Daily Archives: February 7, 2015

February 7-8, 2014: Truth2Freedom Weekend Briefing Report

Truth needs to be baptized into love if it is to possess the charm of loveliness. —Archibald Brown

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Obama Orders Kerry To Appoint Openly Gay Envoy To Spread LGBT ‘Gospel’ Worldwide

The United States will appoint an openly gay official as a special envoy to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people overseas, the US State Department said Friday

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:28,29 (KJV)

Having conquered America for the LGBT Movement, Obama and company now set their sights globally. US President Barack Obama has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint an openly-gay ambassador to take the LGBT “gospel” around the world.

Obama’s goal of turning America into Babylon seems to be well within reach at this point.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said US Secretary of State John Kerry would “soon” make the appointment.  “It will be an openly gay foreign service officer. We don’t have a finalized name yet. But we will announce soon,” Harf said.

obama-john-kerry-to-appoint-openly-gay-foreign-service-ambassador-to-spread-lgbt-gospel-worldwide-same-sex-marriage

Harf said the appointment reflected Kerry’s “commitment and the administration’s commitment to advancing the human rights of LGBT persons globally.”

President Barack Obama’s administration has repeatedly pressed foreign governments on the human rights of gays and lesbians, systematically drawing attention to rights abuses or repression in several African countries. source

 

The post Obama Orders Kerry To Appoint Openly Gay Envoy To Spread LGBT ‘Gospel’ Worldwide appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 

 


Sending weapons to Ukraine would escalate violence – UK Defence Secretary

Posted: 08 Feb 2015 07:23 AM PST

Sending weapons to Ukraine would escalate violence – UK Defence SecretaryBritish Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Friday that supplying weapons to Ukraine, an option under consideration in Washington, would escalate the ongoing conflict. In an interview during the Munich Security Conference, Fallon told Reuters he fully supported a new effort by the leaders of Germany and France to try to halt the Ukraine conflict. However, the Defence Secretary said territory taken by rebels since the Minsk agreement in September should “absolutely not” be recognized in any new ceasefire. French President Francoise Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew to Moscow on Friday to discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine, reportedly without informingthe US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is currently in Ukraine discussing Kiev’s plea for weapons. The two leaders, who are part of the so-called ‘Normandy Four’ group along with Moscow and Kiev, agreed on the trip on Wednesday night, an unnamed French government official told AP.  “Together with Angela Merkel we have decided to take a new initiative,” Hollande told a news conference on Thursday. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the leaders would “discuss what specifically the countries can do to contribute to a speedy end of the civil war in southeastern Ukraine, which has escalated in recent days and resulted in many casualties.” After the meeting on Thursday with the German and French leaders, Ukrainian President Poroshenko said the talks indicated a ceasefire was possible in eastern Ukraine. A senior French official told local weekly Le Nouvel Observateur on Thursday that the decision to meet with President Vladimir Putin was taken on Tuesday, after the Russian leader called on both sides in the Ukrainian conflict to stop military actions and hostilities. During his visit to Ukraine, Kerry laid the blame for the conflict’s escalation solely on Russia, and disregarded Kiev’s intensified assault on rebel-held areas.  On Thursday, however, the White House admitted that possible military assistance from the US to Ukraine could increase bloodshed in the region. Earlier in the day, Kerry said Washington preferred a diplomatic solution to the conflict. However, the Secretary of State maintained “Russian aggression” was the greatest threat to Ukraine. Following his meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Kerry told journalists it was impossible to ignore “tanks crossing the border from Russia” and “Russian fighters in unmarked uniforms crossing the border, and leading individual companies of so-called separatists in battle.” More

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Muslim Brotherhood Comes to the White House!Posted: 08 Feb 2015 07:17 AM PST

Muslim Brotherhood Comes to the White House!The Obama White House has finally released the names of the fourteen Muslim “leaders” who met with the President this past week. Among the group — which included a comedian, along with a hijab-wearing basketball player and a handful of left wing activists — were a select few individuals with disturbingly close ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. As previously uncovered by Breitbart News, the White House confirmed that Azhar Azeez, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was one of the Muslim leaders that met with President Obama. ISNA was founded in 1981 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial. Federal prosecutors have previously described how ISNA funneled its money to Palestinian terrorist group Hamas (via Investigative Project): ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to “the Palestinian Mujahadeen,” the original name for the HAMAS military wing. Govt. Exh. 1-174. From that ISNA/NAIT account, the HLF sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to HAMAS leader…  Azeez’s bio also reveals him as a founding member the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. CAIR has also allegedly funneled money to Palestinian terror groups and was also started by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In October, 2014, Azeez signed a letter endorsing Sharia Islamic governance. Under the Sharia, non-Muslims are treated as second-class citizens. The Sharia also endorses thehudud punishments in the Koran and Hadiths, which state that apostasy from Islam is punishable by death. Hoda Elshishtawy of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was also in attendance at the Muslim leaders’ meeting with President Obama. MPAC, just like CAIR and ISNA, was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group has written and often endorsed a paper rejecting the United States’s designation of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations, and has insisted that the Jewish state of Israel be added as a state sponsor of terrorism. The group’s former president, Salam al-Marayati, has publicly encouraged officials to look at Israel as a suspect in the 9/11/01 attacks. He has said that Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel should be seen as “legitimate resistance.” In a 1998 speech at the National Press Club, an MPAC senior official describedthe Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah as one that fights for “American values.” In an MPAC-sponsored March 2009 protest to “Defend al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Quds,” participants could be heard chanting slogans encouraging Palestinians to wipe out Israel. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” demonstrators chanted.

Mohamed Majid, who serves as Imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), was also in attendance at the White House meeting with the President, and senior advisors Ben Rhodes and Valerie Jarrett. In 2002, ADAMS was raided as part of a U.S. government initiative called “Operation Green Quest,” where federal agents suspected the group of supporting terrorist organizations. Government documents said that the ADAMS Center was “suspected of providing support to terrorists, money laundering, and tax evasion.” Majid is also an official with the brotherhood-affiliated Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He also signed the October 2014 letter, along with White House meeting attendee Azhar Azeez, insisting that Sharia law should be an acceptable political system worldwide. Full Story

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Chinese Imports Crash & Worst January Export Plunge Since 2009 Sends Trade Surplus To Record HighPosted: 08 Feb 2015 07:12 AM PST

Chinese Imports Crash & Worst January Export Plunge Since 2009 Sends Trade Surplus To Record HighChinese imports collapsed 19.9% YoY in January, missing expectations of a modest 3.2% drop by the most since Lehman. This is the biggest YoY drop since May 2009 and worst January since the peak of the financial crisis. Exports tumbled 3.3% YoY (missing expectations of 5.9% surge) for the worst January since 2009. Combined this led to a $60.03 billion trade surplus in January – the largest ever. But apart from these massive imbalances, everything is awesome in the global economy (oh apart from The Baltic Dry at record lows, Iron Ore near record lows, oil prices crashed, and the other engine of the world economy – USA USA USA – imploding). More

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Is Mysterious ‘Milky Rain’ falling over Pacific Northwest from ash by Japan’s Sakurajima volcano?Posted: 08 Feb 2015 07:06 AM PST

Is Mysterious 'Milky Rain' falling over Pacific Northwest from ash by Japan's Sakurajima volcano?  A mysterious ‘milky’ rain has been falling over the Pacific Northwest that is baffling meteorologists. Residents of Washington, Oregon and Idaho have been filling up glasses of the unusual substance trying to determine what it could be. One strong possibility is that the weather system has been infected by eruptions from Japan’s Sakurajima volcano. The volcano has been particularly active over the past month. Last week it sent an ash plume of three miles billowing into the sky. It is the most active Sakurajima has been all year, with up to three or four explosions a day, according to Volcano Discovery.  Following a particularly violent eruption on Thursday, some speculated that Russia’s Shiveluch volcano could have sent ash into the sky that was blown across the Pacific Ocean, as well. In the past two weeks, eight eruptions have been recorded. The Walla Walla County office in Washington corroborated those suggestions in a Facebook post.  ‘We have received reports of “white stuff” on vehicles,’ officials wrote.  ‘The ash is more than likely from Volcano Shiveluch in Kamchatka Krai, Russia, which spewed an ash plume to about the 22,000-foot level in late January.  ‘It has been deposited in a wide spread area, including Washington and Oregon.’  But the National Weather Service of Spokane, Washington, is still investigating. ‘The truth is that we really don’t know where it came from!’ the NWS Spokane said on Facebook. ‘We are continuing to investigate and have reached out to other offices for assistance in recreating atmospheric flows from the past several days. We’ve also reached out to other agencies that may have collected samples appropriate for testing.’ Full Story

 

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Fire Volcano covers Guatemala towns with rock and ashPosted: 08 Feb 2015 06:56 AM PST

Fire Volcano covers Guatemala towns with rock and ashGUATEMALA CITY –  The Fire Volcano in southern Guatemala exploded incandescent rock and ash over surrounding towns Saturday. David de Leon, spokesman for the national disaster preparedness office, said authorities had put area on alert, but no evacuations had been made so far. Karina Lopez, a resident of nearby Antigua, said ash mixed with a drizzle to reduce visibility and the volcano continued to rumble. The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction agency issued instructions urging people to take shelter, wear masks, cover water tanks and be aware of evacuation routes. Firefighters were standing by. The volcano sits on the border of the Guatemalan states of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango. It has a height of 3,763 meters (12,346 feet) above sea level. Fox News

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Ford Contractor Says He Was Fired for Speaking Against Company’s Support of HomosexualityPosted: 08 Feb 2015 06:47 AM PST

Ford Contractor Says He Was Fired for Speaking Against Company’s Support of HomosexualityA former contractor for Ford Motor Company has filed a religious discrimination complaint, alleging that he was fired for speaking against the company’s support of homosexuality. Thomas Banks has worked as a design and release engineer for Ford since 2011—that is until last August when he was fired on an accusation that he had violated the company’s “anti-harassment” policy for responding to an email employee newsletter from the company. The newsletter contained an article regarding the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual Employees advocacy group (GLOBE). Banks replied with a comment to express disagreement. “Endorsing and promoting sodomy is of benefit to no one,” he wrote. “This topic is disruptive to the workplace and is an assault on Christians and morality, as well as antithetical to our design and our survival. Immoral sexual conduct should not be a topic for an automotive manufacturer to endorse or promote.”

“Heterosexual behavior creates life—homosexual behavior leads to death,” Banks continued. But after submitting the comment, the contractor received an email from a human relations representative, requesting a meeting to “discuss something that was brought to my attention.” When Banks met with the individual, he was informed that he might have violated the company’s anti-harassment policy because of the comment he submitted. He later received a voicemail informing him that he had been fired.  was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment,” Banks said in a statement. “It felt like Ford was saying, ‘Even if you are respectful, your faith, and you as a Christian, are unwelcome at Ford.’” Ford has also released a statement on the matter, but hasn’t commented on the specific complaint. “[W]e believe this matter ultimately is between the individual and their agency employer,” it wrote. “Ford’s anti-harassment policy was created to foster a respectful, inclusive work environment for all, and we expect employees and agency personnel to act in accordance with this policy.” With the assistance of the Liberty Institute in Texas, which provides legal services free for clients, Banks filed a complaint last month with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, contending that Ford had violated Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. More

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Wake Up, America: China Is a Real ThreatPosted: 08 Feb 2015 06:40 AM PST

Wake Up, America: China Is a Real ThreatBetween complacency and confrontation there is a responsible way forward that keeps the Asia-Pacific a big enough place to accommodate the vital interests of both Beijing and Washington. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the United States. That’s okay. The work will make America a stronger nation and a better Asian ally. In the last decade, the Chinese regime has shown itself to be anti-democratic, no friend of free markets, a first-class cyber bully and more interested in rewriting or ignoring international norms than in respecting them. Left unchecked, the Beijing method of managing international relations is not likely to make the world a better or safer place. If America didn’t share the same neighborhood with China, it might well ignore Beijing’s behavior and let others deal with it. But China and the United States are stuck with each other. Unfortunately, the current U.S. China policy isn’t working. That’s why China thinks its U.S. policy is working—and Beijing’s goal is to diminish and marginalize Washington’s influence in the Asia-Pacific.

There is a diplomatic dimension to righting the relationship, but it requires the United States to work in a more synchronized manner with key nations that have the most to lose if China’s bullying doesn’t stop. Those nations are India, Australia and Japan. There also has to be a military component to the U.S. approach. America won’t be respected in the region if its armed forces aren’t adequate to protect U.S. vital interests—namely ensuring freedom of the commons (air, sea and cyberspace) and deterring major regional conflicts (without relying exclusively on nuclear weapons). But there is more on the U.S. to-do list.  Diplomatic and military initiatives are needed to respond to the threats engendered by Chinese behavior. But that same ham-fisted behavior has created opportunities for the United States. To make the most of those opportunities, the United States will need to power up two additional elements of national power: economic power and public engagement. Ramping these up ought to be easy lifts and joyful tasks. They will not only check China, they will help build a strong and more resilient America, as well as improve the lot of our friends and allies in Asia. More

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‘If We Can’t Reach a Peace Accord, It’s Called War’ – Hollande on UkrainePosted: 08 Feb 2015 06:33 AM PST

‘If We Can’t Reach a Peace Accord, It’s Called War’ – Hollande on UkraineWhether by accident or design, the United States and its partners in Europe have entered a sort of good-cop-bad-cop routine in their dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As fighting escalates in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed rebels are trying to carve out an independent republic that would align with Russia, the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday was dominated by world leaders taking very different positions on what to do about it.  Fresh from a meeting with Putin in Moscow on Friday, German Chancellor appeared to foreclose on the possibility of providing additional arms to the Ukrainian government, saying, “I understand the debate but I believe that more weapons will not lead to the progress Ukraine needs. I really doubt that.”

Merkel, who grew up in the former East Germany and speaks Russian, may have the strongest relationship with Putin of any European leader. While she insisted that continued diplomatic efforts were the only option, she was notably pessimistic about their ultimate likelihood of success. “It is uncertain whether it will lead to success but, from my point of view and that of the French president, it is definitely worth trying,” she said, referring to French President Francois Hollande, who accompanied her to Moscow on Friday. For his part, Hollande said that he agreed with the continuation of diplomatic engagement. “Because if we are not able to reach, not a compromise, but a durable peace accord, we perfectly know the scenario: It has one name; it is called war.” What makes the current situation in Eastern Ukraine substantially different from a war already is far from clear. While the United States’ European partners preached diplomacy and spoke against the introduction of additional weaponry, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the conference with a much stronger message for Moscow.

“President Putin has to make a simple, stark choice,” he said. “Get out of Ukraine, or face continued isolation and growing economic costs at home.” While he said that the U.S. remains in favor of a diplomatic solution, he added, “Too many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, and troops, and weapons.” Mr. Biden said. “We will continue to provide Ukraine security assistance. Not to encourage war but to allow Ukraine to defend themselves.” Biden’s remarks reflect a hardening of the U.S. position toward Russia in recent weeks. The U.S. Congress has already voted in favor of sending arms to the Ukrainian government, while the Obama administration’s nominee for Secretary of Defense last week said that he would support such an action. More

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North Korea Launches Five Short-Range Missiles Toward SeaPosted: 08 Feb 2015 06:28 AM PST

North Korea Launches Five Short-Range Missiles Toward SeaNorth Korea launched five short-range missiles into its eastern waters, a day after saying it test-fired a new anti-ship rocket in a drill overseen by leader Kim Jong Un. The missiles flew about 200 kilometers (124 miles) in the northeastern direction on Sunday after being launched from near the eastern city of Wonsan in North Korea, the Defense Ministry in Seoul said. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 7 released photos of Kim watching the firing of an “ultra-precision anti-ship rocket” from a naval boat. The launches come before the annual U.S. and South Korean joint military drills set to take place in spring. North Korea calls the drills a rehearsal for its invasion while the U.S. and South Korea describe them as purely defensive. The firings raise tensions as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit South Korea on Monday as part of his Asian trip that also includes visits to China and Japan. Blinken said Feb. 7 on Twitter that the missile defense on the Korean peninsula is directed against North Korea as he responded to a query about China’s objection to the potential deployment of a terminal high-altitude missile defense system in South Korea. He also described the Kim regime as “the greatest source of regional instability.” North Korea routinely test-fires short-range missiles to enhance their range and precision. Kim has overseen a series of military drills in the past month. North Korea is banned from developing and testing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council resolutions imposed for its three nuclear tests, including the latest one in February 2013. The country fired more than 100 rockets last year alone. More

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Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal Will ‘Unleash Hell on the Mideast,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham WarnsPosted: 07 Feb 2015 08:52 PM PST

Obama's Iran Nuke Deal Will 'Unleash Hell on the Mideast,' Sen. Lindsey Graham WarnsRepublican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that President Obama will soon “unleash hell” on the Middle East if he carries on with his plans on striking a nuclear deal with Iran without listening to Congress and his critics. “The Arabs and the Israelis are not going to allow the ayatollahs in Iran to have a nuclear capability only contained by the UN. … So Obama is about to unleash hell on the Mideast,” Graham said on the “Hugh Hewitt Show.” “He’s about to create a nuclear arms race by wanting a deal with the Iranians so badly that he’s about to make the mistake of a lifetime,” added Graham, who might run for president. Obama’s critics say that the negotiation process is diverting from the original aim of removing Iran’s potential to make nuclear weapons, to tolerating and only temporarily restricting Tehran’s nuke capability.

Besides, even as negotiations are underway, Washington is not making any serious efforts to check Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East, say critics, who are also concerned that the Obama administration is hinting that it would go for a deal with Iran without a congressional vote. This will have a bearing also on the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, terror group, Graham says. “Obama doesn’t want to challenge Assad, because that will upset the Iranians,” Graham said, calling the Syrian president “a complete puppet of Iran.” “Iran controls, or heavily influences four Arab capitals without a nuclear weapon. They have great influence in Iraq with Shiite militias, the Houthis in Yemen have now taken down the government. They’re Iranian-backed. You’ve got Assad in Syria who’s a puppet of Iran, and you’ve got Hezbollah,” Graham added.

The South Carolina senator said the Saudis, the Qataris, the Jordanians and others in the region told him that they’re willing to fight ISIS, also known as ISIL, because the al-Qaeda offshoot is a threat to their religion and their national security. “But you have to go with us, and we have to take Assad down, because we’re not going to fight ISIL and leave a puppet of Iran in place. And Obama’s fixation on a deal with Iran is allowing ISIL to get stronger, and it’s the fatal flaw in our strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL. And here’s the magic thing for me. ISIL wants to hit us as much as they want to hit the region.”

Graham further sought to explain why the Arabs won’t get in the fight. “They’re not going to follow a strategy that’s doomed to fail. Training the Free Syrian Army is a good idea. But if you train these guys up, and you say you can only fight ISIL, then Assad is going to barrel bomb these guys when they get any strength at all.” More

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Trash Talk Diplomacy, US-Israel Relations, and Iran :: Herf in Times of Israel

by Jeffrey Herf
The Times of Israel
February 1, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5013/trash-talk-diplomacy-and-us-israel-relations


Obama: We’re No Better than Islamic State :: Ibrahim in FrontPage

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
February 6, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5015/obama-were-no-better-than-islamic-state


Harvard Prof: ‘Islam is Not the Major Obstacle . . . for Democratization in Muslim Societies’

by Andrew Harrod
Jihad Watch
February 6, 2015

Harvard Prof: “Islam is not the major obstacle . . . for democratization in Muslim societies”

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/14517


Franklin Graham Responds to Obama’s ISIS-Christian Prayer Breakfast Comparison: Jesus Lived for Peace, Mohammed Killed Innocent People

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, January 9, 2011.

“Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition,” Franklin Graham wrote. “Mr. President — Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness.”

Graham further wrote that unlike Jesus, who lived His life without sin, Mohammed took many innocent lives.

“[Jesus] came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Mohammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people,” Graham asserted. “True followers of Christ emulate Christ — true followers of Mohammed emulate Mohammed.”

Read more


Firestorm of Protest to President Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Message

Live Feed Reaction on Facebook
Google News: Obama & Christian
YouTube videos: Obama/Crusades
Twitter:Crusades

Rudy on Obama’s Crusades Remark: Do You Think ISIS Is Afraid of Him? Watch the video – Giuliana gives Obama “F” in History and “F-” in Theology – Fox

Franklin Graham to Obama: Muhammad killed innocents -“Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Muhammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ – true followers of Muhammad emulate Muhammad.” -WND

WATCH How Krauthammer Just Summed Up Outrage Over Obama’s ‘Offense’ To Christianity – Western Journalism

Dinesh D’Souza – I’m appalled by the president’s comments at the Natl #PrayerBreakfast today – how about you?

No surprise: Obama defends modern-day Islam, attacks Christian history – By the way, the theme of today’s National Prayer Breakfast was “Remembering the Armenian Genocide of 1915” — the slaughter of more than one million Christians committed by Muslims. – Gary Bauer – OneNewsNow

Outrage after Obama compares ISIS to the Crusades in comments at National Prayer Breakfast – AOL

At Prayer Breakfast, Obama Serves up Controversy – Tony Perkins – Family Research Council
More links in the next article from yesterday.

Significance of Obama and Moral Issues

Obama Invokes Slavery and the Crusades During Prayer Breakfast: ‘People Committed Terrible Deeds in the Name of Christ’

Feb. 5, 2015 – At the National Prayer Breakfast President Obama acknowledged that the current tide of extremism was being done in the name of religion. Then he said,
“And lest 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.”
He also said that in our own country, slavery and Jim Crow was often justified in the name of Christ.
Source: The Blaze

Why Our President Chose to Insult Christianity and Excuse Militant Islam at the National Prayer Breakfast – Rush Limbaugh


Congress pushed to recognize ‘Darwin Day’

Humanist Association states need to ‘stand up for science’

The legislation is supported by American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to amplifying the voice of the “nontheistic” community and of which the American Humanist Association is a coalition member.

The AHA, whose slogan is “Good without a god,” states it advocates “progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists, and freethinkers.

View Article


VIDEO: Obama Wants to Talk About the Crusades, Let’s Educate Him

We have to get educated to respond to the talking points of the Left whenever ridiculous comments make headlines like President Obama’s speech at today’s National Prayer Breakfast.

Learn the key elements about exactly what the crusades were, when they occurred and why. We no longer learn any of this in American public schools, doesn’t that feel like it’s probably by design?

View informative 5-minute video


Obama says Christians as guilty as Muslims: ‘People committed terrible deeds in the bame of Christ’

by Marsha West
Christian News Network reports:

During the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington on Thursday, Barack Obama spoke against violence committed in the name of religion, and stated that Christians have been just as guilty as Muslims and other terror groups of this crime.

“It’s not unique to one group or one religion,” he said. “There is a tendency in us—a sinful tendency—that can pervert and distort our faith.”

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NASCAR legend declares to Obama, Dalai Lama at Prayer Breakfast: without Christ, you will go to hell

by Marsha West
Christian Research Network reports:

During Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, NASCAR great Darrell Waltrip shared his Christian testimony with the thousands gathered, including Barack and Michelle Obama and the Dalai Lama, stating that he thought he was once a pretty good person, but “good people” go to Hell without Christ.

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Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics must unite to defend life, sex, marriage – ‘we’re on the same team’

by Marsha West

Rick Warren is on a mission to unite with the apostate Church of Rome in an effort to solve society’s social ills. As usual, Warren downplays the wide divide between Rome and biblical Christianity. CNS News writes:

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’ Book by Pastor John Hagee Gets Big-Screen Treatment; Docu-Drama to Feature Expert Commentary From Dinesh D’Souza, Dennis Prager and David Barton

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.

View Article


They Must Be Stopped

Jan’s first guest is Brigitte Gabriel who has been sounding a warning as to the Islamic threat in the world – and specifically America – for a decade. She is the author of “They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam” and “Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America” found in any bookstore. Compelling sound bites are played that support her case. Then Jan talks to Pastor Ray Bentley about his book, “The Holy Land Key: Unlocking End-Times Prophecy Through the Lives of God’s People in Israel”. We use the mobile app found at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Chuck Missler Aligns Himself with ‘Prophet’ Kim Clement

For the past few years, we have documented the ever-mystical leanings of notable Bible teacher and author, Chuck Missler, ultimately listing him among a group of evangelical teachers we’ve dubbed ‘Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm’ (PPP) leaders, because of their gravitation away from sound truth revealed in Scripture alone, coupled with their feverish efforts to re-fashion end-times prophecy to fit their extra-biblical speculations….

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What Will Matter to Evangelicals in 2016

The most important test of 2016 may be the Thomas Jefferson Primary —the race to see which candidates offer a clear, coherent vision of religious liberty when the very idea is contested in American politics. (Moore, The Wall Street Journal)

Full Story


Fight the spiritual forces of wickedness — and win!

by Marsha West, 12/11/14 Renew America

Satanism…religious liberty…beheadings…gender confusion…ecumenicalism. My tendency is to fret about such things, even though God reminds us in His Word:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

Likewise, 1 Peter 5:7 commands believers not to be anxious but to lay all our worries on God because He cares for us. So is there any question that His people are to go to Him with the hard things, lay them at His feet, and trust that we can literally “let go and let God”?

Click here to read this article!


City Calls on Allah, Zeus, Satan

by Bob Unruh, 12/12/14

He prayed: “Mother Earth, we gather today in your redeeming and glorious presence to invoke your eternal guidance in the universe, the original creator of all things. May the efforts of this council blend the righteousness of Allah with the all knowing wisdom of Satan. May Zeus, the great god of justice, grant us strength tonight. Jesus might forgive our shortcomings while Buddha enlightens us through his divine affection. We praise you Krishna for the sanguine sacrifice that freed us all. After all, if almighty Thor is with us, who can ever be against us? And finally for the bounty of logic, reason and science, we simply thank the atheists, agnostics, humanists, who now account for one in five Americans and growing rapidly. In closing. Let us above all, love one another, not to obtain mythical rewards for ourselves now, hereafter or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather embrace secular-based principles of morality, and do good for goodness sake. And so we pray, so what?”

Click here to read this article!


Mennonite Magazine Offers: “Find Yourself a Thin Place this Christmas”

by Menno-Lite, Lighthouse Trails, 12/13/14 LT Publishing

In an article called Have a “thin” Christmas in the December 2014 issue of the MB Herald, readers are encouraged to find God in the “thin places” this Christmas.

Click here to read this article!


Creflo Dollar Says Myles Munroe Came to Him in a Dream Three Days After He Died and He Was Leading His Own Funeral

by The Christian Post, 12/15/14

Popular televangelist and founder of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar, revealed at a national memorial service for renowned pastor and motivational speaker Myles Munroe and his wife, Ruth, in the Bahamas that the revered preacher appeared to him in a dream three days after the deadly crash that killed the beloved couple and seven others last month.

Click here to read this article!


NASCAR Legend Declares to Obama, Dalai Lama at Prayer Breakfast: Without Christ, You Will Go to Hell

(CN) — During Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, NASCAR great Darrell Waltrip shared his Christian testimony with the thousands gathered, including Barack and Michelle Obama and the Dalai Lama, stating that he thought he was once a pretty good person, but “good people” go to Hell without Christ.

Waltrip, a NASCAR Hall of Fame recipient with 84 wins, spoke about the importance of coming to Christ and becoming a new creature before approximately 4,000 attendees, which hailed from 170 countries worldwide. He spent most of his talk sharing his story of how God changed his life from being a man that struggled with pride and alcoholism, to a person who now is humble and lives for Christ and not himself.

Downed Jordanian Pilot Captured by Barbaric ISIS Group Locked in Cage, Burned Alive

(CN) — A horrific new video released by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which also identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shows a captured Jordanian pilot being locked in a cage and burned alive.As previously reported, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto—who was beheaded over the weekend—was featured in a video last week holding a photograph of Jordanian First Lt. Moaz al-Kassasbeh, and warning that ISIS would kill both of them if jailed female would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi was not released.

Katy Perry Promotes Experimenting With Lesbianism to Millions During Super Bowl XLIX

(CN) — Pop star Katy Perry, a former contemporary Christian artist, promoted experimenting with lesbianism during the halftime show during Super Bowl XLIX, singing her 2008 hit song “I Kissed a Girl” to the thousands gathered at the University of Phoenix stadium and the millions watching on television.“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chapstick,” she sang out, rubbing her bottom against the leg of rocker Lenny Kravitz, who joined her on the song. “I kissed a girl just to try it/I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it/It felt so wrong, it felt so right/Don’t mean I’m in love tonight/I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

‘He Redeemed My Life’: Man Who Lived as Woman for Years Now Shares Christ With Transgenders

(CN) — A California man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman and later reverted back to his biological gender is sharing his story of how God redeemed his life and gave him hope.Walt Heyer lived as Laura Jensen for eight years and even had a job with the U.S. government while living as a transgender, but says that having a physical operation did nothing to resolve the mental and emotional struggles that he faced.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


The ethics of vaccination

http://erlc.com/article/vaccines-and-aborted-human-fetal-tissue


Mysterious sightings in Australia’s skies

Posted: 06 Feb 2015 09:39 PM PST

Mysterious sightings in Australia’s skiesSomething very strange has been happening in Australia’s skies, baffling even the nation’s top air safety experts. It turns out that pilots have been reporting sightings of mysterious flying objects for years, but these cases have been kept hush-hush. It’s only now that they are finally coming to light. And it’s all thanks to two curious scientists: Paul Dean, a Melbourne-based UFO researcher, and Keith Basterfield, the author of UFOs: the Image Hypothesis. The duo were fascinated by an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report into an incident near Perth on March 19 last year involving a flying object, so they delved into the case, and in the process discovered evidence of other similar encounters in Australia that had been kept a secret. The ATSB report had concluded that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV — otherwise known as a drone) may have been responsible for the March 19 sighting. But there are doubts, with an ATSB spokesman telling news.com.au: “The ATSB was not able to confirm the details of the object or identify any UAV operator in the area at that time.” Details of the incident were provided in the report: “At about 3800 ft above mean sea level, the crew sighted a bright strobe light directly in front of the aircraft. The light appeared to track towards the aircraft and the crew realised that the light was on an unknown object, possibly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) … “The pilot reported that the object was cylindrical in shape and grey in colour.” The shocked pilot, who had 53 passengers on board, was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with the object. Dean and Basterfield had originally pushed for the case to be classed as a UFO event. However, they have just published a new analysis of the close encounter, and now they believe that someone could be firing rockets at planes, Crikey reports. Why did they change their minds? The scientists had lodged a freedom of information request with Air Services Australia, asking for information on recent cases of unexplained objects in our skies. They were stunned when the response to their request detailed 13 incidents over the past seven years. One of these involved a “missile-like object” that was seen dropping in the skies, with a parachute. More

The post Mysterious sightings in Australia’s skies appeared first on End Time Headlines.

NASCAR Legend At National Prayer Breakfast Tells Obama “If You Don’t Know Jesus, You’re Going To Hell.”Posted: 06 Feb 2015 07:37 PM PST

NASCAR Legend At National Prayer Breakfast Tells Obama “If You Don't Know Jesus, You're Going To Hell.”SITTING JUST FEET AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENT, FORMER NASCAR DRIVER AND HALL-OF-FAMER, DARRELL WALTRIP, GAVE HIS CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY TO AN AUDIENCE THAT INCLUDED THE DALAI LAMA

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)

Waltrip said “If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior … you are going to hell.” Waltrip spoke about how Jesus transformed his life. He told the audience that before he was saved, it was all about him. “I did everything to satisfy me,” he said.

Then he was in a severe crash during a race and everything changed.

“I realized that wreck knocked me conscience,” Waltrip said. “It scared the hell out of me. I mean that literally. I realized, what if I had lost my life that day at Daytona? Would I have go to heaven or would I have gone to hell? I thought I was a good guy, but folks, let me tell you something: good guys go to hell.”

He continued, “If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, if you don’t have a relationship, if he’s not the master of your life, if you’ve never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, or if you are just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal, you’re going to go to hell.” source

Waltrip also made a less than subtle reference to Ben Carson, a brain surgeon and likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, who gave a controversial keynote address at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Jokingly, Waltrip said he wondered why he would be asked to be the keynote speaker. “I thought about it Mr. President, and I got it: I’m not a brain surgeon and I’m not running for office, so I’m the perfect guy to be here,” he said to laughter. “I hope that’s OK. My wife told me I shouldn’t say that, but she’s sitting down there shaking her head now.” Personally, I think that Mr. Obama hand picked Mr. Waltrip to be the keynote speaker, because In his mind, Barack Obama looks down on NASCAR, probably considering it a redneck sport. More

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Three St. Louis County suspects charged with supporting ISIS terroristsPosted: 06 Feb 2015 07:28 PM PST

Three St. Louis County suspects charged with supporting ISIS terroristsThree people from St. Louis County are charged with conspiring to support an ISIS terrorist fighter in Syria and Iraq. The department of Justice says they were also working with three other Bosnian immigrants living in Illinois and New York. The Department of Justice says in an indictment that Abdullah Ramo Pazara traveled from St. Louis to Zagreb Croatia on May 28, 2013. He then made his way to Syria to fight for terrorists associated with ISIS. The indictment states that the suspects were collecting goods and money to support Pazara in his mission.

St. Louis County residents Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37 are charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists. A release from the DOJ says that they were working with Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34 of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois. They are also charged with providing material support to terrorists.

Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Nihad Rosic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. All six of the suspects are natives of Bosnia who immigrated to the United States. Three of them have become naturalized citizens of the United States. Five of the defendants are in the United States and have been arrested. One remains at large outside the United States. Authorities declined to specify which suspect remains on the loose.

The indictment says that Siki Hodzic and Sedina Hodzic are accused of transferring money and shipping US military uniforms, tactical gear, firearms accessories, rifle scopes and more to fighters in Syria. The Department of Justice says that they used Facebook and aliases to communicate with members of the conspiracy. Each charge has penalties ranging up to 15 years imprisonment for each count or fines up to $250,000. More

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Billionaire Eric Sprott Just Made One Of The Most Dire Predictions Of 2015Posted: 06 Feb 2015 07:19 PM PST

Billionaire Eric Sprott Just Made One Of The Most Dire Predictions Of 2015Today billionaire Eric Sprott warned King World News that massive derivatives losses have already taken place and they are currently being hidden from the public. He then issued one of the most dire predictions of 2015.

Eric King: “What is going to trigger the disaster that brings the world back to reality?”

Sprott: “There is no doubt in my mind that we are in the disaster. It is a disaster when a currency falls by 30 percent. These things that are going on are absolutely insane….“The biggest issue is what’s happening in the derivatives market. It’s just staggering to think that we have one quadrillion dollars of derivatives.

Look at the chaos. You have no idea what’s going to happen to a currency the next day. Brazil’s currency is crashing. We’ve had oil fall (over) 50 percent and various other commodities have collapsed. Bond yields have gone up today, so some guy who is levered long the bonds — he’s getting killed today. There has to be a lot of hurt going on out there.

I don’t even know if we will ever see it (the enormity of the financial destruction), Eric, because of these changes in accounting policies. The FDIC is supposed to take care of derivative losses at major banks. This was passed in a recent resolution by Congress. We may not see it manifest itself because they (major banks) don’t have to mark-to-market. But any sane person has to know what’s going on.

You can’t have one quadrillion dollars on either side of a market and nobody is losing money. Somebody is losing money and the amounts are way beyond anyone’s ability to pay. So that would be my biggest fear here — that there have to be some huge losses being taken. For example, when Switzerland abandoned the (currency) peg, some hedge fund that had $850 million in it got wiped out in a day. The leverage that’s out there is just staggering and that’s just one example.

And someday there is going to be a claim on some entity where that bank will not be able to honor the claim. Nobody has any idea what’s going on in these banks with their huge derivatives positions. Nobody knows what’s happening. Full Story

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S&P downgrades Greece to just above junkPosted: 06 Feb 2015 06:44 PM PST

S&P downgrades Greece to just above junkStandard & Poor’s has cut Greece’s credit rating from B to B negative – just a notch above junk level – warning of further downgrades as the newly elected Greek government scrambles to find a solution to Greece’s financial woes with its creditors. The rating agency noted on Friday that it will be keeping Greece on “creditwatch negative” meaning that another cut to its rating might be looming. The agency said that the downgrade “reflects our view that the liquidity constraints weighing on Greece’s banks and its economy have narrowed the timeframe during which the new government can reach an agreement on a financing program with its official creditors.” The radical leftist Syriza party was swept into power last month promising to put an end to the harsh austerity measures imposed on the country as a condition of the massive €240 billion loan doled out in 2010 by a troika of creditors, European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

The ECB announced earlier this week that it would not accept Greek government bonds as collateral until a coherent bailout program is agreed on.“Although the newly elected Greek government has been in power for less than two weeks, we believe its limited cash buffers and approaching debt redemptions to official preferred creditors constrain its negotiating flexibility,” S&P said in a statement. The agency also warned that drawn out negotiations for a bailout plan could bode badly for Greece’s economy. “Liquidity constraints have narrowed the timeframe during which Greece’s new government can reach an agreement with its official creditors,” the agency said.

Greece meanwhile does not plan to seek any more bailout money, but instead needs authorization for issuing more short-term debt, Reuters reported citing a Greek government official. “Greece is not asking for the remaining tranches of the current bailout program – except the 1.9 billion euros that the ECB and the EU member states’ central banks must return,” he told Reuters. Greek officials, including rock star finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, have insisted that Greece does not want an extension of the bailout, but rather a bridge deal which would give it time to present a new proposal. Source

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Bible brings freedom to famous former slavePosted: 06 Feb 2015 06:37 PM PST

Bible brings freedom to famous former slave Frederick Baily was born on a Maryland plantation around Feb. 7, 1817, though no accurate records exist, as he was a slave. He later chose the birth date of Feb. 14, as he remembered his mother calling him her “little valentine.”  He never saw his mother in the daylight, as he was separated from her as an infant. He did not know who his father was. Around 12 years old, his master’s sister-in-law, Sophia Auld, was teaching Frederick the alphabet, despite this being against the law. When her husband found out and immediately forbade it, saying that if slaves could read, they would grow discontent and desire freedom. Frederick Douglass considered this the “first decidedly anti-slavery lecture” he had ever heard, causing him to be determined to read all the more. Douglas wrote in his autobiography of learning to read from neighborhood white children. He would carefully observe the writings of men he worked with. He remembered reading a newspaper only to have it snatched away from him with a scolding. Frederick voraciously read newspapers, books and a publication titled The Columbian Orator. He is noted as saying, “Knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom.” Frederick was hired out to the William Freeland plantation, where he taught other slaves to read the New Testament at a weekly Sunday school. Enthusiasm in learning to read drew more than 40 slaves to attend. Neighboring plantation owners were incensed that their slaves were learning to read, as this made it harder to control them. One Sunday they burst in with clubs and dispersed Frederick’s congregation. Douglass’ owner sent him a “slave-breaker,” who whipped him regularly, nearly breaking him psychologically. After a confrontation, he never tried to beat him again. Frederick’s owner rented him out to caulk ships in a shipyard. In 1837, Frederick fell in love with Anna Murray, a free black in Baltimore. She helped provide him with a sailor’s uniform and some identification papers from a free black seaman, and on Sept. 3, 1838, Frederick escaped by boarding a train to Havre de Grace, Maryland, and from there fled to New York. Frederick and Anna Murray were married eleven days later by a black Presbyterian minister, and they changed their last name from “Baily” to “Douglass” to hide Frederick’s former identity. More

 

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Hundreds of dead fish appear, ‘causing concern’ in the Black river in ArgentinaPosted: 06 Feb 2015 06:30 PM PST

Hundreds of dead fish appear, 'causing concern' in the Black river in Argentina.Residents of Villa Rio Black released through the social network Facebook the presence of dead fish along the river. They said it’s not the first time they appear hundreds of dead fish on the spot and ask the authorities to take action on the matter. This morning Centener fish found floating dead on the shore of the Black River. Concerned about the situation, neighbors alerted the community through the social network Facebook and then gained significant impact, among which stressed that “it is not the first time they appear dead fish in there.”  Significantly, it is a place where many people usually have fished and where many children choose to swim during hot summer days. Given this fact, the neighbors alerted and asked the relevant authorities to use the site and verify the dangerousness of the situation and alert the community if the case of water pollution. More

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Should Public Officials and Business Owners Be Forced to Provide Gay Wedding Services?Posted: 06 Feb 2015 06:00 PM PST

Should Public Officials and Business Owners Be Forced to Provide Gay Wedding Services?Slightly more Americans support gay marriage than oppose it, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, though that same survey found that people are also more likely to support allowing wedding-related businesses to deny services to gay couples on religious grounds. While 44 percent of respondents had no problem with legalizing gay unions in their states, 39 percent opposed such a measure, with 15 percent claiming that they have no opinion on the matter. But as for the related hot topic of government officials and religious business owners having the right to decline services to gays and lesbians, the public offered some caveats, according to the Associated Press. Fifty percent of respondents said that state and local officials and judges who issue marriage licenses in places where gay unions are legal should be exempt from doing so if they have a religious objection; 46 percent said that they should not be exempt.  There was even more support for business owners who provide wedding products and services being able to refuse service to gay weddings, with 57 percent favoring this right and 39 percent rejecting it. The AP-GfK Poll was conducted from January 29-February 2 among 1,045 U.S. adults, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. TheBlaze has extensively covered the debate over exemptions for public officials and business owners. From bakers being investigated for refusing to make cakes with messages opposed to homosexuality to bakers declining gay wedding confectionaries, there have been a series of highly publicized debates of late over the contentious issue. There are also other incidents that are similar, but do not involve wedding services, including the recent case of a Christian printer who was punished after declining services to a gay pride organization. Full Story

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Teen Scores Major Victory Against Atheists in Court Battle to Strike ‘Under God’ From the PledgePosted: 06 Feb 2015 05:56 PM PST

Teen Scores Major Victory Against Atheists in Court Battle to Strike ‘Under God’ From the PledgeA New Jersey judge has thrown out an atheist-led lawsuit that argued that “under God” is a violation of the state’s constitution, derailing activists’ latest attempt to remove the decades-old wording from the Pledge of Allegiance — and handing a victory to a faithful teenager who had battled to keep the wording in tact. As TheBlaze previously reported, activist groups have traditionally used the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to go after the Pledge, but the American Humanist Association, a secular group, started embracing a new strategy last year after atheists repeatedly lost court battles to strike down the language; they began framing arguments using state constitutions. The court battle started last February when an unnamed family in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Aberdeen, New Jersey, arguing through representation by the American Humanist Association that mentioning God in the Pledge of Allegiance constituted discrimination against nonbelievers, violating the equal protection clause of New Jersey’s constitution.  The lawsuit also questioned the history surrounding the recitation — a controversial developmental time-line that TheBlaze has covered in detail. “It’s not the place of state governments to take a position on god-belief,” Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, told Religion News Service at the time. “The current pledge practice marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots, merely because they don’t believe the nation is under God.” The school district’s lawyer had argued, though, that officials have merely been following state law, which requires daily recitation of the pledge. While the district offers the recitation in its seven elementary, middle and high schools, students are not required to participate.  The court battle only intensified last year when Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, New Jersey, joined her family in officially filing a response to the American Humanist Association lawsuit, defending the presence of “under God” in the Pledge. In the end, though, atheists’ new tactic led to a loss for atheist activists, with Jones speaking out in favor of the lawsuit’s Friday dismissal. “I’m so grateful the court decided that kids like me shouldn’t be silenced just because some people object to timeless American values,” she said in a statement distributed through her attorneys at the Becket Fund. Jones continued,”Ever since I was little, I’ve recited the Pledge of Allegiance because it sums up the values that make our country great. The phrase ‘under God’ protects all Americans — including atheists — because it reminds the government that it can’t take away basic human rights because it didn’t create them.” Full Story

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McDonald’s Sausage Burrito contains more than 100 ingredients – including chemical used in FireworksPosted: 06 Feb 2015 05:51 PM PST

McDonald's Sausage Burrito contains more than 100 ingredients - including chemical used in Fireworks  A McDonald’s Sausage Burrito certainly promises to fire you up for the day, with more than 100 ingredients including one chemical compound used in fireworks. A new behind-the-scenes video reveals that although the liquid egg in the sandwich originates from a farm in Michigan, it is mixed with twenty other components before flash frozen and reheated at restaurants. Among the scrambled egg mix is carboxymethyl cellulose – a binding compound found in denture adhesives – and sodium benzoate, which is also used in fireworks to produce a whistling sound.  Both ingredients are commonly used in the processed food industry as a cheap way of thickening and preserving goods. The other components of the McDonald’s breakfast burrito include ‘pre-cooked sausage crumbles.’ Thankfully the brown-colored nodules do contain pork.  But the niblets are blended with various other substances including propyl gallate – an antioxidant preservative also used in a wide variety of vanity products, including lipsticks and shower gel. After the egg and pork is combined, a layer of processed American cheese is melted on top.  Soy lecithin – which some suggest triggers weight fluctuations and gastrointestinal problems – is added to the milk, cream, water and ‘cheese culture’ blend, in a bid to stop the cheesy slices from getting stuck together in storage.  Finally, the egg, sausage and cheese is wrapped up in a tortilla wrap by chefs.  In a bid to extend the shelf life of the flour product, a number of preservatives are added during the factory baking process.  And hey presto, a McDonald’s Sausage Burrito is served. The finished breakfast meal contains 300 calories, 12 grams of protein and 790 milligrams of sodium – more than one third of the recommended daily intake. McDonald’s is striving to be more transparent about what goes into its products with ingredients and nutritional values clearly listed on its website. Full Story

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New McDonald’s “Sausage” Burrito Has Over 100 Ingredients Including Chemical Used In Fireworks

A McDonald’s Sausage Burrito certainly promises to fire you up for the day, with more than 100 ingredients including one chemical compound used in fireworks

A new behind-the-scenes video reveals that although the liquid egg in the sandwich originates from a farm in Michigan, it is mixed with twenty other components before flash frozen and reheated at restaurants.

Among the scrambled egg mix is carboxymethyl cellulose – a binding compound found in denture adhesives – and sodium benzoate, which is also used in fireworks to produce a whistling sound.

mcdonalds-sausage-burrito-has-over-100-chemicals-fast-food-mickey-d

Both ingredients are commonly used in the processed food industry as a cheap way of thickening and preserving goods. The other components of the McDonald’s breakfast burrito include ‘pre-cooked sausage crumbles.’ Thankfully the brown-colored nodules do contain pork.

But the niblets are blended with various other substances including propyl gallate – an antioxidant preservative also used in a wide variety of lipsticks and shower gel.

After the egg and pork is combined, a layer of  processed American cheese is melted on top.

Soy lecithin – which some suggest triggers weight fluctuations and gastrointestinal problems – is added to the milk, cream, water and ‘cheese culture’ blend, in a bid to stop the cheesy slices from getting stuck together in storage.

Finally, the egg, sausage and cheese is wrapped up in a tortilla wrap by chefs. In a bid to extend the shelf life of the flour product, a number of preservatives are added during the factory baking process.

And hey presto, a McDonald’s Sausage Burrito is served.

The finished breakfast meal  contains 300 calories, 12 grams of protein and 790 milligrams of sodium – more than one third of the recommended daily intake.

 

The post New McDonald’s “Sausage” Burrito Has Over 100 Ingredients Including Chemical Used In Fireworks appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Katy Perry Admits She Sold Her Soul To The Devil (VIDEO)

In these last days before the Rapture, the spiritual battle we are fighting is heating up to levels not seen on this earth since the days of Noah and Lot

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 (KJV)

Last Sunday night, NTEB lit up the Internet with our expose on Katy Perry’s performance at the 2015 Super Bowl, with over a million people logging on to read it. Many of you, however, seemed to sufficiently confused by her “bubble gum” outfits and imagery, failing to see the real dangers lurking just under the surface. Part of why Perry does that is to lure in the very  young who are attracted to her use of primary colors and nursery-themed characters dancing around on stage. That’s the bait, and it works amazingly well.

katy-perry-admits-she-sold-her-soul-to-the-devil-dark-horse

But once she draws them in , and they begin to watch her other music videos on You Tube, the landscape rapidly changes and now those young fans are spoon-fed the “real” Katy Perry. Many of Perry’s biggest hit songs have to do with lesbianism, bestiality, the Illuminati, and of course, selling your soul to the Devil. Look at some of the words to her massive hit song, Rock God:

“Preacher man walked into the club and he said
He said, hey girl can’t you walk and not stray?
Father I’m torn and I’m selling my soul to the
Rhythm, the beat and the bass
Cause I can’t confess my rock and roll ways
Cause I’m so possessed with the music
The music he plays…

No, I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could
Cuz’ I chose a path and I’m not looking back
And I’m sorry if I left the angels crying over me

Cause I’m gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone
(Have you ever felt this way, have you ever ever never, felt this way)
Yeah I’m gone, gone, gone
With my rock, rock god

The fine folks over at Good Fight Ministries have put together an excellent video laying this all out in graphical detail. Some of the information contained in the video may not be suitable for young viewers so please watch it before showing it to your kids.

Perhaps you’ve already forgotten Perry’s Dark Horse performance at the 2014 Grammys that had even the unsaved world scratching their heads and tweeting, “did we just watch Katy Perry perform witchcraft at the Grammys”? How quickly we forget in our “always on” world.

katy-perry-cute-bubble-gum-primary-colors-lures-in-young-fans

In that performance, Katy Perry, was surrounded by demons as she danced around an upside down broomstick before being encircled by fire during a performance of her song “Dark Horse”. Perry also wore clothing bearing an illuminated Knights Templar cross.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

In these last days before the Rapture, the spiritual battle we are fighting is heating up to levels not seen on this earth since the days of Noah and Lot, exactly how Jesus said it would be right before major prophecy begins to be fulfilled. These are those days, and this is our fight.

Whose side are you on?

 

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TGC Spotlight 02.06.15

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

TGC SpotlightFeatured TGC Articles

Dispatch From America’s Most Bible-minded City | Collin Hansen

Just because you make the Bible AN authority doesn’t mean you make it THE authority.

 

How Martin Luther King Jr. Overcame ‘Christian’ White Supremacy | Russell Moore

The civil rights heroes of the 1960s indicted conservative hypocrites, prophetically, with the conservatives’ own convictional claims.

 

David Platt on How The Gospel Frames The Social Issues of Our Day | Matt Smethurst

The message of the gospel has always been countercultural, and the need for the gospel has always been urgent in every culture.

 

Caring For The Nearest Neighbors | Courtney Reissig

While staying home affords me the opportunity to also serve my friends and neighbors in need, I’m in closest proximity to my kids.

 

When Reading The Bible Through Just Wouldn’t Do | Gaye Clark

For decades I used the conventional annual Bible reading plans but struggled to keep up. Then, one year, everything changed, and I discovered a new approach.

 

Featured TGC Contributor Articles

Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and Southern White Evangelicals: A Historians Forum (Matthew J. Hall) | Justin Taylor

The movie Selma reminds us that white clergy protested and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and other African Americans in the 1960s on behalf of Civil Rights. But it also reminds us—as Anthony Bradley recently observed—that many of those clergy were from the North and were Protestant mainliners, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, and Roman Catholic. One has to wonder: where where the conservative evangelicals?

 

The “Plus One” Approach to Church | Kevin DeYoung

Are you just starting out at a new church and don’t know how to get plugged in? Have you been at your church for years and still haven’t found your place? Are you feeling disconnected, unhappy, or bored with your local congregation? Let me suggest you enter the “Plus One” program of church involvement.

 

A Better Way to Make Disciples Among the Nations | Trevin Wax

Global religious diversity is one of the central facts—and challenges—confronting evangelical missions today. In A Trinitarian Theology of Religions: An Evangelical Proposal, Gerald McDermott and Harold Netland take stock of different theological understandings of the relationship between Christianity and other religions.

 

Letters to a Young Protestor, 7: On Racists | Thabiti Anyabwile

Dear Niecie, It’s been too long since I’ve heard from you or written. I was glad to talk with your mom and see that she’s doing well with the new cancer treatments and to hear you’re doing well in school. I praise God for that.

 

Quietness vs. prominence | Ray Ortlund

I have calmed and quieted my soul. Psalm 131:2 How did David get into that quiet place before God? He forsook ambition. “My eyes are not raised too high,” he wrote. He checked that restless impulse of ingratitude and the itch of attention-seeking. He settled into the role and place God had assigned to him, because he trusted in the wisdom and goodness of God’s providential care.

 

A Prayer for Keeping Our Sufferings in Perspective | Scotty Smith

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the weariness-validating, heart-liberating voice of the Scriptures. Your Word brings us the encouragement we need, at just the right time. Today, I’m grateful for both Peter and Paul’s words about the sufferings we experience in this world. Both of these men were quite familiar with suffering, and both of them were even more familiar with your sovereign might and endless mercies.

 

Coming Next Week at TGC

Lost Jobs, Found Church | Greg Forster

Greg Forster calls on churches to serve the poor, especially those caught in technological transition resulting in job loss.

 

Strange Is Good with the Trinity | Fred Sanders

Fred Sanders discusses the practical dimensions of the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

Why Is the Number of the Beast 666? | Greg Beale

Greg Beale explains why the number of the beast in Revelation 13:8 is 666.

 

Upcoming Events

Albuquerque Regional Conference (March 20-22, 2015)

Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and Christ. Speakers include Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, and David Helm.

2015 National Conference (April 1-15, 2015)

Heading Home: A New Heaven and a New Earth. Speakers include Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, John Piper, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, Philip G. Ryken, Ligon Duncan, and many others.

Remainder Bin

American Culture

Fifty Shades: Now On Sale At Target
D.C. McAllister, The Federalist

Target welcomes ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ products to its formerly family-friendly shelves. Do we really need society to get any more messed up?

Bioethics

UK Churches oppose three-person baby plan
BBC

Senior church figures have called on the UK government to block the creation of babies from three people.

Study: suffering at end of life is getting worse, not better
Jenny Gold, Vox

It’s been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released its seminal 1997 report detailing the suffering many Americans experience at the end of life and offering sweeping recommendations on how to improve care. So has dying in America gotten any less painful?

Bill aiming to reduce veteran suicide makes way to White House
Matthew Daly , Associated Press

A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans is on its way to the president for his signature.

Christianity and Culture

Religion and Politics
Russell Moore, Tabletalk

What is the mission of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and how does it carry out its work?

Why Marching for Life Should Be a Way of Life
Daniel Darling, OnFaith

We march for the unborn, but we’re also learning to see the image of God in other marginalized people.

Crime

10 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking
Heather Davis Nelson, OnFaith

If you’re not sure where to begin engaging with human trafficking, start here.

How Conservatives Are Getting Right On Crime
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Today’s conservative crime reformers are aiming for less guards, bars, and prison beds.

Education

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

While colleges across the country have been grappling with concerns related to students transitioning from one gender to another, Vermont is at the forefront in recognizing the next step in identity politics: the validation of a third gender.

Health Issues

Among the Anti-Vaxxers
Ross Douthat, New York Times

Without getting too personal, I’ll just say that I spent a fair amount of time as a kid in circles — mostly liberal and crunchy, though sometimes with a religious element as well — where anti-vaccine sentiment flourished, and have some familial experience with why people end up going down that path.

International Issues

Finding Homes for Ebola’s Orphans
Karen Weintraub, National Geographic

In West Africa, agencies try to find family, friends to care for children who lost parents.

Jordan pilot hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh ‘burned alive’
BBC

A video published online by Islamic State (IS) militants claims to show Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burned alive.

Iceland to Officially Worship Norse Gods Again
Orion Jones, Big Think

For the first time since the Vikings sailed, the Icelandic public will soon be able to worship classical Norse gods like Odin, Thor, and Frigg at a public temple build in their honor.

Military

Large cache of US chemical weapons to be destroyed
BBC

The US is set to destroy its largest remaining cache of chemical-laden artillery shells, bringing it closer to complying with an international treaty.

Religious Liberty

Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

Religious and secular advocacy groups jointly called Thursday (Jan. 29) for greater clarity by the Internal Revenue Service regarding nonprofits and political activity.

Administrative Law Judge Finds Bakery’s Refusal To Furnish Same-Sex Wedding Cake Violates Anti-Discrimination Law
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In In re Melissa Klein, (OR BOLI, Jan. 29, 2015), an Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Administrative Law Judge, in a 52-page opinion, held that Aaron Klein, a co-owner of the bakery “Sweetcakes by Melissa”, discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the public accommodation provisions of ORS 695A.403.

Science

Science vs. Religion Is Really a Three-Way Split
Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion News Service

“Post-Seculars” are religious and scientifically minded, but break with both packs when the two collide.

Sexuality Issues

Is Christian Teaching on Sexuality Psychologically Harmful?
Andrew T. Walker and Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse

For parents with LGBT children, Christianity offers an alternative to false dilemmas of affirmation or abandonment.

What Parents Should Know About Giving Hormones To Trans Kids
Walt Heyer, The Federalist

Medical guidelines advise against doing what many U.S. doctors are to kids who feel like the opposite gender: Giving them life-altering hormones early.

Transgenderism: ‘An Idea to be Spread’
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

What interests me about this story is not that there are people who believe that they are some sort of third gender, but that a university formally recognizes it. This is the institutionalization of the revolution.

Source


Some Here, Some There — February 6, 2015

by Dan PhillipsThis will be one of those “start small but mighty” Fridays. Check back after noon, TX time.

  • The best part of Justin Taylor’s post on the days of Genesis continues to be the response-pieces. Mark Snoeberger of DBTS offers a detailed (and very good) response to the propping up of old-earthism by Justin Taylor that we noted last week. Really enjoy his style. Refreshing contrast.
  • (One of Mark’s commenters opined that the post was thoughtful, careful, and respectful. What a terrible thing to say. Don’t let that stop you from reading it.)
  • Plus: As I’ve often remarked, when Doug Wilson is good, none is better. As he is when he weighs in on the days of creation. Many thinkables and quotables.
  • I wonders: did TGC block 9Marks after this tweet?

Source


  • John MacArthur on the home of a godly shepherd.
  • I wouldn’t write this article exactly this way, but nevertheless, I totally agree, let’s stop singing these worship songs.
  • I’m thinking of making these (with dairy- and soy-free butter, thank you very much, allergies), and trying them out on my coworkers. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.
  • Ice church is tolerant.
  • Owen Strachan responds to the jaw-dropping statement found here, “We believe in the Holy Polyamorous Trinity.”
  • William Tyndale on God’s sovereign election.
  • What does Paul mean in 2 Corinthians 5:21? Did Jesus literally take on a sin nature at the cross? Sadly, some people teach that heresy. Nate Busenitz teaches what this verse actually means.
  • What does the Bible say about angelic visitations?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (thanks, Stephen!).
  • Last week, Justin Taylor posted “biblical” reasons to doubt the 24-hour days in the creation account. This week, some rebuttals appeared. Here’s one. Here’s another.
  • Ed Young. There, that’s all I had to say, wasn’t it?
  • The Fifty Shades of Grey tchotchkes are starting to appear…in Target (warning that this short article presents a tweet that uses a term that is more explicit than some may prefer).
  • Some thoughts on Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp.
  • I say ‘ow‘ a lot. Good news is, that must mean I can tolerate more pain. Bad news—I’m clumsy or I wouldn’t be saying it in the first place.
  • So…at what point are you willing to concede that he’s not meditating any longer?
  • God’s sovereign compassion:

Source


 

Waiting UponThe Lord. Follow Up

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  I appreciate your answer for the person asking what it means to wait on the Lord.  In your answer you said,  ” I believe it means that after praying for direction, we are to wait patiently for the Lord to provide it.”    If so, then how does James 2:17 apply, ” In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead?”    To me, waiting means just that, you wait.  You don’t step forward in any direction.  So, if we pray in faith and then accompany that pray by action, where does the waiting fit in?

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Who Should We Pray To? Follow Up

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Re:  Who Should We Pray To? You responded with “We can pray in the Spirit and in His power”. Please explain “pray in the Spirit”. My local church preaches that this is tongues but reading the verses they use in context doesn’t make sense. When I throw out those verses used out of context I am left with Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20. Both mention “praying in the spirit” but do not instruct on what it is.   I do not understand how they can build a doctrine on this when there is so little instruction.  Surely if tongues is important as it is preached the Holy Spirit would have put instruction on it in the word. I can hardly turn a page without being told how to walk in love, live by faith but not much on “praying in the spirit” Am I missing something here?

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Would The Temple Have Been Destroyed Anyway?

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  I  know that if Jewish Leadership would have accepted Jesus death/resurrection for their sins when He came the first time, the church would not have been born. The remaining 7 years would have begun following the resurrection of Jesus. My question is, would the temple still have been torn down or would the antichrist have just stood in Herod’s temple?

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A Post Rapture Remnant?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. A friend recommended your website and I’m really glad they did. I was impressed with what I’ve read so far. I wanted to get your opinion on something I’ve come to understand in the last few years. I’ve believed in the Rapture for some time now, but always had the feeling that I would not be Raptured, even though I’m a believer.  I did not know what to make of this but some time after that I read Romans 9, especially focusing on verses 23-31, and came to the conclusion that I would be part of the remnant. What have you come to understand about the remnant through your reading and study of Scripture?

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Doubting My Faith

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I am struggling with some things for days now, and my father told me to write to you about them.  This is one of my problems, and I’m not sure if its just attacks from Satan or what because I’m constantly unsure if I’m a child of God, and I feel very afraid. What is the difference between doubt and unbelief?  I am scared that I don’t have the faith to be saved, and I get a terrible fear in my heart. Can you please give me advice?

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The Resurrection Of Believers

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. The Old Testament saints were set free from Abraham’s bosom and then went up to paradise when Jesus went to the center of the earth for 3 days.  However, they will not get their bodies until after the Great Tribulation ends.  So the Church saints (and angels) will ride back with Jesus at the 2nd Coming but the O.T. souls have to wait until the battle is over.  Right?  If yes, do they have to wait to get their spiritual bodies because they are connected to the 70th week by being Jewish?

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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 7-8, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Blogroll Collection

I’ve Been Abused; Am I Still Pure?

by Erin Davis

February is the month of love. Many of us will be swept up in the emotion of it all, either googly-eyed and heart sick over the love in our lives, or crestfallen and heartbroken over the lack thereof. Because of that, us older, married types will seize the opportunity to teach you about God’s plan for love, romance, and sex in the hopes that you’ll grab on to His plan for your love life.

Until recently, I didn’t realize that teaching about God’s plan for romance, specifically His standards for sexual purity, could pick the scabs on some serious wounds. That’s why I’m so glad that Amy wrote these brave words to us in a comment on a previous blog post.

Read more


Biblical Mentoring for Women: Our Titus 2 Calling

You’re reading Part Three of a multi-part Grace & Truth blog mini-series on Biblical Counseling and Women’s Issues. Men—you’d be wise to read these too—to learn more about a biblical understanding of women and about biblical women’s ministry. Today’s post is from Ellen Castillo on Biblical Mentoring for Women. Continue reading


De-Judging the Boy Scouts

Freedom of religion, freedom of association — these are rights guaranteed by the Constitution. But I guess a guarantee isn’t what it used to be.
Download


4 Ways False Teachers May Indirectly Help the Church

I don’t advocate studying what false prophets teach. That would be a foolish waste of time for most, and a dangerous path for many. However, we can still learn important lessons from popular false teaching.


If Rick Warren is Right, Why Did These Martyrs Even Die At the Hands of the Roman Catholic Church?

LTRP Note: Please refer to our previous post titled “Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’” to understand what we mean by the title of this article.


Weekly Blogs of Interest Listing

The “Plus One” Approach to Church | TGC

Advice to Young Pastors from R. C. Sproul, Tom Schreiner, and Carlos Contreras | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

Scott Walker learned early lessons at father’s Iowa church

Pastor, are you having fun? | Tony Reinke

A Beautiful Picture of a Beautiful God | The Christward Collective

Jesus as YHWH – The Scriptorium Daily

becoming worldly saints | Don’t Stop Believing

Women & Suffering: Is It OK If We Just Don’t Know What To Say? – 20schemes

You Don’t Have to Say ‘Yo’ Around Me | Her.meneutics | Christianitytoday.com

Single-Focused: Nine Tips for Singles | True Woman

Thursday is for Thinkers: How to Love a Loved One with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

8 Days w/o My iPhone | Counseling One Another

50 Micro-Book Reviews from 2014 | Scribblepreach

69 Great Links for Leaders, Readers, and Creatives – February 2, 2015

Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and Southern White Evangelicals: A Historians Forum (Matthew J. Hall) | TGC

The erosion of traditional families is affecting income inequality | Deseret News National

Canadian Justice: You Can’t Block Lawyers over Their Alma Mater Banning Gay Sex | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from the Child of a Loving Gay Parent | Public Discourse

Finding the Rights Argument in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate | Canon and Culture

The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity | Public Discourse

Stephen Fry says God is ‘capricious, mean-minded, stupid’, but let’s not get angry. | Christian News on Christian Today

Building Better Secularists – NYTimes.com

Richard Dawkins wants to fight Islamism with erotica. Celebrity atheism has lost it – Telegraph

 


Fifty Shades of Genesis 3:16

“The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey doesn’t surprise me, because God predicted it in Genesis 3. The woman’s desire or strong craving (addiction if you will) will be for the man, and he will rule over her. THAT is why Fifty Shades of Grey, the Twilight Series, and countless other lesser known masochistic ‘romance’ novels have flourished over the years.”

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By Grace, We Are Free in Christ

“I have met some exceptionally intelligent people who cannot understand the Christian gospel. They hear its message as if it were a lecture on morality. Yet the gospel is not difficult to understand. The problem lies within us—in our spiritual blindness. If there is resistance in the heart to loving God, there will be resistance in the mind to knowing God—and therefore to listening to and seeking God. Only the truth can set us free.”

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How to Battle for Hearts and Minds

“The real issue for me has to do with the proper weapons for intellectual warfare. As a participant in many dialogues—ecumenical and interfaith—I have often encountered criticisms from fellow evangelicals who tell me that we do not have the leisure for the “niceties” of polite discussion with people with whom we disagree.”

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On Profession Of Faith And Communion

“Assuming that a child has been well catechized and raised in a reasonably normal Christian way, i.e., that the child has been lovingly disciplined, that he has been included in public worship and that the family has attended faithfully to the means of grace (preaching of the Word and the sacraments as appropriate) parents might ordinarily expect their child to begin to be ready as early as age 12—perhaps a little earlier or later.”

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Putting Sex In Perspective

“Nothing in the Bible encourages us to give sex the exalted status it has in our culture, as if finding our purpose, our identity, and our fulfillment all rest on what we can or cannot do with our private parts. Jesus is the fullest example of what it means to be human, and he never had sex. How did we come to think that the most intense emotional attachments and the most fulfilling aspects of life can only be expressed with sexual intimacy?”

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Why I Choose To Use The Word Reformed

“At the Reformed African American Network our core audience consists of “African Americans who self-identify as Reformed.” We created RAAN to address the need for a community of African Americans who had adopted Reformed theology, but who struggled to find others who shared their racial and cultural background.”

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Following Jesus Through Cancer: A Final Conversation With Steve Hayner

“In an intimate conversation with Hayner this October, when Hayner transitioned out of the presidency of Columbia Theological Seminary, Labberton said, “It would be hard to think of anyone other than my brother who has more fully bracketed my life as a person, a pastor, a leader, a disciple, a friend.”

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My Mouth Says Yes, My Body Says No

“Most Christian parents have good intentions to teach their children to love God. But what value are we communicating to our children’s hearts when we neglect corporate worship to attend an event of our own choosing like a music recital, sports event or hunting trip. Our instruction may be, “Love God, no matter what,” but our actions say, “Love God if you don’t have a better offer.”

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Building Better Secularists

“The point is not that secular people should become religious. You either believe in God or you don’t. Neither is the point that religious people are better than secular people. That defies social science evidence and common observation. The point is that an age of mass secularization is an age in which millions of people have put unprecedented moral burdens upon themselves.”

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Praying For Adult Children

“When they were younger, I prayed that they would love God’s word, serve Him faithfully, devote their lives to living a life which would reflect God’s glory. I still pray for that. I don’t really care about much else other than those things, because I think if those are their priorities, everything else will fall into place for them.”

Read more


Rebutting Obama’s Anti-Christian, Pro-Islam Baloney

by Bill Muehlenberg

I certainly wasted no time in challenging the latest bit of nonsense to come forth from the American President’s mouth. His deplorable remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington were among the worst things ever that he said – and he has said an awful lot of bad things. See my response here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/02/06/obama-dhimmi-in-chief/

It is gratifying to note that I was not alone in outrage and indignation over the diabolical lies Obama was peddling. I note that plenty of others have also come out swinging, and there is now so much good stuff out there that it is worth quoting a bunch of these folks.

Indeed, people of all stripes were rightly incensed by his moronic remarks, whether Jews, Christians or secularists. Let me begin with Michelle Malkin who got right to the point in a tweet: “ISIS chops off heads, incinerates hostages, kills gays, enslaves girls. Obama: Blame the Crusades.”

Read more


“But how do we reach the youth?”

by Christopher Ames

T. David Gordon presses a very controversial button here, but he asks questions that move us beyond discussion of whether youth ministry model A or B “works” or not. What are we assuming when we discuss youth ministry?

Is it wise to ghetto-ize young people, retarding and delaying their entrance into adulthood?

Ordained Servant Online | Youth Ministry?


A Layman’s Take on R2k

Basically, the idea of two kingdoms is a modest one. It says that God rules over everything in His Creation. There are two primary aspects of that rule – the world and His church. While these aspects are not mutually exclusive, God ordinarily rules the affairs of the church in a way that is different from the way he rules secular government and culture. As with any generalization, there are nuances, and some differences in how that is applied. But the difference reflects more the special way God guides His people in a world He says is not their home.

Read more


Jonathan Edwards’ Collected Works Now Available For Download

“Edwards is widely recognized as one of the most important American thinkers and religious figures and as a major figure in the history of Christian thought,” said Kenneth Minkema, executive director of Yale’s Jonathan Edwards Center. “Publication of his works is important for providing resources for those, such as students, who wish to learn for the first time about his influences, thought and legacies.”

Read more


The Persecution of Gordon College

Gordon College’s case may never become a popular cause. The college is unlikely ever to enjoy the pop-culture power of chicken restaurants and craft stores. But few battles will have more enduring meaning than the fight for Christian education, for the very ability to transmit knowledge and values from one generation to the next.

Read more


Preaching: 500+Resources

Here are over 500 resources on preaching that will help the preacher to continue to develop his preaching skills. The resources are categorized under fourteen headings, such as basics of preaching, expository preaching, commentaries, delivery of a sermon, Old Testament preaching, evaluating preaching, and so much more.

Read more


When You Don’t Have Time to Pray

I was there, kneeling upon the immeasurable graces that he has worked in my life, resting my elbows on his unfailing mercies, thousands and thousands of mercies. It occurred to me then, by his grace, because of what he has done, that as rusty as my heart may feel, as stupid, frazzled, and fractured my day might seem, as distracted a man I might be, I am still his. I’m his.

Read more


Inventing The Crusades: A Review of ‘The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam’

On September 11, 2001, there were only a few professional historians of the Crusades in America. I was the one who was not retired. As a result, my phone began ringing and didn’t stop for years. In the hundreds of interviews I have given since that terrible day, the most common question has been, “How did the Crusades lead to the terrorist attacks against the West today?” I always answered: “They did not. The Crusades were a medieval phenomenon with no connection to modern Islamist terrorism.” That answer has never gone over well.

Read more


Dispensationalism

Ryrie famously reduced dispensationalism to three essentials, which he reiterated in the later revision to his book, retitled Dispensationalism. Thesesine qua non include the following. First, dispensationalism “keeps Israel and the church distinct.” Second, this distinction arises from “a system of hermeneutics that is usually called literal interpretation.” Third, God’s underlying purpose in the world consists not only in the provision and application of salvation, but in the glory of God.

Read more


 

A Sequel To The Bible

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  In the 1000 year reign of Christ, do you think there will be a sequel to the Bible to prepare us for eternity. I can’ t imagine  what eternity would be like if time is a creation of God. Jesus said in John’s gospel that there is more to know but we can not bear it now. I know  that one reason for the millennial reign is to prove that man is still sinful even without Satan’s influence. Perhaps  the real reason for the literal 1000 year reign of Christ is to bring him glory, which is long overdue.

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Waiting Upon The Lord

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Would you please tell me what it means to wait upon the Lord”  Thanks.

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Still More On The Body And The Bride

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Is the Body of Christ the same as the Bride of Christ?  It seems in Philippians 3:10-11 that Paul makes a distinction between the two words for “resurrection” found in both verse 10 and 11.  Could there be a “taking out of” that first resurrection of the Body to create the Bride?  Another thought:  when God created a bride for Adam, He took her “out of” his body.

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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 7, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Christians in Mexico Deprived of Homes for Refusing to Renounce their Faith

ICC Note: In southern Mexico’s Chiapas state, tensions are rising between the Protestant minority and the syncretistic Catholics who practice a mixture of Roman Catholicism and indigenous customs.


Christians Protest Visit by Officials Representing Sudan’s “Genocidal Regime”

ICC Note:

Christians and activists are protesting the reception of two officials representing the al-Bashir regime (responsible for the deaths of millions, including hundreds if thousand of Christians, in Sudan) at a prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C.


Religion Banned in China’s Politics

China: Communist party reaffirms ban on belief in Zhejiang

ICC Note:

As a part of the wider crack-down on religious freedom in China, officials in China’s Zhejiang province have made it clear once again that in order to be a part the Communist Party, the largest political party in the country, one must reject ALL religion and faith.


Fleeing Persecution in Vietnam, Christians are Arrested in Cambodia

Fleeing from Vietnam, Montagnard Christians arrested by Cambodian police

ICC Note:

A family of five fled Vietnam to Cambodia in attempts to escape persecution for their Christian faith.


China Government Denies Chinese Christians Passes to Gospel Conference

Public security bureaus deny worshippers passes to attend Hong Kong gospel conference

ICC Note:

Christians from mainland China have found their requests for passes to attend a Gospel conference in Hong Kong denied with no explanation.


Police in India Arrest Hundreds of Christians Demonstrating Against Church Attacks

India’s Government Remains Silent on Issue of Religious Intolerance

2/5/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that police in India’s capital of New Delhi have arrested hundreds of Christians demonstrating against a recent string of attacks on churches.


Hope and Healing For 15- year Old Rape Victim

Nadirah, a 15-year-old Christian girl, was kidnapped and raped by two Muslim men on August 2, 2014 in the Lahore, Pakistan. According to local sources, both the accused were arrested and are reportedly in police custody to date.


ISIS Threatens Assyrians in Syria, Women and Children Evacuated

ICC Note: On February 1st, 2015, ISIS came to the village of Tel Hormizd in Syria, forcing locals to remove the cross from their church. Shortly after the militants left, women and children were evacuated the town for their safety while the Assyrian men stayed back and took up arms to defend their town.


 

Electoral Commission Postpones Nigerian General Elections

Multinational Military Offensive Against Boko Haram Delays General Elections in Nigeria by Six Weeks

02/07/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Nigeria Electoral Commission has postponed the February 14 general elections for six weeks.


Islamic Extremists Harass Church Gatherings in Indonesia

By ICC Indonesia Staff

2/7/2015 Indonesia (International Christian Concern)-In most parts of the world, the coming of a new year is celebrated in a peaceful and joyous atmosphere.

The Peril of Modernizing Paul

The Reformed Reader

Justification Reconsidered Stephen Westerholm is a helpful voice for those of us opposed to the New Perspective(s) on Paul – perspectives which have been around for forty years or so.  In his recent book Justification Reconsidered, Westerholm explains and critiques the New Perspective(s) on Paul and also gives a biblical defense of the historic or classical perspective.  Since it is only 100 pages, this is a great book for those who want an introduction to this discussion; it is also good for readers who want to review the errors of the New Perspective(s) and be refreshed with a fine defense of the traditional view.

I especially enjoyed the first chapter, where Westerholm argued (contra the New Perspectives) from several of Paul’s epistles that the Apostle’s main emphasis wasn’t first and foremost ecclesiological (how Gentiles might get into the “messianic community”); rather it was soteriological (“how can sinners find a gracious God?”). …

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Hated for being Christian? Be at peace….

Christian Living for Women

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I have heard much of an uproar today regarding the comments made by President Obama comparing Christians of the past with ISIS. While my initial gut reaction was anger, I got over it quickly. We can sit and debate the topic, get all worked up into a frenzy, but why? To be clear, there is no wrong in correcting falsehoods but we need to do so in a manner that reflects Biblical wisdom. And the Bible teaches us over and over again that this is exactly what we can expect from the world. Why then do we keep expecting the world to be kind and understanding of us? Was the world kind and understanding of Jesus? No. The truth is the world does not know us because they do not know the Lord. And just as they hated the Lord, they hate us. It’s natural to want to be understood…

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Obama, The Crusades, and Radical Islam

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Well unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know President Obama spoke at The National Day of Prayer this week which has caused just a little controversy.

My friend Wintery Knight has given us a post on the topic called Obama responds to Islamic State terrorism by saying Christians are just as bad

Also, my advice to Christians is to please, please, educate yourself on the Crusades so you know how to exclaim to people about the truth about this issue. I would advise reading Rodney Stark‘s God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

Also, see An Interview with Professor Thomas Madden: Dispelling Myths About the Crusades and see his clip here:

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Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades

WINTERY KNIGHT

Crusader Crusader

Here is an interesting article from First Principles Journal.

Intro:

The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.

But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.

The four myths:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in…

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HeadHeartHand Blog Series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.”

A Book That Begins With A Lie

It’s never a good idea to start a book with a falsehood, but that’s how Joel Osteen begins his best-selling book, Your Best Life Now. Here’s the first sentence of the Introduction:

“The future is yours for the taking.”

Osteen clearly agrees with this common phrase, heard in many graduation ceremonies, as he goes on to explain why it doesn’t always work out for some people.

Contrast this opening falsehood with a truthful saying we often hear in Christian circles:

“We don’t know what the future holds, but we know God holds the future.”

Starkly different theologies right there.

The future is yours versus the future is God’s.

You can take the future into your own hands versus God holds the future.

These are two very different views of God, of humanity, and of living the Christian life.

A Slither of Truth
As with so much of Osteen’s theology, there’s a sliver of truth in what he’s saying. Our future is influenced by our present choices. But influenced by is very different from determined by.

Yes, what we choose today may have an impact on tomorrow, the next year, and even extend to future generations. Who we decide to marry, where we choose to live and work, whether to make that phone call or write that email, all of these things influence beyond the present moment and may have a bearing on the rest of our lives and on the lives of others.

However, that’s a very different thing to saying that we can take the future into our own hands and determine our future by our present choices. That completely fails to take account of the sovereignty of the God who has His own plan for our life and can thwart and overrule any of our choices.

This means that our good choices do not always mean happy outcomes, and, thankfully, bad choices do not always mean unhappy outcomes.

Yes, we must live responsibly and make our choices prayerfully, but all our choices are ultimately under the overall sovereignty of God.

A Terrifying Message
Although Osteen is trying to inspire people to take charge of their lives and make a better life for themselves in the future, his message here actually scares the wits out of me.

If the future is in my hands, then I will either work it out independently without reference to God’s wisdom, God’s glory, or God’s will for my life.

Or else I will be paralyzed with fear at the thought that I’m in total charge of my destiny and everything depends entirely upon my decisions.

That’s why I’m utterly baffled that Osteen can teach that the future is in our hands and then say:

“No matter where you are or what challenges you are facing, you can enjoy your life right now!” (K50)

There’s no way I could enjoy my life right now if the future is entirely in my hands. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or do anything profitable with that crushing responsibility on my shoulders.

But if my sovereign God not only knows but holds my future, if God can guide and bless my good choices and even overrule my bad choices for good, then I can enjoy my life right now.

Moreover, trust in God’s sovereignty means I can enjoy my life even in the midst of pain and suffering, even pain and suffering that has resulted from my poor decisions, and those of others.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/19/a-book-that-starts-with-a-lie/


Positive Negativity

Positive is always good, negative is always bad. According to Joel Osteen. In the opening pages of Your Best Life Now, he says:

“In each of these areas, you will find practical suggestions and simple choices that will help you to stay positive in your lifestyle and believe for a brighter future….To do that, you may have to rid yourself of some negative mind-sets that are holding you back, and start enlarging your vision, seeing yourself as doing more, enjoying more, being more.”

Here and elsewhere, Joel Osteen challenges our passivity, our defeatism, our fatalism. He calls us to rid ourselves of negativity and build more positive thought habits.

So what’s wrong with that? For some people, it’s exactly what they need to hear. We’ve all met them haven’t we? Sometimes we’ve been them. Recognize this description from Osteen?

“Many people go through life with low self-esteem, focusing on the negative, feeling inferior or inadequate, always dwelling on some reason why they can’t be happy.”

A pretty miserable existence isn’t it, both for the person and those who have to live, work, and worship with them.

They do need to be confronted with their unhealthy and unhelpful negativity, and called to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. That isn’t a call to false optimism, but a call to true realism.

However, Osteen goes further than this, way further, and sees all negativity as bad and positivity as only good. That is not biblical, truthful, or helpful.

Good Negativity
First, some negativity is accurate, true, good, and beneficial. It is right to examine ourselves for sin and ignorance, to repent of it when we find it, confessing it, humbling ourselves, and seeking forgiveness. This process of spiritual humiliation may not be a pleasant experience for us, but it is pleasing to God and necessary for any progress in the Christian life.

False Positivity
Second, some positivity is false and harmful. For example, if you tell a small man with short legs that he can do anything, even leap a 20 foot gap between buildings, his positive self-image is going to be splattered all over the pavement in short order.

Similarly, if you tell a sinful woman that she is essentially good, and can do good and be good unaided by God, then she will positively go to a negative eternity with a lie in her right hand.

No Foundation
Third, Osteen says that in his book “you will find practical suggestions and simple choices that will help you to stay positive.” But his proposed suggestions and choices are neither biblically accurate nor scientifically proven.

Over the last 20 years, a popular new science called “positive psychology” has produced many studies and books that claim to have found empirically proven ways to happiness. Although they won’t admit it, and they probably don’t even know it, many of them line up with the Bible’s teaching. But Osteen’s teaching lines up with neither the Bible nor science. Its only and shaky foundation is his own enthusiasm and sales skills.

Unrealistic
Fourth, Osteen’s positivity is completely unrealistic. For example, he says:

“I’m confident that if you will take these steps along with me, you ultimately will be happier than ever before, living with joy, peace, and enthusiasm— not just for a day, or a week, but for the rest of your life!”

To paraphrase a little, “If you will take these steps, then you will be happy, joyful, peaceful, and enthusiastic for the rest of your life.” These kinds of cast-iron, unqualified guarantees litter the whole book. If he’d said “you can” or “you may” be happier, etc., then that would be more acceptable. But he doesn’t; he says “you will.”

This totally fails to take account of the fallen world and the fallen human condition. Yes, we are called by God to grow in gifts, in grace, in joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit. But what happens when our teen is killed in a car crash, our husband gets ALS, age devastates our minds and bodies, our best friend dies of cancer, our daughter is raped, thousands are killed in acts of just war and evil terrorism, and so on?

Take a few simple steps and you will be happy, peaceful, and enthusiastic for the rest of your life? That may be true of Joel Osteen’s world, but it’s not living in the real world. Such a shallow and false message can only lead to disillusionment and demoralization.

Some well-founded and biblically grounded negativity can help us prepare for these inevitable days of pain and suffering, and get us through them to the place of eternal and unmixed positivity.

This is the second post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” The first post was A Book That Begins With A Lie.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/20/positive-negativity/


Your Average Life Now

If we grossly underestimate our God-given talents and abilities, then it’s unlikely that we will fulfill our potential.

If we grossly underestimate God’s power and love, then it’s unlikely that we will pray much, expect much, or do much for the Lord.

In chapter 1 of “Your Best Life Now,” Joel Osteen latches on to these two truths and then twists them so far that they become falsehoods.

He begins with a story about a modestly successful man who saw a large mansion while vacationing in Hawaii and said to himself, “I’ll never live in a great place like that.” Osteen comments:

“As long as you can’t imagine it, as long as you can’t see it, then it is not going to happen for you. The man correctly realized that his own thoughts and attitudes were condemning him to mediocrity. He determined then and there to start believing better of himself, and believing better of God.” (p. 3)

Do you see the grains of truth in there? The need to fairly evaluate one’s talents and abilities and the need to believe in the goodness and power of God?

But from these truths, Osteen makes the massive leap to “Imagine whatever you want about yourself or God and it will happen.” He calls us to “enlarge our vision” of self and of God:

“See your business taking off. See your marriage restored. See your family prospering. See your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experience it. To conceive it, you must have an image on the inside of the life you want to live on the outside. This image has to become a part of you, in your thoughts, your conversation, deep down in your subconscious mind, in your actions, in every part of your being.” (p. 4)

You don’t need to read much of Osteen to identify this recurring habit of starting with a truth – which builds our confidence – before sliding off into a falsehood

Look at some of his true-then-false statements

“What you keep before your eyes will affect you. You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind.” (p. 5)

True: “What you keep before your eyes will affect you.” (True because Jesus taught that the light of the body is the eye and what we let in the eye-gate will determine if we are full of light or full of darkness)

False: “You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind.” (False because no matter how much I imagine myself looking like Mr. Universe I cannot produce even a two-pack never mind a six-pack).

“But God wants us to constantly be increasing, to be rising to new heights. He wants to increase you in His wisdom and help you to make better decisions. God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, and creativity.” (p. 5)

True: “God wants us to constantly be increasing, to be rising to new heights.” (True because God calls us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ).

False: “He wants to increase you in His wisdom and help you to make better decisions. God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, and creativity.” (False because nowhere are we told that God wants us to be richer, more successful, and more innovative).

“You must stop dwelling on negative, destructive thoughts that keep you in a rut. Your life is not going to change until you first change your thinking.” (p. 7)

True: “You must stop dwelling on negative, destructive thoughts that keep you in a rut.” (Obviously true and consistent with Philippians 4:8. Although as we saw yesterday, some negativity is good for us.)

False: “Your life is not going to change until you first change your thinking.” (False because, thankfully, God often mercifully changes our lives before we change our thinking).

Conclusions
First, false teachers never ever teach 100% falsehood. There’s always just enough truth in their message to deceive a sufficient number of people. And, sadly, many people seem to be of the view that if there’s any truth in a message, it’s worth hearing.

Second, throughout these pages we look in vain for anyone asking God, “What do you want for me?” or “What’s your vision for my life?” God knows far better than I do what’s best for me and I’d much rather leave the envisioning to Him.

Third, even if my view of God is less than it should be, and it is, my Bible reassures me that God is not limited by my vision. He does exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).

Fourth, the worldliness of it all is appalling. The beatitudes speak of hungering and thirsting after righteousness. In this chapter, all Osteen seems concerned with is hungering and thirsting after money, houses, Miss America crowns (though not for himself), and other secular promotions.

If we want to enlarge our vision, how about “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” God blesses holy hearts with the largest and most satisfying vision of all.

Finally, where does “You shall not covet” fit into all this? Osteen says:

“You need to make a decision that you are not going to live an average, mediocre life.” (p. 8)

What happened to contentment (Heb. 13:5)? What’s so bad about an average, middle-of-the-road kind of life if it’s the life God wants us to live? There are lots of average Christians earning average salaries with average families. They are not to be despised, but encouraged, prayed for, and even admired as they serve God faithfully in their ordinary everyday obscurity.

This is the third post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” Previous posts were A Book That Begins With A Lie, and Positive Negativity.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/21/your-average-life-now/


The Worst Ever (Mis)Quotation Of The Bible?

The more we read and study the Bible, the more painful it becomes when we hear a verse quoted out of context and even used to advocate for the exact opposite of the verse in its context.

In reading through Joel Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now, this pain is fairly constant. But the worst context-ripping and heart-rending example is Osteen’s use of Colossians 3:2 in Part 1: Enlarge Your Vision. Verses 1-2 read:

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

If this verse is teaching anything, it’s calling the believer to seek satisfaction and enjoyment in the spiritual realm not the material, in the eternal not in time, in heavenly pleasures not earthly pleasures, in spiritual wealth not in financial wealth, in Christ not in self.

Which, of course, is the exact opposite of what Osteen teaches.

So, how does he solve that “problem”?

Easy, just butcher the verse.

Osteen’s (per)version is, “Set your mind and keep it set on the higher things.”

Osteen manipulates and distorts this verse in three ways in order to make it fit his carnal agenda in total opposition to the Apostle Paul’s intent.

  • “Things above” has been changed to “higher things.
  • “Where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” has been conveniently chopped off.
  • “Not on things on the earth” has also been eliminated.

With these three swift and not-so-subtle slashes of the knife, Osteen carves out the words he needs to justify equating “higher things” with greater money, possessions, power, popularity, promotions, and so on.

If we were in any doubt as to what Osteen is trying to do here, the remainder of Part 1 dispels them by his praise for example after example of rampant discontent, greed, and materialism.

The audacity of using a verse in God’s Word to promote exactly the opposite of what God intended that verse to teach is shockingly breathtaking. You’d think Osteen could find a verse or two that would be less obviously perverted and manipulated to support his deceit. But no, he takes one of the most “spiritual” verses in the Bible and mutates it into the most carnal agenda imaginable.

Perhaps it’s little wonder that verse one begins, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things that are above.”

In this case, it’s a big “if.”

This is the fourth post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” Previous posts were A Book That Begins With A LiePositive Negativity, and Your Average Life Now.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/22/the-worst-ever-quotation-of-the-bible/


My Favorite Joel Osteen Quote

“He’s called El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. He’s not El Cheapo, the God of barely enough!” (Joel Osteen)

Pretty good quote isn’t it.

The problem is that like so much of what Joel Osteen writes in Your Best Life Now, it’s followed by a deduction that is totally false. Here’s the fuller quote:

“He’s called El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. He’s not El Cheapo, the God of barely enough! Don’t let anybody convince you that God wants you to barely get by in life.”

So from “the God of more than enough” we suddenly jump to God wants you to have more than enough, that barely getting by in life is not God’s will for you. Quite the personal guarantee, isn’t it!

Breaking The Barriers Of The Past
But let’s back up a bit to the beginning of this fourth chapter, Breaking The Barriers Of The Past, because the chapter starts with a powerful and persuasive illustration of how mental barriers can hinder progress.

Osteen describes how, for hundreds of years, no one thought running a four-minute-mile was possible. Roger Bannister didn’t accept that thinking, and within ten years of him smashing the four-minute barrier, 336 other runners had done the same. Osteen concludes:

“The barrier to running a four-minute mile was in the athletes’ minds. For all those years, runners believed what the experts were saying. They were convinced that it was impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes.”

Osteen then applies this to our own lives and says:

“You will never go beyond the barriers in your own mind. If you think you can’t do something, then you never will. The battle is in your mind. If you are defeated in your mind, you’ve already lost the battle…The barrier is in your mind.”

Devastating Negativity
We have to admit, there’s a lot of truth in this. If we haven’t experienced the disabling power of negativity ourselves, then we certainly know people who have, and still do. No question, a pattern of negativity and defeatism devastates human potential.

Sometimes we are not entirely to blame for this. As Osteen explains, if we’ve had a terribly critical person in our upbringing, or if we are constantly around such a person, their negative words are going to damage us.

Other times, we are entirely to blame, and we have to take ourselves in hand, rebuke ourselves, and challenge ourselves to think more positively by thinking more truthfully, accurately, and realistically, a pattern we also see in the Psalms (e.g. Pss. 42, 73, 77).

A Necessary Challenge
A large part of the counseling I do with depressed Christians is focused on this particular area; the battle in the mind to break untrue and damaging patterns of thinking and replace them with true and energizing patterns. As Osteen says, we must work not to let our past determine our future:

“You can’t have a victim mentality and expect to live in victory. You can’t live in a perpetual pity party and then wonder why situations aren’t improving in your life…No matter what anybody in your family has or hasn’t done, don’t let that impose limitations on you. Make up your mind that you are going to be the one to set the new standard. Be the one to affect generations to come.”

Osteen’s right to challenge people to take responsibility to change the pattern of their lives, even of their family and of future generations, by refusing to pass down an attitude of failure and defeat to the next generation.

The problem is what he does next, which is promise if we do that, we will definitely see massive change in our lives and in that of future generations. Some examples:

“If you’ll break through the barriers in your mind and start stepping out in faith, you will go beyond those old barriers, and the same thing will happen in your family…Your children, grandchildren, and future generations will continue to race past those barriers.”

“The Bible promises that God will give us “a twofold recompense for our former shame” (Isa. 61:7). That means if you’ll keep the right attitude, God will pay you back double for your trouble. He’ll add up all the injustice, all the hurt and pain that people have caused you, the abuse and embarrassment, and He’ll pay you back with twice as much joy, peace, and happiness. That is God’s desire for you.”

He describes those who are accepting sub-standard marriages, health, jobs, and income and says:

“This is not the lifestyle God intends for you. God wants you to live an overcoming life of victory, He doesn’t want you to barely get by. He’s called El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. He’s not El Cheapo, the God of barely enough! Don’t let anybody convince you that God wants you to barely get by in life.”

Recognize that quote? Doesn’t look quite so good now, does it? God can give us more than enough, and often does. But His promises extend only to sufficiency (2 Cor. 12:9). Osteen then goes from bad to worse:

“Don’t just accept whatever comes your way in life. You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.”

“Many times, we pray almost as though we are inconveniencing God. We say, “God , would You please give me a bit bigger apartment? I don’t want to bother You for too much.” No, God wants to give you your own house. God has a big dream for your life.”

Ungrounded Promises
As these are merely Joel Osteen’s promises, not God’s, they have no foundation whatsoever. Yes, God calls us to great faith and to expect much in prayer, but there’s nothing in the Bible that warrants us giving others such personal guarantees as:

  • Your children and grandchildren will do even better than you.
  • God does not want you to barely get by in life.
  • You were born to win.
  • You were born for greatness.
  • You were created to be a champion in life.
  • God wants to give you your own house.
  • God will give you twice as much joy, peace, and happiness as pain you have suffered.

Yes, it’s right for a Christian to have a positive, optimistic, hopeful attitude (if it’s based on the character of God and the Word of God). And yes, such an expectant outlook of faith will generally lead to a better life: spiritually, physically, relationally, and even financially. However, we can’t go around guaranteeing ourselves or anyone else that. Every prayer and desire must be prefaced and postscripted with, “Not my will, but your will be done,” or “If it be your will” (not “Because it’s Joel’s will”).

As many Christians can testify (and many have testified), sometimes the best thing that could ever happen for us spiritually is to lose our friends, our finances, our health, and just about everything else too. When we lose everything, but win Christ, God has truly repaid us double and even triple for our losses.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yes indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

This is the fifth post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” Previous posts were A Book That Begins With A LiePositive NegativityYour Average Life Now, and The Worst Ever (Mis)Quotation Of The Bible.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/26/my-favorite-joel-osteen-quote/


Triviality of Trivialities

According to Joel Osteen, if you have the favor of God, you will:

  • Be given premier parking spaces while everyone else is driving forever in circles.
  • Get your child into your favorite school even if he is four days too young.
  • Escape speeding tickets.
  • Find restaurant tables in crowded restaurants.
  • Get waved into the best traffic lane.
  • Find checkouts opened just for you when all the lines are packed.
  • Get blouses for sale prices before the sale starts.
  • Be bumped up to first class seats on airplanes.

In chapter 5 of Your Best Life Now, Osteen says that having the favor of God means that God will “make your life easier, ” by giving you similar “special advantages” and “preferential treatment.”

And how do we get such “favor”? Easy:

“Every morning before you leave the house, say something like this: ‘Father, I thank You that I have Your favor. Your favor is opening doors of opportunity. Your favor is bringing success into my life. Your favor is causing people to want to help me.’”

Like Osteen, I’m all for seeing God in everyday life, recognizing His goodness even in the small things of life, and living the whole of life before God. But, when this is the full extent of Osteen’s examples of God’s favor, I cannot help exclaim, “Triviality of trivialities. All is triviality.” It’s all so small, so shallow, so petty, so paltry, so insignificant, so, well, so trivial. If that’s the extent of God’s favor, it doesn’t say much for God. Indeed it says, “Your God is too small, your God is too trivial.”

I have four questions for Osteen based on what he wrote in chapters five and six:

1. What do you have to say to sufferers? To the rape victim, or the abused child, or the 21-year-old with multiple sclerosis, or the gifted and godly father with ALS, or the mother grieving over her son killed in a road accident?

2. Where’s God’s fatherly chastisement in your scheme? Are we not told that being disciplined by God is a sign of His favor (Heb. 12:6)?

3. What about spiritual favor? Why do you have little or nothing to say about God’s favor being manifested in spiritual graces of regeneration, repentance, faith, patience, contentment, and so on? Are these not worth far more than a cheap blouse or even a first-class seat?

4. Do you really think King David proves your point? You wrote:

“David didn’t focus on his faults or on the things he had done wrong. No, he lived favor-minded. It was David who wrote, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Notice, he was expecting goodness and mercy, not part of the time, but all the days of his life. I like the way The Message translation puts it: “God’s kindness and goodness chases me down everywhere I go.” David’s attitude was, “I just can’t get away from the good things of God!”

I’m tempted to ask if you’ve read Psalm 51? Or anything after 2 Samuel 12v13. If you had, you would realize that David couldn’t get away from the sword of God. As Nathan the prophet said, it never departed from his house. Sure, he was forgiven, but God’s loving chastisement for his sin also followed him for the remaining days of his life. And for all the pain of it, David would say that also was one of the good things of God, one of the proofs of His favor.

This is the sixth post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” Previous posts were A Book That Begins With A LiePositive NegativityYour Average Life Now, The Worst Ever (Mis)Quotation Of The Bible, and My Favorite Joel Osteen Quote.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/01/27/triviality-of-trivialities/


What Is A Healthy Self-Image?

“You must base your self-image on what God’s Word says about you, rather than on false, fickle standards…”

“How you see yourself and how you feel about yourself will have a tremendous impact on how far you go in life….”

“Self-esteem is that deep-down feeling you have about yourself. It’s how you regard yourself, your opinion or judgment of your own value…”

“Your self-image is much like a self-portrait; it is who and what you picture yourself to be….Who do you think you are?”

Sounds like a good biblical counselor doesn’t it?

It’s actually Joel Osteen!

And he’s right. Right in these partial definitions of self-image and self-esteem, and right in his assessment of how beneficial an accurate self-image is. As he says in chapter 7 of Your Best Life Now:

“A healthy self-image is one of the key factors in the success and happiness of any individual. The reason your self-concept is so important is: You will probably speak, act, and react as the person you think you are. Psychologists have proved that you will most consistently perform in a manner that is in harmony with the image you have of yourself.”

It’s common sense, isn’t it. As Osteen says:

“If you see yourself as unqualified, insignificant, unattractive, inferior, or inadequate, you will probably act in accordance with your thoughts….On the other hand, individuals who view themselves as God sees them are usually happy about who they are.”

He’s also right to note that our self-image may be largely the result of what other people have said about us or to us, how others have regarded us. Thus his main challenge in this chapter is well worth hearing:

“The question is, does your image of who you are line up correctly with who God says you are?”

A great question. Unfortunately, Osteen’s answer ahout who God says we are is all wrong in all three tenses of our self-image – past, present, and future tense.

Past Tense: Who I was

Although Osteen makes passing reference to a few flaws and imperfections that some of us may have, he doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in his understanding of the fall and the corrupting impact of sin upon us.

It’s a vital part of our self-image to understand that we were “born dead in sins,” with hearts that are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” that “all the imaginations of our hearts are only evil continually,” and that God is justly angry with us in that state. You won’t find this humbling biblical view of who we were anywhere in Osteen’s writing.

Instead of sins, we seemingly have but a few minor flaws which we are not only to accept but even love, because “that’s how our heavenly Father loves us.” Osteen even seems comfortable with the inevitable head-swelling, chest-puffing effect of this teaching:

“We must learn to love ourselves, faults and all, not because we are egotists or because we want to excuse our shortcomings, but because that’s how our heavenly Father loves us. You can hold your head up high and walk with confidence knowing that God loves you unconditionally.”

Some might say that Osteen is referring to the Christian here. Part of the problem is that Osteen rarely if ever distinguishes between the Christian and the non-Christian. Everyone is addressed in the same general way, without discrimination.

But even if we do say Osteen is speaking to a Christian here, the Christian must always remember what he was before conversion. No matter how assured and sanctified he becomes, he must always remember what he once was. We see this repeatedly in the Apostle Paul’s testimony and in other eminent Christians through the years. A healthy self-image must take account of how unhealthy we are.

Present Tense: Who I am

There are four important areas of self-image in the present tense.

1. I am now a saint. This is the most important – and ought to be the most prominent – part of the Christian’s self-image. Consider this sample of summary statements about what God has done for us, all through Christ, all by grace, and all essential elements of our self-image.

  • I am born again
  • I am forgiven
  • I am justified
  • I am accepted
  • I am redeemed
  • I am adopted
  • I am indwelt by God, and so on, and on…

2. I am still a sinner. Although all the above are true, our original corrupt nature is still very much part of us. Again, this is both a cause for our humility (Romans 7) and a springboard for entering more and more into God’s steady love for us despite our ongoing sins and sinfulness.

3. I am gifted by God. Although giftedness is where the world wrongly starts with self-image, Christians must not over-react by ignoring it. We must not let our prioritizing of the spiritual, and our views of our total depravity and our ongoing battle with sin, squeeze out all consideration of how God has blessed us with natural gifts. There’s nothing wrong, and plenty right, with us encouraging ourselves and other Christians by recognizing God’s blessing each other with attractive and helpful personalities, and also wonderful natural gifts and abilities.

4. I am blessed with relationships. Osteen’s view of self-image is way too selfish. It is entirely focused on the individual, isolated and detached from other people. But a large part of who we are is defined by who we are related to and involved with in our lives. We cannot define ourselves without defining ourselves in relation to others – our value to them and they to us.

Future Tense: Who I will be

A big part of being human is having a future focus; looking ahead to the kind of person we want to be and what we will do in the future. Joel Osteen certainly has a future tense in his view of self-image but it’s entirely focused on success in this world – what we will earn, what we will own, what we will achieve. It’s all about winning here below, about becoming a champion in our careers and other earthly spheres.

The Bible’s view of our future is very much focused on heaven (and then the new heavens and the new earth) and about what God will yet do to us, for us, and with us as He glorifies our souls at death and then our bodies at the general resurrection. This future hope creates joyful optimism and anticipation as we look ahead to how God will transform our imperfect images into His perfect image. In words that encapsulate the past, present, and future tenses of a healthy self-image, the Apostle John wrote:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).

This is the seventh post in a series on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now.” Previous posts were A Book That Begins With A LiePositive NegativityYour Average Life Now, The Worst Ever (Mis)Quotation Of The Bible, My Favorite Joel Osteen Quote, and Triviality of Trivialities.

http://headhearthand.org/blog/2015/02/02/what-is-a-healthy-self-image-joel-osteens-answer/

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