AR-15 that the psychopath used to murder 20 young children and six teachers. Bill Sherlach, whose wife was among those killed, said in a statement, “In business, measuring risk prior to producing, marketing, and selling a product or service is standard procedure. For far too long the gun industry has been given legislative safe harbor from this standard business practice. These companies assume no responsibility for marketing and selling a product to the general population who are not trained to use it nor even understand the power of it.” Because the families did not sue the manufacturer that made the .22 rifle the shooter used to kill his mother or the Glock he used to kill himself, the families are probably treading on shaky legal ground, using nothing but an emotional argument that AR-15s are scary. It’s akin to fat people suing the makers of high-capacity spoons. More…

Cheney: Torture Is What Terrorists Did on 9/11

Former Vice President Dick Cheney once again defended the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “Torture to me is an American citizen on his cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the [World Trade Center] on 9/11,” Cheney said. “There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture.” In fact, he added, “I’d do it again in a minute.” Cheney also responded to news that the United Nations’ Ben Emmerson is pushing for “criminal charges” against those responsible: “I have little respect for the United Nations, or for this individual who doesn’t have a clue and had absolutely no responsibility for safeguarding this nation and going after the bastards that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11.” His view extends in some ways to Democrats, who are “trashing a very, very good program that worked, that saved lives, that kept us from another attack” — even as we’re in a time of war with “terrorists out there today.”

FBI Murder Stats Show Black Lives Do Matter

Members of black communities who say black lives matter may want to look to reform their communities before blaming “racist” law enforcement. While police officers kill about 200 blacks per year, newly released FBI murder statistics for 2012 show that whites murdered 193 blacks, and blacks killed 431 whites. Most of the murderers killed those of their own race, with 2,614 whites killing fellow whites, and 2,412 blacks killing fellow blacks. The statistics are far from perfect, as the FBI combines Caucasian with Hispanic murder rates. Furthermore, there are many reported murders in which the race of the victim or perpetrator is unknown. As Heather MacDonald writes in National Review, “There are thousands of law-abiding inner-city blacks who live by bourgeois values and who need protection from criminals. Only the police are willing to provide that protection. Their mantra could be ‘black lives matter.'” More…

Green on the Outside, Red in the Middle

Bolivian President Evo Morales is a socialist, and, unlike American Democrats, doesn’t need to hide his true colors. Speaking at the United Nations’ Lima Climate Change Conference — the one with the biggest carbon footprint yet — Morales said, “The deep causes of global warming are not being dealt with here. The origin of global warming lies in capitalism. If we could end capitalism then we would have a solution.” We’ll admit his honesty is somewhat refreshing, if disconcerting all the same. Morales continued, “After 30 years of negotiations, global warming is still going on. So many people and countries do not act responsibly. They are only thinking about profits, luxuries and markets. They are not thinking about life, but only of money and how to accumulate more capital.” That capital has lifted millions out of poverty, lengthened life spans and provided technology and comforts. But socialists like him would rather spread the poverty and explain it away as saving the planet.

2014-12-12-2b267433_large.jpg

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Treating Progressivism Like the Religion It Is

2014-12-12-fb322a49_large.jpg

The principal arena in the battle for the nation’s soul is once again being co-opted by the American Left. Acalanes High School (AHS) in Lafayette, California, determined that ninth graders should be taught sex-ed — without parents’ prior knowledge, no less — by Planned Parenthood.

“They are very concerned,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a non-profit legal organization assisting outraged parents to whom he referred. “Planned Parenthood is not exactly the best when it comes to putting young people first. They get more grants from the promiscuity of children. The material they have provided was material that mirrored their agenda.”

The most pernicious piece of that material is a chart depicting the so-called “Genderbred Person,” which comes from a book entitled, “The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender,” written by comedian and social justice advocate Sam Killerman. It is an effort to sow as much sexual confusion as possible in the minds of children by challenging the notion that one’s identity should not be reduced to male or female. Instead, students are told they can mentally identify themselves as “woman, man, two-spirit, genderqueer or genderless,” sexually express themselves as “butch, femme, androgynous, gender neutral, or hyper-masculine,” and biologically identify themselves as “male, female, intersex, female self ID, or male self ID.”

It gets worse. Students were also given a leaflet entitled “Sex Check! Are You Ready for Sex?” It asks students whether they are “ready for sex” and includes a checklist of materials such as condoms and water-based lubricants, and it also prompts them to consider whether they are capable of handling infections or pregnancy. Another worksheet prepares them for giving and getting consent for sex, posing questions such as “Do you want to go back to my place?” and “Is it OK if I take my pants off?”

According to PJI, parents began raising concerns following student reports of disturbing behavior during a sex-ed class. In a press release, the institute said, “Students reported that instructors threw a model of female reproductive organs at a student and that the instruction left them feeling pressured to have sex.”

The school defended its actions, characterizing the instruction as “age appropriate using objective and medically accurate information.” It further defended the worksheet as something that will “set the stage for age appropriate student thought, reflection and discussion regarding the complexity of the decision,” while arguing the Genderbred Person is used “to prompt student thought and engage students in discussion regarding the components of sexual identity.”

Baloney. Last year the American Life League (ALL) submitted ads to The New York Times and The Washington Post to raise public awareness about Planned Parenthood’s sex education curriculum. Those ads featured actual images from that curriculum for children as young as 10. Both papers rejected the images as “too graphic” and “shocking” for adult readers.

Too shocking for adults but OK for young teens?

Dacus spells out the implications. “What is happening in Lafayette should be a wake-up call to parents about what Planned Parenthood and some school districts want to teach our kids,” he contends. “I would challenge anyone to read some of these materials and try to defend their use with 13- and 14-year-olds.”

Parents collected 100 signatures on a petition in an effort raise community awareness about what is going on at AHS, and PJL sent AHS a letter expressing “serious concerns” about the legality of the program. “We firmly believe some of this program is illegal,” Dacus added, “and the district has a lot more explaining to do.”

What is occurring in this case is an integral part of the leftist agenda that has reached the apex of insanity in the Golden State. In 2013, Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed AB1266, allowing transgender students “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.

Hence, one is whoever one wants to be, regardless of biological reality.

Keep this all in mind as we consider the story of Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn, an Army chaplain punished for including religious materials and quoting from the Bible during a suicide-prevention training session with the 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion. “You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia, wrote in an official Letter of Concern. Fivecoat warned Lawhorn to be “careful to avoid any perception you are advocating one system of beliefs over another.”

Now, back to the state of California and AHS, we add to the mix Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry. Writing for The Wall Street Journal, McHugh contends that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”

Some people believe McHugh is spot on. Others believe the Genderbred Person, which posits a diametrically opposed viewpoint, is accurate. Furthermore, according to the Intersex Society of North America, transgendered people are those “who are born with typical male or female anatomies [emphasis added] but feel as though they’ve been born into the ‘wrong body.'”

In other words, believing one is transgender requires an act of faith. Faith is an integral part of religion — and the endorsement of religion is prohibited in public schools.

It is time the leftist indoctrination of children that includes a highly debatable tenet of sexuality — along with a host of other propaganda passed along as irrefutable fact — be given the same scrutiny and be subject to the same limitations as leftists subject Christianity. The alternative is what we have now: a viewpoint labeled “secular humanism” completely protected from rebuttal by opposing viewpoints. That’s not education. That’s brainwashing, and it’s time Americans recognized it as such — and put a stop to it.

Painting the Picture of Male Unemployment

2014-12-15-38e7055e.jpg

The New York Times summed up what conservatives have said for years — government welfare disincentivizes work, the social fabric of our nation is strongest when fathers head the household, and flooding the labor market with low-skilled and low-educated individuals through illegal immigration is bad for Americans currently out of work.

Seriously. Yes, they did.

Painted on the debate canvas is a recognizable face — the unemployed male during his prime working years. The Times’ piece declared, “Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent.” Perhaps the most important sentence in the report, however, is this: “Many men, in particular, have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working.”

Welcome to Barack Obama’s America.

The palette of metaphorical colors used by the Left to cast this grim, but real, image ranged from the gray of “foreign” competition and “technological advances,” to the pale pink of a massive list of government programs that include safety-net welfare and job training, to the cyanotic blue of men avoiding marriage and fatherhood.

The pronouncement that “foreign competition” harms the workforce — in this case, unemployed males, 85% of whom were without a college degree — is spot on. Hence, the absurdity of allowing Obama’s amnesty to stand. His action will permit five million illegal immigrants to compete in the already flooded low-skilled labor market. The ones hurt most are young blacks, but blacks are such dependable Democrat constituents that Obama knows he can get away with it.

As for that 85% of those surveyed who don’t hold a four-year degree, the availability of job training and educational attainment is vast. In 2011, the Government Accountability Office estimated that nine federal agencies housed 47 separate job training and educational programs.

The obvious question has to be asked: Which is easier to get, 99 weeks (just five weeks short of two years) of unemployment checks, or to enroll in an education program to obtain a certificate in training and finish a four-year degree?

An individual must stay competitive in a tightening labor market. Refining and advancing education and skills is no longer a K-12 proposition. Frankly, individuals can’t even expect a four-year degree to keep them competitive absent some special circumstance or highly specialized field.

There are ample options to obtain the training and education necessary to grow into technologically driven occupations. Parents, guidance counselors, existing employers and the government must be consistent in message — be a lifetime learner to stay employed. But that’s not the easy road; unemployment and food stamps are.

The New York Times observed other societal changes, such as that “the decline of marriage … means fewer men provide for children.” The traditional family places worth on the roles of a father as spiritual leader, model in his work ethic and character, and his responsibility to meet the needs of his family. But with so-called “progressive” change in the definition of marriage, the American male is … liberated.

Finally, there’s an element the NYT didn’t mention: shame.

Reach back into records and appreciate that in the 1903 annual report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor an able-bodied adult who was not working was documented as “Idle.” Further, this “idleness” was categorized “by causes.” Drunkenness, accident, strike, unable to get work, slack work, and bad weather were among 64 identifiers that captured the reasons for unemployment.

Today, it’s not your fault if you drop out of high school or college; it’s not your fault if you miss the opportunity to get additional education and training offered at work; it’s not your fault you never save a penny, but have the latest electronics available. You see, when you’re a victim of the big-bad system, there is no shame.

The Left — and some of the “moderate middle” — offers a life portrait of just under two years of unemployment checks, an opportunity to join the almost 50 million on food stamps, with hope that the government will increase the minimum wage on occasion to assist in one’s embrace as a member of the underclass. Mediocrity is the message for the masses.

By contrast, the Right paints a picture of innovation and competition with individuals who pursue skills training and education, who embrace technology and competition. The painting frequently includes a spouse and family to strengthen and support, and a male head-of-household who has the ability to dream and imagine a better day for his family. Yet, that portrait is only completed by the individual, not by the nanny state. It’s a picture of Liberty.

Now, you pick your palette: pale pastels or bold colors.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Speaking last month at the International Press Freedom Awards, Univision’s influential news anchor [Jorge Ramos] told his audience that while he has ‘nothing against objectivity,’ journalism is meant to be wielded as ‘a weapon for a higher purpose: justice.’ To be sure, he said, it is important to get the facts right — five deaths should be reported as five, not six or seven. But ‘the best of journalism happens when we, purposely, stop pretending that we are neutral and recognize that we have a moral obligation to tell truth to power.’ As it happens, Ramos delivered those remarks soon after the publication of Sabrina Erdely’s 9,000-word [faux] story in Rolling Stone vividly describing the alleged gang rape of a freshman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity party. … ‘Maybe [Erdely] was too credulous,’ suggests longtime media critic Howard Kurtz in a piece on Rolling Stone’s journalistic train wreck. … Or maybe this is what happens when newsrooms and journalism schools decide, like Jorge Ramos, that although they have ‘nothing against objectivity,’ their real aspiration is to use journalism ‘as a weapon for a higher purpose.'”

Economist Stephen Moore: “Here is the biggest worry about an $18 trillion debt: What happens if/when interest rates start to drift back upward? Answer: This is the economic equivalent of the nuclear option. Each 1-percentage-point rise in interest rates causes the U.S. deficit to rise by more than $1 trillion over ten years. So a 300-basis-point rise in rates — nothing more than a return to normalcy — would mean about $5 trillion in federal deficits. If that happens, the debt-servicing costs grow astronomically and interest payments would become the biggest expense item in the budget. We start to pay more and more taxes just to finance past borrowing. This is what happened in Detroit; look at how that turned out.”

2014-12-15-33d4cdcd.png

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/ )”


Op-Ed: Going from Bad to Worse

The world is totally committed to the two-state solution. European country after country is passing non-binding resolutions to recognize Palestine in principle. The parameters of the deal which have been set in stone, notwithstanding that all issues are to be decided by negotiations, are the ’67 lines plus swaps and the division of Jerusalem.

Read more


‘Millions March’ against police brutality

Protesters are taking to the streets by the thousands in cities across the US to protest grand juries’ decisions not to indict the white officers responsible for the deaths of two unarmed black men, and demand police accountability. More


Top 3 Foods to Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation

Chronic inflammation, in which inflammatory response in the body is ongoing and therefore causes progressive damage to the body, may be caused for a variety of reasons. These reasons range from stress and lack of sleep to more severe physical damage that one may have incurred, as well as development of viral or bacterial infections. Unlike acute inflammation, a normal response which everyone gets typically as the result of injury, chronic inflammation is not temporary. A slew of health problems can take hold when chronic inflammation sets in. Most notably, joints stiffen and can become painful. However, too much inflammation can wreak havoc in a multitude of ways. Everything from development or worsening of conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers. Several foods can help combat inflammation and associated joint pain. Rather than turn to costly options or medical treatments that often create other health problems or are based on cookie-cutter industry “standards,” fresh, whole foods are an alternative worth exploring. More


The dollar is headed for collapse – 599 failed paper currencies in world history prove it

For centuries, the British Pound was the world’s reserve currency, because it was consider to be the strongest of all currencies. That is no longer the case; shortly after World War II economically devastated the British Empire, the pound retreated as the world’s reserve currency and the U.S. dollar took its place. At the time, the American dollar — paper, to be sure — was at least partially backed by a physical, valuable commodity, gold. A decade earlier, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first acts was to take America off the gold standard, which it had used to back its currency since about 1879, to prevent consumers from making a run on banks as the Great Depression dragged on. In addition, FDR signed an order requiring all gold coins and gold certificates of more than $100 value to be turned in to the Treasury Department in exchange for other money. It was Keynesian economics at its best; inflating the government’s gold stash by hundreds of millions of dollars allowed the Federal Reserve to inflate the supply of paper money in the U.S. system. More


Russia Threatens to React to Further U.S. Sanctions

The United States Senate passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bill on Friday, which requests further sanctions against Moscow and up to $350 million dollars’ worth of military gear and hardware delivered to war-torn Ukraine from 2015 to 2017. The stricter sanctions would also affect the numerous weapons companies that sell to Russia. It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate bill will receive the green light from the White House, which has hesitated over directly supporting Ukraine in the ongoing skirmish between pro-Russian separatists and government forces. More


ARE WE ON THE BRINK OF WAR AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE?

On occasion a reader will ask if I can give readers some good news. The answer is: not unless I lie to you like “your” government and the mainstream media do. If you want faked “good news,” you need to retreat into The Matrix. In exchange for less stress and worry, you will be led unknowingly into financial ruin and nuclear armageddon. If you want to be forewarned, and possibly prepared, for what “your” government is bringing you, and have some small chance of redirecting the course of events, read and support this site. It is your site. I already know these things. I write for you. The neoconservatives, a small group of warmongers strongly allied with the military/industrial complex and Israel, gave us Granada and the Contras affair in Nicaragua. President Reagan fired them, and they were prosecuted, but subsequently pardoned by Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush. More


Armored Military Vehicles Needed for ‘Constitutionalists’ with Firearms

The footage, recently captured in Spokane Valley, begins with a local resident asking two deputies why police would need vehicles specifically designed for warfare abroad. “I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition,” one deputy says. “They have weapons here locally.” The startling admission not only points to active surveillance of legal gun owners, but of those who support the country’s founding document, further solidifying concerns among law-abiding citizens that police are receiving military equipment and training in order to target conservative Americans. The deputy’s specific mention of “constitutionalists,” a broad term covering millions of Americans, as opposed to criminals in general, also indicates a clear training mindset linked to the FBI and Homeland Security, two groups which have absurdly labeled “liberty-lovers” as terror threats. More


Bizarre parade in eastern Europe that sees beasts grapple with men and children who have misbehaved

Tis the season to be jolly, unless you’ve been a naughty child in Austria, where you will not only miss out on gifts from Saint Nicholas but will also be dragged off to a fiery underworld by a cloven-hoofed creature known as the Krampus. This demon-like character is the evil companion of St Nic, but while the kindly saint gives out gifts to good children, the Krampus punishes the bad ones by beating them with chains and dragging them to Hell. Part of Central European alpine folklore going back at least a millennium, since the 17th-century the creature has traditionally accompanied St.Nicholas and angels on December 5 as he makes his way through towns and villages. More


Cleanse and protect the liver with these nutritious whole foods

According to the Canadian Liver Foundation, the liver performs more than 500 different functions in the body on a day-to-day basis. It helps filter chemicals such as drugs and alcohol from our blood, regulate our hormones and blood sugar levels, manufacture blood proteins, bile and enzymes, and much more. In fact, there are few biological operations that the liver doesn’t aid to some extent. Unfortunately, toxic livers are on the rise in the West due to our love of processed foods, which has placed enormous strain on our livers. These unhealthy meals compromise the liver’s ability to process toxins and fat, which, in turn, increases our body’s susceptibility to illness and disease over time. For this reason, it is important that we favor a diet that is rich in organic whole foods to maintain healthy liver function. More


Rare twister rips through L.A.

A small tornado touched down in Los Angeles on Friday, ripping off parts of rooftops and downing trees in the southern part of the city. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-0 tornado touched down Friday morning. “It got a lot of people excited, but thank goodness nobody was hurt,” said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service. EF-0 twisters are the smallest type of tornadoes, with winds reaching 65 to 85 mph. EF refers to the Enhanced Fujita Scale of tornado intensity, which runs from EF-0 to EF-5. Most twisters that cause damage and deaths are EF-1 or higher. More


Hawaii volcano lava ‘flowing towards highway’

Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is moving towards a highway in the Puna district of Big Island, according to local reports. Aerial footage released by the County of Hawaii shows the lava burning through grass and trees on Friday. However, officials say the lava does not pose any immediate threat to communities. More


CultureWatch: Jihad in Sydney

by Bill Muehlenberg

As I write, the Islamic hostage situation in Sydney is still underway, now for over seven hours. One or more militants with their Islamic flag are holding at least 13 hostages, and the entire scene is developing right now before the eye of the world. So this is a very preliminary piece of course and not a final word on the situation by any means.

Read more


Iran and the Shia Militias Advance in Iraq :: Spyer and Jawad al-Tamimi in The Tower

by Jonathan Spyer and Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

The Tower

December 2014

http://www.meforum.org/4927/how-iraq-became-a-proxy-of-the-islamic-republic


Is Obama Secretly Working To Replace Netanyahu?

Nurtured in the Saul Alinsky-style, ACORN-esque tactics of organizing revolution under the banner of “social change,” Barack Obama, as a young community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s understood early on the importance of a crisis and how to ride the waves of an emergency to effect the fundamental transformation of society …………. Click here for full story


Young Jordanians Returning From Jihad Pick Up Their Lives, But Dream Of Islamic State

The three young Jordanians didn’t start out as extremists. They grew up in mainstream Muslim families. But they grew increasingly angry at what they felt were Western injustices against Muslims — and decided to join the jihad in Syria and Yemen ……… Click here for full story


A Sikh Principal, Too English For A Largely Muslim School

As a Sikh and second-generation Briton running a public school made up mostly of Muslim students, Balwant Bains was at the center of the issues facing multicultural Britain, including the perennial question of balancing religious precepts and cultural identity against assimilation………. Click here for full story


Decline in Church-Building Reflects Changed Tastes And Times

Americans aren’t building churches like they used to anymore. Construction of religious buildings in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level at any time since private records began in 1967. Religious groups will build an estimated 10.3 million square feet this year, down 6% from 2013 and 80% since construction peaked in 2002………. Click here for full story


Media Bias And The Effort To Discredit Israel

In the wake of the deaths of four Rabbis in a Synagogue in Jerusalem at the hands of Palestinian terrorists last week, new allegations of media bias against Israel are surfacing. This bias is an ongoing trend by mainstream Western reporters who charge most of the violence committed in Israel against the Jews and seek to spin the facts to promote their political agenda ……… Click here for full story


Censorship 2.0: Shadowy forces controlling online conversations

Read all about it

In this era of information and misinformation overload, news sites are regaining some of their cachet as credible sources of information. Because content is controlled by the editorial teams – comprising professional journalists, at least for the most part – the actual stories cannot be influenced.

Read more


CultureWatch: Taqiyya, Dhimmitude and Sydney Terrorism

by Bill Muehlenberg

It now seems pretty clear that the mainstream media is just about fully in bed with Islam, and will not say a word contrary to it, but will instead accept without question every single line the Muslim apologists throw at them. These guys are truly in a state of dhimmitude, allowing Islam complete reign in their coverage of the Sydney hostage crisis.

Read more


Palestinians to seek UN resolution Wednesday on occupation

The Palestinians are to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that would set a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation, an official said. “The Palestinian leadership took a decision to go to the Security Council next Wednesday to vote on their project to end the occupation,” senior Palestine Liberation Organisation member Wassel Abu Yussef told AFP Sunday after a meeting in Ramallah. The Israeli foreign ministry declined to comment ahead of Monday’s meeting in Rome between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry arrived in Italy Sunday amid a European-led drive to push moves towards Palestinian statehood, with US officials saying he sought to learn more about the European position. More


Deadly Fukushima radiation up 50,000% as elevated radiation levels seen across North America

Beta radiation levels are off the charts at monitoring sites all across North America, according to new reports. But experts are blaming these radiation spikes on practically everything except for Fukushima. Data gathered from tracking units in California, Arizona, Illinois and elsewhere reveal radiation levels up to 50,000 percent higher than what was observed at the same time last year, and in some cases compared to levels seen this past summer. More


Giant Sun Storm of 2012 Shown in Fiery Detail

NASA released an amazing video that shows the awesome and potentially devastating force of the sun in action. The sun regularly spits outs fiery clumps of plasma that are held together by magnetic fields. These clumps of plasma are called coronal mass ejections (CMEs), one of the most extreme forms of space weather. A typical CME travels at around 1 million mph (447,040 meters per second) and weighs about 2 trillion tons. But in 2012, the sun unleashed a CME much larger than the average, and it barreled through space at a staggering 6.7 million mph. NASA officials called it the “perfect storm of plasma” and it would have wreaked havoc on the Earth if it had been aimed at the planet, according to the video released by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. More


Five reasons why you’re totally crazy if you aren’t growing your own food

As things get ever crazier in the world, there are more reasons than ever to grow at least some of your own food. In fact, I say you’re crazy if you don’t grow some food! Here are five huge reasons why… More


Putin Cold War Rhetoric Must Be Addressed to Prevent World War 3

The world is frightfully a heartbeat away from a dreadful nuclear showdown between Russia and the United States, which is a scenario increasingly posed by the existence of ready-to-launch nuclear missiles. And the likelihood that World War III could break out anytime is further heightened by the grim tone that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been sounding off lately. Putin, according to a former NATO head, is practically rattling “his nuclear sword.” More


Potentially hazardous asteroid surprises astronomers

“Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour,” could be still an actual description of our ability to predict asteroid threats to Earth. The sentence from the Bible (Matthew 25:13) sound like a reminder of a vast number of more than 1,500 currently potentially hazardous objects, floating in space, meandering around in the Solar System. Some of them may be destined to pay our planet a close visit someday, unexpectedly, Chelyabinsk-style, as the one that hit Russia in February 2013, causing serious damages and injuring about 1,500 people. Who would have predicted that? Lately, one of the potentially hazardous asteroids, named 2014 UR116, created quite a buzz when various media reported that the 370-wide space rock may hit Earth. Its impact would cause an explosion 1,000 times greater than the Chelyabinsk meteor. But the discoverer of 2014 UR116, Vladimir Lipunov, a professor at Moscow State University, becalms the public. “This asteroid will not collide with Earth during the next 100 years,” Lipunov told astrowatch.net. More


Europe Moving Toward Legalization of Euthanasia

French Parliament has passed the law, easing restrictions on assisted death on Friday, December 12, moving gradually towards euthanasia legalization. “French legislation introduced Friday to ease restrictions on doctor-assisted death risks further diversifying the range of clashing national laws on euthanasia across Europe,” Agence France-Presse reported. More


Texas weighs allowing open carry of handguns

Long depicted as the rootin’-tootin’ capital of American gun culture, Texas is one of the few states with an outright ban on the open carry of handguns. That could change in 2015, with the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott expected to push for expanded gun rights. “If open carry is good enough for Massachusetts, it’s good enough for the state of Texas,” Abbott said the day after his election last month. More


Iran hackers may target U.S. energy, defence firms, FBI warns

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned U.S. businesses to be on the alert for a sophisticated Iranian hacking operation whose targets include defence contractors, energy firms and educational institutions, according to a confidential agency document. The operation is the same as one flagged last week by cyber security firm Cylance Inc as targeting critical infrastructure organizations worldwide, cyber security experts said. Cylance has said it uncovered more than 50 victims from what it dubbed Operation Cleaver, in 16 countries, including the United States. More


Some experts Warn of bonds funds Crashing in 2015

Concerns have been rumbling for some time that bonds – whether issued by companies or governments – are due for a sharp crash. At the start of 2014 many wrote off bonds and said that private investors should sell their bond funds and move into shares or other assets. But those who ignored this advice and kept their bonds investments have done well over the past year. In fact, as a whole, bonds have beaten equities so far in 2014. So what does 2015 hold? Again, opinion is divided. More


God is in the details on the silver screen

In Exodus: Gods and Kings, director Ridley Scott puts his faith in an unexpected place: 11-year-old British actor Isaac Andrews, who portrays God. It’s the latest in a long series of unconventional casting choices in the depiction of the Almighty in film. (Jarvis, USA Today)

Full Story


Poll Finds That More Americans Back Gun Rights Than Stronger Controls

Two years after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., a majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than for the government to limit access to firearms, a Pew Research Center survey conducted this month found. (Williams, The New York Times)

Full Story


The 10 most-read stories of 2014 on USA TODAY

This is not a subjective list of the top news of the year. This is a look at the stories that you guys, the readers, clicked on the most across USA TODAY’s website, and mobile and tablet apps. (Brown, USA Today)

Full Story


Grow Your Own Medicinal Garden

29 plants and the conditions they help. Article by Amy Alton.

Read more


Warning: Leftist agendas tanking America’s economy, security, health?

According to many scientific, economic, legal and political experts, going green and living up to other progressive ideals might be more effective in turning one’s complexion green — not to mention the pockets of clean energy CEOs — than the local forest.

Read more


The Bogeyman has entered the nursery

In the nightmare world progressives are designing for civil society, little tots are no longer your little tots. They are government-sought human resources to be raised as tomorrow’s anarchists. “On Wednesday, the White House Summit on Early Education will unveil nearly $1 billion in new “investments” to “expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America” from “birth and continuing to age 5.”

Read more


Illegal Immigrants Flocking to Amnesty Workshops at Churches, Islamic Centers from Coast to Coast

From coast to coast, illegal immigrants are reportedly flocking to community centers, churches, and Islamic centers to see if they will qualify for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.

View Article


America: In the Eye of God?

That said, we did not see America itself specifically pictured or mentioned in the Bible. Nor is America a nation that is in a covenant relationship with God. This status is unique to Israel. America may certainly be numbered among the nations of the last days that the Bible collectively addresses in prophecy. If so, it would be counted among “the nations” and is one of the “islands of the seas” that are mentioned in prophecy (assuming it continues to exist). And, even here we cannot be entirely sure of this in every mention of the Biblical phrase “the nations,” as we do not know the future exactly.

View Article


ISIS: Prelude to Apocalypse

If the secular media’s silence is due to its ideological prejudice or animosity toward Christianity, how does one explain the muteness of the majority of American Christians? Christians should be speaking out because the jihadists who now seem far away proclaim their intent daily for America. There is no better statement on the perils of apathy than that of German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller, whose outspoken opposition to Adolf Hitler earned him seven years in a fetid Nazi concentration camp:

First they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.

View Article


Fukushima disaster far from over

Tons of contaminated water posing huge hurdles to cleanup

A lot of ink was consumed by media after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster in March 2011, and then everything got quiet. With most of the media silent about the cleanup, the public may think the worst is over and the operating company TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) is cleaning up the site.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

View Article


Obeying God’s Command To Be Separate From The World’s Religions

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

All our lives we have heard “We must be united!” Unity becomes a goal in our lives. People pray for world peace, and the way to achieve that is through unity, right?

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:34-38

When Jesus opens the eyes and hearts of people, it soon becomes evident that Unity is not our mission. We begin to realize that we are different from the world. He wants us to be salt and light, so that others will be drawn to Him through us.

christian-false-unity-be-ye-separate-laodicea-church

There certainly was no unity in my Jewish family, when I announced that I believed in Yeshua! Well, perhaps there was unity against me! But I am anything but united with my blood relatives. I am a follower of Yeshua, and that is repugnant to many people.

As true Christians, we are to have Unity of spirit. That is one reason why fellowship with the brethren is so encouraged in the Word:

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25

Unity of Beliefs

We see the Pope doing everything in his power to bring unity. But to him this means bringing all religions together in unity. This is satanically inspired. Yeshua brought us light when we were in darkness. He took us away from false beliefs and teachings. He brought us the better Covenant of Grace, out of His love for us. He told us that He alone is the way to the Father. He warned us in His Word about false teachers, and to avoid them.

Roman Catholicism has for centuries discouraged the reading of the Bible to their people. Catholics have been told that the priests know what the Word says, so just come to mass and trust the leaders. This is the blind leading the blind!

“And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” – Luke 6:39

The RCC has a new mantra – UNITY!! The Pope has brought Muslims and Jews and Protestant Christians into the Vatican to pray together. Catholicism has believed that our God and Allah are one and the same for a very long time. In the 2nd Council of the Vatican in 1964, they added these words to the book of Catholic Catechism:

841 “The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

It is obvious that the Vatican believes that Allah and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are indeed the same God. This is heresy!

Rick Warren, who has been a proponent of Chrislam for some time now, is declaring that the Pope is the head of all Christians on the planet. Since the RCC declared that Islam serves and worships the same God, can you see where this is going??

If the Word of God is not our foundation, and our source for absolute truth, then sadly we will fall for the feel-good Kumbaya of the Unity of all religions. ONE WORLD RELIGION!

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Can this statement made by Yeshua be any more clear?

Unity brings deception

Brethren, God never changes! His Word never changes! Do not be deceived by these empty words! I can just hear Satan saying “Did God really say?” YES, God really did say that we are not to be yoked together in any way with unbelievers! Galatians 1:8 says:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Do not fear as you see these things happening in our world. It is all part of God’s prophetic Word being fulfilled. But do keep yourselves safe from believing anything apart from the Word of God!

Geri Ungurean

The post Obeying God’s Command To Be Separate From The World’s Religions appeared first on Now The End Begins.


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

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.

Read more


Headlines of Interest

Chuck O’Neal – Dr. Russell Moore’s Lack of Gospel Primacy

Creflo Dollar Says Myles Munroe Came to Him in a Dream Three Days After He Died…

Todd Bentley on Twitter – Raising the dead! Every Christian should do it at least once.

Video – A Big Evangelical Stood up to Glenn Beck

‘Pope’ Claims Mary Was Conceived ‘Without Original Sin’ 

Lake Worth Florida- Atheist Invocation at Council Meeting Calls on Allah, Zeus, Satan

Hindu Priest Vows To Convert Muslims, Christians On Christmas Day

Fleeing persecution, Christian converts find safe houses in England

More than 15 4.5+ Magnitude Quakes in 24 hours

These Are The Top 10 YouTube Videos Of The Year


Dependence, and Our Unhindered Access to God’s Throne

It has always been difficult for me to spend great lengths of time in prayer, and sometimes it’s been a cause of discouragement. On the other hand, God has graciously taught me about prayer and dependence on Him throughout the day. I often get on my knees for brief periods in my office. I pray as I hear of needs. Nanci and I stop and pray together various times throughout the day. I ask God to help me see prayer as an adventure in which I come into His presence and behold Him, and become so absorbed with Him that I don’t want to do anything else. I’ve had tastes of that, but long for more.

I believe that the more conscious my dependence on Christ, the more I will pray without ceasing and obey Scripture’s command to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).

Read more


An Open Letter to the Dad Looking at Porn


Not My Pope

by Michael Shuman

“America’s Pastor,” Rick Warren, recently claimed that the Pope in Rome is the Pope of all Christians. He’s wrong.

Read more


7 Errors to Avoid in Following Christ

One of the most important areas of theology is sanctification: the doctrine that concerns our consecration to God, the restoration and renewal of God’s image within us, and our practical progress in holiness. I’ve seen a number of common errors that Christians make in this area. In fact, here are seven errors to avoid in following Christ.

Read more


Loving an Imperfect Spouse

If our husbands are in Christ, we can take this truth to the bank, knowing that God’s power never comes back depleted. The same God who called our husbands to Himself is sanctifying them day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). Even if there is a specific sin or quirk that your husband doesn’t see, you can find rest in the fact that your husband’s power to change doesn’t rest on him at all—it rests on God (2 Cor. 3:4–6).

Read more


Dear Evangelicals, You’re Being Well-Served

On Monday, I received a note from a friend here in Michigan that I deeply respect, who, while agreeing with the problems of Evangelicals being too enamored with the political process and their naïvety about the ways politicians want to use them, also wanted to offer some gentle pushback.

Read more


To Give Knowledge of Salvation to His People

Reading the gospel texts we know that we either believe or run away. This is either the greatest truth ever declared, or it is the saddest lie ever told. The Christmas story cannot be reduced to a sentimental tale that gives humanity a warm glow. When the heavenly host declares that Jesus is the Savior who is Christ the Lord, they announce the forgiveness of sins to those who repent and believe and they declare war on those who would oppose this child.

Read more


Identity Confusion

While the evangelical jury still appears to be out on whether same-sex attraction is in itself sinful, the comments of President Ryken look (at least as reported in World) rather confused. With regard to same sex attraction, he is quoted as saying that those who use the gay label should “be clear that they do not advocate homosexual practice or find their identity in their sexuality.” This is problematic in two ways.

Read more


Christian Liberty, Beer, and Blogs

In other words, Christian liberty (as with all true liberty!) has boundaries. Christian liberty is tempered with love for neighbor (think of him/her before our liberty) and self-denial (we don’t need to indulge in this liberty). If Christian liberty is not tempered with love for neighbor and self-denial, it is more like an immature high school fad (i.e. the shoes or brand of jeans you wear) than a Christian ethic.

Read more


God is Love

For those who are born of God and know Him (v 7), His Spirit abides in them (v 13). And, here is John’s conditional statement: Therefore, if the children of God love one another, then God’s love is perfected in us (v 12)! You see, God’s love for you was not intended to find its terminus in you. God’s love for you was intended to find its terminus – its rightful, perfected and completed end – in your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Read more


Two Natures Inconfusedly, Indivisibly, United In One Person

The two natures were united in the tomb, even as his true, rational human soul was temporarily separated him his body in death. The two natures were united in the resurrection and ascension. The incarnation is a great mystery, of course, but we can say what we should say and we should always say that Christ is one person, not a composition, in whom two, distinct natures are indivisibly, inseparably united and that the incarnation is for our salvation and for the glory of God.

Read more


Debating Christianity and Islam on Spice FM: A Conversation on the Deity of Christ

by Jonathan McLatchie

I was recently invited to do a debate on a local radio station that airs in Tyneside, England, called Spice FM. Every Thursday, a Muslim program, called “Eye on the East”, run by Muslim activist Daniel Johnson of the Islamic Diversity Center airs. In the video above, I take on Daniel Johnson and Muslim apologist […]

Read more of this post


From Stumbling Block to Selling Feature

Now owned by DreamWorks, the faith-inspired anthropomorphic vegetables have gone through multiple incarnations since their debut in direct-to-consumer videos in 1993, including leaps to the big screen and broadcast television. Nov. 26 marks yet another milestone as the characters premiered in a 22-minute, Looney Tunes–style cartoon series on Netflix titled VeggieTales in the House.

Read more


John Knox 500: Reformer, Pastor, Critic of Political / Religious Tyranny

At the time, Mary Queen of Scots wanted to make Scotland subject to France, to restore the Church of Rome, and to crush Protestantism. In response, Knox’s voice thundered from Scottish pulpits, and he propagated a theory of godly revolution which taught that there is a case for rebellion against a monarch who becomes idolatrous and imposes her rule on the people. It was said that Mary feared Knox preaching more than the armies of England!

Read more


Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday? A Response to Eight Common Arguments

It is suggested that Christmas is inappropriate because we do not know the day or date on which Christ was truly born, I would ask whether we may only preach events on the very day of the year in which it historically happened. Obviously this is false, for then we would only preach the cross on Good Friday. We must insist that all days of the year, including whatever day the solstice happens to occur, be devoted to Christ our Supreme King.

Read more


No Fatalism Here

However, while Paul believed that God “foreordained whatsoever comes to pass”, and that “no one could come to the Father unless the Father draws him,” and also, “many have been called but few have been chosen;” he was not fatalistic. He did not use the sovereign decree of God as an excuse for evangelical passivity. Or to put it in modern-day terms, Paul was not a Hyper-Calvinist who believed it honored God to sit back and let him do the work.

Read more


The New College Counterculture

Today’s counterculture speaks with the voice of tradition, virtue, and religious commitment. There are now more than thirty LFN student groups from colleges across the United States (and Mexico). They uphold the idea that sex comes after marriage, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that the natural family is the irreducible foundation of all civil societal associations. Like the ’60s radicals, they refuse to keep quiet. Yet unlike the ’60s radicals, they refuse with civility. They carry themselves with decorum and respect.

Read more


Tis the Season for Holiday Music, or: Why I Hate Christmas

But the sacred music of the season can be a nearly sacramental presence in our life, if we’re careful not to abuse it. And music has the unique power to add richness and depth and dimension and life to the Christmas cycle. But if we’re clumsy, if we don’t choose carefully, if we turn the work of the people into a sing-along of old favorites, the music can be a messy, blurring presence that is detrimental to the whole thing.

Read more


Ten Troubling Statements Church Leaders and Members Make

We have never done it that way before. Yes, it’s cliché. But it’s still a very pervasive attitude among change-resistant people in the church… We have enough people in our church. This is a tragic statement by leaders of inwardly focused churches. And it is an excuse not to do evangelism and ministry.

Read more


Not Just Gay Issues: Why Hundreds Of Congregations Made Final Break With Mainline Denominations

It was not as if these congregations chose the most theologically conservative new homes. The great majority of congregations leaving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) chose to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church or the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Few chose to join the larger Presbyterian Church in America, which does not permit women clergy.

Read more


‘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.

What happens if you ask 13 gay-owned bakeries to back a pro-marriage cake?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Since Christian bakers are being forced by courts to bake cakes for gay weddings, wouldn’t it neat to see if gay bakeries will bake pro-marriage cakes for Christians?

Well, this blogger did just that:

Christian bakeries that refuse to make pro-homosexual marriage cakes are getting sued, they get fined, they get death threats, and they lose their businesses.

So Shoebat.com called some 13 prominent bakers who are pro-gay and requested that they make a pro-traditional marriage cake with the words “Gay marriage is wrong” placed on the cake. Each one denied us service, and even used deviant insults and obscenities against us. One baker even said that she would make me a cookie with a large phallus on it. We recorded all of this in a video that will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual agenda is.

If anyone who objects saying that…

View original post 124 more words

Bible Inspiration: Plenary And Verbal by Dr. W. W. Gardner

Theologue

Conservative evangelicals believe that the Bible is inspired, and that this inspiration is both plenary and verbal.  Verbal means that every word of Scripture is God-given, and plenary means that all parts of the Bible are equally authoritative.  There have been many articles and books written on the subject but the following e-book Bible Inspiration: Plenary And Verbal by Dr. W. W. Gardner is the most detailed and thorough I have seen:

BibleInspiriation-VerbalAndPlenary-WWGardner.pdf

View original post

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings?

Truth in Grace

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings? rick+warren+wide+gate

(Horatius Bonar, “Self-Denial Christianity”)

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!” Amos 6:1

What do we say to . . .
our self-indulgence,
our spiritual sloth,
our love of ease,
our avoidance of hardship,
our luxury,
our pampering of the body,
our costly feasts,
our silken couches,
our brilliant furniture,
our gay attire,
our jeweled fingers,
our idle mirth,
our voluptuous music,
our jovial tables, loaded with every variety of rich viands?

Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings?

Where is the self-denial of the New Testament days?

Where is the separation from a self-pleasing luxurious world?

Where is the cross, the true badge of discipleship, to be seen–except in useless religious ornaments for the body, or worse than useless decorations for the sanctuary?

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”
Is not this the description…

View original post 428 more words

GTY Blog: God in a Manger

Selected Scriptures

Code: B141215

by John MacArthur

Many people gladly celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, only to ignore, shun, and reject Him the rest of the year. They don’t mind celebrating the birth of a baby, but they don’t want to hear about the Lord of lords. They sing of His nativity but brazenly reject His authority. They adore Him as an infant but will not pay homage to Him as the God-man. They can tolerate the trappings of Christmas—a manger, shepherds, wise men, and Joseph and Mary—but they cannot bear the advent of God in human flesh. Consequently the world ignores the core of all Christmas truth. And instead of honoring Jesus at Christmas, they are actually mocking Him.

The enemy must love the world’s Christmas celebration. He must revel in the blatant sin and blasphemy and rejection of Christ—all by people who suppose they are celebrating His birth! He must glory in the way people inoculate themselves against the truth of Christ by commemorating His birth with lip service while ignoring the point of it all—that Jesus is almighty God.

The Incarnation

Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to be a façade to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world. But the modern world’s version of Christmas does just that. And consequently for the greater part of humanity, Christmas has no legitimate meaning at all.

I don’t suppose anyone can ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How does one explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny infant? It was, of course, the greatest condescension the world has ever known or will ever know. Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God’s becoming a man. We will never comprehend why He who was infinitely rich would become poor, assume a human nature, and enter into a world He knew would reject Him and kill Him.

Nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby. Yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity in any sense, He was born into our world as a tiny infant.

People often ask me if I think Jesus cried, or if He needed the normal care and feeding one would give any other baby. Of course He did. He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to every human.

Yet He was also fully God—all wise and all powerful. How can both things be true? I don’t know. But the Bible clearly teaches that it is so. In some sense, Jesus voluntarily suspended the full application of His divine attributes. He didn’t give up being God but He willingly gave up the independent use of the privileges and powers that were His as God (Philippians 2:5-8). He chose to subjugate His will to His Father’s will (John 5:30; 6:38). Through all that He remained fully God.

Humanity and Deity

For nearly two thousand years, debate has been raging about who Jesus really is. Cults and skeptics offer various explanations. They say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet, and so on. The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less than God.

But let the Bible speak for itself. John’s gospel begins with a clear statement that Jesus is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3). Who is “the Word” spoken of in these verses? Verse 14 removes any doubt: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was the incarnation of God. For one thing, He was omniscient. John 2:24-25 says that, “Jesus, on His part . . . knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.” Nathanael was shocked to discover that Jesus knew all about him before they ever met. It was enough to persuade him that Jesus was the Messiah (John 1:48-50). John 4 describes Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He knew everything about her (John 4:17-19, 29).

He also did the works of God, saying, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (John 14:11). Jesus’ works are convincing proof that He is God. He began His miraculous ministry with a simple act—He created wine at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11). Only God can create. Moreover, He healed people who were hopelessly ill. He gave a blind man eyes. He opened ears that had never heard. He restored withered limbs. He created enough fish and bread to feed thousands. He raised the dead simply by command.

While the glory of the Lord was shrouded by His human form, His power was on display throughout His ministry, bearing abundant witness to His deity. And yet, the world still works hard to deny Christ’s true nature. They’d prefer to keep the baby confined to the manger for all time. But as we’ll see next time, Jesus’ true nature cannot be ignored, suppressed, or concealed.

(Adapted from The Miracle of Christmas.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141215
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

Think Theology: Ten questions (and answers) about the Nativity

10846920_10204557039338557_1311646754_nMy twelve-year-old son has the honor of being one of the “kings” in the church Christmas pageant this year.  I had the exact same role at the exact same age when I was a child attending the Lutheran church with my Aunt Joann. That was the year I learned the lyrics to “We Three Kings” – which I never forgot.

I love Christmas, and I love the nativity. My wife is actually a collector of nativity scenes, and they’re a regular part of our Christmas decor.  However, we should know that much what we think of as the Nativity scene (and much of the lore surrounding it) is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. Please don’t mistake that observation as a war against Nativity scenes. They’re fine, in my opinion. But they are rooted in conjecture, misunderstanding first-century culture, the meaning of a couple of Greek words, and just about everything else the Bible says about the setting, scene, and circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus.

In the form of a quiz that I gave my son today (with a bit of elaboration by me) consider ten questions (and answers) about the birth of Jesus, and see if embracing another idea about Jesus’ birth doesn’t give you even more cause to praise God for the incarnation.

Q1:How many kings does the Bible say there were in the nativity story?

A: Zero. RIGHT

Q2: Okay, how many wise men were there? (cf. Mat. 2:1)

A: We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say how many there were. RIGHT

Q3: Okay, how many gifts were brought to Jesus? (cf. Mat. 2:11)

A: Three – Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. RIGHT

Q4: Does the Bible say that Jesus was born in a stable? (cf. Mat. 2:11, Lk. 2:1-5, Ex. 12:6)

A: No, it only says that they laid him in a manger because there was no room in the guest-room at the house where they were staying. Most houses had guest rooms. The one they were staying at likely had lots of family members in it since the town was packed for the census. It was Joseph’s home town. They would have been living with his relatives during Mary’s pregnancy. Jesus was likely born in the main room of a relative’s house and likely had Joseph’s relatives to help. After he was born they put him in the manger to sleep. That would have been totally normal. Everyone kept mangers in the main room of their homes in order to feed their domesticated animals. RIGHT 

Q5: Does the Bible say that Mary wrapped Jesus in the rags she found in the barn? (cf. Lk. 2:12)

A: No she swaddled Jesus with at least three pieces of cloth that she probably got from one of Joseph’s relatives with whom they were likely living during their stay in Bethlehem. RIGHT 

Q6: Does the Bible say that when Joseph and Mary showed up in Bethlehem, they couldn’t find a place to stay, so they went to a barn or stable? (cf. Lk. 2:6)

A: The Bible says, “And while they were there the days were completed for her to give birth” – which means that she was living in Bethlehem at a relatives house during her pregnancy. RIGHT

Q7: Did they show up in Bethlehem at night on the day that Jesus was born? (Lk. 2:4, 6)

A: No, they had been in Bethlehem for quite a long time. They would not have travelled at the end of her pregnancy, and they certainly would not have been traveling or arriving in a small town after dark. RIGHT

Q8: What about the evil inn-keeper that turned Joseph away when he begged for a room? (cf. Lk. 2:6 and see note on kataluma below).

A: There is no mention of an inn-keeper anywhere in the Bible who turned Joseph away. Also, the idea that there was such a thing as a hotel (inn) in the little first-century village of Bethlehem is false. There was no hotel or inn there. People stayed in the guest rooms of their family and friends. RIGHT

Q9:  But didn’t the three kings find Jesus in the barn on the night that he was born? (cf. Mat. 2:11, 16)

A: No. Jesus was born well before the magi (not kings) ever showed up to Bethlehem, and when they arrived, he was in the same place where he was born… in the house. It is even possible that he was as old as two years when they finally arrived. RIGHT

Q10: But what about the “lowing” cattle that woke Jesus up while he was sleeping in the barn (though… “no crying he made”)? (cf. Judges 11:31 — what did this man expect to come running out of his house? His daughter or something else?)

A: Again, there is no mention of any animals in the biblical story. Only a manger, which is the reason people think Jesus was born in a barn. But a manger is the same thing as an animal dish. They were kept in homes as well as in stables depending on whether or not a family was keeping an animal in the house – and lots of people kept domesticated animals in their homes in that culture. RIGHT

From my perspective, the mention of a manger, and the translation of the word katluma to “inn” are the only two good reasons that we have for supposing that Jesus was born in a stable. But as I have already said, a manger was a common item in homes during the days of Jesus and before.

A note about the word kataluma (“Inn” in Luke’s Gospel).  Many English translations use the word inn when translating kataluma in Luke 2:7. But Luke uses the word two times. The other is in Luke 22:11, which is often translated “guest room” (NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB) and “guest chamber” (KJV). The only other time it is used in the New Testament is in Mk. 14:14, where it is translated “guest chamber.”

Interestingly, Luke does mention an “Inn” in another text, but he uses a different word there. In Luke 10:29-37, Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan. In this story, there is an inn and there is an inn-keeper.  But the word for inn here is pandocheion, and inn-keeper  is pandochei. This type of place would have been a resting place for travelers and their pack-animals and caravans on main roads (such as was the case on the road to Jericho), but there were no such places in small towns like Bethlehem.

In that culture, hospitality would be shown to family and strangers alike by welcoming them into the guest rooms of residents. The little town of Bethlehem had not hotel. Why would it? It was the town where the “least of all the clans of Judah” (Mic. 5:2) lived.

No. Jesus wasn’t born in a barn or a cave (though it is likely that we’ll never be able to get away from that image since it has been repeated over and over again for generations). He was born, and was living with his parents in the home of a relative in his earthly father’s home-town. That’s where Joseph and his pregnant wife would have stayed for the weeks and months preceding the birth of Jesus, and it is where Jesus was born.

There was no room for Jesus to be born in the guest room, so he was born, swaddled, and laid in the manger in the main room of the house, and that is where the shepherds went to find him (cf. Lk. 2:15-16), and that is where the wise men found him later (cf. Mat. 2:11).

The scandal of the birth of Jesus is not that he was born in a barn. It is that he was born the same way every average kid was born at that time — in a peasant’s house the way all peasant children were born, in a peasant village surrounded by his peasant parents and their peasant relatives– and yet, he was announced by angels as King!

 

Send to Kindle

The post Ten questions (and answers) about the Nativity appeared first on Think Theology.

Does the Old Testament Teach Two Comings of the Messiah?

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Introduction

Jewish people and even some skeptics like to assert that Christians are the ones who have come up with two act play about the coming of the Messiah. In other words, since Jesus failed at the messianic task, Christians then had no choice but to make up a second coming of Jesus. I already have a post called “Was Jesus a Failed Prophet?” here.

While there is much to discuss about this topic, the real question at hand is whether the Old Testament teaches two comings of the Messiah. Let me attempt to offer some helpful tips:

First, Jewish messianism is a concept study. The word “messiah” means “anointed one” and is derived from verbs that have the general meaning of “to rub something” or, more specifically, “to anoint someone.” The Hebrew Bible records the anointing with oil of priests ( Exod 29:1-9 ), kings (1 Sam 10:1;2 Sam 2:4;1…

View original post 1,654 more words

“Missionary life is simply a chance to die” – Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) was a missionary to India, and was one of the most respected missionaries of the first half of the twentieth century.

She was born in Ireland to a well-to-do family, who raised her as a Christian (Presbyterian). In her Methodist boarding school as a young teenager she accepted Christ as savior. Shortly after, her family’s circumstances changed when her father died and the family’s finances were severely reduced. Read more

Amy Carmichael As a young women.
From AmyCarmichael.org

Reformation21 – The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 6. Wrath

As we come to Wrath in a Digital Age, we must once again begin by asking, “what is this vice exactly?” Is Wrath a vice like Gluttony – too much of a good thing, or wanting a good thing in the wrong way? Or is it more like Envy – intrinsically disordered, and purely destructive?

Lots of candidates for Boehner replacement in list of Cromnibus NO-votes

WINTERY KNIGHT

Here’s the list of people who voted against the CRomnibus trillion-dollar spending bill that Obama supports.

  1. Wittman, R. (R-VA)
  2. Williams, R. (R-TX)
  3. Webster, D. (R-FL)
  4. Weber, R. (R-TX)
  5. Stutzman, M. (R-IN)
  6. Smith, L. (R-TX)
  7. Smith, C. (R-NJ)
  8. Sensenbrenner, F. (R-WI)
  9. Scott, A. (R-GA)
  10. Schweikert, D. (R-AZ)
  11. Sanford, M. (R-SC)
  12. Salmon, M. (R-AZ)
  13. Rohrabacher, D. (R-CA)
  14. Rogers, M. (R-AL)
  15. Posey, B. (R-FL)
  16. Pompeo, M. (R-KS)
  17. Poe, T. (R-TX)
  18. Perry, S. (R-PA)
  19. Olson, P. (R-TX)
  20. Neugebauer, R. (R-TX)
  21. Mulvaney, M. (R-SC)
  22. Miller, J. (R-FL)
  23. Meadows, M. (R-NC)
  24. McKinley, D. (R-WV)
  25. McClintock, T. (R-CA)
  26. McAllister, V. (R-LA)
  27. Massie, T. (R-KY)
  28. Marchant, K. (R-TX)
  29. Lummis, C. (R-WY)
  30. Lankford, J. (R-OK)
  31. Lamborn, D. (R-CO)
  32. LaMalfa, D. (R-CA)
  33. Labrador, R. (R-ID)
  34. King, S. (R-IA)
  35. Jordan, J. (R-OH)
  36. Jones, W. (R-NC)
  37. Johnson, S. (R-TX)
  38. Hurt, R. (R-VA)
  39. Huelskamp, T. (R-KS)
  40. Griffith, H. (R-VA)
  41. Gowdy, T. (R-SC)
  42. Gosar, P. (R-AZ)
  43. Gohmert, L. (R-TX)
  44. Garrett, S. (R-NJ)
  45. Franks, T…

View original post 705 more words

NTEB News: Is Your Church Secretly Indoctrinating You To Accept Chrislam?

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

The sickening spectacle that is the Great Falling Away

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Editor’s Note: Perhaps you have been told or taught that the name Allah is simply another name for God, and that Muslims and Christians and Jews all worship the same God no matter what we choose to call Him. That is absolutely false, and it is one of the platform tenants of Chrislam. The Koran clearly teaches that Allah HAS NO SON, and for that reason alone Allah cannot be the God of the Bible because both the Old and New Testaments declare that God has a son.

While writing another article regarding the relationship between the Vatican and Islam, I came across a list of signatories of a letter written by Yale Religious Studies to Muslim clerics. The letter was in response to one written by 138 Muslim clerics, and addressed to Pope Benedict XVI before he stepped down from his position. The imams who wrote the original letter, were upset at statements made by the Pope in a speech he gave at a university. He had disparaged Islam.

There were hundreds of signatories attached to the Yale response, so I saved the list as a PDF in order to search for names and denominations and colleges. I was not surprised when I saw Rick Warren’s signature. The list was filled with mainstream churches who teach heresy. Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Church of Christ, Episcopalian where among the churches represented.

emergent-church-rick-warren-chrislam-yale-letter-common-word-jim-somerville

I came across another name, unfamiliar to me, from a Baptist church. It was Pastor Jim Somerville, and had his church listed as First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C. I called this church and was told that Pastor Somerville had moved to a new church in Richmond, VA – FBC of Richmond.

I found the website of this church and I left a message with Pastor Somerville. He called me back and I told him that I had found his signature on the Yale document. His tone changed, and I realized that this man was not happy about my call. I asked him if he thought that the God of the Bible was the same as Allah. He told me unapologetically, that he believes and teaches that they are one and the same; that the Muslims simply see him through the lens of the Qur’an.

I began to attempt to show him that our God and Allah are NOT the same. I had Scripture ready and verses from the Qur’an which clearly showed that God and Allah are two separate entities. The pastor became enraged, and told me not to lecture him! I asked one more time if he would allow me to share Scripture. That made him angrier and he was raising his voice in a rage. I then told him that I could not stay on the phone with him if he was going to yell. I said “God bless you” and I hung up.

I found Jim Somerville’s Facebook page and began to look at his posts. In one post, he shared with his friends that he was part of a network of pastors who had put together a website for sermons – mainly for shut-ins and people who did not have a church home. It is called “asermonforeverysunday.com”.

I clicked the link and saw Pastor Somerville’s picture along with thirteen other pastors. He was the only Baptist pastor listed. Brian McLaren – leader of the Emergent church movement, was one listed. The rest were from other Emergent churches, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc.

I have prayed so much for this man to be exposed to his congregation. Perhaps there are some in his church who are like minded. But I have a feeling that most of the people are unaware that their pastor is so far away, theologically, from Baptist churches who are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

I was told by a member of the SBC that each Baptist church is autonomous. He also said that if a church is known to be deviating from Baptist doctrine, then the SBC can choose to no longer list them as a member.

We are to be Watchmen in these last days!

Romans 16:17-18

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

Blessings in Yeshua
MARANATHA!

The post Is Your Church Secretly Indoctrinating You To Accept Chrislam? appeared first on Now The End Begins.

Why Did Jesus Christ Come to Earth? By B.B. Warfield

Theologue

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15

Christ Jesus came to save sinners.

Not, then, merely to prepare salvation for them; to open to them a pathway to salvation; to remove the obstacles in the way of their salvation; to proclaim as a teacher a way of salvation; to introduce as a ruler conditions of life in which clean living becomes for the first time possible; to bring motives to holy action to bear upon us; to break down our enmity to God by an exhibition of His seeking love; to manifest to us what sin is in the sight of God, and how He will visit it with His displeasure. All these things He undoubtedly does. But all these things together touch but the circumference of His work…

View original post 502 more words

Good news: Venezuelan President complains that fracking is “flooding” oil markets

WINTERY KNIGHT

Gas prices vs domestic oil production Gas prices vs domestic oil production

(Click for larger image. Source)

Why are gas prices so low all of a sudden?

Well, let’s ask the communist President of Venezuela:

The broadcast networks may not want to give credit to hydraulic fracturing for increasing U.S. oil production and lowering global oil prices, but at least one angry world leader did just that.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained that fracking in the U.S. has “flooded” the world market and contributed to lower oil prices, a connection that broadcast networks’ evening news reports barely made recently.

“The oil they’re taking from (shale deposits) and the gas. They’ve flooded the international market to batter the Russian economy …, Iran and to hurt us, Venezuela,” Maduro said in a broadcast on VTV, a state-run TV channel in Venezuela, according to Fox News Latino.

Fracking has been one cause of increased oil production in…

View original post 485 more words

Christian Ethics 2014 Lectures Series by South Bay Alliance Church

The Domain for Truth

ethics under scope South Bay Alliance Church has hosted a monthly series in 2014 on the topic of Christian Ethics.  I commend this church for their moral courage to tackle on various issues some of which are controversial in our day and age.  I also appreciated the fact that they approached these topic with the desire and effort of being biblical. I hope you would all enjoy these videos.  I encourage you all to save this page and to share with others!

Introduction to Christian Ethics (January)

Woman, the Word and Worship (February)

The Statutes of Liberty (March)

Christians and Politics (April)

Christian Ethics: Euthanasia (May)

A Time for War (June)

Christian Ethics: Recovery of Vocation (July)

Contemplations for the Single Christian (September)

Worthy Life Aborted (October)

Homosexuality in the eyes of God (November)

Science, Philosophy, and God (December)

View original post

Sola Sisters – Mark Driscoll: A Timeline of His Downfall

Posted by Christine Pack

 A Timeline of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill  

Below is a brief timeline of Mars Hill history. This timeline is by no means comprehensive, but merely gives a brief overview of some of what has taken place in the former megachurch Mars Hill under Mark Driscoll. I consider three of the events below to be pivotal moments, and which taken together were the events that caused Christians outside of Mars Hill to sit up and start asking questions about Driscoll. I have highlighted the date of those events in red:

Read more

Herescope: God’s Present of His Presence

Now posted online!

Pastor Larry DeBruyn has revised and expanded his original article and given it the new title God’s Present of His Presence. This article was originally published on Herescope on December 31, 2013, titled The Present of “His Presence”. The article has now been posted as a downloadable PDF file at the Discernment Ministries website:
http://www.discernment-ministries.org/God’s%20Present%20of%20His%20Presence.pdf

This will also be published into a booklet format. As soon as it becomes available we will inform Herescope readers.

The original article “The Present of “His Presence” served as an apologetic, laying the solid biblical groundwork necessary to refute the newly emerging Second Pentecost teaching by the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and International House of Prayer (IHOP) leaders, which was described in our subsequent 6-part article series:
Part 1: The PASSION of the PRESENCE & the Purpose of the Passion
Part 2: “Presence” Eschatology
Part 3: Bridal Eschatology
Part 4: The Perfectly Obedient Bride
Part 5: The 2nd Coming of the “Presence”
Part 6: The Battled Bride

God’s Present of His Presence, significantly expanded from the original article, also serves as a solid biblical foundation to counter similar teachings found in a new book authored by a group of NAR leaders titled The Physics of Heaven: Exploring God’s Mysteries of Sound, Light, Energy, Vibrations and Quantum Physics. Pastor Larry’s review of this book has been running as a multi-part series on Herescope:
Part 1: “The Physics of Heaven”
Part 2: “The Power of the Zero-Point Field”
Sidebar: “Jesus’ Lesser Works”
Part 3: “Extracting the Precious From the Worthless”
Part 4: “Vibrating in Harmony With God”

Source

NTEB News: The Amazing Story Of Hanukkah And The Endless Miracle Oil

Close your eyes and picture Arnold Schwarzenegger: His Uzi has just jammed, he’s got one arm in a sling, he’s about to take on 300 bad guys all at once – and he’s wearing a yarmulke. That’s who Judah Maccabee was!

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11

In the beginning. We begin the story of Hanukkah during the reign of the Greek king, Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and the Land of Israel and annexed them into his kingdom. He was a benevolent king who allowed the people in all of his lands to continue to observe their own religious beliefs and customs. Nevertheless, during this time of quiet, many Jews chose to assimilate into Greek culture. This group was termed Hellenistic Jews.

Alexander’s empire divided

When Alexander the Great died, his Empire was divided amongst his generals. The Land of Israel has given to Seleucus. For over 100 years the Jews were afforded much of the same privileges and rights as other citizens of the Empire. However, Antiochus III, the great-greatgrandson of Seleucus, was forced to fight a costly war against the Romans. As a result the Jewish people fell out of favor with Antiochus III and thus the beginning of the end of equality for the Jews in the Syrian-Greek Empire.

In 174 BCE Antiochus III’s son, Antiochus IV, began his reign over the Empire. He was a harsh and cruel king; a tyrant of reckless nature and contemptuous of religions and customs that were not his own.

amazing-story-hanukkah-miracle-oil-judah-maccabee-israel-jews

Antiochus IV – the cruel king

Antiochus IV wanted to unite his kingdom under his religion, worship of the Greek idol Zeus. Within the Empire he stifled all Jewish Law. He removed the righteous High Priest Yochanan from the Temple in Jerusalem. Yochanan was replaced with his brother Joshua – a Hellenistic Jew who called himself by the Greek name Jason. Jason used his position as High Priest to infect the priesthood and the Jewish people with the traditions and religion of the Greeks. Jason was soon replaced by another named Menelaus who defiled the Temple with the worship of Greek idols.

Yochanan was outraged by his brother’s behavior and that of Menelaus. When Antiochus IV was away fighting a war against Egypt Yochanan began to rally the Jews to disobey the new customs and religion being forced on them. The Jewish people were afraid of Antiochus’ reprisals and mostly did nothing. However, when the Romans spread a rumor that Antiochus IV had been killed, the Jewish people rebelled against Menelaus causing him to flee.

Much to the horror of the Jews, Antiochus returned from battle alive and enraged by Roman meddling and Jewish rebellion. He ordered his army to strike out against the Jews killing thousands. Antiochus IV then ordered a series of extremely harsh decrees against the Jewish people and religion.

All Jewish worship was forbidden. All Scrolls of the Law were confiscated and burned. Observation of Shabbat, the Brit Milah, and abiding by Kashrut were all prohibited under penalty of death. As the soldiers went town to town ravaging the Land of Israel they forced Jewish inhabitants to worship their pagan idols and eat the flesh of pigs. Many complied, but some refused and died for their beliefs.

One day Antiochus’ soldiers arrived in a town called Modiin just outside Jerusalem. An old, great priest named Mattiyahu was an inhabitant of this town. The soidiers built an altar to their pagan idols in the center of town and ordered Mattiyahu to worship at it. Mattiyahu refused. A Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice. Mattiyahu took out his sword and killed him, and his sons and neighbors sprang on the Greek soldiers killing or chasing them away.

Mattiyahu knew when Antiochus IV heard of this rebellion there would be a heavy price to pay. He fled together with his sons and neighbors to the hills of Judah. Here they lived in the caves and encouraged all loyal and courageous Jews to join them. They formed legions and would carefully leave the caves to attach outposts of Greek and Syrian soldiers and destroy pagan altars.

When old Mattiyahu was on his deathbed, he called his sons together. He encouraged them to defend G-d’s Torah. He asked that the tactical leader be Shimon the Wise and in battle the leader be Judah the Strong. Judah was known as Maccabee – a contraction for “Mi Kamocha Ba’eilim HaShem” translated as “Who is like you, O G-d.” This was sung to G-d by Moses and the Israelites after G-d parted the Red Sea giving them safe passage and destroying the Egyptians (Exodus 15:11).

Rise of the Maccabees, and the fall of Antiochus

Judah’s followers became known as “The Maccabees” and caused great havoc to the Empire. Eventually Antiochus sent one of his best generals to wipe out this little band of Jewish fighters. Even though the Empire’s army was much better equipped and greater in number, the Maccabees were triumphant in battle again and again.

Antiochus IV realized that he needed to put an end to this rebellion once and for all. He sent an army of 40,000 men in to the Judean hills. When Judah and the Maccabees heard the army coming they cried, “Let us fight to the death in defense of our souls and our Temple!” The Maccabees fought with G-d in their hearts and the honor of Judaism in their souls. They fought for their Torah and for their Temple. After a series of bloody battles, it was done. They had defeated the powerful army of Antiochus.

With their victory, the Maccabees climbed a mountain outside Jerusalem and looked upon the city. On the 25th of Kislev they descended the mountain to liberate Jerusalem and reclaim their Temple. As they marched into the Holy City they were distressed by what they saw – idols, impurity, and filth everywhere. They entered the Holy Temple and were shocked to see the same. Jerusalem and the the Temple needed to be made Holy again for G-d.

The miracle of the endless oil

They began in the Temple, clearing it of all pagan idols and building a new altar. The golden Menorah has been stolen by the Syrians and Greeks so the Maccabees made a new one from what they could find. They wanted in light the Menorah to rededicate the Temple to the One True G-d. They rummaged though the ruins seeking a flask of sanctified oil, but all had been defiled. Finally, they found a small jug in which the Kohen seal was still intact.

They carefully poured the oil into their makeshift Menorah even though they realized that there was only enough oil for one day. They also realized that it would take eight days to sanctify more oil for the Temple. Nevertheless, the Maccabees had faith and dedicated the Holy Temple and lit the Menorah.

Then a great miracle occurred. The oil burned through the first night an on to the second, then on to the third. The oil continued to burn for eight nights until more oil was ready for the Temple. This miracle proved that G-d was with the Maccabee all along. They fought for what they believed and held fast in face of death with G-d at their side. Their faith in G-d and the Torah never wavered and G-d showed them His Divine presence.

The post The Amazing Story Of Hanukkah And The Endless Miracle Oil appeared first on Now The End Begins.

LYWB: Your Go-To Guide in the Fight for Purity

I recently received an email from a girl asking me to send her Bible verses on the topic of purity. She said she vaguely knew that the Bible promoted purity and holiness, but she wasn’t exactly sure where to find the passages.

Impurity and immorality are very real threats that we need to be equipped to fight against.
After I emailed her back with a list of verses, I wondered if there were more girls out there like her—girls who know that the Bible “promotes purity” but aren’t exactly sure where to find the passages in the Bible.

If you are one of those girls who wants to fight for purity, keep reading. This blog post is written for you!

Read more

%d bloggers like this: