Daily Archives: February 26, 2015

The Christian’s Highest Good

The Reformed Reader

A Sketch of the Christian Catechism (Classic Reformed Theology) In William Ames’ commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, he opens by quoting Psalm 4:6-8, which includes these words: “I will lay down and sleep in peace: because Thou alone, O Jehovah, wilt act so that I will dwell securely.”  He says the Psalmist writes these words so that he may show that his highest good (summum bonum) is located in God’s favor towards him.  Ames goes on to list five lessons we can learn from this text, and from the “comfort” theme of Q/A #1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  I’ve listed them below (without his comments on each lesson):

1) The highest good ought to be considered and sought above all other things in our entire life.

2) The highest good of people in this life cannot be obtained from [earthly] goods.

3) Our true and highest good consists in the union and communion we have…

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February 26, 2014 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Report

A good man is ashamed to speak that which many people are not ashamed to act. —Matthew Henry

February 22 Quotes

Feb. 26, 2015


The Senate voted to advance a plan to finance the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a step toward sending the funding dispute to House Speaker John Boehner to resolve.

Marijuana is now effectively legal in the nation’s capital even though Congress tried to stop it. District of Columbia residents who are at least 21 years old are free to grow as many as six plants and possess as much as 2 ounces, as a measure approved by voters in November took effect Thursday.

“Rather than a ‘cyber-Armageddon’ scenario that debilitates the entire U.S. infrastructure, we envision something different,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in a report on global threats. “We foresee an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber-attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.”

President Obama said neither a judge’s ruling nor a standoff with Congress that threatens to shut down the Homeland Security Department would derail his plan to ease deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Google is making its largest bet yet on renewable energy, a $300 million investment to support at least 25,000 SolarCity rooftop power plants. Google is contributing to a SolarCity fund valued at $750 million, the largest ever created for residential solar, the San Mateo,

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped by the most since December 2013 last week, a sign of uneven progress in the labor market. Jobless claims increased by 31,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Feb. 21 from a revised 282,000 the prior period.

While Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employees may get less compensation than in the past, many cashed in last year for a payday they’ve been awaiting since the depths of the financial crisis. Employees exercised options worth $2.03 billion in 2014. More than 96 percent of the contracts were granted as part of 2008 compensation. Last year marked the first time bankers were able to take advantage of those awards.

An overlooked drug bought by a biotech company for a mere $6.6 million a decade ago could become one of the biggest selling cancer treatments ever. Those high expectations have its maker, Pharmacyclics Inc., considering selling itself in a deal that could be worth as much as $18 billion.

Orders for durable goods rose 2.8 percent in January, for the first time in three months, showing manufacturing may be starting to stabilize as companies look beyond weaker global markets and cutbacks among energy producers.

AP Top Stories

The Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John”, who has been pictured in videos of the beheadings of hostages, is named as Mohammed Emwazi from London.

CA – Three men were arrested in the case of a woman who reported being held captive and sexually abused for almost two months, authorities said.

A US astronaut found water pooling in his helmet right after completing a six-plus hour spacewalk on Wednesday, raising new concerns about flaws with NASA’s spacesuits.

The Islamic State released a video showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, describing the relics as idols that must be removed.

At least 110 Australians have left to fight alongside militants in the Middle East and security officials said between 30 and 40 women were among them or were actively supporting the group in Australia.

China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers.

U.S. regulators are poised to impose the toughest rules yet on Internet service providers, aiming to ensure fair treatment of all web traffic through their networks.

Women’s apparel retailer Chico’s said it would shut about 120 stores by 2017 and open fewer this year than last, two days after the Wall Street Journal reported that a private equity firm had dropped its attempt to buy the company.


US authorities arrested three foreign nationals living in New York who agents say tried to join the Islamic State in Syria.

MPs in Argentina approved a bill to replace the intelligence agency with a new service, following a row over the mysterious death of a prosecutor.

Loans from China to Latin America rose by 71% to $22bn in 2014, new figures from the China-Latin America Finance Database suggest.

A Sierra Leonean who worked with children orphaned by Ebola in the West African state died of the disease himself.

Afghan rescuers are searching for dozens of people believed to be trapped under snow after a series of avalanches that killed at least 187 people.

South Korea’s top court revoked a 60-year-old adultery law under which cheating spouses could be jailed, saying it is unconstitutional.


Three men who lost the use of their hands have been given bionic replacements activated by brain signals, it emerged yesterday.

The City of Lake Worth, in Palm Beach County, has taken the position all churches are required to obtain a “business license” to conduct worship services. It is using city employees to covertly attend services and acquire evidence, including video, “for future court presentation.”

The government of Turkey was accused of contributing to the deaths of Syrian Christians attempting to flee massacres at the hands of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants.

The Odds Of A War Between Israel And Iran Just Went Way Up

Uh oh – Iran just got caught with both hands in the cookie jar. It turns out that even while Iran has been negotiating a “historic peace deal” with the western world, it has been secretly operating a huge underground nuclear enrichment site that it didn’t tell anyone about. But this is what the Iranians always do. They lie, lie and then lie some more. So how in the world can you make a deal with a government that absolutely refuses to tell the truth? These revelations about a secret underground nuclear facility just outside Tehran come at a time when it looked like the Obama administration was about to cave in and give Iran just about everything that it wanted. The “deal” that Obama was going to give them would have allowed the Iranians to keep all of the nuclear infrastructure that they have already constructed and would also give them permission to start building nuclear weapons in about a decade. It would be a monstrously bad deal for the western world, and the Iranians should have jumped at it. But now these new revelations could throw a wrench into those negotiations. But much more importantly, knowledge of this secret nuclear facility has got to be extremely alarming to the Israelis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always said that Israel will never, ever allow Iran to construct a nuclear weapon. So what will happen if the Israelis determine that Iran is actually much closer to building a nuclear bomb that anyone originally suspected? The truth is that the odds of a war between Israel and Iran just went way up thanks to these revelations, and that is not good news for any of us. (Read More….)

Daily Digest

February 26, 2015


“It is of definite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various part.” –George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


If An ICE Agent Crosses Obama on Immigration…

Let’s suppose there’s an enterprising Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent who doesn’t follow the “prioritized deportation” policies handed down by a lawmaking president, but instead, follows the letter of the law. MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart asked Barack Obama, “How do you ensure that ICE and Border Patrol won’t be deporting people like this. What are the consequences?” And Obama answered that agent would have trouble. “The bottom line is that if somebody’s working for ICE,” Obama said, “and there’s a policy, and they don’t follow the policy, there’s going to be consequences to it. So I can’t speak to a specific problem. What I can talk about is what’s true in the government generally. In the U.S. military, when you get an order, you’re expected to follow it.” In effect, Obama is saying his executive action on immigration — although unconstitutional and stayed by a federal judge — has the force of law and his authority as commander in chief behind it. Beware any lowly law enforcement official who doesn’t fall into line. More…

Senate Funds DHS, Will Consider Immigration Separately

After weeks of impasse over blocking Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, the Senate finally moved. “The stalemate over funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was broken Wednesday as the Senate voted 98-2 to proceed to legislation that would prevent a partial government shutdown,” The Hill reports. “Democrats agreed to support the DHS bill after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to strip out provisions inserted by the House that would reverse President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The only votes against proceeding to the bill came from Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).” Now the legislation will move back to the House, where Republicans have steadfastly rejected doing anything less than blocking Obama. We appreciate the sentiment, but the battle has become House vs. Senate and Republican vs. Republican rather than the GOP Congress against Obama. That’s not going to win much.

Aspiring Terrorists in Brooklyn Are No ‘Lone Wolves’

The Obama administration says ISIL isn’t a domestic threat. All these terror attacks you hear about around the globe, they claim, are just demonstrations by “lone wolves” who can’t find jobs or something. And, hey, Obama’s economy is swell, so what’s the worry? Well, this, courtesy of NBC 4 New York: “Three Brooklyn men who allegedly plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS and posted online messages about planting a bomb on Coney Island and shooting police officers were taken into custody during FBI and NYPD terror raids Wednesday. … The men, 24- and 30-year-old Uzbekistan citizens and a 19-year-old Kazakhstan citizen who all lived in Brooklyn, allegedly planned to return to New York to commit a domestic act of terror if they failed to join the group overseas, law enforcement officials said.” Does that sound like “lone-wolf terrorism”? Whether it’s an attack carried out by Islamists in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Syria, Iraq or Australia, the common denominator is a twisted ideology that calls for slaying the infidel in service to Jihadistan. And while aspiring terrorists in the U.S. have for the most part kept underground, they have found new inspiration in ISIL, which is indirectly recruiting through the power of propaganda. More…

Meanwhile, “Jihadi John” — one of ISIL’s notorious beheaders — has been unmasked.

Kerry Blasts Netanyahu for Iraq War Support

We get it. The Obama administration really doesn’t like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Secretary of State John Kerry made that clear again Wednesday in testimony before Congress, saying we can’t trust Netanyahu because he supported invading Iraq. “The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush. We all know what happened with that decision,” Kerry lectured. Indeed, it was the impetus for his infamous “botched joke” about uneducated people getting “stuck in Iraq.” There’s also the small detail of Kerry having voted for the war. We know he was for it before it was against it, but come on, Mr. Secretary. Have a little self-awareness.

Biden Wants to Emancipate the Wealth of the One Percent

Joe Biden’s comments commemorating Black History Month careened right past the struggle for civil rights and mired into full-on socialism. On Monday, Creepy Ol’ Joe hosted a Black History Month event where he said, “A lot of wealthy white and black people aren’t bad, but they control 1% of the economy and this cannot stand. It’s not fair because the business experts are saying that concentration of wealth is stunting growth. So let’s do something that’s worthy of emancipation.” Biden continued, explaining Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: “What happened is not only did we move toward freeing black Americans but also the conscience of white Americans.” Per Biden’s usual rhetorical “style,” these comments are filled with muddled metaphors and thoughtless arguments. Is he saying “emancipating” the wealth belonging to the Scrooge McDucks of the nation would be good for their souls? If wealthy white and black people are the problem, how is this in any way connected to the civil rights struggle of the ’60s? Finally, why is he equating today’s dollars with enslaved, antebellum blacks? While nothing is officially announced, Biden may be starting his campaign for president — by signaling he’ll continue Barack Obama’s socialist engineering of America. More…

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Patriotic Presidents v. Adversarial Appeasers, on Obama’s lack of love of country and how it influences national security policy.



Is This Any Way to Reform Education?


As kids break free of school for the weekend, the House is scheduled to vote Friday on the next iteration of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2001 legislation that replaced the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and exponentially expanded the reach of the federal government into the classroom.

Republicans introduced the Student Success Act (SSA), a bill aimed at scaling back Uncle Sam’s increasingly outsized role in the classroom. But two major groups that are in agreement more often than not — Heritage Action (affiliated with the Heritage Foundation) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) — have come down on opposite sides of this bill, with AEI backing it and Heritage not. As is often the case with legislation aimed at reining in a runaway government, the core issue comes down to whether the bill goes far enough in returning the federal government to its constitutionally authorized role in education. Incidentally, that role is “none.”

According to AEI, SSA offers several “fixes” to NCLB, including eliminating or consolidating 65 programs, promoting school choice by allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children to the district or charter school parents choose, repealing adequate yearly progress (AYP, which, as we’ve previously noted, has done more harm than good), eliminating the “highly qualified teacher” mandates, and preventing the federal government from pressing states to adopt Common Core or other national academic standards.

Heritage, however, holds that some of the bill’s claims are misleading. For example, according to Heritage, those 65 programs are not eliminated but only consolidated, and the consolidation does not mean spending is reduced. Similarly, while AYP disappears, the requirement that states develop state-level accountability structures does not; instead, SSA “direct[s] the state to establish a single uniform assessment, limiting the ability of local schools to determine their own curriculum.” And while Title I funds can follow the child to district and charter schools, they may not be used for private schools.

Further, Heritage notes of the SSA, “The suggestion that Congress needs a 616-page bill to reduce the federal education imprint is implausible.” Siding with those who believe SSA doesn’t go far enough, Heritage supports the A-PLUS (Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success) option, referring to an amendment offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) that “enables states the flexibility to completely opt out [of federal education programs] and dictate how to best utilize federal education funding.”

AEI is less than convinced by A-PLUS, however. Max Eden and Michael Q. McShane explain that the actual wording of the amendment may encourage, not curb, federal involvement as A-PLUS opt-out requests could require the subjective approval of the secretary of education. Barack Obama’s current secretary, Arne Duncan, isn’t exactly someone conservatives should trust.

If the committee vote is any indication, the Student Success Act will pass the House on party lines and head to the Senate. Already, Obama threatened to veto the bill. He claims it “abdicates the historic federal role in elementary and secondary education of ensuring the educational progress of all of America’s students.”

Obama must have studied Common Core history. Yes, the federal government has a history of interfering in education, but a “historic role” doesn’t mean it’s a constitutional one. In truth, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was first passed only in 1965, and the Department of Education didn’t become a Cabinet-level agency until 1980. Shockingly (ahem), all this “historic” involvement has failed to yield the stellar results promised.

Perhaps America’s Founders were actually onto something when they didn’t delegate to Congress the power to regulate education and, by the Tenth Amendment, reserved it to the states and the people. Of course, when Washington runs the classroom, this is a “historic” fact many students will never hear — and that suits politicians just fine.



American philosopher Robert M. Hutchins (1899-1977): “Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.”

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “When one in three Americans is unsure of Obama’s religious affiliation, why should the governor of Wisconsin be expected to weigh in on the matter? Why should any public figure be quizzed about an officeholder’s spiritual beliefs? It is to [Scott] Walker’s credit that he wouldn’t venture a judgment on something he doesn’t know enough about. ‘I’ve actually never talked about it,’ he responded when the [Washington] Post pressed him to confirm Obama’s Christian identity. ‘I’ve never asked him that.’ Perhaps he should have reminded the reporters that in this country, the theological views of political leaders carry no constitutional weight. ‘No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office,’ the Framers specified in Article VI. Candidates for president need not be Christian, and it is not the business of any presidential hopeful to gauge the religious credentials of the current White House incumbent. Nor is it the business of journalists to try to goad them into doing so.”

Columnist Larry Elder: “When actress Patricia Arquette won an Oscar, she pled for ‘wage equality’ for women…. Arquette’s plea comes after the Sony Pictures cyber attack. Publicly disclosed private emails shows that then co-studio chief Amy Pascal paid Jennifer Lawrence less money than her not-as-popular male co-stars in ‘American Hustle’ — and this was after Lawrence starred in the blockbuster ‘Hunger Games.’ When asked why, Ms. Pascal was blunt: ‘Here’s the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and say, “Can I give you some more?” Because that’s not what you do when you run a business. The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs. … People should know what they’re worth.’ Pascal, like Patricia Arquette, is also a contributor to the ‘pay equity’ Democratic Party. For his second term, President Obama wants to combat ‘income inequality.’ To get started, he won’t even have to leave the White House.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “The National Institute on Drug Abuse warned against legalization of marijuana after the latest study on pot’s effect on young people. The study discovered that the use of marijuana by teenagers may seriously affect their judgment once they become adults. It’s based on a study of President Obama.”

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ISIS and Iran Are Agents of ‘Apocalyptic Islam’ Paving Way for ‘Islamic Messiah

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 09:40 AM PST

ISIS, Iran Are Agents of 'Apocalyptic Islam' Paving Way for 'Islamic Messiah

Joel Rosenberg speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Media Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, February 24, 2015.

New York Times Best Selling Author and Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg is sounding the Alarm about “Apocalyptic Islam” that is paving the way for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled! Speaking in a discussion on Islam at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention on Tuesday, he explained that the biggest threat facing the Western world is not the rise of radical Islam, but rather the rise of “apocalyptic Islam.” Raising the concern in the West of the rise of two nation-states — Iran and the Islamic State — with leaders promoting an “apocalyptic” brand of Islam focused on the “annihilation” of the United States and Israel. “We are not simply facing a threat from radical Islam. At the core, we are actually facing something even worse,” Rosenberg told The Christian Post on Wednesday. “We face the threat of apocalyptic Islam. For the first time in human history, we now are faced with two nation-states whose leaders are driven by an end-of-the-world [theology].”  Joel Rosenberg stress that Iran’s purpose for wanting to build up its nuclear arms program is so that it can one day destroy Israel and the United States in order to pave the path for the coming of the “Mahdi” (Islamic Messiah). FULL STORY

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17 Signs You’re an ‘Empire Builder,’ Not a ‘Kingdom Builder’

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 09:28 AM PST

17 Signs You're an 'Empire Builder,' Not a 'Kingdom Builder'

Are you looking out for the kingdom or your own personal gain? (Lightstock/Dollar photo club)

Article By JOSEPH MATTERA – Ever since the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity divided in the 11th century, some of the greatest fears of the once united Christendom has been realized—fragmentation and division. Even in the 16th century when Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation, there was the hope that there would only be a few major expressions of the body of Christ—never in their wildest dreams did the reformers envision all the denominations and now various branches and networks of Christianity that have evolved—which has given opportunity for a spirit of lawlessness, independence and empire building among some insecure but gifted leaders. Whether all these expressions are of God or not is not the purpose of this article. However, the following will show us some signs revealing when the motivation to build a church, ministry or network is akin to when the human race attempted to build their own empire-epitomized by the “Tower of Babel” which God judged and scattered across the whole earth. (Gen. 11:1-18) FULL ARTICLE


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Richard Dawkins: State Should Protect Children From Religious Education

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 09:22 AM PST

Richard Dawkins: State Should Protect Children From Religious EducationHomeschoolers and Christians are in the Crosshairs once again as Richard Dawkins—the world famous atheist biologist who previously said religion harms children more than mild pedophilia“—went full-blown fascist when he declared the state should have the right to regulate religious education.  In an interview with The Irish Times, the professor lamented that parents currently have too much freedom over their children’s education and should have it significantly rolled back by government. FULL STORY

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Masses of dead fish found floating in Guanabara Bay, Brazil

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 09:10 AM PST

Masses of dead fish found floating in Guanabara Bay, Brazil

Flagrant of dead fish in the Guanabara Bay (Photo: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters)

Mass Fish Deaths seem to be increasing around the World and now Brazil falls Victim as a mass of dead fish were found floating in Guanabara Bay, According to the State of the Environment (INEA), technicians found the presence of dead yellowtail in Fundão Canal. Water samples were collected and the results should be out in seven days. –SOURCE

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Thousands of dead fish found in port of Wolfersdorf, France, Source of Kill remains Mystery

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 09:03 AM PST

Thousands of dead fish found in port of Wolfersdorf, France, Source of Kill remains MysteryFrance is the next victim of seeing Mass Fish deaths as Thousands of dead fish were found in the Rhone-Rhine Canal. Officials took samples as there is no foam, no traces of oil on the surface and yet it probably has a pollution. Already carried levies on Tuesday by teams of Green Brigades of the General Council of the Upper Rhine are being analyzed at the Veterinary Laboratory to determine the cause of this carnage. It would perhaps “pesticides dumped into the canal or pollution from a battery” explained the specialist. The police opened an investigation. –SOURCE

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Full-Body Transplants will be possible within Two Years

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 08:55 AM PST

Full-Body Transplants will be possible within Two YearsThe Book of Daniel mentioned that one of the signs of the “End Times” would be an “Increase of Knowledge”, and the following report is a great example of such. The world’s first full-body transplant – in which someone’s head would be sewn onto a donor body – could take place in just two years, according to a controversial surgeon. Sergio Canavero, of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, believes the technique could save the lives of people riddled with cancer or whose nerves and muscles have wasted away, the New Scientist magazine reported. The operation was carried out on a monkey with a limited degree of success in 1970. The surgeons then did not join the spinal cord so the animal could not move and it lived only nine days until the head was rejected by the body’s immune system. However Mr Canavero said: “I think we are now at a point when the technical aspects are all feasible. FULL REPORT

The post Full-Body Transplants will be possible within Two Years appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Researchers develop cloud-seeding drones to automatically manipulate weather

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 08:41 AM PST

Researchers develop cloud-seeding drones to automatically manipulate weatherWeather Manipulation has been discussed in the past and many insist it is being carried out regularly thru HAARP and now scientists are planning to use drones to carry it out, a practice that was long described as being nothing more than a “conspiracy theory,” despite a treaty signed by the U.S. in 1977 prohibiting the tactic from being used militarily. A team of meteorologists with Nevada’s Desert Research Institute in Reno are creating a “first-of-its-kind drone to take the seeding process high in the sky,” according to a recent report by CBS San Francisco. The drones are expected to carry out “cloud seeding,” a practice that can reportedly generate 10 percent more rain during a storm, a controversial operation that some say is toxic to humans and wildlife. FULL REPORT

The post Researchers develop cloud-seeding drones to automatically manipulate weather appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Fukushima radiation spikes 7,000% as contaminated water pours into the ocean

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 08:34 AM PST

Fukushima radiation spikes 7,000% as contaminated water pours into the oceanDisturbing reports are coming out of Japan regarding the continued leaking of radiation from Fukushima. The West Coast continues to report Animal deaths such as Sea Lions and other Ocean life as Cleanup crews trying to mitigate Japan’s never-ending radiation crisis at Fukushima ran into more problems recently after sensors monitoring a drainage gutter detected a huge spike in radiation levels from wastewater pouring into the Pacific Ocean. Radiation levels were up to 70 times, or 7,000 percent, higher than normal, prompting an immediate shutdown of the drainage instrument. The first readings came around 10 a.m. local time on February 22, setting off alarms not once but twice as radiation levels spiked to extremely high levels. FULL REPORT

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UK Becomes First Country in World to Approve Creation of ‘Three Parent Babies’

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 08:25 AM PST

UK Becomes First Country in World to Approve Creation of ‘Three Parent Babies’Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Once again Humanity is playing with fire by trying to manipulate the order of creation and the moral family value system that God Almighty has put in place from the creation of the World! The United Kingdom has officially become the first country in the world to approve the creation of what has been called “three parent babies”—a move that has has generated applause as an important health advancement while others have expressed concern about the ethical aspects of the practice. The practice involves in vitro fertilization (IVF), during which genetic material from the mother’s fertilized egg is transferred to the fertilized egg of a healthy donor that has had its nuclear DNA removed. FULL REPORT

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The Prospects Of War Between Iran and Israel Have Been Raised

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 08:15 AM PST

The Prospects Of War Between Iran and Israel Have Been RaisedThe Prospects of War between Iran and Israel have been greatly elevated after a new report revealed, that while most of the World believed that Iran has been negotiating a historic peace dealwith the western world, it has instead been secretly operating a huge underground nuclear enrichment site that it didn’t tell anyone about. These revelations about a secret underground nuclear facility just outside Tehran come at a time when it looked like the Obama administration was about to cave in and give Iran just about everything that it wanted.  The deal that Obama was going to give them would have allowed the Iranians to keep all of the nuclear infrastructure that they have already constructed and would also give them permission to start building nuclear weapons in about a decade. Now the question is, Will Israel wait or strike? FULL REPORT

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Netanyahu Says Obama And West Have ‘Given Up’ On A Non-Nuclear Iran

Israeli Prime Minister exposes Obama’s agenda for what it truly is

“Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.” Psalm 129:5 (KJV)

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke some serious truth today when he said that Obama and his administration has given up on their promise to keep the nation of Iran non-nuclear. That is 100%, dead on truth. But if Netanyahu had the liberty, I am sure he would of gone further by saying that Obama never had any intention of a non-nuclear Iran. That would be 100% truth as well.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL  – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rebuffed criticism in Washington of his plans to speak in Congress, accusing world powers of forsaking a pledge to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“I respect the White House and the President of the United States but on such a fateful matter, that can determine whether or not we survive, I must do everything to prevent such a great danger for Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech.

He said world powers had pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, adding that “from the agreement coming together it appears they have given up on this commitment“.

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Pamela Geller Exposes America’s Dirty Secret: 22 Islamic Terror Training Camps On US Soil

The U.S. has at least 22 Islamist Terror training camps, hiding in plain sight.  These camps are operated by the Pakistan-based group Jamaat al-Fuqra and its main US front group, Muslims of the Americas.

The reason that Pamela Geller, of Atlas Shrugs fame, gives for these camps being left alone to grow is that the group Jamaal al-Fuqra is not listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. government, and they are reluctant to interfere.

You’ve heard of “No-Go Zones?”  Well, these camps are those zones. This is sharia law in action.  Are you shocked?  Honestly, I’m numb at this point.

Most of these camp sites can be found on the following map:


Geller goes on to say that that most of the members of these camps are African-Americans who have converted to Islam while doing time in state or federal prison.

“Prisons have become recruitment and training centers for future jihadists. It is an escalating crisis that is taking a toll, as Americans are murdered by those who convert to Islam in prison.


The rising influence of Islam in our prisons is due to a disproportionately high number of Muslims who are incarcerated, skyrocketing conversion rates, powerful Muslim gangs, the proliferation of Muslim chaplains, an uninformed prison power structure, and the outside influence of Islamic terror organizations.

Oh, and the fact that the FBI isn’t allowed to say “Islam,” “jihad,” or target the very people who are trying to kill us as part of America’s dangerous ride on the Dhimmi bandwagon.

Muslim incarceration rate

Muslims comprise 15% of the prison population. This number far exceeds the percentage of Muslims in the general population. It is eighteen times greater, to be exact. Put another way, there are about 2.4 million Muslims in the United States and 350,000 of them are in jail. That means more than 12%* of Muslims in America are incarcerated.

Conversion rates

Reports on the number of prisoners who convert to Islam vary and are framed in different ways. Some sources estimate 40,000 prisoners per year convert. Others put the numbers closer to 135,000 per year. Some posit that 80% of inmates who “find faith while in prison convert to Islam.”

One thing is for sure: The majority of those who convert to Islam in prison are black, with as many as one in three black prisoners converting. (The number of Hispanic prisoners converting to Islam is also on the rise.)”  [1] – source

Geller, who has been tracking these camps since 2007, also says:

“Probably they haven’t been raided because Jamaat al-Fuqra is not listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. government and because there is a great reluctance among government and law enforcement agencies across the board, no matter who is president, to appear to be anti-Muslim.These compounds say they’re peaceful Muslim communities, and the government wants to give the impression that such things can exist in the U.S. without any trouble.

A 1991 raid after a foiled MOA Toronto bomb plot caused a compound 70 miles south of Dallas to be raided. Federal officials found loose ammunition and books on counter-terrorism techniques and weaponry.”

According to WorldNetDaily, “A 2007 FBI record states that members of the group have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings, and one attempted bombing.”

So there you have it, my fellow Americans. Looks like we are sitting ducks, unless something is done about this.  It may very well come down to the American people stepping in to save our country — unless it is just too late.


The post Pamela Geller Exposes America’s Dirty Secret: 22 Islamic Terror Training Camps On US Soil appeared first on Now The End Begins.

“Syria’s Civil War Could Stabilize Its Region” – Pipes in Wash. Times, #1392

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
February 26, 2015

Research on the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
various publications
February 1-15, 2015

U.S. Military Declining From Superpower To Regional Power, No Longer Able To Fight Two Simultaneous Conflicts

The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a new report. “The U.S. military itself is aging. It’s shrinking in size,” said Dakota Wood, a Heritage analyst. “And it’s quickly becoming problematic in terms of being able to address more than one major conflict.” …………. Click here for full story

Saudis ‘Would Let Israeli Jets Use Their Air Space To Attack Iran’

Saudi Arabia is prepared to let Israeli fighter jets use its airspace if it proves necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli TV station reported Tuesday, highlighting growing ties in the shadow of Tehran’s nuclear drive ………. Click here for full story

LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM? Housing for 15 Alternative Sexualities Is OK, but Men-Only Fraternities Are Not, Wesleyan University Says

Campus housing specifically for 15 alternative sexualities, including sadomasochists, is acceptable, but fraternities that just allow men are not, at Wesleyan University……….. Click here for full story

Secret Facility Reveals Deception Of Iranian Nuclear Accord

As the Obama administration negotiates a controversial nuclear agreement with Iran, a dissident group is revealing evidence Tehran is operating a secret uranium-enrichment site northeast of the capital city……….. Click here for full story

Utah Highest In Church Attendance, Vermont The Lowest – Poll

A new poll revealed that residents of the state of Utah had the highest church attendance in the United States in 2014 ……… Click here for full story

One-Third of Audience for Christian Books, Radio, TV, and Movies Is Unchurched

LifeWay/NRB study examines whether Christian media is used for discipleship or evangelism.

Is Christian media a better tool for discipleship or evangelism? A new study released at the 2015 NRB convention examines just who exactly engages with Christian books, radio, TV, and movies. (Moon, Christianity Today)

Full Story


On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Netherlands’ booming euthanasia business shocking display of  culture of death trajectory 

Dying Dutch: Euthanasia Spreads Across Europe, Newsweek (Winston Ross)

Euthanasia Comes to Canada, Weekly Standard (Wesley J. Smith)

2) Companies present employment as higher calling, revealing human aspiration for purpose

I Don’t Have a Job. I Have a Higher Calling., Wall Street Journal (Rachel Feintzeig)

In other news…

3 Men in Brooklyn Are Charged With Supporting ISIS New York Times (Marc Santora & Stephanie Clifford)

FBI: Three men in New York attempted to join ISIS CNN News (Shimon Prokupecz, Evan Perez & Ray Sanchez)

Obama Aide Calls Netanyahu’s Planned Visit ‘Destructive’ to U.S.-Israel Ties, New York Times (Julie Hirschfield Davis)

Legal pot possession to take effect at midnight in the District, Washington Post (Mike DeBonis and Aaron C. Davis)

Abercrombie & Fitch case: justices set to side with Muslim woman over headscarf, The Guardian (Dan Roberts)

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 26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

The Daily Discovery (February 26, 2015)


(Click title to go to full article)

Two Father Babies Could Become A Reality – “Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have shown for the first time that human egg and sperm cells can be made from stem cells in the skin of two adults. It raises the possibility a baby could be ‘manufactured’ in a dish, The Sunday Times reported.”

VWR Launches Free iOS App! – “Pulpit & Pen is pleased to announce the Voice in the Wilderness Radio iOS application is now available in the App Store.  Similar to the Android application and live streaming on the web, the iOS application brings 24/7 streaming of solid expository preaching from faithful preachers in unassuming locations.”

Believe and You’ll Be Saved – “Paul and Silas went to Philippi to preach the gospel. Luke, the author of Acts (and also of the gospel of the same name), was among the missionary brethren that accompanied them. One of the first persons they converted was a woman named Lydia who was then baptized along with her whole household. Some scholars believe it was in Lydia’s home that the Philippian church began. When Paul wrote Philippians, that letter would have been read aloud to the gathering of believers meeting in Lydia’s house.”

Preparing Your Heart for Worship – “It is very important that we take time to prepare our hearts to worship God before we set foot in the sanctuary on Sunday morning. God made this clear amid the awesome circumstances of the giving of the law in Exodus 19. God called the people to prepare to come into His presence, or near His presence, but not actually onto the mountain where He would speak to Moses. ‘Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.’”

When I Glory in My Shame – “There is nothing my dog won’t do for food. There is no command she won’t obey when we are looking, and no rule she won’t break when we are looking away, if only she can get a bit of food in her belly. I guess it is hard to fault her since, as a Lab, every gene in her body drives her to gorge herself. It’s like Paul was writing about her and her breed when he said,’ Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things’ (Philippians 3:19). Food is her idol, her god, the thing that will motivate her to do anything or everything.”


John MacArthur – Is Roman Catholicism a False Gospel?


The Great Commission: We are all called to equal passion.

Calvinists are Not Christians?

“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

The post The Daily Discovery (February 26, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.

Words of Comfort: Works follow.

Dumb Maxim: “You can’t take it with you.” The Christian’s works “follow” him (see Revelation 14:13). I came into this world with nothing, and I will leave it with my hand in the hand of Jesus. Die in your sins, and you die alone. Please don’t let that happen. See http://www.needGod.com

Photo: [Source]

Making it Easy for the Minister to Take it Easy on You

Scripture tells us that a true friend wounds out of love. And on top of all this, if we must choose, we are more interested in pleasing our Heavenly Father than keeping the peace with you. Therefore beloved brothers and sisters, we will come with the rod of God’s Word if necessary, but we would rather walk through life with you with a spirit of gentleness. Why don’t you become teachable and make it easy of us to take it easy on you.

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Doubt and Obedience

Though God has not promised to act in the same miraculous manner today as He did in the days of old, we can expect Him to move in our behalf. We don’t merit righteousness before our Father by our obedience, and the Lord’s grace is so vast that He regularly blesses us in spite of our disobedience. Still, perhaps we would see more blessing and experience less doubt if we were to serve Him more faithfully.

Read more

A Pattern Among Fallen Pastors – Lessons for Us All

Who knows you? I mean who really knows you? Who not only has permission, but is currently acting upon the permission to ask you penetrating questions? Are you answering those questions honestly or are you hiding details and painting up your sin to guard your image? Do not hide from God’s gracious aid of loving relationships.

Read more

7 Things To Expect Post-Supremes’ Marriage Ruling

Churches will have to make some hard choices. Tax-exempt status may be removed unless a church pledges not to preach “hate” – and expect to be monitored for compliance as well as see issues upon which the church cannot preach expand to abortion, creation, the exclusivity of Christ as Savior, and so on. After all, these are “hateful” messages in a godless new America.

Read more

Southern Baptists To Vote On NAMB Ministry Amendment

The SBC Executive Committee approved a recommendation to be presented to messengers in Columbus, Ohio, to enable NAMB to “provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the International Mission Board in assisting churches to plant churches for specific groups outside the United States and Canada.”

Read more

Militant Islam – Church & Culture Blog

This past week, a high-profile White House meeting with the title “Countering Violent Extremism” went out of its way to avoid labeling acts of brutal violence by Al Qaeda, ISIS (the so-called Islamic State), and their allies as “Muslim” terrorism or describing their ideology as “Islamic” or “jihadist.”

The concern is wanting to stay away from any sense that the United States is at war with Islam itself, much less to lump the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims with vicious terrorist groups. But a growing number are saying that this is failing to look at the very real threat that is militant Islam.

They’re right.

To understand why, one must understand a few things about Islam itself. First, that there are five practices, or “pillars.”

Read more

Everyday Faith: Young Men, Don’t Murder Your Soul

by Pastor J.D.

This is the last of a four-part series on “everyday faith,” based on the instructions Paul gives in Titus 2:1–6. Gospel-centered folks are often allergic to “instructions,” so it’s important to keep in mind that Paul lays these out as our response to the gospel—not as a way to gain acceptance. “Because of what God has done for you,” Paul says, “your lives will look different.” Be sure to read part one (older men), part two (older women), and part three (younger women).

Paul has plenty to say to older men, older women, and younger women. But you’d be warranted in thinking that the younger men aren’t getting their fair share in Titus 2. All that Paul gives them is this: “Urge the younger men to be self-controlled.”

Be self-controlled. Not many words, but if you reflect on that simple command, it makes sense that Paul would leave it at that. If you had to identify the Achilles’ heel of most young men, it would be precisely that they are ruled by their desires. It might be a desire for sexual pleasure. It might be a lust for power. It might be a passion for success. So, as it turns out, Paul’s command may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy.

If the young men in our churches would really learn to control their passions, God would do some mighty works. As D.L. Moody once said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with one man totally sold out to him.” It seems that far too many of the men in our churches are content to give God nominal allegiance while they throw their hearts and souls into other passions.

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Contending and defending

How do you, and how do we, share the truth about what’s been happening in the modern church in a way that glorifies God? It’s a fine line we all need to walk every day. Today we’re going to talk about the discernment landscape out there, and share our philosophy about why we contend for […]

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Silently Depressed

by Biblical Spirituality

Many people are silently suffering from depression. Their suffering is silent because for some reason they feel embarrassed to let others know that they are having times of despair. Why do they feel embarrassed to admit that they have depression? Let me suggest the following four possible reasons:

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Believing and Obeying

by Bill Muehlenberg

I am continually amazed at how so many Christians will simply run with whatever their favourite preacher or megachurch pastor runs with, instead of actually reading what the Word of God has to say on an issue. They will side with the whacky, weird and at times just plain false teachings of others instead of aligning themselves with what the Bible says.

I find this so often from various quarters. One of the more worrying examples of this comes from those gung-ho devotees of the various hyper grace teachers out there. They will defend to the death what their pastor or teacher or fav Christian leader says about this, while obviously clueless as to what the Bible in fact teaches on this.

I have lost count of the number of times I have actually been attacked by professing believers when I make the simple – and fully biblical – point that true saving faith is also an obedient faith. One cannot claim to be a believer in Christ if one fails to obey Christ.

Christ in other words must be both Savour and Lord. You can’t believe in him to get saved, and then ignore him or disobey him the rest of your Christian walk. It does not work that way. And of course I am not talking about sinless perfectionism here.obedience 3

I am not saying our obedience will ever be fully compete and perfect and consistent in this lifetime. But the aim of the true believer is to obey. When he disobeys, he agrees with God that it was wrong, repents, and moves on, seeking to please Him.

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Mindless Christians Deliberately Disobeying Jesus

by Bill Muehlenberg

Who, Christians? Deliberately disobeying Jesus? Yep, sadly happens all the time. We have clear commands from Jesus which we routinely ignore or disregard, and we think we are somehow still being good disciples of his. Let me focus on just one area of deliberate disobedience.

Did Jesus command us to love God with our minds? Did Jesus talk about the need to be wise as serpents? Did Jesus say that often the children of this world are wiser than the children of light? The answer to all three questions is yes.

Back in 1982 R.C. Sproul argued that we “live in the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western Civilization.”

I have shared that quote often because it is so utterly and so tragically true. I continue to be overwhelmed at the out of control levels of biblical illiteracy amongst so many Christians. I continue to be staggered by the inability of so many Christians to engage in basic logic, basic reasoning, and basic thinking.

It is as if so many believers actually exalt in ignorance, in stupidity, in cluelessness. They seem to relish offering worldly wisdom instead of biblical wisdom They seem to be saturated with the precepts and beliefs of secular humanism instead of the biblical worldview.

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Is Obama a Christian? Is It Wrong for Us to Ask That Question?

Alex Crain

Is it a fair question to ask whether Obama is a Christian? Did “The Washington Post” fairly report Gov. Scott Walker’s remarks on this issue?


3 Indispensable Heart-Qualities for Joyful, Effective Ministry

Paul Tripp

Look at these three areas of divergence between the heart that motivated God and the heart that motivated Jonah. Which most resembles you?


10 Simple Formulas from God’s Word to Change Your Life

David Murray

Like all formulas, these require work to work! Just as answers to math questions don’t simply drop into our laps, so we have to daily work at these.


Nazareth: Growing Up a Carpenter’s Son

Dr. Ray Pritchard

What an awful tragedy… to know Jesus so well that you don’t know him at all!



Ann Spangler

How can we keep our families from becoming fragmented and scattered? How can we connect to others in vital Christian community?


Yes, the Christian Worldview Is Supported by the Evidence

J. Warner Wallace

There are only two categories of evidence, and Christian Case Makers use both types of evidence when making a case for Christianity


An Irrelevant Church

Dr. James Emery White

Rob Bell, former pastor and now host of the “Rob Bell Show” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN television network, is now maintaining that a church that doesn’t support same-sex marriage is “an irrelevant church.” Does Jesus agree?


What You Don’t Need to Forgive: 3 Times We Often Use the “Right” Tool for the “Wrong” Situation

Not everything that bothers or annoys us needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness is only for moral offenses. When we try to use forgiveness as the method to resolve relational irritants that are not moral in nature several bad things happen.

  • We establish our preferences as the moral standard for our spouse – pride.
  • We begin to feel as if we forgive more than we are forgiven – self-righteousness.
  • We gain an increasingly negative view of our spouse – judgmental.
  • Our marriage begins to be built around an elaborate number of rules – performance-based acceptance.
  • We begin to feel as if God were asking too much of us – God-fatigue.

“What else is there?” we might ask. In What Did You Expect? Paul Tripp offers three categories of relational strain which do not call for a response of forgiveness (p. 94; bold text only). After describing what goes in each category, we will look at what kind of grace-based, constructive response is called for in each situation.

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Do it Now!

If only we could go back in time and share some wisdom with our younger selves! One little girl wrote some advice to herself ten years in the future: you’ll hear it next, on BreakPoint.
Listen Now | Download

Ten Joy Stealers in Ministry (And How to Get It Back)

I know. There are many unhappy ministers in our local churches. Such is not a judgmental statement, but a statement of reality. Indeed, I count myself among those who have struggled with joy in ministry on more than one occasion.


Three Reasons Why People Leave Your Church

Erik Reed:

As a staff, we were tired of the revolving door. We were working too hard to reach people only to lose them. So we worked to pinpoint the reasons we were were losing people. We discovered three dominant reasons. These three things are now on our radar. We constantly think about systems, communication, structure, and strategy for fixing these three issues.

A Young Earth

Whether you agree or not, this is an interesting read.

You’re doing Twitter wrong

7 Confidence Boosters in Evangelism

J.A. Medders:

Evangelism is a trust-fall into the power of God. Many say the don’t evangelize because they don’t know enough. Well, no one knows enough to bring on resurrection. Others say they don’t evangelize because they aren’t sure what to say at certain points. And others don’t evangelize because they are nervous.

[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 025 – Real Christian Love For Homosexuals



Show Notes


  • On today’s show Landon discusses accepting an invitation to be a contributor to Pulpit & Pen, Protestant Christian’s fascination with Lent, a creepy article about Jesus wanting to spend time with us, and what real Christian love for homosexuals looks like.

(Click “Read More” for detailed show notes.)

[00:05:45] Topic 1: On Joining the Pulpit & Pen

  • I have accepted a gracious invitation to be the newest contributor over at Pulpit & Pen website.
    • I will continue to blog and podcast regularly here at Entreating Favor, but look for some of my work to post at P&P as well.
  • I pray they continue to be edifying to the Saints and convicting to sinners.
  • Sincerest thanks to you all for your ongoing support.

[00:11:20] Topic 2: Protestants and Lent

  • Landon reviews his first article for Pulpit & Pen.

[00:21:26] Topic 3: Creepy, Anti-Biblical Article by A Pastor

  • I was made aware of this post recently by a local pastor because so many people on my Facebook time had “liked” it.
  • Once you’ve heard this article, it should not surprise you that this was posted two days before Valentine’s Day.
  • One woman I shared the article with said, “You know, when I was a kid, preachers didn’t talk like lovesick teenage girls. They preached like men. Men, I tell you. Just throwing that out there.”
  • This theology is largely the result of an anti-doctrinal movement. A healthy dose of the doctrines of God would have blown this article out of the water before the second paragraph was read.
  • This sounds like something I heard Rick Warren say. He , actually, said that God likes it when you be you. I thought Jesus died and was raised on the third day so we, thru sanctification, can become more like Christ. I need to repent and believe on Jesus for salvation and rest on the finished work of the cross. Sounds like he’s trying to bring God down to our level.
  • The bottom line is that when your God is small then you are large. When you are large then everything is about you.

[00:57:46] Topic 4: Real Christian Love for Homosexuals

  • With homosexuality and transgenderism quickly becoming mainstream in America, Christians are growing increasingly confused about how to treat those folks.
  • Stand firm in the Truth, but do not forget that they are lost sinners just like you and I once were.

 Resources Mentioned During the Show

(Click on titles for links)

 General Information




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Founder of the site, writer, and host of the Fire Away! podcast. He is a Reformed Baptist that professes the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant, and thoroughly sufficient Word of God.

The post [Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 025 – Real Christian Love For Homosexuals appeared first on Entreating Favor.

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.

GTY Blog: Evangelical Syncretism: Rethinking the Reformation

Code: B150225


by Cameron Buettel  & Jeremiah Johnson

Exactly two years ago, as the Roman Catholic Church was preparing to elect its current pope, the GTY blog published several articles from John MacArthur exposing the heresies of the Catholic Church. With the papal election dominating the news cycle and public conversation, we wanted to help our readers understand the true nature of the Catholic Church and its doctrinal distinctives.

As you might suspect, that series was met with plenty of resistance. Surprisingly, though, the majority of the criticism did not come from Catholic apologists, but from evangelicals. Many men and women who were sympathetic to the Catholic Church—including some with significant influence in evangelical circles—were critical of the firm biblical stance we took, wishing that we were more accommodating and conciliatory.

Of course, ecumenism is nothing new. Satan always works to mingle the truth with error, and the evangelistic co-belligerence of evangelicals and Catholics is just one example. But for some reason, this unlikely doctrinal mashup has been growing in popularity for the past two decades.

Evangelicals and Catholics Together?

One significant flashpoint was the development of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) document in 1994. That incongruous union was essentially an accord between Evangelicals and Catholics regarding their agreement on various social issues. But much of the twenty-five page document was more about affirming doctrinal similarities, not shared social goals.

In effect, it painted over several important doctrinal differences and blurred the distinctions of two very dissimilar views of justification—that is the doctrine of how a person is made right with God.

Perhaps worst of all, built into ECT was an agreement to halt evangelistic efforts between evangelicals and Catholics. Under the heading “We Witness Together,” it said, “In view of the large number of non-Christians in the world and the enormous challenge of our common evangelistic task, it is neither theologically legitimate nor a prudent use of resources for one Christian community to proselytize among active adherents of another Christian community.” In effect, signing ECT was agreeing to disagree on the true means of justification, but agreeing that either means was valid for salvation. What better way for Satan to cut off millions from the reach of the gospel?

In a landmark interview called “Irreconcilable Differences,” alongside Dr. R.C. Sproul and Dr. D. James Kennedy, John MacArthur explained the biblical problems with ECT this way:

To borrow the language of the apostle Paul, any attempt at self-righteousness, no matter how noble the effort, no matter how frequently the God vocabulary is used and the divine is brought into it, any attempt to self-righteousness Paul classifies as skubalon in Philippians 3. That word is about as vivid a word as he could possibly use. It can be translated rubbish, the most accurate translation is dung. . . . And what you’ve got is a whole system built on skubalon, and you can’t throw your arms around that system. You can’t embrace it and simply say, “Well, they talk about Jesus and they talk about God and they talk about faith and they talk about grace and we’ve got to embrace them. And if we don’t embrace them, we’re violating the unity of the body and we’re being ungracious to other disciples.” That is a frightening misrepresentation of the distinctiveness of justification by faith and faith alone.

When it comes to the means of justification, there is simply no way to biblically bridge the vast chasm between evangelical and Catholic teaching. In fact, from the Catholic perspective, such partnerships have damning consequences.

Nothing Has Changed Since Trent

In response to the Reformers’ relentless assault, Rome formed its own Counter-Reformation, hoping to regain the authoritative ground it had lost. One key facet of their response was the Council of Trent, convened by Pope Paul III from 1545 to 1563. Trent was an opportunity for Rome to clarify and codify its dogma, specifically regarding salvation and other doctrines that were under fire from the Reformers. In that regard, Trent stands as one of the most influential and important councils in the history of the Catholic Church.

In short, the Council of Trent pronounced damnation on every major aspect of soteriology that the Reformers taught. In particular, it denies justification by faith alone.

If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. (Canon IX)

Anathema, according to Catholic theology, means the excommunication and exclusion of a sinner from the members of the faithful. Roman Catholic theology therefore pronounces a curse of excommunication and damnation on anyone who preaches or believes that you are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus.

Trent was certainly not framed by postmodern philosophers. They were explicitly clear in their rejection of the gospel that born-again Christians love and cherish:

If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema. (Canon XXIV)

Trent anathematized every core doctrine of the Reformers. And regardless of Rome’s current attempts to extend olive branches to the evangelical church, the doctrines established at Trent are still binding on all Catholics.

Setting Sanity Aside for the Sake of Unity

Roger Olson is one of many evangelical scholars who abandon reason and doctrinal lines of demarcation in support of unification between Catholics and evangelicals.

Olson’s postmodern doublespeak exposes the poor logic of his argument. On the one hand, he admits that the Council of Trent condemned the core Protestant doctrines of the Reformers as damnable heresies. [1] Roger E. Olson, The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1999) 444. He also admits that the teachings of the Council of Trent are still binding on all Catholics and to reject any of them is to renounce Catholicism and apostatize from their religion. [2] Ibid., 445.

But in complete disregard of his own assessment, Olson contends that the boundaries between Catholicism Protestantism are becoming “more elastic and flexible.” [3] Ibid., 598. He looks “forward to a day when Catholics and Protestants will enjoy full communion and fellowship.” [4] Ibid., 599. This is clear defiance against the law of non-contradiction. If rejecting the Council of Trent is an act of renouncing one’s Catholic faith, then it is impossible for Catholics and Protestants to “enjoy full communion.” Anathematizing your guests makes for an awkward “Kumbaya” around the ecumenical campfire. The only way Catholics and Protestants can come together is if one or the other—or both—renounce their faith.

Olson’s inconsistencies are not that surprising–he has a track record of leaning liberal on key theological issues. But far more vexing is the behavior of renowned Reformed theologian J.I. Packer. Packer has written some truly great works on Christian soteriology. His book Knowing God is rightly treasured by Bible-believing Christians all over the world. Packer has a tremendous grasp of the fundamental doctrines advanced by the Reformers—salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, on Scripture alone, for the glory of God alone. His shorter work, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, is a helpful and clear testimony that the doctrines of grace no way mitigate fervent evangelism.

In light of Packer’s sound and robustly Reformed theology, his signature on the ECT document is troublesome. The thought of him setting aside such precious and glorious biblical truths for the sake of a unity that undermines those very truths is scarcely believable.

Roger Olson and J.I. Packer are just two examples of influential theologians who should know better than anyone that, given Roman Catholic dogma, there is no way to reconcile Catholicism and Protestantism. And yet they join many others in an endeavor that undercuts the very saving gospel they proclaim.

Missing the Mission Field

We live in a time of enormous compromise, driven by the postmodern version of tolerance. Wavering on the fundamental soteriological differences between Catholicism and evangelicalism for the sake of superficial unity is foolishness.

Twenty years ago, John Macarthur warned the church about prizing ecumenical unity over doctrinal integrity. His words are just as poignant today:

In a time like this of tolerance, false teaching will always cry intolerance; it will always say you’re being divisive, you’re being unloving, you’re being ungracious because it can only survive when it doesn’t get scrutinized. And so it cries against any intolerance. It cries against any examination, any scrutiny, just “let’s embrace each other, let’s love each other, let’s put all that behind us.” False doctrine cries the loudest about unity. And listen carefully when you hear the cry for unity because it may be the cover of false doctrine encroaching. And if ever we should follow 1 Thessalonians 5 and examine everything carefully, it’s when somebody is crying “unity, love, and acceptance.” [5] Irreconcilable Differences: Catholics, Evangelicals, and the New Quest for Unity, Parts 1-3

The church must be bold and clear about exposing the heresies of the Catholic Church. We must protect the flock from the ecumenical overtures of Catholics who want to suggest that we all play for the same team.

Furthermore, it must be done out of a desire to reach the vast mission field being overlooked right on our doorstep. In fact, there is perhaps no mission field riper for spiritual harvest than the Catholic Church.

One cannot help but wonder how much confusion has been spread through the evangelical church by its leaders’ ecumenical capitulation. How many people who look up to J.I. Packer and others like him have aborted the thought of witnessing to Catholics because their theological mentors were willing to link arms with Rome as colaborers in the Great Commission? Woe unto us if we allow that to pour water on our zeal to win Catholics to Christ.

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The Cripplegate: God’s Word, God’s World, & Reverence

Wallpaper_CalvinWe are only a few days away from what is shaping up to be a historic Shepherd’s Conference. The reason being is that this year’s focus is on one most important issue: biblical inerrancy.

And with the conference on the horizon, there have been some good conversations surrounding the nature of Scripture. One in particular I was in recently involved the idea of having a reverence for Scripture. You may have seen one of the conference graphics which quotes John Calvin from his commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16: “We owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from him alone.”

In response to that quote, an insightful friend asked, “If we owe Scripture reverence because it proceeded from God, would this imply that we owe the same reverence to creation, as it also proceeded from God”? (By reverence, we assume that Calvin means something like, “To revere or show deferential honor due to the nature of the thing.”) It’s a great question that needs answering, especially in our day.

Both the Bible and creation did proceed from a perfect and holy God. So, which do we hold higher, if any, and why?

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