Daily Archives: March 18, 2015

The Final Answer to the Devil

The Reformed Reader

Romans 8:17-39: The Final Perseverance of the Saints The Christian’s salvation is securely founded on historical facts and truths of God.  We are justified by faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone.  These gospel truths give us solid ground to stand upon and a bulletproof defense against Satan’s attacks.  Lloyd-Jones explains this well in his comments on Romans 8:33-34.

“How important it is to understand the doctrine of justification by faith only!  There is no type of Christian who is so utterly foolish as the one who says, ‘I am not interested in doctrine; I have my experience.’  It is only as you understand the doctrine of justification by faith that you will have security and safety and joy.  Doctrine is essential.”

“Have you realized the meaning of justification?  You are not merely pardoned and forgiven; you are declared by God to be just in his sight.  This is a matter of status, a matter of…

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March 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

Nowhere in Scripture do we find doctrine studied for its own sake or in isolation from life. —Wayne Grudem

quotes


Mar. 18, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly swept aside his main challenger in Israel’s election, emerging stronger and in position to form his fourth government.

An envelope sent to the White House contained a chemical that testing indicates may be cyanide.

A U.S. Air Force veteran was accused by the government of turning his back on his country and trying to join a terror group that’s taken control of a swath of Iraq and Syria and publicly executes its captives.

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and TV personality who has often flirted with running for public office, said he would form a committee to explore a presidential candidacy Wednesday.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he will make a formal decision about seeking the Republican presidential nomination in the “next few months” but that he isn’t sure exactly when.

California regulators approved additional statewide restrictions on water use as the record drought gripping the most populous U.S. state enters a fourth year.

Premera Blue Cross, which sells health insurance in the northwestern U.S., said information on 11 million people may have been exposed in a cyberattack uncovered six weeks ago.

At least eight tourists were killed after gunmen entered Tunisia’s parliament on Wednesday then fled to a nearby museum where they took hostages, Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Laroui told local Mosaique FM radio.

An Ohio woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter had been ordered by a court to stay away from the child, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

AP Top Stories

Syria’s military said it downed an American drone over suspicions it was spying, in what would be its first attack on an aircraft in the US-led coalition battling jihadists.

On his first day back from a mandatory leave for shooting and wounding a knife-wielding man earlier this month, a Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an armed suspect after confronting him following a chase, authorities said.

A Pakistani lawyer under death threats for defending a doctor who helped CIA agents hunt al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead on Tuesday, police said, and two militant groups claimed responsibility.

Auroras around the world could be super-charged tonight thanks to a severe solar storm impacting Earth, but even if bad weather hinders your view of the northern lights, you can still catch them live in a webcast online. Auroras around the world could be super-charged tonight thanks to a severe solar storm impacting Earth, but even if bad weather hinders your view of the northern lights, you can still catch them live in a webcast online.

Fault lines dating back hundreds of millions of years in Oklahoma that have been recently reactivated could lead to a devastating quake in the state where many structures were not built to withstand major seismic activity, a report said.

Dressed in loincloths and speaking an unknown language, the Mashco-Piro, one of the last isolated peoples on Earth, are increasingly venturing out of their forests in Peru — to the government’s distress. Authorities say encroachments on the Amazon rainforest by illegal loggers may be forcing the Mashco-Piro, a tribe of hunter-gatherers, into some of their first recorded contacts with the outside world.

The Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 17, which would allow concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry firearms. After the upper chamber takes a final vote, the bill will head to the House. If approved, it will then go to Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted his approval on Sunday.

Debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami will continue to litter the North American coastline over the next three years, with everything from refrigerators to lumber and sports balls still floating offshore in the Pacific. About one million tons of debris was still lingering in the Pacific Ocean four years after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

BBC

Dozens of people were hurt and some 350 people arrested in a protest involving anti-austerity demonstrators in the German city of Frankfurt.

With nearly 1.8 million members, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the biggest Protestant group in the US to formally recognize same-sex marriages after decades of debate.

A long-term Brazilian study of nearly 3,500 babies pointed to a link between breastfeeding and intelligence in later life.

Emergency aid is beginning to reach some of the worst-hit islands of Vanuatu, after a cyclone tore through flattening entire villages.

Inquiries found that Australian Salvation Army failed to protect young boys in its care from sexual and physical abuse.

Serbian police arrested seven men accused of taking part in the slaughter of over 1,000 Muslims in the Srebrenica massacre, prosecutors said.

WND

Just as homosexual “marriage” advocates were hoping they could point the U.S. Supreme Court to an unbroken string of federal court rulings advancing their cause, a federal judge in Alabama blinked, giving traditional marriage proponents hope that the issue will be left up to states.

A pro-family group is launching a nationwide “porn-free WiFi” campaign targeting Starbucks and McDonald’s, asking the two corporate giants to provide the same Internet filtering at their U.S. stores that they offer in the United Kingdom, protecting children from online pornography.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest regulatory push seems to be aimed at monitoring water usage in the nation’s hotels, with the aim of getting guests to “change [their] behavior.”


Daily Digest

March 18, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.” –James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Dems Still Aiming for Ammo Ban

Democrats are up in arms over the ATF’s decision to forgo — for now — its proposed ban on M855 ammo. New York Democrat Rep. Steve Israel’s office sent out a press statement condemning the ATF and demanding the bureau “reevaluate the decision and immediately ban 5.56 mm M855 green tip ammunition, commonly referred to as ‘armor-piercing’ or ‘cop-killer’ bullets.” Israel himself said, “The ATF’s decision to cave to the gun lobby and allow life threatening armor-piercing bullets to remain on the streets is not only reckless, but cowardly. I stand with our law enforcement officers and first responders who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe — ATF should stop jeopardizing their safety and Congress must pass common-sense gun safety laws to protect lives and keep our men and women in uniform safe.” He can call this ammo “cop-killer” all he wants, but, as Ronald Reagan used to say, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Exactly ZERO cops have been killed by this “cop-killer” round, which, in our book, undercuts the scary name. But never mind the facts when Democrats want to infringe gun rights.

Surprise! State Can’t Find Clinton’s OF-109 Form

A conveniently timed and prepositioned exoneration? That’s what Americans are contemplating regarding Hillary Clinton after Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the State Department, conceded during a press briefing Tuesday there is no evidence Clinton signed Form OF-109. That “separation form,” as it’s known, is crucial because, as Mediaite explains, “Employees leaving the State Department are required to sign the form, which says the employee turned over all official records before leaving.” But according to Psaki, “We have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personnel file and administrative files, and do not have any record of her signing the OF-109.” After being pressed further, she added, “I think we’re fairly certain she did not” sign the document. Even if we accept that at face value, something still doesn’t add up. As Hot Air’s Allahpundit points out, “Psaki claims here that they don’t have OF-109s from Colin Powell or Condi Rice either.” Is it true? Who knows. But, assuming it is, Allahpundit continued, “Josh Earnest [said] that even senior staff at the White House are required to go through the formal separation process when they leave. … What kind of accountability norm regards disclosure as less important from an official with more responsibility?” Whether intentional or not, Clinton would love nothing more than to see the focus turn to long-held State procedures. Whether she gets off that easy will be up to investigators. More…

We Can No Longer Talk About Race in a Coffee Shop

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz embarked on an idea that’s too late for its time. The age when coffee shop patrons could openly talk about race with a stranger is long past. Over the weekend, the company that serves up over-roasted bean announced it was launching a campaign to have its baristas start a conversation about race by writing the phrase “Race Together” on the sides of its cups. Furthermore, Starbucks announced it would partner with USA Today to produce a pamphlet that prompts coffee guzzlers to start thinking more about race. For example, one question asks, “How have your racial views evolved from those of your parents?” And another fill-in-the-blank question says, “I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times.” Schultz’s idea is an old one that goes back to the beginning of coffee shops, when they were used by intellectuals in the Enlightenment as a forum to brew and filter ideas. But that was before coffee shops had drive-through windows and primarily served as a fueling station for overworked brains. Now, Starbucks is trying to distill the conversation about race down to two words, and that turns into a clumsy message that even liberal rag Think Progress opposes. More…

WashPo Leftist: ‘Uncomfortable Truths’ About Ferguson

Liberal Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart stepped up and fessed up this week, setting the record straight on the Ferguson race-bait case — sort of. Capehart is now under attack by liberals nationwide, who also bought into the faux “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative of the shooting of street thug Michael Brown. According to Capehart, “In those early hours and early days, there was more unknown than known.” That was probably why genuine journalists should not have jumped to conclusions, as Capehart did. He continued, “But this month, the Justice Department released two must-read investigations connected to the killing of Brown that filled in blanks, corrected the record and brought sunlight to dark places by revealing ugly practices that institutionalized racism and hardship. They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. … [W]e must never allow ourselves to march under the banner of a false narrative on behalf of someone who would otherwise offend our sense of right and wrong.” More…

Gore Wants to ‘Put a Price on Climate Denial’

Climate alarmism ringleader Al Gore spoke at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, where he advocated sanctioning skeptics of man-made global warming through cap-and-trade. “Al Gore on Friday called on SXSW attendees to punish climate-change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting ‘accepted science,'” the Chicago Tribune reported. “Gore said smart investors are moving away from companies tied to fossil fuels and toward companies investing in alternative energy.” According to the former vice president, “We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends. And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.” The overwhelming consensus, he explained, leaves no room for debate: “In addition to 99% of the scientists and all the professional scientific organizations, now Mother Nature is weighing in.” What happened to the 97% figure that alarmists, including Barack Obama, regularly cite? Is Gore admitting that percentage is a sham, just like his new claim? The fact remains, Mother Nature has been weighing in since long before the enviro-Left saw climate change as a power grab opportunity. And that’s exactly what cap-and-trade is — a system that provides government greater opportunity to regulate your life according to its dictates. More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Bibi Wins, BO Loses

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Benjamin Netanyahu stormed to an unexpected victory in Israel’s elections Tuesday, securing a fourth term for the prime minister. One key takeaway is that Barack Obama’s looming nuclear deal with Iran is very unpopular across the political spectrum in Israel, and it — combined with overarching security concerns — likely swung the election. Defeating the deal’s biggest critic was a no-go for Israeli voters, which means Netanyahu’s win is a big loss for Obama.

But America’s community organizer has never been gracious to opponents or humble in defeat, so the Israeli commando shouldn’t expect any congratulatory phone calls.

Netanyahu and his Likud Party trailed in the polls with voters concerned about Israel’s slowing economy, but in the final days before the election he increasingly stressed national security. The prime minister even reversed his previous position on a “two-state solution” with the Palestinians. No doubt his about-face was largely politically motivated, but it’s also the right position given Iran’s increasing hegemony in the region and its particular influence with terrorist groups afflicting Israel.

Netanyahu also warned that foreigners were trying to defeat him, no doubt referring to Obama. Netanyahu argued the election was so close because foreign money was flooding in to support his opponents.

One indication that might be true was this comment from the losing candidate, Isaac Herzog, head of the leftist Zionist Union Party, on the eve of the election: “This election is about hope and change. … Whoever wants hope, change and really a better future for Israel, vote for the Zionist Union under my leadership.”

It’s not clear how much money the Obama machine directed to Herzog’s campaign, but Obama’s sloganeering was all too evident. Perhaps that was the work of former Obama campaign director Jeremy Bird, who went to Israel to help Herzog.

Before Netanyahu addressed Congress earlier this month, Obama expressed concern about the speech’s timing being so close to the election. But it’s clear Obama’s real worry was that the speech would help Netanyahu win. His fear was founded. Israelis aren’t too fond of Obama and his constant antagonism toward Israel, and Netanyahu was a better choice than Herzog to stand up to Obama.

It would be simplistic to say the Israeli election was entirely or even mostly about Obama. But that doesn’t mean the Israelis didn’t hear him loud and clear last fall when he said of our own elections, “My policies are on the ballot.” Indeed, Obama lost. Israelis know the question is one of national survival, and they chose a real leader to ensure it.

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The GOP’s Better Budget Battle

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Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and the House Budget Committee on Tuesday proposed a budget that would balance in eight years. By comparison, Barack Obama’s $4 trillion budget would spend over $50 trillion in the next 10 years and never reach balance, even with all its tax increases.

“At the core of America’s character,” Price wrote in an op-ed for USA Today, “lies a founding belief that we as a people ought to always strive to build a better, more innovative, open and free society. When we look at America today, we see a nation that is not living up to its economic or leadership potential. … Washington has been unable or unwilling to tackle big challenges with positive solutions.”

The goal is not simply to reign in Washington’s spending, but also to free the country from the unnecessary eight years of recession that has killed the American dream for so many people. Even Joe Biden admits “the middle class is being killed.”

And Price cites the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, who calls our national debt “the single biggest threat to our national security.”

The committee’s FY 2016 budget proposal for $3.8 trillion still leaves us shaking our heads over its immensity, but there are several good aspects that deserve support. For one, it doesn’t raise taxes. That’s always a good start.

The prescription for restoring the American dream, according to Price, is paying down the national debt, fundamentally reforming our tax system, reducing and eliminating unnecessary regulations and pursuing our own energy production. He’s right.

To reach a balanced budget, he would slash $5.5 trillion from status quo spending growth over the next decade, much of it from entitlement spending and much would be saved on interest payments to the debt.

The most ambitious aspect of the plan is the repeal of ObamaCare, which would save $2 trillion over the next decade. The budget changes the way medical costs are paid for.

“We respect the principle of federalism in our budget by realigning the relationship the federal government has with states and local communities,” Price wrote. “From health care to education, states should be empowered to create their own solutions, free of onerous Washington mandates. The reforms we propose would save money, but, more importantly, they would allow us to find more effective means to achieve real results for American families.”

Critics complain the plan will gut Medicare, but Price promises that those already receiving Medicare — and those close to retiring — will receive or continue to receive benefits. In addition, the budget blocks ObamaCare cuts in doctor reimbursements that caused many doctors to reject Medicare as payment. Next month, doctors treating Medicare patients face a drastic cut in reimbursements, The New York Times reports, but reimbursement cuts to all medical facilities have been happening already thanks to ObamaCare. Obama’s pet program robs billions from Medicare every year — in fact, between 2013 and 2022, that theft is projected to reach $716 billion. The Republican plan could actually rescue Medicare from ObamaCare.

To further reduce spending, the budget goes after fraud in government agencies — good luck with that. The federal government is probably the champion time and money waster of all time, but nailing down a dollar value for government waste is nigh impossible. On the other hand, a reasonable estimate of fraud can be extrapolated from estimates regarding entitlement fraud. According to CBS News, Medicare fraud cost taxpayers $60 billion of its more than $550 billion budget in 2014. It’s very likely that all federal programs from the smallest to the largest, including defense — maybe especially defense, with private contractors chasing the government’s most expensive contracts — operate at about the same level of waste and fraud.

(As an aside, the Pentagon says it lost track of $500 million in weapons and equipment it gave to Yemen. How’s that for waste?)

Among the Republican caucus, the major sticking point is defense spending. Some conservatives are unhappy because Price’s plan exceeds the sequestration caps via contingency fund spending, and some hawks complain the proposal doesn’t spend enough.

The committee allocates approximately $523 billion to defense, which by the way is one of the few line items expressly enumerated in the Constitution. Price’s budget plan allocates another $90 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, the “emergency” fund for war operations. Obama requested only $60 billion for that line item in his budget, and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) of the Armed Services Committee asked for only $51 billion.

Price’s budget, with all its splendid ideas — and several really are splendid — has a tough road ahead. Democrats won’t support it due to its entitlement cuts, Obama will veto it if it does pass and even Republicans will have a hard time agreeing on it. But at least it’s a budget. It’s more than the Democrats produced in Obama’s first five years.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

French statesman Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

Economist Thomas Sowell: “Looking back over my own life, I realize now how lucky I was when I left home in 1948, at the age of 17, to become self-supporting. The unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old blacks at that time was under 10 percent. Inflation had made the minimum wage law, passed ten years earlier, irrelevant. But it was only a matter of time before liberal compassion led to repeated increases in the minimum wage, to keep up with inflation. The annual unemployment rate for black teenagers has never been less than 20 percent in the past 50 years, and has ranged as high as over 50 percent. … Incidentally, the black-white gap in unemployment rates for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was virtually non-existent back in 1948. But the black teenage unemployment rate has been more than double that for white teenagers for every year since 1971. This is just one of many policies that allow liberals to go around feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.”

Economist Walter Williams: “I am not suggesting that there’s a causal relationship between crime, poverty and squalor on the one hand and Democratic and black political power on the other. Nor am I suggesting that blacks ought to vote Republican. What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to improve the lives of ordinary – and particularly the poorest – black people, he wants to leave off his high-priority to-do list the election of Democrats and black politicians. Also to be left off the to-do list is a civil rights agenda. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to finding solutions is the widely held vision that the major problem confronting blacks is discrimination. I am not arguing that every vestige of discrimination has been eliminated. I am arguing that the devastating problems facing a large proportion of the black community are not civil rights problems. The solutions will not be found in the political or civil rights arena.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “What does it mean about race that my reaction to the news about Starbucks’ #RaceTogether was the annoyed exclamation, ‘White people!’? … I’m a little scared about what I may say on any controversial issue before I’ve had my coffee. … Is Starbucks charging enough for a latte to be able to solve the issue of race?”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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Baptist College Says Disagreeing With Lesbian Speaker Is Against Christian Doctrine

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:46 AM PDT

Baptist College Says Disagreeing With Lesbian Speaker Is Against Christian DoctrineYet another controversy is brewing regarding sexuality. This recent one according to Charisma involves an American Baptist College (ABC) who sees protests for an upcoming lesbian speaker, but a spokesperson says they are shocked it’s even an issue. ABC Vice President for Administration, Finance and Legal Affairs Richard E. Jackson says Bishop Yvette Flunder, a married lesbian, will be speaking on social justice, and anyone not in agreement with her comments is out of line on Christian doctrine of serving the needy. “I think that the first thing that we would have people to understand is that Bishop Flunder will be focusing most of her remarks and comments while at American Baptist College on the innovative nature of the ministry that she (Flunder) conducts that addresses the rights and needs of persons with HIV and AIDS,” Jackson says. “And I think that is completely compatible and consistent with the belief and philosophy of Christian people and Christian institutions to care for the least of us in any given society.” The Nashville-based college promotes tolerance over moral absolutes, according to One News, and Jackson says he believes higher education institutes should be free of “biblical constraints.” FULL REPORT

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Human activity is leading to “a major extinction event” for sea life

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:37 AM PDT

Human activity is leading to "a major extinction event" for sea lifeAccording to a new shocking report from Natural News our Ocean Life may be on the verge of an extinction event! According to the report the collective of the world’s oceans may be on the verge of a wide-scale extinction event, according to a new study. Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB) warn that, if human activity continues on its current trajectory, we could be seeing a whole lot more sea animal deaths, and possibly collapses of entire oceanic ecosystems. Published in the journal Science, the new study suggests a silver lining to this dark cloud — it’s not too late to reverse course, claim experts. It appears as though we have several additional decades to stop destroying the planet and save the oceans from becoming uninhabitable for many of the world’s sea creatures. But this is not an excuse to stall coming up with better management and conservation tactics. “We’re lucky in many ways,” said Dr. Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and one of the authors of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”  According to Dr. Douglas J. McCauley, one of Pinsky’s colleagues and lead author of the new study, the world’s oceans are still mostly intact, at least compared to the situation on land. If overfishing, excessive pollution and other harmful factors were to be dramatically cut back today, the oceans could almost completely revert back to what they were before humans started destroying them. FULL REPORT

 

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Massive Sinkholes Break Open As Dead Sea Dries Up

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:28 AM PDT

Massive Sinkholes Break Open As Dead Sea Dries UpAccording to reports from the Mideast there are more than 3,000 sinkholes on the banks of the Dead Sea — and they’re multiplying exponentially, according to environmentalists, as the body of water dries up. “It’s nature’s revenge,” said Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli Director at EcoPeace Middle East, an organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists to protect their shared environmental heritage. “These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region.” More than 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on land. The first sinkhole was spotted in the 1980s. By 1990, there were 40, and 15 years later new chasms are breaking open every day. “They could develop overnight. Or over time,” Bromberg said. “Making them unpredictable. And very dangerous.” FULL REPORT

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Security alert after cyanide found on envelope sent to White House

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:22 AM PDT

Security alert after cyanide found on envelope sent to White HouseSources are indicating that authorities are on High Alert as An envelope addressed to the White House has tentatively tested positive for cyanide. The letter was received on Monday at a facility that screens mail for the White House and is located away from the grounds of the executive mansion and its surrounding buildings in the heart of central Washington. The poison was found after two rounds of analysis and additional testing will be necessary to confirm the finding. Initial biological testing came back negative, said Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback. But additional testing conducted yesterday returned a “presumptive positive” for cyanide. The sample has been taken to another facility for further testing.  The Secret Service, which is responsible for the safety and security of President Barack Obama and his immediate family, said its investigation into the letter was continuing. Suspicious letters often are sent to some of the country’s leading politicians, including the president. Some test positive for hazardous substances while others include threats of death or other physical harm. FULL REPORT

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Australia Braces for Cyclone Nathan

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:18 AM PDT

Australia Braces for Cyclone NathanAustralia is bracing for a coming cyclone as reports indicate that Tropical cyclone Nathan is forecast to strike Australia at about 14:00 GMT on 19 March. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 14.9 S, 145.5 E. Nathan is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 157 km/h (97 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher. According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Nathan’s strength (category 2) at landfall includes: Storm surge generally 1.8-2.4 metres (6-8 feet) above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the storm center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain. The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice. FULL REPORT

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Sen. Tom Cotton’s Bold, Brave Move With The Letter To Iran

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:13 AM PDT

Sen. Tom Cotton's Bold, Brave Move With The Letter To IranSEN. TOM COTTON AND THE OTHER PATRIOTS ARE ACCUSED OF BEING TRAITORS BY EXPOSING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “BAD DEAL,” AS ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU CALLED IT IN HIS SPEECH TO CONGRESS ON TUESDAY, MARCH 3.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 other GOP Senators did a bold, brave thing by exposing Obama’s duplicity to Iran’s leaders in the current Iran nuclear talks. Now they are branded being branded as “traitors” by the Liberal Left. It would seem that Anti-Americanism is the new patriotism in the Obama era.

Normally, I don’t like to get overly involved in the specifics of congressional matters. However, these courageous congressmen who are taking the full vitriol of liberal Democrats, mainstream press and liberal, pajama-boy social media types need to know that they are supported in what is perhaps the most dangerous threat the world has faced since the Cuban missile crisis –if Iran gets nuclear weapons and the capability to deliver them (which, they apparently already have).

GOD IS IN CONTROL, BUT HE EXPECTS US TO MAKE HIS VOICE HEARD, ESPECIALLY IN THESE CRUCIAL DAYS INVOLVING ISRAEL, I BELIEVE.

My own newspaper in Little Rock apparently refuses to print the following opinion piece I sent them, but instead printed many articles in opposition to Tom Cotton’s and the others’ letters opposing the terrible deal being made with Iran. This, despite Arkansas, in the mid-term elections, demonstrating that it is the most conservative state in the union. Thus, I know the paper has received an overwhelming number of op-ed pieces favoring the courageous senators, but has refused to print them. FULL REPORT

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Another 4 American Ebola workers flown back to USA for monitoring

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:07 AM PDT

Another 4 American Ebola workers flown back to USA for monitoringEbola is making headlines again in the United States as reports indicate that another four U.S. healthcare workers were flown back to the United States for monitoring for possible exposure to the Ebola virus, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday. The return of the four U.S. healthcare workers brings to 16 the number of Americans who have returned to the United States from Sierra Leone since Friday, the CDC said. That includes a healthcare worker in critical condition who is being treated for Ebola in a Maryland biocontainment unit run by the National Institutes of Health. Most of the healthcare workers are employed by the aid group Partners in Health. Only one of the 16 has tested positive for Ebola. The rest are being flown to Atlanta and Maryland, which have special biocontainment units. They are all undergoing monitoring for Ebola in self-imposed isolation as they wait out the remainder of the 21-day Ebola incubation period. CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the exposures. FULL REPORT

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Europe braces for ‘Unprecedented’ power issues from Solar Eclipse

Posted: 18 Mar 2015 07:03 AM PDT

Europe braces for 'Unprecedented' power issues from Solar EclipseA recent report coming out of Europe is raising concerns that they could go in the dark this Friday as the Solar Eclipse on March 20th approaches. Reports indicate that Europe’s power operators are bracing for potential disruption from the solar eclipse expected Friday, which will knock out almost all solar-generated electricity in an “unprecedented” test for the network. “The risk of an incident cannot be completely ruled out,” the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (Entso-e) said recently, as 100 times more power is generated from the sun now than during the last eclipse in 1999. “Solar eclipses have happened before but with the increase of installed photovoltaic energy generation, the risk of an incident could be serious without appropriate countermeasures,” the group said. “For the first time this is expected to have a relevant impact on the secure operation of the European power system,” warned Entso-e. If the morning of March 20 turns out to be very sunny — before the eclipse hides the sun — the sudden drop-off in production could reach 34,000 Megawatts, the equivalent of 80 medium-sized conventional power plants. FULL REPORT

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Russia Starts Large-Scale Communications Drills in Nine Regions

Posted: 17 Mar 2015 08:33 PM PDT

Russia Starts Large-Scale Communications Drills in Nine RegionsThe Bear looks to be preparing for War as Russia signals troops in the Eastern Military District to begin massive drills with the use of cutting-edge equipment.  Reports indicate that Units of Russia’s signals troops began on Monday large-scale communications field exercises in nine regions of the Eastern Military District, the district’s press service said. “The drills envision the use of advanced relay broadcast stations, mobile video-conferencing systems, modern radio stations and satellite communications that were put in service with the Eastern Military District in 2014-2015,” the press service said in a statement. On March 12, Eastern Military District press head Col. Alexander Gordeyev said that a military exercise involving anti-air defense troops started in the region. FULL REPORT

The post Russia Starts Large-Scale Communications Drills in Nine Regions appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Presbyterians Approve Gay Marriage in Church Constitution

Posted: 17 Mar 2015 08:26 PM PDT

Presbyterians Approve Gay Marriage in Church ConstitutionYet another Church denomination is eliminating the moral standard of the Bible and choosing to water it down to conform to the culture and society of today! In a recent report by ABC, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved redefining marriage in the church constitution Tuesday to include a “commitment between two people,” becoming the largest Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings in every congregation. The new definition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the denomination’s 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th “yes” vote came Tuesday night from the Presbytery of the Palisades in New Jersey. After all regional bodies vote and top Presbyterian leaders officially accept the results, the change will take effect June 21. The denomination has nearly 1.8 million members and about 10,000 congregations. “So many families headed by LGBTQ couples have been waiting for decades to enter this space created for their families within their church communities,” said the Rev. Robin White, a leader of More Light Presbyterians, which advocates for gay acceptance within the church. So far, 41 presbyteries have rejected the redefinition, which includes a provision that no clergy would be compelled to preside at a gay marriage or host such a ceremony on church property. The vote in one presbytery was tied, according to a tally by the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, a pro-gay group that works to keep Presbyterians united despite theological differences. FULL REPORT

The post Presbyterians Approve Gay Marriage in Church Constitution appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Why Politicians Pretend Islam Has No Role in Violence

Prominent non-Muslim political figures have embarrassed themselves by denying the self-evident connection of Islam to the Islamic State (ISIS) and to Islamist violence in Paris and Copenhagen, even claiming these are contrary to Islam. What do they hope


The Return of Iraqi Shi’i Militias to Syria

It has long been known that the Assad regime, facing a shortage of manpower in its regular army, has had to rely on irregular paramilitaries in its bid to reverse rebel advances.


Obama Administration Missteps Crown Iran as Regional Hegemon

Originally published under the title, “Iran as Regional Hegemon: Tehran’s Success and Riyadh’s Failure.” Each for its own reasons, the world’s major powers have decided to accept Iran as a regional hegemon, I wrote March 4 in Asia Times, leaving Israel


The Niqab is the Flag of Islamism​

In Khaled Hosseini’s soul-piercing novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the character Nana, a poor, unwed mother, tells her five-year-old daughter, Mariam: “Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s

 


Putin Says He Was Prepared To Launch Nuclear Weapons In Crimea Annexation

Vladimir Putin has reappeared in Russia, after being gone for 10 days. There were many speculating as to where he was, but no one knew for sure.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8 (KJV)

Well, Vlad is back, and he’s flexing his Russian muscles and running his mouth about his nuclear arsenal, and how the world almost got a taste of them during the crisis in Ukraine. He is declaring that he was ready to use nukes to insure the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year.

putin-says-considered-using-nukes-in-crimea-ukraine

Putin made the comments in a pre-recorded documentary broadcast on Russian state television to mark the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s takeover of the Black Sea peninsula. The film featured an interview in which Putin admits “we were ready to do this” when asked about his willingness to ready Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

“Russian people live there,” Putin said of his policy toward the Crimea after the fall of Ukraine’s former pro-Moscow leader, Viktor Yanukovych. “They were in danger. We cannot abandon them.” [1] – source

So, Putin was fearing for the people of Crimea, claiming that they were in danger. I have a strong suspicion that Crimea was merely Act 1 in the latest Russian play entitled “USSR Regathered.” I’m certain that Ukraine is on perpetual high alert, because they know that they very possibly appear in Act 2.

The U.S. and several Eastern European NATO countries are conducting military exercises near Russia’s border, Putin ordered his Northern Fleet “to full alert in a snap combat readiness exercise” the state-run media reported Monday. [2] – source

The fleet got its orders at 8 a.m. Monday, according to Sputnik, launching a land, sea and air drill that will involve 38,000 troops, 41 ships, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft.

“The main task of the (combat readiness drill) is to assess the armed forces from the Northern Fleet’s capabilities in fulfilling tasks in providing military security of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region,” Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shoigu told the media outlet. “New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of military capabilities of the armed forces and special attention will be paid to the state of the newly formed strategic merging (of forces) in the North.”

The drills will run through Friday, Sputnik reported.

Is Vladimir Putin arming up for a new Cold War?

There are so many variables and scenarios; falling gas prices negatively impacting Russia’s economy; Iran is on the threshold of being given the green light on making nukes; ISIS continues on their murderous rampage; the EU is struggling with failing economies and striving to keep sanctions in place against Russia for their dealings with Ukraine.

I pray this will not happen, but I cannot help but look at this world and wonder if WWIII could break out at any time.

Maranatha!

The post Putin Says He Was Prepared To Launch Nuclear Weapons In Crimea Annexation appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Obama Administration ‘Loses’ Half Billion In Military Weaponry To al-Qaeda In Yemen

Pentagon officials cannot track the whereabouts of $500 million worth of military equipment the U.S. donated to Yemen since 2007 – raising alarms that the hardware may have ended up with al-Qaeda or Iranian-backed rebels.

Ever wonder how al-Qaeda and ISIS always have such advanced weaponry and military capabilities? Wonder no more! Obama gives it to them, that’s how they do it. Did you think it was a trick question?

U.S. officials said Tuesday that increasing instability in Yemen has made it impossible to keep tabs on donated equipment that includes small arms, ammunition, patrol boats and night-vision goggles, according to The Washington Post.

obama-administration-loses-500-million-in-united-states-military-equipment-weapon-yemen-al-qaida

“We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Post.

In January, Yemen’s government was overtaken by Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The rebels are increasingly taking over military bases.

Since then, the U.S. closed its embassy in Yemen and the Defense Department has stopped delivering equipment to the country, including a shipment of $125 million worth of military products scheduled to be delivered earlier this year.

This is the equipment no one can find, The Post reports:

  • 1,250,000 rounds of ammunition
  • 200 Glock 9 mm pistols
  • 200 M-4 rifles
  • 4 Huey II helicopters
  • 2 Cessna 208 transport and surveillance aircraft
  • 2 coastal patrol boats
  • 1 CN-235 transport and surveillance aircraft
  • 4 hand-launched Raven drones
  • 160 Humvees

The post Obama Administration ‘Loses’ Half Billion In Military Weaponry To al-Qaeda In Yemen appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 


More Signs In Sky Point To Coming Collapse

The approaching solar eclipse on March 20, followed by another blood moon on Passover, brings warnings of judgment coming to an unrepentant nation that has turned its back on God, says the author of two New York Times-bestselling books on America’s place in an increasingly chaotic world …………. Click here for full story


When You See A Sword Coming – Three Existential Threats Facing America

God warned Ezekiel — as He warns us today — that if He speaks and we don’t share His Word with others, we will be held to account. What’s more, if we see threats rising, and we do not warn people, we will be held to account. Tonight, as I look out America, I see three existential threats. ………. Click here for full story


This Is The End? Pope Gives Up Cryptic Hint

An author who successfully predicted Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation now is suggesting Pope Francis may be a believer in an ancient prophecy that foretells disaster for the Roman Catholic Church ……….. Click here for full story


Rising ‘Nones’ Show Americans Losing Their Religion

A shocking 7.5 million people have left religion since 2012, a new survey released last week shows. The so called “Great Decline” of religion continued into last year, the 2014 General Social Survey showed ……….. Click here for full story


The Rising Tide Of Muslim Converts To Christianity

If you spend any time keeping up with the news, you know that radical Islam is a significant and destructive force in the world. David Garrison, does not disagree with that assessment, but he says it’s only part of the story. There is also a revival in the Muslim world, Garrison says. He believes between 2 and 7 million former Muslims have converted to Christianity in the past two decades ……… Click here for full story


Americans Favor Strength Against Iran, Glad Congress Invited Bibi

A poll conducted for Fox News by Democratic and Republican research teams just before and on the day of Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress on March 3, shows that Americans believe the United States is not doing enough to fight back against Islamic extremism, and think that U.S. President Barack Obama has been a weak negotiator with foreign leaders.

Read more


On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Close Israeli elections reminder of value of US Constitution 

 Netanyahu Shifts Tactics as His Likud Party Appears to Slip in Final Surveys, New York Times (Isabel Kershner)

2) Limits of democracy evidenced in failure of Senate to pass human trafficking bill

Sex Trafficking Bill, Ensnared by Politics, Is Left in Limbo by a Senate Vote, New York Times (Jennifer Steinhauer)

3) Aaron Schock’s resignation example of how sin will always find you out

Aaron Schock resigns after new questions about mileage expenses, Poliltico (Jake Sherman , Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan)

Rep. Aaron Schock announces resignation in wake of spending probe, Washington Post (Mike DeBonis, Robert Costa and Paul Kane)

4) Religious shape of TED talks, environmentalism reveal inherent religiosity of humanity

Notable & Quotable: Environmental Religion, Washington Post

The Church of TED, New York Times (Megan Hustad)

The Case for Old Ideas, New York Times (Ross Douthat)

The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas, Weekly Standard (Joseph Bottum)
In other news…

Those Who Are Spiritually Deceived Are No Longer Able to Think for Themselves

Church swindler Ephren Taylor sentenced to long prison time

Houston & Driscoll: The disgraceful invites the disgraced to further disgrace Christ

Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?

Presbyterian group changes marriage definition to include same-sex couples


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.

March 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

Nowhere in Scripture do we find doctrine studied for its own sake or in isolation from life. —Wayne Grudem

quotes


The Happy Christian

I try to be a positive Christian with a positive outlook on life. Generally speaking, I look on the bright side and press on in the Christian life with hopefulness because Christ is on the throne. But sometimes I fall into a rut of gloom, cynicism, and I think the cup is “half empty,” so to speak. From time to time I can identify with Christians who are always gloomy, pessimistic, and critical. The question is, how can we get out of the rut of gloom? We should want to, since the Christian faith is not one of gloom, doom, and extreme cynicism!

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Sin is No Friend

What Christian has not found this to be true? We speak a harsh word to our spouse or tell a lie to our friend and it is not just our relationship with them that is hindered, but our very relationship with God. Our sense of peace and joy become fleeting, His love feels distant, and our anxiety increases. All because sin was entertained. It is a thief, which comes in and steals. It is an enemy, an enemy that not only seeks to destroy us and those around us, but takes aim at our very relationship with God.

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Before You Burn the Books

Along with giving Christians a vocabulary to articulate biblical truths, many of the creeds were written in response to heretical teachings. False teaching will always be with us on this side of the resurrection (2 Pet. 2:1). While I adamantly oppose false teaching and I am continuously disgusted by bestselling books that infect the church, I am thankful that God in his wisdom and goodness even uses bad theology to spur his people further to the truth.

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5 Things People Blame The Church For…But Shouldn’t
by rmiller
It breaks my heart when I hear people say “I went to church but it was so bad/so hypocritical/so shallow I lost my faith.” I realize we don’t always do a good job. In fact, sometimes churches do a terrible job. Sometimes I do a terrible job. But as you’ve seen throughout this piece, nobody else makes you lose your faith. That was or is a choice you made. It is.

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A Defense of Infant Baptism

I doubt I’ve changed too many minds with this post, but maybe I’ve helped my Baptist friends understand what we mean (and don’t mean) by infant baptism. Maybe I’ve clarified a couple misunderstandings. Maybe I’ve strengthened the convictions of a few paedobaptists who weren’t sure why they believed what they said they believed. No matter where you fall on this issue, I encourage you think through the topic with an open Bible and some good resources in hand.

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What Makes A Man

Perhaps many of us wish we could open the Book of Man chapter 1, verse 1 and begin reading about what really makes a man a man. But the Bible doesn’t say much about this. The Bible clearly distinguishes men from women. It has essential things to say about God’s design for the roles of men and women. But when it comes to the fine-grained detail of masculinity and femininity, the Bible is largely silent. This silence is not some tragic omission. No, it is by divine intention. God’s Word really does give us everything we need “for life and godliness.” In this way the Bible is comprehensive, but it is not exhaustive. It is always dangerous to ask it to speak in places where it is silent.

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Christians, Businesses, and the Brave New World

I believe Christians are right to refuse to participate in these ceremonies. They are acting on their convictions that same-sex weddings are inherently sinful and that participating would be approving of and promoting sin. We should be supporting and encouraging these believers instead of binding their consciences by telling them to participate in something they believe is sinful.

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A Tale of Two Ecumenisms

There are thus two questions which we can raise here, one systematic and theological, the other ecumenical and practical. The systematic question is this: Can one sustain orthodox Protestant soteriology in the long term if one abandons the classical theism and Trinitarianism which underpinned it? To put this another way: Can evangelicals consistently maintain their understanding of the Reformation gospel, given their frequent indifference to the catholic (and thus Reformation) doctrine of God?

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Why Culture Matters

by Bill Muehlenberg

God is the author of culture, so it matters – end of story. But since folks expect a bit more from my articles, let me elaborate. I have been thinking the past few days about the many achievements of human culture, and how they all must come to an end at some point.

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Evangelical dominoes fall

Today we report that the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has decided that all couples – including homosexual couples – should be allowed to get married. What will be the effect No Compromise Radio‘s Mike Abendroth joins us for today’s discussion. He recently participated in the Shepard’s Conference/Inerrancy Summit 2015, an excellent conference which you can watch […]

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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Embraces LGBT-Inclusive Definition Of Marriage

Biblical Christianity has taken another assault on truth, and it’s a major domino: “The tide has turned for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples seeking to be married in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)” That’s the headline reported by LGBT-supporting Huffington Post, a left-leaning blog covering religious news. As you read HuffPo’s story, be sure to […]

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WHY GOD DOESN’T REMOVE OUR SINFUL CRAVINGS IMMEDIATELY

Every Christian I know has had the experience of coming up against the same sin—again—and wondering, “Will this struggle ever end? Why doesn’t God just remove this?” (If you haven’t had that experience, just give it time.) This seems to be a frustration common to all believers, and not just with sin, either. When we experience any prolonged suffering or pain or discomfort, we have to ask, Why?

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Corporate worship and the formation of a new culture

by Scott Aniol

Navigating the difficult relationship between corporate worship and the culture around is is a challenge, but it is one made easier when we recognize the importance of corporate worship for actually forming our behavior.

You see, worship is not simply the natural expression of a Christian; corporate worship—the public acting out of the spiritual realities of drawing near to God through Christ by faith—actually helps to shape the behavior—the “culture”—of God’s people.

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Not Under Law But Under Grace

by Biblical Spirituality

Some people say that we do not need God’s law any more, since we are no longer under his law but under his grace. To support their case, they cite Romans 6:14, “You are not under law butindex under grace.” “You see,” they argue, “we are no longer under God’s law but under God’s grace. Therefore, there is no need for us to study or even read the law (the Ten Commandments).” This thinking is prevalent in many churches today where God’s moral law is rarely heard. Does the church that you attend still read the Ten Commandments regularly? When was the last time your pastor(s) preached on the Ten Commandments?

In this post I will briefly clarify the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 6:14—“You are not under law but under grace.” By this statement Paul means that we are not under the moral law as a requirement for eternal life.

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On “Preferences” and Church Membership

Autonomous musical preference is a bad reason to leave a church, just like autonomous preferences about preaching, ordinances, church discipline, church mission, etc., are bad reasons for joining/leaving a church. I.e., it is a bad reason to leave/join a church because:

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RELENTLESS

God is angry, and his anger is relentless.

If you were trying to persuade someone of the Christian faith, that’s probably not the first line you would use. After all, isn’t Christianity all about an abundantly gracious God who loves his children? Doesn’t your Bible say that we worship a God of forgiveness, mercy, patience, and love?

Both statements are completely true: God is relentlessly angry while at the same time abundantly gracious. This can be a difficult juxtaposition for us to grasp, so in today’s devotional, I want to show you how God’s anger and grace live together in harmony throughout the first chapter of Jonah.

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The Ministry No One Wants

by Bill Muehlenberg

I was going to entitle this piece, ‘the job no one wants,’ but that would have opened things up too wide. One thinks for example of those who clean out septic tanks for a living. But I am speaking here of a Christian job, or ministry, or calling. And I refer specifically to the prophetic voice, or the watchman on the wall type of ministry.

And of course the reason no one wants it is because not only is it the loneliest calling out there, but it is one which will often result in the most hatred, the most animosity, the most rejection, and the most opposition – not just from the world but from God’s people as well.

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Humanists Seek to Honor Scopes ‘Monkey’ Trial Evolutionist with Statue in Courthouse Lawn

DAYTON, Tenn. – A humanist organization that has repeatedly fought against public displays of prayer or Christianity is now seeking to erect a statue in a courthouse lawn of Clarence Darrow—the promoter of evolution in the famous Scopes “Monkey” Trial. The American Humanist Association (AHA) is a group based in Washington, D.C., that believes in […]

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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.

Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes (Booklet)

Oprah has done her job well. For nearly thirty years, she has enthusiastically and consistently communicated her New Age beliefs through countless New Age authors. All those in the “Aquarian Conspiracy” must be very proud of her. Thanks to Oprah’s high visibility and continued popularity, “the great heretical idea” that “God” and “Christ” are within everyone has been “widely communicated” and is fast becoming our “new consensus” and “what everyone knows.” This ten-week class that she was teaching with Eckhart Tolle was the culmination of all that Oprah has sought to teach her viewers over the years about the New Age and how to see the world anew. But like the Emperor and his “new” suit of clothes, Oprah has been greatly deceived by her New Spirituality. Sadly, if Oprah and her colleagues continue down the path of the New Age/New Spirituality, they will experience an “awakening” some day, but it will not be the “Great Awakening” they anticipated. Instead, it will be a rude awakening come Judgment Day. On that day, they will suddenly realize that God is God and they are not, and they never were. They will realize that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He is the one and only Christ, and there is no universal “Christ within.” They will see that they were deceived and that the Lord Jesus Christ really meant it when he said, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).

Click here to read this booklet!

#ICYMI (PCUSA) – Zwingli and Luther on Homosexuality

Zwinglius Redivivus

This brief paper was written at the beginning of the debate on Proposition 8 in response to a request from a colleague who was curious about the view of the Reformers on the subject. Please do not repost it or share it without my express written permission.

zbanner

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Inside Information: If I Were Picking a Church

Unfathomable Grace

When someone needs to find a good plumber, Angie’s List™ promises to be of great assistance. On that website, people who are satisfied or dissatisfied with various technicians can share their past experiences. Sometimes, it is of great value to learn lessons from the trials and tribulations of others.

When looking for a good physician, perhaps the best people to contact are other members of the medical community. For sure, unbiased analysis from fellow professionals can be a great aid in making a solid decision.

When buying stocks or purchasing ownership in a company, interviewing former management can make or break the deal. Inside information is highly valued in the financial arena.

So, when selecting a church, wouldn’t a professional minister be of incredible value? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear truth from a person who has seen the good and the bad? Perhaps even one who has done the good and the bad? And what if the person had served in…

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Jesus, Friend of Starbucks Baristas and Patrons

airō

starbucks

Breitbart dropped an article yesterday revealing how Starbucks baristas will “hassle” customers about race relations. The right-wing conservative in me wanted to jump on board the train of derision toward Starbucks for yet another publicity stunt in the politico-culture wars. However, I’m learning to beat down that unwelcomed part of my flesh – you know, the one that screams “BOYCOTT!” every time a pagan institution or business dares to act, well, pagan.

After further consideration, I am glad to see Starbucks opening up this door to provoke a conversation on race relations.

In full disclosure, in response to this video produced by Starbucks and OUTtv last year, I stated the following on facebook:

You want to know why ‪#‎Starbucks‬ can do this? Because they have enough slaves to their product that they have little to lose by throwing their brand behind the gay agenda. The same goes for Target, Apple, Burger…

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15 Suggested Readings on The Relationship Between Science and Theology/Religion

Hillary Clinton never signed separation form that required her to turn over all e-mails

WINTERY KNIGHT

National Review reports:

After days of fending off the question, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted on Tuesday that the department has no record of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signing a separation form that could open her up to perjury charges.

Form OF-109 is a document required to be signed by all State Department employees as they exit the department. In it, the employee claims, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has turned over all relevant communications to the government at the time of his or her departure.

By turning over her private e-mails at the end of 2014, two years after leaving office, Clinton violated that agreement — if, in fact, she signed it.

On Tuesday, the State Department finally indicated that she did not — or at least, they have no records of her doing so. “We have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personnel file and administrative files, and…

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Not Under Law But Under Grace

Some people say that we do not need God’s law any more, since we are no longer under his law but under his grace. To support their case, they cite Romans 6:14, “You are not under law butindex under grace.” “You see,” they argue, “we are no longer under God’s law but under God’s grace. Therefore, there is no need for us to study or even read the law (the Ten Commandments).” This thinking is prevalent in many churches today where God’s moral law is rarely heard. Does the church that you attend still read the Ten Commandments regularly? When was the last time your pastor(s) preached on the Ten Commandments?

In this post I will briefly clarify the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 6:14—“You are not under law but under grace.” By this statement Paul means that we are not under the moral law as a requirement for…

View original post 492 more words

BIBI’S BLOW OUT: Netanyahu miraculously surges to 30 seats. Has 6-seat lead over Herzog. Obama campaign against Bibi backfires. (Updated)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Netanyahu at victory rally in Tel Aviv in the week hours of Wednesday morning (photo credit: Times of Israel) Netanyahu at victory rally in Tel Aviv in the week hours of Wednesday morning (photo credit: Times of Israel)

Near-final results put Netanyahu's Likud Party at 30 seats, 10 more than final newspaper polls predicted. (Source: Times of Israel) Near-final results put Netanyahu’s Likud Party at 30 seats, 10 more than final newspaper polls predicted. (Source: Times of Israel)

UPDATED AT 8:30AM ISRAEL TIME: (Central Israel) — The Israeli media was completely wrong.

The American pundits were wrong.

The Israeli newspaper polls were completely wrong.

The TV network exit polls were completely wrong.

The Obama team efforts to unseat an American ally were a complete failure.

Netanyahu wasn’t losing. He wasn’t about to be shipped off to retirement in disgrace.

This wasn’t close — this was a landslide.

Bibi’s blow out.

It’s now…

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William Lane Craig debates Lawrence Krauss in Melbourne, Australia: Does God Exist?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Here is the video from the third debate from Dr. William Lane Craig’s speaking tour in Australia.

Format:

  • William Lane Craig (15 min)
  • Lawrence Krauss (15 min, but was actually 21:40)
  • Moderated discussion
  • Question and answer

Dr. Graham Oppy, the moderator, is a well-known atheist philosopher. He let Dr. Krauss speak for 21 minutes and 40 seconds, which is why my summary of Krauss is so long.

The video:

Summary

After careful consideration, I decided not to be snarky at all in this summary. What you read below is what happened. There may be some small mistakes, but I will fix those if people tell me about them. I also included some quotes and timestamps for the more striking things that Dr. Krauss said.

The debate itself starts at 4:50 with Dr. Craig’s opening speech. He does use slides to show the structure of his arguments.

Dr. Craig’s opening…

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BREAKING: Stunning comeback for Netanyahu. Surges from 20 to 27-28 seats. But will he return as sole Prime Minister, or will there be a “unity government”?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(Source: Times of Israel, based on exit poll numbers) (Source: Times of Israel, based on exit poll numbers)

UPDATED AT 12:30am ISRAEL TIME: (Central Israel) — The voting here in Israel ended at 10pm local time on Tuesday (4pm eastern).

The TV network exit polls show a stunning turn of events — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party were down at 20 seats last week, at least four seats behind opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the “Zionist Union” party.

Tonight, Netanyahu and his team appear to be at 27 or 28 seats, tied with — or possibly a seat ahead — of Herzog.

If these numbers hold, Netanyahu may have an easier path to put together a governing coalition with center-right parties and return as Prime Minister. However, there is talk that President Reuven Rivlin will insist on a “unity government” where Netanyahu and Herzog would be required to share power and govern together, rather than Netanyahu serving as the…

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40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Four: Wednesday)

Wednesday

Day 25: What is the “best case” for the resurrection? What is the strongest evidence offered against the resurrection?

Confession: Psalm 6:1–5

O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in your anger,

and do not discipline me in your wrath.

Be gracious to me, O Yahweh, because I am feeble.

Heal me, O Yahweh, for my bones are terrified.

My soul is also very terrified.

But you, O Yahweh, how long?

Turn, O Yahweh; deliver my life.

Save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

For there is no remembrance of you in death.

In Sheol, who will give thanks to you?

Reading: Mark 13:24–37

“But in those days, after that tribulation,

‘the sun will be darkened

and the moon will not give its light,

and the stars will be falling from heaven,

and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’

“And then they will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and will gather the elect together from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the door. Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all these things take place! Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

“But concerning that day or hour no one knows—not even the angels in heaven nor the Son—except the Father. Watch out! Be alert, because you do not know when the time is! It is like a man away on a journey, who left his house and gave his slaves authority—to each one his work—and to the doorkeeper he gave orders that he should be on the alert. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or early in the morning—lest he arrive suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be on the alert!”

Reflection

O may the Angel of the Lord come upon you, and the light shine into your prison! And may you feel the stroke of an almighty hand, raising you, with, “Get up quickly … gird yourself and put on your sandals … wrap your cloak about you and follow me” (Acts 12:7–8).

… Did not God create you for Himself? Then you cannot rest till you rest in Him. Return, you wanderer! Fly back to your ark; this is not your home. Do not think of building tabernacles here. You are but a stranger, a sojourner upon earth, a creature of a day—just launching out into an unchangeable state. Make haste. Eternity is at hand, and it depends on this moment. An eternity of happiness, or an eternity of misery!

In what state is your soul? Was God, while I am yet speaking, to require it of you, are you ready to meet death and judgment? Can you stand in His sight, who is of “eyes too pure to see evil” (Hab 1:13)? Are you “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you for a share of the inheritance of the saints in light” (1 Col 1:12)? Have you “fought the good fight” and “kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7)? Have you secured the one thing needful? Have you recovered the image of God, even righteousness and true holiness? Have you put off the old man, and put on the new? Are you clothed upon with Christ?

Have you oil in your lamp? Grace in your heart? Do you “love the Lord your God from all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27)? Is that mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus? Are you a Christian indeed, that is, a new creature? Are old things passed away, and all things become new?

—John Wesley

Awake, Thou That Sleepest

Response

How can you live a life of alertness, ready for Christ’s return? Reread the passage and John Wesley’s questions, and respond to them in the space below.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NASB)

In our daily Christian walk it is a rare day in which we take every thought capture and, through our active repentance, successfully deny ourselves through every circumstance. I don’t think I could claim that I have successfully done this the majority of the time. However, our God is wise and omniscient. It should be a matter of great rejoicing on our part that our perseverance is in His hands and is based on the work of the…

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