Daily Archives: February 2, 2015

February 2, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s answer to a hopeless world. —Ed Welch

February 2 quotes


Feb. 2, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama will send a $4 trillion budget blueprint to Congress today that would raise taxes on corporations and the nation’s top earners, fund major investments in infrastructure and education and stabilize, but not eliminate, the annual U.S. budget deficit.

The Obama administration is predicting that the U.S. unemployment rate will fall this year to the lowest level since 2007 as stronger economic growth boosts hiring. The jobless rate will average 5.4 percent in 2015, according to an administration official.

AP Top Stories

Indonesian divers found another six victims of the AirAsia plane crash, an official said, taking to 84 the number of bodies retrieved since the accident in late December.

Police in Central California arrested a man accused of holding his 16-year-old girlfriend in a car, raping her and beating her with a tire iron over the course of five days.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday beheaded a convicted murderer, bringing to five the number of people executed since new King Salman took office, continuing the kingdom’s use of the harshest punishment.

Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said he would recruit an additional 100,000 men to fight against Ukraine’s government troops.

A goat herder who has a college degree in weed sciences told federal wildlife officials that she could eliminate the need for a possible 700-acre controlled burn at the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge by turning her goats loose there and eliminate concerns over spreading radioactive plutonium.

President Obama says the U.S. is doing everything in its power to try to rescue an American woman being held by Islamic State militants. A day after a Japanese journalist held by the militants was purportedly beheaded, Obama says the U.S. and its allies are deploying all available tools to identify a 26-year-old U.S. aid worker’s location. He called her captivity heartbreaking.

Obamacare will cost 20 percent less through 2019 than originally expected. That’s in part because medical inflation has slowed more than the CBO anticipated back in 2010 when the law went into effect. But the report had bad news too. Fewer people are signing up for coverage than the government had hoped. In fact, the CBO estimates that 31 million of us will still be uninsured 10 years from now.

Nigerian troops Sunday repelled Islamic extremists who attacked from four fronts on Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeast Nigeria, with several civilians killed by aerial bombs and grenades and mortar shells on the ground.

Two Australians on death row in Bali will be among the next group of prisoners to be executed in Indonesia, an official said, as Jakarta takes an increasingly hard line against drug traffickers.

World oil prices rose, reversing earlier losses, with the focus on the United States where refineries were on strike. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March climbed 26 cents to $48.50 a barrel.

Two pipe bombs exploded outside a luxury shopping mall in Bangkok on Sunday in an attack which Thai police said was aimed at raising tension in a city living under martial law.

Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved.

Japan’s failure to rescue two hostages beheaded by Islamic State militants has raised doubts about its ability to handle an international crisis, as the country reels from news of journalist Kenji Goto’s killing.

A measles outbreak that started last December has infected at least 84 people in 14 states, including at least 5 people who were immunized against the virus.

Union workers were on strike for a second day on Monday at nine U.S. refineries and chemical plants as they sought a new national contract with oil companies covering laborers at 63 plants.

U.S. consumer spending recorded its biggest decline since late 2009 in December, with households appearing to save the extra cash from cheaper gasoline, which could support future consumption.

BBC

Australian Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste said he is relieved to be free, but feels “incredible angst” at leaving behind two jailed colleagues in Egypt.

President Obama plans to tax US firms on profits made and cash held overseas, raising funds for a major road-improvement plan in the US.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced plans to end a total ban on abortions in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Two pilots in a helium balloon complete their Pacific crossing with a sea-landing off Mexico, setting two new milestones on a six-day trip.

The first large-scale trials of experimental vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus began in Liberia, aimed at immunizing 30,000.

Oskar Groening, 93, will go on trial in Germany in April, charged with involvement in the deaths of 300,000 prisoners at Auschwitz.

WND

Four Wisconsin middle school students were arrested after they allegedly threw a “sex party” and filmed it on their cell phones.

South Carolina schools have partially lifted a ban on junk food. State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman has lifted a complete ban on selling unhealthy snacks in schools. Some sales can take place for certain, approved fundraisers, multiple media outlets reported Sunday.


This Housing Chart Destroys The Arguments Of The Economic Optimists

Did you know that the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen to a 20 year low? Did you know that it has been falling consistently for an entire decade? For the past couple of years, the economic optimists have been telling us that the economy has been getting better. Well, if the economy really has been getting better, why does the homeownership rate keep going down? Yes, the ultra-wealthy have received a temporary financial windfall thanks to the reckless money printing the Federal Reserve has been doing, but for most Americans economic conditions have not been improving. This is clearly demonstrated by the housing chart that I am about to share with you. If the economy really was healthy, more people would be getting good jobs and thus would be able to buy homes. But instead, the homeownership rate has continued to plummet throughout the entire “Obama recovery”. I think that this chart speaks for itself… (Read More....)


The Death Of The American Dream In 22 Numbers

We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream. The numbers that you are about to see tell a story. They tell a story of a once mighty economy that is dying. For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard. And when I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was living the American Dream. I lived on a “middle class” street and I went to a school where it seemed like almost everyone was middle class. When I was in high school, it was very rare to ever hear of a parent that was unemployed, and virtually every family that I knew had a comfortable home and more than one nice vehicle. But now that has all changed. The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest of us are scrambling really hard to keep our own places. Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet Americans are very deeply divided when it comes to finding answers to our problems. We love to point fingers and argue with one another, and meanwhile things just continue to get even worse. The following are 22 numbers that are very strong evidence of the death of the American Dream… (Read More...)


The Greatest Threat in Syria Comes from Iran :: Inbar in Israel Hayom

by Efraim Inbar
Israel Hayom
February 1, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5002/iran-greatest-threat-syria


The Strategic Implications of Iran’s STD Epidemic :: Goldman in Asia Times

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times Online
January 30, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5000/strategic-implications-iran-std


Turkish Islamists: Je Suis Kouachi! :: Bekdil at Gatestone

by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
January 26, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5004/turkish-islamists-kouachi-brothers


The Iranian Nuclear Crisis and the U.S. Administration

In his State of the Union address on January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama stated that Iran’s progress toward achieving military nuclear capability had been halted and its stockpiles of materials with nuclear potential reduced as a result of the dialogue on the nuclear issue between the world powers (the P5+1) and Iran.

Read more


Treason: Obama Aids the Enemy

Well, that didn’t take long. This summer after Barack Obama inexplicably (and illegally) freed five of the Taliban’s most deadly terrorists in exchange for army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, I asked a burning question – a question that remains unanswered: “What will it take for our spineless U.S. Congress to impeach this tyrant? This is way beyond partisan politics. This is about justice. This is about the safety of the American people. Barack Hussein Obama is America’s biggest threat to national security. He is ‘an enemy within.’”

Read more


Netanyahu’s message

Ever since John Boehner announced Benjamin Netanyahu would be addressing Congress, Obama officials have been screaming how the GOP House leader and the Israeli prime minister have spit in their faces — and vowing behind the scenes to make them pay. Then again, maybe they’re vilifying the messenger to distract from the message. Because Netanyahu’s main focus will be on Iran and the dangers of the nuclear deal President Obama is pursuing with Tehran.

Read more


Watch: Bill Bennett vs Greg Abbott in Heated Common Core Debate

NOTE: Bill Bennett doesn’t know what he’s talking about. — OTM

On Fox New Channel’s “Fox News Sunday,” conservative radio host Bill Bennett and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) had a friendly but heated debate about the controversial Common Core educational standards program.

View 10 min video


‘Hamas & Shariah Law Have Taken Over UC Davis’

Calling evil good . . . .

UC Davis Student Senator Proud that Islamist Terrorist Group Represented on Campus

A resolution calling for the University of California at Davis to divest from “corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights” passed on Thursday evening by a vote of 8-2-2.

View Article


Can Israel survive Obama?

Since when does the US Administration send condolences to a criminal’s family?

It happened in Israel after an Arab hurled firebombs at passing Israeli cars in Judea & Samaria, and was killed by security forces. The Obama Administration sent official condolences to the family of this young terrorist when, as part of a violent mob, he endangering the lives of Israelis.

View Article


Barack Obama’s Anti-Israel Roots

Much has been made of Obama’s early years, although hard data is hard to come by, oddly enough, even in this age of technology and increasing lack of privacy. The man’s personal records seem to be sealed in a vault at the bottom of the Pacific.

Yet we can learn some from his associations, particularly his years as a “community organizer” in Chicago. It was there that he sat under the radical “Christian” teaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the church’s own foundations (United Church of Christ, one of the most leftwing denominations in the country) favor socialism, and worse.

View Article


 

Daily Digest

February 2, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“We repose an unwise confidence in any government, or in any men, when we invest them officially with too much, or an unnecessary quantity of, discretionary power.” –Thomas Paine, Serious Address to the People of Philadelphia, 1778

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

GDP Growth Slows, Biden Says Things Are ‘Really, Really Hard’

After impressive 5% GDP growth in the third quarter of 2014, the initial estimate for the fourth quarter is growth of just 2.6%. Given rising consumer confidence, this may be puzzling. Bloomberg reports, “Cheaper gasoline and the largest employment increase since 1999 are boosting household confidence, increasing the odds that consumer spending can sustain gains following its biggest advance in almost nine years. At the same time, business investment is cooling as companies such as Caterpillar Inc. say plunging oil prices, a rising dollar and slowing growth abroad hurt sales globally.” Barack Obama’s job approval ratings have risen following the third quarter boost, but the fourth quarter number indicates we’re not out of the woods just yet — indeed, far from a real recovery, we’re seeing tepid and unstable growth. We’ll just leave it to Joe Biden to sum it up: “To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country.” More…

Biden: How About Four Free Years of College?

Two years of “free” college recently became a signature proposal for Barack Obama’s so-called “middle-class economics.” Well, that’s not good enough for Joe Biden — he wants four years free. “We’ve been ahead of the curve, except now people are catching up,” Biden explained. “No other country in the world had universal education for 12 years, including Great Britain, for the first quarter of the century, and only until recently have they started that in China and other countries. Nobody has the great research universities we have.” He added, “So what’s the next logical move to stay ahead of the curve? 14 years. If I had my way, and could figure out how to pay for it, there should be 16 years; college should be free.” Even when Democrats make these pitches, though, they can’t help but acknowledge that it isn’t at all “free.” The only obstacle Biden lists is figuring out how to pay for it. Do we hear a 2016 platform taking shape?

Obama’s Catch and Release With Criminal Illegals

This may be another sign establishment Republicans won’t challenge Barack Obama’s executive amnesty. In the 2013 fiscal year, Obama released 36,007 immigrants who were accused of committing crimes as minor as traffic violations and as serious as murder. On Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) quietly released a list itemizing the crimes committed by 1,000 of those released illegal aliens. Unfortunately, he chose to do so after the confirmation hearing of Obama’s potential new attorney general, Loretta Lynch. The Daily Caller reports, “Had the list been made public at the hearing, GOP senators could have pushed the media to focus on the huge cost of Obama’s 2010 decision to minimize enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. But that attention would have also increased public pressure to reject Lynch, who is supported by Democrats and their allies in the media.” Grassley’s belated move shows that many Republicans are content not critiquing the Obama administration, despite lip service about stopping Obama’s executive overreach prioritizing the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants — even as it’s already clear Obama’s policy has failed. More…

Hagel Resisted Obama on Gitmo Releases

This may be another reason why former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was forced from the Pentagon. In an interview with CNN, Hagel admitted he faced pressure from the Obama administration on releasing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. “Not everyone at the White House has agreed with me,” Hagel said. While the Obama administration wants Gitmo emptied quickly, Hagel said he resisted the pressure from Obama, pressure from Congress and pressure from the press “because I have the responsibility and I play my own game here.” He added, “And that is because, by law, I am the one official in government charged with certification of release of detainees. I take that responsibility very seriously.” These remarks demonstrate Obama is still working behind closed doors to make good on his campaign promises — no matter the consequences. More…

Now We’re Backing Iranian Proxies in Yemen?

Well, this marks a shift in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East — the U.S. is talking to the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. A senior U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal, “We have to take pains not to end up inflaming the situation by inadvertently firing on Houthi fighters. They’re not our military objective. It’s AQAP [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] and we have to stay focused on that.” Let’s get this straight: Iran backs a group that has destabilized Yemen’s pro-American government. In response, the U.S. cozies up to the group because the enemy of our enemy is our friend. Furthermore, Hot Air’s Noah Rothman points to a story about how Israeli intelligence believes the U.S. has given into 80% of Iran’s demands while hashing out the nuclear deal. When did Iran stop being the state sponsor of terrorism bent on creating a nuclear bomb? When Barack Obama cast aside the nation’s true objectives. More…

 

2015-01-27-ecb86732.jpg

Yep, smiling New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the groundhog last year and it later died of its injuries. He really put the ground in groundhog.

RIGHT ANALYSIS

Legal Plunder Central to Obama’s Budget

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Hey, we can afford it!

By law, today is the day the U.S. president must submit his budget to Congress. The word “budget” implies balancing a list of expenditures taken from projected revenue. Instead, Barack Obama’s $4 trillion budget will continue to blow the lid off the federal debt while taking from those who work in order to spend on those who don’t. “Middle-class economics” at its finest.

Obama’s projections claim that, over the next 10 years, growth of the $18 trillion malignant tumor known as the federal debt will be slowed by $1.8 trillion. He claims this will be accomplished through a formula of tax increases rather than generating more taxpayers or increasing consumer wealth for spending.

He calls this “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

But his pitch is nothing new. Every single one of Obama’s seven budgets has included major tax increases. Then again, it is Groundhog Day.

Nineteenth century French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat pondered the socialistic activity that serves the state and that would be otherwise criminal — legal plunder: “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

Before we break out the microscope and look at the granular items of the Obama tax-and-spend plan, appreciate that in the federal budget there are three types of spending: mandatory spending — based on existing law and approaching two-thirds of the entire budget; discretionary spending — that which goes through the annual appropriations process and is less than one-third of total outlays; and interest payments on the debt.

Mandatory spending is largely composed of earned-benefit and entitlement programs: Social Security (almost 23% of total spending), Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, some transportation expenditures and part of our veterans’ benefits. This mandatory spending is projected to consume in excess of $2.5 trillion. So, with the exception of roads and veterans’ benefits, largely unconstitutional “mandatory” programs receive about 65% of our tax dollars.

Discretionary spending includes the military, education, housing, energy, environment and food/agriculture. Isn’t it interesting that the military budget (in the Constitution) is “discretionary” while food stamps (not in the Constitution) are “mandatory”?

To appear as appeasing Republicans, Obama will tout his call to increase military funding by reversing the “sequester” — the bipartisan shell game that reduced nominal growth and did not cut real spending. But as Obama dangles this carrot, he calls for $530 billion more in “nondefense discretionary spending” — largely entitlement spending that is already, as noted above, mammoth.

To pay for the budget-cap-busting 7% spending increase, Obama calls for new taxes on the “wealthy,” whom he despises for their success. These include:

  • Increasing the capital gains tax from 23.8% to 28%, which will serve as a disincentive to work, save and invest.
  • Implementing a new cap on all IRAs and 401(k) accounts to tax investments that provide an annual distribution of more than $210,000. Obama’s cutting you off, you greedy savers.
  • Eliminating dependent-care flexible spending accounts, which allow tax-free savings for those caring for a senior or dependent with special needs.
  • Establishing an inheritance tax of 40% of an asset’s value on top of a 28% capital gains tax applied to the increase in the asset’s value from original purchase to the time of inheritance. Obama wants you to transfer your wealth, just not to anyone in your family.

The list of new tax increases doesn’t include the proposed tax on foreign corporate profits or a bank tax directed at about 100 of the larger, profitable companies that will certainly forward those costs to customers. Nor does it include the 20 taxes hidden in the “Affordable” Care Act that will continue to pop up as the law is fully implemented.

Thanks to this redistribution of wealth, Obama claims, “We can afford to make these investments.” The $18.1 trillion debt — up from $10.6 trillion when he took office — would beg to differ. In fact, his “middle-class economics” pitch will continue to foment class division and envy while driving the nation ever deeper into debt.

Bastiat was exactly right: “The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder.”

Shameless Semantics

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The Obama administration has reached what is best described as a metastatic level of denial, aided and abetted by semantical manipulation. Last week, one of the five high-level Taliban thugs released from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for alleged deserter Bowie Bergdahl was caught making telephone calls to the Taliban. The same week, the same Taliban claimed responsibility for murdering three American civilian contractors and wounding a fourth at a military base connected to Kabul’s international airport. It is the same Taliban who turned Afghanistan into an al-Qaida training ground, allowing them the opportunity to plan and execute the worst domestic attack in America’s history. Despite all of this, the Obama administration is determined to label them an “armed insurgency,” not a terrorist group.

That put White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a bind, because, while the State Department hasn’t deemed the Taliban a foreign terrorist organization, the Treasury Department has them listed as “specially designated global terrorists” per a 2002 executive order. Hence, Earnest attempted to find a middle ground that doesn’t exist. “They do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism, they do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda,” he conceded, but they’re not a terrorist organization because their murderous sprees “have principally been focused on Afghanistan.”

This is not the first time such fecklessness has occurred. Until Secretary of State John Kerry placed them on the State Department’s terror list, his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, adamantly refused to designate Nigeria’s Boko Haram a terrorist organization, even as she hypocritically tweeted, “We must stand up to terrorism” following the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls last April — by a group whose level of slaughter is now comparable to that of ISIL.

Why the latest unconscionable hair-splitting? Because our equally feckless commander in chief wishes to maintain the fiction that America does not negotiate with terrorists. Toward that end, one administration hack after another has toed the administration line. Last Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, referencing the proposed prisoner swap between Jordan, Japan and ISIL, led the charge. “We don’t get into negotiation with terrorists,” he told Fox News. “We don’t pay ransom because that cash then fuels further kidnappings, which just continue to exacerbate the problem. So we’re not going to do that.”

Referencing the same swap, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted that every country “has the ability and the right to make decisions,” but reiterated the U.S. position that “we don’t make concessions to terrorists.” During a White House briefing last Wednesday, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz insisted the Taliban was an “armed insurgency” and that our prisoner swaps with them “are traditional end-of-conflict interaction that happens.”

One might be forgiven for noticing that “end-of-conflict” is an equally egregious denial of reality, one that will inevitably resemble the bloody results of Obama unilaterally “ending” the conflict in Iraq. Adding insult to injury, Obama’s “no troops on the ground” commitment vis-à-vis Iraq is another fiction belied by the 1,400 servicemen currently in the country, as well as the additional 1,500 approved to be sent there by the president in November.

The administration’s latest assault on the English language can be explained in two words: Bowe Bergdahl. Both Fox and NBC News reported the decision had already been made to try Bergdahl for desertion, though three different military spokesmen denied those reports. Retired Lt. Col Bill Cowan explained the machinations behind the case: “In White House terms, not charging Bergdahl means that he was indeed worth the trade for the Taliban Five. But charging him on any level means that releasing the five Taliban was an error of monstrous proportions, one the administration will never be able to explain away satisfactorily.”

Admirable assessment, but naive. Imagine the worst-case scenario for Obama — that Bergdahl is charged as the deserter his comrades in arms allege him to be. Now imagine the president saying while that is unfortunate, we still don’t leave our soldiers behind under any circumstances. Thus, swapping five high-level insurgents for him — as opposed to five hard-core terrorists — was the only reasonable thing to do.

Note the groundwork for this has already been laid, courtesy of the aforementioned jargon about “traditional end-of-conflict” exchanges with insurgencies.

Note further the same media that rushed to defend the president when Bergdahl was released would do so again in a heartbeat. Both The New York Times and The Huffington Post impugned the soldiers in Bergdahl’s unit who claimed he deserted his post because their media appearances were “arranged” by Republican “strategists.” The Times went on to describe Bergdahl as a “free-spirited young man who asked many questions but gave no indication of being a deserter.” Even more incredibly, when the Times revealed that Bergdahl had “wandered away” on two previous occasions, they sought to attribute his third disappearance to “an environment of lax security and discipline.”

Radical Islam is waging war against West. Obama, his minions and their media collaborators are waging war on vocabulary. On Saturday, ISIL released its latest video of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto being beheaded, reminding the world that such denial, and the semantical manipulation employed to serve it, are utterly bankrupt conceits.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “Obama’s latest anti-fossil-fuels directive is to move off-limits to exploration and drilling some 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. … Obama says his motivation is to keep this land environmentally undisturbed and to protect wildlife — as if he were a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt-style preservationist. ‘Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place — pristine, undisturbed,’ Obama says. ‘It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska Native communities. But it’s very fragile.’ Well, no, not really. Think of a football field, and then think of placing a postcard on that field. This is roughly the size of the development footprint required to drill in these wilderness lands, compared with the entire Alaskan landmass. Thanks to horizontal drilling, the footprint from oil and gas production is getting smaller all the time. Drilling will hardly alter the majesty of the mountains or the forest lands. … This latest White House move isn’t about saving polar bears. It’s about a radical climate-change agenda to stop all domestic oil and gas drilling and coal mining, wherever and whenever possible. The middle-class Americans who will lose jobs or pay more for gas at the pump are collateral damage.”

Economist Larry Kudlow: “Mitt Romney showed once again that he is truly a class act. In his announcement that he will not be running for president in 2016, he stated, ‘I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee.’ This was unusual political humility. But let me highlight this specific phrase: ‘one who has not yet taken their message across the country.’ Message. If there’s anything the GOP needs — besides a winner — it’s a confident, incentive-based, pro-growth message. The party didn’t have one last year, but it won the midterms thanks to President Obama’s ineptness. That won’t be enough in 2016. … We’re about a year away from the first Republican primaries. The GOP has a solid bench. But the wannabes must get cracking on the central growth message of incentives, freedom of choice and sound money to unleash a new wave of American prosperity.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Fox News reported that one of the five Taliban fighters the U.S. exchanged for deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is re-joining the Taliban in Afghanistan. We traded them five of their guys for one of our guys. The U.S. government can’t even swap prisoners without running up an eighty percent deficit.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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

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U.S. companies face billions in Venezuela currency losses

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 08:09 AM PST

U.S. companies face billions in Venezuela currency lossesAt least 40 major U.S. companies have substantial exposure to Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis, and could collectively be forced to take billions of dollars of write downs, a Reuters analysis shows. The companies, all members of the S&P 500, and including some of the biggest names in Corporate America such as autos giant General Motors <GM.N> and drug maker Merck & Co Inc <MRK.N>, together carry at least $11 billion of monetary assets in the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, on their books. The official rate is at 6.3 bolivars to the dollar and there are two other rates in the government system – known as SICAD 1 and SICAD 2 – at about 12 and 50. The black market rate, though, was at about 190 bolivars to the dollar on Sunday, according to the website dolartoday.com. The problem is that the dollar value of the assets as disclosed in many of the companies’ accounts is based on either the rates at 6.3 or 12 and only a limited number of transactions are allowed at those rates. The assets would be worth a lot fewer dollars at the 50 rate in the government system and the dollar value would almost be wiped out at the black market rate. The currency system is also about to be shaken up following an announcement by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Jan. 21, leading to fears of a further devaluation. More

The post U.S. companies face billions in Venezuela currency losses appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Younger users prefer biometrics to passwords

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:55 AM PST

Younger users prefer biometrics to passwordsThe new generation of banking customers would rather use biometric security devices than PINs and passwords for authentication, according to Visa Europe. The payments firm found that 75% of 16 to 24-year-olds, or ‘Generation Z’, said they would have no problem using biometric security, with 69% expecting it to be faster and easier than a password or a PIN. Jonathan Vaux, executive director at Visa Europe, said: “We have more log-ins and passwords than ever to help keep us secure online and on the high street, but for Gen Z it just feels like an unnecessary burden. Biometric authentication using fingerprint recognition or retinal scans offers an ideal solution, combining unique security and ease of use. “For banks and product providers this means two challenges. First, to continue and quicken the pace of development on biometrics to answer this demand from Generation Z. Second, to continue to evaluate the increasing range of authentication options to ensure customer convenience and security as payment increasingly becomes embedded into a range of applications.” Nearly 35% of the people in the Generation Z age group said they had shared their PIN number with someone else, compared with only 23% of all those surveyed.  Younger people often take a more relaxed approach to their personal data, with 32% of those asked saying they use a single password or PIN to protect all their personal data sources. Over 20% of Generation Z have shared their online banking password with someone else, and 32% have given out their smartphone password. More than half of 16 to 24-year-olds think passwords will no longer be needed or used by the end of 2020, and will be replaced by authentication methods such as facial recognition or fingerprint and retina scanners. Of these methods, fingerprint recognition is the most popular, with DNA samples and implanted chips coming in last. Vaux said the adoption of biometric technology is rising, as it has for mobile banking and payments, as consumers realise the benefits of the authentication. “The more habitual and commonplace the behaviour becomes, the greater the adoption, particular in the payments landscape. Biometrics will be one of a number of authentication options for consumers to enrol with services, log into their accounts or contribute to authentication at the time of transaction,” said Vaux. More

The post Younger users prefer biometrics to passwords appeared first on End Time Headlines.

A Strong Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake Strikes Offshore Panganiban, Philippines

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:50 AM PST

Falklands on HIGH ALERT: Hundreds of British troops sent to Islands to boost security

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:45 AM PST

Falklands on HIGH ALERT: Hundreds of British troops sent to Islands to boost security They are part of a force of more than 1,000 soldiers being prepared for duty in the south Atlantic and will be sent out in five tranches of 150 to 300. They will include members of the Royal Artillery and 3 Commando, Royal Marines, with each group staying on the islands for three to six weeks. Military chiefs are mounting a series of “high readiness reinforcement” exercises to plug a strategic gap until the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is operational in 2020.  Senior military sources say the war games will be “low profile” as part of a commitment to ensure the UK can secure its overseas garrisons. Currently the islands have a core military presence of 1,200 troops, four Typhoon fighter jets and a missile battery. A senior source said: “The aim is to put more than 1,000 troops from five different cap badges into the islands by November but they will deploy in small groups from 150 to 300, for short tours.” Last night the Ministry of Defence said there were “currently no plans to increase the number of troops deployed to the Falklands”. However, the military source said the plan did not represent a “permanent increase in garrison numbers but a series of high-readiness exercises”. Last night Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, of the UK National Defence Association, said: “I was deputy commander and air commander in 1997, when we had 2,000 troops stationed on the islands. At that time we said we were not prepared to reduce them because we could not know what Argentina had in mind: 2,000 troops was, in our opinion, the absolute minimum required to secure a proper defence. Yet this has been reduced to 1,200 and that includes cooks and medics.” More

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A Strong Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake strikes La Punta, Argentina

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:40 AM PST

Mike Huckabee: Room in the GOP tent for gay marriage supporters

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:36 AM PST

Mike HuckabeeThere’s “room in the tent” for Republicans who support gay marriage, Mike Huckabee said Sunday. “The very fact that I talk about the relationships I have with friends who are gay indicate that I’m not a person who shuts out everyone around me who disagrees with me, ” Huckabee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Huckabee, however, is still opposed to gay marriage, saying “it’s a biblical issue” and that unless he gets a new version of the scriptures, he won’t “evolve” on the issue. The former Arkansas governor, who is weighing another bid for the GOP presidential nomination, also responded to the results of a recent Bloomberg News/Des Moines Register poll of prospective 2016 Republican Iowa caucus goers. Huckabee came in third at 13 percent behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 15 percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 14 percent. “It’s a little too early to take too much into it,” Huckabee said. “Now, quite honestly, if I were at the top of the poll, I would tell you this is very significant. The fact that I’m not, well, it’s not as important as it seems to be. I mean, that’s how this game is played.” Politico

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Britain Bracing for Arctic Misery

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:32 AM PST

Britain Bracing for Arctic Misery Temperatures are set to remain freezing for the next four weeks with no end to the cold spell until spring. Experts say the “coldest spell of winter” is about to bite with four inches of snow expected. Those areas so far spared snow are on alert from today with severe weather warnings in place through the week as bitter winds sweep in from Scandinavia and the Arctic. The North faces four more inches of snow with wintry showers forecast across the Midlands and as far south as London, Kent and the South-east. Met Office forecasters last night warned that plunging temperatures will struggle to get above freezing when wind-chill is factored in. Experts say this winter is threatening to match the big freeze of 2010. Forecaster Simon Partridge said: “It’s going to stay very cold this week with winds coming from a north-easterly direction. They will move over the North Sea and bring more snowfall. “Further wintry showers are expected in eastern and western parts while rain will freeze overnight making some very icy stretches of road.” The freezing weather is being bolstered by an erratic jet stream that has plunged southwards, leaving the UK at the mercy of cold from the Arctic. Temperatures in the North this week will plummet to -10C overnight while widespread lows of -6C (21F) will be driven by bitter polar winds. James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “As we progress into the rest of the month there are likely to be some significant changes to an even colder scenario. This will bring widespread snow.” More

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Winter storm warning in effect for Toronto as temperatures plunge

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:27 AM PST

Winter storm warning in effect for Toronto as temperatures plunge A weather system that rolled into the GTA Sunday night could leave up to 15 cm of accumulation on the ground just in time for the Monday morning commute. Environment Canada is calling for snow, which could be heavy at times, and blowing snow, before the morning rush hour. The weather agency predicts anywhere from 10 to 15 cm of snow could fall before Monday’s drive. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP said Sunday afternoon that police in Burlington and Hamilton were “swamped” with reports of collisions, and he warned drivers to be careful. Air travellers were being cautioned too. Pearson International Airport reported dozens of flight cancellations on Sunday and tweeted that passengers should check the status of their flights. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, meanwhile, cancelled more than two dozen flights Sunday. Porter Airlines, Billy Bishop Airport’s main tenant, said on its website that delays and cancellations are possible for those travelling to Windsor, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Halifax, Moncton and Newark. Meanwhile, temperatures are dropping and Toronto’s chief medical officer of health has issued an extreme cold weather alert. With the wind chill, it could feel as cold as – 25 C overnight, according to Environment Canada. The weather agency says drivers can expect slippery road conditions and blowing snow that could make driving difficult on Monday morning. Winds from the north east of 30 km/h could gust up to 50 km/h. More

 

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FBI’s Cold War ‘Plan C’ Prepared For Nuclear Attack, Including Martial Law

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:15 AM PST

FBI’s Cold War ‘Plan C’ Prepared For Nuclear Attack, Including Martial LawThe United States government made extreme, top-secret plans for preserving national security in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War, according to documents recently released to transparency journalism organization MuckRock. The FBI created “Plan C” in 1956, the same year the Red Army shut down the Hungarian Revolution, and if activated, Plan C would have put the nation under martial law and allowed for nearly 13,000 people to be detained for having links to “subversive organizations.” The FBI held a briefing with three top officials from every department to distribute papers outlining Plan C, which was later given to FBI field offices. The plan was ordered to be destroyed in July 1957. Although the plan was never released, MuckRock’s memos from closed meetings with high-ranking officials give readers an idea of what could have happened. Plan C would have gone into effect “after a war has begun in which the U.S. is involved or may become involved and prior to an actual attack on the U.S. itself,” according to the documents. Government organizations would decide which of their employees were essential and have them hide out in backup offices. Soviet embassies would be searched for weapons, radios and explosives. Up to 900 Soviet diplomats and couriers would be taken into custody. In an emergency, the government would also have activated a detention program that would have led to arrests for “individuals whose affiliations with subversive organizations are so pronounced that their continued liberty in the event of national emergency would present a serious threat,” according to the documents. The exact number of people who would be affected was set at 12,949. More

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DF-21D ballistic missiles deployed to Guangdong

Posted: 02 Feb 2015 07:12 AM PST

DF-21D ballistic missiles deployed to GuangdongTo stop US carrier groups from entering South China Sea waters, the Second Artillery Corps, China’s strategic missile force, has recently deployed DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles to the southern province of Guangdong, according to the Canada-based Kanwa Defense Review. The expansion of the Second Artillery Corps unit in Guangdong began in 2010, according to a report from the Pentagon. It has nine parking lots for the mobile launchers and an additional 13 lots for other vehicles. The facilities apparently also contain a training field, office building and checkpost, according to a satellite photo. With an attack range of 2,700 kilometers, the DF-21D can be used to form a blockade against the United States and allies in the Western Pacific. Those missiles would very likely be used against a US carrier battle group in the disputed southern seas and the Taiwan Strait. Similar missile systems of the Second Artillery Corps have been deployed to other bases around China. Want China Times

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The Briefing

1) CUNY revocation of gender-specific prefixes signals extent of gender revolution’s impact on language

CUNY: Don’t Address Students as ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’, Wall Street Journal (Mike Vilensky)

University Bans Use of ‘Mrs.’ and ‘Ms.’ in All Correspondence, The College Fix (Alexandra Zimmern)

2) “Second wave” political correctness causing increasing tension even within political left

Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say, New York Magazine (Jonathan Chait)

Liberals Seek PC Exemption, National Review (Kevin D. Williamson)

Our Loud, Proud Left, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

3) Life of Winston Churchill presents tremendous example of gift of common grace

In other news…

U.S. Considers Supplying Arms to Ukraine Forces, Officials Say, New York Times (Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt)

Patriots capture first Super Bowl in a decade, Boston Globe (Dan Shaughnessy)

Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes Worst Measles Epidemic In 20 Years, Forbes (Steven Salzburg)

Is pot the new gay marriage for the GOP?, Politico (Jonathan Topaz)

New Religion and Science Study Reveal ‘Post-Secular’ Rejection Of Evolution, Huffington Post (Cathy Lynn Grossman)

The Myth of the Harmless Wrong, New York Times (Kurt Gray and Chelsea Schein)


Pastor Claims ‘Divine Wind’ Moved Him to Fully Accept Practicing Homosexuals 

Compulsory income tax on Christians drives Germans away from churches

Catholic Judge orders non Catholic father to take his children to Catholic church

Jehovah’s Witness Church threatens to excommunicate any member caught voting…

Nigeria Elections Put Christians in Danger of More Muslim Attacks


Apostasy and Responsibility

Jude was warning the Body of Christ that there will be a constant barrage of false teaching and false teachers who will attempt to corrupt the message and mission of the church. His exhortation is clear that it is the responsibility of every believer to be proactive in the fight against the false teaching.

Every believer should be endeavoring to be a Berean-like disciple who is so grounded in the Word so that they are able to discern the difference between Truth and the threat of growing Apostasy—as a result of the teaching of false prophets.

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7 Lessons from 50 Shades of Grey

The trailer is smoldering temptingly on computers around the globe. Fans of the book are checking their diaries and booking tickets online. Reviewers are readying their pens and preparing their remarks. In just a few short days 50 Shades of Grey will hit the big screen, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

On one level, this is just another in a long line of films with a storyline that portrays sex and relationships in ways far removed from God’s design. But it is so much more than that. I believe that 50 Shades of Grey can serve as a kind of cultural barometer that alerts us to the colossal changes that have been occurring in recent years, and to the consequences they bring.

So what can the 50 Shades phenomenon teach us today? I teamed up with Helen Thorne, who has written Purity Is Possible: How To Live Free of the Fantasy Trap, and together we prepared 7 lessons from 50 Shades of Grey.

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Remaking God in Three Easy Steps

It’s no surprise that many people in the world have their own concept of what and who God is. We are living in a day where some ‘professing Christians’ are trying to market God in a user friendly package. We will now look at some reasons for their religious marketing scheme and their bent on remaking God in 3 easy steps.

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Franklin Graham: I’m Not Going to Run

“Now I’m not talking about Baptists or Republicans and the Tea Party,” he said. “I have no confidence that any of these politicians or any party is going to turn this country around. The only hope for this country is for men and women of God to stand up and take a stand.”

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The forbidden Bible

By Roy Peterson

2014 had the highest level of modern Christian persecution

Religious persecution is not something that most Americans have personally experienced. While we may hear the odd snide remark about our religious group or be offended by the depiction of our faith in popular entertainment, we nevertheless experience an unsurpassed degree of religious freedom. We wake up each day with the ability to read our sacred texts, attend our religious services, and speak and write freely about our beliefs. While incidences of targeted religious hostilities do exist in the U.S., they are relatively few and far between.

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Rev. Graham: Christians Need to Get Involved in Politics

(CNS News)—…”Our country has changed.,” said Franklin Graham. “We’ve got to take a stand. We cannot back up, we cannot retreat.”

The reverend, who oversees the organization his father founded, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the international relief group Samaritan’s Purse, went on to say that Christian men and women must enter the political arena to turn America in the right direction.

“Let me tell you something, the church needs to get involved in politics,” he said. “Now I’m not talking about Baptist or Republicans and Tea Party—I don’t even know who they are—but I have no confidence that any of these politicians or any party is going to turn this country around. The only hope for this country is for men and women of God to stand up and take a stand.”

“We need men and women of God who take these local elections serious, so we can take back these various offices and have men and women of God who believe in the Bible, who stand on the word of God,” said Rev. Graham. “And let’s send to Washington men and women who believe in God and stand on the word of God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who are not afraid.”…

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Shariah Law in the U.S.

by A.Spreeman

Forty-five years have passed and the U.S. is still in denial. The Muslim brotherhood planted its tentacles in the U.S. by establishing its Muslim student associations in American universities. You would think the attack of 9/11 would have got America awakened to fight an ideology that has one thing on its mind – that is […]

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Should Christians Praise Snipers? (Rick Phillips)

I have decided to go see the movie American Sniper because by all accounts it thoughtfully delves into the moral contours of warfare and killing.  Whether we prefer to acknowledge it or not, our society has been at war for over a decade and large numbers of our young people have had to face the trauma of combat.  We owe it to them to face the reality they have been living and to help them deal with the psychological challenges of active military service.  It is my hope that American Sniper will play a role in that cause.

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Gay Christians: Now Becoming the Norm?

by A.Spreeman

A lot of Christians – especially in leadership – are changing their minds about homosexuality being listed among the sins God hates. What has changed? Are there really gay Christians? And if so, we really don’t need to evangelize or share truth with them, do we? The following is posted by Dr. Terry Mortenson on […]

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Swedish company implants microchips in its staff

by A.Spreeman

At least with smartphones we can put them down or remove the batteries. With implantable chips, you’re forever and continually tracked. A Swedish company has implanted microchips in its staff which allows them to use the photocopier, open security doors and even pay for their lunch. It is hoped that eventually around 700 employees from […]

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The Gay-Affirming Church: Witnessing to a New Breed of False Converts

by A.Spreeman

Recently we shared that a pastor of GracePointe Church, who leads the megachurch congregation that country star Carrie Underwood attends, announced from the pulpit that not only can practicing homosexuals be members, but those in sexual sin can now fully serve in his church and will be allowed to “marry” at the facility. In his […]

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WVW-TV Presents: Mike Abendroth on 10 Reasons Altar Calls Are Not A Good Idea

Watch now before this rolls into the Situation Room for members only: Click here to watch now:
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/10-reasons-altar-calls-are-not-&#8230; [1]

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WVW-TV Presents: Islamic Lies About Jesus in America’s Textbooks With Host Usama Dakdok

WVW-TV Presents: Islamic Lies About Jesus in America’s Textbooks With Host Usama Dakdok. Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room for members only. Click here to watch now:
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Headlines of Interest


A deadly fundamentalism

by A.Spreeman

When it comes to so-called “radical” Islam, we in the West take comfort in certain words and definitions that imply that we’re safer than perhaps we really are. Today we’re going to define some words Christians need to know: Taquia, abrogation, Shariah, and more. And we’re going to suggest a change in the way all […]

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Those Considering Divorce – Randy Alcorn has some thoughts for those who are considering divorce. He says, “This is NOT an attack piece on the divorced. It is written for the many believers who may be considering a divorce too soon because it is a cultural norm.”


Pornography: How It Works and How to Reverse Its Effects (Part 1 of 2)

by David Huffstutler

Below is more or less a paper I wrote in preparing for a men’s Bible study at my church. I hope you find it helpful.

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Biblical Reasons to Believe that the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods

by Mark Snoeberger

When Justin Taylor released a blog entry last Wednesday defending a non-literal use of days in Genesis 1, and thus suggesting at least the possibility that the universe is quite ancient, both Ben Edwards and I sat down, without consulting, to write responses. While identical in ideology, our approaches were different enough, I think to merit posting both. Below, then, is a point-by-point answer to Taylor’s major arguments followed by my own counterargument in favor of 24-hour days.

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Discerning the Times: Secularism, Naturalism, & Atheism

Here’s a breakout session I did for our church’s men’s retreat on an awareness and a response to the increasing secularism and atheism in our culture. Little of this will represent new information or arguments to regular readers of Triablogue, but perhaps it serves to have some of this material in one audio presentation that could be shared with others.


The Miracle of Morality

Can you be good if you don’t believe in God? For the simple and uncontroversial answer, stay tuned to BreakPoint.
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Slander in the Camp

How many of you have witnessed the evils of slander? Sadly, it happens all the time in circles of people who name Jesus as their King and Redeemer. The more I speak with leaders and fellow Christians, the more I realize how prevalent this is. Continue reading

 


Seven Trends in the Offertory in Churches

For most Protestant churches, the offertory is the time of worship where church members make financial gifts to God through the church. It may be combined with special music or announcements, but the central theme is giving to God.

I am seeing seven major trends develop related to this aspect of worship services. The changes have been subtle but noticeable.

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10 Pointers for Young Preachers

Do not journey alone. Preaching is often a lonely ministry. Prayerfully pursue mentors and prayer partners who can speak into your life. Find a string of Bible read-through partners and chase God together in His Word. Have a lifelong conversation with God. There are too many technically capable and theologically informed preachers that have no meaningful relationship with God.

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And We Thought Free Range Was For Chickens

Free range parenting isn’t new, it’s actually a return to the way our grandparents did it. But we can’t exactly rewind the clock. While I’d like to be challenged as a parent that the helicopter approach is harmful, and that every minute and crumb in my child’s day does not need to be planned and accounted for, our changing technology presents both benefits and challenges our ancestors didn’t face. Perhaps if we don’t ruin them too much, the next generation can contribute to the future of sustainable parenting.

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Canadian Justice: You Can’t Block Lawyers Over Their Alma Mater Banning Gay Sex

In his decision, Justice Jamie Campbell wrote that asking TWU to change its community covenant was akin to the NSBS dictating what professors be offered tenure or setting admissions policies: This decision isn’t about whether LGBT equality rights are more or less important that the religious freedoms of Evangelical Christians. It’s not a value judgment in that sense at all. It is first about whether the NSBS had the authority to do what it did. It is also about whether, even if it had that authority, the NSBS reasonably considered the implications of its actions on the religious freedoms of TWU and its students in a way that was consistent with Canadian legal values of inclusiveness, pluralism, and the respect for the rule of law.

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Christians in Niger Return Home After Violent Muslim Rampage

The nation is overwhelmingly Muslim. Only one in every 300 residents is a Christian. Even so, Niger wasn’t on the World Watch list as a hotbed of Christian persecution. Amie Cotton of Christian Aid Mission said the violence shocked believers there. “In Niger, there has never been a riot of this sort,” she said. “Christians and Muslims have lived peacefully up to this time. It’s a small-knit community where people know each other, so even though they don’t have the same religious beliefs, there was respect.”

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Worship: Man’s Chief End?

Rather than making the church yet another busy segment of our lives, what would happen if we scaled down our involvements in order to make Sunday worship the central and most vital and well-attended day of the church’s week? What would happen if our services were not marked by the flash and bounce of the church nearest us, but by “ordinary” things as the clear and careful preaching of the Word, the simple observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the singing of hymns with tunes that are easy to learn and sing, the public reading of Scripture, and thoughtful prayer?

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Josh Harris Leaves Pulpit to Attend Seminary

“I was 30 years old, with no formal theological training and no formal training in organizational leadership, and I was the senior pastor of a 3,000 member church,” Harris said, describing his experiences as a “backwards life.” Now 40, Harris said he needs a time for reflection and study.

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Another Pastor Self-Congratulates for Endorsing “Gay Christianity”

Today, we need many more Machens, fearless and clear in their convictions, and many less Fosdicks, bending with the culture and afraid of its condemnation. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ–not the church of the Most Holy Culture–needs leaders who will remember that, whatever happens to them on this earth, there are higher stakes than being liked and approved of by a sin-cursed world. Such leaders are not sad about defending orthodoxy.

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When Your Church Is In Trouble: Tell The Truth, Face The Future

The vision of the future must be clear, which is why leaders who know “what time it is” organizationally will be relentless in the pursuit of clarity, both for themselves and the people they lead. Without clarity regarding changes, people will disagree on the direction, perhaps due to confusion or questions about the necessity of the decisions.

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Don’t Blame Perry Noble

Now, I realize that there are nuanced arguments to be made on both sides of this debate and that there are reputable scholars who doubt the confessional Reformed doctrine of God’s Law. But I just want to say that if the popular organs of Reformed teaching are going to promote this kind of doctrine, then we should not blame Perry Noble for endorsing it. After all, when he completely discards the Ten Commandments of God on the authority of a taxi driver, Noble is only spreading the ideas that more reputable Reformed figures are teaching.

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Lead On: Thoughts on Women, Leadership, and Motherhood

So often the question of leadership is framed in terms of the differences between men and women.But what if leadership isn’t primarily about the differences between men and women but about the differences between girls and women? What if leadership means taking responsibility for those around you and utilizing your God-given gifts to help them flourish? What if leadership is something that all of us do in various places and seasons of life?

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A More Generous Calvinism

This is not the first book I’ve read by Oliver Crisp, nor will it be the last. Even when exploring “liminal places” (3), his theology is deeply informed by and respectful of the Reformed tradition. This work is no exception. The history is informative, the breadth of knowledge striking, and the arguments provocative. One can learn much from this book. My main complaint is that in the two instances meant to make the case for “deviant Calvinism,” the first example (libertarian free will) is not really Calvinist and the second example (hypothetical universalism) is not all that deviant.

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Ragnarok

Arguments for optimism regarding mainlines generally involve at least one of three things. First, there is often an assumption that liberalism, because it is ultimately a species of secularism in religious idiom, will simply die away, unable to offer more satisfactory answers to life’s questions than honest, open secularism. Second, there is the belief that numbers equate to influence and power. Third, there is failure to see how the battles within the church are now aligning with battles within the wider world in an unprecedented way which is serving to marginalize the orthodox cause in ways previously unimaginable.

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Narcissism in Ministry

Without the grace of God, pastors will VERY often allow this two-pronged engine to drive us into full pathological narcissism. The ministry is all about the minister at that point. The minister usurps the place of Jesus Christ. He becomes the personal lord and savior of his flock. You know that your minister has a big problem with this if he both flares up at the criticism and practically fawns over those people who praise him. What is interesting about this mental condition is that the situation is usually encouraged, while the word describing the situation is feared.

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A Classic Example of an Incoherent Worldview

In the end, Moore’s worldview faces some serious philosophical challenges. She wants to have absolute morality so that she can declare murder wrong (and thus advocate gun control), but at the same time she provides no coherent basis for what makes something right or wrong. Indeed, she has a worldview that actually destroys the possibility of their actually being any real right or wrong.

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Masculinity and Family Values: The Cure to Society’s Ills?

I’m very skeptical about “Christian” patriarchy and the Family Integrated Church movement for biblical and (Reformed) theological reasons. I’m also skeptical of these things for social (or sociological) reasons. I agree with many of the points made by the authors of Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction where the authors give some common suggestions on why American culture is crumbling.

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Hipster Churches in Silicon Valley: Evangelicalism’s Unlikely New Home

However you might define the spiritual needs of the modern, hipster-leaning young professional, those may be even more pronounced outside the density of San Francisco’s social environment. Forty miles south in Palo Alto, I went to C3SV (C3 Silicon Valley), which declares prominently on its website: “Not religious? Neither are we!” The distinction, says pastor Adam Smallcombe, is in what the government expects of a church and what people are really seeking.

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Biblical Reasons to Doubt Justin Taylor’s Doubts About the Creation Days Being 24-hour Periods

Justin Taylor has written an article on the Gospel Coalition, Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods. It is interesting; but I think ultimately very weak. For the record, I’m not committed to a young earth. I think the evidence is inconclusive (one might even say it is ambivalent). Neither am I committed to the calendar-day interpretation of Genesis 1. But I don’t think Justin’s article, at least, gives us good reasons to doubt that interpretation. I’ll work through his arguments using his headings:

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The Water Vapor Canopy

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I know you believe there was a water vapor canopy surrounding the Earth before the flood, but I recently read an article claiming that both the Bible and science agree that couldn’t have been so.  The author’s conclusions are based on two Hebrew words in Genesis 1:6-7 and the fact that our atmosphere couldn’t support the amount of water it would take.  What do you think?  Did God change the atmosphere so He could put the water vapor canopy in place?

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6,000 Years Or 4.5 Million?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. How long have humans been on earth?  I have read your answer on this topic and if I remember correctly, you stated that Adam & Eve were created about 6 thousand years ago.  But scientists have discovered the human remains of a 4.5 million year old woman.  I’m confused, and I look forward to reading your answer.

continue reading


 

Salvation In The Millennium

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. As there will be sin on earth during the Millennium, what is the “process” for being saved: for the forgiveness of sin?  With Jesus reigning from Jerusalem, and the likelihood of members of the Church visiting, or even teaching, or policing, on earth during the Millennium, how is it possible that some mortals will not be saved during that time?  How can they fail to believe and be saved?

continue reading


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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GTY Blog: The Home of a Godly Shepherd

1 Timothy 3:4-5

Code: B150202

by John MacArthur

The pastor’s primary mission field is not his congregation or the surrounding community—it’s his own home. His abilities to communicate the gospel, to be a godly example, and to lead others in sanctification and godliness are never more accurately on display than in the lives of his family.

That’s why Paul included the quality of a man’s home life as one of the key qualifications for leadership in the church.

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?). (1 Timothy 3:4–5)

It is not enough for the overseer to have an exemplary personal life, he must also have an exemplary home life. He must not be, like Talkative in Pilgrim’s Progress, “a saint abroad, and a devil at home.” The family is the proving ground for leadership skills.

Throughout history, there have been those who advocated celibacy for spiritual leaders. Such a faction existed in Ephesus (cf. 1 Timothy 4:3). In contrast, however, the Word of God assumes that a leader will be married and have a family. Although that does not eliminate single men, it is nevertheless the norm. Spiritual leaders are to be successful leaders in the family.

Leadership at Home

The word “manages” means the elder presides, or has authority over his household. In the home, as in the church, it is God’s plan for men to assume the leadership role.

Paul is also concerned about the quality of the elder’s leadership. “Well” is from kalos, a rich word that could also be translated excellently. Its meaning can be better understood by comparing it to agathos. Agathos means inherently, morally, or practically good. Kalos takes that a step further and adds the idea of aesthetically good, beautiful, and appealing to the eye. An elder must be one whose leadership in the home is not only intrinsically good, but also visibly good.

It is possible for a man to meet the moral qualifications for a pastor, yet be disqualified because of his evident lack of leadership in the home. A man who came to Christ later in life, after his wife and children had established patterns of behavior, and had a home in chaos, could serve the Lord, but not as an elder or a deacon (1 Timothy 3:12).

“Household” includes an elder’s family and more, because it reaches to everything connected with the home. He must be a good steward of his house and his finances—all the people and resources over which he has responsibility. Someone, for example, who managed his family well, but mismanaged his money and possessions, would be disqualified.

Further, a leader in the church must keep “his children under control with all dignity.” That qualification is not meant to exclude men without children, but merely assumes they will be present. Hupotagē (“under control”) is a military term. It speaks of lining up in rank under one in authority. An elder’s children are to be respectful and well-disciplined. “Dignity” includes courtesy, humility, and competence. It could be translated respect, or stateliness. An elder’s children must bring honor to their parents. The obvious implication is that his family is ordered, disciplined, not rebellious, as Paul adds in Titus 1:6, “not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”

Why Does His Leadership at Home Matter in the Church?

The reason a church leader must have a well-managed home is obvious: “If a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5).

An elder is responsible for leading people to God, to holiness, to obedience, and to witness—crucial matters that must be tested and proven in his own home. Establishing a church culture of resolving conflict, building unity, maintaining love, and serving each other is a challenge that begins in the home. If he succeeds in his family, he is likely to succeed in God’s family. If not, he is disqualified.

(Adapted from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy.)


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The Cripplegate: 5 Signs of Spiritual Maturity (reprise)

Let me start by saying that it’s not wrong for a new believer to be immature any more than it’s wrong for a child to be childish.

Puerility is only annoying in an adult. When a four year old dons a cape and wears his underwear over his pants, claiming x-ray vision it’s cute. When his dad does that it’s concerning (or certifiable).

When you’ve been a believer for many years though, lack of these indicators should be concerning.

Mature believers possess these 5 indicators…

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February 2, 2015 Persecution Update

Boko Haram’s Campaign of Terror Continues in Nigeria

ICC Note:

In a recent interview with human rights lawyer and activist Emmanuel Ogebe, a Christian boy escapee from Boko Haram detailed some of the horror he witnessed while under the control of the radical Islamic insurgency pursuing the establishment of a separate Islamic state to be ruled by Sharia law.


Bishops’ Conference in India Expresses Concern over ‘Shocking’ Attacks on Christians and Churches

ICC Note:

A Special Consultation held by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has expressed concern over the recent rise of Christian persecution spreading across India.


Nigeria: “One of the Worst Places for Christians”

ICC Note:

According to Raymond Ibrahim, author of “Muslim Persecution of Christians,” Nigeria is one of the “worst places for Christians.” Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency bent on establishing a separate Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has waged a campaign of terror against the West African nation’s northern Christians for years, killing thousand and destroying hundreds of churches.


U.S. Congressman Speaks Out Against Persecution in India

ICC Note:

The year 2014 was a difficult year for India’s Christian community. The election of the Hindu nationalist party BJP and their leader Prime Minister Modi has led to a skyrocketing of attacks on India’s religious minorities, including Christians.


 

 

 

 

 

Outline: Christian Approach Towards Video Entertainment

The Domain for Truth

Worldview dilemmas blog series veritas domain

Purpose: Workshop participants will consider entertainment from a biblically informed perspective with the specific application towards movies and videos, so that you may be equipped to respond to it properly in evangelism, edification and exalting God.

What this message is not going to say:

  • Throw away all TVs.
  • Movie is of the devil per se.
  • Everything we watch is permitted.

  1. Entertainment in the context of Leisure
    1. Towards a definition: Relationship of work, leisure and entertainment
      1. It is important to define our terms.
      2. It might be helpful to define our terms in light of the relationship of work, leisure and entertainment because they are inter-related.
  • Work seems easier to define than the other two: What we do to provide economically for our needs and wants, which result in the production of goods and services.
  1. Leisure is opposed to work, in that it is the time and activities which occur free from…

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Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastor’s Conference 2013 & 2014

Reformedontheweb's Blog

Conference Audio

SCRBPC 2013 on SermonAudio

1.Lecture 1: Christology and the Letter to Laodicea Dr. Gregory Beale
2.Lecture 2: Christology and the Doctrine of Inerrancy Dr. Gregory Beale
3.Lecture 3: Symbolism and Interpretation in Revelation Dr. Gregory Beale
4.Lecture 4: A Test Case in Symbolic Interpretation Dr. Gregory Beale
5.Lecture 5: Theology on Target: The Scope of the Whole James M. Renihan
6.Lecture 6: Christ as the Scope of Scripture Richard Barcellos

SCRBPC 2014 on SermonAudio

1.Lecture 1: The Importance of Scripture Dr Carl R. Trueman
2.Lecture 2: The Inspiration of Scripture Dr Carl R. Trueman
3. From the Garden to the Covenant of Works Richard Barcellos
4.Lecture 3: The Clarity of Scripture Dr Carl R. Trueman
5.Lecture 4: A Reformation Theology of Preaching Dr Carl R. Trueman
6.Sufficient, Certain, and Infallible James M. Renihan

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Arming Weak Christians

The Reformed Reader

I (Shane) am heading to the Desiring God Pastors’ Conference in Minneapolis today.  I don’t go to many conferences, I have to admit, but since this one is very close and since I can always use encouragement and instruction in the pastoral ministry, I’m heading there soon (if any of our readers are planning on being there, feel free to drop a note so we can say hello in person!).

On the topic of pastoral ministry, here’s a helpful word from Thomas Brooks that has to do with gospel preaching that strengthens weak Christians.  In the context of this quote, Brooks is refuting some teachers and preachers who were saying that each Christian has a “bosom sin” or a “beloved sin” that besets them.  His argument (summarized) is that while Christians may commit various sins, they do not love sins nor do they love to sin.  Here’s one of his…

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Where to Get Wisdom (James 3:13–18)

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

road_to_wisdomWisdom was an important thing to Jewish people. They realized it was not enough to have knowledge; you had to have wisdom to be able to use that knowledge correctly. All of us know people who are very intelligent, perhaps almost geniuses, and yet who seemingly are unable to carry out the simplest tasks of life. They can run computers, but they cannot manage their own lives! “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom” (Prov. 4:7).

James continued to exhort the people in the assembly who wanted to be teachers of the Word (James 3:1). It is not enough simply to stand before the people and say words; you must have something to say. This is where spiritual wisdom comes in. Knowledge enables us to take things apart, but wisdom enables us to put things together and relate God’s truth to daily life. All of us have heard…

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Discern, Discernment, Discerner, Prove

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

2 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· [ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε· εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός· 3 καὶ πρωΐ· σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε; (Matthew 16:2-3 NA28)

2 But He answered them saying, “When evening has come you say, ‘Fair weather, for the sky is fiery red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘Today stormy weather, for the sky, being overcast, is fiery red.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

The lack of spiritual discernment is a plague in the visible Church in our time. We see this in so-called “church leaders” going after every form of “entertainment” in order to increase numbers in their “churches.” We see this in calls from so-called “church…

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