Daily Archives: February 5, 2015

February 5, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

There is no life so deeply and tragically sinful that it’s beyond the reach of God’s amazing rescuing grace. —Paul Tripp

February 2 quotes


Feb. 5, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Senate Democrats for a second time blocked a Republican effort to roll back President Obama’s orders shielding millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from deportation. The 53-47 vote, with 60 required to advance the bill, was a repeat of a similar vote a day earlier.

Anthem Inc., the second biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, said hackers obtained data on tens of millions of current and former customers and employees in a sophisticated attack that has led to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. The information compromised includes names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street and e-mail addresses and employee data, including income, Anthem said in an e-mail.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed jobless claims last week, hovering around levels that are typically associated with an improving job market. Applications for unemployment benefits increased by 11,000 to 278,000 in the week ended Jan. 31

Harvard University banned professors from having “sexual or romantic relationships” with undergraduates, joining a list of campuses that have taken similar steps. Recent moves by Harvard, Yale University and the University of Connecticut suggest the tide may be turning.

Pension checks will shrink 6.7 percent for 12,000 Detroit retirees beginning in March. Making matters worse, many also must pay back thousands of dollars of excess interest they received.

Spanish banks are trying to persuade homebuyers to change their habits by taking out American-style fixed-rate mortgages for as long as 30 years.

AP Top Stories

President Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast, condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.” Among those attending the annual gathering of politicians, dignitaries and faith leaders was the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Islamic State has killed three Chinese militants who joined its ranks in Syria and Iraq and later attempted to flee, a Chinese state-run newspaper said, the latest account of fighters from China embroiled in the Middle East conflict.

Taiwan rescuers scoured a river for 12 people still missing from a TransAsia plane crash Thursday, as the pilot, who died in the crash, was hailed a hero for apparently battling to avoid hitting built-up areas.

Fox News broadcast still images of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh being burned alive by Islamic State jihadists before posting full raw footage from the execution video on its website.

Saudi Arabia beheaded two convicted rapists and a murderer on Wednesday, the interior ministry said, bringing to 21 the number of people it has executed so far this year.

Nigerian Boko Haram fighters went on the rampage in the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol, massacring dozens of civilians and torching a mosque before being repelled by regional forces.

U.S. worker productivity went into reverse in the final three months of the year, while labor costs increased. Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, fell at 1.8 percent rate in the fourth quarter after rising at a 3.7 percent rate in the third quarter.

BBC

Diplomatic efforts are under way to end renewed fighting in Ukraine, as the US warns that it will not close its eyes to “Russian aggression”.

The man accused of operating Silk Road, a deep web marketplace where illegal drugs were sold, has been found guilty by a jury in New York.

The chairman of the US’s communications watchdog intends to defend the principles of net neutrality by treating net providers as utilities.

Al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has claimed members of the Saudi royal family helped fund the 9/11 attacks. Moussaoui, imprisoned in Colorado for his role in the attacks, gave testimony in October to lawyers for 9/11 victims suing the country.

The US is set to destroy its largest remaining cache of chemical-laden artillery shells, bringing it closer to complying with an international treaty. The Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado will begin neutralizing mustard agent in 780,000 shells in March.

New cases of Ebola have gone up for first time this year in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the WHO said, as it released its latest weekly figures.

Boko Haram militants have reportedly killed at least 70 people in an attack on the Cameroonian town of Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria. The Islamist militants attacked civilians in their homes and in the town’s mosque, local officials said, setting many buildings on fire.

Police in the Indian capital, Delhi, detained dozens of people who were protesting against recent attacks on churches in the city.

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste returned to the Australian city of Brisbane to be reunited with his family, after his release from an Egyptian prison.

WND

Jordanian fighter pilots carried out devastating sorties against ISIS early Thursday, making good on their king’s vow of vengeance for the horrific burning of a captured airman – whose hometown the jets buzzed triumphantly after the mission.

A charge that had been filed against a pro-life advocate in North Dakota who was driving a van plastered with “overly graphic” abortion images has been dismissed by a judge after attorneys for defendant Robert Rudnick argued the count violated the First Amendment.

Norway has proposed a law which would make it illegal to help people begging in the street. The draft would not only make it a crime to ask for money, but also to help those who beg. The rules will state that those offering money, food or shelter to beggars will face up to a year in prison.

The current measles outbreaks sweeping the country are the fault, at least partly, of Barack Obama’s lax immigration practices, according to several leading experts and commentators.


It Is About To Get Ugly: Oil Is Crashing And So Is Greece

The price of oil collapsed by more than 8 percent on Wednesday, and a decision by the European Central Bank has Greece at the precipice of a complete and total financial meltdown. What a difference 24 hours can make. On Tuesday, things really seemed like they were actually starting to get better. The price of oil had rallied by more than 20 percent since last Thursday, things in Europe seemed like they were settling down, and there appeared to be a good deal of optimism about how global financial markets would perform this month. But now fear is back in a big way. Of course nobody should get too caught up in how the markets behave on any single day. The key is to take a longer term point of view. And the fact that the markets have been on such a roller coaster ride over the past few months is a really, really bad sign. When things are calm, markets tend to steadily go up. But when the waters start really getting choppy, that is usually a sign that a big move down in on the horizon. So the huge ups and the huge downs that we have witnessed in recent days are likely an indicator that rough seas are ahead. (Read More.…)


Saudi Arabia And ISIS Both Want The Same Thing: World Domination

When ISIS released a video which showed Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive, it shocked the entire planet. The evil that it takes to do such a thing is on a level that is almost unspeakable. In the western world, we have a very hard time understanding what would motivate anyone to take a life in such a manner. But in the Middle East, this brand of tyranny has been percolating for a very, very long time. The brand of Islam that ISIS seeks to impose on the areas of Iraq and Syria that it has conquered has been practiced in Saudi Arabia for centuries. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also publicly flogs those that “insult Islam”. Just like ISIS, Saudi Arabia also beheads those that commit serious violations of sharia law. And it is no secret that the Saudis have been pouring billions upon billions of dollars into organizations that promote jihad all over the globe. But because they have a quarter of the world’s oil reserves and they pretend to be our friends, we don’t say anything. They may be more subtle than ISIS, but ultimately they have the same goal as ISIS. When it is all said and done, the Saudis and ISIS both agree that Islam will ultimately rule the world one day. The only disagreement is about how to get there. (Read More...)


Democrats Ready to Join Obama in Snubbing Netanyahu Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress next month on the need for stronger sanctions against Iran is turning into a major political and diplomatic blunder for the Israeli leader just weeks before that country’s elections. Many Democrats are considering boycotting the speech, scheduled for March 3. Others took the highly unusual step Wednesday of meeting with the Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer in an effort to get Netanyahu to postpone his address.

Read more


Markell calls out World Vision leader for anti-Israel comments

Haas compared so-called “Christian Zionists” to Spanish inquisitors, Crusaders, supporters of apartheid South Africa, and other historical atrocities.

“He says Israel is apartheid on steroids,” comments Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. ”

“And this is so ludicrous for anybody who’s been to Israel – who’s observed how the Palestinian people are treated in Israel,” Markell adds. “Israel allows their Arab population the most freedom of any other nation in the whole Middle East.”

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The Real Leader of the Free World: Valerie Jarrett

And another Muslim in the White House . . .

According to the Examiner’s anonymous source, those were not the words of Kerry, but were the dictates of Valerie Jarrett, who had been born and raised in Iran, and has always shown sympathy for the fundamentalists in the Islamic religion. While a student at Stanford University, Jarrett admitted her loyalty to Islam and continues to object to any negative statements aimed at any part of her “religion of peace.”

“Farsi-speaking Valerie Jarrett, the senior advisor to Obama, his right-hand woman was born in Iran. She also has ties with terrorist William Ayers, and her father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett is a card-carrying communist party member.

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Graham: ‘Obama’s About to Unleash Hell on the Mideast’

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that President Obama is “about to unleash hell on the Mideast” with his policy towards Iran on Wednesday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“Why would you negotiate with a regime [Iran] that is building an ICBM, that is sponsoring terrorism at the highest level in modern times, why not just call a time-out and say ‘we’re not going to talk to you anymore about your nuclear program until you stop your weapons build-up and destabilizing the neighbors’? Does anybody really believe that Barack Obama would use military force against Iran after he drew a red line against Assad and did nothing?” he stated.

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‘Held at gunpoint’: Scandal rocks biggest Christian network

Famous names embroiled in $100 million allegation

The former chief financial officer of Trinity Broadcasting, the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has filed a lawsuit against her former company and its top bosses for allegedly threatening her with a loaded gun when she objected to “unlawful distributions” of $100 million to themselves and others.

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 29 by Brittany Koper, the granddaughter of TBN founder Paul Crouch Sr., who died last year, and her husband, Michael Koper, against Trinity Christian Center, International Christian Broadcasting, Matthew Crouch, Janice Crouch and John Casoria.

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Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”

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Four Blood Moons Docu-Drama Coming To A Movie Theatre Near You

Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s best-selling book, Four Blood Moons, is getting the “big-screen, live-action” treatment. A docu-drama based on the prophecy book, which suggests that certain lunar eclipses are tied to world events, is expected to be in theaters in March …………. Click here for full story


How Iran Is Encircling The Gulf And Israel

As U.S. President Barack Obama continues to seek a negotiated deal on Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranians have been working hard in recent weeks to infiltrate the Palestinian arena and re-establish ties with their erstwhile ally, Hamas ………. Click here for full story


‘Israel Is Behind Paris Terror Attacks And Other Lies Palestinians Believe

The overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs believe that Israel carried out the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, according to a new poll. Although at first blush one might be tempted to chuckle and turn the page, in fact the poll is not merely a curiosity. It has significant implications for the chances for Middle East peace……….. Click here for full story


2 Million-Strong CUFI Seeks To Double Down On Christian Support For Israel

“Usually after the first event, it’s like a firestorm,” said Pastor Scott Thomas, the Florida state director for Christians United for Israel (CUFI). “The excitement hits, the understanding settles in.” That, in short, illustrates the process through which CUFI has become America’s largest pro-Israel organization in less than a decade of existence……….. Click here for full story


Military Chaplains The New ‘Dont Ask, Don’t Tell?’

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was once a term used to refer to homosexuals in the military. Now, however, the term is more often being applied to Christians in uniform. Military chaplains are feeling the pressure to conform to the new reality, as some label biblical values “hate speech.” ……… Click here for full story


Daily Digest

February 5, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“In a despotic government, the only principle by which the tyrant who is to move the whole machine means to regulate and manage the people is fear, by the servile dread of his power. But a free government, which of all others is far the most preferable, cannot be supported without virtue.” –Samuel Williams, A Discourse on the Love of our Country, 1774

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Jordan Leads While Obama Obfuscates

Jordan’s King Abdullah, a key regional U.S. ally and former general, met with American lawmakers following the gruesome murder of Jordanian Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and Abdullah promised to fight ISIL until his nation runs “out of fuel and bullets.” Jordan already executed two Islamic State jihadis in retaliation. All 26 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican and Democrat, sent a letter to Barack Obama requesting he immediately back Jordan, but Obama continues to balk. For example, the U.S. flew 1,100 sorties daily against Iraq during OIF but is now flying a total of seven strike sorties against ISIL targets on an average day. Clearly, Arab coalition partners do not see U.S. leadership or commitment to eradicating ISIL, and some of them are quitting. Indeed, the United Arab Emirates pulled out of coalition airstrike support a month ago, though Obama failed to mention this. In fact, a DoD report dated Feb. 1, 2015, says, “U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq” — and it lists the UAE as one of the participants. Jordan, on the other hand, is leading the charge against ISIL. Obama stated this past weekend in regard to what we can do to defeat ISIL, “Anything we can do, we are doing.” But according to Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he’s not even admitting who the enemy is or where the enemy is even located.” Former DIA director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn likewise explained, “[O]ur failure … to understand this really menacing ideology has led us to a mismatch in how we are executing a strategy and how we are executing even some of our campaign plans on the military side.” In other words, Obama has failed to call our enemy what it is — Islamist — and in doing so we now have virtually no strategy for containing this very dangerous threat to U.S. national security.

Did an Islamist Convert Murder Chris Kyle?

Former Marine Eddie Routh will stand trial for the 2013 murder of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Kyle’s colleague, Chad Littlefield. The assumption has been that Routh suffered from PTSD, and his attorney says he’ll plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Kyle, who worked with PTSD vets, was working with Routh. But the Warfighter Foundation obtained Routh’s wartime record though a Freedom of Information Act request and found something astonishing: “Eddie Routh served one tour in Iraq in 2007, at Balad Air Base (the 2nd largest U.S. installation in Iraq), with no significant events. No combat experience. Let [us] say that again, he NEVER SAW COMBAT or any aspect of traumatic events associated with a combat deployment (i.e. incoming mortar or rocket fire). He never left the base, EVER.” What Routh did do, however, was guard captured Muslim terrorists at the Bilad Airbase prison. And some are speculating Routh had either converted to Islam or was in the process of doing so. There are no known ties between Routh and Islamist radicals, but, as Mark Alexander noted in Jihad — Target USA, “Describing Islamists as ‘lone wolf’ actors or ‘radicalized’ constitutes a lethal misunderstanding of the Jihadi threat. [They are] tied to worldwide Jihad by way of the Qur’an, the foundational fabric linking all Islamist violence.” If the speculation about Routh is correct, it puts Kyle’s death in a completely different light. More…

NBC’s Brian Williams Apologizes for Embellished Story

It took a recent story published in Stars and Stripes for NBC Nightly News managing editor and anchor Brian Williams to correct the record about an Iraq War account involving a helicopter hit by RPG fire — after veterans complained for years about fabrication. When the story was first told in March 2003, then-NBC anchor Tom Brokaw introduced Williams’ dispatch as a “close call in the skies over Iraq.” In reality, Williams and the NBC crew was in a helicopter nearly an hour behind the attacked chopper. Williams’ story crossed into full-on embellishment when he appeared on David Letterman’s show in 2013. By then, his story included bullets grazing his pilot’s ear and a heroic rescue on the front lines of war. In an apology to the soldiers, Williams wrote, “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy. I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08.” Brian blames this fabrication to a faulty memory. Never mind that no one would misremember whether he had been shot down in a helicopter. It shows Williams’ pride that it took a report in a respected publication before he would apologize. Williams is more of a talking hairdo who wants the legacy of Ernie Pyle, rather than a journalist committed to accuracy. But such are the kinds of people populating the Leftmedia elite. More…

Holder Says He Reformed Bush’s Politicized DOJ

Not only is Attorney General Eric Holder not political, but he cleaned up George W. Bush’s politicized Justice Department — says Eric Holder. “It’s a little irresponsible for people on the hill to say that policy differences that we have with them … can be characterized as political,” he said. “There’s been no politicization of this Justice Department.” He went further, insisting, “This notion … that somehow this Justice Department has been politicized is totally inconsistent with the facts. You want to look at a Justice Department that’s been politicized, you look at the one I inherited.” Not only that, he insisted, “I will leave this department in the way I found it when I came here back in 1976 — with high moral, with people who are dedicated to doing things only on the basis of the facts and the law. I’m proud of the historic things we have done. I hope the American people would not fall prey to interesting sound bites that are simply not consistent with facts.” If you want to know the actual facts, as opposed to Holder’s spin, make sure and read more about Holder: Obama’s Criminal Co-Conspirator.

Planned Parenthood Marks Black History Month

Tragically, the right to life has been denied to 57 million unborn children sacrificed on the altar of “choice” since 1973. And it’s no secret a disproportionate number of those children are black. So it’s ironic and, frankly, downright despicable that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s premier abortion provider, is marking Black History Month by “honoring 99 African American leaders — one for each year since Planned Parenthood was founded.” Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, who was a proponent of eugenics — the forced sterilization and abortions of black and minority children. In the 42 years since abortion was legalized, an astounding 13 million unborn blacks have never seen the light of day thanks in no small measure to Sanger’s organization. If Planned Parenthood truly wants to honor blacks, it might start by rejecting the effort to deny minorities’ very existence. More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read BO’s $4 TRILLION Budget Debacle, on the crushing debt brought on by Barack Obama.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Is Obama Neutering the Net?

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I need you to free the Internet

On the way to fundamentally transforming America, an unregulated Internet poses quite a problem. So this week, former Obama fundraiser and Obama-appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his proposal to fundamentally transform the Internet into a heavily regulated public utility similar to wired phone lines.

It’s all part of Barack Obama’s push for net neutrality, which he claims is the idea that there should be an open flow of information over the Internet. What better way to protect freedom than to regulate it?

That said, it’s fair to admit that Internet providers created the opening for this new regulatory regime by running shoddy monopolies that irritate customers and don’t compare favorably with much of the developed world. Thus, Obama and Wheeler have an excuse to do what they do best: regulate.

In an op-ed in Wired, Wheeler wrote, “I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” Ah, yes, freedom via red tape. “My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”

As we noted before, some Internet users pay for a premium plan to increase bandwidth and gain access to high-end volume and quality, while others may opt for a lower-priced service that meets their needs.

Oh, the injustice. How dare consumers not all want the same thing. Well, regardless of whether they want it, the Obama administration wants to make sure they get it good and hard. So, Wheeler wants to guarantee the Internet is “fast, fair and open,” and to do so, he wants the FCC to “implement and enforce open internet protections.”

In truth, this administration can’t abide recognizing a freedom that exists apart from itself; instead, it believes it must bestow every “freedom.” Never mind that what government gives government can also take away. So the power to tell Internet companies what they can and must do is inseparable from the power to tell them what they can’t. Red flags, anyone?

Wheeler’s move hardly comes as a surprise. As recently as last year, he was opposed to treating the Internet like a public utility, but it’s amazing what a presidential appointment followed by extensive presidential pressure can do to one’s “firmly held” convictions. Yet, feigning a nod to Wheeler’s imaginary independence, Obama administration officials say they are “certainly encouraged” by Wheeler’s proposal, which is “consistent with the view the president articulated.” How about that.

The FCC is expected to vote on Wheeler’s proposal on Feb. 26, and with Democrats holding a 3-2 majority on the commission, the new rules will likely pass. But GOP lawmakers are scrambling to stop them by legislatively banning the reclassification of the Internet as a public utility. Unfortunately, the GOP plan may be little more than regulation by a different name.

In the end, net neutrality is a nuanced issue. Cable companies are dead last in customer satisfaction because of their monopolistic practices, and the biggest problem facing the Internet is the lack of competition among providers. But subjecting the Internet to Title II regulations isn’t likely to fix that.

Phoning in ObamaCare

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in King v. Burwell, a case that will determine whether federal subsidies for health insurance are legal given that the law establishes subsidies only for state insurance exchanges. Subsidies are a cornerstone for the Orwellian-titled “Affordable” Care Act, as they are the only way to make insurance appear affordable. Because of the plain language of that statute, the Court should reject the federal subsidies.

Never ones to let silly things like laws get in their way, the clown car of fools in the White House have decided to phone it in as far as a rebuttal goes, choosing to work in the court of public opinion rather than debating the issue on its own merits.

Specifically, none of the floppy-footed blue-hairs posing as executive branch leaders have even hinted at a “Plan B” should SCOTUS strike down this illegal funding mechanism. Why? For the same reason they weren’t concerned about ObamaCare falling under a constitutional ax when the law was first challenged before the Supreme Court: They’re not worried. They know the public pressure they can bring to bear from the recipients of their public-coffer largess. As then-Speaker Nancy “We Have to Pass the Bill to Find Out What’s in It” Pelosi knew all too well, once the ObamaCare monster was unleashed, there would be no reining it back in. The lure of the public trough is too great for many to resist.

Indeed, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll of a broad cross-section of Americans indicated that even if the challenge to federal subsidies succeeds, over 60% favor a legislative “fix” to allow these subsidies to continue. As disheartening as that number may sound to those of us who dream of limited government exercising only enumerated powers, remember that those polled weren’t presented with viable alternatives to such a fix, but rather were simply asked whether Congress should step in and mend ObamaCare if the Court “breaks” it.

However, this seemingly no-win situation for Republicans presents the perfect opportunity for the House and Senate to propose a better alternative to the ruinous statute Democrats passed under the cloak of darkness. Recall that continuing anger over ObamaCare was itself in no small measure responsible for Republicans stretching their lead in the House and regaining control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. This is a good time to demonstrate that the public’s faith tied to producing these gains was not misplaced. Even so, don’t look for Barack Obama to stand in the wings while Congress revs up.

Given the Anointed One’s penchant for acting in blatant disregard of constitutional executive branch limits, some liberal pundits anticipate — even advocate for — responses similar to those he took when confronted with federal statutes requiring him to secure U.S. borders and enforce U.S. immigration laws: He simply refused to do so. The only reason this case is currently before the Supreme Court is that this American Pharaoh deployed a wrecking ball against the Constitution, waving his hands in the air and saying, “Federal subsidies are legal — I hereby declare it so: So let it be written, so let it be done!” But we hope this Congress will not roll over and say, “Scratch my belly,” like the last one did.

The Separation of Powers doctrine exists to protect individual freedoms by preventing the accrual of executive, legislative and judicial powers in any one branch. The current administration has run roughshod over this doctrine to the point those freedoms are now an endangered species. It’s time for Congress to assert its rightful power and reign in this rogue regime. A good start would be giving the American people a solid alternative to the Leviathan that is ObamaCare, and make killing this awful beast an easy decision for the Supremes.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992): “Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that ‘the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.’ Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.”

Columnist George Will: “Barack Obama’s plan to tax the earnings from parents’ ‘529’ college savings plans lived just long enough to indicate why some progressives perhaps prefer slow rather than rapid economic growth. Rapid growth reduces the appeal of redistributive policies and the need for the bitter, jostling, divisive politics that advance such policies. The 529s help enable families to achieve self-sufficiency. This excites progressives’ dislike of any private provision that impedes implementation of their dependency agenda. The progressive project of maximizing the number of people dependent on government is also aided by the acid of insecurity that grows rapidly when the economy does not. Anxious and disappointed people are susceptible to progressives’ blandishments about the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — ‘free’ this and that. By making slow growth normal, iatrogenic government serves the progressive program of defining economic failure down.”

Columnist Larry Elder: “Minimum wage and paid family leave are not only moral imperatives, says Obama, but good economics to boot. Employees, he tells us, are happier and therefore more productive. Minimum wage and paid medical leave, understand, actually benefit business. It’s just that dumb businessmen and women don’t realize it. But what does it say that perhaps the two most high-profile leftwing economists once opposed the minimum wage and paid family and medical leave? When Obamacare architect/economist Jonathan Gruber and The New York Times economist Paul Krugman actually practiced economics, they both opposed the minimum wage. In Gruber’s case, he also opposed government mandates for paid family and medical leave. … The late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is attributed with the following quote: ‘You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.’ In the case of Gruber and Krugman’s current support for ‘progressive’ policies they once opposed, what changed? The facts — or the politics?”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “During an interview last weekend, President Obama was talking about the next race for president and refused to choose between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, saying, quote, ‘Love ’em both.’ Which was nice until he said he’d support the nominee, regardless of who she is.”

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Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: ‘People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ’

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:30 AM PST

Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: 'People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ'At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama reminded attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by Christians as well. Obama said that even though religion is a source for good around the world, there will always be people willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.” “Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Obama also denounced Islamic State terrorists for professing to stand up for Islam when they were actually “betraying it.” “We see ISIL, a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism,” he said criticizing them for “claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.” Breitbart

The post Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: ‘People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Massive breach at health care company Anthem Inc, 80 Million Impacted

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 08:23 AM PST

Massive breach at health care company Anthem Inc, 80 million impacted

The corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem in Indianapolis is seen on Dec. 3. (Photo: Darron Cummings, AP)

As many as 80 million customers of the nation’s second-largest health insurance company, Anthem Inc., have had their account information stolen, the company said in a statement. “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish said in a statement posted on a website the company created for information about the incident. The hackers gained access to Anthem’s computer system and got information including names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including income data, Swedish said. The affected database had records for approximately 80 million people in it, “but we are still investigating to determine how many were impacted. At this point we believe it was tens of millions,” said Cindy Wakefield, an Anthem spokeswoman.

That would make it “the largest health care breach to date,” said Vitor De Souza, a spokesman for Mandiant, the computer security company Anthem has hired to evaluate its systems. Because no actual medical information appears to have been stolen, the breach would not come under HIPAA rules, the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which governs the confidentiality and security of medical information.No credit card information was obtained, the company said in a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY. The hackers were probably not interested in medical information about Anthem’s customers, said Tim Eades, CEO of computer security firm vArmour in Mountain View, Calif.

“The personally identifiable information they got is a lot more valuable than the fact that I stubbed my toe yesterday and broke it,” he said. Both current and former customers were hit, Swedish said. Anthem has established a website, http://www.anthemfacts.com, where members can access information about the breach. There is also a toll-free number for current and former members to call, 877-263-7995. More

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4,000-Strong Christian Militia Formed to Fight ISIS in Northern Iraq

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:33 PM PST

4,000-Strong Christian Militia Formed to Fight ISIS in Northern IraqThousands of Iraqi Christians have established their own militia and are training to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. The Nineveh Plains Protection Units (NPU) has 3,000 Assyrian Christian men registered to be trained, while another 500 are already training for combat. The militia was founded by the Iraqi political party, the Assyrian Democratic Movement. Another 500 volunteers from the group are already situated in Assyrian villages in northern Iraq, the majority of which were captured by ISIS when they marched across the country last summer. Approximately 30,000 Christians have since fled the Nineveh Plains for fear of falling into the hands of the radical Islamists.  Last November the American Mesopotamian Organisation, whose aim is to support the NPU, said that the primary mission of the militia is to “protect the remaining Assyrian lands from further attacks by ISIS” and then “liberate the Assyrian homeland of the Nineveh Plain” from the grasp of the radical Islamists. John Michael, a British-Assyrian in Iraq, told the Catholic Herald: “This is our last stand, if this fails then Christianity will be finished in Iraq.” The religious outlet reported that the militia are receiving funds from the Assyrian diaspora in countries such as United States, Australia and Sweden and are also receiving training from an American security company. Iraq expert Sajad Jiyad, asserts that the creation of the militia sends an important message to ISIS that these minorities will not allow their territory to be taken without a fight: “It’s also important for the locals to send a message to ISIS that they are not going to allow the demographic change to become permanent.” More

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North Korea threatens to nuke U.S. with advanced atomic weapons

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:25 PM PST

North Korea threatens to nuke U.S. with advanced atomic weapons North Korea threatened Wednesday a nuclear strike against the United States using advanced atomic weapons in an official message to Washington issued by the country’s highest decision-making body headed by its leader Kim Jong-un. The National Defense Commission released a statement through the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency to declare that it is no longer interested in having talks with the Barack Obama administration. The statement, issued at the “authorization” of the regime’s young ruler Kim, was the latest in a series of threats issued by Pyongyang against Washington. Complaining that the Obama administration is trying to induce the North’s collapse, the North threatened “retaliatory action of justice” including a strike on the U.S. mainland. Americans “should be mindful that the time of nightmares is coming nearer when they will meet the most disastrous, final doom on the U.S. mainland,” the commission warned.

It promised an eye-for-an-eye retaliation campaign against the United States using all possible means, including “smaller, precision and diversified” nuclear weapons. The North said it will operate all its ground, maritime, underground, air and cyberwarfare capabilities strategically to defeat the United States. The statement appeared to signal an end of recent efforts by the North and the United States to resume talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear arms development. It was reported earlier this week that the two countries tried to arrange a meeting but failed. The North’s threat of a nuclear strike against the United States also came amidst growing concerns in Washington that the young ruler may order another nuclear arms test.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, chairman of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Mark Chandler, acting director for intelligence for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon; and Lt. Gen. William Mayville, director for operations at the Joint Staff, submitted joint testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday expressing their concerns, the Voice of America reported.

In the statement, the three top security officials said the North “continues to develop its nuclear and missile programs which pose a serious threat to the U.S. and regional allies.” They also expressed concerns that the North is developing longer-range missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland and trying to develop technology to place miniaturized nuclear warheads on them. They said the North may conduct another nuclear test, which will be its fourth. In November, the Kim regime already warned that it will conduct a nuclear test in protest of the international community’s pressure over its rights abuses. Military tensions on the Korean Peninsula are expected to worsen as the South and the United States start a joint military exercise next month. The North has protested the annual drill. More

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A Strong Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake has struck Panama

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:06 PM PST

‘Four Blood Moons’ Book by Pastor John Hagee Goes to the Big Screen!

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 09:01 PM PST

'Four Blood Moons' Book by Pastor John Hagee Goes to the Big Screen!Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s best-selling book, Four Blood Moons, is getting the “big-screen, live-action” treatment. A docu-drama based on the prophecy book, which suggests that certain lunar eclipses are tied to world events, is expected to be in theaters in March. “Something is about to change,” reads the ominous subtitle of Hagee’s book, released in Oct. 8, 2013, a full year before a total lunar eclipse. Now, the popular prophecy title, purported to perfectly tie together Scripture, science, and history, is scheduled for a one-night theatrical event beginning March 23, three days after a total solar eclipse is expected to occur and days before a total lunar eclipse.  Why the focus on eclipses? According to Hagee, founder of the organization Christians United for Israel, God has been using eclipses to communicate His intent to carry out Earth-shattering events affecting human history. “The heavens are ‘God’s billboard.’ He’s been sending signals to Earth, and we haven’t been picking them up,” Hagee is quoted as saying in a press release on the new movie. “Two blood moons, in 2014 and 2015, point to dramatic events in the Middle East and, as a result, changes in the whole world.” Hagee, who believes Christians are obligated to support modern-day Israel, is counted among Evangelicals who believe that God gave Israel to the Jewish people. The Cornerstone Church pastor notes in Four Blood Moons that tetrads (four consecutive lunar eclipses) have previously fallen on Passover and Sukkot only three times in the last 500 years. Hagee believes that because these cosmological events fall on Jewish holy days, they were harbingers of significant historical events. As promoters of the “Four Blood Moons” movie explain, their project explores “a rare lunar phenomenon that over the centuries has accompanied both tragedy and triumph for the Jewish people.” More

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Woman finds strange creature inside of tuna can

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:40 PM PST

Woman finds strange creature inside of tuna canShe may never eat tuna again. A British mom got a shock last week when she opened a can of Princes tuna and claims she saw a little creature staring back at her.  According to the Nottingham Post Newspaper Zoe Butler said the object had black eyes and a spiny tail. “It’s a little red and has eyes, bright black, looking at you. We did manage to ascertain that it was dead,” said Butler’s grandmother, Susan Goddard. The tuna company apologized and said it is investigating. Butler says she’s had no word from the company yet about what it was, although she does want an answer so another one doesn’t find its way into anyone else’s food. An expert told the newspaper said it could be a form of juvenile crab. Fox News

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Death toll soars to thousands as cold snap hits UK

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:15 PM PST

Death toll soars to thousands as cold snap hits UKOfficial figures reveal that the death rate related to cold snaps in England and Wales is over 30% higher than normal for this time of year. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) some 28,800 people died in the fortnight ending January 23. ONS said the flu virus and the cold snap are the main reasons behind the recent spike in winter deaths. More than 25,000 people aged over 65 lost their lives due to the cold snap. 11,102 men and 14,129 women lost their lives in the fortnight to 23 January. The death toll among the elderly was 18,154 in the same period last year.  Medical experts blame the flu- the H3N2 sub-type in particular – for most of the winter deaths. “The main type of flu that has been circulating this winter so far (influenza A/H3N2) is well recognized to particularly impact groups, such as the elderly and those with underlying chronic health problems, resulting in increases in hospitalizations and deaths. That is why we recommend these groups receive flu vaccine each year, ideally before the flu season starts,” the Guardian quoted Dr Richard Pebody, PHE’s head of seasonal flu surveillance, as saying. More

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‘Worst of UK austerity still to come’

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 08:08 PM PST

‘Worst of UK austerity still to come’ The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says the worst of the UK’s austerity drive is yet to come. In its annual Green Budget, the think tank said the UK’s finances still have “a long way to go” in order to recover from the financial crisis. Speaking in December’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne said government departments faced cuts in real terms of £51.4 billion (14.1 percent) from 2015 to 2019. Cuts in the current parliament are expected to reach £38.3 billion, or 9.5 percent. In its annual Green Budget report the IFS said the planned “fiscal consolidation” in the UK was the largest out of 32 advanced worldwide economies. IFS director Paul Johnson said UK public finances had a “long way to go” and accused Osborne of failing to deliver on deficit reduction plans. “He deliberately allowed the forecast deficit to rise as growth undershot in the early years of the Parliament,” said Johnson. “He has not cut spending in real terms as much as planned, as inflation has undershot. And he has cut departmental investment spending by only half as much as he originally planned.  “One result is that he or his successor will still have a lot of fiscal work to do over the course of the next Parliament. “The public finances have a long way to go before they finally recover from the effects of the financial crisis.” “The financial crisis and associated recession led to a significant deterioration in the outlook for the UK’s public finances,” the IFS said in its Green Budget. “We estimate, based on official forecasts, that this worsening amounts to 8.6 percent of national income.” The IFS said 98 percent of the remaining consolidation will come from spending cuts rather than tax rises. The report added that protecting health, schools and overseas aid would double cuts in other departments. The governing Conservative Party would need to reduce departmental spending after 2015/16 by 6.7 percent (£24.9 billion). More

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Florida spring closes when 300 manatees suddenly swim up

Posted: 04 Feb 2015 07:58 PM PST

Florida spring closes when 300 manatees suddenly swim upFlorida’s Three Sisters Springs got a little crowded this week when more than 300 manatees swam quickly into the springs, prompting park officials to close the springs to human swimmers and kayakers. Up to 600 manatees winter in Florida Kings Bay and Crystal River from November to March, but the population drops to 30 manatees the rest of the year. The warm waters of Three Sisters Springs, part of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, allow manatees to live safely during the winter months, when the open waters can get dangerously cold for the gentle mammals. About 80 miles north of Tampa, it’s also a popular place for visitors to see and swim with the manatees.  Three Sisters Springs is the only “confined-water body in the United States” open for the public to see wintering manatees, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages Three Sisters Springs for the city of Crystal River and the state. Though the springs closed Monday and reopened Tuesday, the refuge’s policy is to close them again as needed. Noting increasing manatee harassment at the springs since 1979, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been considering a policy to restrict access to the manatees during the winter months. “Swimming with manatees is a tremendous experience, and I know that when done properly, everybody benefits,” said Andrew Gude, who manages Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Lower Suwannee, Cedar Keys and Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuges, in a December statement. “It is the experience of a lifetime.” More

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Aggressive abortionist reactions to new abortion ban proposals exposes shocking worldview

The Next Anti-Abortion Strategy Lurking Around The Corner, ThinkProgress (Tara Culp-Ressler)

2) 8-year-old French boy’s support of terrorists displays formative influence of worldview of the home

French Police Question 8-Year-Old Over Remarks on Terror Attacks, Wall Street Journal (Sam Schechner and Inti Landauro)

French Police Question Boy, 8, After Remarks on Paris Attacks, New York Times (Maïa de la Baume and Dan Bilefsky)

3) Vague details of new top spy example of dangers and necessities of fallen world

CIA Taps Undercover ‘Spider’ as Its Top Spy, Wall Street Journal (Damian Paletta)

In other news…

A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral, New York Times (Julie Scelfo)


Our Time is Short

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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer:

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

February 5, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection


Where do “Diversity” and “Inclusion” come from? UNESCO!

Words like Diversity and Inclusion didn’t just pop into the heads of our children by accident. The United Nations has been working on transforming our world for decades through various initiatives that were sparked in meeting rooms in some very “high places.” “Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity. Investing in this creativity can […]

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How Do We Comfort The Non-Christian In Grief?

We can never presume to know a person’s heart, and pontificate with absolute certainty on his or her eternal state. Sometimes, for those who demand assurance of us, the best answer is to point them to that on which our own confidence rests: “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (Jn. 6:39).

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Waking Up in a Puddle of Mud is Not the Worst Place to Be

If we try to ameliorate the burden of sin by minimizing the deceitfulness of sin, then we risk losing the opportunity to share the full gospel, the forgiveness and healing of Christ….when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and offered to those condemned souls who have come to feel the weight of their sin, then and only then, is freedom and newness of life possible for those who embrace Him as Lord and Savior.

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Prayer is the Key

Prayer is the key to walking in the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit is the key to looking more and more like Jesus Christ, and looking more and more like Jesus Christ is the key to hearing the Father declare, “Well done my good and faithful servant; this is another one of my sons in whom I am well pleased.”

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Onward, Christian Health Care?

For a small, self-selected group of Americans, cost-sharing ministries make our broken health care system bearable. There is much to admire in their nonprofit structure and their tireless advocacy for members. The problem is that too often their proponents take them as proof that it’s “in the DNA of Americans to assist and help one another” and success comes “when the marketplace is given the opportunity to produce solutions on its own,” as Dale Bellis, Liberty HealthShare’s executive director, put it.

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Creation Days: Duration or Distinctions? Knowing the Organism of Christian Doctrine”

One of the great ironies of the often unfruitful debate over the length of the creation days is that it misses a much more profound point within the organism of Christian doctrine. It is failing to understand the vital point that every day is distinct from another day and that within every day particular distinctions were made by God between the realities he created. The Distinctions of the Days of Creation not their duration is the crucial point within the organism of Christian doctrine.

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Grateful and Grieved: My Goodbye to the PCA

Westminster is a biblical, robust, and clear confession of the Reformed faith. Sadly, I fear that the PCA’s toleration of diverse practices which are not necessarily Reformed has now degenerated into a toleration of diverse doctrines which are in no way Reformed. The Federal Vision (FV) controversy has served to directly test the PCA’s confessional fidelity. Is the PCA confessional in a meaningful way – or not?

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LBGT Demands For Other People’s Children Are Misogynistic

Gay marriage advocates deploy distorted generalizations based on women’s rights to have a child with or without a man. This magically translates into a demand that society provide gay men with other people’s kids. Let’s examine this. Social policy is not meant to redress the fact that women can have babies and men can’t or that women and men can reproduce and same sex couples can’t…. The new social justice dictum is that society owes LBGT people the flesh and blood of other people’s children because they are “married” now. Let’s be honest. Love does not make a family in this case. Human trafficking does.

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Open Letter To My Friends and Former Colleagues in the PCUSA

Being on trial for violations of one’s ordination vows seemed very surreal, but nothing like hearing the words “We find you guilty” eight times over! For what? For living under the authority of Jesus? No. For trusting the Scriptures and being led by essential tenets? No. For being governed by our church’s polity, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit? No. There were but two issues behind all eight charges – agreeing with the HPPC Trustees that there was a civil liberty being violated by Grace Presbytery under a recent ruling in the Texas Supreme Court, and agreeing with the HPPC Session that there was a moral liberty being violated by Grace Presbytery in creating a policy that made it effectively impossible for the church to leave the denomination.

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Presbyterian Church Fights for Its $6M Property in Legal Battle With PCUSA After Split Over Homosexuality

Last October, the congregation of Bonhomme voted 722 to 71 in favor of disaffiliating from PCUSA, following a discernment process that lasted over two years. Since leaving the largest Presbyterian denomination, however, Bonhomme has been the subject of legal action over its church property.

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Dysteleology

by Bill Muehlenberg

A term used much in discussions about God, creation and evil comes from the Greek word telos which means end or purpose. The teleology of something has to do with it purpose or aim or goal. The teleological argument for God’s existence has to do with design in nature pointing to a designer or creator. The negative dys- (think of dysfunction or dystopia), is applied to the word by those arguing against a designer.

Thus dysteology is an anti-theistic argument based on seemingly poor design, indicating a poor designer, no designer at all, or a lack of purpose and telos. Critics of theism claim there is a lot of suboptimal stuff out there, indicating a suboptimal creator or designer. This is part of their argument against God.

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A Post-Empirical God – Church & Culture Blog

The famed scientist Ian Barbour once observed that when religion first met modern science in the seventeenth century, the encounter was a friendly one. “By the eighteenth century many scientists believe in a God who had designed the universe, but they no longer believe in a personal God actively involved in the world and human life. By the nineteenth century,” Barbour concluded, “…scientists were hostile to religion.”

And the crux of that hostility is rooted in what can be called a “reductive naturalism.”

“Naturalism” is the idea that nature is “all that is.” “Reductive” naturalism is the value which states that all that can be known within nature is that which can be empirically verified.

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Evangelicals and Lent

by Stephen Bedard

Lent is coming up soon and it gets me thinking about what I will give up for Lent. This is something that I have been doing for about ten years.

Having said that, I get pushback when I mention that I do something for Lent. The basic idea is that evangelicals should not observe Lent. I would like to address this by looking at the two most common objections. Before I do that, I want to make it clear that I am not arguing that evangelicals should observe Lent, as if it was some sort of religious obligation. I am only saying that there is nothing wrong with it.

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Holocaust survivor booted from public schools

by A. S.

“…I said, I have to tell you, though, that Christ is in my message.” “Well can’t you leave Christ out of it?” the man asked. “He is the one who kept me safe. I can’t keep Him out,” she responded. “Well, I’m sorry then. You can’t come,” he said. The following is reported by Leo […]

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Political correctness, inclusion and the pressure to conform

by A. S.

Today we’re going to talk about a sensitive topic: Diversity and Inclusion. We hear a lot about those words, and they really became part of an intentional, engineered societal shift thanks to the United Nations. But diversity and inclusion for whom? God doesn’t see color lines, does He? Do we judge people based on race, […]

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Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: “People Committed Terrible Deeds In The Name of Christ”

by A. S.

Did Obama just use the National prayer breakfast to slam America and equate Christians with ISIS? These videos are pretty distrubing – in the President’s own words. Via Brietbart News: At the National Prayer Breakfast today, President Obama reminded attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by […]

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Touched by an Angel?

Hi-Ho Cripplegate readers!kermit_the_frog

 

As you know, I have been somewhat sporadic in posting on the Cripplegate as of late.  The reason for this is that Fred Butler and I have been re-working our responses to Michael Brown’s book Authentic Fire and and preparing them to become a book.  Being the somewhat perfectionist Bible-geek that I am, I’ve re-tooled all the posts from which this book has spawned and have added over 50 pages of new material.  Most of it is in rather obsessively copious endnotes (it’s going to be released on Kindle, so footnotes aren’t an option), but I recently wrote a footnote that turned into quite the study project.  Knowing that the book Authentic Fire is somewhat “old news” but questions about Charismatic issues are not, I’ve added a whole lot of content to the upcoming book that will hopefully make it a far more valuable resource than just a book critique.  I promise you that if you pick up a copy, the endnotes will be more than worth the price alone.

The endnote was part of a response to Steve Alt’s appendix in Authentic Fire.  Alt suggests that God still communicates with believers via angelic messengers (among other things).  I started responding to the point, but then I fell into my rut: I realized that I hadn’t ever really dug into what the Bible says on that specific issue and I don’t like not knowing.  So I decided to set aside a few hours for study.  After all my study, I came to a conclusion that actually surprised me.  When I get surprised I’m guessing that I learned something that other people probably might be interested in as well (and possibly don’t know), so I figured that I would share my findings with all  my wonderful fellow Bible geeks here on the Cripplegate.

So what does the Bible say about angelic visitations?

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Top 10 Books On Guidance

Yesterday I posted 30 questions to ask when seeking guidance from God. If you want to take this topic further, here’s my top ten books on guidance. (For the complete list of Top 10 Books in categories click here)

1. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung

This is the easiest-to-read book on the list, ideal for young people or a young Christian. Covers all the bases in DeYoung’s usual punchy and engaging style.

2. Discovering God’s Will by Sinclair Ferguson

Another short book and a fairly easy read. I especially appreciated Ferguson’s seven simple yet searching questions in chapter 5. Both DeYoung’s and Ferguson’s books apply principles of guidance to work and marriage.

3. Step by Step: Divine Guidance for Ordinary Christians By James Petty

This is a more demanding read but is probably my favorite book on guidance. A couple of memorable graphics and tables to help work our God’s will, and an excellent end section on the seven steps of biblical decision-making. Will bring a lot of clarity and freedom to Christian consciences.

4. Decisions, Decisions: How (and How Not) to Make Them by Dave Swavely

This comes somewhere in between Ferguson’s book and Petty’s book in terms of length and readability. Neatly divided into “How Not To Make Decisions” and “How To Make Decisions.”

5. Can I Know God’s Will? by R C Sproul

This short treatment is in Dr. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series and is available for free on Kindle. Not so orderly as DeYoung and Ferguson’s similarly short books, but there are some beautiful gems of wisdom scattered throughout, and, again specific application to marriage and vocation.

6. Finding the Will of God by Bruce Waltke

Waltke compares common Christian methods for seeking guidance with pagan methods and finds them remarkably similar. He then calls Christians to pursue wisdom as a way of life rather than just for decisions in life, and outlines God’s program of guidance in six steps. Good emphasis on the objective side of guidance without ruling out the subjective.

7. Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen

You might view this as an expanded version of Petty’s Step By Step. Not only longer but more scholarly too. A book to graduate to after reading DeYoung, Ferguson, and Petty

8. God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J I Packer

Simple, straightforward, heart-warming. Suggests improvements to the Friesen and Petty models.

If you’ve got these eight books you hardly need any more on guidance, but just to complete the Top 10 I’d add

9. The Christian’s Guide to Guidance: How to Make Biblical Decisions in Everyday Life by Jay Adams

10. Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip Jensen and Tony Payne.

More Top 10 Books lists here.


Three Types of People: Which One Are You?

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The windblows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:1-8
You must be born-again, or you will not enter Heaven.
Conversion is not a matter of “accepting Jesus” or “asking Jesus into you heart” or “the Sinner’s prayer” or the 4 Spiritual Laws, or being a regular attendee at a church, or being involved in a church.

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Making Atonement For The Tabernacle

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Lev 16:16 refers to the need to cleanse all the sins in the sanctuary by making an atonement on the day of atonement. Are these the sins that were transferred daily through the lamb sacrifices? How did these sins get into the sanctuary or did OT sanctuary service operate according to a substitute model where sins were transferred to the lamb, and from it to the sanctuary?

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Still More On 6,000 Years Or 4.5 Million

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.   you state that  “God said He created both the animal kingdom and mankind in a single day about 6000 years ago” (Genesis 1:24-31)  I can accept that man etc  was created in one day, but where in the Bible are we told that it was 6000 years ago.  I have always believed that this is based on the various genealogies listed in the early books of the bible, but I also understood that some of these genealogies are not necessarily complete. I would be interested in reading your thoughts on how the 6000 years have been calculated.

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Who Should We Pray To?

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  I’ve recently been noticing more people praying to Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit during public prayer times.  This doesn’t make sense to me since Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father…” No where else in the Bible do I see prayer being directed to anyone else except God the Father.  Just wondering if I am missing something or there is Biblical warrant for what I have essentially assumed for most of my life?

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GTY Blog: Leadership and Spiritual Maturity

1 Timothy 3:6

Code: B150204

by Jeremiah Johnson

New believers, and especially young men, are often very passionate for the truth. The joy of new life in Christ goes hand in hand with the desire to proclaim God’s truth to others and see them come to repentance and faith in Him.

But that passion usually exceeds the new believer’s preparedness to preach. Without a tested and proven faith, and without a strong understanding of Scripture—or any training in how to study and understand it—new believers should not assume leadership positions in the church.

Nor should they launch into ministry simply because “God told me to.” To the undiscerning, that might be a persuasive argument. But God’s people have a responsibility not to blithely believe everyone who claims to speak for Him. Moreover, they need to hold the leaders they follow to biblical standards (which gets back to the original reason for this series).

Godly leadership is always the fruit of spiritual maturity. It takes more than just a pulpit, a microphone, and an audience to make a faithful shepherd. In fact, rushing unprepared and immature believers into church leadership—or letting them grasp it too early—presents significant spiritual danger to the Body of Christ.

It’s also dangerous for the immature believer who desires such leadership. The apostle Paul understood those dangers, and included them in his list of qualifications for church leaders. Highlighting the need for spiritual maturity, he wrote: “And not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).

In his commentary on 1 Timothy, John MacArthur explains the dangers Paul describes.

Since one of the great dangers facing the overseer is pride, humility is an essential qualification. The Greek word neophutos (“new convert”) appears only here in the New Testament. It is used in extrabiblical Greek to refer to a newly planted tree, hence its metaphorical use here.

An elder must not be newly baptized as a Christian, “lest he become conceited.” Placing him in a leadership role would expose him to the temptation of pride. That would be especially true if he were elevated in a respected, established church like Ephesus. That this qualification is absent from the list in Titus 1 may reflect the fact that the churches on Crete were relatively new, made up of new believers. In that case, placing younger converts in leadership would not so readily lead to pride, since their fellow elders would be relatively new.

An elder, then, is to be drawn from the most spiritually mature in the congregation, but that maturity must be viewed in relationship to each individual congregation. The relative measure of spiritual maturity in an established church in the United States varies from that in a first-generation church in a third-world nation.

“Conceited” is from tuphoō, which derives from a root word meaning “smoke.” The verb means “to puff up like a cloud of smoke.” Putting a new convert into a position of spiritual leadership is apt to puff him up, to put his head in the clouds. That would place him in grave danger of falling “into the condemnation incurred by the devil.” That does not mean an individual is condemned by Satan, since the Bible never portrays him as a judge. Instead, it means the prideful man falls into the same kind of judgment pronounced by God on Satan. The context, which deals with the danger of pride, also lends support to that interpretation. The judgment or condemnation of the devil was a demotion from a high position due to his sinful pride. That is the danger awaiting the man placed in a position of spiritual leadership before he is ready. As Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

It was pride that brought Satan down. Not content with being the highest ranking angel, he sought to exalt himself above God. The five “I wills” of Isaiah 14:12–14 clearly show his pride. As a result, Satan, who had “the seal of perfection” and was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12), who had been on the “holy mountain of God” and served as “the anointed cherub who covers” (v. 14), was “cast . . . as profane from the mountain” (v. 16; cf. Revelation 12:9).

What happened to Satan could easily happen to an immature Christian elevated to eldership. It is that danger which Paul warns Timothy against. The antidote to pride is humility, which is the mark of a spiritually mature leader (Matthew 23:11–12).

Too often churches put undue emphasis on the skills, giftedness, charisma, and likability of potential leaders. Those enticing attributes can supposedly cover or negate a lack of spiritual maturity—or at the very least excuse it, buying him time to grow in maturity. But that’s the inverse of the biblical model. Without proven spiritual maturity, what real leadership does a man have to offer the church?

In his commentary, John MacArthur reminds us of the dire consequences of elevating an unqualified shepherd: “The church must heed Paul’s warning and not lift up those whom the Lord will later have to cut down.”

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


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Satisfaction or Atonement (Part 2)?

The Reformed Reader

Systematic Theology, 3 Volumes Several weeks ago I mentioned the difference between these theological terms: satisfaction and atonement.  By way of reminder the word “atonement” specifically has to do with Jesus’ death in the place of sinners (his passive obedience).  The word “satisfaction” means that Christ satisfied the demands of God’s justice in the place of sinners (he lived and died for them; this is his active and passive obedience).

In the past, Reformed theologians usually used the term satisfaction when talking about Christ’s saving work for us.  Charles Hodge, for example, preferred the term “satisfaction” to the term “atonement.”  His objection to using the term “atonement” when talking about the work of Christ is three-fold.  First, he said the term itself is ambiguous; it means several different things (reconciliation, compensation, expiation).  Second, he said the term isn’t comprehensive enough to define Christ’s work of salvation: “His saving work includes far more than…

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Is it ever appropriate for Christians to view sexual sins in film?

The Domain for Truth

Holy

I am going to address this question because sometime ago a reader of this blog emailed me our question: Is it ever appropriate for Christians to view sexual sins in film?

It might be unpopular and sounds old fashion but my answer then and now is no.  It is not appropriate for Christians to view sexual sins in film for the purpose of entertainment.

The brother who emailed me also shared how there are Christians who think that things such as nudity or other sexual themes are okay in film.  If I recall correctly, this brother mentioned that these Christians think it is permitable in certain context and depending on what kind of film it is.

I think we must remember Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:3:

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

As saints, “there must not be even…

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Chuck Missler and Kim Clement – The Merging of Muddy Waters

DiscernIt

About eight years ago I begin hearing about Chuck Missler. Today information is abundant with the likes of social media. News is passed on like wildfire.

Teachings from Chuck Missler are easily available and what I first read caused alarm. What? Bible Codes? Numerology? Microcodes, Macrocodes and Metacodes.  My first thought was that this man has no interest in teaching the Bible. If he did at one time,  then he has surely lost his way.

Other issues surfaced. Plagiarism, purgatory, and support for a book “Have Heart” which suggests necromancy.

But….I was ridiculed for posting warnings about a  favorite teacher from Calvary Chapel.

So now it has come to this. Please read this from Herescope.

http://herescope.net

THE MERGING OF MUDDY RIVERS

The Singing Prophet Kim Clement. . .
. . . Washes in Chuck Missler’s Stream


“And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and…

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Cold Case Christianity: Are the Gospels Eyewitness Accounts? (Video)

J. Warner Wallace answers the following objection:

“Christians like to call the Gospels ‘eyewitness accounts,’ but why should we take them seriously as ‘eyewitness’ testimony when the authors don’t say anything about being eyewitnesses and the accounts clearly contain descriptions of events (like the virgin conception, birth narratives, and private moments of Jesus) that the authors could not have personally seen?”

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Cold Case Christianity: Objective Truth Is One Thing, But Objective Moral Truth Is Another

I get the opportunity to train church groups all the time and I relish the chance to talk about the nature of truth. Brett Kunkle and I have been taking a similar approach in this training, offering a “Truth Test” to Christian groups across the country. We begin by describing the difference between “objective” truth (which is rooted in the nature of the object under consideration and transcends the opinions of any subject considering this object), and “subjective” truth (which is rooted in the opinions and beliefs of the subjects who hold them and vary from person to person). We provide several examples of truth claims and ask groups to tell us whether the statements are subjective or objective.

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