Daily Archives: January 10, 2015

January 10-11, 2014: Truth2Freedom Weekend Briefing Report and News Headline Alerts

Sin is what you do when you are not satisfied in God. —John Piper


“How Terrorism Harms Radical Islam” – Pipes in FPM, #1382

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
January 9, 2015

Freedom is a joke. Specifically, a satirical joke

The recent terrorist attack in Paris highlights perhaps the great political dilemma of the current age, that of Western freedoms being used to destroy Western freedoms. But perhaps just as importantly, its target was perfectly chosen.

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How Much Zionism is Acceptable to the BDS-Lite Movement? :: Joffe and Romirowsky in American Interest

by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky
The American Interest
January 7, 2015

We Are In a War

by Bill Muehlenberg

So, yet more dead men and women in France, because of the religion of peace. While the two jihadist brothers are also now dead, along with another one in East Paris, this is of course not the end of the matter. Since 9/11 there have been nearly 25,000 Islamic terror attacks.

That is 25,000 in just 13 years. And I have not even mentioned the Islamic genocide in Africa, where Boko Haram has just slaughtered 2,000 people in one day. On Wednesday an entire Nigerian village was attacked and burned down by these Islamic thugs. Yet the media is largely silent about this.

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Report: Global Persecution of Christians Reached Historic Levels in 2014

(CN) — A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians states that 2014 marked the highest level of hostility against Christians ever recorded, but believes matters will only get worse.

“While the year 2014 will go down in history for having the highest level of global persecution of Christians in the modern era, current conditions suggest the worst is yet to come,” Open Doors USA wrote in a press release on Wednesday.

Continue reading this story >>

Islamic Gunmen Kill 12 at Newspaper Office That Published Cartoons Mocking Mohammad

(CN) — Three masked gunmen who shouted the Islamic saying “Allahu Akbar” gunned down twelve people on Wednesday at the office of a French satirical newspaper that has been known for publishing cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Mohammad and other Islamic figures.

“We will find the people who did this,” French President Francois Hollande said. “France is today shocked by this terrorist attack.”

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Archaeologists May Have Found Site of Jesus’ Trial Before Herod

(CN) — Archaeologists in Israel believe that they have located the site of Jesus’ trial in Jerusalem after 15 years of digging underneath a prison in the country.

According to reports, the location was adjacent to the Tower of David museum in Jerusalem, under the floor of a building that had been abandoned. Almost two decades ago, researchers began exploring under the building, which once served as a prison when the area was under Turkish and British rule. They found what they believe are the remains of a palace.

Continue reading this story >>

Bestselling Author Declares: Science Supports the Existence of a Creator

(CN) — A well-known author and speaker has generated significant media attention after declaring that recent scientific discoveries have increasingly supported the existence of God.

Eric Metaxas is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, well-known speaker and commentator, and co-host of the BreakPoint Radio program. A Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Large for the King’s College in New York, Metaxas regularly speaks and writes on issues pertaining to faith and religious freedom. He was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

Continue reading this story >>

Other Top News Stories of Interest:

Atlanta Mayor Fires Chief Who Wrote Christian Book Calling Homosexuality ‘Perversion’

Government Rules School District Violated Law in Firing Teacher Who Gave Student Bible

Missouri Middle School Student Prohibited from Reading Bible During Free Time

Planned Parenthood Report: 327,653 Babies Aborted By Organization in 2013

Morning Star News’ Top 10 Persecution Stories of 2014

Why Does Islam Ban Images of the Prophet Muhammad?

Southern Baptist leader speaks out against Newsweek’s ‘hit piece’ cover story

by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

A prominent Southern Baptist leader is speaking out against what he views as Newsweek’s recent “hit piece” against Christians after its December cover story took aim at evangelical Christianity and the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an article this week expressing disappointment in Newsweek for its decision to run “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin” as it cover story to conclude 2014.


Pro-A.A. authors misrepresent “born again” quote about A.A. co-founder

by Marsha West

Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) allegedly helps drunks achieve and maintain sobriety. John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire asserts that the two most aggressive promoters of A.A.’s “Christian roots” seem to have committed some very shoddy scholarship.


New Age pandemic in the church

by Marsha West

Many Christians today are partaking in astrology, unbiblical meditation, so-called Christian yoga, and calling on angels, in spite of the fact that Scripture clearly teaches that believers must not do as the pagans do. Marsha West lays out for us some of the many of the practices God deems evil.


The Cost Of Obama’s “Free” Community College Plan To Taxpayers? $60 Billion

Yesterday, to much shock and dismay, Obama revealed his latest “noble” grand vision: provide a free community college education to millions of folks. Apparently now, far too late, even the community organizer-in-chief realized that with $1.2 trillion in student loans, almost double the total outstanding credit card debt, which as the TBAC warned will rise to a mindblowing $3.3 trillion in one decade all else equal

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At Least 40 People Sick from Drug-Laced Bread, Causes Hallucinations and Out-of-Body Experiences

Posted: 10 Jan 2015 08:10 AM PST

1-8-2015-3KingsBreadAt least 40 people in Orange County suffered symptoms ranging from nausea to hallucinations after eating Three Kings cake laced with a synthetic drug, prompting a criminal investigation of the bakery that made it, police said Friday. Officials closed Cholula’s Bakery in Santa Ana on Wednesday after up to 40 customers reported getting sick after eating Rosca de Reyes bread distributed by the bakery on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Corporal Anthony Bertagna of Santa Ana Police Department said multiple hospitals contacted his police officers after dozens of patients turned up sick earlier this week. “They were (having) nauseas, having hallucinations, out-of-body experiences,” Corp. Bertanga said. “The only common denomonator with all these patients is they ate this Three Kings bread in celebration of the holiday.”  More

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Pastor Exhorts Montana Lawmakers to Obey God Rather Than MenPosted: 10 Jan 2015 08:05 AM PST

Helena-State-House-Credit-Monty-Johnson-300x300A Wisconsin pastor presented a sermon before the Montana legislature this past weekend, teaching on what is known as the Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates, a historic and biblical doctrine that dates back to the times of Moses and Daniel. Matt Trewhella, pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, had been invited by the group Project Liberty Tree to present this year’s election sermon at the Montana state house in Helena following the release of his book “The Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates.” The book focuses on the refusal of civil magistrates to obey laws that are immoral or ungodly, believing that divine laws trump human commands. With numerous social issues and court rulings in recent years that seek to force Christians to violate the law of God, Trewhella preached a message to those gathered entitled “The Duty of the Lesser Magistrate in the Face of Tyranny.” “The cold-blooded murder of the preborn, the imposition of homosexual marriage upon our states, no-fault divorce, the decriminalization of adultery, the phalanx of laws created by the State to invade our domestic affairs, disarm the people, seize our property, and harass our persons—all point to the growing tyranny in America,” he declared. More


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Jews Fleeing France In Record Numbers As Antisemitism By Muslims ExplodesPosted: 10 Jan 2015 08:00 AM PST


“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” Jeremiah 30:3

The prophet Jeremiah, speaking of the last days, said that there would be a regathering of God’s chosen people back to Israel the Promised Land. Just as God used Hitler’s Holocaust to reestablish Israel in 1948, He is once again using the lash of persecution to drive His people home. Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, spoke out after an Islamic terrorist took six people hostage and held them captive in a Kosher supermarket in the French capital. The mayor’s office in Paris announced the closure of shops along the Rosiers street in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, in the heart of the tourist district and less than a mile away from the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo where 12 people were killed on Wednesday. Hours before the Jewish Sabbath, the street is usually crowded with French Jews and tourists alike. Mr Pollard said today’s terror attack in Paris, linked to the massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo, will force more French Jews to flee the country. More

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World Leaders: Continued Fighting In Ukraine Could Lead to Nuclear WarPosted: 10 Jan 2015 07:53 AM PST

nukebombFormer Soviet leader and Nobel prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev warned today that the battle in Ukraine could result in a nuclear war: “A war of this kind would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war,” the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner told Der Spiegel news magazine, according to excerpts released on Friday. “We won’t survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation,” added Gorbachev, 83. “This is not something I’m saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned.” One of America’s top experts on Russia – Steven Cohen – has warned that failure to negotiate a peace treaty in Ukraine could lead to nuclear war. More

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How Obama Lied About ObamacarePosted: 10 Jan 2015 07:50 AM PST

100814obamateleprompterWhen U.S. Senator Barack Obama was campaigning for the Presidency in 2007 and 2008, he promised that on healthcare, his plan would be “making health insurance universal.” This means he was promising that 100% of Americans would have health-insurance, once Obamacare (the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) is up and running. The first open enrollment period under Obamacare lasted from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014; and, so, there have now been a full 15 months, during which period, it’s been up and running: Americans have been buying health insurance under the Act for 15 months now. Did it meet that basic promise he made? Is it even coming close? If it hasn’t come close, is it likely ever to get there? More

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The World Wars of Albert PikePosted: 10 Jan 2015 07:46 AM PST

maxresdefaultAmong eventually becoming a 33rd degree mason and a top leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Pike was also believed to be a Luciferian. He claimed he was able to summon Lucifer at will as the Grand Master of the Order of the Palladium. Palladism or TRADITIONAL SATANISM, an ancient Luciferian cult, was then introduced to the inner circle of the Masonic lodges. This influence has flourished into modern day Freemasonry in the hidden rites of the upper degrees. Leaders of industry, entertainment, the CIA, congress, and our military leaders are inundated with Freemasonic Palladism or a Luciferian New World Order. It’s everywhere you look in Washington D.C. if you have eyes that see. What follows are the chilling predictions or instructions of Albert Pike’s Three World Wars, funded in great part by the House of Rothschild, FROM A LETTER that he wrote to 33 degree Italian Illuminati head and Mafia founder Giuseppe Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. More

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Army plans to shift 3,000 troops to EuropePosted: 10 Jan 2015 07:41 AM PST

1412363014000-100314ARM-Odierno-interview-3The Army plans to send a brigade of tanks and fighting vehicles into Europe by the end of this year, according to the top Army commander in the region. More than 150 tanks and fighting vehicles will go to Germany and other countries in Europe as part of the Army’s plan to bolster its presence on the continent. The shift comes as the war in Afghanistan winds down and more resources and troops are available for service in Europe. “By the end of 2015, we will have an entire heavy brigade combat team of equipment — that’s enough tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, self-propelled Howitzers, engineer vehicles, on and on, for three battalions and a reconnaissance squadron plus all the enablers,” Lt. Gen Frederick Ben Hodges, Commander of U.S. Army Europe, told The Hill.  The move is also meant to reassure European allies worried about Russia, which has tanks positioned on the eastern border of Ukraine. The Hill

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Muslim Jesus Vs Biblical JesusPosted: 09 Jan 2015 09:48 PM PST


In recent weeks, I have been in conversations with a pastor from a large Baptist church in Richmond, VA. He believes that Allah and our God are one and the same. He told me that Muslims see God through the lens of Muhammad, and that Christians see Him through the lens of Jesus Christ. This is heresy !! I am writing this piece so that you can be equipped to speak truth to those who are deceived. If a head pastor of a church of over 1000 people believes this lie, then surely there are many others. I am so grieved over this — mostly for the people in the congregations of these wolves. Because this pastor is not adhering to the Word of God, he is vulnerable to being deceived in most every area of Biblical teaching. He is close friends with Brian McLaren — the father of the Emerging Church movement. The Richmond pastor has meditation and centering and other New Age practices on his website. He also states that God may or may not be a female! More

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Nordic countries point the way to cashless societiesPosted: 09 Jan 2015 09:41 PM PST

A credit card is seen inserted in a card reader at a store in Stockholm
Nordic countries are leading a shift by rich nations towards cashless societies, providing a test case for whether the lower cost and convenience of using cards and smartphones for payments outweigh the risks of fraud and some people being left behind. Helped by wide use of computers even among the elderly, broad trust in the state and big business and only small black economies, people in Sweden and neighboring countries are fast embracing cards, the Internet and apps for financial transactions, and forsaking notes and coins. “We are headed more and more for a cashless society,” said Jan Digranes, a director at Finance Norway, which represents banks and other financial institutions. More

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U.S. Issues Rare Worldwide Travel Alert After Recent Terror AttacksPosted: 09 Jan 2015 09:35 PM PST

US-WEATHER-THANKSGIVING-LIFESTYLEThe United States has issued a global travel warning after recent terror attacks in France, Australia and Canada. The alert comes hours after French police killed three hostage-takers in a pair of incidents. Two of the men are believed responsible for Wednesday’s attack on a satirical magazine in Paris. Twelve people were killed in that assault, France’s deadliest terror incident in decades. The State Department’s warning says attacks against Americans are becoming increasingly prevalent. It also cites an increased risk of reprisals against U.S. and Western targets for the U.S.-led intervention against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. The warning also cited last month’s hostage standoff at a Sydney cafe and the October killing of a soldier near Canada’s parliament. Huff Post

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Barack Hussein Obama And God’s Judgment Upon America (VIDEO)

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” – Barack Obama

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3

Back in early 2008, I got busy — determined to find out everything I could about Obama. I read things that alarmed me. The more I read, the more questions I had, and the more alarmed I became.

I first saw this man when he was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. I had never before heard my sons talk about politics until that night. It was like a spell was cast over them.


They talked about the articulate and “mind blowing” guy they heard speak at the DNC. My stomach turned and my heart sunk to think that my boys were being sucked into liberalism. Why did that happen? It happened because BHO had been groomed and primed for that night; his coming out of sorts, who was to become the darling of the youth.

BHO and friends

I immediately found that he was a Soros puppet. No real news there. I began to read about his friends. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: Sentenced to 14 years in prison for political corruption was one of his Chicago buds.

Tony Rezko was another BHO bud. He was sentenced to 10 and a half years for corruption and kickbacks. Oh, and there was the unrepentant home grown terrorist, Bill Ayers. BHO denied any meaningful association or friendship with Ayers.

John Adams once said :

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Breitbart News reported:

“As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama disavowed any connection with former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground radical who was one of Obama’s early backers and his colleague on the board of the Woods Fund in Chicago. We now have proof that Obama’s association with Ayers continued even after Obama had been elected to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate–in the form of a now-scrubbed blog post placing Obama at the home of Ayers and his wife, fellow radical Bernardine Dohrn, on July 4, 2005.”

Church Life

And then there was Reverend Wright — the gift that just kept on giving to our conservative side. With his fiery Black Liberation theology sermons, deeply rooted in Marxism, and his “America’s chickens are comin’ home to roost” taunts at our nation, it looked like there might be trouble in River City for a while. But like everything else in BO’s life, it just seemed to go away.

Planned Parenthood

Then there was his passionate association with Planned Parenthood. I remember watching videos of him addressing this godless organization, and he was laughing and joking around about keeping abortion (the murder of babies) available on demand. He said “I know you guys out there like that, huh?” Then a big round of applause. I felt sick watching that. It was like I was watching the devil himself.

No Friend to Israel

I found out through many reliable sources, that BHO was no friend to Israel. I seriously do not know what is wrong with my own people, but they vote for Democrats – no matter what. Before the election in 2008, I emailed compelling evidence that this man would not support Israel if he became our president, to many Rabbis across the nation. The responses I received were unreal. Most of them said that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and that Obama loved Israel. And most of the Jewish people STILL voted for him in 2012!

Socialist or not?

I was curious to know about his life in Chicago as a State Senator. I happened upon a website for the Chicago Democratic Socialist Party of America. As I dug into that site, I saw that they had propped BHO up during his run for Senator. I saw that he was honored at dinners there. It made me physically sick.

My husband and I belonged to a predominantly black church in our area. The head pastor was black and a little over half of the congregation were as well. The preaching was wonderful and the worship was amazing. We went to prayer meetings there on Wednesday evenings. I was naive enough to think that these black Christians surely saw through BHO. But I was wrong. The head pastor was a big Obama fan, and so were the rest of the black members.

I called the pastor after I found an interview that he had done online, talking about how great it would be to finally have a black man as president. I confronted him about this, and asked him if he knew Obama’s track record on voting regarding abortion, and his association with Planned Parenthood. The pastor accused me of “Being one of those white people who think that Obama is the Antichrist.” We left and never looked back.

I remember the night of the 2008 election. I remember sitting in a chair, almost frozen. It was a combination of grief and disbelief and anger and profound sadness. It was that night that I realized that Obama was God’s judgement against America. I wept and I prayed.

Apologizing to the World

Then came the apology tour to Muslim nations. He was going around the world as if his mission was to destroy the image America had held in the world for such a long time. We’re not perfect, but there is no better country in which to live.
We don’t know much about this man who lives in the People’s House. We do know that he was raised in Muslim schools. We’ve seen pictures of him bowing to a Saudi Prince. He said in his book Audacity of Hope:

“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope.”

Hatred of Netanyahu

BHO’s treatment of Bibi Netanyahu has been hard to watch. After instructing Bibi to go back to pre 1967 borders which would endanger the lives of Israelis, Bibi schooled BHO on why this would NOT be good for his people. The disdain for Netanyahu was so thick, that one night BHO just left him in a room in the White House, while he went and had dinner. I was so embarrassed that night. I could feel the hatred that BHO had for Israel and her leader.

Netanyahu warned both our Congress and the U.N. that Iran was close to having nuclear capabilities. BHO has done everything in his power to allow Iran to continue in their quest to become a nuclear power.

Muslim Brotherhood Buddies

Obama placed members of the Muslim Brotherhood in sensitive and key positions in his administration. He place Mohamed Elibiary in a high position in our Homeland Security Department in 2011. He was removed from that position in 2014. There is not much known why this man was fired. Now, Elibiary is supposedly working in Texas to secure our border. REALLY? A Muslim Brotherhood member taking care of our border. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!!

Obama does NOT like calling terrorist attacks “Terrorist Attacks” instead of violence or workplace violence, even though the perpetrators yell out “Allah Akbar.” When speaking of ISIS, Obama invariably calls them ISIL. This is because the “L” at the end of ISIL stands for the Levant – an area of Arabic nations, but the Levant includes Israel too – as in “Wiping Israel off the map.” He instructs his staff to say ISIL as well.

Everything BHO does is calculated. I hear people say that he has no experience for this job as President. What they don’t understand is that he DOES have experience for what his mission is about. Trust me, it’s NOT about leading our nation. It is about fundamentally transforming America into a Socialist nation and dramatically weakening us on the world stage. We are no longer the America we once knew and cherished. It is truly a tragedy.

He stood in front of the very wicked U.N. and said this:
“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Does this not speak volumes? There is no doubt in my mind that this man is a Muslim.

Class Warfare and Racism

These past years have seemed at times like a nightmare. BHO has stirred up class warfare. He has made racism worse than it has been in decades. His friends are either communists, gay rights advocates or members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is not respectful of our military, and has fired untold numbers of Generals. I read that his litmus test for Generals is whether they shoot on the American people if so ordered. I hope that is not true, but at this point, I believe it.

God’s Judgment

We should have seen the judgment coming. We tossed God out of our schools. We allowed the slaughter of millions of innocent babies. Marriage, which is defined in the Bible as between one woman and one man, was deemed too old fashioned, and gay marriage is allowed in many of our states. Truth is now relative. No absolute truth anymore. HOW could God NOT bring His righteous Judgment against us?

I wish I could say that I’m optimistic about America’s future. I am not. I listened to Jan Markell (Olive Tree Ministries) speak about which Presidents cursed Israel and which blessed her. I listened as she reminded us about what blessing Israel brings, and what cursing her brings. As I listened to Jan, I was astounded at certain Presidents and their anti-Semitism, but also delighted to know that a few of our leaders did love Israel.

The one thing that keeps me sane is this: GOD is in control. NOTHING surprises Him. He places kings on their thrones and He dethrones them as well. It is ALL in His hand. All of his Prophetic Word will be fulfilled. We Christians look forward to His glorious appearing, when He comes to catch us up to Him in the clouds, and we will be forever with Him. How wonderful is that?

So, Barack Hussein Obama was part of God’s plan to accomplish His Prophetic Word. It has not been pleasant, but trusting in our Glorious Lord – that He knows what He is doing is how the Christian should look back on this dark time in our nation’s history.

I hope and pray that our Father tells His Son Jesus that it’s time to get us very soon. Don’t you?

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Shalom b’Yeshua

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Weekly Watchman

The Insanity and Consequence of Islam (and all anti-Christ worldviews)
Jan 09, 2015 10:54 am | Scott Alan Buss

In the wake of this week’s attack by militant Muslims on the headquarters and staff of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, we’re being spun and propagandized even more intensely than usual by a world at war with God. We really do need to remember that. As ambassadors for Christ the King and the only agents capable […]

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Time to step it up
Jan 09, 2015 10:25 am | A.Spreeman

A couple weeks ago I shared a peek at where we felt God was calling SUFTT to go in 2015 and beyond.  I wanted to expound a little more in closing this week. Over the past four years we have tried our best to share news stories, trends and opinions on issues that we felt […]

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2015 forecast: Bloody, violent persecution for Christians
Jan 09, 2015 09:14 am | A.Spreeman

Report: Global Persecution of Christians Reached Historic Levels in 2014 Originally published at Christian News Net by Heather Clark SANTA ANA, Calif. – A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians states that 2014 marked the highest level of hostility against Christians ever recorded, but believes matters will […]

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Radical Religion
Jan 09, 2015 09:08 am | A.Spreeman

Post by Stand Up For The Truth. Thoughts? Related articles Learn to Discern! Is America in Serious Decline? What Should Christians Do About it? Sharing truth and holding opinions lightly Suffering for Truth: When churches force members to leave Preparing for when, not if. Painful lessons for the church, part II Women who contend for […]

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The hard passages in Hebrews
Jan 09, 2015 09:03 am | A.Spreeman

Today we’re weighing the news from France with prayers for a nation on the front lines of the ISIS terror bulls eye. Plus we continue our look at the Book of Hebrews with Dr. Randy White, pastor of First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas. You can find Bible study tools, podcasts, sermons and live programming […]

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Jesus Called Them Commandments, Mr. Noble
Jan 08, 2015 10:22 pm | A.Spreeman

Perry Noble, pastor at South Carolina’s NewSpring Church, the largest Southern Baptist church in America (32,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses across the state), is in trouble.  On Christmas Eve, Noble claimed that God spoke to him directly and commanded him to tell his congregation that the Ten Commandments aren’t commandments at all. […]

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SNOW Conference 2015!
Jan 08, 2015 01:45 pm | A.Spreeman

Join us as we discuss Islam and True Conversion If you live near Green Bay, WI,  please join us for the SNOW Conference (Supernatural Obedience to the Word) at Highland Crest Baptist Church in Green Bay, WI. You won’t want to miss Usama Dakdok speaking about the errors of the Quran, and Vince’s excellent presentation […]

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New Age pandemic in the Church
Jan 08, 2015 12:54 pm | Marsha West

Profanity, pornography, filthy programs on TV and on movie screens are occurrences we live with on a daily basis.  Most of us find it vulgar and offensive.  Our children are watching.  We want Hollywood to stop polluting our culture. On the other hand, the New Age movement (NAM) with its Eastern-influenced moral relativistic metaphysical thought […]

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The depth of evil
Jan 08, 2015 09:17 am | A.Spreeman

By now you have heard of the tragic terrorist event in France, where 12 people are dead in an apparent jihad retaliation against a publishing company who has published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, and this morning, two more: A policewoman and a street cleaner who tried to save her, gunned down on the streets […]

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“Where does the Bible actually say that pre-marital sex is wrong?”
Jan 07, 2015 09:15 am | A.Spreeman

1 Corinthians 7:2 clearly includes sex before marriage in the definition of sexual immorality, all of the Bible verses that condemn sexual immorality as being sinful also condemn sex before marriage as sinful. Sex before marriage is included in the biblical definition of sexual immorality. There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to […]

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Preparing for when, not if.
Jan 07, 2015 08:23 am | A.Spreeman

As the rest of the world slides toward economic chaos and fear, what should our response be?   Christians should know the dangers of placing too much importance on money or the government to take care of them. But yet our government has been training us for decades to be dependent on what they provide, and […]

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On eating pork, rules and the Judaizers
Jan 06, 2015 09:22 am | A.Spreeman

“In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.” Mark 7:19 is as clear as it can possibly be. We are not under the dietary laws. Remember before the Law was given, Noah and his descendents were given all animals, every creeping thing, to eat as part of the covenant. (Before that it was every green […]

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The Tip of the Iceberg
Jan 05, 2015 06:39 pm | A.Spreeman

I It’s not always easy navigating the dark waters that we call our post-modern era. In these times, you have to know what to watch out for.  The trick is to be able to spot those tell-tale tips of the icebergs before they smash the hull, because 85 percent of them are underwater. Today we’re […]

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Leading and following in these times
Jan 05, 2015 08:40 am | A.Spreeman

Today we are talking about some different leadership models adopted into the visible church over the past several decades. Does God have anything to say about leadership? It turns out He does! We’ll take a look at one article in particular from Daniel Neades over at Discern.org on The seeker-driven megachurch leadership model. Up first, […]

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The Muslim Reality
Jan 02, 2015 04:23 pm | A.Spreeman

Elijah Abraham joins us today for a fascinating discussion about the reality of life in America for Muslims. While we don’t have anything spiritually in common with them, we do share one thing: We are all in need of a Savior in Jesus Christ! Once a Muslim, Elijah Abraham is now a born-again Christian and the […]

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Suffering for Truth: When churches force members to leave
Jan 02, 2015 08:08 am | A.Spreeman

Have you ever gone to church leadership because of some alarming things being taught in your church? As the Great Falling Away continues in our beloved church communities, it seems that even those who once were thought “solid” are not immune to the yeast of false teachings and rogue leadership bent on silencing concerns.  It […]

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Walking in the light as the modern church grows darker
Jan 01, 2015 11:12 am | A.Spreeman

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we […]

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Wrapping up 2014
Dec 31, 2014 06:17 pm | A.Spreeman

Today Mike looks back on 2014 and looks ahead at what’s in store for Stand Up For The Truth in the year ahead. Plus, Mike also takes a look at an interesting op-ed article titled, One Word Changes Everything; Can You Handle The Truth? Our guest today is from  Answers in Genesis, one of the […]

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Stand Up For The Truth in 2015
Dec 31, 2014 11:55 am | mlemay

I want to take a few minutes and talk about the future of Stand Up For the Truth Radio. As Christians we are called to a life that is increasingly holy and pleasing to God. We are not made “instantly holy” when we come to saving faith in Christ Jesus—salvation is the beginning of a […]

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Righting the ship: 12 things vision-casters should really address in 2015
Dec 30, 2014 08:48 am | A.Spreeman

We want your thoughts: As the modern church prepares its season of vision casting and to-do lists for the New Year, we know there are definitely things the “church” needs to address. What, in your opinion are the biggest issues? We’ve come up with a list of 12 (that most vision-casters in the seeker-mergent groups […]

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We ask God, “Why?”
Dec 29, 2014 08:37 am | A.Spreeman

Have you heard of the “Atheists’ 10 Commandments”? Later in the program we’re going to cover the 10 rules for living, developed by an atheist group who hosted a crowdsourcing contest to come up with their list, which they’ve published in a new book “Atheist Mind, Human Heart.” Up First:  As our world is rapidly […]

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Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That

  • Why is it so difficult to find a good church?


  • Following up on that first link, John MacArthur is teaching on standards for shepherds. Sadly, many men today who claim to be pastors are woefully unqualified per the biblical standards. MacArthur begins by discussing that a man must be above reproach, including in the area of sexual fidelity.
  • So, I’m pretty sure I have sitting disease.
  • Should a church be setting up its singles? Well, it’s better than leaving them to the whims of the internet, but remember—just because someone is single doesn’t mean he or she is discontent. Don’t be that annoying person who assumes everyone wants and needs to be married now.
  • That’s it, just keep pushing that social gospel.
  • Mike Riccardi ends our week with some insightful quotes from our forefathers in the faith.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • God is waiting on me? Whoa. I had no idea. I thought He was, like, sovereign and all-powerful and stuff. Guess that’s actually me. Good grief, Jesse Duplantis, could you be a more blasphemous heretic?
  • Oh, well, when you put it that way, I now totally believe that God is speaking through visions and dreams.
  • If Perry Noble really believed the Bible was inerrant and infallible, he wouldn’t be trying to rewrite it. Then again, as Dr. James Duncan noted, “it’s not an accident that he didn’t say it was sufficient.”
  • The Cripplegate weighs in on Perry Noble’s rewrite of the 10 Commandments. In fact, here’s a round-up of all of the pertinent responses to Noble’s nonsense.
  • Update from 9 January 2015 at 9:54 pm: Perry Noble issued an apology for his sermon and some Twitter-based insults. His efforts show some maturity, and I am thankful to see them. The problem really does go back to how Noble explains he developed the message, “As I began writing down what I felt like He [God] wanted me to say…” That, Mr. Noble, is why you are to simply preach the Word. Everything God wants you to say can be found there in those 66 books. All of this being said, I do agree with Dr. Duncan’s assessment of Noble’s latest blog post.
  • How to listen to the Lord:


Up From Superficial Christian Compassion

Reflections on Christian social justice and eternity.

Such new attitudes of easy compassion pleadingly declare: Look at us! We’re not like the Christians you feared and despised in the past: Puritans with their scarlet letters. Harsh nuns slapping naughty student wrists with rulers. Fundamentalist preachers who threaten damnation for beer drinking and card playing. No, we are kind, good people, just like you, maybe even better! That these policies of superficial compassion may actually, in the long term, prove quite unintentionally cruel or destructive is not considered.

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The Truly Confused Evangelicals


Jan Markell spends the hour with Eric Barger talking about one of his newest DVDs, “The Truly Confused Evangelicals: Understanding and Resisting Postmodernism in the Church.” They take a look at some contemporary pastors and teachers who have truly gone astray. The sound bites played are stunning. Evangelicalism is making the same mistake the Mainline Protestants made 150 years ago as they invented a “new way of doing church.” But this is leaving enormous wreckage, with folks unable to find a solid church. Find the DVD here. We use the mobile app found at the Home page of http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here

‘God and His Rule Is America’s Only Hope,’ – A Call to Repentance

“America is in serious trouble,” Evans writes in America: Turning a Nation to God. “From sea to shining sea we are witnessing the devolution of a nation.”

Listing “family breakdowns to the immigration crisis to the abiding racial divide” as well as “the redefinition of marriage and the family, abortions on demand” as examples of the nation’s “unraveling,” Evans adds that “the American dream is quickly becoming the American nightmare” for those disillusioned with the country’s direction.

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How Will History Judge Us?

A century from now, if there is still a planet here, historians will look back at the latter half of the 20th century and first two decades of the 21st and scratch their heads as they ponder, “What were they thinking?” Indeed, what WERE we thinking? Those who study us will ask:

How could a nation built upon such clear-cut Christian principles have so openly and purposefully rejected the values of their forefathers? How could the wealthiest nation in the world have allowed their currency to be removed from the gold-standard and believe that the ‘full faith and credit’ of the government was enough to keep evil men from destroying the financial system.

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‘ISIS will go to hell’: Iraqi Christians struggle to teach kids message of forgiveness

With Iraq’s Christian population dwindling, the daunting task of helping kids cling to the faith of their parents falls to church elders, who have taken in hundreds of families now living in a sprawling complex of tents. (McKay, Fox News)

Full Story

Perry Noble issues an apology

by Daniel Neades

Perry Noble of NewSpring has apologised for saying that there is no Hebrew word for ‘commandment’, and also for a Tweet he made.

Perry Noble issues an apology

What Happened When I Almost Died

“Sally Magnusson asked me on the BBC about my near death experience. She wondered if I had had the experience of going to heaven, meeting St Peter at the pearly gates and being turned back. I said no and she smiled: “That’s a shame, you could have made a fortune on the New York Times bestseller list,” referring of course to the plethora of “I went to heaven and met Jesus” books that seem so popular.”

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Counterfeit Christians Coming Out Of The Closet

“Consider the Apostles of Jesus. Even within the small church of Christ, Judas was found. He was one sent out to preach, teach, heal, and exorcise. Yet, he was filled with the devil and willing to play the role of an antichrist. Judas was a counterfeit Christian who remained undercover and quite comfortable in the church of Jesus Christ.”

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Heaven Will Never Be Boring

“Sure, eternal life sounds wonderful at first. But unless you have a firm grasp on what the Bible has to say about eternal life, you may begin to wonder. “Eternity really is a long time,” you might think. “Is this something I really desire? After ten million years, will I really have the same desire I once had to go on existing here?”

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China To List Legal Places Of Worship, ‘Root Out’ Illegal

“Despite the rules, unsanctioned religious movements, which the authorities call cults, have proliferated in recent years, and the government has grown increasingly active in trying to discourage their growth. A court jailed 21 members of banned religious group Quannengshen and executed two this year after members were accused of murdering a woman.”

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I Am Not Charlie Hebdo

“Americans may laud Charlie Hebdo for being brave enough to publish cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad, but, if Ayaan Hirsi Ali is invited to campus, there are often calls to deny her a podium. So this might be a teachable moment. As we are mortified by the slaughter of those writers and editors in Paris, it’s a good time to come up with a less hypocritical approach to our own controversial figures, provocateurs and satirists.”

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Be The Salt

“Do not be discouraged when you falter. Exceptional lives are not exempt from sin. You will get dirty. You will get muddy. Your reputation will be tainted. Your bank account will be threatened. But your light will shine throughout all eternity. Be the salt of the earth.”

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A Reformed Approach To Racial Reconciliation

“Listening well first and letting minorities lead those conversations in terms of what needs to be done is something that for many of us hasn’t been done enough. Often, whites come in with agendas. They come in with the way in which they believe the conversation should progress. What we encourage our brothers and sisters to do who are white is actually assume a position of subordination and let Asian leaders and Latino leaders and African-American leaders and immigrant leaders lead the discussion in terms of how to move forward.”

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Jesus And Isaiah

“How did Isaiah know that Jesus would be born as the true king of God’s people? The answer is that Isaiah saw Jesus enthroned in glory as the Savior from sin! The year was around 740 b.c., when a young priest named Isaiah went into the temple. He was sad and afraid because King Uzziah had died after 52 years as Judah’s king.”

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Why Do We Wildly Over-Estimate The Proportion of Gays and Lesbians?

“What does it mean if people think that the proportion of homosexuals is about 1-in-4, when the figure is really 1-in-100? That the public is so fearful of gays and lesbians that it thinks they are everywhere? That the public has become so sympathetic that it thinks they are everywhere? It’s impossible to say. But one thing is sure. Good public policy is based on facts, not ideology.”

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Week in Review from Paul David Tripp

Making Resolutions [Wednesday’s Word] – You and I need to be committed to change in 2015, but not in a way that hopes for an overnight resolution. The transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events: Read the Devotional

9 Questions For Ministry Leaders [Article] – If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, your job description will always require the exegesis of Scripture, but I’ve found that we often forget to exegete our people. Here are 9 questions to help you get started: Read the Article

Change [Wednesday’s Word] – God’s agenda for your life can be summed up in a word – change – but are you a person committed to change? If you’re going to make lasting changes in your life, be aware of these 3 obstacles: Read the Devotional


Articles of the Week

How to Read the Whole Bible in 2015, Justin Taylor. For most people, the biggest snag in their well-intentioned plans to read the Bible is, well, not having a plan. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, though. Taylor has compiled all the best reading plans out there. Seriously, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Don’t drown in the options. Pick one up and run.

What Did We Learn from “The Year of Bible Movies”? Tyler Huckabee. Speaking of Bible, it was a good year for the good book in Hollywood. Or it might be more accurate to say: it was a good year to make movies that start with biblical characters and then blast off from planet Bible to worlds unknown. Huckabee asks, “Why did these Bible movies flop so hard?” Media execs would be wise to take note. And we, too, would benefit from his look at the peculiar Bible films of 2014.

Texting Acronyms Every Parent Needs to Know, Kim Komando. Remember when we were kids and laughed at how out of touch our parents were about new technology? Well, the tables have turned. Kids have mastered the science of texting, and while that can often be innocuous, it also provides a way for children to hide dangerous information from their parents. Komando offers some tips, so that KPC (“keeping parents clueless”) doesn’t happen to us. IMHO (“In my humble opinion”), this is a must read. LMK (“Let me know”) if you agree.

I Am Not Charlie Hebdo, David Brooks, New York Times. “Healthy societies don’t suppress speech, but they do grant different standing to different sorts of people. Wise and considerate scholars are heard with high respect. Satirists are heard with bemused semirespect. Racists and anti-Semites are heard through a filter of opprobrium and disrespect. People who want to be heard attentively have to earn it through their conduct.”

The Longest Sermon Ever…Literally, Trevin Wax. The next time you’re tempted to complain that our sermons are too long (or that any sermon is too long), think of Zach Zehnder, who recently preached through the entire Bible in the longest sermon ever—53 hours and 18 minutes. And he was still able to get people out in time for Sunday lunch.

Blogs of the Week

Micro, Macro, and Meta Preaching. | Scribblepreach

Stuart Scott and (Not) Responding to Internet Critics | TGC

4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

Productivity: Simple Tricks by R.C. Sproul | Ligonier Ministries Blog

Someone came up with a list of 49 ways we can show love | Urban Faith

12 Things I Learned Without a Laptop. | Scribblepreach

Learning Hebrew with Log os Bible Software | LogosTalk

Some Shortcomings of Modern Views on Gender Identity | Denny Burk

Heaven Will Never Be Boring | Desiring God

7 Reasons Not to Worry | TGC

Making The Church A Safe Place For Mental Illness

A Gentle Reminder | Gentle Reformation

5 Reasons We Eat Together as a Family | Challies Dot Com

Would People Describe You As Joyful?

Apologetics for the Rest of Us | Gentle Reformation

Teaching Outlines – Heidelberg Catechism

Why You Should Read Bavinck | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

TGC Spotlight 01.09.15

TGC Spotlight highlights TGC articles from earlier in the week, previews articles coming next week, and links to items around the web that you might have missed. 

Around the Web

Terrorist Attack on Satirical Magazine in Paris

On Wednesday morning, two gunmen wearing black hoods and carrying Kalashnikovs killed twelve people, including two police officers, and seriously wounded several others in an apparent terrorist attack on the offices of a French satirical news magazine that had published cartoons of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

The two gunmen and a getaway driver escaped after killing  a police officer. The driver turned himself in but the killers are currently on the loose and being hunted by French police.

Here are a few answers to questions about the attack:

Why is it assumed to be a terrorist attacks by Muslims?

In an eyewitness video of the attack, the gunmen are heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) while the shootings took place.

According to a video shot from a nearby building and broadcast on French TV, one of the men shouted in French, “Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo.”

The attack is believed to be in response to a recent tweet by the publication of a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, with the caption (in French): “Best wishes, by the way.”

France has raised its terror threat level following the shooting.

What is Charlie Hebdo?

Charlie Hebdo (French for Charlie Weekly) is a French satirical weekly newspaper that is left-wing and antireligious; the publication has a history of mocking Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The magazine published the Danish cartoons of Muhammad that sparked Middle East riots in 2005, renamed an edition “Shariah Hebdo” (listing Islam’s prophet as its supposed editor-in-chief), and repeatedly caricatures Muslims and their beliefs.

The magazine’s office was firebombed in 2011 after its “Shariah Hebdo” edition, and France was forced to close its embassies and schools in 20 countries in 2012 after the magazine published cartoons of Muhammad.

cartoon released in this week’s issue and titled “Still No Attacks in France,” had a caricature of a jihadi fighter saying “Just wait — we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.”

How did the terrorists escape?

After shooting a police officer, the gunmen escaped by hijacking a carto use as a getaway vehicle. They later abandoned that vehicle and hijacked another car at gunpoint.

Who are the terrorists?

Police in France are searching for two French nationals, brothers Said Kouachi, age 34, and Chérif Kouachi, age 32. Hamyd Mourad, age 18, turned himself in to police in northeastern France, an official at theParis prosecutor’s office said.

The brothers were known to France’s intelligence services because Chérif was convicted of terrorism in 2008 for ties to network that sends radical fighters to Iraq. His lawyer confirmed Thursday that police tracked down the identities of the brothers because one left his ID behind in a getaway car.

The French newspaper Libération described Chérif as an orphan whose parents were Algerian immigrants. He was raised in foster care in western France and trained as a fitness instructor before moving to Paris, where he lived with his brother Said in the home of a convert to Islam. He held menial jobs, working at times as a pizza delivery man, shop assistant and fishmonger.

When Chérif was brought to trial in 2008 his lawyer portrayed him as an “occasional Muslim” who smoked marijuana and listened to rap music when not attending classes on jihad.

What has been the response by the U.S. government?

Secretary of State John Kerry released a videotaped statement in which he said:

They may wield weapons, but we in France and the United States share a commitment to those who wield something that is far more powerful — not just a pen, but a pen that represents an instrument of freedom, not fear. Free expression and a free press are core values. They are universal values. Principles that can be attacked but never eradicated because brave and decent people around the world will never give in to the intimidation and terror that those seeking to destroy those values employ.

Quick Takes

• Doubt, in Scripture, can be either a virtue or a vice, says J.D. Greear. Zechariah and Mary are excellent examples of the two kinds of doubt—proud doubt and humble doubt.

• Free counseling, a theologian on call, and 8 other great things about having a pastor dad.

• Jesus may have been tried here: Archaeologists uncover Herod’s palace

• If God is good—and can do only good—but Satan is evil, then who created Satan?

(For even more links, see the “Remainder Bin” at the end of this post.)

Featured TGC Articles

New Year’s Resolutions: Aim For Godliness and God’s Glory | Christina Fox

If you are making resolutions for yourself this year, consider reading those of Jonathan Edwards.


Must All Regulative Principle Churches Look The Same? | Trip Lee

Trip Lee considers whether the regulative principle flattens diversity among churches.


To Quit or Not To Quit When Kingdom and Corporate Goals Conflict | Dan Doriani

Disciples need to know how to act with integrity, to remain holy in unholy places. The story of redemption includes instructive stories.


The Most Important Neglected Prayer | Drew Hunter

One of the most well-known prayers in the Bible is the first line of the Lord’s Prayer. But what does it actually mean to pray for God’s name to be hallowed?


4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness | J.D. Greear

Busyness is potentially soul-destroying. The Bible points us to a more soul-satisfying way.


Featured TGC Contributor Articles

The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise | Justin Taylor

A Q&A summary with David Dorsey’s essay, “The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise,” JETS 34 (1991): 321-34.


7 Reasons Not to Worry | Kevin DeYoung

Is there a sin nice, middle-class Christians commit more than the sin of worry?


Would You Skip Church for Football? | Trevin Wax

I know pastors who are discouraged by diminishing attendance at worship services. As Thom Rainer recently pointed out, an active church member 15 years ago attended church three times a week. Now it’s three times a month.


Letters to a Young Protestor, 5: The Conscience and Racism | Thabiti Anyabwile

How are things since we’ve last written? Are you doing well in class? How are your friendships? Catch me up on your life outside the protests. I assume you have one! You’ve heard it say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, “All protest and no play makes Niecie a bitter girl”! Don’t forget it.


Church membership | Ray Ortlund

“We have in our day started by getting the whole picture upside down. Starting with the doctrine that every individual is ‘of infinite value,’ we then picture God as a kind of employment committee whose business it is to find suitable careers for souls, square holes for square pegs.”


A Prayer for Turning from Self-reliance to Dependence on God | Scotty Smith

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.


Congregations Have Wish-Dreams Too | Jared C. Wilson

I think Bonhoeffer’s words are quite sobering and every pastor ought to consider them well. Idolatry is never far from us. From any of us.


Coming Next Week at TGC

How to Break Up to the Glory of God | Deepak Reju

Deepak Reju provides counsel on how to break up with someone in a God-honoring way.


Love the Church More Than Its Health | Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan Leeman explains the danger of loving the idea of a healthy church more than the church God has placed us in.


Not All Vocational Pursuits Are Equal | Amy L. Sherman

Amy L. Sherman calls us beyond the sacred-secular divide, challenging church leaders to encourage their congregants to pursue vocations that really matter, that really meet the needs of this broken world.


Remainder Bin

Violent Criminals Believe Their Actions are Morally Necessary
Natalie Shoemaker, Big Think

Some people commit heinous acts of violence against one another. We’re led to believe that these wife beaters, murderers, and gang bangers all lack a moral compass to guide them through life, which is why they do what they do. But two anthropologists from UCLA and Northwestern University say this assumption is wrong. In fact, these people think that what their actions are virtuous and morally necessary.

Cluster of Concerns Vie for Top U.S. Problem in 2014
Lydia Saad, Gallup

In 2014, four issues generated enough public concern over enough months for at least 10% of Americans, on average, to identify each of them as the nation’s most important problem. Complaints about government leadership — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list, at 18%. This was closely followed by mentions of the economy in general (17%), unemployment or jobs (15%) and healthcare (10%).

Does CNN really have a video ready for the apocalypse?

“CNN, once ever so thorough in its fact-checking, knew that the last employee alive couldn’t be trusted to make a call as consequential as one from the Book of Revelation,” Ballaban writes. “The end of the world must be confirmed.”


Utah’s Abortion Rate Drops to Lowest Level Ever Recorded
Associated Press

Utah’s abortion rate has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, and there are differing opinions as to why. The rate fell to 4.6 abortions per 1,000 women in 2013, down from a high of 11.1 in 1980 and 7.2 in 1975, when the state began keeping statistics, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Doctors Killed His Mom Because She Was Depressed. Now He Speaks Out Against Euthanasia.
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

Just weeks ago, the world watched as Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer, followed through on her vow to take her own life. After receiving a prognosis of six months to live, Maynard and her husband moved from San Francisco to Portland, Ore., where it was legal to obtain a prescription that would allow her to die when she chose.

Flirting with Death
Richard M. Doerflinger, Public Discourse

Did New Jersey’s Assembly approve an assisted suicide bill without understanding it? The bill is bad public policy, shot through with dangerous loopholes and contradictions that threaten to push many vulnerable citizens of New Jersey toward death.

The High-Tech Future of the Uterus
Katherine Don, The Atlantic

Following the recent success of the world’s first uterus transplant, scientists are pursuing the new frontier of the bioengineered womb.

Texas Abortion Clinic Rules Tested in Appeals Court
Erik Eckholm, New York Times

Lawyers for abortion clinics squared off with Texas state attorneys in a federal appeals court here on Wednesday, arguing over the constitutionality of stringent abortion clinic rules that would force more than half the remaining abortion providers in Texas to close.

Christianity and Culture

Study suggests faith influences one’s opinion about space exploration
Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

How people value space exploration may just depend on someone’s particular faith. An analysis of the results of several national surveys by a University of Dayton political science professor found that Catholics are more supportive of the United States maintaining a leading role in probing the depths of space and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence than people of other faiths.

Alice Cooper, Christian: ‘The World Belongs to Satan’
Michael W. Chapman, CNS News

Alice Cooper, the shock-rock megastar who makes Marilyn Manson look like a choir boy, stopped his hard-partying ways and returned to his Bible Christian roots in the late 1980s and today, still hugely popular and touring, says he isn’t shy about discussing his faith, says his early songs always warned against choosing evil, and contends that the world we live in “doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to Satan.

Gay Marriage Prompts Call for Clergy to Shun Civil Ceremonies
Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times

In its December issue, the conservative Christian magazine First Things published “The Marriage Pledge,” by Christopher Seitz and Ephraim Radner, both Episcopal priests and theologians who teach at Wycliffe College in Toronto. The pledge commits clergy members not to sign “government-provided marriage certificates.” Its online version has attracted 370 signers.

Congress is still really religious and really Christian
Domenico Montanaro, PBS Newshour

Despite a growing number of Americans who say they are religiously unaffiliated, Congress is dominated by those who identify with a religion.


Jury Selection Begins in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial
Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times

“The name of the case is the United States vs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” With those words, Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. of Federal District Court here set in motion the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of planting bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Judge to weigh releasing grand jury record in NYC chokehold death
Jonathan Allen, Reuters

A New York judge is due to hear arguments on Monday whether to make public records of a grand jury hearing into the case of an unarmed black man killed after a policeman put him in a chokehold while arresting him for peddling loose cigarettes.

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol Poisoning Kills 6 Americans a Day, a Federal Report Finds
Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times

Six Americans die from alcohol poisoning daily on average, and mortality rates are highest among middle-aged men, federal health authorities reported on Tuesday.


Why Religious Colleges Should Worry About This New Ruling 
Mark Bauerlein, First Things

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board issued an important ruling that promises to land in the courts. The ensuing decision may be as momentous as the Yeshiva case of 1980, which determined that tenured and tenure-track faculty members have managerial status and cannot unionize. The new ruling opens the way for more professors in post-secondary institutions to unionize, including religious schools.

Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation
Motoko Rich, New York Times

Until recently, Pennsylvania had one of the strictest home-school laws in the nation.

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own
Motoko Rich, New York Times

Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher.

Family Issues

Children in Single-Parent Families Are More Likely to Witness Domestic Violence
Nicholas Zill, Family Studies

Family structure better predicts whether a child will witness family violence than parental education or income.

#YesWomenAndChildren Are Safer Within Intact Marriages
W. Bradford Wilcox, The Federalist

New evidence continues to indicate that the best shelter against domestic violence is a healthy marriage.

Health Issues

10 Things You Should Never (Ever) Say to Someone with Cancer
Margaret Feinberg, OnFaith

Here are some ill-advised things people have said to me as I’ve been battling cancer.

International Issues

Happiness on the rise globally, survey finds

The market research and polling organisation WIN/Gallup found that 70% of respondents were content with their life – a 10% increase from last year.

Libya violence: Militants kidnap Coptic Christians in Sirte

Masked gunmen in northern Libya have kidnapped 13 Coptic Christian workers from Egypt, just a week after seven others were abducted.

What Christianity Contributes To China’s Economic Rise 
Brian J. Grim, First Things

What has fueled China’s remarkable economic growth that has lifted more than 500 million people out of abject poverty and positioned it to become the world’s largest economy?

Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale
Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

Hundreds of Churches Have Closed or Are Threatened by Plunging Membership, Posing Question: What to Do With Unused Buildings?

Marriage Issues

Improving the Case for Marriage
Ahsley McGuire, Family Studies

How can we advocate for marriage without condemning those who have had children outside of it?

Sexuality Issues

How The Transgender Lobby Is Using A Teen’s Death 
Carl R. Trueman, First Things

The suicide of the transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn (I use the child’s name preference), has proved a source of much internet anger and outrage over the last week. Alcorn had apparently identified as a girl from age fourteen. The parents were Christians and both refused to recognize their child as a girl and sent him to some form of therapy. The result was heartbreak all round: In despair, the child killed himself and the parents are now bereaved.


Some Here, Some There — January 9, 2015

by Dan PhillipsHere we go. Remember, this is likely to receive updates through noon, TX time.

  • Here’s a thoughtful dad’s-eye review of the recent Disney musical Into the Woods. Unfortunately it’s a Roman Catholic rather than Christian perspective, but still instructive.
  • I just saw, and loved, Through The Eyes of Spurgeon. Great film, joy to watch. I recommend it heartily.
  • Only two nits would I pick. One is, I didn’t love the suggestion that Spurgeon was bipolar. It struck me as anachronistic and, as one who knew well someone afflicted with that disorder, not a good fit.
  • The other: I didn’t love the suggestion that “Bishop” Vinter had lied to Spurgeon to get him to preach the first time. So I’ve put up the story in Spugeon’s own words.
  • So here’s another step in America’s march towards an Are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-Bible-believing-Christian? society: Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran fired (no pun) for being a known Christian.
  • Kevin Bauder has been doing a series on The Gospel Coalition, noting the oddities in its actual alliances and shunnings. Most recently, he notes its embrace of charismaticism. Bauder notes that “charismatic theology leads to some truly vicious extremes, a tendency that produces two other problems. The first is that even the more moderate charismatics (who may personally repudiate those extremes) seem unable to apply any sort of theological brake to charismatic thought as a whole. The second is that charismatics tend to embrace extreme figures on the basis of their shared charismatic experience.” I do believe he’s playing our song…or we, his. Either way, same song.
  • If you think you’ll never hear a professed Christian trying to weekend-at-Bernie’s the concept of shacking up… well, enjoy your stay in Neverland. Meanwhile here on Earth, Lyndon Unger begins a series on the subject with a robust affirmation of the sufficiency of Scripture.
  • On that topic, seriously, openings for the Sufficient Fire Conference are dwindling and unlikely to last too long: so register, and come.
  • Remember how the PCUSA jumped the sharked decades ago when it defrocked faithful witness J. Gresham Machen? And you know how relatively Biblically faithful people still choose to stay-in, you know, to be “witnesses”? You know what the PCUSA does to folks like that when they get too noticeable? Well… it defrocks them.
  • Duh!
  • Think of all the things the PCUSA doesn’t care whether its ministers do. And it doesn’t care if you disagree… as long as you keep the money coming in. But wait… shouldn’t the Machen matter have taught us that?
  • So: are you not feeling enough of a cowardly, rutted failure at personal witnessing? No? Here, let me help:
  • You’re welcome. (H-T David Murray)
  • Thom Rainer offers a post with a looong meta on the topic of church announcements. Years ago a pastor-friend’s announcements seemed to go on forever, and I commended shortening them since he was simply restating what was already in the bulletin. He did shorten them, and said the result was that nobody knew what was happening, because they were used to not reading their bulletins.
  • One’s tempted sometimes to say “We have a variety of meetings through the week. But you already know that. So let’s pray and take the offering.”
  • As long as we’re dealing with things-that-are-bring-reconsidered, here are Bob Hayton‘s thoughts on the Sunday Evening Service. Hayton leans against, but links to arguments of the opposing view.

Dan Phillips's signature


The Year of Gospel-Centered Living

As we’ve entered the new year of 2015, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions. Bob Kellemen suggests 8 gospel-centered resolutions in The Year of Gospel-Centered Living.

Captured by Grace

Unbroken, the new movie based upon the book by the same name, tells part of the story of Louis Zamperini. The movie leaves out the central message of Zamperini’s life—the message of the cross. Captured by Grace tells the rest of the story.

5 Reasons to Pray for Other Churches

We like to say that our ministries are “Kingdom-Focused.” If they truly are, then won’t our focus move beyond prayer for our own ministries? Eric Bancroft at Ligonier Ministries would like to think so, which is why he suggests 5 Reasons to Pray for Other Churches.

Fanning the Flames of One Holy Passion

Paul Tautges reflects on R. C. Sproul’s book, One Holy Passion: The Consuming Thirst to Know God. Read Paul’s thoughts in Fanning the Flame of One Holy Passion.

Social Media in the New Year

Kevin Carson asks us to consider several biblical principles as we use Social Media in the New Year.

Theological Extremism in a Secular Age

Albert Mohler:

One of the fundamental problems among Western elites is that they cannot understand a theological worldview—particularly the theological worldview of Islam. Being basically rational and secular in their own worldview, Western elites find it almost impossible to understand the radical actions taken by Islamic terrorists.

How I almost lost the Bible

Greg Thornbury:

In a subsequent course on the synoptic Gospels, we read works from Robert W. Funk, the founder of the Jesus Seminar. We learned how to do form and redaction analysis, a method of study that assumes the author of a biblical text is motivated by a theological agenda rather than by reporting what he had seen. We simply “knew” that the book we were holding in our hands did not have a direct connection to the apostles whose names were associated with the Gospels and Epistles.

For me, this dose of higher criticism was nearly lethal. Any sense that the Bible was divinely inspired and trustworthy, or that the creeds had metaphysical gravitas, started to seem implausible. The best I could muster was that, somehow mystically, perhaps Jesus was the Christ, existentially speaking. I was approaching something close to New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman’s own story of losing faith.

“I don’t feel connected”

Leon Brown:

I am fairly certain most would agree with the aforementioned; however, notice what I wrote in the previous paragraph. “It is a shame when someone legitimately feels disconnected.” Most often, in my experience, when people feel disconnected at a church it is illegitimate. They have visited for several weeks, maybe a couple of months, and the quota that they envisioned was not met. In other words, they expected a certain amount of people to greet them and invite them into their home. That has not occurred. The result–I don’t feel connected.

Why the Church Needs Intergenerational Friendships

Joseph Rhea:

A deepening pool of ink has been spilled over the “generational gap” problem. As Western culture ghettoizes within generational borders, how can churches best minister to these increasingly divided tribes? Blend worship? Accommodate with traditional and contemporary services? Target one generation and let the others get used to it or worship somewhere else?

It sounds like a church organization problem. But the real problem, and the real solution, isn’t organizational—it’s personal. The real problem is that, increasingly, we’re no longer making friends across generational lines.

The Church Growth Movement: innovating like it’s 1894

I was struck by three things while watching the opening minutes of NewSpring’s now infamous Christmas Eve service: first, by the vast effort that had been put into the production; second, by what must have been the incredible expense of the whole enterprise; and third, by the utter irrelevance of the entertainment experience to the faithful proclamation of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins.

Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)

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Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics Volume One – A Brief Review

The Reformed Reader

Vos As some of our readers know, Geerhardus Vos was an excellent Dutch Reformed theologian and professor around the turn of the 20th century.  At one point, he wrote out his notes from his systematic theology class and kept them in five volumes, which were transcribed and printed in 1910 (in Dutch).  Lexham Press has done the good work of translating and publishing these volumes for the public – both in hard cover and in e-format (on Logos Bible Software).  I have the first three volumes in my Logos Reformed library, but since I don’t like reading lengthy and detailed books in e-format, I decided to get the print version.  I’m glad I did!  Below are my thoughts on volume one, Theology Proper.

First of all, I should mention that Vos’ treatment of systematic theology is presented in a series of questions and answers.  In this first volume…

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Obama’s Double Standard with Two Mockers against Muhammad

The Domain for Truth


Obama has an interesting double standard concerning those who mock Muhammad and Islam.

On the one hand Obama is supportive of expressions that is against Islam.  He also does not condemn expressions against Islam but instead is support of the right of expression against Islam. With the recent terrorist attack related to Charlie Hebdo, Huffington Post reported Obama’s statement:

“The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Obama said from the Oval Office during a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden.

“But the one thing that I’m very confident about is that the values that we share with the French people, a belief — a universal belief in the freedom of expression, is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of…

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Religious Affections: Matt Recker and The Gospel Coalition, Part 9: Summary

In the Nick of Time

Over the past few months, I have been responding intermittently to Pastor Matt Recker’s evaluation of the New Calvinism, and particularly to his assessment of The Gospel Coalition. What I would like to do now is to summarize my responses and to offer a word of appraisal concerning the larger dimensions of the discussion between Pastor Recker and myself. What Pastor Recker and I have been doing is helpful, I believe, for the most conservative evangelicals, namely, fundamentalists.

My responses to Pastor Recker can be divided into three categories: expressions of agreement, expressions of disagreement, and expansions upon themes that he raises. The expansions were not so much aimed at him as necessary detours because of the importance of the subject matter (in fact, a couple of those essays hardly even mentioned his name). In my judgment, the areas of disagreement have been far less important than the areas of agreement. In fact, I applaud a good bit of what Pastor Recker and written, and I share many of his concerns.

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NTEB: The Muslim Jesus VS. The Jesus Of The Holy Bible

by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean

The Muslim Qu’ran describes a different Jesus than the Holy Bible does

In recent weeks, I have been in conversations with a pastor from a large Baptist church in Richmond, VA. He believes that Allah and our God are one and the same. He told me that Muslims see God through the lens of Muhammad, and that Christians see Him through the lens of Jesus Christ. This is heresy !!

I am writing this piece so that you can be equipped to speak truth to those who are deceived. If a head pastor of a church of over 1000 people believes this lie, then surely there are many others. I am so grieved over this — mostly for the people in the congregations of these wolves.


Because this pastor is not adhering to the Word of God, he is vulnerable to being deceived in most every area of Biblical teaching. He is close friends with Brian McLaren — the father of the Emerging Church movement. The Richmond pastor has meditation and centering and other New Age practices on his website. He also states that God may or may not be a female!

“ For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”  – 2 Thessalonians 2:7-17

I will be taking passages from the Qur’an about Jesus – whom they call “Isa” and then I will post Scripture which will expose the passages from the Qur’an as counterfeit. Should it surprise us that Satan would establish this religion? Satan always takes a little bit of truth, and then perverts it with his lies. He has been doing this since being cast from heaven by God. Let’s begin at the beginning:

From the Qur’an about Abraham

  • “When his Lord tested Abraham with certain commands and he fulfilled them, He said, “I will make you a leader of men.” Abraham asked, “And what of my descendants?” He answered, “My covenant does not extend to the transgressors.” (124) And We made the House [the Ka’bah] a place of assembly and a sanctuary for mankind, [saying], “Make the place where Abraham stood a place of worship.” We commanded Abraham and Ishmael, “Purify My House for those who walk round it, those who stay there for devotion, and those who bow down and prostrate themselves.” (emphasis mine)

From the Bible about Abraham

“And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.. (Genesis 17:15-19) (emphasis mine)

Announcement to Mary from Qur’an:

  • He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. 20 She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?” 21 He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: It is a matter (so) decreed.” (19:19-21, Yusif Ali)
  • And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples. (21:91, Yusif Ali)

Announcement to Mary in the Bible:

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:26-28)

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:32-33) (Emphasis mine)

Jesus is a messenger (Prophet) in Qur’an:

  • “He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet.”(19:30, Yusif Ali)
  • “O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (4:171, Yusif Ali) (emphasis mine)

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!” (5:575, Yusif Ali)

Jesus is God in the Bible:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not..” (John 1:1-5)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

The Crucifixion denied in the Qur’an:

  • “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.” (4:157,Yusif Ali)

The Crucifixion told in the Bible:

“And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.” (John 19:17-20)

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:28-30)

You are cursed if you say Jesus is God’s Son in Qur’an:

  • The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (9:30, Yusif Ali)
  • “Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. 35 It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is.” (19:34-35, Yusif Ali) (Emphasis mine)

Jesus – Son of God in the Bible:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25)

“Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36)

“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:4)

“ But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61-62)

Brethren, please keep this article for a reference. Satan is roaming about in this world, deceiving and confusing people. The Word of God reigns supreme in the lives of Christians. Always use it to know truth!

“ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

May you always be equipped for every good work!

Blessings in Yeshua!

The post The Muslim Jesus VS. The Jesus Of The Holy Bible appeared first on Now The End Begins.

GTY Blog: Standards for Shepherds: Sexual Fidelity

Code: B150109

by John MacArthur

“The NFL’s doing a better job at it. CBS is doing a better job at it. Kmart is doing a better job at it. Virtually every institution on earth is demonstrating that they are doing a better job at restoring people than the Church.” [1]http://www.christianpost.com/news/ted-haggard-tiger-woods-got-restored-why-cant-christian-leaders-48998/ These are the words of a disgraced pastor whose sexual sins made national headlines. It’s hard to find a clearer example of how worldly views on leadership exist among Christians.

God does not demand perfection from those who shepherd His flock, but He insists on men who are above reproach. The highest office ordained by God requires the highest standards in personal character.

And those standards are not obscure or mysterious. God’s Word is abundantly clear about the character qualifications for church leaders.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. (1 Timothy 3:2–3; cf. Titus 1:5–9)

The overseer or elder must first be above reproach in relation to women. He must be the husband of one wife. The Greek text literally reads “a one-woman man.” Paul is not referring to a leader’s marital status—whether he’s married or unmarried. The issue is his moral, sexual behavior. Many men married to one woman are not one-woman men. Many with one wife are unfaithful to that wife. While remaining married to one woman is commendable, it is no indication or guarantee of moral purity.

Why This Standard?

Some may wonder why Paul begins his list with this quality. He does so because it is in this area, above all others, where leaders seem most prone to fall. The failure to be a one-woman man has put more men out of the ministry than any other sin. It is thus a matter of grave concern.

Various interpretations have been offered that evade the meaning of this standard. Some have argued that its intent is to forbid polygamy. A man could not, however, even be a member of the church, let alone a leader, if he was a polygamist. If that were all Paul meant, it would be an unnecessary prohibition. Further, polygamy was not an issue in Ephesus. It was uncommon in Roman society, in part because extramarital sexual encounters, as well as divorces, were easily obtainable. Nor was polygamy a feature of first-century Jewish society.

Others maintain that Paul here forbids remarriage after the death of a spouse. As already noted, however, this standard, like all the rest, refers to moral character, not marital status. Furthermore, Scripture permits and honors second marriages under the proper circumstances. Paul expected younger widows to remarry and raise a family (1 Timothy 5:14), and widows could be described as one-man women (1 Timothy 5:9). In 1 Corinthians 7:39 he wrote, “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

Still others hold that this qualification excludes divorced men from spiritual leadership. That again ignores the fact that Paul is not here referring to marital status. Nor does the Bible forbid all remarriage after a divorce. In Matthew 5:31–32 and 19:9, our Lord permitted remarriage when a divorce was caused by adultery. Paul gave a second occasion when remarriage is permitted, namely, when the unbelieving spouse initiates the divorce (1 Corinthians 7:15). While God hates all divorce (Malachi 2:16), He is gracious to the innocent party in those two situations.

Since remarriage in and of itself is not a sin, it is not necessarily a blight on a man’s character. If divorce resulted from a man’s inability to lead his family (1 Timothy 3:5), however, then it is a disqualification.

Nor does Paul intend to exclude single men from the ministry. If that was his point here, he would have disqualified himself, since he was single (1 Corinthians 7:8).

A one-woman man is a man devoted in his heart and mind to the woman who is his wife. He loves, desires, and thinks only of her. He maintains sexual purity in both his thought life and his conduct. That qualification was especially important in Ephesus, where sexual evil was rampant. Many, if not most, of the congregation had at one time or another fallen prey to sexual evil. If that was before a man came to Christ, it wasn’t a problem (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). If it happened after his conversion, even before he assumed a leadership role, it was a problem. If it happened after he assumed a leadership role, it was a definite disqualification.

Those same standards apply to men in positions of spiritual leadership today. Scripture makes it clear that sexual sin is a reproach that never goes away. Proverbs 6:32–33 says of the adulterer, “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out.”

Some time ago I listened to the deeply disturbing audio of a “recommissioning service.” It was for a pastor who had made national news by confessing to an adulterous affair. The man was returning to public ministry with his church’s blessing after little more than a year of “counseling and rehabilitation.”

It is beyond ridiculous to think that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore a public reputation of integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust. Tragically, that story is not an isolated incident. The evangelical highways and byways are well covered with restoration teams waiting like tow-truck drivers anticipating the next leadership “accident.”

Like the pastor I quoted earlier, many confuse forgiving a repentant sinner with restoring them to leadership. While we should be ready to forgive, forgiveness does not requalify the man for leadership. There are some sins that irretrievably destroy a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever. Even the Apostle Paul feared such a possibility: “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27). By referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18). He was acutely aware that if he succumbed to sexual temptation then he too would be disqualified from leadership. Today the church needs to treat this poisonous sin with the same degree of seriousness.

(Adapted from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy and The Master’s Plan for the Church.)

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150109
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

The Life, Times and Impact of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (2 Videos)

Through the Eyes of Spurgeon

A unique and never before seen look at the life and ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The lives of millions of Christians around the world have been changed through the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But how much do those of us who esteem him so highly really know about Charles Spurgeon, the man?

What were the events that shaped his life and made him the man who would be known as the Prince of Preachers? Through the Eyes of Spurgeon invites you to explore with us where and how Spurgeon lived, to follow his steps, to embrace the legacy he has left us.

Join us in seeing the world of Charles Spurgeon through his eyes.


Watch Steve Lawson Present on Charles Spurgeon

Pastor, teacher, and Spurgeon biographer Steven Lawson gave this presentation during a conference in 2012. In it he details the life and gospel-focused ministry of C.H. Spurgeon.

5 Things I Wish Liberals Would Admit About Their Rejection of the Historic Christian Faith, Part 2

Apologetics for the Church

John Pavlovitz’s article, “5 Things I Wish Christians Would Admit About the Bible,” (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/5-things-i-wish-christians-would-admit-about-bible) calls Christians to “admit” certain ideas about the Bible. I return the favor and call on him to admit what his article assumes about the Bible. These assumptions amount to a rejection of orthodox Christianity’s basis in an authoritative Bible.

Part 1 can be found here.

Puppet3. Liberals don’t believe what the Bible says about itself.

Pavlovitz’s third point is the worst case of false dilemma I have ever encountered. Is there no third option between the writers of Scripture as “God-manipulated puppets” and regular humans beings in a rarified state of mind recording their experiences of the divine? Notice he doesn’t interact at all with any semblance of an evangelical view of inspiration. It’s either zombie secretaries or muses.

The apostle Peter testifies that the writers of Scripture did NOT take the initiative to…

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